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Capitalization discussions ongoing (keep at top of talk page)


Add new items at top of list; move to Concluded when decided, and summarize the conclusion. Comment at them if interested. Please keep this section at the top of the page.



(newest on top) Move requests:

Other discussions:

Pretty stale but not "concluded":


Extended content

Capitalising a plural generic term before or after two or more proper names.


In a recent discussion on capitalising forts in battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Deor observed: Most of the (U.S.) style guides I'm familiar with recommend lowercasing a plural generic term when it follows two or more proper names—thus, "the Mississippi and Missouri rivers", even though "river" is capped in "Mississippi River" and "Missouri River"—but capitalizing a generic term when it precedes proper names, as in "Mounts Whitney and Rainier". If this is a consistent norm in English (ie not just the US), is it worth noting this in the MOS? Cinderella157 (talk) 03:27, 30 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know the guides, but I see overwhelmingly capped Forts in Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and overwhelmingly capped Presidents in Presidents Bush and Obama, Generals in Generals MacArthur and Eisenhower. Probably that's not enough to generalize from, but it's suggestive. Dicklyon (talk) 04:46, 30 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Alternatively, just rewrite as “…Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip… ”. You don’t need the plural form when there are only two or three mentioned. Blueboar (talk) Blueboar (talk) 01:12, 31 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I would go that way, since "Mounts", etc., leans toward completely contrived in contemporary English, and we can avoid the confusing inconsistency of potentially ariving a "before" rule that directly conflicts with an "after" one (WP:CREEP, MOS:BLOAT, KISS principle). At the cost of a repeated word (or, often enough, abbreviation), it also provides a great deal more clarity; not all readers are going understand "Forts Jackson and Saint/St. Philip" since the later has its own prefixed word or abbreviation. A weird construction like "attended the Universities of California and New Mexico" is rare because it is potentially confusing, and it isn't really improved by writing "attended the universities of California and New Mexico" since that seems to imply universities in those places (and that they are the only ones in those places) but which are named something else we're not specifying. Let's just not go there. Be specific: "Attented the Univerity of Calforia (1987–92), and the Univeristy of New Mexico (1993–94)"; "moved supplies from Ft. Jackson to Ft. St. Philip over the winter"; "Mt. Whitney (California) and Mt. Ranier (Washington state) are the two most-visited peaks of the US West Coast"; and so on.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:21, 29 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Clarifying sources


My BOLD edit clarifying what "sources" can mean was reverted. I don't think this is a controversial addition, nor is it a substantive change. But, sure, let's discuss first. InfiniteNexus (talk) 19:28, 27 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]

It seems a bit strange, since the previous sentence already refers to "reliable sources", which is a well-defined term in Wikipedia and includes journals and newspapers, at least in general – so why does your sentence seem to exclude them? And why indeed would it be necessary to repeat what RS are? Gawaon (talk) 20:36, 27 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Because every time I come across a discussion about capitalization, and people present evidence from "sources", it's almost exclusively ngrams and news articles. InfiniteNexus (talk) 20:58, 27 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Does anyone else object to adding these ten words for reasons that are not needlessly bureaucratic? InfiniteNexus (talk) 00:12, 1 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see how it's necessary. If you try to enumerate sources, best include scholarly articles, too. Or maybe just say that random web pages are not usually good sources. Sometimes people object to book examples of usage on the basis that the book is about gambling (e.g. in a sports context), or is a children's book; to me, these are still valid datapoints about usage in independent sources, whether or not they'd be reliable for content. I don't think we can try to pin this down one way or another without considerable discussion. Dicklyon (talk) 08:21, 4 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Capping the levels


What about GCE Ordinary Level, A-level, Scholarship level, Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level, GCE Advanced Level (United Kingdom), Advanced Subsidiary level, Technical Level, and such? Is there logic behind the mix of caps, or something we need to work on? Dicklyon (talk) 09:59, 8 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Any opinions here one way or the other? Are any of these properly capitalized, or should I fix them all to lowercase like in Scholarship level and A-level? Also lowercase scholarship and advanced and such in sentences? Dicklyon (talk) 17:10, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Lower-case would be consistent with MOS:DOCTCAPS and MOS:SIGCAPS, as the default, but we'd use upper-case if the capitalization is near-consistently found in indepedent RS material (i.e. independent of the school systems, testing bodies, governments, etc., at issue in each of these). It may vary by case. I don't live in a country that uses these terms, and most of my encountering of them has been in material that doesn't pass WP:INDY, so it's hard to say. This is kind of half-way between the general principle of not capitalizing any academic subjects and categories on the one hand except where the contain proper names ("African studies", "particle physics", "third grade", "high school", etc.), versus the desire of some editors to capitalize all professional certifications on the other ("Certified Public Accountant", etc.). The latter practice does not have a clear consensus and is contrary to the intent of both of the above MoS sections as well as MOS:JOBTITLES (though it may make better sense for trademarked certifications, e.g. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, MCSE). So, I would lean lower-case on this as a general principle, unless "capitalized in a substantial majority of independent reliable sources" is actually provable for particular cases, which would take some work to identify a non-trivial amount of sourcing that has no connection to the bodies involved in the certifications. Maybe start with scholar.google.com and scholar.archive.org? PS: That said, a designator letter like "A" or "O" and an acronym like "GCE" in such things would always be capitalized.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:27, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Online username: CAP1TAL or Cap1tal?


