Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Manual of Style  
WikiProject iconThis page falls within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a drive to identify and address contradictions and redundancies, improve language, and coordinate the pages that form the MoS guidelines.
Note icon
The use of discretionary sanctions has been authorized by the Arbitration Committee for pages related to the English Wikipedia article titles policy and Manual of Style, including this page. Please consult the awareness criteria and edit carefully.
Note icon
See WP:PROPOSAL for Wikipedia's procedural policy on the creation of new guidelines and policies. See how to contribute to Wikipedia guidance for recommendations regarding the creation and updating of policy and guideline pages.

Capitalization discussions ongoing (keep at top of talk page)[edit]

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)


Extended content

Dance names advice requested[edit]

It seems clear from MOS:DANCECAPS that dance names are to be lowercased, but I want to double check before moving pages. There are a lot of dances at uppercase titles and that are uppercased in article text. (e.g. all of the ones in Template:Dance in India, some of Category:Dances of Japan, and the non-English words in List of Indonesian dances.) I have linked this from talk pages of WP:NCCAPS, WP:DANCE and a couple of others. Thanks. —  AjaxSmack  16:25, 3 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good for you for prechecking the consensus before making a bunch of changes. The Manual of Style is clear that except for proper names these should be lower case, but excessive capitalization is common in games, food, martial arts, dance, and lots of other places. I've corrected many as I've run into them and only occasionally has there been any push back. Thanks for doing the work. SchreiberBike | ⌨  16:55, 3 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, and thanks for getting on this, AjaxSmack. I've spent quite a lot of time lower-casing the same sort of things in such articles, and I know Dicklyon has, too (mainly in sports), but it gets tedious after a while. I downcased a bunch of dance stuff, in which almost every dance-related term was over-capitalized, but after dozens of such articles I had to walk away and do something else.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:40, 16 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would say be careful not to over-generalize. Checking a few of the Japanese dances, I found that Yosakoi is pretty much "consistently capitalized" in books and news, but others I checked are not. When they're clearly not meeting that criterion, consensus is clear that they should be lowercase. You could argue that Yosakoi is capped mainly when part of proper names (such as Yosakoi Festival, Yosakoi Dance Project, Shimin Kensho Yosakoi Dance Team, Yosakoi Naruko Dance), and that several English-language Japanese sites use it lowercase ([1], [2]), but you'd likely need an RM discussion to find consensus. I haven't looked at the Indonesian ones. Just make sure you can justify your changes in case someone objects with the claim that "it's a proper name". Dicklyon (talk) 13:20, 16 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re sports, that was a big area for me in the last 6 months, after I discovered the huge degree of over-capitalization there (mostly in tennis, but it lots of others, too). Except for strong pushback from two editors in tennis who were on the wrong side of consensus, it went smoothly, with no pushback. There's still a lot more to fix; e.g. NFL Draft and NHL Draft are most often seen with lowercase "draft", but the football and hockey fans are strong fans of caps and would make it a too-hard argument to win. Dicklyon (talk) 13:27, 16 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the input here. I'm not a strong proponent of lowercasing in general (and might disagree with some of you about e.g. battle or treaty names) and I abhor sources, reliable or not, that undercapitalise (e.g. The Economist's second world war), but the dance names (and sports terms) are so widely considered common names that Wikipedia should have the prerogative to lowercase them en masse as a simple style-manual issue.  AjaxSmack  14:32, 16 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. Another I've been working on is "The Siege of X" where sources say "The siege of X". A few proper names exist, typically as the "Great Siege of X", but even in articles I've fixed, randoms re-cap it now and then. I'll do more of those soon. Dicklyon (talk) 15:08, 16 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This confuses me… Isn’t something like “the Twist” or “the Mashed Potato” the proper name for a specific dance? Blueboar (talk) 15:32, 16 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, not any more than "rock 'n' roll", "chess", "eight-ball", "American football", "jazz" are proper names. (All such things are proper names in the philosophy sense, but not the linguistic sense which the one that has anything to do with capital letters).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  22:09, 16 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Huh… so could you please explain why they are not considered proper names. Blueboar (talk) 22:25, 16 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    They are no more proper names than rugby league or rugby union. Tony (talk) 13:09, 17 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    User:Blueboar: I don't think based on either philosophy (see proper name [philosophy]), science or even basic consistency you'll get a clear answer from anyone. And as noted by User:SMcCandlish, the issue here is whether to capitalize, something that relies heavily on tradition (e.g. May is capitalized, but autumn is not). When I made my comments above, I did so after referring to English style manuals rather than by intellectual inquiry. However, your question is germane, so I'll put in my two pennies/cents.
You mentioned "the Twist" or "the Mashed Potato" being a "name for a specific dance", but a better term would be that it is "a name for a type of dance". Use bananas and grammar here to form an analogy: "Pens are for writing." – generic; "I have a pen on my desk." – specific but indefinite; "The pen on my desk doesn't write." – specific and definite. Whether generic or specific or definite or indefinite, pen remains an uncapitalized common noun. I can replace "pen" with a type of pen (e.g. ballpoint pen, quill, fudepen), and the three sentences would remain viable. The same with types of dances (e.g. Dancing is good exercise; Our activity last night was dancing; My dancing last night was horrible → The twist is good exercise; Our activity last night was the twist; My twist last night was horrible — a bit awkward but the best you'll get from me.). Other similar examples would be code vis-à-vis braille and location identifier or singing vis-à-vis beatboxing and chiaroscuro. On the other hand, you could not make sentences like these with proper names like Wikipedia or Tsar Nicholas II. So in short, being a type of something or being specific does not make it proper.
The intro of Wikipedia's proper name article might help with affirming what a proper name is: uniqueness is a factor as is the idea of being a single entity. There is not one unique twist or mashed potato. Both have been danced millions of times. But these issues are not always clear cut especially when related to capitalization—there have been innumerable Mays and autumnns—which is why I solicited input (nb issues raised at Talk:Proper noun and WT:NCCAPS, and see WP:BIRDCON as an example of an extensive discussion on a single category). —  AjaxSmack  03:30, 18 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can endorse that summary.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:35, 18 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I certainly endorse the style approach, in any event. There are all manner of caveats to both the empirical and abstract arguments as to which nouns obey which conventions; afterall, if we look to the relationship between the noun and the subject it refers to in any given instance the name "Ted" is about as unique as regards any particular Ted as the common noun "pen" is to any individual pen. But as Ajax correctly and appropriately notes before-hand, it's really not any brightline rule reflecting a rational divide which shapes conventions in this regard, nor is it debate about the same that should be foremost focused upon in our style guidance. Rather (particularly for something like this that defies completely logically adherence to fundamental and expressly consistent rules on the most granular level), we simply map our style guidance to common English usage. While this is a somewhat more nuanced case than some calls (if only because of much historical debate and flux in terms of spelling/stylization conventions on the basis of one descriptive linguistic argument or another), it's clear that the existing MoS consensus on the over-arching topic here is to follow the general rules of most modern style guides--that is to say, the one Ajax has correctly advanced above. SnowRise let's rap 05:48, 11 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requesting guidance on usage of caps in the article title[edit]


During a DYK discussion some doubts were expressed about usage of Caps in the following article. I brought here so DYK discussion can continue to focus at the main DYK issues.

