Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 26

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Archive 20 Archive 24 Archive 25 Archive 26 Archive 27 Archive 28 Archive 30

Proposed use of "U.S." when referring specifically to language in U.S.

This brings up a different issue than those mentioned in the discussion in Manual of Style archive ("U.S." or "American") in that it refers specifically to the name of the language spoken in the U.S., not the use of the language to name things other than itself.

Because the word "American" has multiple uses, referring to either the U.S. exclusively or to what is pertinent to cultures/peoples in either the Americas (North, Central, and South) or North America, its use on pages dealing with language is not transparent because it cannot be immediately interpreted. There are distinctions between American (North American) English and British English. This is a different matter than the differences between U.S. English and British English and Canadian English.

Canadian English (which is distinct on a number of counts from British English and has certain elements in common with U.S. English) is, in a certain sense, "American English," and though the article explains its exclusion, a change of title would remove the need to make this distinction. Since "Canadian English" is a distinct article, one would think that the parallel for the country just south would bear that country's name, not a name that can also refer to the continent.

So, arguably, the article currently called "American and British English Differences" should be titled "U.S. and British English Differences" (and any parallel changes in other articles made) in order to disambiguate the meaning of the word "American" with reference to the English language. This would allow the ability to distinguish without confusion or need for explanation between U.S. English usage and usage that extends to multiple countries in the Americas or the other country in North America, which would be useful given the realities of language use.

I put this note on the "American and British English Differences" talk page first. That was the first time I ever posted here, and I haven't been able to find a guideline about multiple postings about the same issue. I'm not sure if it was correct to post in both places, but I didn't know that this page existed at that time. I apologize if this is not the way things are done.

Emme 13:27, August 30, 2005 (UTC)

!American" means "of or pertaining to the United States of America". There's no need to complicate the issue, jguk 18:17, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
My understanding is that "American English" is the standard form to refer to the language. Also, I believe "U.S. English" is an organization. Maurreen (talk) 06:34, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
Nobody talks about "North American English". There is no need to talk about "North American English". Canadian English is a different thing entirely (we don't tend to lump it together with the English spoken in the United States, that is) and Mexico is Spanish-speaking. South America rarely enters into discussions of English dialect, so there is really no need to talk about "(North and South) American English" There is not really a whole lot of potential for confusion. -Aranel (Sarah) 18:35, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
Hmm. "Nobody talks about "North American English". Rmhermen 17:31, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

"Diacritic" is being used inconsistently

In the article Diacritic, there is a very clear explanation:

"A diacritical mark can appear above or below the letter to which it is added, or in some other position; however, note that not all such marks are diacritical. For example, in English, the tittle (dot) on the letters i and j is not a diacritical mark, but rather part of the letter itself. Further, a mark may be diacritical in one language, but not in another . . ."

However, the article is driven to using the heading "Non-diacritic usage" for the inclusion of such marks within letters. If there is a term for markings on letters other that "diacritical mark" or "accent" this would help. Possibly because no such term has been introduced (does it exist?), this careful distinction is not being followed in all language/alphabet articles, with the result that what is a letter, collated and counted among letters, and what is a letter with a diacritical mark is not discussed with clarity, and could be improved.

This issue arises in, for example, Latvian alphabet ("the remaining 11 [letters] are obtained from Latin letters by using diacritic marks"); Polish alphabet ("It is based on the Latin alphabet but uses diacritics such as kreska . . ."), Romanian alphabet ("Five of the above letters have diacritical marks . . ."), Slovak language ("The Slovak language . . . uses four types of diacritical marks"), Sorbian alphabet ("The Sorbian alphabet is based on the Latin alphbet but uses diacritics . . . "), Vietnamese alphabet "The many diacritcis, often two on the same letter, makes written Vietnamese easily recognizable." - this example is particularly confusing because some of these markings referred to are proper to the letters themselves, while others are true diacritics), etc.

Possible approaches:

Use "letters with/including marks" (to avoid using the term diacritic of a mark that is part of a letter)

When possible, name the mark (as is done in Diacritic to refer to "u with a breve" in speaking of non-diacritic use in Esperanto, for example).

Anybody know of a standard term for this language element?

