Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Disambiguation pages/Archive 42

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Archive 35 Archive 40 Archive 41 Archive 42


Example ordering misleads

The example ordering is ambiguous with respect to best practice, and seems to conflict with the guidance of the following section, grouping by subject area, which states, "Entries which don't fit neatly into any section should be placed in an "Other uses" section or subsection, at the bottom of the page or section (but above any "See also" section)." The current example ordering places four entries at the top, before an apparent* subject section. (*It has been argued that "People" sections are unique in this regard, and belong below other entries, but, that argument notwithstanding,) this example unintentionally encourages the (otherwise-discouraged) common mistake of leaving non-primary "other uses" at the top of multi-sectioned dab pages. I propose removing the "People with surname" section from the example, so as to avoid misleading and neatly sidestep the sectioning question that is properly the province of the following section of this MoS page. Swpbtalk 18:03, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Done; there were no comments here after three days, so I was bold. Swpbtalk 19:12, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Synonyms section

While all disambiguation pages may have a link into their corresponding wiktionary entry, I suggest that their corresponding synonyms within Wikipedia also be listed, possibly in a specific Synonyms section, as I did so for difference. If this is agreeable, then

The rationale is that the main text for many ambiguous terms is often overly short, and finding the appropriate synonymous concept may be closer to what the reader needs than slowly wading through all other hyperlinks. Certainly, this is what I often have to do within disambiguation pages. I do not have to do so within non-ambiguous pages as the synonyms are ordinarily found somewhere in the main text. Dpleibovitz (talk) 16:11, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Where there is an encyclopedia article for a generic English meaning, that tends to be the primary meaning, so it is placed at the top; I would generally place synonyms there, as on Popular. Synonyms are also often placed in the "See also" section. Your synonyms section is useful on difference and perhaps other pages with a large number of synonyms, but I don't see it as being sufficiently common practice to warrant mention in the MoS; it is merely a specific implementation of grouping by subject area. The danger in over-prescribing layout is twofold: that the prescriptions are not appropriate in all cases, and that the MoS becomes unwieldy to read and follow. I think, in this case, that the MoS strikes the right balance as-is. Swpbtalk 17:14, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Request for clarification about MOS:DABMENTION

I got into a rather heated discussion about a relatively minor edit to SMP, and it seemed we interpret the MoS quite differently. I'd like to ask for clarification. We both agree that a section link is desirable, and that the MoS calls for piping the link, but can't agree on what the link text should be.

The competing versions are:

Mine is the former. I read MOS:DAB a saying that the preferred wikitext for a link from a disambiguation page is the full title of the linked-to page. Particularly in a mention reference it may be necessary to vary the link text to fit grammatically within the description, but the overarching theme of MOS:DAB is that it should be as close to the page title as practicable.

User:Midas02's position, which I hope I am reporting accurately, is that if the link is to an anchor within a page, then it is actively misleading, wrong, and contrary to MoS to use the unmodified page title as the link text. The link text should be modified to warn the reader about the modified link.

My reading of the MoS that the presence of an anchor has no effect on the preferred link text; the unmodified page title is still the MoS-preferred form, if that does not lead to awkward phrasing.

This is difficult to resolve because MOS:DABMENTION talks about section links, but doesn't actually give any examples. The sole example is from WP:DABPIPING further up, which says:

  • When a disambiguation page is linking to a specific section of an article, rather than an entire article, piping may be used for linking to that section via anchor points or section linking. This technique is used commonly for piping to the track listing section of an album; a further example, from E (disambiguation), is that the piped ESRB ([[ESRB#Ratings|ESRB]]) is preferred to simply linking to the top of the target page ESRB.

I feel this example supports my position; User:Midas02 feels it "is dead wrong, as it conflicts with the other examples given", and points out that it was edited out of mainspace in 2012.

Would it be possible to clarify this point? (talk) 17:26, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

@ and Midas02: MHO: Don't make mountains out of molehills. Either approach is acceptable. The MoS does not, and should not, address every possible contingency; it leaves room to do what makes sense on a case-by-case basis. In this case, the difference has become incredibly overblown, and you've both wasted too much breath on it. Flip a coin and move on to something productive. Swpbtalk 14:18, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I quite agree that the particular edit is picayune.
I just got miffed by the revert of my good faith edit with the blunt comment "linking is incorrect again", with the MoS cited as authority for calling my edit "incorrect".
I'm quite happy to discuss preferred styles as a matter of editorial judgement. But when someone's appealing to authority, and the authority doesn't say what they claim it does, I get my back up.
Once it became clear that we had a direct disagreement about the interpretation of the MoS, and would be unable to make progress one-on-one, I came here for tie-breaking opinions.
If nothing else, I like to choose to WP:IGNORE the MoS, rather than do so out of ignorance, so if I have been misinterpreting it, I want to know.
Your statement that both versions are acceptable implies that calling either "incorrect" is unjustified. Am I interpreting that correctly? (talk) 21:31, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps, but you appear to have come here for justification to "get your back up" further about it, which is not what guideline talk pages are for. It doesn't help the encyclopedia to aid you in a quest to tell another editor they were wrong or incorrect to use "wrong" or "incorrect".

A preferable to solution to the alternatives both of your were conflicting over would be to create a redirect with {{redr|from subtopic|to section}} and use that as the link in the DAB page:

From the lead at WP:MOS: If a style or similar debate becomes intractable, see if a rewrite can make the issue moot..  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:34, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
I came here for clarification. It's an area the MoS purports to address, but has managed to leave ambiguous. Of course I think I'm interpreting the MpS correctly, but if I'm wrong I want to know it.
For example, shall we edit the MoS to say that disambiguating to a redirect page is the preferred resolution in all such cases? Personally, I've always tried to avoid redirects to sections for the simple reason that they don't work; I get the redirected-to page, but the URL doesn't contain the #section. But it would resolve the ambiguity. (talk) 04:19, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
You're not getting it. The MoS does not purport to address this, because there is no "preferred resolution in all such cases". It can be fine to link or redirect to a section, just use {{anchor}} or leave a note by the section header to ensure it's not renamed. Swpbtalk 11:59, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
Um... to clarify two points: The bit about "preferred resolution in all such cases" was a bit of (perhaps ill-considered) hyperbole to highlight what seemed to me the ridiculousness of the suggestion. As in, "that has solved that one edit, but I don't think it's a good general solution."
As for "purports to address", I'm specifically referring to WP:DABSECTION which is trying to explain, but could use a couple of additional examples.
Here's an extremely rough draft to illustrate what I'm taking about. I'm not satisfied with the examples used, but they're close enough to give the general idea. Also, the incorrect "Terry Boot" example is taken verbatim from List of Harry Potter characters, so I want to confirm I'm preserving the MoS's meaning when declaring it incorrect.

─────────────── Section and anchor points in links should not be visible to the reader. If an anchor-point link is needed:

  • For linking the subject, link to a redirect to the anchor point rather than linking to the anchor point directly:
Delta may refer to:
  • (correct) Delta Quadrant, in the Star Trek universe
    Markup: [[Delta Quadrant]], in the ''Star Trek'' universe
  • (incorrect) Delta Quadrant, in the Star Trek universe
    Markup: [[Galactic quadrant (Star Trek)#Delta Quadrant|Delta Quadrant]], in the ''Star Trek'' universe
  • When creating a redirect to a section for this purpose, add the template {{R to section}} on the redirect page.
  • If no such redirect exists, and the subject is unlikely to ever get its own article, an alternative is to leave the subject unlinked and move the link to the description:
Fictional characters named Boot:
  • (correct) Terry Boot - Ravenclaw student in Harry's year, member of Dumbledore's Army.
    Markup: Terry Boot - Ravenclaw student in Harry's year, member of [[Dumbledore's Army#Terry Boot|Dumbledore's Army]].
  • (incorrect) Terry Boot - Ravenclaw student in Harry's year, member of Dumbledore's Army.
    Markup: [[Dumbledore's Army#Terry Boot|Terry Boot]] - Ravenclaw student in Harry's year, member of Dumbledore's Army.
  • For links in the description, link to a redirect as above, or use an anchor-point link with piping to display text similar to the article title. For example:
  • (correct) E, or Everyone, a video game rating symbol used by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
    Markup: E, or Everyone, a video game rating symbol used by the [[Entertainment Software Rating Board#Ratings|Entertainment Software Rating Board]] (ESRB)
  • (correct) "Switch", a song by Siouxsie & the Banshees from The Scream
    Markup: "Switch", a song by Siouxsie & the Banshees from ''[[The Scream (album)|The Scream]]''
  • When using link text different from the target page title, try to avoid using text identical to some other page's title. This is not, however, a strict rule if there is sufficient disambiguating context as in the example of The Scream above.
  • When linking to a section, consider creating an {{anchor}} on the target page if it is not extremely unlikely that the section name will ever change. (talk) 15:55, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

WP:PIPING is unwieldy enough without additional examples. I would support an explicit mention of the {{anchor}} template though. Swpbtalk 18:20, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

