Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Wikipedia's Manual of Style contains some conventions that differ from those in some other, well-known style guides and from what is often taught in schools. Wikipedia's editors have discussed these conventions in great detail and have reached consensus that these conventions serve our purposes best. New contributors are advised to check the FAQ and the archives to see if their concern has already been discussed.

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"WP:" vs. "MOS:"[edit]

Are we discouraging use of "WP:" now? I ask because a few editors have been trading out "WP:" for "MOS:" in our policies and guidelines. We can see SMcCandlish recently did it at the WP:Lead guideline. Given how common "WP:" still is on Wikipedia, why should we remove all mention of it as a shortcut in our policies and guidelines? I still prefer "WP:" in most cases, and I see that most editors still use it over the "MOS:" alternative. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 21:01, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

There's no "now" about it; we've been doing this for years, just slowly, because it's tedious. Except for the very page-top shortcut block (with WP:MOSNUM, etc.) we have no need whatsoever to "advertise" redundant shortcuts like MOS:ENGVAR and WP:ENGVAR at the same section; it just produces a pointlessly large {{Shortcut}} block, defeats the mnemonic purpose of shortcuts by providing too many to remember, lacks the helpful distinction between MoS guidelines and other stuff (e.g., you know that any MOS:FOO is a guideline not a policy, essay, naming conventions guideline, wikiproject page, or whatever), and so on. "Some people use the WP:FOO version" is immaterial. The point of the {{Shortcut}} block is to provide one or two shortcuts for the section, and sometimes a couple of others that are to important anchors within the section; not to list every shortcut that goes there. Some sections have 20+ shortcuts that lead to them! We really don't care which one someone uses. (The sole probable exception is that people should stop using both MOS:LEDE and WP:LEDE, because WP:Manual of Style/Lead section is going to some pains to distinguish between WP leads (abstract of all the notable information) and journalistic ledes (teasers with the gist but suppressing details in a way that entices further reading). One of the reason we have so many shitey lead sections is people keep writing them like news articles, and use of "lede" as if WP jargon perpetuates that problem. I would love to replace both those shortcuts with soft redirects.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:21, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
I have many policies and guidelines on my watchlist, and it's been that way for years. I have only seen a few editors trying to eliminate all use of "WP:" in them. So, no, I have not seen a general discouragement of "WP:" usage. It is still the main usage I see on this site. And my watchlist is gigantic. It seems that the only way that "MOS:" can become more popular than "WP:" is to remove almost all mentions of "WP:" from our policies and guidelines. But given that so many old-timers such as myself still use "WP:", that is still a long ways away from happening. I disagree with you that "WP:" is pointless in our policies and guidelines. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 05:54, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
That stated, I do see how "MOS:" is clearer when it comes to identifying guidelines and I understand why you have been making these changes. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:28, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
More below. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:38, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

SMcCandlish did retain "WP:LEAD" at the top of the aforementioned edited guideline, though. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 21:05, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, we keep the most common WP:MOSFOO shortcut for the entire page in question, and sometimes a WP:FOO one in a case (like WP:LEAD) where MoS and non-MoS material was merged into a unified page.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:21, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Sometimes there are MOS and WP shortcuts to different targets, e.g. MOS:NICKNAME vs. WP:NICKNAME. IMHO this should be avoided. William Avery (talk) 22:19, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Except the entire point of the creation of the "MOS:" pseudo-namespace however many years ago is that we very frequently have MoS and non-MoS advice about the same thing; there's insufficient "WP:" shortcut namespace room to give them all sensible names. After all the "WP:" shortcuts to stuff in MoS pages have "MoS" equivalents, and we stop "advertising" the WP ones, then WP ones pointing to MoS sections will just be legacy usage on the part of old-timers, while any new WP shortcuts will not be to MoS material. Given the profusion of topical naming conventions, we should probably also consider doing an "NC:" shortcut series. We were already starting to do it with wikiprojects ("WPP:") but wikiprojects started becoming moribund in such rapid succession that it wasn't worth the effort. (The ones that remain active mostly have pretty mnemonic shortcuts like WP:MILHIST and WP:LING that also don't conflict with other things, so WPP is not really needed). But it would be very sensible for WP:NCFILM to be addressable as NC:FILM to match MOS:FILM, and so on. The problem with "WP:" is it's historically been used for everything, from humor pages to WMF office-action policies.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:21, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Something I ran across yesterday which bothered/perplexed me is that MOS:COLOUR directs to the top level MOS page, but WP:COLOUR directs to the accessibility sub-page - which is admittedly more important. I was briefly confused because I expected the MOS link to go to the accessibility page. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:06, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
That definitely doesn't make any sense. We should pick one location. I resolved a similar screwup yesterday at MOS:LEAD, where an "MOS:" shortcut went to one section and the "WP:" version went to a subsection of it (or vice versa, I forget).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  10:32, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Ideally any accessibility-related MOS issues need to be in one location. But there should not be any contradictory or ambiguous MOS when it comes to accessibility. No idea on how to proceed on this however. Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:17, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
I see. So pairs like MOS:LEAD and WP:LEAD, which both point to the MOS, are legacy cases. I thought this was still normal. William Avery (talk) 10:02, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
It makes sense to keep a "WP:" version paired with the MOS: version at the top of each MoS page; it introduces the idea of "MOS:" shortcuts as a shortcut [pseudo-]namespace splitting off from the "WP:" one, for new editors figuring out what is where. We just do not have any practical use for {{shortcut|MOS:ENGVAR|WP:ENGVAR}} in mid-page; it's just clutter, and inspires creation of more unneeded "WP:" shortcuts to MoS subsections and anchors.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  10:36, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Having both "MOS:ENGVAR" and "WP:ENGVAR" is not any more clutter than some other "MOS:" shortcut paired up with the existing "MOS:" shortcut. Look at {{shortcut|MOS:ARTCON|MOS:ART1VAR}}. Really, who is going to use that second option? I know that I personally don't like having to type extra letters if I don't need to. And to mix in a number with the letters? Easier to just type type "WP:ARTCON" instead of "MOS:ART1VAR." Look at {{shortcut|MOS:TIES|MOS:STRONGNAT}}. No way that I'm using "MOS:STRONGNAT." My fingers will type "WP:TIES" instead. I also think that seeing "WP:" and "MOS:" confuses newbies, although they will eventually learn that "MOS:" specifically points to guidelines. Still, some of the "MOS:" shortcuts are confusing even to old-timers. The aforementioned "MOS:NICKNAME" and "WP:NICKNAME," which point to two different pages, is one example. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:38, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
There's no reason to not remove disused "MOS:" shortcuts, too. You're not making a valid comparison. "WP:ARTCON" is simply redundant if "MOS:ARTCON" is listed, because they're the same mnemonic. "ART1VAR" is not the same mnemonic, but no one really seems to use that, so we have no reason to list it. No one is actually RfDing the shortcut redirects, so if you want to keep using WP:ARTCON, then keep using it. Some longer shortcuts do get used because they are more memorable and make more sense in context (e.g. WP:COMMONNAME is more frequently used than WP:UCRN).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  18:58, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Who stated that we should remove "MOS:" shortcuts? I know I didn't. I did, however, essentially call "MOS:ART1VAR" and "MOS:STRONGNAT" useless. The validity of my statements are clear: There is no solid reason that these barely used shortcuts should be retained in the guideline. There is no good reason that they should be there instead of the more common "WP:" usages. That a few editors want the MOS pages to use "MOS:" instead of "WP:" and to have this consistency across the MOS pages is not a good reason. For years, editors have easily recognized what our policies, guidelines and essays are without the guideline shortcuts being identified with "MOS:" in front of them. We don't need such special designation for our policies and essays. Editors should actually click on the links to find out if they are policies, guidelines or essays anyway. It's always troubling to see an editor cite an essay as a policy or guideline. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:28, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
"MOS:" shortcuts automatically identify MoS guidelines (which are not policies or essays) as such, helping (fractionally) with the "editors citing an essay as a guideline" problem. When someone uses the "WP:" version that points to the same section or anchor, no one knows what they're referencing other than people who've already read the material and who have a great memory for what shortcut goes to what, and which kind of page it is. I repeat that we've been moving to "MOS:" shortcuts for many years now; how this can suddenly be a surprise to you is beyond me. You've already met with agreement that we don't need to also retain an redundant and obscure shortcut like MOS:ART1VAR. So why shake your fist about it further? Just go remove it if it bugs you that much. I've done it for you, since they're unneeded.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  18:39, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Where is the proof that use of "MOS:" helps with the "editors citing an essay as a guideline" problem? At least you stated "fractionally." All it does it help identify that the page is a MOS guideline; it does not help identify that a "WP:" page is a policy or essay. And as we know, "WP:" can also refer to a guideline. You stated, "I repeat that we've been moving to 'MOS:' shortcuts for many years now; how this can suddenly be a surprise to you is beyond me." We've already been over this. Do see my "05:54, 29 November 2017 (UTC)" response above. "Surprise" has nothing to do with it. And "many" is off. As for the rest, you are making a simple discussion out to be some fist-shaking crusade. I'm not the one removing or adding shortcuts. I am simply questioning this matter, and so have others in this section. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:15, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
You're answering your own question: if "MOS:" tells us that it's a shortcut to an MoS guideline, then this by necessity helps identify it as a not a policy or essay; the "WP:" namespace is a mixed bag, the "MOS:" pseudo-namespace is not. To the extent it contains anything at all that is not a guideline (a handful of how-to subpages, and a few rejected proposals, which no one cites or uses shortcuts for anyway, they're clearly identified as non-guidelines). Again, there is no problem to resolve.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  03:18, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Your assertion that this helps is a weak argument, exactly per what I stated in that comment you refer to as me "answering [my] own question." It's why you added "fractionally." Removing "WP:" from the MOS pages was, and still is, not resolving any problem. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:30, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Already been over this: it's resolving the problem of pointlessly bloated shortcut boxes "advertising" completely redundant shortcuts no one needs to use because they provide less information. This WP:IDHT game is getting tedious.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:33, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, we have already been over this. It is your opinion that "it's resolving the problem of pointlessly bloated shortcut boxes 'advertising' completely redundant shortcuts no one needs to use because they provide less information." There is no harm at all in retaining "WP:" shortcuts and you have yet to show that there is. What you have shown is that you continue to condescend when your opinion is challenged, even daring to suggest that a significantly experienced editor in good standing who is simply disagreeing with you and is not trying to escalate this disagreement to an RfC or anything similar is engaging in WP:IDHT, as if this is a Wikipedia article and/or its talk page and I am being disruptive at it. Nonsense. It doesn't matter even if it's a topic I am thoroughly educated on, you will insist that you are correct and condescend as if you know better; that's been the case as well. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:38, 4 December 2017 (UTC) Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:49, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
For the record, I stand by what I stated to you earlier this year. We are two strong-minded people who clash more than we would like. We also sometimes agree, which is always great. But when we clash, it's like there's no middleground. I'm not interested in continuing this MOS discussion, and I also recognize that you are more involved with MOS content than I am. I simply questioned the removal of the "WP:" usages from the MOS pages. I know your stance. We can move on. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 18:20, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think it's useful that the reader be able to spot, on sight, that a given link is to MOS. EEng 21:54, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

