Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Abbreviations

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Merge discussion[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies#Section merge for proposed section merge of Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Abbreviations#Initials (the only human-naming matter I can find that is not in the guideline for that topic) into Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies#Names (the guideline, obviously, for that topic).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  05:41, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

MOS:ACRO and MOS:BOLD/MOS:BOLDTITLE for incoming redirects[edit]

See current discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Somewhat related discussion. Please comment there, not here. --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:23, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Abbreviations in the lead of video game articles[edit]

Hi everyone,

@Izno: and I both edit video game related articles often. We can't seem to agree on a minor issue, and that is the introduction of abbreviations in the lead section. For those not familiar, video games are often referenced to by their abbreviations as a shorthand, especially online. So instead of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, gamers and game websites use abbreviations like loz: oot. Note that the abbreviation redirects to the article of Ocarina of Time. There are couple of these kind of abbreviations, like GTA V -> Grand Theft Auto V, TLoU -> The Last of Us, AoM -> Age of Mythology, LOTR: BFME2 -> The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II. Now, on the WikiProject Video games, I've tried to reach some consensus on this several times, but without any luck. To be perfectly clear, I personally don't think we should use these abbreviations; Wikipedia is written for a large audience and video game websites (which we use as reliable sources) write for people familiar with video games. We haven't found a middle ground as of yet, but I thought of a different solution: what if we would use {{efn}} in the lead? We could mention the abbreviation in a note, so it still is mentioned but without it appearing in the lead. Does this comply with WP's general abbreviation guidelines? soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 16:24, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

I would efn any abbreviation that is common in user forums, but when there is a common industry use of an abbreviation that appears regularly in articles, that should be included in the lede. Grand Theft Auto as GTA or Call of Cuty as COD are two strong examples of the last, while I'd argue that something like TLoU is more a forum term and shouldn't be included. If anything, the industry-common term examples are likely more exceptional, and we should default to efn any that aren't clearly used regularly in industry. --MASEM (t) 16:41, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Abbreviations still need to be sourced. We don't have user reviews for reception sections or link to user-submitted websites either, so why should we start making an exemption for the abbreviation? Besides, if a reliable source actually uses it, then we can confirm it is in fact commonly used. And concerning TLoU, Kotaku uses it quite often. And that's the whole thing, for WP:CONSISTENCY we can't have it both ways; either we do mention AoM, KotOR, COD, ROTT, GoW or we don't. soetermans. ↑↑↓↓←→←→ B A TALK 16:54, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Agreed, but more stringently: {{efn}} any abbreviation used prominently by reliable, secondary sources. (If an abbreviation is prominent, it should have a definitive source.) czar 17:42, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
I personally really dislike such abbreviations. I refer to Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as Ocarina of Time and I refer to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as San Andreas, but using initialisms always just confuse me... However, I suppose I'm with Czar here: if reliable sources use them, we can use them within reason, at least as an alternative name. ~Mable (chat) 19:14, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

italicization of acronyms/initialisms for otherwise italicized titles[edit]

I thought for sure that this inquiry would be addressed somewhere, but I can't find it, so I'm bringing it here and hoping someone can point me in the right direction: should acronyms or initialisms be italicized when they're representing something that, if spelled out whole, would be italicized? For example, if I want to repeatedly refer to Star Trek: The Next Generation in an article by its reliably-sourced initialism, after spelling it out whole on the first instance, would I refer to TNG or TNG?