The Twitch streamer/YouTuber F1NN5TER recently has a page created about them, but the capitalization of their page matches their spelling of their screen name on Twitch, Twitter, among other places. However, the name has no reason to be in all-caps as it is not an acronym or initialism. It is the nickname "Finnster", but with numbers and all-caps. I believe it should be "F1nn5ter", in keeping with several other (mostly music acts/songs) that are spelled in all-caps in as many places as possible, notably MF Doom, JPEGMafia, Crim3s, Hori7on, and 4Eve, but there's not many other pages that deal with all-caps online usernames. Discussion on it here: Talk:F1NN5TER#Capitalization Phillycj 23:08, 22 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

"Stylized in all caps" is for cases where the formal spelling of a name is not in all caps. To use the phrase in any other context is original research: We can't say that "F1NN5TER" is a stylization of "F1nn5ter" because no reliable sources say that. This is a screen name, so it has no official spelling (unlike, say, the trademarked sentence-case name of a company). We can only go on how it is spelled by the subject (AFAIK, always in all caps, except when not possible due to technical limitations), and how it is spelled by independent reliable sources (in all caps in a significant majority).
This is borne out in MoS. There's not actually anything in MOS:BIO or the main MoS page about applying the "stylization" doctrine to people's names or pseudonyms, but (a bit confusingly) there's something in MOS:TMRULES: "When a name is almost never written except in a particular stylized form, use that form on Wikipedia: Deadmau5 [...] but Kesha not Ke$ha". If we suppose that that does apply even in a case where a pseudonym isn't trademarked, then this becomes a fact-bound question based on how sources refer to F1NN5TER, which can be resolved on the article's talkpage. If we say it doesn't apply, then the only governing rule is MOS:ALLCAPS, which doesn't apply because the difference in capitalization in a screen name is not purely stylistic, and which, with the exception of trademarks, otherwise concerns itself with cases where a term would normally be sentence-cased but might in a quote be all-caps. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (they|xe) 05:59, 23 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
MOS:TM is clear in its lead that it applies to everything that is generally trademark-like, not just that which is legally subject to a trademark, so its material on Deadmau5 vs. Ke$ha is applicable here. And MOS:BIO explicitly refers to this material for "unusual name presentations, usually in the sphere of performer marketing", which this subject clearly qualifies under. If F1NN5TER is virtually always rendered F1NN5TER not F1nn5ter in independent sources, then it should be rendered that way here. If "a substantial majority" of such sources don't render it that way, and F1nn5ter is common enough, then we should use F1nn5ter. (I remain skeptical in this case, because the vast majority of user login systems on social media and related sites are not case-sensitive. The MoS default is always to use lower-case unless the substantial-majority upper-case usage in indy sources is proven.) The OP is correct in that this is pretty much the same sort of case as various bands and such; but the specific examples cited have ended up at non-ALLCAPS names here because the source usage is demonstrably mixed in their cases, not because they form some kind of special class. Unusual casing is permitted on WP, when it overwhelmingly dominates in the source material (e.g. danah boyd, k.d. lang, though the latter is getting more dubious over time, as fewer sources today go with the all-lowercase, or the unspaced initials, than did back in the day; but contrast this with CCH Pounder who is usually rendered that way – no dots or spaces in initials – and has published a stated preference for it – WP:ABOUTSELF does matter, but the preference has to be reflected in indy sources, per WP:SPNC, with more weight given to sources that post-date the change or, by logical extension, the publication of the preference statement).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:15, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Does RS or MOSCAPS decides proper names?


I have been having a debate with Tony1 on whether List of tornado outbreaks by Outbreak Intensity Score should be "List of tornado outbreaks by Outbreak Intensity Score" or "List of tornado outbreaks by outbreak intensity score". The question comes down bluntly to whether MOS (which is Tony1's argument) says proper names in the title cannot be capitalized, or if RS, which capitalized things, is more important for the capitalization in a title. Tony1 has also switched "Super Outbreaks" to "Super outbreaks" in the article subheadings, despite academically published papers capitalizing "Super Outbreak". So, which is more important for article titles/article subheadings? MOS or RS? The Weather Event Writer (Talk Page) 00:17, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Noting this discussion was opened after Tony1 accused me of "vandalism" for reverting on grounds that RS capitalize things. The Weather Event Writer (Talk Page) 00:18, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm always a bit confused by the "proper names" argument: there are plenty of proper names in English that are rendered in lowercase, unless the only qualification for a name being proper is that it's capitalized, which is adorably circular. Remsense 00:22, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Well honestly it needs to be sorted out for scales like this. Several science-scales in the weather-world are currently capitalized: International Fujita scale, Enhanced Fujita scale, Saffir–Simpson scale, Miller Classification, Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale, Sperry–Piltz Ice Accumulation Index. The main argument presented by Tony1, in short, states that all of these need to be decapitalized. My argument was due to RS capitalization. So even though it seems like a hot-headed style discussion opening, it honestly does need to be solved. RS or MOS/grammar for capitalization of scientific things. The Weather Event Writer (Talk Page) 00:26, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The capitalization of Fujita, Saffir–Simpson, Miller, and Sperry–Piltz are on account of those being names of people. I'd question that "Ice Accumulation Index", but it does seem to be always capped in sources, even though it's a descriptive term, so I won't mess with it. Dicklyon (talk) 02:24, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I downcased the article name from List of tornado outbreaks by Outbreak Intensity Score to List of tornado outbreaks by outbreak intensity score, and have been twice reverted. There seems to be confusion about what a proper name is, perhaps muddied by the practice of using title case to expand acronyms (OIS), which MOS prohibits.