English is not my native language. Whatever is appropriate title writing style is okay for me. Please do guide.

Thanks and warm regards

Bookku, 'Encyclopedias = expanding information & knowledge' (talk) 04:04, 22 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"National Women's Day" seems to be almost always capped in sources. The other not; 1983 women's march, Lahore seems like an appropriate descriptive title. Dicklyon (talk) 00:48, 11 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wait… Dicklyon is deferring to source usage? Good gods! 😉 Blueboar (talk) 10:29, 11 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know, I get shit when I use source stats, and shit when I don't. Such is life WP. Dicklyon (talk) 23:54, 11 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Compass points[edit]

The manual says: "Finer compass points take a hyphen after the first word, regardless, and never use a space". This may be true for the tertiary points (NNE for example) but is not true for the finest points such as north by east. Should the manual be changed to read:

Tertiary compass points take a hyphen after the first word, regardless, and never use a space: south-southeast or south-south-east, but not south-south east, south southeast. 'Points' have their last elements spaced: north by east or northwest by west.

Another related point was raised back in 2013 but neither discussed nor implemented: "should we mention that the abbreviations for compass points are capitalized?" See Archive 9 Martin of Sheffield (talk) 16:05, 21 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Martin of Sheffield, I have looked at the last sentence of the section and see: while in British English they are sometimes written as separate words or hyphenated. I would observe that "sometimes" negates this being an ENGVAR issue and it is perfectly reasonable for WP to prefer the concatenated form (should be used) ie southwest and consequently south-southwest. This would greatly simplify the guidance. Though, when this refers to a specific geopolitical region (eg South East England), we would defer to the form most WP:COMMONNAME in independent sources. My thoughts. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:08, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ENGVAR issue. The Commonwealth Style Guide says: In text, write the points of a compass in lower case. Use hyphens for points such as ‘north-east’. [3] Hawkeye7 (discuss) 11:21, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Hawkeye7, I did a search for northeast and north-east limiting the region to Australia. Yes, the result favours "north-east" and the split is about 80-20 but results for the hyphenated form also include a significant number of hits for the unhypenated spaced form (ie "north east" - contrary to the Commonwealth Style Guide). I also did this search at and this search at If anybody is following the Commonwealth Government style guide, it would be the government - but they aren't. I think my initial observation was reasonable. Cinderella157 (talk) 13:12, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Though that doesn't address the issue of the tertiary points. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 11:57, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you mean the quaternary points (north by northwest)? Do we need to address these? If so, just give an example rather than trying to explain it in words. Cinderella157 (talk) 13:17, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oops, yes. As I said in the first paragraph the existing text is wrong: "Finer compass points take a hyphen after the first word, regardless, and never use a space" when in fact this only applies to the tertiary points and not the quaternary points, hence my suggested edit. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 15:01, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Proper names[edit]