I don't dispute that. I just don't see a need to remove "WP:" from the MOS pages. Yes, it encourages editors, especially newbies, to use "MOS:" shortcuts instead of "WP:" shortcuts, but I don't see anything problematic about retaining the "WP:" usages. Again, we don't yet have it so that a reader is able to spot, on sight, that a given link is to a policy or essay. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:12, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't know if there's a "need" to removed WP:-style shortcuts, but doing so would encourage the more informative MOS: style, and I see no downside. Of course, the old shortcuts remain valid, they'd just be implicitly deprecated by their absence from the little shortcut boxes in the guidelines. EEng 22:17, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
And the "need" has already been explained in detail, twice (now a third time: they're redundant and unclear, and we're running out of mnemonic namespace in "WP:"). Pretending not to hear answers one doesn't like isn't helpful.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  18:39, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Not really a need; just an opinion. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:57, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
And disagreeing with you, as I tend to do on a number matters, is not "pretending not to hear answers one doesn't. like" Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:15, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
If we are “running out” of mnemonics for shortcuts... then that tells me we have way too many policies, guidelines and MOS pages (and probably have conflicting advice on all those pages). Still, I favor noting that MOS pages are just MOS pages (and NOT policies or guidelines.) It will be helpful for editors to know which links they can freely ignore. Blueboar (talk) 20:15, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
MOS pages are just MOS pages (and NOT policies or guidelines.) Erm ... the box at the top of Wikipedia:Manual of Style prominently calls it a guideline. If MOS is NOT a set of guidelines, that seems a bit misleading. (Having been around Wikipedia for a while, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there are two Wikipedia definitions for the word "guideline", however.) ―Mandruss  20:37, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Of course they're guidelines; a separate MoS-specific guideline template for the tops of them has only been around for a few years; they just used {{Guideline}} before. Whether there are too many P&G pages and/or shortcuts to them is a philosophical question that isn't really relevant. This isn't about whether our shortcut system or our policy system should be scrapped, but about practical navigation within the system we have. What's weird to me is why, after years (5? 6?) of us replacing WP:FOO shortcuts in MoS pages with MOS:FOO shortcuts is someone suddenly having some kind of not really articulable issue with it? This is not news, or a change from current practice, or anything else different, it's just more routine, incremental cleanup we've been doing slowly (because it's uninteresting even for gnome cleanup work).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  04:59, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
"Not really articulable issue with it?" I've articulated my position well. I am not against using "MOS:" whatsoever. I have questioned removing the "WP:" shortcuts from the MOS pages. You have replied. I already know your position. Knowing your position does not mean that I will be agreeing with it. Given our disagreements on different matters (including a recent WP:TALK matter), you should know that by now. Always presuming or asserting that you are right does not make you right. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:44, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Any reason that we shouldn't open an RfC on changing all the shortcut boxes on MOS pages from WP: to MOS: -- and then do it? EEng 05:08, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Waste of time and editorial attention, kind of like this thread. Why would need an RfC for something we've been doing since at least 2007, a full decade, especially after the guideline on shortcut boxes was changed from five or fewer to two or fewer (except in unusual circumstances)? The end result will be that there's no compelling reason for consensus to change and suddenly disallow "MOS:" shortcuts, or that another consensus has suddenly changed to re-permit piles of redundant shortcuts in the shortcut boxes. We had one person who didn't know the history or the rationale raising an out-of-the-blue objection, the a rebuttal, and then someone else grousing about policy and shortcuts in general in an off-topic manner. That's not actually any kind of real controversy about "MOS:" shortcuts. People can open whatever RfC they want. Given the length of the list of unclosed RfCs at WP:AN/RFC it would be a shame to open a predictable RfC about trivia, but whatever.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:19, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay now, Sandy, calm down. The point of my proposal is that we once and for all change WP: to MOS: everywhere, but I thought we might need an RfC to do that on a mass basis. Maybe we could do a test: on Talk:Dates and Numbers, I/we propose mass-changing WP: to MOS: on just that page, and see what the reaction is? EEng 07:02, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm entirely calm. (But "Sandy?") I don't have patience for patently manufactured "controversy", because we have way better things to spend our volunteer time on. Various editors, including me, have already been removing "WP:" shortcuts and replacing them (where absent) with "MOS:" ones at WP:MOSNUM and other MoS pages, as have other editors, for years. The reaction is either nothing, or WP:Thanks notices. Just recently: [1]. I don't think anyone bothers with this gnoming except when already editing the section for other reasons, because it's not worth the watchlist hit. Which also means it not worth WP:DRAMA about it. PS: I don't see this "workflow" making any sense: Editor A does this cleanup on page X. Editor B (alone out of all editors for a decade) objects, and gets an explanation. Rather than move on, editor C suggests an RfC despite no real issue, then wants to do the same thing on page C as an experiment to see if anyone objects. When even those doing this maintenance don't think it should be done except as an afterthought. (Even the diff in the OP is to be doing it as a small part of more meaningful link cleanup [2]).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  08:59, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Like I stated above, "you are making a simple discussion out to be some fist-shaking crusade. I'm not the one removing or adding shortcuts. I am simply questioning this matter, and so have others in this section." There is no controversy here. There is disagreement. I don't have patience for patently manufactured "it's better" rationales. I have seen no indication that use of "MOS:" is better, aside from the fact that experienced editors (and newbies, after sometime) will automatically know that it's about a MOS guideline. Your "alone out of all editors for a decade" commentary is inaccurate, by the way. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:15, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
This is just repetition of your 20:15, 3 December 2017 post, already addressed above.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  03:18, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Interesting that you call it "just repetition" since I consider your comments in this section "just repetition" as well. Also interesting that you broke up my comment, like I suspected you would after I mentioned the RfC about breaking up comments. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:30, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
"just repetition" as well": That's what happens when someone gives you a reason, you ignore the reason and re-state your already-refuted premise, and keep recycling that same pattern.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:34, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Your supposedly given reason is just opinion. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:38, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
EEng, "WP: to MOS: everywhere"? I take it you only mean for MOS guideline matters? Either way, isn't "everywhere" already the case, except for some legacy pieces at the top of guidelines? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:15, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I mean on MOS pages, and no it's not already MOS: everywhere, unless I've missed something in the last few months. EEng 20:28, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Mind pointing to an example or two where "MOS:" is not thoroughly used in a MOS guideline? It seems you are referring to sections that still retain "WP:"? If so, I guess that SMcCandlish and others interested in removing "WP:" from those pages have not yet gotten around to doing it. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 20:44, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
That's already been stated explicitly at least twice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  03:18, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 03:30, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm responding to your "point" that 'SMcCandlish and others interested in removing "WP:" from those pages have not yet gotten around to doing it' but noting that this is what I've already told you at least twice in this discussion. Now three times.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:36, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Your response is off. I asked EEng a question. EEng stated "no it's not already MOS: everywhere." I then asked for clarification -- examples and whether or not he was simply referring to certain sections. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:38, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Do I have to turn the hose on you two? In answer to your question, Flyer, there are a bunch of shortuts in MOSNUM which are still WP:. I don't know about elsewhere. I don't see why we don't just systematically run around and change WP: to MOS: (on MOS pages, of course). EEng 19:48, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm up for it, as long as there's dog shampoo.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:37, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