Emme 13:53, August 30, 2005 (UTC)

I don't believe that there is a real problem using the word diacritic to refer to modifying marks beyond the general set of Latin characters. The use of the word is the boundary of a number of linguistic fields. For example, one might say that the letter ö as employed in German is the letter o with a diacritic. However, this letter is a distinct phoneme in that language. To be strict one should use the word diacritic only to refer to marks used to distinguish homographs and supersegmental signs. However, in practice, one uses the term more loosly to refer to any letter that receives a modifying mark. Gareth Hughes 14:49, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Capitalization of ethnic group/race metaphors

Here's a thorny thing the MOS is pretty much mute on: Is it Black man or black man to refer to an African-American? Our article on Black (people) seems to use primarily a capitalized version. In academic text I have often seen the capitalized version used as a method of conveying that this title is no longer one of just color metaphor (the man's skin color is not actually black, it is a variety of pigmentations, and so labeling him a black man would be incorrect, so the reasoning goes), and to convey respect (or at least to be consistent to how we deal with country names -- French man -- or "ethnic group" names -- Hispanic man). After this -- what about White man/white man? Please also note that answering "African-American should be used whenever possible" is not really a valid response to the question, as not only are there a number of times in which "Black" is more appropriate as a signal of an ethnic designation (esp. in a historical context, when it was a distinction specifically written into laws and had little to do with "actual" biological origins), and anyway there are articles like Black (people) which can't just be ignored away or dealt with in any other way. Thoughts? My vote is for capitalization of both Black and White when used in an ethnic/racial context; there are no "respect" issues and it also makes it clear that this is not a literal color category. --Fastfission 11:43, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Aren't races and ethnicities proper nouns? Skin color isn't necessarily, unless its being used to identify someone with a group.
  • "Morgan Freeman is Black."
  • "Morgan Freeman is a Black man.
  • "George Hamilton is so tan, he looks almost Black." - if you mean he could pass for a member of the Black race. ("race" may not be the best word, but I needed something)
  • "George Hamilton is so tan, he looks almost black." - if you just mean his skin has turned a very dark color. Chuck 12:42, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
My concern would be that although there is precedent in other print sources for capitalizing Black when referring to the race (rather than the colour) there doesn't seem to be much usage of a capitalized White. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but the context where I usually see a capitalized White race is in exhortations to build a noble Aryan nation. Whether it's 'fair' or not to capitalize, I'm worried that there might be connotations attached to a capitalized White that we don't want.... TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:07, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
That's true, and a worthwhile consideration. That's actually pretty much what The American Heritage Book of English Usage says on the topic. --Fastfission 13:42, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
I symathize with the issue, but we certainly can't cater to every group that doesn't like what is written here, or how it is capitalized. Chuck 16:25, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
This isn't about "every ground", this is about finding an appropriate style guide. This isn't some obscure issue; most style guides have a note about this particular question. --Fastfission 22:26, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Isn't the lowercase form still the more common in the English language as it is actually written? Wikipedia isn't about deciding what the style ought to be. -Aranel (Sarah) 18:28, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, grammatical style is not so much about what is more "common", though I do agree that Wikipedia is not the place to try and make changes. We should figure out what is correct style to adopt, and we can take a clue from other stylebooks if need be. --Fastfission 22:26, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't have an opinion about what is more common. Why can't we just rely on whether or not something is a proper noun? We don't have to make exceptions just because some people are a little sensitive about it. Can't we just keep it simple? Chuck 06:49, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

"Black" and "white" are not proper nouns. Lowercase is standard. Maurreen (talk) 07:07, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't think it's just about proper nouns, though. Hispanic is not a proper noun, but it is usually capitalized, yes? --Fastfission 22:26, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

A short google news survey of mainstream U.S. press shows "black" is almost universally used. The 1996 American Heritage Book of English Usage says on the subject:

capitalization of black
Black is sometimes capitalized in its racial sense, especially in the black press, though the lowercase form is still widely used by authors of all races. The capitalization of Black does raise ancillary problems for the treatment of the term white. Orthographic evenhandedness would seem to require the use of uppercase White, but this form might be taken to imply that whites constitute a single ethnic group, an issue that is certainly debatable. Uppercase White is also sometimes associated with the writings of Uppercase White is also sometimes associated with the writings of white supremacist groups, which for many people would of itself be sufficient reason to dismiss it. On the other hand, the use of lowercase white in the same context as uppercase Black will obviously raise questions as to how and why the writer has distinguished between the two groups. There is no entirely happy solution to this problem. In all likelihood, uncertainty as to the mode of styling of white has dissuaded many publications from adopting the capitalized form Black.