It is my recollection that the section "Proper names" was merged into MOS:CAPS from a WP page of the same name not all that long ago. Regardless of the semantics, it is a common WP practice to refer to words and phrases that are consistently capitalised as proper nouns|names as defined in the lead of MOS:CAPS. I would observe that the section heading may (and has) been construed to create an exception to the lead definition/criteria. I would therefore propose removing this section from MOS:CAPS but retaining the sub-sections therein and have boldly done so per this edit. I would move the associated shortcuts to the lead but I have not done this yet. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:40, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And I've undone your edit. It's hard to see this as anything other than an attempt to get around points made at requested moves/move reviews, like the one we're both currently participating in. -- Vaulter 15:28, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And by the way, the bit about proper names has been on this page in some form since at least 2016 (I didn't bother going further back than 500 revisions) [4]. And the merger you referenced occurred in 2018 [5]. -- Vaulter 15:35, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In English, proper names, which can be either single words or phrases, are typically capitalized. And how do we (WP) determine what is a proper name? Cinderella157 (talk) 00:42, 6 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ideally, by understanding Proper noun and the discussion of capitalization there. Peter coxhead (talk)
Pro-capitalization editors like to pretend as if there were some ironclad rule distinguishing proper nouns from commons and dictating which should be capitalized. That’s not the case as the Proper noun article itself observes: Although these rules have been standardized, there are enough gray areas that it can often be unclear both whether an item qualifies as a proper name and whether it should be capitalized: "the Cuban missile crisis" is often capitalized ("Cuban Missile Crisis") and often not, regardless of its syntactic status or its function in discourse. Most style guides give decisive recommendations on capitalization, but not all of them go into detail on how to decide in these gray areas if words are proper nouns or not and should be capitalized or not.
The point is that the distinction is often arbitrary, and “but that’s a proper noun!” isn’t an argument against an MOS rule that says a particular category of phrase (e.g., MOS:JOBTITLES) is treated as a common noun. Wallnot (talk) 17:55, 6 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The subsection doesn't really fit into MOS:CAPS. We could very reasonably mention how to determine if something is a proper noun, but the subsection doesn't do that, and instead mostly focuses on what name to use for things, which is not a CAPS issue. I support removal. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 15:50, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About two years ago, the pro-lower case editors began pushing & getting consensus on quite a few topics. At some point, there has to be a line that shouldn't be crossed. We can't lower case everything. GoodDay (talk) 20:09, 6 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. The line is what a substantial majority of reliable secondary sources capitalize, as the guideline itself says. Wallnot (talk) 20:43, 6 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No doubt, eventually attempts will be made to lower-case entirely, article titles. GoodDay (talk) 01:32, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would be silly, and wouldn't stand a chance. I've been accused of wanting to stamp out all capitalization, but actually I only favor removing capitalization that's inconsistent with our P&G. I think sentence case (initial cap) is fine for titles, and of course caps are "required" where sources cap consistently. Dicklyon (talk) 02:07, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Give it time. A wave can get out of control. GoodDay (talk) 02:12, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, this push to reduce excess capitalization didn't start 2 years ago. I've been at it for nearly 15 years, I think, and in the great majority of cases I get more thanks than pushback. Today I got this nice note. Dicklyon (talk) 02:17, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I only hope you're correct, that there'll continue to be some limits. GoodDay (talk) 02:21, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's important to remember that whether something is a proper name or not and whether something should be capitalized or not are two different questions. These concepts are often conflated. Proper names are capitalized, but the mere fact of being consistently capitalized does not mean that something is a proper name. For example, brand names (e.g., "Chevrolet") and product names (e.g., "Camaro") are not proper names, but they are capitalized. Adjectives derived from the names of places (e.g., "Roman") are not proper names, but they are capitalized. Please see my accompanying edit about this. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 22:09, 9 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The borderline between what is and is not a proper name/capitalized is wavy and frayed. Chevrolet is a division of a company and named after Louis Chevrolet. Camaro is a designation for a series of designs and convention has decided that we capitalize those, though I can imagine that could have gone another way. Proper adjectives like Roman are a thing and in English are capitalized. The edit referenced above added "brand names"; that seems unnecessary as brands are already proper nouns. I think it would be better if ", such as proper names, demonyms and brand names" were removed as "terms that would ordinarily be capitalized in running prose" is sufficient. I don't agree that proper name and capitalization are two different questions, but I agree that it's hard to come up with a clear definition of proper noun that always works and everyone agrees on. On Wikipedia we've come up with the compromise: "only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia". That doesn't always come out the way I think it should, but it's an effective compromise. SchreiberBike | ⌨  01:29, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that "only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia" is the most meaningful interpretation/compromise for WP purposes. I know some editors, such as CinderellaNNN, like to get all theoretical about what's a proper name and what's not, but I value data over theory. I agree with them on removing that odd paragraph. Dicklyon (talk) 02:07, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll have to disagree on that language. This may call into question Wikipedia's common sense approach to astronomical names, such as Sun, Moon, Solar System, Earth, etc., which are not consistently capitalized in sources but are logically capitalized on Wikipedia. Would this override consensus on the beforementioned Cuban Missile Crisis? Language should reflect that there are exceptions. And an interesting question at Kill Bill, is the character The Bride lowercased "the" or uppercased "The" in running text? Would the proposed language here take precedence in character proper names such as this? Thanks. Randy Kryn (talk) 02:53, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it's funny that what to you is "logically" done on WP is the opposite of what many style guides specifically say (e.g. NASA's). To me, terms like Universe, Solar System, etc. (also Cuban Missile Crisis) seem inappropriately over-capitalized on WP compared to how they are treated in our reliable sources. Dicklyon (talk) 02:58, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And so it goes, and maybe why you are trying to put this new language into the MOS to achieve these ends. Universe isn't included in caps, but Solar System and, how do you put it? etc.? (Sun, Moon, Earth), and you toss in the Cuban Missile Crisis, would be overturned by this new language, well, that's an overreach of well-established Wikipedia norms on Sun, Moon, Earth, and Solar System. Please explain, in 6 million words or less, how Sun, Earth, and Moon are not proper names? Randy Kryn (talk) 03:18, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
NASA says that when you put "the" in front of "sun" or "moon" it's not a proper name. Maybe that's too strict. The big problem with those is that they're supposed to be considered proper names in astronomical contexts, but not when you say "the sun rose" or "the moon is full tonight", which are about our perceptions of them on the ground; yet all too often editors claim those are astronomical contexts and cap them. Universe and solar system are not generally capped per NASA, but are per lots of WP editors. And Cuban missile crisis is way more often lowercase in sources until recent years, when it's likely influenced by WP's over-capitalization, where it's been capped since this undiscussed over-capping edit of 2003 that came with this counter-factual explanation; before my time. Still, is not yet approaching "consistently capitalized" in sources. Dicklyon (talk) 04:13, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course uppercase doesn't apply to perceptions (the sun rose), that's not the point here. The proper name of actual physical objects is where Wikipedia has it right and many sources inexplicably have it wrong (Scientific American for one). The nuclear furnace in the sky that fuels all life, Wikipedia says that it has a proper name. And the large rocky body circling the Earth (or would you argue that it is lowercased 'earth', and, if so, does not a planet itself deserve a proper name?), maybe that should have a proper name? Wikipedia gives it one, others don't. If you argue that Wikipedia should lowercase 'sun' as the star's proper name, or lowercase Solar System when referring to the specific solar system of Earth's nearest star, then there is something basically wrong with strict MOS language that would codify that viewpoint. Randy Kryn (talk) 04:31, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would have thought the other way around – that "the Sun" is a proper name (when referring to the sun that is in our solar system), while "a sun" (among many suns) is a common noun. I'm tempted to say that NASA is an organization of scientists, bureaucrats and engineers – not linguists, but that would be a rude thing to say, so I will not say it. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 07:13, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Brand names are not proper names (in general). A proper name refers to a single entity, but there can be many Cadillacs in a single parking lot, and Charmin, Palmolive, NyQuil, OxiClean and Oil of Olay are not even countable things, much less unique referents. Chevrolet may be a proper name when referring to a particular person or a division of a company, but not when referring to a type of automobile. Types of things and categories of things are common nouns, not proper nouns. Linguistically speaking, brand names are not proper names. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 07:01, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apparently that odd paragraph that Cinderella removed came in via a "merge" from a page that was "redundant, poorly maintained, and rarely cited", in this edit of 1 November 2018. It's time to "maintain" it into something more sensible and less conflicting, or remove it. There's no need to talk about conflict here, and no need for an alternate obscure buried subjective criterion to what we've always had in WP:NCCAPS and MOS:CAPS. Dicklyon (talk) 04:34, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The present language seems fine, and at least the language should keep the concept of "most familiar name in English" in some form, as often most recognizable will not be consistently applied in sources but will be used by many sources in a recognizable way. No need to throw out the baby with the bathwater here, as your approach to the commonsense use of uppercase that Wikipedia uses for some proper names (Sun, Moon, Solar System, etc.) is concerning and is at least kept in check by language such as already present here. Randy Kryn (talk) 04:44, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
p.s. Dicklyon, you imply that this change removing "most familiar name" would enable a relook at the casing of Cuban Missile Crisis? This n-gram showing uppercasing by far the most familiar name for Cuban Missile Crisis would be tossed aside because it is not "consistent"? Keeping "most familiar name" in the language seems imperative when things like this arise. Randy Kryn (talk) 12:21, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Most familiar" is just something to argue about. But if that's what was argued to keep Cuban Missile Crisis capped in spite of evidence that sources mostly don't, then maybe. I don't see how "Cuban missile crisis" can be seen as less familiar than "Cuban Missile Crisis"; it reads the same. Here is a better look at the 21st century trend to slightly more capitalization, much of which is actually in titles and citations, not in sentences; in sentences, which is what we care about, it's always less capping than what the ngram stats show (as you well know). It was unilaterally capped in 2003; we had a consensus to move to lowercase in 2012, and to move back up in 2015; so, sure time to look again maybe. Dicklyon (talk) 14:51, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Clarify: Are some of you suggesting that the page title Cuban Missile Crisis, be changed to Cuban missile crisis? GoodDay (talk) 16:37, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's an example of what excessive adherence to the word "consistently" would bring. N-grams show by far that the most familiar casing for Cuban Missile Crisis is uppercasing, but, since it's not 100% consistent Dicklyon would want to downcase it. The 2015 RM handled that, and no, "looking" at it again would not change the result (at a minimum it would be decided as no consensus and retain the status quo) but would only cost editors much time, slings and arrows, and whirlygigs of effort to play an old game which is still controversary played too much on Wikipedia. Removing language from this page which assures that the most familiar name in English deserves a role in deciding proper names will likely spill over into many areas to address or ignore past decisions such as Cuban Missile Crisis. Nothing is broken, so leaving the language on this page seems the best choice. Randy Kryn (talk) 20:01, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not a question of 100%; it's not even a majority of sources that cap Cuban Missile Crisis. The caps numbers crept up mainly from the many citations to titles with Cuban Missile Crisis, but still not to even two-thirds. Nothing close to "consistently". That's broken, but I realize a lot of editors prefer it that way, and it's a silly distraction to the issue here (it's the example from Proper noun#Modern English capitalization of proper nouns, and a topic that Randy and I have had spirited discussions on in the past, which is why he's provoking me about it). The language about familiarity is taken care of already by COMMONNAME (which is not about styling, just names). Here's a clearer view of usage stats, limited to probably a sentence context. Even if the very recent blip was real, it wouldn't suddenly have made the capped form more recognizable, and wouldn't explain why editors decided to cap it in 2003 and 2015. Dicklyon (talk) 21:15, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What's interesting is the number of references that predate the crisis itself. What, I wonder, was the Cuban Missile Crisis being talked about in 1800? Martin of Sheffield (talk) 21:11, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's not really so interesting; they are very few, and such things are generally attributable to metadata errors, possibly from OCR errors, and/or from the smoothing; see hits through 1960. Dicklyon (talk) 21:15, 10 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This thread would appear to be misconstruing the reasonable meaning and intent of the phrase "most familiar" in the fuller context of what is actually written.
In English, proper names, which can be either single words or phrases, are typically capitalized. Such names are frequently a source of conflict, especially when different cultures, using different names, "claim" someone or something as their own. Wikipedia does not adjudicate such disputes, but as a general rule uses the name which is likely to be most familiar to readers of English. Alternative names are often given in parentheses for greater clarity and fuller information. (emphasis added)
The text, read in its proper and full context is dealing with alternative names such as Mumbai and Bombay. It is clearly not dealing with differences in capitalisation such as Cuban missile crisis or Cuban Missile Crisis which are the same name but with different capitalisation. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:59, 11 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please read the first sentence of the paragraph. It, hence the paragraph, deals directly with the capitalization of proper names, which would include 'Cuban Missile Crisis'. Randy Kryn (talk) 02:50, 11 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well that's the point—asserting without evidence that Cuban missile crisis is a proper name doesn't make it so, with or without the sentence you point to. Wallnot (talk) 03:21, 11 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In English, proper names, which can be either single words or phrases, are typically capitalized. Such [proper] names are frequently a source of conflict, especially when different cultures, using different [proper] names, "claim" someone or something as their own. Wikipedia does not adjudicate such disputes, but as a general rule uses the [proper] name which is likely to be most familiar to readers of English. Alternative [proper] names are often given in parentheses for greater clarity and fuller information. The first sentence and the start of the second (Such names) establish that in the rest of the paragraph name is referring to a proper name (ie we are using a shortened form of the fuller noun phrase proper name). The first sentence acknowledges we capitalise proper names but does not intrinsically tell us anything else about proper names. In full, the paragraph is dealing with alternative proper names such as Mumbai and Bombay and not with whether something is or isn't a proper name - ie we must first determine if we are dealing with a proper name. Cinderella157 (talk) 04:12, 11 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's be honest about this. It's gonna come down to an article-by-article basis. One RM at a time. No blanket rule. GoodDay (talk) 04:24, 11 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Or is it that our blanket rule is "only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized"? To follow that rule requires data collection and human judgement, so it's a rule that requires discussion on an "article-by-article basis". SchreiberBike | ⌨  13:22, 11 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Arbitrary break[edit]