RfC on dashes and capital letters in Russian train station article titles[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#RfC: Russian railway line article titles.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  04:31, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm statue.jpg
Dashes... and... capital letters... in... articles. Train station articles. Russian train station articles. EEng 05:35, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Apparently it's different enough from the seven previous RfCs on dashes and capital letters in other types of train station articles (or however many there have actually been) to need its own RfC. At least we're still on the big countries; we'll see who's still laughing by the time we get to the Barbados train stations. —David Eppstein (talk) 05:58, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
"When I said I was going to become a comedian, they all laughed. Well, they're not laughing now, are they?" EEng 07:01, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
My only hope is that this one will be sufficient to put this to bed permanently, given the previous RM precedent and previous RfCs. What we're dealing with is a handful of geographical wikiprojects that have written their own "style rules" (WP:PROJPAGE essays) in isolation, without any care for whether they're in agreement with site-wide guidelines or even with essentially identical articles about the same topic (railway lines) but in a different country. After China and Russia, I'm unaware of any other "writing about trains in [insert magically special country here] is uniquely different" factions out there. But see the recent "Brazilian footballer names are unlike those of anyone else" RfC – this kind of special pleading and SSF stuff can appear out of nowhere, for way more than trains.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  12:12, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Meh... It will only be “put to bed” until the next time someone challenges a project’s consensus, and tries to “conform” a large group of articles to the MOS. Yes, yes... we all know the WP:LOCAL arguments. But when challenging a project, please remember to tread lightly. Going on MOS conformity “crusades” just pisses people off. Blueboar (talk) 13:30, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Actually, it's a small group (24 articles on metro lines; the station article turn out not to need disambiguation by line, so they're not involved) and there's no evidence of any "project" ever having considered these style issues or having a current opinion on the changes. Just one dynamic IP who doesn't want us changing Russian articles. Much noise about very little. Dicklyon (talk) 22:16, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
This is also really more of one editor (a disruptive anon) trying to speak on behalf of the Russia wikiproject (who seem to collectively WP:DGAF) to go against a consensus arrived at through multiple RfCs at the trains and stations wikiprojects, which are not nationally parochial. This really has no nationality connections at all; there isn't something weirdly different about how to write about trains and stations in Russia versus in China or Canada or Botswana. So, the "MoS is being mean to a wikiproject" shtick is off-base.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  15:11, 12 December 2017 (UTC)


If the editors who put it together think the MOS:POSS explanation for "the possessive of singular nouns ending with just one s" is cloudless ... well, I'm here to say that it could use a little tweaking. Having recently dealt with an editor that changed the apostrophe on a surname ending with s from s' to s's — when pronouncing the name with /s's/ made it sound like a bee had stung the name — I really think a little better 'splaining for the not-as cerebral would be helpful. Oxford states in 'Personal names that end in –s': "With personal names that end in -s but are not spoken with an extra s: just add an apostrophe after the -s: The court dismissed Bridges' appeal. Connors' finest performance was in 1991." The University of Sussex guideline states: "...a name ending in s takes only an apostrophe if the possessive form is not pronounced with an extra s. Hence: Socrates' philosophy, Saint Saens' music, Ulysses' companions, Aristophanes' plays." Bradeis University AP Style Guide states: 'For singular proper names ending in s, use only an apostrophe: Brandeis’ mission. Grammar and Style in British English states: "Where possessive nouns ending in s make a harsh ziz sound, the option is available of using an apostrophe without an additional s. Thus – Jones’s house is the one at the end of the street may instead be written – Jones’ house is the one at the end of the street." Heck, even English Grammar for Dummies states: "If the name of a singular owner ends in the letter s, you may add only an apostrophe, not an apostrophe and another s. But if you like hissing and spitting, feel free to add an apostrophe and an s. Both versions are acceptable."
Any chance that the current

"Add only an apostrophe if the possessive is pronounced the same way as the non-possessive name: Sam Hodges' son, Moses' leadership;"

could be rewritten with the directness and simplicity of, say, Oxford's? Pyxis Solitary talk 10:43, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

Pretty much every style guide gives a conflicting "rule" about this, with widely divergent rationales (when one is offered at all). They vary from /s/ or /z/ or both pronunciation, to presence of the character s alone or singly, whether the name is pre-medieval, whether it's Latin or Greek or French in particular, and so on.

The Chicago Manual of Style is now recommending a consistent [except as noted below] 's, regardless of etymology or pronunciation. Some quoted examples (17th ed. §§ 7.16–7.19): "a bass's stripes", "Kansas's legislature", "Marx's theories", "Jesus's adherents", "Berlioz's works", "Tacitus's Histories", "Borges's library", "Dickens's novels", "Malraux's masterpiece", "the Lincolns' marriage" (plural), "the Williamses' new house" (plural), "Descartes's three dreams", "the marquis's mother", "Albert Camus's novel", "Euripides's tragedies", "the Ganges's source", and so on. It makes a strange exception I've not seen anywhere else (§7.20): "Possessive of nouns plural in form, singular in meaning. When the singular form of a noun ending in s is the same as the plural (i.e., the plural is uninflected), the possessives of both are formed by the addition of an apostrophe only. If ambiguity threatens, use of to avoid the possessive. politics' true meaning, economics' forerunners, this species' first record (or, better, the first record of this species)". Less strange: "The same rule applies when the name of a place or an organization or a publication (or the last element in the name is a plural form ending in s ...) even though the entity is singular: the United State's role ..., Highland Hills' late mayor", etc. This codicil seems unnecessary, since we'd automatically use ' not 's because the word being modified is plural. It has another exception (§7.21) I've seen in some form in two other style guides: In a formulaic for ... sake cliché, use just ': for goodness' sake, for righteousness' sake, but use 's for non-stock variants, like for expedience's sake, for Jesus's sake. The obviously problem with this is that "for Jesus's sake" is common and formulaic, while "for righteousness'[s] sake" is neither frequent not a stock phrase, so the CMoS editors were drunk or something when they wrote that part. >;-) Beyond this, CMoS simply observes that the "just use ' after s" system exists, but specifically deprecates it (§7.22).

The simple "stop fighting about it" rule is to always use 's. We have no need of CMoS's iffy exceptions. It's the only unambiguous option, is recognizable to everyone even if not everyone's favorite, and it avoids the serious problem in an international encyclopedia that there is no guarantee how the end of a name will be pronounced from one dialect to another. Various English (including multiple British) variants tend to shift a final /s/ to /z/ ("Are you going with uz to the circuz", etc.) or less commonly vice versa (found in the American Southwest, parts of India, etc.). There isn't even consistency in how "Jesus'" / "Jesus's" or "Jones's" / "Jones'" are pronounced syllabically, even aside from the /s/ and /z/ issue. In one area it'll be /Jee-zus/ or /Jee-zuz/ and /Jōnz/, and in another /Jee-zus-uz/ or /Jee-zuz-uz/ and /Jōnz-uz/. So, the pronunciation-based "rules" (which seem come to us ultimately from broadcast journalism – what to put on teleprompters – thence to print journalism) are useless rules to try to use here, guaranteed to cause dispute.