I think that's a pretty good argument for using a lower-case "black". --Fastfission 22:34, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

This is immaterial to a publication aspiring to NPOV. We should treat all names of races/ethinicities similarly. Chuck 16:13, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Abbreviating United States more than once


When including the United States in a list of countries, do not abbreviate the United States. (for example "France and the United States", not "France and the U.S.").

be changed to:

When including the United States in a list of countries, do not abbreviate the United States. (for example "France and the United States", not "France and the U.S."), unless mentioning it more than once (for example "France and the United States consume lots of cheese, while Germany and the U.S. consume the most sausages.".

? Andy Mabbett 08:23, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

The point is not prescribing against that. It is stating that in a list of cheese consumption by country, one would list as follows:
  1. France
  2. United States
  3. Germany


  1. France
  2. U.S.
  3. Germany

Your example is not a list but rather usage within an article. Hope that helps. Hiding talk 08:34, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Indent reset

My example is an expansion of the example in the MoS; however, consider:

Contries which consume cheese

  • France
  • United States

Contries which consume sausages

  • Germany
  • U.S.

Contries which consume beer

  • United Kingdom
  • U.S.

Andy Mabbett 08:58, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

It should definitely remain 'United States' when in a list. Proto t c 12:11, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Lists are not repetitive in presenting information the way a body of text is. Also, the example in the manual of style is making the point regarding lists, therefore the example presented is in the context of lists. Your example is not in the context of a list, and so is a different usage. Hiding talk 19:27, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

To be pedantic as the "United States" is an abbreviation for the county's full name, what does it matter which is used if a link is put in for those who do not know what US is? Why single out the US for special reference in the MOS when the same is not done for other countries which are often referenced by a common acronym like NZ and the UK. (And before anyone goes there NO I don't want the MOS to subscribe to putting the full name for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland every time I want to write the UK) -- Philip Baird Shearer 13:30, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

Exclusion of vowels when referring to deities

User:Unfocused has proposed adding to the section on capitalization: "Certain religious sects practice exclusion of vowels when referring to deities, such as G-d, the L-rd, or Yhwh. Vowels are not excluded in Wikipedia except when quoting directly from a source document that uses this convention." It seems to me this deserves discussion before being promulgated. It seems to me that when writing about a particular religious group, we should follow their practice in spelling. In particular the vowelization of the Tetragrammaton is very controversial and MoS is not the place to settle the question. --agr 20:47, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I'd add W-d-n and M-rs to that incomplete list. Let's not omit M-thr-s either. --Wetman 20:59, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Very funny. Did the followers of those dieties use this convention? As far as i know it is unique to Judiasim and groups with traditions influenced by Judiasim, including some Christian groups. DES (talk) 21:03, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm 100% willing to be reverted in favor of discussion. I thought that it would be uncontroversial to spell the names of deities in common language when writing in the common language style of an encyclopedia in our role as encyclopedia editors, yet still defer to the conventions of the authors and publishers when citing specific source documents. Again, please feel free to revert my change pending further discussion.

When citing sources documents, always cite exactly. You can't fool with material you're quoting directly. That's the universal rule, and it has nothing to do with Arthur G-dfrey or slenderizing "followers of dieties" as above --Wetman 04:34, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

I am a little ambivalent about my own inclusion of "Yhwh" in the list; this has been the convention for so many years that I feel that it has virtually become a proper name of the Hebrew deity, if not in actuality, then in practice in the English language. Perhaps exclusion of this example would remove the controversy? Or better yet, how about a counter-example of how words translated from other languages without their vowels intact are a legitimate time to leave the vowels excluded?

Where does that capital Y you're using in that "Yhwh" come in, then? That's not part of the convention you're straining so greatly to follow. There are no capital letters in Hebrew. "Yhwh" [sic] is a perfect example of a showy ambition to be correct that is a little affectation we must all try to rid ourselves of. --Wetman 04:34, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
The capital Y came from my own ignorance of the Hebrew letter set. There is no "straining so greatly to follow" any convention. I believe your words "perfect example of showy ambition" is simply an example of forgetting to assume good faith. Unfocused 22:00, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Regarding who does this, I know that some strict Judaic sects, Jehovah's Witnesses and other Judeo-Christian groups do. I am uncertain about shamanistic religions or conventions regarding evil deities in various pantheistic religions througout history. (Along the theme of "The one who must not be named.") Unfocused 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