OP comment: This discussion has substantially diverged from the substantive question. Peter coxhead would suggest we (WP) determine what is a proper name by understanding Proper noun and the discussion of capitalization there. Reading proper noun, it tells us that proper names are not descriptive of the referent, they cannot normally be modified by articles or another determiner (except perhaps the) and, while they have a specific referent, this is not a defining property since the definite article (the) used with a common name also has a specific referent. Reading and understanding proper noun would cause us to downcase the titles of many articles. The proper name article then becomes a bit inconsistent and acknowledges the grey areas which are the crux of most capitalisation discussions. It is of little help in resolving these.

Per SchreiberBike, we rely on the guidance of the lead to determine what is "conventionally capitalised" - and thereby resolve these grey areas. Randy Kryn would opine that important things deserve a proper name. This is an argument of capitalisation for emphasis, distinction or significance and we have specific advice at MOS:SIGNIFCAPS not to do this. Sorry Randy :)

Regardless though, Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Proper names does not implore us to use and understand proper noun to determine what is or isn't a proper name. Rather, it speaks to determining the most appropriate name when there are alternative proper names. We have WP:COMMONNAME for this. There is then a question of whether demonyms (section on Peoples and their languages) really belongs as a subsection since proper name would clearly state that demonyms are not proper nouns|names (even if they are capitalised).