MOS:DAB checker script statistics

Code Description MoS Pages Autofix
1 O More than one red link on a line MOS:DABRL 1,003 0.37% No
2 N Red link with no blue link MOS:DABRL 29,058 10.78% No
3 M Multiple blues link on a line MOS:DABENTRY 41,213 15.28% Yes
6 P Punctuation on line MOS:DABENTRY 25,257 9.37% Yes
7 L No bullet lists MOS:DABENTRY 352 0.13% #*
9 C Non-capitalized entry MOS:DABENTRY 2,255 0.84% Yes
10 B Bold text on line MOS:DABENTRY 2,058 0.76% Yes
11 F Less than two blue links on the page WP:TWODAB 4,013 1.49% Suggestions
12 E External link MOS:DABEXT 1,181 0.44% No
13 R <ref> tag MOS:DABENTRY 955 0.35% No
14 S Unpiped #section on line MOS:DABSECTION 1,479 0.55% Usually
- T Link is piped to hide (subject) suffix MOS:DABPIPE 23,836 8.84% Usually
- X Excessively long line MOS:DABENTRY 1,453 0.54% No
- H Long unbroken list (30+ item) 596 0.22% No
- U No link on line MOS:DABENTRY 6,158 2.28% Re-links
2019-09-18 Open Dabfix Random cleanup

So I implemented many of User:Josh Parris's MOS:DAB checker suggestions in JavaScript years ago for Dab solver. Until last night I never scanned the quarter-million page corpus. Lots of changes and improvements were made through the process so this run is more approximate (unsure if I'll do it again). Also Dabfix is running again. — Dispenser 03:22, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

So apparently 6 of the 15 test cases were broken, "Red link with no blue link" (N) was only counted on lists with fewer than 5 bullets, and some pages were processed more than once skewing the numbers high. So the same pages run update with fixes. Now to port to python so I have a proper URL escape. — Dispenser 18:28, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
December update. Also the script can now be used to find the riff raff who break the MOS. — Dispenser 22:27, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

May an article be linked more than once on the same dab page?

Reading a reference to a General "Gordon" in the American Civil War, I came to Wikipedia to find out who he was. I found only Benjamin Franklin Gordon, obviously the wrong person for my context. It took some further floundering until I finally reached John Brown Gordon.

The problem was that, after his military service, this General Gordon had gone on to be a Senator and Governor. At the dab page John Gordon, I looked only in the "Military" section but he is listed only in the "Politicians" section.

In an unusual case like this, the dab page would be most useful to the reader if the person with two careers were listed in each section. Is it permissible to give John Brown Gordon two entries on the dab page? JamesMLane t c 08:31, 21 November 2015 (UTC)

IMO, it's permissible, and, in cases like the one you site, preferable to put entries in more than one section. Swpbtalk 15:12, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
No one having expressed a contrary view, I've made this change to the John Gordon dab page. JamesMLane t c 01:48, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I can guarantee you that others will remove it again commenting "duplicate". I understand the issue, but at the same time you don't want to clutter dab pages too much. You may want to establish some form of guideline about this, and add it in comments to the change you just made, otherwise other editors will be merciless. --Midas02 (talk) 02:26, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree that a hidden comment is wise in these cases. IMHO, duplicates are often a good idea (although though often they are not), but it's also smart to make it clear when they are intentional. I'm agnostic on whether this gets added to the guideline. — s w p b T 08:36, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

TWODABS's "with '(disambiguation)' in the title"

TWODABS currently starts "Some disambiguation pages with '(disambiguation)' in the title list only two meanings" [emphasis mine]. I'm not sure when that provision was added, but it's absent from older quoted versions of the section that I've seen. Why would TWODABS only apply to pages with (disambiguation) in the title? Would it not apply to any situation with a primary topic and another? Indeed, I often see TWODABS invoked when there's a base-title disambiguation page with two topics, one of which someone asserts primacy for. Here's my argument as I put it in another discussion:

...if we had a Chingford (disambiguation) that listed the London suburb and a non-notable song, as opposed to a hatnote, that would be wrong, but it would be just as wrong if I moved the page to Chingford, London and made the base title a disambiguation page.

If there are only two topics and one is primary, TWODABS applies, right? The disambiguation page is invalid wherever it happens to be. --BDD (talk) 15:20, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

I would guess the part in question segues from the second sentence in TWODABS (in such cases, the disambiguation page is not strictly necessary, but is harmless). When a disambiguation page without "disambiguation" in the title only lists two meanings, it is highly unlikely to be necessary and should be rid of, but pages with "disambiguation" in the title are indeed harmless, as they exist to the side of the "primary"/"hatnoted" articles duo.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); January 11, 2016; 15:42 (UTC)
  • Actually, the similarly named shortcut WP:2DABS addresses your situation a lot better than WP:TWODABS does. In fact, I'd be in favor of scrapping that section completely and replacing it with a link to WP:2DABS (and moving the shortcuts over there). -- Tavix (talk) 15:43, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Maybe that's why I was so confused! I thought this was part of WP:D, but TWODABS (the form I've seen more often) takes you here. One of the two, probably the current 2DABS, should be the authoritative version and the target of all the shortcuts; the other can retain a brief summary and link to the authoritative version. --BDD (talk) 20:54, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
I would agree with that. Maybe to prevent confusion, MOS:TWODABS (and variants) could link there instead. -- Tavix (talk) 23:46, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
I think one of the two entries must be stripped of shortcuts completely; i.e. the summary version should be for readers only, not for referrers.
Just to be clear for participants: WP:2DABS goes to a policy page while WP:2DAB, WP:TWODAB and WP:TWODABS all go to a MOS page.
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 09:19, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
  • If there is a primary topic for "Foo" then either (a) the article will have the title "Foo" or (b) the article will have a title like "Foo, California" because of a naming convention (or a totally different title because the topic is the primary topic for two quite different titles), and "Foo" will be a redirect to that title. If there is just one other article, "Foo (xyz)", then there will be a hatnote ({{about}} or similar in case (a), and {{redirect}} in case (b)) to point readers to the right article. If the place in London is the primary topic of "Chingford", and there is just one other "Chingford" topic, there shouldn't be a dab page at "Chingford" in either case.
But @Ezhiki: says above When a disambiguation page without "disambiguation" in the title only lists two meanings, it is highly unlikely to be necessary and should be rid of: that isn't true as it stands. If one of the topics is the primary topic for the term, the base name should either hold its article or be a redirect to it; if neither of them is the primary topic,the dab page is correct and necessary. PamD 18:10, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
I meant only pages with two meanings where one is primary. When neither meaning is primary, then your clarification stands, of course. Thanks for catching this oversight of mine. Also, I do agree with Tavix's suggestion to get rid of TWODABS in favor of redirecting it to 2DABS, which explains all possible situations better anyway (and doing which would render original BDD's inquiry moot).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); January 11, 2016; 18:31 (UTC)
  • The guideline should simply state best practice. The current version is arguing with itself. The first two sentences should be removed. The guideline should start: "When there are only two meanings, the recommended practice is to..." H. Humbert (talk) 20:35, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
  • This is proving less contentious than I might have expected. I think I'm seeing consensus, so unless I hear any objections in a few days, I'll implement Tavix's suggestion above of keeping the section at WP:D authoritative, pointing all the shortcuts there, and maintaining a summary-style description of the guideline here. --BDD (talk) 19:46, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
 Done Please ping me with any concerns. I've tightened the language in this section, pointed with a {{further}} over to WP:D, and retargeted all of the variations of WP:TWODABS shortcuts there. --BDD (talk) 17:48, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Two blue links per entry

If an entry starts with a red link then according to current practice (WP:DABRL), the description should contain only one blue link. So the following entry from Peter Austin would be bad:

Peter Austin (journalist), editor of the Eastbourne Gazette and Eastbourne Herald

Here I don't see how trying to have only one blue link could make this entry anything but worse. The person is known for the two newspapers he's an editor of so we can't really pick something else to link to. We could de-link or omit one of them, but that will be arbitrary: neither of the two newspapers seems to be more important. Uanfala (talk) 22:53, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Could be a case for Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Disambiguation_pages#When_to_break_Wikipedia_rules - MOSDAB has its very own statement of WP:IAR. I agree that there are cases like this - as when a redlinked person was MP for "Here" constituency and also for "There" and is linked from both those bluelinked titles - where it makes sense to have two blue links. PamD 23:04, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
Incorrect. The blue link should provide as much additional information as possible on the red linked item. The dab entry is not supposed to serve en lieu of a full article, and thus shouldn't mention every article the item is being mentioned in. In this case none of the two articles provides any information on the person, other than his status as an editor, so any one of the two should be linked. No information is lost from not linking to the other article. --Midas02 (talk) 06:20, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
If we take it that neither of the two articles provides any information about the person (other than his status as an editor) then linking to any of them would be pointless, wouldn't it? On the other hand, if we take it that generally information about a newspaper is also relevant for the editor, then neither one of the two articles contains more information about the person than the other. So the choice of linking one and not the other would be completely arbitrary and would also leave readers with the wrong impression than the unlinked newspaper doesn't have a wikipedia article. Uanfala (talk) 11:21, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree with PamD and others that there are cases where there is no single link that adequately addresses a single subject. I'd prefer not to have to formalize such IAR situations for fear of letting the camel's nose under the tent, but if rule-followers need a rubric for such common sense, then it'd likely be better to err on the side of being helpful for readers than applying arbitrary choices.12:47, 12 January 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bkonrad (talkcontribs)
+1 Yeah, I think IAR covers this. If you're in a situation where just choosing one topic would be arbitrary... don't! --BDD (talk) 15:06, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
In the meantime, someone had unlinked one of the entries, apparently citing this bit from WP:DABENTRY:

Include exactly one navigable (blue) link to efficiently guide readers to the most relevant article for that use of the ambiguous term. Do not wikilink any other words in the line.