We've been over this before and no solid consensus ever seems to emerge. The current MoS wording ("Hodges'" and "Moses'"), however, is useless for the reason I just gave: plenty of people would read aloud /Hoj-uz-uz/ and /Mō-zuz-uz/, rather than using /Hoj-uz/ and /Mō-zuz/ as if the possessive were absent. The extra syllable is pronounced by many to avoid the obvious ambiguity. (Plus, Hodge is a real name, so "Hodge's" is a legit singular possessive). There also the logic problem than anyone really clear on what possessives do and are for is apt to object to a singular possessive like "Williams'" as implying two+ people with a surname of William (which does exist as a surname). The traditionalists who like that spelling are always going to want to compress "Williams's" to that unclear variant, however, unless directed not to. So, continuing to lack a "just use 's rule" is a recipe for having to have this same debate every few months for as long as Wikipedia exists.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:58, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

No one is asking for the rule to be changed, SMc. Just a simple request to reword it for clarity. Didn't need the full explanation. oknazevad (talk) 12:17, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, but isn't it nice to know he's here in case we need a full explanation? SM, since you're so steeped in this, is there some change along the guidelines of what Oknazevad is suggesting that would improve the guideline? EEng 15:45, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Beats me. My point is that the current advice is poor and probably would not stand up to an RfC, and should be replaced with a simpler suggestion. Rewording what we have now without changing what it advises would be lipstick on a pig.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  15:49, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Oh. Well, I'm certainly not going to wade through all the above for the sake of an apostrophe. Maybe the OP can suggest specific text he'd like. EEng 18:53, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Although she wasn't polite enough to ping me, I am the other editor mentioned by the OP above. Our discussion started when she reverted my edits and posted the edit summary: You do not add " 's " when a name ends with an " s ". This is obviously contrary to common usage as well as our MOS. I then raised the question of pronunciation, which is central to the current MOS; a subject on which the OP didn't engage, on the article talk page at least. The word in dispute was "Haynes", which I maintain is commonly pronounced Haynes's, reflecting the equivalent sounding words of Jones's and Dickens's which were given as examples of pronunciation-based apostrophes ('s) in the OP's own preferred online dictionaries. Pronunciation discussions aren't the best use of editors' time, since this often varies around the world, and I would strongly support user:SMcCandlish's proposal that we default to 's, which is always acceptable (given the specified individual exceptions) under our existing MOS. It would certainly avoid a lot of fruitless discussion about how words are pronounced, as well as reflecting increasingly common practice in both the U.S. and UK versions of English.MapReader (talk) 18:38, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • You have turned this into a personal bickering between us. I, on the other hand, kept the name of editor and article out of it. Why would I ping an editor whose name (and title of the article in which I encountered that editor) was deliberately excluded? It has nothing to do with you. Your edits were the catalyst that motivated me to ask my question, yes, but planet MOS is not revolving around you. Pyxis Solitary talk 21:53, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • On the contrary, I have tried hard to avoid sinking to any personal abuse, despite your opening gambit - on a matter that only concerned a bit of punctuation after all - having been to open a new thread on my personal talk page titled "petty edits.." and with a stack of accusations and other statements that, despite being false, you never withdrew or apologised for. Then you stop engaging on the talk page and restart the discussion here, without letting me know. When I found this thread it was of course relevant to flag to other editors that I was the other party in the original disagreement. MapReader (talk) 22:31, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I did not include your name in this because it's not about you and whatever debate there was between us about it. I considered them petty edits and I took it to your talk page, which is what editors should do when they disagree with another editor's edits. Your need to bring attention to yourself is your own doing. I created a discussion about having the wording in MOS made more straightforward. Pyxis Solitary talk 23:10, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • For the benefit of editors who don't know the rest of it (and why should they since the reason why I posted my question was to seek clarification and simplicity in MOS): "Haynes" appears with an / ' / 30 times in the article -- whereas Haynes's appears 7 times (in two quotations and five sources). To which I also said in the article's talk page discussion: "The bottom line is to be consistent."
    And it is not "obviously contrary to common usage as well as our MOS" considering that / ' / has been accepted by every editor that has edited the article for the last 4 years, including when it underwent GA review and FA candidacy; and MOS:POSS states:
    For the possessive of singular nouns ending with just one s (sounded as /s/ or /z/), there are two practices advised by different grammar and style guides ... Apply just one of these two practices consistently within an article." Pyxis Solitary talk 22:14, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • You are again missing the point that the second option in the MOS rests upon pronunciation (the illogic of which is now the subject of this thread); since common pronunciation is hayneses the correct punctuation for the article should be Haynes's MapReader (talk) 22:35, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • You pronounce it as hayneses. You're missing the point of why it has appeared as Hayne/s'/ for the last 4 years; which is that, obviously, it is not how other editors commonly pronounce it. (You came along and decided that every editor in all those years has been wrong because of how you pronounce it.) Pyxis Solitary talk 22:58, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The first online dictionary that you voluntarily cited explicitly states that the possessive of Jones (which ends in an -ns sound) is commonly pronounced joneses. The second that you cited says that for Dickens (same -ns ending) it is dickenses. I will leave other editors to consider what reason there could be for the -ns ending Haynes being any different? MapReader (talk) 23:09, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
@EEng: You're referring to me, yes? If so, I don't know how much clearer it can be made than the example provided by Oxford. There is currently so much bloated yada-yada-yada in the section that I can only image how many people's eyes glaze over halfway through it. Cut back on the redundant, obsessive-compulsive, "possessive" rat-a-tat-tat. Just get to the point, as in: Add only an apostrophe if a personal name is not spoken with an extra s: Sam Hodges' son, Moses' leadership;. There's another style guide that precedes the Chicago Manual and it's called Hart's Rules, also referred to as the The Oxford Style Manual. Without purchasing the book itself, we can at least take a cue about straightforwardness from the University of Oxford Style Guide. Pyxis Solitary talk 02:05, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
But this doesn't have anything to do with personal names in particular. And why would we continue trying to re-work a "rule" we know doesn't work well, especially on WP? [It might work okay at, for example, newspapers with a limited regional readership whose pronunciation habits can be predicted.]  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:41, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Dunno about Mr. Hodges, but I would never pronounce the possessive of Moses the same as Moses. That would sound really weird. Actually "Hodges's son" wouldn't sound any weirder than "Hodges' son" to my ear. I'd call them about equally weird. The former is a bit harder to enunciate, but I don't think that makes it incorrect. ―Mandruss  06:48, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
This isn't about how people should pronounce (and thus spell) these words, but how they do. If there are multiple acceptable pronunciations for a particluar word, those are edge cases, and aren't what people are fighting about. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 08:22, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Isn't it though (in answer to both questions)? The desire for the current wording and a refinement of it appears to be rooted by a prescriptive certainty about how to pronounce, because the entire "rule" is grounded in a "correct pronunciation" notion when real-world pronunciation varies, and along more than one axis. Yet "I would never pronounce the possessive of Moses the same as Moses" someone says (and my main point is that this is true for many people), so this really is what we're arguing about. I.e., if we know for a fact (and we do) that a pronunciation-based "system" is a bust, why are we even contemplating retaining anything that depends on such an idea? Especially when smarter style guides written for very broad audiences, not for a single, regional "pronunciation market", are abandoning the notion?  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:00, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Unless there's a dialect where the 's is pronounced in all cases, then variation is a sub-case—if there are people out there who say "Lloyd Bridges's last film", they're in a small enough minority that we can't expect the editing community to be aware of them, or to care. To most of us, it sounds like foreigners' English. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 21:59, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Simplify – I agree with SMcCandlish that trying to explain the pronunciation hack better is a losing game. Go with the latest Chicago recommendation and we'll have one simple easy rule that anyone can follow, leading to increasing consistency over time, and decreasing anguish and discussion about this old source of confusion. It's not exactly a radical new idea; it's the first line of Struck & White The Elements of Style 4th ed. (2000): "1. Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding 's." OK, they do allow exceptions for "ancient proper names ending in es or is, and for Jesus, but that's a lot narrower than what we have now. Maybe going with Strunk & White 2000 is less frightening than the brand new CMOS? Dicklyon (talk) 07:14, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Agree. 's is always permissible under the current MOS, whereas ' is only sometimes permissable. Defaulting to the former (other than for the few well known individual exceptions) would save a lot of unnecessary grief. And simpler is generally better. MapReader (talk) 18:45, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Worth mentioning again, from previous discussions of this stuff: Various American "traditionalist" publishers and style guides, like Strunk & White, and old editions of CMoS, have favored a just-' exception for Jesus only, for biblical figures generally, or for "classical antiquity" people more broadly, because the King James version of the Bible does it, and it's the most-used edition in English. But it's written in slightly post-Elizabethan English, and WP isn't (last I looked, we use hungry not an hungred, and use astonished or stunned, not stonied).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:00, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style? Strunk & White? American English language guides are the acme standards? When did en.Wikipedia become aen.Wikipedia? Pyxis Solitary talk 22:46, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
That's certainly not the intent. I supported you on the Oxford thing. And the Cambridge University Press Style Guide says "the possessive case of a singular noun (even those ending in an s or an s sound) will usually be formed by adding an apostrophe and a lowercase s;" (and gives a few exceptions of ancient names). This has become the most common approach recommended in British and American guides, I think. Even Fowler (1965, Oxford) Modern English Usage says dropping the final s for pronunciation concerns was done "formerly" and now only in poetic and reverential contexts to keep the number of syllables from increasing; "we now usually add the s and the syllable"; some exceptions, but not really recommending a fallback on pronunciation. I don't think I'd call the added s sound a "syllable", but that's a matter of definition. Do you know any British guides that recommend more dropping of the s? Dicklyon (talk) 22:08, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