Substantive question: the substantive question is whether we should delete the section heading Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Proper names (and the paragraph immediately following) or not. If we did, the subsections therein would then move up a level. Cinderella157 (talk) 11:33, 12 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Yes, delete that paragraph that crept in from a merge of an unmaintained page. It just sows confusion. Dicklyon (talk) 20:24, 12 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strong Keep, and this should probably be a full RfC for such a major change. That language has been MOS language for a long time (not sure how long, but I've often used it in discussions), and changing it seems a site-wide topic. There are about half a dozen never-cappers who will discuss it, and hopefully much of the discussion will be on those very commonsense-filled words about the most familiar name in English. As for Cinderella157's assumptions about me, well, what I actually think is that important or not, things which are individual things, and so named as individual things, should be uppercased. Randy Kryn (talk) 18:22, 16 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    By "never cappers" I assume you mean me and others who abide by the top-line message at MOS:CAPS: "only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia." I think "never cappers" is an unfair and biased way to refer to people who respect this longstanding consensus to not cap things not consistently capped in sources, a position that is only confused by the introduction of this alternative subjective criterion of "most familiar to readers". Dicklyon (talk) 02:57, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Randy, isn't that paragraph telling us (paraphrasing): if something has more than one proper name, we use the [proper] name which is likely to be most familiar to readers of English? Isn't that very advice covered at WP:COMMONNAME and to some further degree at WP:UE and WP:USEENGLISH? How is the paragraph in question, when read in full, relevant to this particular page? Anybody can start an RfC if they wish. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:26, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ping Randy Kryn, since you reverted the change here. Cinderella157 (talk) 22:56, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the ping. I reverted the removal of the portion in question because this discussion hasn't reached a consensus (and likely needs an RM). The main sentence for me is the most familiar name in English bit, which would include casing as well as proper name (see the discussion above about the titling of the Cuban Missile Crisis). Randy Kryn (talk) 12:57, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Randy Kryn, the discussion above went off on a tangent that is totally unrelated to the paragraph in question and what it is telling us. Rather than repeating what I have already said, please see my last post above the arbitrary break here which was a reply to you. The subject paragraph tells us how to choose between alternative proper names (eg Mumbai or Bombay). It tells us to use the alternative proper name which is most familiar to Anglophones. But that is what WP:COMMONNAME tells us. I cannot see how it can reasonably be construed otherwise (except by reading a part in isolation from the whole - but that would not be reasonable). It tells us nothing about how to determine what is a proper name. While it does tell us that we capitalise proper names, so does the lead of MOS:CAPS. Disputes over capitalisation are never about whether we should capitalise a proper name but whether a name is actually a proper name. Cinderella157 (talk) 01:23, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, not the same at all, Cinderella157 (and Fyunck(click)). WP:COMMONNAME says that the proper name needs a "significant majority" of sources, and some lowercase or uppercase advocates say that number has to be quite a high percentage - in other words the present COMMONNAME criteria sets a high bar, and that high bar has been used in RM discussions. Although the MOS page uses "consistently" it also contains the present language under discussion, which sets a lower and fairer bar, one I've often used in RM discussions (striking out wording not really needed in the quote): "In English, proper names, which can be either single words or phrases, are typically capitalized. Such names are frequently a source of conflict, especially when different cultures, using different names, "claim" someone or something as their own. Wikipedia does not adjudicate such disputes, but as a general rule uses the name which is likely to be most familiar to readers of English." See, it doesn't say "significant majority", but the lower and commonsense bar of "the name which is likely to be the most familiar to readers of English". Big difference. A name shouldn't have an overwhelming majority to qualify as the common name, but one that's just the most recognizable by readers. Cuban Missile Crisis, uppercased, exists as more recognizable than Cuban missile crisis, yet in this discussion alone there have been statements that that page should again be lowercased. Retaining the "most familiar to readers of English" language acts to augment and protect the present title of that page and others like it, so keeping it seems essential to tone-down and clarify the definition of the "significant majority" wording of WP:COMMONNAME and "consistently" of MOS. Randy Kryn (talk) 03:09, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Randy Kryn, the second sentence of the paragraph here states: Such names .... By this, it refers back to the first sentence. This is explicitly saying that "names" , in this context, means "proper names" - ie Such [proper] names ... It is using "name" as a shortened form of the fuller term, proper name. Where the paragraph continues (... the name which is ...) it is still explicitly using "name" to mean "proper name" (ie ... the [proper] name which is ...) since the text has not told us that there is a change to "name" being used as a shortened form of the fuller term, "proper name". The subject paragraph therefore tells us how to choose between alternative proper names (eg Mumbai or Bombay). Where you would strike, especially when different cultures, using different names, "claim" someone or something as their own, this is context that helps explain the type of "dispute" that the subject paragraph would address. Despite what you assert, it tells us nothing about a choice of capitalisation. Consequently, it really has no place at MOS:CAPS, which is about determining what should or should not be capitalised. WP:COMMONNAME is part of WP:AT. It too is about choices between alternative names (eg Mumbai v Bombay or leopard seal v sea leopard). WP:COMMONNAME does not address capitalisation of a name; this is addressed in a separate section of WP:AT at WP:TITLEFORMAT. It would be spurious to suggest that WP:COMMONNAME addresses the matter of capitalisation. While WP:COMMONNAME does state: ... as determined by its prevalence in a significant majority of independent, reliable English-language sources ... , it continues: When there is no single, obvious name that is demonstrably the most frequently used for the topic by these sources ... Where the subject paragraph here states: ... uses the name which is likely to be most familiar to readers of English. If one acknowledges that the name most familiar to readers of English is the name most frequently used in English language sources, there is no substantive difference between the advice at WP:COMMONNAME and the advice of the subject paragraph. Cinderella157 (talk) 10:49, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Do it up, the way you all think is best. I'm just no longer interested in debating Manuals of Style, these days. GoodDay (talk) 04:02, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strong Keep - This does sound like an end-around by the never-cappers. This would be a huge deal that would require a full RfC. Fyunck(click) (talk) 04:34, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I just posted above, isn't this paragraph telling us: "if something has more than one proper name, we use the [proper] name which is likely to be most familiar to readers of English?" and that this is covered by WP:COMMONNAME. Why then do you see this as being a huge deal? Cinderella157 (talk) 01:34, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, it is not the same as WP:COMMONNAME language, by far. What WP:COMMONNAME are you reading? See my reply to you just above. Randy Kryn (talk) 03:12, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Randy Kryn, I have replied to you above. I am reading WP:COMMONNAME the same as you. I am seeing that the language there is in essence much the same as in the subject paragraph when read in full. I cannot see how the paragraph here or at WP:COMMONNAME has any applicability in determining capitalisation. Are you seeing something that I am missing? Cinderella157 (talk) 07:19, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment As an alternative, why not split it off into its own page, i.e., revert the merge between the separate proper names page and CAPS, so we retain the guidance but still help clarify the guideline? Wallnot (talk) 06:27, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First word when header begins with a number[edit]

In school, I was taught that the first word gets capitalized even if there are numbers prior to it. Chemistry style guides (including on enwiki) are clear that initial numerals, foreign characters, and other symbols are ignored for purposes of capitalizing the start of a sentence, article-title, or determining alphabetical order. Is this generally the standard for enwiki prose? I don't see it in the MOS. As examples:

1996 Reunion tour

1996 Was the first time the band played together since the 1980s.

1996 reunion tour
1996 was the first time the band played together since the 1980s.