Won't it be sensible to add that this rule might not apply to red link entries? Or would that already be the camel's head inside the tent? Uanfala (talk) 15:36, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
We don't need to restate IAR everywhere it might apply. —swpbT 16:39, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
@Uanfala:, your last statement goes against what I explained previously. A redlinked dab entry is not a replacement for an article, so items mentioned in that entry do not have to be wikilinked just to prove they exist. They should serve a purpose, and that is to tell you something about the redlinked item. In this case, if both newspapers tell you nothing more other than the person having been an editor, then it suffices to link to one of them. Since the other will give you no added info. People will also not have come to the dab page to find out about one or the other newspaper, otherwise they would have typed the name of the newspaper. So basically, linking one of them will fit the purpose just fine.
On "take it that neither of the two articles provides any information about the person ... then linking to any of them would be pointless", that's not true. The point of adding those unlinked or redlinked entries is to inform readers that those people exist or have existed, that Wikipedia knows about them, where you can find out (a little bit) more about them, but that there is no article on them (yet). So it does serve a purpose.
@PamD, Bkonrad, and BDD: I'm finding your answers somewhat lax. As I explained above, there is no superior reason here to throw one of the fundamental guidelines of dab pages, the one blue link, overboard. This situation is exactly the same as with athletes who are mentioned in multiple sports articles, redlinked actors who featured in many films or, as PamD mentioned above, politicians who represented multiple constituencies (as can often be found in Parliament's well-documented records), a baronet who was mentioned left, right and centre, and so on and so on. In none of these cases do we link to multiple articles. --Midas02 (talk) 02:18, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
@Midas02: I agree with your premises but I find there are logical inconsistencies in the way your draw your conclusions. But let's not bicker about that. The fact remains that, although there often is a single most suitable article to link to, in some cases there are no grounds for choosing one over the other and any reason given for linking one will also be a reason for linking both. Uanfala (talk) 03:29, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
I fail to see the inconsistency, so feel free to comment. --Midas02 (talk) 04:37, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
For example, I don't see how the conclusion follows here: "People will also not have come to the dab page to find out about one or the other newspaper, otherwise they would have typed the name of the newspaper. So basically, linking one of them will fit the purpose just fine." Well, if people haven't come to the dab to find out about the newspapers, then if there's any conclusion we can draw from here it's that a link to any of them won't fit the purpose at all. Uanfala (talk) 13:31, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I'm answering your query correctly, but a blue link has to be added so one can at least prove the topic was mentioned in an article. And, ideally, that article should tell you something significant about that topic. Otherwise people would just be adding random entries, without anyone being able to verify if those entries hold any value. So that is the primary reason for adding a blue link. --Midas02 (talk) 20:10, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
Arguing for two links seems like it could be problematic because that number won't always be two. I could foresee a decent number of cases like John Smith being listed as the composer for four notable video games and three movies. Do we now have seven blue links on his entry?
I don't expect many to agree with me, but I would actually argue for not including such an entry on the DAB page at all. The Red links section on the MOS says, "The linked article should contain some meaningful information about the term." To me, a title alone is not exactly meaningful. I would say that in cases like this the wiki just doesn't have any substantial information to share about the person and so they don't belong on a disambiguation page. -- Fyrael (talk) 19:13, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Two thoughts on this: first, the more quickly the red link is made into an article, the more quickly any tertiary blue links can be removed. Second, I would support allowing two tertiary blue links for the two most significant contributions of the subject, if they were roughly equal in importance. bd2412 T 13:34, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes, I agree BD2412. Fyrael, I also agree that if the subject is mentioned only in passing in several similar articles, such as director of multiple films etc., those would not be appropriate to link separately. Where I've see this issue arise is where a subject has some significance in very different areas, for example, where a person founded a company and was also a noted athlete or politician. olderwiser 14:56, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
It's opening Pandora's box. Before you know it, you'll have idle discussions of people wanting to add multiple blue links left, right and centre. It's just not worth it. --Midas02 (talk) 20:10, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree that this seems to be a time to WP:IAR. Addressing User:Fyrael's point, once you have links to four video games and three movies, you have a stub article, so create one. That's the fundamental answer to the "camel's nose in the tent" concern: by redlinking, you're saying that an article is warranted, and if there's enough camel inside the disambiguation tent to cause concern, then give it its own tent. The problem is that precisely two blue links might not be quite enough WP:BEEF for even a stub. (talk) 04:19, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree. This is more like how disambiguation pages were in early days of the project. As a non-article topic accreted more info on the dab page, the "fix" was to create a stub. olderwiser 12:36, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • WP:IAR as needed. I "regularly" (a few times per year) create two-link disambiguations, where we're missing something and the would-be target is equally relevant to two things we do have articles on. It's rarely reverted, because people see why it was done, per WP:COMMONSENSE. If one has the time, the obvious solution is to create a stub for the actual topic we'd like to link to, but one does not always have the time.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:32, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Headings and accessibility

MOS:DABGROUPING seems inconsistent with WP:BADHEAD's guideline

Do not make pseudo-headings using semicolon markup and try to avoid using bold markup. Screen readers and other machines can only use correctly formatted headings for navigation. If you want to reduce the size of the table of contents (TOC), use {{TOC limit}} instead. In cases where {{TOC limit}} cannot be used because of lower-level headings elsewhere in the article, then using bold for the headings causes the least annoyance for screen reader users.

That last sentence doesn't often apply to dabs, and the disadvantages of section headings can almost always be mitigated through the use of {{TOC right|limit=2}} or __NOTOC__.

I can't think of any advantages that bold headings offer over standard section headings. Accordingly, I propose changing MOS:DABGROUPING to recommend section headings exclusively. Nick Number (talk) 19:09, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

I more or less agree. I'm finding the bold characters rather disturbing, they draw the attention away of the bold-faced words in the lead. Also, there are bots going round (can't remember which ones), that are changing semicolon headings in section headings, thus adding to the confusion. --Midas02 (talk) 04:03, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Additional opinions sought

on a topic that may be of interest to those editors interested in the use of redirects on disambiguation pages. See Talk:Committee on Government Operations#Avoid redirects. olderwiser 23:15, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Double parenthetical disambiguation

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Unusual case: Talk:National Highway 26 (India)#Requested move 16 March 2016. Summary: The proposal is to move it to "National Highway 26 (India)(old numbering)".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:22, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Decorative italics in dab entries?

@SMcCandlish: maybe as a regular you can help me out, or someone else? Where in the guidelines does it say that decorative italics have to be used in dab entries. For exam ple [Point Break (2015 film)] is wrong, but [Point Break (2015 film)|Point Break (2015 film)] is right? This requires writing out every dab entry twice, pipelinking and adding in italic markers. This doubles the amount of bytes needed, but to what useful purpose beyond decoration? In ictu oculi (talk) 16:36, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Not just for dab pages, it's customary to italicize the formal titles of major works. Our guidance on this is poorly organized, but you could start at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles#Italics. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 16:55, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, it's not decorative, but conventional for titles of major works, and helps distinguish them as such. We also do it for song titles and other minor works, with quotation marks instead of italics. If you in-page search for "italics" in MOS:DAB, you'll find the item about this at the second occurrence of the word in the page.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:22, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
WP:DABPIPING is the direct link to the most relevant part of the DAB guideline: "Use piping to add italics or quotation marks to part of an article name; for instance, Harvey (film), USS Adder (SS-3)..." The purpose, as it says under Individual entries, is to conform with MOS:TITLE.--Cúchullain t/c 17:45, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
My reaction is that this is pointless and time wasting. Dab pages are not article pages where italicizing articles is used when concealing the (parenthetical content). For example:
A. Within an article " the 2015 remake [Point Break (2015 film)|' 'Point Break' '] Ray Winstone.." makes sense.
B. But on a dab page what is the point of [Point Break (2015 film)|' 'Point Break' ' (2015 film)]? The mechanics of the link are already exposed by (2015 film) so who or what is benefiting by italicizing something which is not running text link but just decorating an opened out link, neither fish nor fowl?
Who benefits and how? In ictu oculi (talk) 17:54, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
I think the point I'm making is demonstrated by - it's not an engine, it's a cutaway of an engine, showing a dab link internal to the link. Why should we decorate the link to make it appear as a real title, when it isn't? In ictu oculi (talk) 17:59, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
It makes things more convenient for readers as it renders the title the same way it appears in the text (and for italicized titles, the actual article title). It also ensures consistency between blue linked dab entries and those where the link is in the description: for instance, between "Cheap Thrills" (song) and "Cheap Thrills", a 1983 song by Planet Patrol. It takes a minimum amount of effort for the editor to make things clear and more consistent for the reader.--Cúchullain t/c 18:59, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
(Due to conflict, this is now redundant, but I took the time to type it out so...) Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something, but italicizing titles is not at all dependent on or related to concealing parenthetical content. The italics and quotation marks are for easily distinguishing a major work from a minor work from a common term. That concept is just as useful on a dab page as it is on a regular article. When I see "Witch" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode), I already know exactly what everything is without even needing a description or having foreknowledge that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a TV show. Without the formatting, I would probably figure it out because of the word "episode", but the recognition wouldn't be immediate as I'm reading it. I'm also utterly confused about your last question. In what sense is Point Break not a real title? -- Fyrael (talk) 19:04, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
But that's the point, it clearly isn't consistent. Consistent means consistent, the same, this isn't: Point Break (2015 film) is not how the link appears in article, it is only how the link, repeat the link, is stylized on a non-article dab page. In the article the parenthesis (2015 film) wouldn't be visible, it would be hidden. So how is putting italics on a dab-link "consistent" with anything in article text?
Sorry, I'm only asking, but this doesn't appear to have been thought through. I get that it's partial imitation of article style, but since it can only be partial, due to the (2015 film) then why stylize the link pretending that the link contains italics when it doesn't? In ictu oculi (talk) 22:17, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
The title of the work is a unit, and it is italicized for major works and quote-marked for minor ones. To which, separately, after the fact, severably, distinctly, unrelatedly, we add parenthetic disambiguation when necessary. It's no more correct to refer to "Point Break (film)" [as opposed to Point Break (film)] than to "jimmy stewart (politician)" or "Jimmystewart (politician)"; we don't abandon conventional style just because a disambiguation has been tacked on.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:18, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
Correct. In ictu, you'll notice that in the title field at Point Break (2015 film), the actual title Point Break is in fact italicized, and the disambiguation is not. And of course in the running text there and at other articles, Point Break is italicized. This is done through Template:DISPLAYTITLE, which is now incorporated as part of the film infobox and similar ones. This could/should be included across the board for all articles that need italicization (No similar template exists for titles that would be put in quote marks, which is one of the reasons it isn't done).
All this is to say, it is consistent, or at least it ought to be. The title part of an article should follow the style guide as much as possible. Again, on dab pages this measure keeps things easier to follow for readers.--Cúchullain t/c 01:03, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: okay well this appears to be an addition to the Manual of Style/Disambiguation, so if that is now agreed then it should be written in. In ictu oculi (talk) 15:13, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
The wording could probably be clearer, but the information on piping and formatting is there already.--Cúchullain t/c 17:58, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Yep. And the quoted titles thing can and should be fixed with a CSS class that uses the before and after pseudo-element selectors; that will have to be added to MediaWiki:Common.css since it can't be done with inline CSS. Something like:
.quoted-title::before {
    content: open-quote;
.quoted-title::before {
    content: close-quote;
 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:13, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