"J-h-v-h's Witnesses" write their name without vowels. I don't think so. --Wetman 04:34, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
Some Jehovah's Witnesses use "G-d" instead of "God", at least the ones I've known personally have. From their website, it appears that the national organization doesn't. Unfocused 15:22, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
of course in the case of "Yhwh" there is no clear and NPOV agreement on just which vowels should be inserted. The vowels were ommitted for so long that it is not at all clear what they originally were, and as far as I know there is no modern convention on what the "proper" vowels are. To the best of my knowledge, all other cases of "vowel exclusion" are more or less directly derived from this one. The use of epithets or euphimisims (e.g. "the kindly ones" for The furies) is similar, but not quite the same thing, IMO. DES (talk) 21:42, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
The idea that Jews are in disagreement "on just which vowels should be inserted" is just zaniness. Do speak to any observant Jew of your acquaintance. --Wetman 04:34, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
I am a reasonably knowlegable and somewhat observant Jew. I wrote a bit hurriedly and unclearly above. i did not mean that there was dispute on what vowels should be curently used by a Jew, there is clear agreement that the Name should not be pronounced in any way at all, but rather other terms (most often "Adonai") should be substituted. What I should have said was something more like "There is no agreement on what the vowels originally were, and thus how to spell the word if a writer were trying to indicate an NPOV by inserting the missing vowels." (Note the use of the subjunbctive.) Does that strike you as less "zany"? I hope it does. DES (talk) 17:34, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
I should not have included "YHWH" in my original list of examples. After reading the Tetragrammaton article, I changed "YHWH" to a counter-example of when not to insert vowels. I should have researched that one first. I hope I've made the change respectfully and gracefully. Please advise. Unfocused 21:53, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Vowels are often included in Yahweh/Jehovah in English. Gene Nygaard 08:18, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Wouldn't you agree that it's not appropriate to insert the vowels into "YHWH" when writing of the Judaic YHWH, yet fine to use the term "Yahweh" when writing of other groups where "Yahweh" is the common usage? I think the current solution is to consider "YHWH" and "Yahweh" as two independent terms, based on which tradition you're writing about. Unfocused 16:05, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
No. Gene Nygaard 02:12, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
It seems to me that if you're seeking consensus in good faith, you should explain your answer a little further so we can look for common ground. Please expand your reply. Are you saying YHWH isn't appropriate when writing about Hebrew traditions, or that Yahweh isn't OK when writing about modern Christianity, or something else entirely? Unfocused 06:52, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
You are the one seeking, and failing to find, consensus—not me. And you didn't even bother to seek it in the first instance.
Problem Number One: m:Instruction creep. ("Instruction creep occurs when a well-meaning user thinks "Hrm ... this page would be better if everyone was supposed to do this" and adds more requirements.")
Other than that, you are looking for a simplistic answer to complicated questions, and as agr says don't belong here.
There is nothing different from normal rules for direct quotes.
You misrepresented the fact that vowels are often used in English.
"YHWH" and "Yahweh" are not two different terms.
Your restatement here isn't equivalent to what I replied to above. But it doesn't matter much.
I don't buy the assumption that encyclopedic coverage is going to be the usage of some particular group.
It's a lot like what you said about the use of "LORD": "an expression of reverence beyond simple respect that is out of place in an NPOV encyclopedia." Gene Nygaard 13:26, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

<------------reset indent.

First, regarding instruction creep, I've considered that possibility myself. However, the Manual of Style page itself clearly states it's use as a guideline and not a rule at the top of the page. See also the quote from The Chicago Manual of Style. I don't think any instructions found on that page could ever qualify as instruction creep, so this is not an issue as far as I'm concerned.

Regarding YHWH and Yahweh, what or which are you objecting to? When a previous editor has written YHWH, it's probably in a Hebrew-related article and shouldn't be changed. When a previous editor has written Yahweh, it probably isn't in a Hebrew-related article, so it probably doesn't need to be changed. However, if "Yahweh" was found in a Hebrew-related article, I think replacement with YHWH would usually be a valid correction. I've not claimed that "YHWH" and "Yahweh" are two different terms, but only in practical use they may be treated as such if we want.

