Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Disambiguation pages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Disambiguation
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Disambiguation, an attempt to structure and organize all disambiguation pages on Wikipedia. If you wish to help, you can edit the page attached to this talk page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project or contribute to the discussion.
 
WikiProject Manual of Style    (Inactive)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a project which is currently considered to be inactive.
 
Emblem-important.svg 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.

Repeating section header in entry description?[edit]

If it's clear from the section header what the entries in a section are (e.g. "Songs" or "Ships"), I don't think it's valuable to repeat that information in every entry description: see my edit here, and to this MoS page here. I was reverted on both edits by JHunterJ, who says that descriptions should (always?) be a noun phrase. Not only is this guidance nowhere in the MoS, but even if it were generally accepted, I think it is harmful in such cases to insist on such a rule. We know how JHunter feels, so we're at 1 to 1 — how do the rest of you feel about the question? —swpbT 12:52, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Meh, I can see it both ways. Outside of the fine point of when redundancy is useful, user:swpb if your edit is contested [1], it's reasonable to have that contested issue undone in MOSDAB [2]. Widefox; talk 14:12, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
I never suggested it was unreasonable: this is the D in a textbook WP:BRD. AGF Widefox: I don't dispute the propriety of the reverts, I dispute the value – and I resent any suggestion otherwise. —swpbT 14:24, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
Meh, my point is convince us, as neither side is in the MOS (which is the neutral description here). My recollection is that we encourage removing the redundant section name (generally), but as it's not in MOSDAB I guess that's in talk somewhere. I always remove the section name if used at the end of the description (countries etc), but optionally in the body. My take is that some links in this dab contain the redundant section name so I'd 1. make them consistent (similarly for the placement of dates), else if there wasn't any links repeating the section heading 2. remove them depending on how the dab looks/descriptions read. Generally remove, but not all redundancy is bad per se. I'd be in favour of adding to MOSDAB for the term at the end of the entry, but put value on scan speed at the start (consistency) or just call that personal style level choice, WP:CREEP. Widefox; talk 15:25, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
This is too abstract. Someone provide some examples where you think the repetition is vital. Others provide examples illustrating that it's terrible. We'll find the truth between the two extremes.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:54, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
To SMcCandlish and Widefox: I'm fine with it being clear that there is no general consensus for guidance either way. Let's get narrow: what about the specific page, Ecstasy, that started this? Do you think the repetition serves a useful purpose there or not? —swpbT 13:38, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
This edit strikes me as sensible and desirable, because we don't need to brow-beat readers with the obvious as if they have brain damage. In a section like "People", it is still of value to identify people more specifically, e.g. "biologist", "pop singer", "country singer", etc. At a shorter DAB page than Ecstasy a different approach would be to merge the "Music" subsections and just identify each entry as an album, song, whatever. On a long one, the subsectioning helps people find what they're looking for. But I'm still waiting for someone to make a case that, e.g. a section titled "Aircraft" should have entries like "* ABC-123, a British aircraft", etc., etc. If someone does want to make that case, I'll pre-counter it with the suggestion that it's much more sensible and helpful to have entries like "*ABC-123, a British biplane", and so on.

As for the guideline edit, I would support a version that said "it usually does not" rather than "it does not". There are going to be exceptions, e.g. when the heading in rather generic, and some entries are subtopically more specific. Take for example a "Songs" heading, under which an entry is '* "Ecstasy", a rap by DJ Funky Monkey', another is '* "Ecstasy", a hard-techno track by Mutual Mastication", and another is "* "Ecstasy", an a cappella song by Yojimbo X. Doodah'; then it would make sense for all the entries to have some kind of labeling like this, even if it's just "song", for consistency (though being genre-specific would be more helpful to the reader, e.g. "an R&B song"). This sort of situation is probably pretty common with "songs" in particular because the word is popularly used in a very broad way that means "individual pieces of popular music", even if for a piece that doesn't have a vocal performance in it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:03, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