At the talkpage the editor strangely likens his upcasing to "Enhanced Fujita scale (an article that s/he started, excuse me), arguing that I would say it should be "Enhanced fujita scale" (i.e. not capitalized the proper name)", and that "Enhanced Fujita" is itself a proper name. But the editor still wants "Score" in List of tornado outbreaks by Outbreak Intensity Score.

As well the editor upcases main-text titles despite their being plural, which sits oddly with his claim that they are proper names.

I withdraw the claim of vandalism, given WeatherWriter's claimed reason.

Tony (talk) 00:41, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Just want to know that Thomas P. Grazulis the creator of OIS actually capitalized all three words. "Score" is part of the name, similar to how "Index" is part of the Sperry–Piltz Ice Accumulation Index. "scale" in Enhanced Fujita scale is lowercase in all usages of it. But in this circumstance, "Score" is part of the term. Basically, "Outbreak Intensity" is a different term (actually created by the Storm Prediction Center) while "Outbreak Intensity Score" was created by Thomas P. Grazulis last year. Hopefully that helps explain it. The Weather Event Writer (Talk Page) 00:49, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
WeatherWriter, the MOS says how to decide, but doesn't decide itself. In fact, it refers to reliable sources. If you read the lead of MOS:CAPS, you'll see the general principle, "Wikipedia relies on sources to determine what is conventionally capitalized; only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia." Looking at the article, I see that the term was made up in late 2023, so there are not many independent sources yet. We don't generally pay much attention to the capitalization of a writer who makes up a descriptive term and presents it with capital letters – what matters is whether independent sources cap it. I did find this Tornado Project Online page that uses lowercase except where defining the acronym. The term is clearly descriptive, sort of like volcanic explosivity index and lots of other such things. I'll look into the others; e.g. Miller classification sure seems like it's over-capitalized. Dicklyon (talk) 01:48, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, I see that site I linked with lowercase is also not independent, as it seems to be run by the creator/author of the OIS. So he doesn't even cap it consistently himself. I guess the question is then whether this new scale is even notable yet. Dicklyon (talk) 16:38, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I fixed Northeast snowfall impact scale and Miller classification, as independent sources don't mostly cap those. If anyone objects, we can have an RM discussion. WeatherWriter, if you still object to the fix tony1 did, we can do an RM on that, too. If you don't object, go ahead and fix it again, please. Dicklyon (talk) 02:20, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Issue solved. The article title itself was moved to lowercase (List of tornado outbreaks by outbreak intensity score). RS and academic usage does seem to support the outbreak terms, i.e. “Super Outbreak”, is capitalized, so the subheadings will remain capitalized. But, I will not fight or debate the article title being “ List of tornado outbreaks by “Outbreak Intensity Score”, since the creator is the one who capitalized it and the other source did not. The Weather Event Writer (Talk Page) 05:57, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Also note that terms like "super outbreak" have been in use for decades and are not proper nouns. The fact that Grazulis adopted them as category names in the OIS doesn't mean we need to capitalize them. I fixed those headings. Dicklyon (talk) 17:06, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It looks like the issue has now been solved. The subheadings have all be decapitalized. I did recapitalize the individual super outbreak articles (1974 Super Outbreak and 2011 Super Outbreak) since those names are actually capitalized by majority of sources including official government reports and media reports ([1][2]). But nonetheless, the problem is fully solved. MOS overall trumps RS in usage, especially if the creator of a name is involved. Thanks y'all! The Weather Event Writer (Talk Page) 17:56, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It's not a majority vote, though, and it doesn't seem to make much sense to treat some super outbreaks different from all others. Gawaon (talk) 18:16, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    If they aren't treated differently, then the original question is automatically solved: MOS trumps RS usage. If we treat them differently, then RS usages trumps MOS. That is the whole question and reason this discussion really started in the first place. The Weather Event Writer (Talk Page) 18:44, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Indeed it is not a majority vote; we do not capitalize something unless the vast majority of the independent sources do for something in particular, which doesn't seem to be the case here. A simple majority is insufficient (and trying to determine one is extremely easy to fake/manipulate through cherrypicking). Capitalizing one thing out of class of things just because a slight majority of sources that one has selected seem to do it is a terrible idea. It's grossly inconsistent (and a PoV-laden problem of promotionalism toward a particular sub-topic and often non-indendent sources that write about it), seemingly out of an "I will do everything in my power to keep some vestige of over-capitalization in my pet topic" angle, which is unconstructive. WP's default is always lower-case, unless and until usage for a particular instance is demonstrably proven to be "capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources", and even then we are not utterly bound to do it, since WP:CONSISTENT is policy. People really need to stop approaching this kind of question like some sort of suicide pact. Just apply common sense, in a direciton which results in what is most not least consistent with the rest of the material, and move on to something more productive than trying to get "S" where "s" will do perfectly fine. Please.