There is not a consensus in written or spoken English about whether to add "' " or "'s" as a possessive of a word ending in an "s" or "z" sound. I remember a long heated discussion, here I think, about Paris' or Paris's nightlife. If there's no consensus among English speakers or English style guides, we don't have a chance of imposing one here.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  17:08, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
There's more consensus than there used to be, with Strunk & White since 1979, and CMOS recently coming around. Most wikipedians readily accept improvements toward WP style, as they don't care much one way or the other. The main problem with the apostrophe, from what I've seen, is from editors who mis-remember what they were taught in the third grade or so, and over-generalize the rule about plurals to apply to words ending in s. I don't recall the Paris's debate, but I bet there was some of that there (yes, in Talk:Paris archive 9 I find, Well, I have a long-standing "thing" about misuse of apostrophes, and "Paris's" just looks wrong. I was always taught that essentially any word ending in "s" should be possessified (!) by just appending an apostrophe. I have no idea how authoritative 'The Elements of Style by Strunk and White' is, but I'd like to see more corroboration from other sources before I'd consider accepting Paris's over Paris'.). I went through some of that at Steve Jobs. Apparently they had changed to consistently "Paris's" but then in review (in archive 10) someone said that way American style, not British! Now, it's mixed. Need to fix (just fixed: it was only 7 missing s vs 38 correct). This one is really not defensible without the final s. Dicklyon (talk) 17:45, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
I mean, most editors already remain blissfully unaware that the MOS recommends sticking to one of two approaches within an article. They're still going to be unaware if we change it. But the guidance to wikignomes will be more clear, and the difficulty of figuring out whether someone previously chose one style or the other will go away. Dicklyon (talk) 17:57, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
But, as SMc says, the problem is with the existence of the second option in the MOS, not with its wording. However it is worded, if the appropriate usage rests upon pronunciation, and different editors have different views/practice on pronunciation, nothing is resolved. Certainly it wouldn't help with the editing issue that has generated this thread, since I maintain that Haynes's is pronounced the same as Jones's and Dickens's. It also runs contrary to the nature of our language, which more than probably any other does not rely solely on pronunciation to determine its written form. MapReader (talk) 19:32, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
And I completely agree. So does the recommended clarification from the linked University of Oxford Style Guide: just always add the 's and if that looks odd to you, rearrange to avoid the possessive. Dicklyon (talk) 22:02, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Your 'Oxford' is not the same as the OP's 'Oxford'. If you were referring to SMc's proposal then we are on the same page. MapReader (talk) 22:11, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
The University of Oxford Style Guide is not the Oxford dictionary. (Look first before you cross.) Pyxis Solitary talk 22:46, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
No, I was supporting OP's proposal, to simplify like the University of Oxford Style Guide (though I really don't believe she knew what she was saying when proposing that). SMcCandlish's would be my second choice, I guess. It's effectively the same, but the Oxford thing adds advice for what do to if you don't like Jesus's and such: use it or avoid it, but not Jesus'. Dicklyon (talk) 04:59, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
But, as SchreiberBike says, there is no consensus in written or spoken English about s' or s's. Enforcement of a punctuation model needs to be supported by a universal prescript. Pyxis Solitary talk 22:46, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Why? We're not prescribing, just describing our preferred style. Most of the other guides also don't prescribe, and when they do, they usually say to add the s. Anyway, I was trying to support your suggestion of simplifying along the lines of the University of Oxford Style Guide, which I think is brilliant. Dicklyon (talk) 23:30, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
If MOS says you have to do it this way and this way only, it's prescribing. The proper name Paris you provided is a good example of how one size does not fit all. The pronunciation of an ' after the s is ses (Parises); whereas, 's makes the pronunciation seses (Pariseses). If you use 's on Jesus it would be pronounced Jesusus. It's all about pronunciation. The middle ground is Oxford's. And I do appreciate your support of my suggestion for simplification because roadblocks and hurdles in MOS are an impediment that can discourage many editors from contributing good content. Pyxis Solitary talk 03:00, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
The MOS describes what's preferred; it doesn't say you have to do it that way (but on the other hand, you shouldn't fight someone who does). And I think you're very confused about how you interpret the pronunciation implied by an apostrophe, which perhaps explains why not everyone saw that Paris' is just plain weird and wrong per all the advice guides. Does anyone else here believe that Paris' could be OK? Dicklyon (talk) 04:56, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Many have been educated that it's actually a rule to do so—that you must use an apostrophe and no trailing s, even when the possessive is a separately pronounced syllable. Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 06:24, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Many seem to remember it that way, but I'm pretty sure they're wrong. I find no evidence of any book ever teaching such nonsense. Dicklyon (talk) 07:36, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
That was, nevertheless, how this whole discussion got started, with the OP reverting my edit, and telling me I was "wrong" to add 's after a name ending in s. Whereas I was educated to use Paris's and Jesus's and would pronounce them both that way as well. To me, Paris' looks wrong (or leaves me wondering who or what a Pari might be?) And I agree with Dicklyon that Pyxis appears confused on pronunciation: I would expect the ' to be pronounced silent, Paris's is parises and there is no pariseses. Returning to the original issue at discussion, I realise now why she didn't like Haynes's, if she thought this should be pronounced Hayneseses. Whereas Hayneses and hence Haynes's is correct, and Haynes' is not (under the current MOS). MapReader (talk) 09:14, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
It must drive you nuts to hear that notorious pedant Lou Reed declare he "feel[s] just like Jesus' son" ... Curly "JFC" Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 01:40, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
(only if he simultaneously pronounced it jesuses) ;) MapReader (talk) 05:56, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • The length of a summary is restricted. Since you turned this into a me vs. her, I'll provide the yada yada that you're leaving out. This is what I wrote the first time: 1. This is what I wrote in the summary the second time: 2. From here it moved to a discussion in the talk page in which I wrote:
    " You insist on making Haynes' into Haynes's (apostrophe + s). I provided a link to a grammatical source ( in my summary when I undid your first edit. You went back and did it again. I again provided a link, this time to another source ( that supports the original way it appeared because the name is not spoken/pronounced with an extra s.... Haynes' appears 30 times in the article -- whereas Haynes's appears 7 times (in two quotations and five sources, and you do not alter quotations and the titles of sources).... The bottom line is to be consistent. " Pyxis Solitary talk 22:41, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Actually, the bottom line here is that it is spoken with an extra "s". As ought to be very clear if you read the online dictionaries that you yourself have cited. MapReader (talk) 22:57, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • 1. GrammarBook: "Many common nouns end in the letter s (lens, cactus, bus, etc.). So do a lot of proper nouns (Mr. Jones, Texas, Christmas). There are conflicting policies and theories about how to show possession when writing such nouns. There is no right answer; the best advice is to choose a formula and stay consistent."
    2. Oxford: "With personal names that end in -s but are not spoken with an extra s: just add an apostrophe after the -s: The court dismissed Bridges' appeal. Connors' finest performance was in 1991."
    Re (1): There is no one way only. Re (2): It depends on how someone pronounces it. Four years' worth of editors before you have not pronounced it as Hayneseses.
    Pyxis Solitary talk 23:28, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I think most editors will be able to understand that there is significantly greater difficulty in pronouncing the possessive of Bridges or Connors with an additional -s sound than there is Jones, Dickens or Haynes. And the 'four years' point makes little sense - even a GA article will contain small details that are wrong or could be improved, which editors have not noticed or bothered to amend; I dealt with a fair few left in that very article, just a day or two ago. And, most fundamentally - you are WRONG, still, on Hayneseses, which no-one would ever use. This misunderstanding of yours explains why we are having this whole argument. Haynes' is pronounced Haynes. Haynes's is pronounced Hayneses. Hayneseses is an invention all of your own. MapReader (talk) 00:05, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I want to be clear: who says Hayneseses's invention is Pyxis's? EEng 00:17, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Now that is clever. I see what you did there. Kudos :) MapReader (talk) 00:22, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Sometimes it just all comes together. I don't just do it for the kudos's sake, of course. EEng 00:30, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
n, pl so kudos'? ;) MapReader (talk) 05:42, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I was referring to the special rule for possessives followed by sake. EEng 06:08, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Simplify per SMcC's position (if I interpret it correctly). Always add an s, except plurals, plus whatever exceptions are needed. A style guide which depends on regional pronunciation is untenable for an international project. Pburka (talk) 21:40, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
    I see 5 or maybe 6 of us here who would support that. Might be worth an RFC after someone drafts a new version along those lines. Dicklyon (talk) 22:04, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
    I don't think the drafting would be a big deal. MOS:POSS Singular nouns has two bulleted sections. The first would be unchanged. The second would be considerably shortened, all the guff about pronunciation and article consistency deleted, we would only need to retain: * For the possessive of singular nouns ending with just one s (sounded as /s/ or /z/), add 's: James's house, Sam Hodges's son, Jan Hus's life, Vilnius's location, Brahms's music, Dickens's novels, Morris's works, the bus's old route. Then just a debate about whether very well established exceptions are needed, such as Jesus'. A quick Google search suggests that Jesus's is reasonably common, so the answer on exceptions may well be no? It could be argued that, since the two bullet points would then recommend the same approach, the whole lot coulf be replaced with one instruction, but it is probably worth keeping the existing structure for the avoidance of any doubt. MapReader (talk) 23:13, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
    Well if we do what the University of Oxford Style Guide says, that choice between options goes away, and instead we get an explanation of what to do if you have a hard time with the suggested pronunciation, neatly side-stepping the problem. Dicklyon (talk) 23:30, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
    Running with your suggestion, the nearly three hundred words of the existing MOS:POSS under the heading Singular nouns could be replaced with