DAB page or Anthroponymy page?

Hi, is it correct to include entries other than given names of surnames in an Anthroponymy page, like what we see in Huygens or Madelung? It seems to me that in this way we blur the border between DAB pages and Anthroponymy pages, since so many DAB pages containing names can turn into Anthroponymy pages with some non-names, and vise versa. Saeidpourbabak (talk) 20:23, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

This question has now been asked at WP:HD#DAB page or Anthroponymy page? I've restored it here because it will be useful to have it in the archives Uanfala (talk) 19:32, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#Proposal to determine whether an intentional disambig link should be piped or not.

I have made a proposal to add language stating whether WP:INTDABLINK links in disambiguation page should be piped or not; please weigh in at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#Proposal to determine whether an intentional disambig link should be piped or not. Consistency would seem to demand a rule one way or the other, although perhaps we will end up with the third option of continuing to be inconsistent. Cheers! bd2412 T 01:29, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Reverting an edit based on a consensus without a new consensus?

Hi. After the discussions about how and where the human names should be placed in a DAB page which eventually leaded to some changes on the MOS:DABNAME, that edit was reverted. Does anybody know if there was a new consensus for such change? Saeidpourbabak (talk) 20:28, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Linking to a primary topic

The section "Linking to a primary topic" should say more. The primary topic line is presumably supposed to be mostly like an individual entry line, except that an individual entry line (1) is not a complete sentence, (2) uses a comma, not a copula (is) between the term and the definition, and (3) ends without period, while a primary topic line (1) is a complete sentence, (2) uses a copula, not a comma, between the term and the definition, and (3) ends with a period. Are there any other differences? For example, is it permitted to have more than one blue link in the primary topic line? An example where a second blue link might be considered is Be My Baby (disambiguation), where the primary topic line now reads

"Be My Baby" is a 1963 song performed by The Ronettes.

MOS:DABPRIMARY does not explicitly prohibit

"Be My Baby" is a 1963 song performed by The Ronettes.

It should explicitly state whether multiple blue links are permitted in the primary topic line. —Anomalocaris (talk) 08:19, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Can you show a diff for a discussion anywhere which would be helped by a clear statement here? I think the examples are clear enough without any text: there are no links to learning, spaceflight, etc, which indicates pretty clearly to me "there should only be the one blue link in that line". PamD 08:49, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
  • The second example with two links must be explicitly prohibited, because it is against the spirit of MOS:DAB and the way dab pages are consumed. Every link in a dab page is supposed to be a disambiguating link. Dabfix takes this for granted. —Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 09:03, 3 June 2016 (UTC)


Hello, I've forgotten who runs dabfix, but it's been down today. Can anyone help get it up and running again? Best wishes, Boleyn (talk) 18:23, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

@Boleyn: Fixed. There was a power interruption that caused the router to crash and I was out the country. — Dispenser 16:14, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Brilliant, thanks, Dispenser. Boleyn (talk) 16:45, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Sister project links

Is there any guidance regarding how or if links to sister projects other than Wiktionary (such as Wikivoyage or Commons) should appear on a disambiguation page. In particular, this edit prompted my attention, but I don't see any specific guidance about this. I have also recently seen editors adding links to Commons or Wikiquote in see also. I had thought such links were in general not included, but in cases where there might be good reason, should they be placed like Wiktionary links, or in a see also section? olderwiser 12:23, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

The intro to the dab style guide says: This style guideline is intended to make the search more efficient, by giving disambiguation pages a consistent look and by avoiding distracting information. In brief, the pages should contain only disambiguation content.... (emphasis mine). Wikivoyage and Commons don't belong on dab pages. — Gorthian (talk) 16:50, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
I concur. Wiktionary belongs because the ambiguous sense might be a dicdef not otherwise represented in Wikipedia. Wikivoyage and Commons presume association with a location or a concept which should have a place in Wikipedia. bd2412 T 17:51, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
In general I agree. But it would be nice to have clearer guidance to point to when removing such well-intentioned additions.olderwiser 18:31, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi. I think quoting the aforementioned sentence in the edit summary should be enough. People are averse to reading large blocks of text. In addition, there is the fact that Wikivoyage and Commons links are always associated with a concept while dab pages are not so. Therefore, inserting such links there is always wrong. They should go to one of the linked articles. —Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 20:20, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Generally, I agree that wikt and voy are inappropriate. But in the cited specific case, and I presume there may be similar others, those links fit the matter on that page. I don't think it's helpful to be too rigid about this. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:53, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi. :) Give us an example please. Thanks. Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 10:09, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Apart from the cited case, Republic of Syria springs to mind :) -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:00, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
That's half an example. What do intend to put on it?
As for Punjab (disambiguation), the {{Wikivoyage|Punjab}} clearly belongs to Punjab (region).
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 14:07, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't intend to do anything in this matter. My main point was that a blanket rule prohibiting sister project links on any DAB/SI page may be too rigid. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 14:23, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

When is it permissible to include a red link on a disambiguation page?

I have annotated the posts below with "(a red link)" to indicate the links which were red when posted, as the discussion is confusing otherwise! PamD 08:06, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

I hope this is a simple question. Editor David.moreno72 and I disagree on the application of the guideline, and I would appreciate clarification. (For the curious, our previous discussion is at User talk:Oleksiy.golubov § Zabrama.)

As I read MOS:DABRED, an entry for a red linked topic is permissible if: (1) that red link appears in an article (as shown via the "What links here" feature) and (2) there's a reasonable plausibility that the red linked topic is notable and will eventually be created. David disagrees and appears to read DABRED and MOS:DABMENTION as requiring that every entry include a blue link. The entry in question is this from Zabrama:

As can be seen here, the red link Zabrama, Bryansk Oblast (a red link) is linked to from the article Boris Pritychenko. I believe Zabrama, Bryansk Oblast is plausibly notable, and I think it's reasonable to hope such an article will be written.

Thanks. Rebbing 06:38, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

1: David has got it right. Every entry in a disambiguation page must contain a blue link linking to an article in English wikipedia, where some info or at least a mention of the topic can be found. You could, just about, have had an entry "Zabrama, Bryansk Oblast(a red link), a village in Russia, birthplace of Boris Pritychenko." You cannot just add an entry "Zabrama, Bryansk Oblast (a red link), a village in Russia" with no blue link, and the inter-language link to Russian wikipedia does not qualify. Disambiguation pages exist to help readers navigate around English wikipedia.
2: But that dab page! A mess. There is no mention of "Zabrama" on the Zarma people page, although a redirect there was created in 2010. ("Zabarma" is mentioned but that is a different word). Then a quite full and apparently sourced version about the village was created by Superzohar, overwriting the redirect. In August 2014 as part of a mass cleanup of Superzohar's copyright infringements this page was reverted to the old redirect to the Zarma people. I have now reverted to the pre-August 2014 version but removed all but the lead sentence of text - there is no copyright in facts, so the infobox and maps can be preserved. I have linked (left-hand column) to the existing Russian article. It appears to be a verifiable populated place so is considered inherently notable. All now looks OK (well, to me, anyway). PamD 07:55, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
I've just helpfully made a redirect from Zabrama, Bryansk Oblast to Zabrama, to turn the redlink in Boris Pritychenko blue, but of course this has the effect of confusing all the points being made above! Will annotate to try to clarify. PamD 08:04, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
And I've created the missing redirect from Zabarma to Zarma people - it's mentioned, spelled that way, twice in the article (lead and caption), and presumably the original redirect at Zabrama was created as a typo! Quite a saga. PamD 08:21, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
@PamD: Wow, what a brilliant job PamD, worthy of some wikilove. Thanks for the clarification and the fix up of the page. David.moreno72 (talk) 08:29, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
David.moreno72, I stand corrected and apologize.
PamD, I'm impressed!! Very, very nicely done. And thank you for setting me straight. About my misunderstanding—I take it DABRED is about including red links when there's also a blue link in the line? E.g., Some Album, a 2011 album by Some Band? Rebbing 18:24, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
That, you can do if the album is mentioned on the blue-linked page about the band. bd2412 T 19:06, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't know if it has changed. But the MOS is clear at the moment. It says.