    PS: See also MOS:DOCTCAPS: WP does not capitalize the name of methods, systems, classifications, theories, scales, approaches, schools of thought, practices, processes, procedures, doctrines, etc., etc., or parts thereof at all, so this question did not need to arise in the first place. The rare exceptions (e.g. geological/biological and athropological eras like Jurassic and Neolithic) are capitalized because and only because they are near-universally capitalized in reliable source material. It never, ever has anything to do with someone's arguments that something "really" "is" a "proper name" (for why this is a pointless waste of time here, and in general since even specialists for over two centuries now cannot agree on what that means, see WP:PNPN).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  23:56, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    I had changed a couple of headings but didn't move the corresponding articles 2011 Super Outbreak and 1974 Super Outbreak, as I think those are capitalized enough in sources to be controversial, but yes they are sometimes lowercase and not really proper names. I'm going to leave them alone for now, but I'll support lowercase if someone wants to work on that. Dicklyon (talk) 01:30, 2 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • This was kind of a strange question, since the lead of MOS:CAPS says to only capitalize that which is capitalized in a substantial majority of independent reliable sources, so the answer to the "Does RS or MOSCAPS decides proper names?" question is, well, "yes". There is no either/or conflict here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:25, 29 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Regions of the Czech Republic


Should the names of regions of the Czech Republic include the word "Region" with a capital letter (e.g., the Central Bohemian Region)? Please see Template:Regions of the Czech Republic or Regions of the Czech Republic#List of regions for a list of them. Google Ngram does not show capitalization dominant – results with more than a single result: Central Bohemian Region, South Bohemian Region, Karlovy Vary Region, Liberec Region, Pardubice Region, South Moravian Region, Olomouc Region, Moravian-Silesian Region. Maybe I should have formatted this as an RM (or should convert it to one). —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 23:47, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

"Park Hyatt Hotel" or "Park Hyatt hotel"?


Is "Park Hyatt Hotel" a single name where all words are capitalized, or is "hotel" a mere lower-case modifier in such cases? I would tend to capitalized the generic term, just as in Congo River or Baltic Sea. However, other users seem to disagree and MOS:INSTITUTIONS lacks an example that could clarify this point. Gawaon (talk) 13:30, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

This Hyatt page discusses their brands, including "Park Hyatt" and mentions "Park Hyatt hotels". Typical hotel names are of the form "Park Hyatt <City>". I don't thing "Park Hyatt Hotel" is the proper name of anything. Where does this come up? Dicklyon (talk) 06:13, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It was in the context of Lupin (French TV series). To me it looks strange having a lower-case letter there, but well ... okay. Gawaon (talk) 06:27, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It looks like the name of that one is Park Hyatt Paris–Vendôme, genericized to the Park Hyatt hotel in central Paris. Seems right. Dicklyon (talk) 16:02, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, this is like "the Larsen–Feiten Band", which was the actual name of a band, versus "Coverdale–Page" which was the name of another band; if someone called the latter "the Coverdale–Page band" (which has definitely happened [3]) it would be understood what was meant, but not their actual name, so should not be written with capital-B "Band". Or in other words, the presence of "Hotel" in some hotels' official names doesn't make it part of the name of other hotels that lack the word, even if it's later appended as a descriptor/disambiguator (or out of ignorance/confusion).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:36, 29 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Undocumented conversion to uppercase by {{no redirect}} template


This is a bit of a word-of-warning about the {{no redirect}} template, a.k.a. the {{-r}} template, which is apparently used on about 623,000 pages on Wikipedia (about 1% of all pages). Although Wikipedia says it "avoids unnecessary capitalization", this template is causing automatic conversions to uppercase in an undocumented way. If you type "{{no redirect|lowercase}}" and "{{no redirect|heroic}}", you (currently) get what looks like "lowercase" and "Heroic"! If you want "heroic", you need to use "{{no redirect|heroic|heroic}}". This behaviour is undocumented at Template:No redirect, and in my opinion it will introduce errors. It will cause uppercase to appear in the middle of sentences in a rather unpredictable way. Very few people would probably notice or understand when it will convert the link name to uppercase and when it will not. There is a discussion of the issue at Template talk:No redirect, but I wanted to mention it here to let people know to keep an eye out for this when editing and to show how to use the template with the duplicate argument if the template is causing uppercase but you want a lowercase result. The problem was reported on the template talk page six years ago, but there hadn't been any response before I noticed it today. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 05:52, 3 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I'm proposing a change on the MOS:BIOGRAPHY page that will affect capitalization conventions


Please weigh in there. Primergrey (talk) 15:18, 28 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Example in MOS:RACECAPS section?


More than a month ago, King of Hearts noticed and removed an insertion in the MOS:RACECAPS section that had apparently been added there after a discussion that failed to achieve consensus. The original form of the example was: Asian–Pacific, Black, Hispanic, Native American, and White demographic categories. The insertion added the word "Indigenous" with the note "For more on Native American, First Nations and Indigenous naming conventions see MOS:CITIZEN and WP:TRIBE" after "Native American". Since then there has been a slow edit war on whether or not to keep that insertion. So let's resolve it here.