(after ec) To be clear, here is a diff illustrating the disagreement (and I can dig up many others similar to this). In this case I agree with swpb that including the words "a song" in the description of each entry in a section labeled as "Songs" provides absolutely no benefit whatsoever for readers. The justification that "descriptions are noun phrases" seems dubious to me. First, not all descriptions are noun phrases, and second, the context here is a list in which the description is a prepositional phrase. I don't see how this sort of list construct requires a noun phrase. olderwiser 14:09, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
To Widefox and Bkonrad: I like SMcCandlish's "usually does not" suggestion above for the guide; would you guys support that? —swpbT 14:17, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Fine with me. It is usually impractical to expect style guidelines to provide certainty. olderwiser 14:19, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
I think I'll also change "repeated" to "repeated verbatim" to make it clear that nouns/noun phrases with greater specificity are fine. —swpbT 14:22, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
I actually disagree with this and prefer repeating it verbatim. #1, each entry should stand on its own, so I'm not a huge fan of doing something differently if there's 1 song vs. 10. #2, disambig fragments should generally be sentences if the comma is replaced by "is". So "Foo (song) is a song by Band Name" is valid; "Foo (song) is by band name" is much more abrupt, and is even weirder if the parens are ignored. SnowFire (talk) 15:37, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
disambig fragments should generally be sentences if the comma is replaced by "is". Why? How does the prolix repetition this can result in help readers? There's no reason to expect each entry to stand on it's own. For geographical entities, the description is often just a larger administrative area. Replacing the comma with "is" in such cases would result in comical effects, eg, * Green Lake (Cariboo), British Columbia would become * Green Lake (Cariboo) is British Columbia. And similarly, for geographic entities, where they are grouped by country (or state) we do not repeat the country or state in the description, although that would be expected if the entries were treated as stand-alone. olderwiser 15:53, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
(ec) Specifically, at Ecstasy I'm not sure it looks better without the "song"s or helps the reader much and we can't remove the redundancy with the first two visible links anyhow. I'm not convinced there's a clear-cut winner needing a rule. Meh. We do already have a redundant guide for those links Ecstasy (ATB song) and Ecstasy (Jody Watley song) at MOS:DABENTRIES - avoid "Dark Star" (song), a song by the Grateful Dead". The wording [3] is OK (cut "verbatum"), but it may be simpler to just add a follow-on example for when the redundancy comes from the section name. Widefox; talk 15:59, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Obviously entries with parenthetical phrases are often going to repeat the header. That's not any kind of reason to introduce that repetition into other entries where it doesn't need to be. I'm not satisfied that people read the existing guidance against entries like "Dark Star (song), a song ..." as covering section headers too; if they did, we wouldn't be here. —swpbT 17:04, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Concur with Bkonrad; DAB page entries are MOS:LISTS. Most list entries are not full sentences, so there's not any reason to expect them to be on DAB pages. The vast majority of cases are not, but are of the form "* Foobar, a baz from quux", and the like. Not sentences.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:53, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Exactly. No one can give any justification for this "should be able to start with 'is'" or "has to be a noun phrase" rule besides ILIKEIT. Well, thats's a minority position. —swpbT 17:04, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

(de-indent) I'm not sure if people misunderstood my point above, or what, but for the record, I was not arguing that commas actually be replaced by the word "is"; I said that disambig entries should be readable as sentences if you replaced the comma with "is." (And that isn't from me, that's been around forever.) And more generally, you should be able to completely ignore the phrase in parentheses and read the sentence with just the main word, so don't rely on the parenthetical disambiguator in the description. Users don't always read section headers, either.

swpb, this is a policy page, not an article. This is where people advocate for guidelines, not argue whether an article is in compliance with existing ones, so "WP:ILIKEIT" is an irrelevant attack; someone could reasonably come here and suggest all disambig pages use a 30 point purple font if they wanted. The whole POINT of such pages is to advocate for what you think is better. That attack is just as easily turned on your opinions; since that would be stupid, can we agree that everyone's opinion has merit?