"A ... red link ... should only be included on a disambiguation page when an article (not just disambiguation pages) also includes that red link. ... To find out if any article uses the red link, click on it, and then click "What links here" on the toolbox on the left side of the page."

So -- if non-disambiguation-pages uses a red link for the same word, it IS fine for the disambiguation page to use a red link.

What follows in that section is a description of what you have to do if there are NO non-disambiguation article pages that use the red link. (Then, there are certain steps you take, including taking the brackets off to make it a non-red-link).

What's really unhelpful is taking steps to delete rather than fix -- where a fix is required. Editors who want to build an encyclopedia may want to avoid doing that. I see that David, in addition to not reading the MOS language in that first paragraph, does do that, and he may want to think about whether that really helps all of us work together to build something better.--2604:2000:E016:A700:354B:B296:1058:7227 (talk) 06:07, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Plus - What David did was not helpful. Perhaps it was mean-spirited. He does not do much to build an encylopedia when, after I point this out to him, he thinks he is uninvolved enough to do this .. and take this step. Seriously?

And he did it after I quoted the rule! On that talk page! Here -- — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2604:2000:E016:A700:354B:B296:1058:7227 (talk) 06:17, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

With or without the redlink, your draft meets the requirements of WP:APONOTE so I've moved it into the article namespace. Uanfala (talk) 06:50, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Substantive changes dressed up as copy-editing

These changes, characterized by David.moreno72 as "copyediting to make it clearer" and "Hopefully made it easier to understand as it has often been misunderstood," are manifestly substantive changes dressed up by edit summaries that misrepresent them as non-substantive copy edits. That's not quite cricket. Substantive changes of this ilk should not be made without discussion and consensus. And should never be inserted with edit summaries that conceal their true character. Let's all keep an eye on this. -- (talk) 02:18, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're referring to; the edits look fine to me, and they did make the text clearer, so the edit summaries made sense. The issue was discussed here on this page, in the section above labeled #When is it permissible to include a red link on a disambiguation page?. — Gorthian (talk) 04:49, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Multi-section, TOC dab pages

Donner is a dab page, which starts "Donner may refer to:", following the MoS. But this colon is followed by a Table of Contents, and a number of separate sections. This looks very odd. I suggest the Lead section (for that is what it is) should rather be something like "Donner may refer to any of the following." with a complete sentence, but rather than just change this one example, I'm requesting that the MoS should address this case. Imaginatorium (talk) 02:26, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Oppose We want to keep the number of words at a minimum, and 'any of the following' and a complete sentence do the opposite. I don't think a dab this length needs a table of contents, although they are potentially useful on particularly long dabs. Boleyn (talk) 07:17, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The fix proposed is a solution to a problem that the MOS has never sanctioned in the first place. Per MOS, the dab pages never have sections with H2 through H8 headings. —Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 09:24, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
Could you explain where you're seeing this? What I see at MOS:DABGROUPING indicates the opposite:

On longer lists, section headings should be used instead of, or in addition to, bold headings. Using more than one level may be necessary, as on Aurora (disambiguation). Always use ==Level two== as the highest-level header.

-- Fyrael (talk) 20:22, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
Huh! That's funny. I had never seen that sentence before. (It is possible that it was added later. I read the article in 2012.) To this date, I was operating under the assumption that section headings are MOS violations! —Best regards, Codename Lisa (talk) 08:11, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Since the objections seem to be mostly that the page shouldn't be laid out like this, but it is, and this is sanctioned by the MOS, I went ahead and converted the first line into a sentence, in line with normal conventions of written English. Imaginatorium (talk) 10:04, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

How much information should be given?

MOS:DABPEOPLE says "only enough descriptive information that the reader can distinguish between different people with the same name."

But all three of the examples given seem not to follow this rule:

It would be enough ot say

anybody looking for any of them would be able to tell which is the one they want. DGG ( talk ) 20:00, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

  • Descriptors should definitely be present and be brief rather than long. My (and probably many other people's) habit when scanning a list of people is to only look at the descriptors, much like reading down the second column of a table, to find the right one. Years are helpful, but at least for me they're secondary. The disambiguator from the article titles isn't always enough, and it's confusing if some entries in a list have one while others don't. A descriptor like "British general" should usually be enough, although probably not in this case: the person is more likely to be known for their involvement in India rather than for being a general. The question is also relevant for MOS:APO, although it's a pity that isn't watched much. – Uanfala (talk) 20:13, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Unfortunately the parenthetical disambiguators are often unclear, even while technically differentiating the titles. So long as the description is not more than a phrase or two, I don't see a problem. For example, is John Adams (Major General) a political appointee or military officer? Or is John Adams (educator) really the only educator with that name? Are you sure you didn't mean John Adams (educational writer)? olderwiser 20:36, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
  • There are lots and lots of dab and name pages that ignore the guidelines. For people, life dates, nationality, and occupation are standard (per MOS:APO#Formatting). I add as little to that as possible, but if someone is especially known for one thing, I might include that as well. For the example you gave, I would do this:
Sometimes I include terms of service or rule when that's important to distinguish between people. That comes up often on ancient kings, for instance. But always as brief as possible. — Gorthian (talk) 23:38, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Double listing in dab page


I received a message from JamesMLane about a case were I deleted a double mention from the John Gordon dab page; seing it as not necessary to mention the same person in two different groups (Politicians & Military) as the relevant information has been put in a single descriptive sentence and one link should be, IMO, sufficient. I´m not sure what the official stand on this is, if there is any, and I couldn´t find anything about double mentions over here. So the message I got:

I thought I had raised this issue before, either with you or in a more general discussion, but I can't for the life of me find it. Apologies if this is duplication.

By this edit you removed one of the listings of John Brown Gordon from the John Gordon dab page. Gordon was both a Civil War general and a politician (Governor and U.S. Senator). I thought putting him in both categories served the readers the best. Someone who encounters a reference to Gordon elsewhere, and wants to know more about him, might come to the dab page and not want to wade through scores of listings to find the right one. Categorizing the listings is a big help. The problem is that some people might look under "Politicians" and others under "Military", depending on the context in which they saw his name. If he's in only one of the categories, some readers won't readily find him and will give up.

The question I thought I'd raised was why we should be averse to a "duplicative" listing when there's a good reason for it.

If you think we should not list Gen./Gov./Sen. Gordon twice, we should start a discussion on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation, because this issue could affect other listings. JamesMLane t c 18:20, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Following the advice I´m putting it up here for clarification. Thanks in advance ...GELongstreet (talk) 18:48, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

  • This took me a while to find, but the guidance regarding this is in the essay Wikipedia:Organizing disambiguation pages by subject area, which is linked from MOS:DABGROUPING as "detailed guidance". In the section Well-defined subject areas, it says: Subject areas should be chosen to avoid overlap where feasible. When an entry unavoidably fits into more than one subject area (such as a record label that fits under both "Music" and "Businesses"), it's a good idea to list it in each.
The main goal of dab pages is to help the reader get to what they want; listing the article in more than one section of the dab page does just that. No matter whether the searcher thinks of John Brown Gordon as a military or political leader, they will find the article they need quickly. — Gorthian (talk) 00:01, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
I think it's a (widely held) misunderstanding of MOS:DABGROUPING that it applies to human name disambiguation pages. Per MOS:DABPEOPLE, it doesn't. See also the example provided by Wikipedia:WikiProject Anthroponymy/Standards, Spencer (given name). As you found, organising human name disambiguation pages by subject area is problematic: a) accidental or intentional duplicate entries (which may contain different descriptions); b) the reader has to make a decision under which subject area to look; b) editors have to do the same when adding entries. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:57, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, if all the 60 or so people listed on a page like John Gordon have the same name, there has to be some way to group them. – Uanfala (talk) 09:16, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
MOS:DABGROUPING applies to human name disambiguation pages. Anthoponymy article standards apply to anthroponymy articles, not disambiguation pages. Spencer (given name) is not a disambiguation page. -- [User:JHunterJ|JHunterJ]] (talk) 13:48, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The situation you describe could occur but is not problematic. The categorization is very helpful with John Gordon, where there are more than 40 names. John Smith has many more. On such a page, the categories will help a reader find the right link without wading through the whole list. By contrast, the List of people with surname Spencer is different because a reader who encounters a reference elsewhere to someone named Spencer would presumably have a given name as well, and so could easily find the right link in the alphabetized list of Spencers (and similarly with Spencer (given name), where the reader would have a surname).
When an editor adds a name to a dab page that's categorized, the worst case is that the editor puts it in one place and there's a reader who would look for it in another. If the reader doesn't find it at once, s/he can always scan the entire list, and be no worse off than if the list weren't categorized. If categories and duplicate entries are allowed, however, the situation will often be improved, as the original editor (or, as in John Brown Gordon's case, someone else who comes along later) may include the name in the category where the reader looks for it. It's not much of a stretch to figure that someone who was a general and an elected member of a national legislature is both "Military" and "Politicians" material.
I don't see a downside to duplicate entries with different descriptions. If the entry in "Military" describes John Brown Gordon as a general, and the entry in "Politicians" says he was a Governor and Senator, so what? A reader who knew about only one of his careers will get to the article that s/he wants and will learn about the other. JamesMLane t c 17:31, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I can see nothing at MOS:DABPEOPLE to suggest that MOS:DABGROUPING doesn't apply. None of the examples from Wikipedia:WikiProject Anthroponymy/Standards seem relevant, as they don't apply to complete names, only given names or surnames. The essay at Wikipedia:Organizing disambiguation pages by subject area, in its model scheme for headings, includes people, subdivided by field of activity (assuming a case where the full name has other non-name meanings). I think duplication of entries should probably be kept to an absolute minimum, because otherwise many polymaths (or nobles who were also military or novelists, etc) could appear multiple times. Go for the single most important aspect.
A related topic: within sections, or where there are no sections, how do we arrange people in dab pages? I quite favour chronological, as the reader is likely to have an idea whether the person they want was born nearer to 1780 or 1980. Alternatively we alphabetise by full form of name (ie including middle initials etc), and/or epithet. Different editors do it differently! We need to think about the reader: if they have searched for "John Smith" they are unlikely to know that his full name is "John Zachariah Smith", so sorting in A-Z order of full names is not always useful. They won't know whether his epithet is "(artist)" or "(Welsh artist)". PamD 10:27, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
  • And, nearly an hour later, I've sorted out a blue link for a redlinked songwriter, and created John Gordon (Royal Navy officer) to resolve another redlink - promoted to Admiral in retirement after retiring in disgrace after a court martial. It helped if you came from his sort of family, I guess! There were two different established redlinks pointing to him... one of those time-sinks. PamD 11:19, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
  • @PamD: As far as ordering names, I've been ordering given names alphabetically by surname, surnames alphabetically by given name, and whole names chronologically by date of birth. I also have made it a practice to put a hidden note just under the heading: <!-- ordered by date of birth -->, so that other editors can keep it consistent.— Gorthian (talk) 19:14, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Any reason for this rule??