DMacks (talk) 21:22, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@DMacks: "1996 was ..." and "1996 reunion tour" are definitely correct on Wikipedia. I've never seen the alternative taught as a general rule, though there are some weird things in chemistry like starting a sentence with "2-Aminoethanol is ...", Hawaiian words with ʻokinas and probably other things. SchreiberBike | ⌨  21:37, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. For the record, later in life I learned that I had been taught some things that were unusual or some level of wrong even at the time they were taught, let alone just an old-fashioned teacher behind the times:) DMacks (talk) 21:38, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interesting. I was taught the same thing... I'm sure it's old fashioned now. The thing is most style guides say not to begin sentences with a numeral.... spell it out if you have to and if necessary redo the sentence structure to avoid that starting numeral. Fyunck(click) (talk) 22:18, 17 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Capitalise the hajj?[edit]

There is a discussion about whether the hajj should be capitalised that would benefit from more input. Please discuss it here if you care. —  AjaxSmack  19:42, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Capitalising or not[edit]

In article content, do we use "...the Royal Family" or "...the royal family". GoodDay (talk) 19:01, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It depends on context. Obvioulsy. -- MIESIANIACAL 19:13, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We'll let others look into it at the Monarchy of Canada page, then. PS - If the answer is 'uppercase'? Then I'll revert my own edit there. GoodDay (talk) 19:15, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WE don't need anyone to look into anything. YOU think we need help when only YOU need the explanation of how things work before you'll stop edit-warring, despite everything you need to know being right there not only in all the RSs I provided but also in MOS:INSTITUTIONS. -- MIESIANIACAL 19:20, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nobody is edit-warring & please stop with the personal attacks. GoodDay (talk) 19:21, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't say you are edit-warring. I referred to your general pattern of behaviour. Telling you you don't speak for me isn't a personal attack. Stop with the gaslighting. In fact, I've told you twice already to stop interacting with me. Yet, you continue to revert and question my work. It's feeling like it's bordering on harrassment. However, this isn't the place for this. -- MIESIANIACAL 19:24, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Speaking about coverage of the British royal family, I would be very surprised to learn that "royal family" is "consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources". I haven't exhaustively poured through the body of sources, but it looks like BBC commonly capitalizes but The Guardian and The New York Times do not. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 19:16, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just want to get this right. As, I'm also considering making corrections to the Monarchy of the United Kingdom page & the rest of the Commonwealth realm monarchy pages. GoodDay (talk) 19:19, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The British Royal Family is one thing. But, GoodDay has started this dispute (#15 (?) with me in the last two weeks) over capitalization of "the Royal Family" and "the Canadian Royal Family" in Monarchy of Canada. I provided a number of sources from the Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal governments that show the term "Royal Family" is capitalized. -- MIESIANIACAL 19:23, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The place to look is not government sources, which are presumably not independent of the subject, but all reliably, secondary, independent sources. How are news organizations or academic researchers using the term? Any books on the subject? Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 19:41, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, those sources do show what's official. The Government of Canada also provides its own style guide that the government considers the guide for everyone else. (Though, it's not mandatory to follow it.) Then the Canadian Press has a collection of style guides for all journalists. Of course, the term "Royal Family" has probably been used in other souces tens of thousands of times. How can we possibly ascertain whether capitalized or not-capitalized has been used most?
Doesn't MOS:INSTITUTIONS just tell us what to do, anyway? "The Royal Family" (when referring speficially to a royal family in a country that recognizes its royal family as the Royal Family) is no different to "the Group of Seven", "the Famous Five", "the Bloomsbury Group", or "the Monarchist League". -- MIESIANIACAL 20:53, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • We just ran into this roadblock at Tennis Project. We were told that unless a word or phrase is always capitalized in sources (or as near to always as no matter) then wikipedia does not capitalize. We were told this over and over and had to change 10s of thousands of article titles and prose because of it. If it's 70/30 in sources in favor of capitalizing, then wikipedia guidelines tell us not to capitalize. Many were not happy with this reasoning but the community of ivoters spoke loud and clear. Fyunck(click) (talk) 20:44, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm hoping this can be cleared up. One doesn't want to make changes across several pages, only to find out that those changes were an error. GoodDay (talk) 21:34, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, after discussion, we found that only Fyunck was not happy about downcasing "men's singles" and "women's doubles" and such. And his 70/30 characterization is also bullshit. Dicklyon (talk) 02:39, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Back to back lies here. I was not the only one but far more wanted downcasing. And per your own words in those discussions, whether 70/30 or even 80/20 we would need to use lower case here. I'm not sure how your bullshit helps this dialog, but I was actually trying to move it along to lowercase since we had some precedent. Move along and hound someone else. Fyunck(click) (talk) 06:54, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You both agree, use "...the royal family". GoodDay (talk) 12:07, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note: I haven't lower-cased 'royal family' throughout the entire Canadian monarchy page (missed some) & won't complete the changes or revert the changes already made, until it's decided 'here', which is the correct version to use. GoodDay (talk) 21:06, 3 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For what it's worth, rough n-grams show lowercasing is favored and probably the most familiar for English readers. The casing was almost equal for a couple of decades but then lowercase seems to have prevailed. Randy Kryn (talk) 11:09, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's interesting. However, it doesn't take context into account. Sometimes "royal family" is correct because one is using the term generically. In other instances, "Royal Famliy" is correct because one is writing about a specific royal family. It's the same as "queen" versus "Queen". -- MIESIANIACAL 16:12, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The results are similar for "British royal family". "Canadian royal family" does not show up enough in the corpus. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 16:23, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also interesting. But, what's the implied message here? That MOS:INSTITUTIONS doesn't matter? It doesn't say that we ought to use what's most popular. -- MIESIANIACAL 19:55, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can't see how you read MOS:INSTITUTIONS as supporting capitalization of royal family in any context. Dicklyon (talk) 02:39, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see it applies because a country's royal family is an institution. The Government of Canada has a list that defines who's in it (and implies who's not); as does the UK (a bit down the page, under "Members of the Royal Family") and Sweden (though they call it the Royal House). They have their own internal heirarchies, customs, and even honours. Putting that aside, I'd still be unable to tell what the difference is between "the Royal Family" and "the Famous Five", "the Group of Seven", "the Bloomsbury Group", and the like. -- MIESIANIACAL 07:08, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It says to cap the "Full name of institutions". It doesn't say "Royal Family" alone is the full name of an institution; I'd say it's not. Dicklyon (talk) 18:05, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it doesn't say anything specifically about the full names of tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of institutions. We can see from numerous sources that "the Royal Family" is the full name of the institution; at least in some countries. And, again, what about the Famous Five, the Group of Seven, the Bloomsbury Group, etc? Their names aren't "Group of Seven", "Famous Five", or "Bloomsbury Group". The definite article "the" is required, just like "the Royal Family". -- MIESIANIACAL 23:05, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think "royal family" or even "Genovian royal family" or "British royal family" is the full name of any institution. It just seems like a collective term for a group of people (and in most contexts, it seems like a somewhat vaguely defined group or a group that has a somewhat different definition when used by different people – note that the British royal family article says "There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member" in the lead section). And while The Jackson 5 is a proper name, the Jackson family is not. And I think we should not be looking at government-published style guides for guidance on the question. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 23:34, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It does make sense to follow what's official in this situation. Unfortunately, it seems like the Government of Canada's style guide isn't available online (and possibly has to be bought). I've only been able to point to what's on Canadian government websites, assuming they follow the government's own guide for content, which states, "capitalize the main words of [...] institution names" and the government sites all capitalize "the Royal Family". [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] -- MIESIANIACAL 00:34, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia policies and guidelines do not defer to governments to make decisions about whether to capitalize things. It doesn't really matter what the websites of some government do, and it doesn't really matter what the style guides of some government say. Governments generally tend to generally overcapitalize things that relate to their government – perhaps as a way of trying to assert authority or high importance. (See, for example, the above discussion of "Marine" versus "marine" for members of the U.S. Marine Corps.) —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 16:08, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I missed your "not" in your prior comment.
Nonetheless, I think I've found a resolution that accepts both MOS and the official way of doing things off Wikipedia. For Canada, anyway. -- MIESIANIACAL 16:11, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Use lower case. DrKay (talk) 18:00, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In these last roughly two years. The project has moved towards lower casing in page content, section headings, sub-sections headings, etc. I didn't like it, but had to get used to & accept it. After all, those MoS decisions are the result of a collective consensus. GoodDay (talk) 19:59, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's been the guideline, and a significant part of what some of us do, for over 15 years. It's just that there are lots of little corners of Wikipedia still where overcapitalization has escaped notice. This might be one of those. Dicklyon (talk) 02:39, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dicklyon, you're more familiar with this general topic then I am. Would an RFC be required for clarification, on whether or not to use "the royal family" or "the Royal Family"? Or is MOS:CAPS crystal clear on this matter. GoodDay (talk) 07:16, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you want to fix widespread over-capitalization, and get pushback on that, then yes an RFC is a good way to find out where the consensus is. Dicklyon (talk) 18:05, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If there's already a consensus for "lower-casing", concerning the handling of royal families? Then I would assume such an RFC wouldn't be required. GoodDay (talk) 18:09, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An RM is a type of RfC, and it may be helpful to refer to the RM discussion at Talk:British royal family/Archive 2#Requested move 14 October 2016, which resulted in renaming the "British Royal Family" article to British royal family". —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 23:48, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But we're not disputing page titles. So far, it appears as though roughly 5 out of 6 editors (not counting myself) are saying use "the royal family". I'll give this discussion another 24 hrs & if this trend continues? I'll complete the changes at the Canadian monarchy page & move onto the other monarchy pages. If there's still objections 'here', by then? Then a RFC may well be required, to determine whether we 'upper case' or 'lower case' in the body of monarchy-related pages. I suspect that at the moment, there's inconsistency on this, throughout many monarchy-related pages. GoodDay (talk) 23:58, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BarrelProof is right. That RM discussion, which is a specialized type of RFC, has pretty well established that we use lowercase for "royal family", unless someone starts an RFC or RM to go back the other way. Such issues are most often resolved in RM discussions, since they're easier (and usually quicker) than more general RFCs. Dicklyon (talk) 03:57, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So... if I begin to make corrections in the monarchy-related pages, to lower-casing? My corrections should not be reverted, as they were at the Monarchy of Canada page. GoodDay (talk) 04:07, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my opinion, yes. Especially, they should not be reverted by someone who is aware of this discussion here. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 15:56, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Surely, if we have reached a clearly recorded consensus not to capitalize something in the title of an article on the subject, we should not be capitalizing it in running prose. I can't imagine any argument that would say otherwise. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 15:56, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A question[edit]