Personally I think the example is better without the insertion, for three reasons:

  1. An example is an odd place for an explanatory note – if we want such a note, it should be placed in the text, not in the middle of an example.
  2. For an example (supposedly meant to indicate survey results or something?), the combination of "Native American, Indigenous" as two different categories doesn't seem to make much sense. Of course, not all Indigenous people are Native Americans, but surely to make the example meaningful one would expect some kind of qualifier (indigenous of where?) to contrast the term with the five other categories used.
  3. In combination with the text just before the example, the insertion sneakily seems to suggest that "Indigenous" belongs to the category "other upper-case terms of this sort", while WP:INDIGENOUS makes it clear that there is actually no consensus on whether or not to capitalize it, so logically it falls rather in the same category as "Black" and "White", for which there exists no consensus for wiki-wide capitalization either.

So I'm in favour of removing the insertion. If desired, the optional capitalization of "indigenous/Indigenous" could instead be mentioned in a more explicit fashion, creating less risk of confusion. What do others think? @King of Hearts, Oncamera, Pinchme123, and Randy Kryn. Gawaon (talk) 19:51, 15 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Adding participants from the original discussion (who have not already been pinged): @CorbieVreccan, ARoseWolf, Yuchitown, Cinderella157, Jayron32, SMcCandlish, David Eppstein, GoodDay, Fyunck(click), and Dicklyon: King of ♥ 05:41, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I Strongly oppose removal. The initial removal that started this slow-burn edit war was done without discussion, against standing implicit consensus over 1.5 years of stability. At the time the language was inserted, it was done only after a discussion about the inclusion of the language (where most of the objection was raised only after initial consensus, after the language was added, and did not end in removing the then-new addition). Finally, this removal was apparently done during a then-ongoing Move Request.
At what point do we as editors acknowledge that such a long time for something to be stable, after initial discussion about inclusion and no post-discussion removal, is simply emblematic of its implicit consensus? I'd say well more than a year is plenty long enough. I also 1) disagree that the mid-sentence note is distracting; and 2) disagree that having both "Native American" and "Indigenous" as examples doesn't make much sense. "Indigenous" is a distinct marker of identity from Native American, used globally, and as such should not be excluded due to some USA or North American bias. The note leads to pages that explain this.
--Pinchme123 (talk) 20:40, 15 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I forgot to also note, the language at WP:INDIGENOUS was once in agreement with the note here, before it was also changed on the same day as this page. And again, this was done during the aforementioned Move Request. --Pinchme123 (talk) 21:16, 15 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
WP:EDITCON applies only to self-contained and/or descriptive changes, not prescriptive changes. So for example, if someone edits an article and the edit stays for years, then it could be said to have implicit consensus. Likewise, if a guideline is edited to merely improve how well it describes existing practice, then it can stay if nobody objects. However, there is no statute of limitation to prescriptive policy/guideline changes, as they dictate how other pages should be edited in the future. While editors of an individual article could be said to implicitly consent to its current state by not raising objections in a timely manner, they cannot be expected to track changes to all policies and guidelines that could affect the article in question, so they cannot be said to have implicitly consented to any policy/guideline changes. Therefore, a controversial policy/guideline change made without the blessing of explicit consensus may be reverted at any time. -- King of ♥ 04:45, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This explanation ignores two things. First, WP:EDITCON isn't standing alone here. It appears in conjunction with specific consensus on Talk about the language in question. The consensus was reached after discussion died down, with 3 editors supporting and one editor not outright objecting, but raising a minor concern that was addressed. The other opposition voiced their opinions later, after the edit had been instituted, and no one at that time sought to actually edit the article. Then the edit stood for 1.5 years (which you repeatedly fail to acknowledge).
Second, none of what you've described about WP:EDITCON appears in the section of the policy, or indeed anywhere on that policy page as far as I can tell. It also doesn't appear at WP:RULES. It's literally just one interpretation, via imagining some kind of 'descriptive/prescriptive' binary of edits and differing rules pertaining to each. It also, as I said in point one, completely ignores the actual discussion and consensus that was reached before implementation. This wasn't some drive-by edit that received no attention; it was proposed, discussed, implemented with consensus, then after the fact a few raised weak arguments against it but did not push further or take action to remove the edit. I don't think it rises to the level of "controversial" when no one tried to remove it for a year and a half and I don't think it was "without the blessing of explicit consensus" when the talk page shows the discussion and consensus before the time of the edit.
--Pinchme123 (talk) 05:14, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If I'm counting correctly, the proposed change had six supporting (including the original poster) and five opposing votes by the time the discussion was archived (not counting one "comment" whose author finally clearly said that they were against general capitalization), which doesn't indicate consensus to make the change, but rather some kind of tie (which is usually resolved by keeping the status quo ante). In that case, apparently nobody had noticed that the edit that failed to reach consensus had already been made, but EDITCON can certainly not be reached by ignoring the outcome of a discussion that didn't go as the initial poster had hoped. Gawaon (talk) 05:27, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Well no. The edit was made on 23 November 2022, at which time the discussion had 3 supports, one comment raising a concern related to ngrams that had been responded to, and had been stale for 6 days. The next comment contributing to the discussion (another support) wasn't made until 9 days after the edit implementation. It was another four days before the discussion briefly picked up again, before dying down that same day. The final archived comment came in 2.5 months later, well after discussion had subsided entirely. At no time did anyone revert the addition to the article. --Pinchme123 (talk) 05:50, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
At some point, you have to follow common sense. A lot of Wikipedia procedure around things like interpreting consensus is not written down. Capitalizing "Indigenous" across all articles is a massive change that cannot possibly be decided by 3 people in under 48 hours, so even if the discussion ended there, there would still be no consensus to make such an invasive change. There is a reason why we prefer to do things by the book (such as having an uninvolved closer implement an RfC): to ensure the legitimacy of such decisions.
