Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biographies

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Honorifics pre and post[edit]

I understand that post DBE (and similar) and pre Dame refer to the same thing. Should they both appear? See e.g. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Kiri Te Kanawa. (I understand that removing "Dame" from |name= in those edits is correct.) -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:24, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

They do refer to the same thing but removing one or the other would be incorrect. Substantive dames (and knights for that matter) use both the title (dame/sir) and the post-nominals: the title and post-nom come as a package. However, if its an honorary/foreign award, its different: foreign recipients may only use the post-noms. For example, Bob Geldof is Irish (and therefore an honorary/foreign recipient), and uses the post-nom "KBE" but not the title sir (although he is often wrong called Sir Bob). There is an exception in the form of Knight Bachelor: this is complicated but usually only awards the title sir and no post-noms, unless they can't use the tile (being clergy or having a higher title such as baronet) then they only use the post-nom "Kt". Hopefully this explains how it works. Gaia Octavia Agrippa Talk 14:51, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for that explanation. Still, the way those epithets are displayed in {{Infobox person}} strikes me as a very poor return on the investment of screen space, but that's a discussion at another place (with no interest to me). Cheers, Michael Bednarek (talk) 01:46, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Seems to be okay to list both as with Paul McCartney. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 18:23, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
The second is included because the Order of the British Empire (and many other orders) have multiple ranks, and it makes a difference.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  03:58, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
The pre-nominal (Sir/Dame) is included because it's an honorific title – see MOS:HONORIFIC. Post-nominals are always included somewhere (infobox and/or lead) but it's worth noting for this discussion that there's more than one "Dame" honour: besides DBE there's DCB, DCMG and DCVO, each of which may be honorary. — Stanning (talk) 13:43, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Birth/death places in lead clarification[edit]

The present wording is:

Birth and death places, if known, should be mentioned in the body of the article, and can be in the lead if relevant to the person's notability, but they should not be mentioned in the opening brackets of the lead sentence alongside the birth and death dates.

I think this is meant to read:

Birth and death places, if known, should be mentioned in the body of the article, and can be in the lead if relevant to the person's notability, but they should not otherwise be mentioned in the opening brackets of the lead sentence alongside the birth and death dates.

If one or both of these places are included because it's important in a particular case, putting it with the associated date is the most logical place for it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  03:56, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Well, not necessarily. Take Fidel Castro, Napoleon and Joseph McCarthy (three random history GAs I picked). If the place of birth or death is significant in some way, then the best place to put it would be in the main text of the lead, not in the brackets, where it just needlessly clogs up what are often already very lengthy sentences. Frickeg (talk) 05:26, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
I oppose this suggested change. These parentheticals (long, irrelevant, and needlessly distracting as they can frequently become, especially when they also include other incidental information like pronounciation guides or spellings in other languages) mainly serve to make the first sentence hard to read by splitting its subject from the rest, so that by the time readers get to the rest they have forgotten what the subject was. We should eschew changes that encourage making this bad style worse. And calling it a "clarification" is at best misleading; it is a change, and a change for the worse. —David Eppstein (talk) 05:45, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
I also oppose it. It would add clutter, in my view unnecessarily. If the birth or death place is that important, it can be (and likely should be) mentioned in prose within the first couple of sentences. It doesn't need to be in the brackets.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:05, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Conflict between WP:NCP and MOS:JR[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (people)#Conflict between WP:NCP and WP:MOS
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  23:55, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

Giving full name at start of article body[edit]

This conflicts with the principle that the lead section should be purely a summary of the body. The reader should be able to skip the lead section and not miss anything, and we should not need a citation in the lead right after the name as a source for the full name. I would prefer the option of repeating the subject's full birth name in the first sentence of the body, with a citation for their name/date/place of birth, then using their surname from then onward. E.g.

Early years

Joseph-Eugène-Albert de Lachaud de Loqueyssie was born on 1 October 1848 in Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne.[1] Lachaud's parents were ...

I propose modifying Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies#Subsequent use to say (without highlighting):

After the initial mention of any name, the person should generally be referred to by surname only, without an honorific prefix such as "Mr", "Mrs", "Ms", "Miss", or "Mx" or by a pronoun. For example:

Fred Smith was a Cubist painter in the early 20th century. He moved to Genoa, where he met singer Gianna Doe. Smith and Doe later married.

However, the first mention of the subject in the article's body may repeat their full birth name. Also, where a person does not have a surname but a patronymic ...

Comments? Aymatth2 (talk) 19:16, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

  • While the lead section is a summary... I don’t think we can say the same for the opening (or lead) sentence . That identifies the article’s topic or subject, and is more substantive. We want the full, complete name listed there so readers know right away whether they have arrived at the article they were looking for. Blueboar (talk) 19:30, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
    • No dispute about putting the full name in the first sentence of the lead. This is just proposing that the full name may be repeated, with a citation, early in the body. The lead should preferably not have information that is unsupported by the body, and the rules should certainly not prohibit giving information in the body that is given in the lead. Aymatth2 (talk) 19:46, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Capitalization of eponyms with name parts (L', von, de) not usually capitalized[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#L'Hôpital's rule.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:33, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Scouting conflict with MOS:JOBTITLE, MOS:DOCTCAPS[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Scouting conflict with MOS:DOCTCAPS, MOS:JOBTITLE.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:00, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Move discussion at C. C. H. Pounder[edit]

Please come participate in the move discussion at Talk:C. C. H. Pounder#Requested move 20 February 2018. It deals with interpretation and implementation of the WP:SPACEINITS section of the MOS. Thank you. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 19:41, 20 February 2018 (UTC)