older != wiser, you call it "prolix repetition", but I see it as helpful and clear. Green Lake is a terrible disambig page IMO that is far too over-concise and doesn't describe its entries at all. What you describe is clearly silly, but an entry that said "Green Lake (Cariboo), a lake in the South Cariboo region of British Columbia" would be more to my preference. SnowFire (talk) 19:06, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

First, I'm sure everyone got that you don't want to literally replace commas with "is"; we understood exactly what you meant, but we don't agree, and we don't think that's ever been the guidance, explicit or otherwise. Secondly, no, I don't agree that these are just opinions with equal merit. There is standing guidance against unnecessary repetition, because it makes it slower for the reader to get to what they need. It's always going to be allowable to repeat things when that aids clarity; I don't think anyone here disagrees with your "Green Lake" entry, so that's really a strawman. This is about one specific kind of repetition, exemplified by Ecstacy, that is both unhelpful and already implicitly discouraged. —swpbT go beyond 19:17, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
I consider a gain for simplicity is to remove all the possessives in the song descriptions...e.g.

We don't need to maintain the gender (which involves checking the article body or even another article, so an extra chore), and just replacing the possessive is reason enough.

Green Lake could benefit from more description to disambiguate the two British Columbia entries. I've cleaned it up. I didn't add the redundant location info that's already in the parentheses, but no objection to them being added. Widefox; talk 20:21, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
The only major shortcoming I see at Green Lake is that it isn't always clear whether the entry refers to a body of water or a settlement of some sort. olderwiser 21:35, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Re possessive's in song entries, the artist is redundant in the example just given. I'd frame that particular entry as
Or in fact, given more typical practice, since there is an article and it includes the artist in the title, no additional description is really necessary. The year might be included as some reader seem to find that useful. I think I'd need to see the suggestion about possessives in some actual lists to give more general opinion. For me, when I scan the list, I'd want to see the entries in roughly the importance for purposes of figuring out which I want. So if an song did not have an article, I think the next most useful bit of information is the artist more so than the album or the year. olderwiser 21:41, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes, according to MOSDAB we should strip the artists when mentioned in the parentheses. Thing is, removing that redundancy I think may not scan as well (in a similar way to removing "song" when we have "song" visible in the parentheses links). Optimising for looks trumps ... the reader scanning all the artists to select the song wants them best lined-up, which is a) consistent location in description (so all possessive, or all not) b) all entries including the artist in the description. On this dab it's not that big a thing as there's only two, but generally I prefer to optimise for visual comparison. Scanning the start or end of entries I guess is easiest. Agree about the order of entries of course (per MOSDAB) but did you mean the key info first in the description?
As for the general problem with proper nouns - the name may or may not indicate the type, Green Lake's section names don't help this as it's almost exclusively geo sectioned rather than type (i.e. mixed lake and non-lake). Take Green Lake (Wisconsin), a lake and Green Lake, Wisconsin, a city in Green Lake County. Do we really want to strip the ", a lake" as it's arguably redundant? The dab is inconsistent... Green Lake (Maine), located near Dedham, Hancock County, Maine is a lake. I'd insert lake in all entries. I'd remove all "located" too.
Green Lake (Minnesota) is interesting...currently an SIA, formerly a dab... that would be better as incompdab as noted by User:BD2412, but make an SIA by User:LittleWink. Suggest incompdab.
Back to topic: Fictional places section has Camp Green Lake, fictional place in Texas from the book Holes , so redundant. I've just renamed the section "Other uses" so it's a moot issue (preferring a catchall section name for straggler items), but surely we wouldn't remove that redundancy? Widefox; talk 22:44, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
SnowFire is exactly correct. This is not a matter of WP:ILIKEIT, a I resent the implication. The entries are there for the readers. If the entry link can stand on its own, perfect, it stands on its own. If it can't, then a description is added to let the reader know what the entry is. That scans best with a noun phrase. The entries should indeed be kept concise. That does not mean they should become too concise. Not all redundancy is bad redundancy, and "What's this song?" "It's a song by the Who." is an improvement over "What's this song?" "It's by the Who." even though it repeats the word "song". It is still concise. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:36, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Disagree strongly that "What's this song?" "It's a song by the Who." is preferable; it's brow-beating, as if readers are idiots.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:17, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