I assume the former, and that's how I've been operating up until now, but I recently read an otherwise reliable, third-party source (to which I cannot link because I've already forgotten what it was) that was italicizing its initialisms. So I decided to find or get the consensus on the issue. Thank you! — fourthords | =Λ= | 16:33, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

? Of course they should be italicized. Have been doing so for a long time, and on lots of Star Trek and others articles. TNG means The Next Generation. They're the same thing. And thanks for the SOP mention, I've never really read that or focused attention on it, should be a good read. Thanks. How does it affect removing italics from a previous edit, is that in the SOP somewhere? Randy Kryn 23:00, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Going to ping SMcClandish and Dicklyon who are both pretty aware of the rules and regs on Wikipedia grammar, to see what they think of this question. Thanks for bringing it up, and I'm surprised it's not already addressed. Randy Kryn 13:14, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

J. J. Watt or J.J. Watt[edit]

The discussion currently active at Talk:J. J. Watt#Requested move 2 December 2016 features arguments for either variation. Greater participation is invited. —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 04:01, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

"Vancouver style" and MOS[edit]

The {{citation}} templates have the vauthors/veditors parameters and the name-list-format=vanc option, which apparently contradict the general WP style MOS:INITIALS (although some journals might be using this as their house style, it does not really count as a "consistently preferred style" for that person's name). This looks especially bad when one article has a mixture of citations with "normal" and this Vancouver style. I think that name-list-format=vanc must be disabled, and vauthors/veditors must produce their output in a punctuated and spaced format according to MOS:INITIALS. Moreover, the use of vauthors/veditors should be discouraged, as they force to mangle people's names. — Mikhail Ryazanov (talk) 21:44, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Of course each article should have a consistent style, but if an article uses Vancouver style consistently for references, that is an acceptable style. MOS:INITIALS is not meant to say that citations using initials have to be re-written to use full names; that MOS page is about using names in the running prose. Featured articles use initials in some cases, such as [1] and [2] which were recently on the main page; so we cannot say there is a consensus that our well-edited articles use full names. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:27, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
I am not against using initials instead of full names, but against writing, for example, "Tolkien JR" instead of "Tolkien, J. R. R." or "J. R. R. Tolkien" and the complete impossibility to use non-Latin names with this style. — Mikhail Ryazanov (talk) 21:33, 25 January 2017 (UTC)
It seems to me that is an issue for editors at each article to decide in the context of the citations. The number of citations to names not written in an extended Latin alphabet are very small. I cannot remember the last time I saw a reference with the names in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, or Indic scripts that would make it hard to initialize them if that was the established style. If there are entire scientific disciplines that use Vancouver style, I don't think we can claim it has fatal flaws. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:28, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
As far as I know, there are no entire fields using that style, these are just quirks of some journals and organizations, no need to copy them here. And regarding the extended Latin alphabet, the "true" Vancouver actually forbids all "non-English-like" Latin, that is all diacritics and letters like æ, ø and so on, which clearly affects almost the whole Europe (and the ban of Cyrillic scripts affects the rest of Europe) and both Americas outside the US. Though the current WP implementation is much more relaxed about "Latin", still there where complains about some Turkish letters, for example. But to make it worse, the style mandates even more ridiculous things [3]:

D'Arcy Hart  becomes  Hart D
W. St. John Patterson  becomes  Patterson WS
De la Broquerie Fortier  becomes  Fortier D
Iu. A. Iakontov  becomes  Iakontov IuA
G. Th. Tsakalos  becomes  Tsakalos GTh

So, since all this looks like a huge loss of information, and {{citation}} anyway does not follow this silly style strictly (plus, making the last 2 examples work without errors requires some additional effort), I do not see any reason why we should have it here. I understand that copy-pasting to vauthors is much easier than converting to a normal format, and that is why I said that "vauthors/veditors must produce their output in a punctuated and spaced format according to MOS:INITIALS" — the templates already use Lua to do all formatting, so implementing this change will be very simple. — Mikhail Ryazanov (talk) 03:58, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
MOS:INITIALS does not apply to citations. Furthermore Vancouver system is one of the styles that is explicitly mentioned in WP:CITESTYLE. IMHO Vancouver formatted author lists are much cleaner looking and easier to read. The use of any initial, whether or not it is followed by a period represents a loss of information. With |name-list-format=vanc, full authors names can be stored and retrieved in metadata. The best long term solution may be to move all citations to Wikidata and add a preference setting so each account could tailor the way they would like to see citations rendered. Boghog (talk) 04:02, 22 February 2017 (UTC)