    For the possessive of singular nouns, including proper names and words ending with an s (sounded as /s/ or /z/, or silent), add 's: my niece's wedding, James's house, Cortez's men, Glass's books, Illinois's largest employer, Descartes's philosophy. If a name already ends in s or z and would be difficult to pronounce if ’s were added to the end, consider rearranging the phrase to avoid the difficulty: Jesus’s teachings or the teachings of Jesus.

MapReader (talk) 09:42, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes. I wholly support that as the draft to work from.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:13, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • A WP:POSS on both your houses. EEng 02:46, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Thumbs up May be your best one yet.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:13, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
<bows, acknowledges applause> Too late I thought of A WP:POSS on both your houses's. EEng 17:23, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
There is, at least in my country, such a thing as trying too hard ;) MapReader (talk) 17:41, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Like we care how they do things in Ruritania. EEng 18:50, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
lol. Nevertheless you seem to have reduced your effort accordingly; that's the spirit...;) MapReader (talk) 19:16, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • (Not sure how many indents to use, so just going back to the start.) Put me down in favor of the "no exceptions, just use 's" option. Then each reader can treat it like those "end-syllable-Rs" that those of y'all with non-rhotic accents just ignore when talking, pronouncing it or not as their own idiolect dictates. --Khajidha (talk) 15:52, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
It's best to avoid ridiculous Jesus's or the ponies's barn, and we should reflect that, but ultimately other style guides allows for that ridiculousness, so that's squarely on WP:ENGVAR terroritory. So I support whatever that option is. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:26, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
To note that Jesus's is already quite common usage, whereas ponies's is ungrammatical and, as far as I know, not used nor recommended by anyone. MapReader (talk) 16:51, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
And none of this is in any way ENGVAR related. Dicklyon (talk) 21:48, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

I might work up an RFC on a definite proposal or two. Probably more centralized than here would be best; WP:VPPOL? Please advise if you want to help, or have options you want to see included besides the obvious "status quo" and "also add the s". Dicklyon (talk) 22:30, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

I think it's a choice between status quo and the wording I put forward above to reflect your own suggested approach? SMcC, who proposed the simplest just add 's alternative, says above that he is happy with your Oxford proviso about reordering the phrase in extremis. And it will help that the proposal carries the weight of being lifted straight from the Oxford Uni guide. MapReader (talk) 22:49, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I was thinking of those two alternatives, but also one with a finite list of exceptions, which might be favored by some. Dicklyon (talk) 00:45, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

OK, RFC is now posted and listed: WP:VPPOL#RFC on forming possessive form of singular names, MOS advice simplification. Dicklyon (talk) 05:12, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

MOS:HEAD and templates[edit]

MOS:HEAD is quite clear that image files should not be used in section heading. I am wondering if or how this may apply to templates which reproduce an image in the section heading. For example, Italy at the 1960 Summer Olympics#Medals. The subsection headings in that section use {{Gold medal}}, {{Silver medal}} and {{Bronze medal}} in lieu of simple text. This causes the TOC to show the sections listed as "01 ! Gold", "02 ! Silver" and "03 ! Bronze" respecitively, but otherwise seems to not affect the heading itself. The template pages say the file's are for use in tables, etc., but I am wondering if they are something also not permitted under MOS:HEAD. If this is the case, then maybe something should be added to the relevsant section. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:22, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Clearly against MOS:HEAD (icons are images, and there's no special exemption for icons) and MOS:ACCESS. I've better cross-referenced those (plus MOS:ICONS, MOS:IMAGES, MOS:FORMULAE, etc.) so this isn't just buried in one place no one looks.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:07, 12 December 2017 (UTC)


I've made some conforming and consolidation edits across MOS:INDENT (in MOS), MOS:INDENTGAP (at MOS:ACCESS), and MOS:DLIST (at MOS:LISTS). They've all been in agreement for years (other than the third of these was recommending a now-obsolete template), but were not cross-referenced and there thus wasn't a clear picture what the total MoS advice on the matter was. This material, though it was a bit scattered, has been stable and uncontroversial for years, and is provably correct (e.g. with validation tools). I did correct a technical fault at MOS:ACCESS (one validation error that applied several years ago no longer does, due to changes in MW's HTML output, though one validation error still happens with misuse of : by itself for visual indentation).

However, a huge pile of drama has erupted at WT:MOSMATH#Indenting for no explicable reason. MOS:MATHS#Using LaTeX markup continues to effectively require the misuse of : markup for indentation in articles (we don't really care about talk pages, which are outside MoS's scope, and it's a lost cause until WMF provides us with functional discussion-threading software that properly handles MediaWiki code samples, unlike WP:Flow). My attempts to get MOS:MATHS to agree with the other three guidelines (including MoS itself, which trumps it as a matter of WP:CONLEVEL policy) were reverted with confusion and hostility, followed by a false alert at WikiProject Mathematics that the RfC about the matter was "proposing to forbid articles to use colons to indent displayed mathematics" [3]. It doesn't have anything to do with mathematics but about showing people how to use accessible and valid code to indent (anything). Even MOS:ACCESS doesn't "forbid" colon indentation (not that a guideline can forbid anything at all). The RfC was of course derailed by a panicked bloc vote of maths editors mislead by that canvassing.

I'm inclined to just let the matter cool off, then re-RfC it again at a later date, with WT:MOSMATH and WT:MATHS and WT:ACCESS and so on neutrally and accurately notified of the discussion. I think the tempers are running too hot right now for any attempt to re-address this pseudo-conflict in the short term to be effective.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  13:17, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Followup: The dispute now now migrated to WT:MOSACCESS.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  00:03, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Diacritics merge[edit]

Propose merging WP:Manual of Style/Proper names#Diacritics into the related material in WP:Manual of Style#Spelling and romanization (MOS:DIACRITICS), perhaps with some wording from WP:Naming conventions (use English)#Modified letters (WP:DIACRITICS), compressed into something concise and clear. The material is scattered around and not consistently worded. Most of the rest of WP:Manual of Style/Proper names (MOS:PN) is slated for merging into MOS:CAPS, as MOS:PN is a redundant "guideline stub" that is not maintained.