When the ambiguous term has a primary topic but that article has a different title (so that the term is the title of a redirect), the primary topic line normally uses the redirect to link to that article:

A cosmonaut or astronaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft.

Any reason for this rule?? Please explain. Georgia guy (talk) 14:02, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Hello, Georgia guy
Have you ever consider how ridiculous would it have been if the opposite of this rule was in place?
Beside redirects are holy saviors of human sanity.
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 14:29, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
It allows for the primary topic's article name to change (and therefore the redirect target as well) without us having to update the disambiguation page. That's my guess. -- Fyrael (talk) 22:25, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Listing a topic discriminatorily above others

Hello all. Recently I was involved in a dispute with a user involving whether Thomas Jefferson and Otto von Bismarck should be listed subjectively above all other entries at the Jefferson and Bismarck dab pages respectively, despite the fact that Jefferson doesn't redirect to Thomas Jefferson and Bismarck doesn't redirect to Otto von Bismarck. The user soon referred me to MOS:DABORDER, but that only seems to apply with more than one entry. He also claimed that there is a consensus that the two statesmen are the most sought-after pages by our readers; there is nothing to suggest that at Talk:Jefferson and Talk:Bismarck. I honestly feel that a community-wide RFC is in order here, as I absolutely cannot fathom as to how one article should be arbitrarily listed above all other entries just because a few users subjectively believe that article is the most important. Jefferson's currently not a WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT and neither's Bismarck. Therefore, they be listed equally with all the others.--Nevéselbert 12:07, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

I'm the other editor involved. First, MOS:DABORDER refers to a small number. "One" is indisputably a small number. DABORDER does not limit its application to more than one entry. Thomas Jefferson has been mentioned in the first line (in various formulations) for most of the existence of the dab page. That is a reasonable indication of consensus. Similarly, Otto von has been in the first line or prominent in the first section of the disambiguation page for most of the page's existence. Bismarck was recently proposed for a requested move to have it become a redirect to Otto von (which I opposed BTW). The move was not a runaway (8 for; 11 against) and was closed as "no consensus". The proposer presented voluminous data supporting the primacy of Otto von, which ultimately was not enough to establish primary topic but which did strongly indicate Otto von is very likely to be the target sought by readers looking for "Bismarck". Disambiguation pages are meant to be tools to assist readers to find ambiguous topics, and one way we accomplish this is by placing the most likely targets at the top of the page. olderwiser 12:55, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
That is a reasonable indication of consensus. No, it isn't. Good lord, that's twisted logic. Look, if you are that insistent on Otto von Bismarck and Thomas Jefferson remaining at the top of their respective disambiguation pages, then by all means open another move discussion. Meanwhile, we should refrain from assuming consensus since that goes against the principles of WP:POV. You are right that WP:DABORDER has no explicit limit; I believe it should have one and I am thus seriously considering opening an Rfc on the matter. Who decides what and/or who is the most likely topic? Plenty of dissenting arguments at Talk:Bismarck#Requested move 29 December 2015 made some valid points:

I think that as the state capital, Bismarck, North Dakota is notable enough to preclude a redirect.
— User:Phinumu

while Otto von Bismarck is hugely popular, there is nothing here to support that it is the intended target of Bismarck. As such, the DAB page is most appropriate. No other entry on that page is otherwise close enough to establish primary topic.
— User:Tiggerjay

His name isn't "Bismarck", contrary to what uninformed news weenies think, it's "von Bismarck". The dab page, therefore, needs to be the target for the "without von" names, which will include the correct surname.
— User:Trekphiler

Like, my first thought of what I would expect to find at "Bismarck" is the ship.
— User:Number 57

There is no consensus whatsoever that Otto von Bismarck should be situated at the top of the Bismarck dab page. Somebody did it without anybody noticing... until now. I have noticed, and I am not at all happy with it being there without a proper community consensus. Same goes for Thomas Jefferson with Jefferson. They're not primary redirects and so should be treated like all other entries. Simple as, really.--Nevéselbert 13:14, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
(efter ec) It is your own peculiarity to consider it as "twisted logic", but that is commonplace approach. It shows many editors have looked at the pages and saw no concern with those individuals being prominently placed. From WP:EDITCONSENSUS: Consensus is a normal and usually implicit and invisible process across Wikipedia. Any edit that is not disputed or reverted by another editor can be assumed to have consensus. And rather than cherry-pick a few quotes from the discussion (which by the way was NOT about placement of Bismark on the disambiguation page, but whether Bismarck should be a redirect--a very different matter), I'd advise readers here to have a look at the entirety of the discussion, including the voluminous data given by the proposer. olderwiser 13:26, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
MOS:DABORDER refers to a small number of topics (plural), other than one. If the "small number" is one, then it's the primary topic and the pages need to be rearranged. That's not currently the case with either of these titles. (Even if MOS:DABORDER applied, Jefferson shouldn't list it in the lede as if it were the primary topic.) "Jefferson" does seem like a good candidate to have the article about the president as the primary topic, IMO. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:23, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
@JHunterJ:, I don't agree. If there is a topic that is very commonly known by the term, but does not satisfy both criteria for primary topic, there is no reason not to place the most common topic in a prominent position on the disambiguation page. olderwiser 13:33, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
@Bkonrad:, obviously we don't agree. The reason not to put it in a position of primacy is because it doesn't satisfy both criteria. If it's because there's a competing topic, list both. If it's because it's not prominent enough, don't give it undue weight. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:39, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
@JHunterJ:, so if a topic gets a significant plurality of page views, but not enough to clearly show more than all the others combined it shouldn't be mentioned prominently? That doesn't make much sense (particularly relevant in cases like this where a person is often referenced mononymously, but because the article is at the person's full name it can be difficult to establish that persons looking for the simple term are more likely looking for the person than all the other uses combined). olderwiser 14:00, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Creating a dab-use redirect like Jefferson (president) is an accepted way of establishing it. We use it with Lincoln (president). -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:27, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm well aware of cases like that, which usually only occur after some contentious discussions. Unfortunately, the practice is not well documented in guidelines and is applied on a case-by-case basis (and usually requires some monitoring to ensure that editors don't "helpfully" correct the entry. olderwiser 16:39, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Bismarck can be brought into compliance by double-listing the capital of North Dakota. Which I've done. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:27, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
(afer ec) @JHunterJ:, I'm not tied the specific presentation currently at either Jefferson or Bismarck, but I strongly feel the individuals should be prominently placed at the top of the disambiguation pages. olderwiser 13:29, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't see any compelling reason why WP:DABORDER shouldn't apply to a single entry. I think in the case of Bismarck, Otto von Bismarck is in the middle ground between unambiguously being a primary topic, and undeniably being as likely to be searched for as the average entry on the dab page. If a disambiguation page can be structured in a way that helps the majority of readers quickly get where they want, then it should be structured so. The ordering is for reader convenience and has nothing to do with perceived importance. – Uanfala (talk) 13:38, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Bismarck is an interesting case: there's no primary topic, but there are two topics that are much more likely to be the topic a reader is searching for than all of the others listed on the page. I think the solution of listing those two at the top is a pretty good one. Jefferson is an odd one, since we also have Jefferson (surname) and Jefferson (given name) anthroponymy pages, yet Thomas Jefferson is the only person listed at the dab, and why is he but Jefferson Davis is not, for example? I think moving the dab to Jefferson (disambiguation) and redirecting Jefferson to Thomas Jefferson with explanatory hatnotes would be a fine solution: Thomas Jefferson is the most likely person a reader would be looking for by that name, so at least that would partly satisfy the criteria. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 13:53, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Not much to add, but I agree with older != wiser here. This kind of "pop the 1-3 most relevant disambig entries to the top" is reader-friendly and perfectly reasonable. You can argue that Bismarck, ND should be before Otto, but having both appear at the very top is quite reasonable, and the precise order isn't super-important. (Heck, I could see a solid argument for 3 entries at the top, and include the battleship as well.). For Jefferson, seems perfectly reasonable as is. SnowFire (talk) 19:08, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I would agree that there's room for a topic to not be prominent enough to be the primary topic, but still clearly more prominent than the other entries and we should help the reader find that topic. -- Fyrael (talk) 20:48, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree that a single prominent topic can and often should be listed alone at the top of a DAB page, even if not the primary topic. Thomas Jefferson is much more likely to be sought under the search term "jefferson" than any other topic, but perhaps not quite at the level of being more likely than all the other topics combined. It therefore falls just short of being a PRIMARYTOPIC. But given that it is much more likely to be sought than any other topic, whyever wouldn't it be the first link we present to readers arriving on the DAB page? (I think we often grow overly enamoured with complex and rigid taxonomies for DAB pages that don't really reflect how readers browse and select information.)
Interpreting DABORDER to apply to cases where there are 2 or 3 prominent topics, but not 1, leads to some odd outcomes. Let's say for the sake of argument that 45% of people searching for "jefferson" are looking for Thomas, with no other term being above 5-10%. Under this interpretation, Thomas J. would get buried some ways down the page. But let's say that another Jefferson comes along - perhaps a boy band. So now 30% of searches are for the president, 30% for the boy band, and 40% for all other topics combined. But because there are now two prominent topics, we can list them together at the top. So even though fewer people are searching for Thomas, we display the topic more prominently? I don't think it needs to be any more complicated than "List the topics that are much more likely to be sought first."--Trystan (talk) 16:03, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Ancient tree