I think this reveals a difference in our constitutional philosophy: You believe that the text of policies and guidelines is sovereign. Once added, whether through BOLD changes or through a proper RfC, and uncontested for a substantial amount of time, it becomes the new consensus. However, I believe that the text of policies and guidelines is merely a summary of community consensus. So for example, unilateral changes can stick only if they are uncontestable (as opposed to merely uncontested at the time). In fact, even if a proper RfC takes place and the closer changes the text of the policy/guideline to reflect their interpretation of the RfC consensus, we might still go back to the original RfC (rather than wikilawyer over the exact wording of the text added by the closer) if there is some ambiguity which needs to be resolved five years later. -- King of ♥ 06:40, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What constitution? Seriously, I have no idea how the concept of "constitutional philosophy" applies here.
Please don't declare what I believe. I believe that previously-discussed language, included in an edit that went unchallenged for a year and a half, until it that challenge came during a related Move Request, does in fact have what common sense would call prior consensus. This is how consensus is reached on the project; this belief also doesn't torture logic to justify why it was appropriate to remove language from a stable MOS page relevant to a Move Request, during that very move request. You keep implying this language was always contested, but it was stable for 1.5 years! I won't waste time to count how many editors altered the page between when the language was introduced and when you tried to remove it, but the number has to be in the dozens if not hundreds, suggesting at least a few additional eyes were seeing this language and had no problem with it.
The real problem here is this: "unilateral changes can stick only if they are uncontestable". No where is it even suggested that a bold edit can only become consensus-supported over time because it is "uncontestable". This is patently absurd, because literally every edit is contestable, yet much of WP's consensus is the result of uncontested, but contestable, edits.
--Pinchme123 (talk) 07:23, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Previously discussed, yes, but never previously agreed upon. You seem to think that the fact that no one removed the wording from the guideline in 1.5 years should override the fact that it never achieved consensus. To me this is nothing more than an accident of history, and the lack of consensus overrides whatever one person changed on the guideline page. -- King of ♥ 07:42, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It may also be worth pointing out that we're talking about a single word in an example here. Examples don't establish policy and editors making other changes will usually pay them little heed. Gawaon (talk) 07:47, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) I should perhaps clarify (and soften) my previous point a bit. I can see how, if a unilateral change to a guideline becomes accepted to the point where it is widely cited across discussions and goes unchallenged every time, then it can be considered part of implicit community consensus, and if somebody raises an objection after hundreds of such discussions it would be considered too late. But that is not the case here. Let's take a look at the citations of the guidelines in question: WP:INDIGENOUS, MOS:RACECAPS (note: most of these are about "Black", need to filter manually). A couple of RMs and CfDs and WikiProjects, primarily cited by people from the original discussion, with little evidence of broader community usage. No broader policy discussions treating either change as settled law. It's not about the duration of time; it's about the depth and breadth of consensus. You could bury a change in some little-trafficked guideline for 10 years and it still would have no validity. -- King of ♥ 08:02, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Moreover, the discussion was also criticized for being a duplicate of another (Cap Indigenous?) that was still open at that time and showed a preference for lower rather than upper case. Clearly, in that context, the open discussion should have been continued rather than forking it, as those opposed to the insertion at that time also pointed out. Gawaon (talk) 05:38, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
"showed a preference for lower rather than upper case". See above, this simply isn't true. (d'oh! You're referring to the month-stale discussion, where the OP stated they "didn't really mean for this to be an RFC-like debate". My apologies!) --Pinchme123 (talk) 05:50, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I would agree that it absolutely should not be removed. Back then I thought this was a done deal and now someone removes a year and a half old insertion? And it's an administrator bumping up against the 3Rs? Many would have gotten a reminder on Wikipedia etiquette for that. I recall a few years back when someone actually did insert a change to MOS on icons. No discussion at all. I complained when it was noticed two years later and was told by an administrator that's they way it goes. I moved on. This was discussed, it was inserted, and now an administrator reverts it 3x 1.5 years later? This place is tough to figure out sometimes. Fyunck(click) (talk) 08:03, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    There is plenty of precedent for my understanding on consensus, i.e. changes made without consensus to long-standing policies and guidelines should not be considered valid no matter how much time has passed. See this comment from Number 57, another admin, for an example. (Please ignore my comment there; I had not researched the history of the "Placename, Territory" example, and incorrectly assumed that it was originally part of USPLACE when initially passed. The discussion ended in a new consensus to include "Placename, Territory", but if it had ended in no consensus, then the bit should have been removed - a change in the text of the guideline, but no change in the community consensus on the guideline.) -- King of ♥ 09:25, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Even believing that, once you remove it and it gets reverted, you should be bound like the rest of us in not doing it again and bringing it to talk. We often don't get the luxury of edit warring without a scolding. And I have seen changes made without consensus to long-standing policies and guidelines that are considered valid... it just depended how many editors would revert you if you tried to remove the addition. Fyunck(click) (talk) 20:55, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Slow-editwarring to inject "Indigenous" into this guideline material is part of a long-running and still active dispute (I think there's another still-open discussion about it either on this page or at MOS:BIO, and I've seen others at the article-talk level recently, e.g. one on whether the Jewish population of modern Israel, the Arab population of modern Palestine, both, or neither, can be considered "indigenous" and by what definitions).