After the diacritics merge, cross-references can be used at MOS:BIO, etc., as needed, and the WP:DIACRITICS wording can also be probably be reduced to WP:SUMMARY-style. To make it easier to find in the main MoS page, I would actually split the diacritics paragraph of § Spelling and romanization to a § Diacritics immediately below it, so it shows up in the ToC.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  23:24, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Support (tentative) on the basis that making things easier to find is generally a good thing. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:50, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Seems sensible.  White Whirlwind  咨  06:51, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

Proposal to add missing advice on geographical names[edit]

While we mention not linking things like New York City or Berlin without good reason, we're missing key advice about over-linking geographical name parts, and when including them at all is helpful.

I propose adding a concise section on all the basics of geographical names, referencing the material at WP:Manual of Style/Linking#What generally should not be linked, and cross-referencing other existing advice as needed. This also includes the "Balanced commas ..." point from WP:Naming conventions (geographic names). Below is the draft [there will a revised one later], which is for a new section which other pages can link to with {{Main}}:

Geographical names

Geographical names are capitalized following the same conventions as other proper nouns. When in doubt about how to capitalize a place name, use the style that constistently dominates in modern, English-language, reliable sources.

Avoid over-linking of such names. Places with which most readers are familiar usually need not be linked unless it is contextually important to do so.

When a place is linked, do not individually link jurisdictional components:

  • Use [[Buffalo, New York]], not [[Buffalo, New York|Buffalo]], [[New York (state)|New York]].
  • Use [[Brill, Buckinghamshire]], or [[Brill, England]]; not [[Brill, Buckinghamshire|Brill]], etc. (and beware ambiguity: "Brill, UK" is ambiguous since Brill, Cornwall is also in the UK).

Familiarity and context:

Do not depend upon sub-national jurisdictions unfamiliar to most English speakers:

  • Use Metz, France, not Metz, Moselle; Metz, Lorraine; or Metz, Grand Est (among other way to refer to the same place). In a specific historical context, it can be referred to as having been Metz, Alsace-Lorraine, within the German Empire; such distinctions apply to many places in historical articles and sections.

It is presumed that most of our readers are familiar with the names of US states, UK counties (administrative and traditional), and Canadian provinces and territories; these need neither links nor the nation name in most contexts. A country's name should be included otherwise, unless already obvious from the context. Remember that Wikipedia content is free to reuse, including offline and without links; the material should make sense as stand-alone text.

  • The country name is included at first occurrence in an infobox, but it is not needed if redundant with a previous entry, such as a |nationality= parameter. The country name or an abbreviation thereof is also typical in presentations of tabular data where selective omission for one country might be confusingly inconsistent with other entries.
  • UK placenames are often instead given with a more specific British country (England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland) when it is most appropriate for the context; do not over-present this information (e.g. as Oxford, England, United Kingdom). When not ambiguous, it is usually more informative to more readers to identify a British place by Municipality, Country, rather than Municipality, County.
  • For US places, use the state name, never something like Atlanta, United States.

Disambiguation: A sub-jurisdiction can be included for disambiguation when a large jurisdiction includes multiple places with the same name:

  • Jackson Township, Brown County, Ohio, or Jackson Township, Monroe County, Ohio.

Be mindful of ambiguities, such as that between Georgia (U.S. state) and Georgia (country), as well as Washington, DC and Washington (state). Another example: various different places have been named Albania historically.

For more detail on disambiguating places, see WP:Naming conventions (geographic names), much of which is as applicable to article content as titles.

Postal abbreviations: These are not used, except in tables when space is very tight (markup the first occurrence with {{abbr}}).

Balanced commas: when a comma is used in front of part of a place name, a second comma (or replacement punctuation) is used afterward: Christchurch, New Zealand, is ..., not Christchurch, New Zealand is ....

[end of proposed section]

Rationale: MoS is very close to "feature complete" after 16+ years, but this is one of the most glaring omissions (not found at MOS:LINKS or elsewhere), since this material is actually among site-wide best practices, as reflected in what we consistently do at FAs, GAs, and most other articles. Its absence from the MoS guidelines is causing real problems, like WP:POLICYFORKing of advice into inconsistent patterns on a national basis. For example, there's an ongoing and rather confused debate at WT:MOSCANADA about making up a special "in articles about a strictly Canadian topic" pseudo-rule, among other such conflicts. This draft has not attempted to resolve the sporadic issue of some editors wanting to use parenthetical disambiguation, since that primarily affects article titles and is not really an MoS issue (i.e., no one seems to be writing things like "London (Ontario)" or "London (Canada)" in our articles with any frequency).

If any of the proposed material is already mentioned piecemeal in other MoS pages, it can be replaced with a cross-reference to this section (or a WP:SUMMARY-style contextual abstract and a cross-ref for the details). This was originally drafted as a section for MOS:LINKS, but a few of the points are not really link-related, so the main MOS page seems the proper location. Cross-refs to other MoS pages have been done as piped links to reduce verbiage. The cross-ref to WP:Naming conventions (geographic names) opens further cross-refs to more specific topical pages, which already cover things like how to refer geographically to rivers that cross multiple jurisdictions, and so on. This MoS page need not be bogged down with any micro-topical detail. PS: The presumption of reader familiarity with US, Canadian, and UK sub-national divisions may be optimistic, but it fits the general pattern of how our articles are actually written.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  20:25, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Support – Looks pretty good to me. I personally think the instructions on overlinking are a bit too strong, but that's a discussion for another place and time.  White Whirlwind  咨  02:07, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, it's early enough to tweak it without affecting proposal progress. That said, there's a strong tension between keeping the main MoS page (or any WP:P&G material for that matter) concise and simple, and working in various caveats. The more we do the latter, the more people complain, though sometimes it's genuinely necessary when a "rule" can be over-broadly interpreted or applied. More and more, I've been moving that kind of stuff into footnotes, and people seem to like that solution.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  02:18, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

Discussion on further qualifying subnational divisions[edit]