Comments from editors interested in dab pages are welcome at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ancient tree. — Gorthian (talk) 20:37, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

Suggestion re Dab pages for abbreviations

ISTM that it is confusing to see an entry on such a page where there is no obvious connection between the abbreviation and the name of the target page. This happens often when the abbreviation is derived from the target's name in one language, but the page name is another language.

IMO, the best format for the entry would be to start with the phrase that is the basis of the abbreviation, and then provide the translated form as the link to the target page. Example.

KPD may refer to: (there is no dab for KPD, but anyway)

I think there may be many cases in which a reader encounters the abbreviation in context, and looks it up, but cannot easily see the connection between the usage in context and the translated form.

Providing the translation (as shown above) could help a lot in the actual disambiguation process, but is presently deprecated.

Could this be changed?

Rich Rostrom (Talk) 22:26, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Where is this deprecated? This or similar arrangement is fairly common on disambiguation pages. Depending somewhat on how common the native names/terms are in English sources (or also somewhat on personal preference), you can also link the foreign language term like this:
I think I have seen other possible arrangments as well. olderwiser 22:56, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Agree with Bkonrad. I try to always put the linked one at the start, and prefer the name giving rise to the acronym if there's choice. Recently, I've seen language tags on non-english ones, so that's an accessibility issue (for screen readers etc). Widefox; talk 18:46, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

Rationale for introductory line

What is the rationale in favor of the introductory line? I’ve yet to find one disambiguation page where it is not a hindrance. It provides no information, does not help reading, and becomes cumbersome when variants are included. Palpalpalpal (talk) 23:31, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

It tells the reader succinctly and in plain language what sort of page they have landed on. Essentially, it says, "Not sure yet what you are looking for, but here are some options."--Trystan (talk) 23:43, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
The page’s title and layout already make that pretty clear. The user is presented with various choices, and understands at once that he’s not at the end of his research. Sounds like this rule was made by people not well versed in design. Here, more is less; users are not dumb. Are there any other encyclopedias, or dictionaries, that chose the same approach? Palpalpalpal (talk) 10:54, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
Doesn’t anybody else have anything to say about this? This policy does affect a lot of articles. Palpalpalpal (talk) 11:55, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
The introductory line explains what we've chosen to be the Primary Topic, which won't be what the reader landing on the dab page is looking for. We then offer them the range of options they may be looking for. Seems all very reasonable to me. 13:05, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
I believe it useful: It does provide information (what the primary topic is - they may not have navigated away from the primary topic), it distinguishes the page from other types of pages in a consistent way, and once you have seen a few of them, you will quickly learn to skip over it if you are not interested and head to the section you ARE interested in. --John (User:Jwy/talk) 15:12, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

New template {{canned search}} – use encouraged!

A discussion at WikiProject Anthroponymy/Standards raised a common question that's shared by anthroponymy pages and dab pages: when are automated search results more helpful than curated pages? So I thought, why not provide both? I've made a template, {{canned search}}, that links to the automated search results for up to five terms. I envision this being used selectively, in the "See also" section of dab (and anthro) pages where the search results may offer value beyond what the curated page has. Hopefully, this will resolve a lot of disputes about whether to create a certain dab or anthro page or to leave a term to the search function. If it's well received, I'd like to insert a recommendation for its use on this MOS page. —swpbT 18:15, 4 August 2017 (UTC)


Peter Hall has recently changed to be transcluded into Hall (surname)#P [1] (by User:Michael Bednarek). I undid this once the dab had section headings added, which broke the transclusion. I've never seen transclusion used on a dab, and a quick search of the archive [2] looks like it's not commonly discussed, but has been negatively.

That dab advice at WP:Transclusion doesn't have a dab/list example despite referring to the third example (which is actually an article/embedded list), and seems to contradict our usual MOSDAB minimalism at MOS:DABICON Including images and transcluding templates are discouraged unless they aid in selecting between articles on the particular search term in question. , but I could understand the use with dabs and SIAs (more so than two dabs), so I've marked WP:Transclusion as disputed (pointing back to here). Thoughts? Widefox; talk 00:53, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

I've recently started using labelled-section transclusion to the same effect. Obviously, if the two pages are ordered differently, as with Peter Hall, then the result isn't going to look good. Otherwise, I don't see why not to, and there're clear benefits. If a reader is browsing the surname index for a certain Hall that they only know the occupation of, but not the given name (which in probably nine cases out of ten is precisely what these indexes are used for), then all the people with the surname should be accessible on a single page. Our current customary arrangement is to force such readers to click through to several dab pages before they're able to find what they're looking for. That's just bad. The way to avoid that without duplicating content is either via redirects (all the Peter Halls are listed at Hall (surname) and Peter Hall redirects there), or via transclusion. The latter is slightly better for our readers, and the only downside I can think of is making editing a little bit more difficult for newbies: I normally add an html comment explaining what's going on, but I have no idea how that works for people using the visual editor. – Uanfala 06:04, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
The upside is clear for the SIA at the expense of tags in the dab, but what are the downsides? When I added sections to the dab, the Peter Halls disappeared from the SIA. Would anyone notice? Is the dependency worth it? This Wikipedia:Transclusion costs and benefits doesn't say much. The LST adds a dependency of the section names. Result = fragile? Widefox; talk 10:54, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Clarification of policy on partial title matches

There are two clauses about PTM best practices that should probably be clarified. As it stands, they seem somewhat contradictory.

The first was added to MOS:DABSEEALSO on 19 August 2011 by JHunterJ:

Articles with the item as part of the name, but that are unlikely to be called by the ambiguous title: e.g., Spanish moss as part of a Moss dab page.

The second was added to WP:PTM on 26 October 2016 by JFG; Swpb promptly revised it to read as follows:

Instead of listing partial title matches, consider adding the {{look from}} or {{intitle}} templates in the "See also" section, which link to all articles starting with or containing a particular term, respectively.

The first clause suggests that it's okay to put unambiguous PTMs in the see also section of a dab page, but offers no hints as to when this is and is not a good idea. Meanwhile, the second clause seems to discourage editors from following the first clause.

I haven't found a discussion of either guideline in the respective talk page archives (although JHunterJ mentions his edit here). Have either of these, or their relationship, been discussed?

In order to reconcile these two guidelines, we should be clear about the rationale behind behind them, and articulate a clearer, more cohesive policy.

It seems to me that Spanish moss was chosen as an example because this is a special case for MOS:DABSEEALSO, but that is not explicit in the policy. I interpret it as a special case for two reasons:

  1. There are plenty of unambiguous moss PTMs that are not included in the see also list. (Moss Side and Moss Man are two examples.)
  2. All of the unambiguous moss PTMs in Moss (disambiguation) have something in common: They are not mosses, and as such they are not mentioned in Moss (the primary topic). As plants that have the word moss in their name, yet are not mosses, they are a kind of pseudo-class. The see also section of Moss (disambiguation) lists the members of this pseudo-class.

I think a clearer policy would take these questions into account:

  1. What are we trying to achieve when we include an unambiguous PTM in the see also section?
    • Or, How does an editor determine whether an unambiguous PTM is appropriate for the see also section of a dab page?
    • Or, What kinds of unambiguous PTMs should not be included in the see also section?
  2. Are there cases where listing PTMs in see also is preferable to using {{look from}} or {{intitle}}? (Such as when there are, say, fewer than five PTMs?)