Is a footnote enough, for showing how a country's gov't describes its royal family (example: uppercase)? Or does it have to be written out in the content, even if it 'might' contradict the (lowercase) style, being used throughout the page. GoodDay (talk) 16:16, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should your question not be, "should we reference a government's official way of writing 'royal family'"? Since you deleted the sourced material (and left the sources).
The Canadian government's official way of capitlizing royal family won't contradict WP:MOS any less in a footnote. It doesn't even matter that the Canadian government's way of doing things contradicts WP:MOS, since the Canadian government's way of doing things is very clearly explained as the Canadian government's way of doing things: "The Canadian royal family (French: famille royale canadienne capitalized by the federal government as the Royal Family[283][284][285]) is a group of people...". It's just another sourced fact like all the others. -- MIESIANIACAL 16:45, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think going with[a] (a note) would be best, rather then writing it out in the content. GoodDay (talk) 16:51, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, but it's unclear why you think that's best. -- MIESIANIACAL 17:16, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because it avoids having it written out in the content, which (written out in content) 'potentially' contradicts the style used throughout the rest of the page. Anyways, I'll abide by what is decided 'here', concerning the topic. GoodDay (talk) 17:26, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It does contradict the style used throughout the rest of the page. It won't stop contradicting the style used throughout the rest of the page if it's in a footnote.
The question is: what does it matter that it contradicts the style used throughout the rest of the page? You'd have a point if the fact was presented without context; ie if it were written as, "The Canadian royal family (French: famille royale canadienne; capitalized as the Royal Family[283][284][285]) is a group of people..." But, that's not the way the content is written. The fact is given with the clear explanation that it's the federal goverment that capitalizes the term. It could even be written as, "The Canadian royal family (French: famille royale canadienne; capitalized by the Government of Canada as the Royal Family[283][284][285]) is a group of people..." I'm certain readers can differentiate between the Canadian government and Wikipedia. -- MIESIANIACAL 18:19, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It shouldn't be mentioned at all since it is unimportant to know about the subject and not notable. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 20:36, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I's not the most important thing, but it is worth mentioning in the all of nine words it uses. Do you see the french translation as unimportant and not notable? -- MIESIANIACAL 20:41, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since you asked the question, I see no reason to provide the French translation of the phrase "Canadian royal family" in the article about the Monarchy of Canada. The purpose of the article is not to teach French to the readers. Although French is an official language of Canada, this is the English Wikipedia. Only a couple of phrase translations are provided in the article (I see only "Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada" and "House of Windsor"), and I see no reason to translate that one. For example, it is not a formal title or the name of an official institution – it is merely a phrase that describes a group of people for which "There is no legal definition of who is or is not a member of the group", as the article says. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 18:15, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You forgot to delete the sources. -- MIESIANIACAL 21:07, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I merely removed the phrase that was added in a previous edit. I can check whether some of the neighbouring citations seem unnecessary or not, but that may take more time than I have available at the moment. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 18:15, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BarrelProof. I've no concerns about it being mentioned. It's how it's being mentioned that raises questions for me. GoodDay (talk) 20:57, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is WP:UNDUE and WP:Original research, so it should not be discussed in the article. The article is about the Monarchy of Canada, not about orthography. People reading the article should be informed about the monarchy, not about whether the Canadian government uses capital letters in the phrase "royal family" or not. To the readers, that is completely unimportant and off-topic. And as far as I know, no independent reliable sources discuss the question of whether the Canadian government uses capital letters in "royal family" or not, so any self-generated discussion about it is original research. —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 17:45, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Capitalized by the federal government as "the Royal Family"