What I'm seeking here is not a stick to beat editors with, but simplistic guideline that covers most cases, just as the introduction section at the top of the Manual of Style states. If the YHWH and Yahweh issue cannot be brought down to a simplistic guideline, we just leave it out, or further soften the instruction.

So far, you've given no objections regarding the "correction" of G-d to God or L-rd to Lord in ordinary text. Do you agree that G-d should be changed to God when found in ordinary text, that is, NOT part of a direct quote of a source document? I haven't seen objections to corrections from "G-d" to "God" outside of direct quotes from anyone yet. Unfocused 15:22, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

One related issue --- certain Bible translations in English use "LORD" or "LORD" to translate the divine Name; and "Lord" without caps or small caps to translate Adonai. This is an attempt to reproduce the usage of the source text. I would propose that these spellings be retained whenever these sources are being quoted or discussed. Smerdis of Tlön 16:58, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

I am, and have always been, against altering source documents when quoting directly. However, I think common language usage is the rule when used outside the quote marks. Feel free to disagree, but I think that use of "LORD" or "LORD" rather than "Lord" is an expression of reverence beyond simple respect that is out of place in an NPOV encyclopedia. I welcome further comment, after all, I was initially very wrong regarding the Tetragrammaton. Unfocused 20:38, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
I don't think this needs separate rules. In quotes, do it exactly as the orginial, or as closely as possible. So "LORD" might end up "LORD", but "G-d" shouldn't be changed to "God". As far as regular article text, we use standard English spelling: "Lord", "God", etc. Similarly, we capitalize per convention: "God" for proper noun used for the monotheistic god, "god" for the general term. Chuck 15:54, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
If we truly have a clear, agreed upon style for any use of deity names, we should go ahead and post it in the style manual. That's why there is a style guide. I've seen instances of people looking to the Manual of Style for guidance on what to do when they encounter G-d and L-rd in the ordinary text of an article and finding none. I had hoped we'd come to rapid agreement on this, or at least a part of this because I find the presence of G-d and L-rd in ordinary text of an article to violate NPOV. Violation of NPOV isn't my style.  ;) Unfocused 17:12, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
You missed my point. We do not have style guidance specifically for deity names because we don't need it. The guidance for nouns in general suffices perfectly well. There is clear guidance for what to do with G-d and L-rd, as well. We leave quotes exactly how they were written. We use standard English spellings otherwise. Chuck 18:48, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
Technically, the use of LORD and LORD in these source texts is not primarily a sign of respect; these are usually older Biblical translations, or more recent translations heavily influenced by their predecessors. These works speak of the Lord and of lords, and the use of a capital is needed to distinguish the use of the word referring to God, as opposed to an earthly ruler. Without the convention, quotations like "The LORD said unto my lord, Sit thou at my right hand. . ." (Ps. 110:1) would be ambiguous. More recent translations may handle this differently; the Jerusalem Bible gives "Yahweh's oracle to you, my Lord: Sit at my right hand. . ." The point is, the convention is not merely for reverence, and keeping it in older sources is not necessarily POV. Smerdis of Tlön 19:53, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
Chuck, you also missed my point. I edited the Manual of Style not because I wanted to stir up trouble, but because I saw instances of where editors were wondering whether it is proper to add vowels into L-rd and G-d and had already checked the Manual of Style and found no assistance. This is why I think, even if we don't include YHWH or Yahweh, we should definitely include an edit similar to what I originally added. Unfocused 02:23, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

I didn't miss your point at all. We don't need to address every special case. "G-d" and "L-rd" are generally not considered the correct spelling of those words. The MoS already says "If a word or phrase is generally regarded as correct, then prefer it to any other word or phrase that might be regarded as incorrect." We don't need anything more than that. Chuck 19:09, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