That scans best with a noun phrase. That is precisely what is a matter of WP:ILIKEIT. There is no grammatical basis for such a claim and I'm not aware of any usability studies supporting that claim. There is zero evidence that such unnecessary repetition does anything to benefit readers. There is implication in other parts of the guideline that reducing such bloat helps readers to focus on significant information rather than cluttering the page with noise. olderwiser 14:34, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
There's also no usability study supporting your claim, and zero evidence that such necessary repetition does anything to hinder readers, or that such repetition is brow-beating, assumes reader idiocy, or is bloat. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:19, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Parroting words really doesn't do much to move the argument. Please explain precisely how such repetition is "necessary". This guideline already makes explicit preference for conciseness in the descriptions. The only reason for such repetition appears to be a variation of WP:ILIKEIT. As such, descriptions should remove such unnecessary words that add no value. olderwiser 18:32, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Your post about only one side having no basis when neither side had basis also did nothing to move the argument. Just evidence of your WP:ILIKEIT bias for the other side. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:39, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
Nice try, but it has been explained how the guideline already favors conciseness in descriptions. Those supporting prolixity have offered no explanation other than a variation of WP:ILIKEIT. olderwiser 13:05, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Ok, this is really getting circular, and probably ego-driven. It's very clear that no one here is close to having a change of heart. Let's all maybe do something else with our energy, and if anyone new wants to reopen this later, they can. —swpbT go beyond 20:02, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Meh, both with or without are acceptable. Worth closing with the remark that we're now not consistent on this dab, with no repetition of the Songs section name, but repetition on Ecstasy (play), a 1979 play by Mike Leigh, Ecstasies (book), a 1989 book by Carlo Ginzburg. Yes we can save a long list of "song" words, but there's strong arguments on both sides, so this best considered personal preference. Widefox; talk 22:26, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Just a personal note – I'm not sure you're aware of how dismissive and condescending your new favorite interjection "meh" is. I've cringed every time you've deployed it here. It's not doing you or anyone else any favors, and you'd be wise to abandon it and express yourself with real arguments only. —swpbT go beyond 12:49, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Then you don't understand what "meh" means. It means "I don't care to discuss this any more, because the matter seems trivial and the discussion is a waste of time", an assessment expressed by others above as well. Please do not use talk pages (which are for improvement of the non-talk page to which they're attached) as a forum for trying to police other people's language usage or posting style.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:33, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
An obvious improvement would be revising the examples in the page to follow the concision advice more closely and consistently, e.g. Ecstasies (book), 1989, by Carlo Ginzburg not Ecstasies (book), a 1989 book by Carlo Ginzburg. What next? Shall we write Ecstasies (book), a 1989 book by book author Carlo Ginzburg? Just get rid of the redundancies.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:36, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Not obviously improving. Not all redundancies are bad redundancies. Ecstasies (book), a 1989 book by Carlo Ginzburg and Ecstasies (book), a 1989 book by book author Carlo Ginzburg illustrate the difference between good and bad redundancies. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:17, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
The logic seems sound. Disambiguation pages exist because we can't put two articles at the same title. If there are only two topics for an ambiguous topic, and one is primary, then we still don't need a disambiguation page; we can use a hatnote. The template For serves this purpose, with a description. With more topics, a disambiguation page is needed, with these descriptions. And just like we wouldn't use the hatnote
in some misapplication of the desire for brief hatnotes, we needn't demand Ecstasies (book), 1989, by Carlo Ginzburg on dab pages. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:25, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

We are using "primary topic" in two different senses[edit]

no Closed  by OP (without prejudice toward reopening); general agreement that it's not that much of a problem. —swpbT go beyond 14:42, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

In MOS:DABPRIMARY: "The primary topic is the one reached by using the disambiguation page title without the (disambiguation) qualifier. Capitalisation differences matter, so there will only be one primary topic for a title."