May we capitalise within the infoboxes? Example - "Awarded by the Monarch of Canada", rather then "Awarded by the monarch of Canada"? GoodDay (talk) 05:48, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is not the (585th) dispute. Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Biography#Infoboxes. -- MIESIANIACAL 17:07, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thank you for the re-direct to the infobox discussion. GoodDay (talk) 17:09, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, nothing special about infobox that would suggest ignoring MOS:CAPS. Dicklyon (talk) 04:14, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Disagree. But am content with lower-casing, now that the emblems were re-located. GoodDay (talk) 04:36, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cap Indigenous?[edit]

We've had lots of discussions about "Black", but I don't find anything on the related concept "Indigenous", and similar terms. There's a question about capitalization of that one in a currently open RM, with some claims that a Wikiproject has decided it should be capped, but I can't even find any evidence for a such a discussion or consensus, or even a statement of a decision or convention (but there is a section on style guides that links guides that do capitalize). Have I missed something? Dicklyon (talk) 17:37, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Lower-case it. It's a descriptive term, not a proper name. There are indigenous peoples all over most parts of the world. Certain phrases are taken as proper names, including American Indian (increasingly disused), Native American, and (in Canada) First Nations. But "indigenous people[s] of [place]" isn't among them. PS: The one of the leading reasons we have a site-wide style guide is because topical wikiprojects want to over-capitalize like mad in their topic area, almost universally (the WP:Specialized style fallacy). If a wikiproject thinks a term should be capitalized, it should make that case here where people not wedded to their pet topic, but to writing well generally and for a general audience, can have proper input.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:26, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Lower-case - it's a descriptive term, not a proper name. GoodDay (talk) 06:31, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • In certain cases, "indigenous" is (almost) always capitalized: Indigenous Australians; see also 1st sentence in Indigenous peoples and "Racial and Ethnic Identity", APA Style. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:09, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I didn't really mean for this to be an RFC-like debate. Just wondering whether it has been discussed before. It seems not, but I'll ask at the project, too. Dicklyon (talk) 05:30, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It should be capitalized per:
  • Per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ethnicities and tribes).
  • Per The Chicago Manual of Style Online: We would capitalize "Indigenous" in both contexts: that of Indigenous people and groups, on the one hand, and Indigenous culture and society, on the other. Lowercase “indigenous” would be reserved for contexts in which the term does not apply to Indigenous people in any sense—for example, indigenous plant and animal species. A parallel distinction arises for the word “black,” which many writers now capitalize in references to ethnicity and culture (a usage that CMOS supports) but not, for example, when it is simply a color.
  • Per the Associated Press style guide: Indigenous (adj.) Capitalize this term used to refer to original inhabitants of a place. Aboriginal leaders welcomed a new era of Indigenous relations in Australia. Bolivia’s Indigenous peoples represent some 62% of the population.
  • Per the APA style guide: Likewise, capitalize terms such as "Native American," "Hispanic," and so on. Capitalize "Indigenous" and "Aboriginal" whenever they are used. Capitalize "Indigenous People" or "Aboriginal People" when referring to a specific group (e.g., the Indigenous Peoples of Canada), but use lowercase for "people" when describing persons who are Indigenous or Aboriginal (e.g., "the authors were all Indigenous people but belonged to different nations").
Cheers,  oncamera  (talk page) 20:42, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So per those sources we should be capitalizing Indigenous, Aborigine, Native American, Black, White, Hispanic, etc at Wikipedia when used for people/groups or culture/society? Interesting. I'm not partial either way as long as it's consistent for everything. Fyunck(click) (talk) 07:34, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those guides do say to cap those things, but sources (books in particular) still don't mostly capitalized Indigenous, Aborigine, Black, and White when referring to people or peoples (they do consistently capitalize Hispanic and Native American and First Nation). Wikipedia follows reliable sources, not those guides, right? Dicklyon (talk) 22:04, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Absolutely. Now we don't want recentism to creep in since that's against Wikipedia guidelines, are the reliable books/magazines/press, let's say over the last five years, not capitalizing those terms? And if some of those reliable sources do capitalize and some don't, I was told wikipedia should not capitalize. What's also interesting is simply scrolling through google search on the terms. It looks like most articles that capitalize First Nation and Native American, also capitalize Indigenous and Aborigine. It's when indigenous and aborigine are used alone in articles that I see lower case. Fyunck(click) (talk) 22:47, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can you quote where Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ethnicities and tribes) says to capitalize Indigenous? Or answer the original question about whether this was ever discussed some place? Dicklyon (talk) 02:55, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not going to search through all of Wikipedia history to find the discussion, I'll just have the discussion now.  oncamera  (talk page) 08:20, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not asking you to track it down, just to explain why you said that "It should be capitalized per ... Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ethnicities and tribes)", when I can't see it in there.
I have done some tracking down of where WP:WikiProject Indigenous peoples of North America#Resources came in (the Wikiproject section that lists guides that support capitalization). It was added in this edit with summary "Starting this, per talk. ..." (and the next edit), by the same editor who recommended such a section 20 minutes earlier (last Nov. 23) in this edit. So it appears that the only "talk" that led to this resource section was this editor talking to himself. And though it lists resources that support capitalization of Indigenous, it doesn't indicate anything about what guides do not recommend that, or recommend lowercase. So, you're right, it needs to be discussed here still, as it is still being discussed in books. Dicklyon (talk) 22:04, 13 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]