The name of deities is a special case that calls for a degree of respect for the faiths of other people that ordinary words don't require. This is why we have specific capitalization instructions for deities when the general rules could also apply instead. There are several editors who have sought specific instruction regarding G-d and L-rd. Since some people of certain faiths DO consider these the ONLY proper spelling of the words, I added specific instructions for use in Wikipedia. Specific needs call for specific instructions. I didn't invent this out of the blue; there were editors literally asking for direction who had already read the Manual of Style and found it lacking. Unfocused 19:27, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
"some people of certain faiths DO consider these the ONLY proper spelling of the words": We are not debating the "proper" spelling of words. That term is fundamentally POV. We are debating the generally recognized spelling of words -- which in this case is "God" and "Lord". If people are having problems with the MoS, maybe you should point them to the sentence I quoted, and then point them to the section on NPOV. There is no further need to clutter this page. Chuck 20:27, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Rather than refer to you, User:Chuckstar, as Wikipedia's expert and reference a sentence you've written somewhere above in a talk page that is certain to be archived sooner or later, I would rather form consensus to put instructions in the place where people look for instructions.
I'll keep your opinion in mind and watch for further objections from you or others.
However, I remain in favor of giving people who are looking for answers the answers they seek in the most logical location. That is the purpose of the Manual of Style, it's very reason for existing! What purpose do you intend the Manual of Style to serve if not to instruct those looking for specific instructions on specific style issues? Unfocused 21:54, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Rather than live up to your user name, why don't you read what I actually wrote before you make smart-ass comments. I did not write "refer them to my sentence". What I wrote was "refer them to the sentence I quoted". There is a perfectly clear sentence in the MoS that reads "If a word or phrase is generally regarded as correct, then prefer it to any other word or phrase that might be regarded as incorrect." That sentence is right here. The MoS is not necessarily here to provide a compendium of every tiny possible usage issue. What is the matter with using the more generally accepted spelling? Chuck 23:18, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
First, my apologies. They are due. Please choose a Wikipedia article and I will make a good-faith, content contributing, referenced, properly cited edit to demonstrate my sincerity.
Second, the primary issue still remains and the point I was trying to make is still valid: People who are looking for instructions of how to handle "G-d" and "L-rd" are supposed to look to the Manual of Style to help themselves. They have already done so, and found it wanting. What you propose keeps them dependent on kindly third parties to notice and follow up their inquiries and point out an individual sentence located in a very large guide. I'd much rather add a sentence or two that clarifies the issue and lets them find the answer themselves when they look in the appropriate place. Again, why require them to appeal to someone else's expertise when a simple clarification removes the dependency? Unfocused 01:31, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

"...point out an individual sentence located in a very large guide..." And your solution is to make it larger? And they still have to find one sentence within it. And yes, sometimes people make edits that don't conform to the MoS, and someone later comes along and points it out -- clarifying the MoS for them. Seems silly to expand the MoS to provide guidance that is already there, especially if (as you say) people are already having trouble finding things. Chuck 02:04, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

The guidance isn't already there. An inference is there, but obviously it's being overlooked since I've seen the question of whether G-d should be changed to God asked at least twice, and the most recent person specifically said there wasn't guidance in the MoS. Personally, I think it's silly to tell someone "it's there, you just didn't read it right" rather than add a single sentence or two for clarity. I originally posted a brief note under "# 3.2 Religions, deities, philosophies, doctrines and their adherents" but a similar note under "# 10 Usage and spelling" would be much better. Personally, I'd rather be helpful than obtuse. Unfocused 03:47, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
"...recent person specifically said there wasn't guidance in the MoS..." -- that person was wrong. What's so hard about that? The MoS isn't there to specifically address every tiny issue so that no one ever has to think and/or ask someone else what they think. Its there to provide guidance in a useful form. It will not be useful if a "sentence or two" is added to address every specific issue, so that no one has to exercise judgement. Chuck 05:21, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
Did I say to address "every tiny issue"? No. Put your straw man away. This is a legitimate case where editors were seeking guidance. And I don't consider the spelling of references to deities to be a tiny issue, especially among the faithful. I prefer to help them when they seek help, in the place where they seek it. I think it's rather unwelcoming and therefore incorrect to refuse to post answers where people are actively looking for them. I'm done discussing this until I have time to solicit other opinions. Unfocused 05:53, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
No, you didn't say you wanted to address "every tiny issue". You only said you wanted to address the tiny issue that you feel is important. There are plenty of other tiny issues that someone else thinks is important. How many of them should we put in the MoS? Chuck 07:59, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
The issue I added was not tiny, and the answer to your question is simple: we should include as many as we have editors regularly searching for that a general rule can be written about. Unfocused 13:11, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Unfocused here. It is better to be explicit than implicit, clear rather than obscure, and this is not an unimportant matter, and if multiple people ahve been in need of guidance on it in the past, and the guidleine is not in debate but merely whether it is redundant with a more general guideline, let's put it in. DES (talk) 14:52, 12 September 2005 (UTC)