In MOS:DABORDER: "The primary topic, if there is one, should be placed at the top. In cases where a small number of main topics are significantly more likely to be the reader's target, several of the most common meanings may be placed at the top, with other meanings below."

In pratice, "primary meaning(s)" is usually taken to mean the latter, a small number of significantly more likely targets, after the "may refer to" line, and not necessarily on a dab ending in (disambiguation). Is it worth clarifying this terminology? Maybe we should say a dab can have one "primary" topic (in the DABPRIMARY sense), and/or a few "main" or "leading" (or another word) topics, in the DABORDER sense? Or should we revise DABPRIMARY to encompass the DABORDER sense that's usually inferred? —swpbT go beyond 21:13, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

I don't see where your quotations use "primary topic" in those two meanings. The second quotation distinguishes between a primary topic (may be zero or one) and common meanings (zero or a small number). We do say that a dab can have one primary topic and then we say that there are also cases where a title may have a few common meanings significantly more likely than the rest. We might need to say so more clearly, but I'm not clear on what the problem is yet. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:02, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
The problem is that, in my experience, editors (myself included) almost always mean those "common meanings" when they say "primary topic", even though the MOS doesn't use the term that way. I'm suggesting we need to either emphasize the difference, or explicitly allow that the term is often used loosely. —swpbT go beyond 13:14, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
The MOS definitely should not endorse the confusion of the terms. Emphasizing the difference is fine. Except, you know, you guys usually hate on such useful redundancy. :-) -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:40, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Agree with JHunterJ (a rare event). There's no difference of meaning, nor contradiction. My experierience does not at all support "editors (myself included) almost always mean those "common meanings" when they say "primary topic"". Most regular editors are clear on the meaning of "primary". Johnbod (talk) 13:46, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Ok, if the answer is "No Swpb, it's just you", I can accept that. I thought other people ran into this, but I guess not. —swpbT go beyond 14:14, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
OTOH, I agree with JHJ (except for the bit about useless repetition) and Johnbod that there is may be one primary topic for a dab term and then there are common meanings for a term. But, I also think people can be confused by this and the "primary" term can be casually used incorrectly (heck, I've probably done so). But I think we'd need proposal with specific language to take the discussion further. olderwiser 14:23, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
See, I knew I wasn't the only one who'd done that! :) But now I'm doubting that it's a big enough problem to be worth the effort of getting agreement on new language. If anyone else thinks it is, I'll probably support. —swpbT go beyond 14:37, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

Applicability of WP:DABMENTION[edit]

A discussion of the applicability of WP:DABMENTION where synonymy is claimed may be of interest. See Talk:Plute and Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2017 December 29#Plute. olderwiser 16:24, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

disambiguating to a page not discussing the DAB topic[edit]

On 29 December 2017, at 05:04, I removed the redirect WAPO (FM) from the disambiguation page at WAPO. On 14 January 2018 at 18:30, Mlaffs (talk · contribs · blocks · protections · deletions · page moves · rights · RfA) undid my edit, saying "WAPO is an FCC-licensed radio station owned by American Family Association; redirect is to American Family Radio, the programming provided by that organization".

According to this MOS, disambiguation pages should only link to redirects when "used to link to a specific section of an article if the title of that section is more or less synonymous with the disambiguated topic", when "the redirect target article contains the disambiguated term", when "the primary topic is a redirect", or when "linking to another disambiguation page." I don't see any of those use cases applying at WAPO. — fourthords | =Λ= | 14:22, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