  • Comment: You have "UK placenames are often instead given with a more specific British country (England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland) when it is most appropriate for the context; do not over-present this information (e.g. as Oxford, England, United Kingdom). When not ambiguous, it is usually more informative to more readers to identify a British place by Municipality, Country, rather than Municipality, County. and For US places, use the state name, never something like Atlanta, United States." We should also have something like for Canadian places since you've mentioned them, for example Toronto, Ontario; not Toronto, Canada, or vice versa depending on what you're proposing. Also, maybe consider including something about Australian cities as they are English speaking as well. Regards, Vaselineeeeeeee★★★ 03:40, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    I don't think there is actually a demonstrated need for that We are not trying to write a "make up special rules for each country" page, or "make sure all English-speaking countries are mentioned to make everyone get a sense of a pride-of-place" page, but to mention only things that reflect real-world norms and which people keep arguing about on WP. It's actually rather common English usage to write "Vancouver, Canada", and "London, England", but it's virtually unheard of to use "Boston, US[A]". We're already suggesting that "York, Ontario" and "Brill, Buckinghamshire" are permissible when better in the context. That might be most of the time, but we don't need a WP:CREEP rule for it. And below there's disagreement that, e.g., "Brill, Buckinghamshire" is viable after all.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  20:46, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I have a problem with the choice of Brill as an example: AFAICT the only reason Brill, England is less ambiguous than Brill, UK here is that the former redirects to the Bucks location and the latter to the disambiguation page, which situation seems quite arbitrary and therefore subject to change. (Is Celtic Cornwall that much less English, in the average reader’s mind, than the Saxon Home Counties?}—Odysseus1479 04:05, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    • Good point; will replace with a name that's ambiguous for a town in England and another in Scotland or something; I'd forgotten that Cornwall, unlike Wales, is technically part of England. Derp. 20:46, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Regarding the assumed recognizability of sub-national divisions of the USA, the UK, and Canada, what about those of Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa? Can we say this of “English-speaking countries” in general, or are the first three sets deemed to be head-and-shoulders above the rest in name-recognition?—Odysseus1479 04:05, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • "The presumption of reader familiarity with US, Canadian, and UK sub-national divisions may be optimistic". I think that is overoptimistic. I don't think the majority of my fellow Americans know the Canadian provinces and wouldn't know most English counties from any place else foreign, let alone differentiate between the Northern Territory, the Northwest Territory or the Northwest Territories. I think that for an international audience there's nothing wrong with including a country with all sub-national subdivisions. To do otherwise feels like ugly Americanism, even if we share with some of our fellow Anglophones.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  07:09, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree that the supposed familiarity with UK counties is optimistic; even expecting all of an international audience to appreciate the difference between the UK and England is optimistic. If the place name is linked at first reference, why isn't name and country sufficient for general articles? If I really want to know the county or the state it is just one click away. MapReader (talk) 08:05, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    Problem is, for US places giving the state is essential, because the same city/town name exists in multiple states (Washington being the classic example). So the question becomes: Do we really want to write Richmond, California, United States? EEng 11:36, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    I see. Homesickness. Or lack of imagination. Both terrible things. How about Richmond, California (U.S.) or Richmond (CA), United States? I prefer the latter. MapReader (talk) 13:10, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    I'd agree for US cities the state name is important, but if we're talking about familiarity of places, I'd doubt many Canadians and Brits would know exactly where Boise, Idaho is for example. Obviously we need to disam between Boise, Texas, but Boise, Idaho, US would be helpful to other readers. I'd also say I think writing Richmond, California, US is necessary in an infobox, but in other instances just the city, state would suffice. I would also say the same for Toronto, Ontario, Canada in an infobox, and simply using Toronto thereafter as I think Toronto is a name that does not need disam, just as we would use Chicago or Detroit by itself thereafter. And about the sub region being "one click" away, we could say that about almost anything being one lick away, it doesn't mean it wouldn't help as the reader was reading it; we shouldn't rely on the reader to be clicking links. Regards, Vaselineeeeeeee★★★ 15:06, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    Often the phrase can be rewritten as "the US city of Richmond, California" or something, though in an infobox, I see nothing wrong with "Richmond, California, United States". I don't expect people around the world to be familiar with US postal abbreviations either, let alone expect Americans to know Indian or Australian abbreviations. I also want to clarify that my poor opinion of US geography knowledge does not include the typical Wikipedia editor.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  18:30, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    I imagine most international readers would recognize California as being in the US. But the same might not be true for say Maine or New Mexico. And Georgia needs the disambiguation regardless of reader knowledge. —David Eppstein (talk) 19:38, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    WP doesn't use postal abbreviations (MOS:ABBR) because they're meaningless to non-residents. "Richmond, California (US)" is more awkward and less concise than "Richmond, California, US" (the brackets don't buy us anything). I don't think we want to use country name with "Richmond, California" except in infoboxes, in the lead of the article on the city, and in table with a list of placenames in different country where leaving it out would be inconsistent. And, yes, "the US city of" works in some contexts.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  20:46, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
    I have no real objection to removal of one or all of the assumptions of familiarity (US, UK, Canada) for sub-national divisions. It surely is actually the case that some are globally familiar and some are not. I was just going by what I observe as actual practice. It's rare in our articles to see "Windsor, Ontario, Canada"; "Albuquerque, New Mexico, US" (or "Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States"); or "Bath, Somerset, England" (or "Bath, Somerset, UK") – except in infoboxes. Surely this is most often because a) many (even if not all) of these major sub-national divisions are actually familiar enough, and b) more often and more importantly, the national context is usually already clear by the time we get to a placename like this. That said, "lots of good articles do it" doesn't always translate to "this is a best practice"; we should just consider that it might be one. I have no firm position on the matter, I'm just wary of the drama that can ensue from MoS advising something that doesn't align with the majority of current editorial practice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  20:46, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I can try a second draft taking into account all these comments, or someone can propose an alternative version.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  20:46, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Some points:
    • Remember that the current "assumption of familiarity" is founded on the principle (SM, please find that shortcut and insert here: __________) that articles should generally refer to a place in the form used in the title of the article on that place.
    • I really think the context point is key. If we do start writing City, State, US in some places (and, contrary to what someone said above, I don't think that's current practice even in infoboxes), we're certainly not going to start doing it every time e.g. "He relocated from Buffalo, New York, US to Paterson, New Jersey, US the next year." The purest debate to have is what to do in leads. For a bio, the lead might say, "John Jones was an American businessman born and raised in Boise, Idaho" (reader can infer these locations are "American"), but should a lead say "XAir Flight 999 exploded over Smithtown, Iowa, US on January 1, 1966" – or do continue to omit US as we do now? If we can figure out what's right for leads, there's hope for figuring out the rest.
    • We better take this really slow, or we'll end up in a situation that will make the infobox wars look like a walk in the park (e.g. St. James' Park, City of Westminster, London, England, UK). Somehow, even if we do begin to say City, State, US in some article-text contexts, I don't think we're gonna change the article title away from simply City, State; and that matters, because for some reason article titles are much more war-prone than text.
EEng 21:21, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
I'd agree with EEng in saying in the lead "John Jones was an American businessman born and raised in Boise, Idaho" would be fine as, yes, the reader can infer this is in the US since it says he's an American businessman. For "XAir Flight 999 exploded over Smithtown, Iowa, US on January 1, 1966", I would say "US" is necessary on first mention. I think this is primarily a lead issue, as this is usually when the place is stated on first mention, or in the infobox. With regards to the article title, yes I'm sure we're keeping it city, state or city, province; it's mostly a prose issue here I believe. With "He relocated from Buffalo, New York, US to Paterson, New Jersey, US the next year." I'd assume Buffalo, New York, US would have been mentioned in the article previously on its first mention, so US would not be needed to be stated again. However, for the relocation to Paterson, New Jersey, I'd say we wouldn't need to state US here either, as we can likely go off of that if he was moving to another country we would've written "He relocated from Buffalo, New York, to Toronto, Ontario, Canada." or "Paris, France" if it was a non English country. Vaselineeeeeeee★★★ 22:03, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
I had a quick look at Encyclopedia Britannica, on the basis that this must be a wheel already invented. It uses Town, State, U.S. for American towns, with the state and U.S. sometimes in brackets, sometimes as sub-headings in smaller font (for article titles), but in the body of text most often simply comma separated. In article titles United States is spelled out in full, otherwise abbreviated. For UK towns they have Town, England, United Kingdom in titles (again the latter two in smaller font), but otherwise in articles assume people know (not unreasonable as a British publication). MapReader (talk) 22:18, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
This is all good feedback. I'm on "template and category brain" right now. When I get back into policy-wonk mode, I'll try a redraft. PS: ""XAir Flight 999 exploded over Smithtown, Iowa, US" is generally regarded as poor style in most style guides; "US" should be used as an adjective, in later occurrences, in tables, etc. In a construction like that in the lead, it would be given as "United States".  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  15:42, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

Tense issues at The Gifted (TV series)[edit]

Best resolved at the article talk page.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:02, 16 December 2017 (UTC) (non-admin closure)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Hi, I thought it best to start a discussion with regards to tense usage in a tv article, as I am fairly certain that another editor (who insists on an incorrect usage of verb tenses) won't initiate discussion here. The section currently going back and forth:

Emma Dumont as Lorna Dane / Polaris: {{Cast list break|A brave and loyal mutant whose abilities include controlling magnetism. She is introduced as being "unstable" due to bipolar disorder. Nix explains that there is "some awareness" that Polaris is the daughter of Magneto, within the series leading to the question "does she accept the mantle of her birthright? Is it her job to be Magneto in his absence?" Justin Gilbert Alba, of, notes the dedication with which Dumont has researched her character, having read the comics wherein Polaris appeared. The character is depicted with green hair, as she is in the comics, but "subdued shades of green". Dumont took mechanical engineering classes at Georgia State University to help understand the character's abilities. Nix did not originally intend to have the character in the show, and only added her as a love interest for Eclipse, but later noted that she "emerges as a central character" for the series.
or This:
Emma Dumont as Lorna Dane / Polaris: {{Cast list break|A brave and loyal mutant whose abilities include controlling magnetism. She is introduced as being "unstable" due to bipolar disorder. Nix explained that, within the series, there is "some awareness" that Polaris is the daughter of Magneto, leading to the question "does she accept the mantle of her birthright? Is it her job to be Magneto in his absence?" The character is depicted with green hair, as she is in the comics, but "subdued shades of green". Dumont took mechanical engineering classes at Georgia State University to help understand the character's abilities. Nix did not originally intend to have the character in the show, and only added her as a love interest for Eclipse, but later noted that she "emerges as a central character" for the series.

The same editor arguing for past tense usage has made the same argument before, without consensus. I think some discussion about how we use tense in Wikipedia would be helpful to all parties concerned. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 02:51, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Actor vs. actress at Hong Chau[edit]

There is a discussion at Hong Chau about using actor vs. actress. Please see the discussion here. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 13:32, 16 December 2017 (UTC)