In short, there is an activist PoV faction who want to force Wikipedia to capitalize this word (and other ones including "Native" and "Aboriginal") at every occurrence, no matter what, when in reference to humans. Meanwhile, actual mainstream English-writing practice is to capitalize such a term only when it has been affirmatively adopted by a particular population as essentially a proper name for them (often not their main one, and often as a blanket term covering multiple related ethno-cultural groups, but nevertheless one that official or quasi-official statements from the group(s) in question has made clear that they are choosing to use and would prefer to have capitalized in that context, and which appears capitalized that way in almost all pertinent modern reliable source material that is independent of the group[s] in question).

Some of these terms should be capitalized in particular contexts, e.g. Native Americans, Aboriginal Australians, and Indigenous in several contexts including Alaska and Canada, and Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. However, it simply is not normal English, no matter how many advocacy pushers fight for it change, to capitalize these terms outside that context. E.g., "the indigenous peoples of Siberia", "the original native inhabitants of the Azores", "aboriginal pre-Turkic poplations in Asia Minor", etc. When a population has not adopted and "nounized" one or more of these terms as a self-label (a new endonym) in English, then it is simply a descriptive adjective meaning essentially the same thing as autochthonous or endemic.

If this recurrent disputation doesn't work itself out soon, we need to simply RfC the matter at a high-profile venue, probably WP:VPPOL and with notice at various MoS talk page, at WT:NPOV and related noticeboards, at wikiprojects on various ethno-linguo-cultural groups, at the anthropology and English-language wikiprojects, and so on, to draw in wide input. It's not really tenable to have this flare up over and over again indefinitely, much less result in further "guideline-warring". We been through a few instances of that soft of behavior dragging out for years before and it never has any positive effect of any kind.

PS: logically [indigenous] falls rather in the same category as "Black" and "White" – No, it definitely does not. "Black" and "White" as ethno-sociological terms (whether you want to capitalize them or not, in a particular locus or generally) refer to specific populations, which can be summed up as, respectively, "those with predominantly sub-Saharan/non-Semitic African genetic heritage" and "those with predominantly non-Turkic, non-Semitic western Eurasian genetic heritage" (mostly; how exactly to define "White" has varied over time and contextually, e.g. is sometimes extended to include Turkic groups and at least Ashkenzim, etc.). Even if one squabbles over the definitional particulars, the result is still something specific. By contrast, "indigenous", "aboriginal", and "native" are not specific and simply refer to pre-colonial populations of any kind anywhere (and not just pre-colonial in the European sense; e.g. the autochthonous populations of various lands now part of Japan, China, and Russia, for example). Any of these three terms can, in modern writing with narrowly circumscribed subjects, take on more specific meanings that pertain to a particular people or group of related peoples, and become proper names within those extremely narrow contexts, but this does not magically transmogrify any of these words into proper names outside those circumscritions. Various language-change activists are reluctant to accept this, and have taken a position that capitalizing them at every instance in which the referents are human has somehow become a new pan-English rule and that it is a matter of "respect". This is blatantly contrary to MOS:SIGCAPS, completely defiant of actual demonstrable usage, and is also deeply if furtively rooted in the "noble savage" notion that has plagued Western society since the Victorian era.