P.S. On 17 January 2018 at 18:27, I posted this same message to Mlaffs' talk page, but they've both not responded, and continued editing. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Disambiguation is a navigation tool for leading readers to the articles where a topic if described. If the WAPO is well-known enough to appear in the disambiguation page, it probably has enough WP:DUE WEIGHT to be at least mentioned at their owner's article.
While redirects from a DAB page need a whole section to link to, there's no need to use a redirect to guide readers to the target article. Assuming the AFR mentioned WAPO, we could place the link to that article with this style (per MOS:DABMENTION):
If we expect that WAPO might have its own article created in the future, we could even make it a redlink per MOS:DABRED. Diego (talk) 14:36, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Note that American Family Association only briefly mentions radio stations and links to American Family Radio which doesnt actually mention WAPO. MilborneOne (talk) 14:45, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Ideal resolutions would be either
  1. Addition of a mention of WAPO on the target article of WAPO (FM) or
  2. Deletion of the redirect WAPO (FM) since the target article gives no info about it.
In the current state, yeah, it's a problematic disambiguation question, but I'd still leave the link as long as the redirect remains undeleted. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:05, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, fourthords — saw the note, but got distracted and forgot to respond. Best solution would be to add a chart of the AFA-owned stations to the AFR article, similar to what's been done on the articles of a lot of other religious broadcasters where all of their stations rebroadcast the same programming source. Takes a bit of effort, which I'm prepared to do but hadn't yet had the time to. Can probably take care of it over the weekend, though, which would resolve the concern (and many other similar redirects that are likely out there). Mlaffs (talk) 01:49, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Seeking clarification on DABNAME[edit]

The disambiguation page Berber includes entries for several people whose surname is/was Berber. Please see the disagreement between me and Xezbeth over the course of the edits [4], [5], [6], and [7], where I removed these names pursuant to my understanding of MOS:DABNAME, and Xezbeth restored these entries. Also, see the remarks I left at Talk:Berber#Surnames at the same time as Xezbeth's second reversion. As I reasoned, "To be clear, I'm not reading the sentence at MOS:DABNAME that begins "For short lists of name holders" as though this were preceded by 'Now, ignore the previous sentence and, instead ...'. I'm understanding that these sublists are of names that conform to the first sentence."

Now I've figured I should come here and check whether my understanding is consistent with the intent. Whether it is or isn't, I recommend that someone edit the guideline to clarify the relationship between the first sentence in the paragraph ("Persons who have the ambiguous term ...") and the following sentences. Do we understand the premise behind the sentences after the first one to be "If you don't feel like complying with the first sentence" or "If, after complying with the first sentence, you still have more than one Elvis ..."? The latter would apply to cases like Assad, where a user coming upon a reference to "the Assad government" might come here looking for Assad without the reference having specified whether it's Bashar el-Assad or Hafez el-Assad. Largoplazo (talk) 11:48, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

I think your understanding of this sentence:
"Persons who have the ambiguous term as surname or given name should be listed in the body of the disambiguation page only if they are frequently referred to simply by the single name (e.g., Elvis, Shakespeare)."
may misunderstand the "in the body" section. If we reach this part:
"For short lists of name holders, new sections of Persons with the surname Xxxx or Persons with the given name Xxxx can be added below the main disambiguation list."
that indicates the this list of name holders who don't fit the first sentence can be listed, not in the body (in the part that "may refer to"), but in a separate section "People with the surname" below the body (below even any "Other uses" section of things actually ambiguous). -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:26, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
If your statement of the intended guidance is correct (and I have no complaint if it is), then the guideline needs rewording, because it's contradictory as currently written. The body of any article consists of all its sections, the untitled lead section and any subsequent titled sections. A section doesn't stand outside the body, it's part of it (well, except perhaps for sections that contain end matter, like See also, References, and External links). Largoplazo (talk) 13:57, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
I took a crack at it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:16, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
Looking good, thanks! Largoplazo (talk) 14:20, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
It all appears to be sorted out, but just a note about why things are the way they are, and apologies for stating the obvious: even people who aren't, like Shakespeare, referred to solely by their surname in sufficiently generic contexts do get referred to by their surname in various less generic contexts. Surname indexes do serve a disambiguation purpose. The only difference is when there exists a dedicated article about the surname: in that case, the people will be listed there and the corresponding dab page will only include the Elvises and the Shakespeares. If such an article doesn't exist, then all the people are listed on the dab page. – Uanfala (talk) 15:32, 23 January 2018 (UTC)