PPS: As for whether to capitalize "Black" and "White" in this context, to recapitulate previous discussions about this: We permit but do not require it. There is a consensus against capitalizing "Black" but lower-casing "white". The main arguments in favor of capitalization are: 1) as ethno-sociological labels they have specific referents so are serving the function proper names just like "Asian", "Turkic", "Pacific Islander", etc.; 2) they are not descriptive labels (no one is literally black or white; the darkest people on the planet are still brown and the palest, people with OCA1a albinism, are pinkish); 3) it is jarring and not really distinguishable from PoV denigration of certain groups to encounter lists like "Australasian/Pacific Islander, black, East Asian, Hispanic, Native American/First Nations, Semitic, South Asian, and white demographics". The principal argument against capitalization is simply that it's not yet universally done in source material, though the trend toward capitalizing these two words in an ethno-sociological sense is clear. I've encountered a second quasi-argument along the lines "we don't want 'white' to be capitalized in phrases like 'White nationalism' and 'White pride'", but this is rather senseless. If the subject were narrower, such as "Anglo-Saxon Protestant nationalism" or "Celtic pride", no one would suggest writing those all-lower-case. And the people who make this argument never seem to take it to its local conclusion, that phrases like "Black power" would also have to be lower-cased. No, they make a specific argument against "White". To the extent a rationale is ever presented, it is the false claim that Black is a "real" ethnicity and White somehow is not, but this is not an argument any anthropologist or sociologist would take seriously. It is not possible for white/White (whatever) ethno-culture to be the dominant one in Western society yet for that entho-culture to not exist; and Africans actually have wider genetic diversity, even between neighboring groups, than exists between the Icelanders and the Polynesians; treating everyone of African descent as "more related" to each other than everyone else is factually wrong. African-American culture in the US being something of an sociological identity unto itself is simply an Americanism; it's a cultural perspective that cannot rationally be used to force the capitalization of "Black" in a US context but deny it in a British, Caribbean, African, or other context.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:35, 16 July 2024 (UTC)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:35, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Most have simply been following MOS:ENGVAR, thus North American and Australian articles follow style guidelines setforth by their varieties of English. Moxy🍁 12:19, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The edit war was to remove Indigenous, not insert it. --Pinchme123 (talk) 16:45, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly. Thank you. The capital Indigenous evolved over the years, due to Indigenous editors covering Indigenous topics using it in keeping with the prevailing trends in literature, media, and academia. Yuchitown (talk) 22:22, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I have stated and I will restate my position. Nothing has changed in my position. When it comes to capitalization I will always capitalize Indigenous when it refers to citizens of Indigenous communities and cultures, in accordance with many style guides and evidenced in the content found within many of the reliable media sources we utilize. That is all I will say on this subject going forward. --ARoseWolf 12:35, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • SMcCandlish: Do you have any sources that says Indigenous doesn't apply to certain groups, especially if they claim it about themselves? I do think this editwarring about Palestine and Israel has spread to numerous pages, and the behavior of editors who have strong stances on that geographical area are spreading their viewpoints to long-standing policies and MOS that effect other articles unrelated to their "battleground". There are numerous style-guides that show Indigenous should be capitalized when referring to people; I haven't seen any that say certain groups should have not it capitalized when speaking about them.  oncamera  (talk page) 17:42, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Keep. The insertion "For more on Native American, First Nations and Indigenous naming conventions see MOS:CITIZEN and WP:TRIBE" should remain because being Indigenous is not a race; however, much of the general public is not aware of this nor are many Wikipedia editors, so will look for the information here. Native American is not synonymous with Indigenous. As an Indigenous person who is also Native American, I will also always follow worldwide style guides of always capitalizing Indigenous when referring to people. Yuchitown (talk) 19:14, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Even so, is the note buried in the middle of an example really the best place for it? Surely a better place could be found for it, maybe by making it part of the main text instead of just a note? Gawaon (talk) 19:22, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Capitalization of identity-first language


Perhaps we could receive clarification in a new MOS:DISABILITYCAPS or MOS:NEURODIVERGENCECAPS section about capitalizing words like "Deaf", "Autistic", "Disabled", and "Blind". I might have gone too far with "Blind" and was reverted at [4]. This is my updated understanding of the situation:

People-first "The" slur Lowercase slur Identity-first Alternative slur Alternative
N/A The blacks black people Black people African-Americans African Americans
N/A The whites white people White people N/A N/A
N/A The deaf deaf people Deaf people people with deafness hard of hearing people
N/A The autistics autistic people Autistic people people with autism N/A
people with disabilities The disabled disabled people Disabled people N/A N/A
people with blindness The blind N/A Blind people N/A blind people
people with epilepsy
people with diabetes
people with depression
Not relevant for MOS:CAPS

Per MOS:PEOPLANG, "Deaf" should be capitalized because Deaf culture exists. Capitalization of Deaf caught on just like Capitalization of Black The same guideline lowercases "blind" until Blind culture becomes an article not a redirect. Capitalization of blind did not catch on.

I'm not sure whether "Disabled people" should be written because I've been taught to use the more popular "people with disabilities" all the time. The article has no source arguing for the spelling "Disabled people", so this could be moot. Google Ngrams.

According to the blockquote at People-first language § Identity-first language, "Autistic" should be capitalized. MOS:PEOPLELANG applies because Autistic culture (Societal and cultural aspects of autism) exists. Per MOS:PMC, we can't lowercase the blockquote. Per Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Capital_letters/Archive_33#Discussion_about_capitalisation_of_Black_(people), we dislike mixing "Black" and "white" and abhor mixing "Black" and "black", so it is natural to avoid mixing "Autistic" and "autistic". It'd be confusing to fail to consistently demonstrate capitalized Identity-first language in the section about it. The discussion is on this guideline talk page because I also suggest correcting the Societal and cultural aspects of autism article. Capitalization of Autistic is trending.

Can we decide on some kind of guideline? (talk) 09:16, 19 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Case by itself can never decide whether something is a "slur". If it's a slur in lower case, capitalizing one or two letters won't change that at all. Also, our general policy is crystal-clear: "Wikipedia relies on sources to determine what is conventionally capitalized; only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia" (MOS:CAPS). I doubt that's the case for any of the terms you mention (leaving aside black/Black and white/White, where we already have a policy of allowing both). Gawaon (talk) 10:09, 19 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The capitalisation of "deaf people" is controversial even amongst deaf people. There is no "one size fits all" solution. Case by case is best and most of these should be left lower-case. And none of these are "slurs", incidentally. Some people consider them to be, certainly, but an allegation does not equal a truth. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:25, 19 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]