Ringbang (talk) 18:57, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

IMO, with the availability of {{look from}} and {{intitle}}, individual unambiguous PTMs should not be listed unless:
1. They can be individually justified as reasonable search targets, and
2. They are not merely specific instances of a listed entry.
The user looking for fern moss will find it under moss, so it should not be listed separately; the user looking for Spanish moss will not, as so it should. There might be rare reasons to list PTMs that don't meet (1) and (2), but I don't think PTMs should ever be listed merely because there are less than five of them. There's another whole discussion to be had on when to list {{look from}} and {{intitle}}. —swpbT 20:16, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree that each one must be justified as a reasonable search target. Maybe we can cite and explain some examples to make it easier for editors to make that justification objectively.
With enough samples of useful PTMs (like your Spanish moss observation), we might be able to generalise them into use cases and guidelines. The Spanish moss case could translate as something like: If a user might reasonably expect to find the subject at the primary topic, but doesn't, and the name of the subject is a PTM, it's a candidate for 'See also'.Ringbang (talk) 22:44, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I think it could be difficult and WP:CREEPy to generate a bunch of separate use cases; I was trying to generalise to a simple set of rules that will take editors to the point where common sense can take over. I think, e.g., that my two rules cover the moss case well, and I think most others. Why don't we implement those two rules to start, and then add specific use cases as needs arise? —swpbT 12:51, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. I didn't mean to imply that the guidelines are for the policy page, but to try to address what I mentioned earlier in my post about understanding the rationale (in order to generalise something from the cases). But yes, I do think we could immediately clarify the policy based on your suggestions.
For line 6 of MOS:DABSEEALSO, I propose: "Terms that are unlikely to be called by the ambiguous title, but which are realistic search targets."
For the final paragraph of WP:PTM, I propose: "Some partial title matches may be listed in the "See also" section if they are realistic search targets. Otherwise, consider using the templates {{look from}} or {{intitle}}. These link to all articles starting with or containing the term, respectively." —Ringbang (talk) 23:48, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
We're close, but I think MOS:DABSEEALSO #6 should direct the reader to WP:PTM, instead of trying to partially repeat it, since that's what leads to contradictions, so: "6. Certain partial title matches."
WP:PTM should then include both criteria, as well as the illustrative moss example:
Individual partial title should not be listed unless:
1. They can be individually justified as reasonable search targets, and
2. They are not merely specific instances of a listed entry (For example, Spanish moss is listed on Moss (disambiguation), because it is not actually a type of moss.)
Otherwise, consider using the templates {{look from}} or {{intitle}}. These link to all articles starting with or containing the term, respectively.
swpbT 13:17, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
I've done the above. —swpbT 13:26, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

I've undone the addition because I don't see consensus for its inclusion. It seems to directly contradict the WP:PTM guideline by advocating the inclusion of PTMs. I also don't understand what these provisions are even supposed to mean. ("individually justified", as opposed to what, "generally justified"? Justified how? What does that mean?)  Sandstein  20:40, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

I think swpb's two-rule approach actual encapsulates current and best practice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:00, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Prepositions—worth addressing in guidance?

I come across a lot of dab entries that say that a song, for example, is "from" or "off (of)" an album, or a character is "from" a work of fiction. I generally think it's preferable to say that a song is "on" an album, and that a character is "in" (or the protagonist/subject/etc. "of") a work. I think "from" and "off" suggest the item has been removed from its context – true for radio play of a song, but not in general. Does this bug anyone else? Is it worth making guidance for, or is it too picayune? —swpbT go beyond 15:57, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Could this be due to differences in usage in various English varieties? At any rate, I don't think this is something worth being explicit about in the guidelines, but it never hurts to include it implicitly: by the kind of preposition used in the examples that are included to illustrate unrelated points. – Uanfala 20:20, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
An example in/from/but not off (of) the guidance is "Switch", a song by Siouxsie & the Banshees from The Scream which may account for editors preferring "from" rather than "on". Personally, I'm not bothered, but I do think consistent use within a page is important. Shhhnotsoloud (talk) 06:47, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Good idea guys – I've changed the preposition in that example. Maybe that will help. —swpbT go beyond 13:09, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Fwiw, google returns comparable numbers of hits for the two phrases "song on the album" and "song from the album". I'm wondering whether there might not be a trend away from "on": in an age where albums aren't really physical objects anymore, it's a bit difficult to conceptualise the tracks as being located/imprinted on them. – Uanfala 13:23, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. People can purchase just about any individual track from just about any album these days. I'm not sure there is any idiomatic way of using these prepositions with music that is more correct or less correct (or more or less euphonious). In any case, I'm not sure it is strictly within the purview of this project to determine this. I'd suggest soliciting input from wikiprojects that deal more directly with popular music. Also, I don't have any strong preference for either "from" an album or "on" an album and would not go out of my way to alter either except to make usage consistent within a particular dab page. If I came across "off (of)", chances are I'd change this to "from".olderwiser 14:22, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
"from" (or the more awkward "off [of]") a release, versus "on" a release, aren't quite the same thing in music-geek usage. The former imply original release and allow for re-release, e.g. on a single or compilation, while "on" implies that the song is only found on that particular release. Combined with the digital music notes above, this should lead us to prefer "from".  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  21:53, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

Bad English?

Wouldn't "clarification" be better than "disambiguation"? It seems to me that "disambiguation" is unnecessarily ass-backwards English. --Alirobe (talk) 05:49, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

@Alirobe: Please see any English-language dictionary, e.g. this US one or this British one. Also, new posts on talk pages go at the bottom, not the top; I've moved this one to where to belongs.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  08:03, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: Thanks for that. I know what it means, and I appreciate that it's in the dictionary. Based on Google ngram, it's a new word in common use. I've looked a bit, and I can't find an etymology. I think it causes confusion. I think it's ugly, and encourages ugly language. In searching for information on the word, I got an autocomplete: "What does disambiguation mean on Wikipedia?". To me, this seems needlessly bad. A synonym of 'ambiguous' is 'unclear'. One of the definitions of clarify is ("to free from ambiguity"). Requesting clarification is common, normal, and correct English. It seems to me that disambiguation is a new and not very nice complexifufflicationization, almost unique to Wikipedia. I appreciate it's probably not the most practical thing to change... But it could be done. Especially with automation. Doing such a thing might be the easiest way to signal to the community that the use of correct and commonly understood language is important. #ClarifyDisambiguation? :) Alirobe (talk) 11:50, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Every time I have to type out "disambiguation" in full I lament the choice of such a long and easily mistypable word. But it's been chosen already, it's clear and unambiguous and its specific usage here is widely recognised in the general population. "Clarification" on the other hand is hardly much shorter, it's vague and ambiguous (can refer to supplementary explanations, clearer rephrasements etc, all normally in the context of article text rather than article titles), and choosing it for such a specific and technical aspect of wikipedia would confuse readers for years to come. – Uanfala 12:13, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
    To reply to both at once: Yeah, we've been using it for 16+ years here, and it's standard terminology in this context and in other encyclopedias and other reference works. WP didn't make up the word, or its application to this context. WP is not a dictionary, so it doesn't matter much how easy it is to find an etymology, though one is clear enough: dis-/dys- meaning 'not' + ambiguous + -tion suffix. Internally, we abbreviate the word "disambig." or even "dab." (from the WP:DAB shortcut), so we generally don't need to type it out in full.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  12:27, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
    I asked some word people about it, and they agree that it's widely used. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity and my little soapbox moment. It's nice to know I'm not alone in disliking the word, but I don't have much more to back it up than that... so I guess this will just serve to #DisambiguateClarify instead :) Alirobe (talk) 12:30, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
    @Alirobe: PS: It's not a good idea to link directly to WP discussions when posting at other websites. This can cause floods of meat-puppetry, and these are sometimes disruptive (two cases I can think of were both about style/usage matters like this, too).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  01:22, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Repeating section header in entry description?

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 [3], it's reasonable to have that contested issue undone in MOSDAB [4]. 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 [5] 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

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

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

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

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 [6], [7], [8], and [9], 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)


Pr this edit an editor removes a link pr WP:MOSDAB.

Alas, the way I read it, when the Operation was a joint operation between Mossad and Shurat HaDin, we link both, not just one. Comments? Huldra (talk) 23:52, 28 April 2018 (UTC)

If both articles are equally relevant, then there's no reason to arbitrarily unlink one of them. There probably are niceties in measuring relevance though: I suspect that for most people the most important criterion is the amount of relevant content in each of the articles. If, as in this case, there's little such content, I would opine that it make sense to use considerations of topic structure (e.g. the operation being a joint one) that are independent of the current state of the articles. Anyway, the question has been discussed before, there's at least this discussion from 2016. – Uanfala (talk) 01:22, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
But both articles are not equally relevant here. Notably, on of them (Mossad) doesn't even mention the DAB topic. Attack Ramon (talk) 21:58, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
User:Attack Ramon That is only because I haven't had the time to add it, yet! And you are not even allowed to edit in the topic! (not until you have 500 edits), so please undo your edits, or risk being reported..Huldra (talk) 22:26, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
How about you first add relevant stuff, then send people to it? Attack Ramon (talk)
Done. Now, User:Attack Ramon, you better revert, or my next edit will be reporting you, Huldra (talk) 23:15, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

Report me? to whom? for what? Attack Ramon (talk) 23:18, 29 April 2018 (UTC)

User:Attack Ramon, For editing article relating to the Arab–Israeli conflict, even though you have less than 500 edits. WP:AE is the place, Huldra (talk) 23:22, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
But I have not edited such articles. I edited a disambiguation page. Attack Ramon (talk) 23:24, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Lol, Good luck in arguing that removing a link to Mossad in Operation Harpoon is not related to the Arab–Israeli conflict! Last warning: revert, or you will be reported Huldra (talk) 23:28, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
I find this bizarre, and your attitude combative, but since I don't wish to get into a pissing contest with you, ok. Let's deface the encyclopedia to make you happy. Attack Ramon (talk) 23:33, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Yep, the removal of the link was and is correct. I've re-removed the second blue link. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:17, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
The initial edit to remove the link to Mossad on this entry was correct, since we should always add content to articles first and then create appropriate links on disambiguation pages, not the other way around. I'm confused by Huldra's actions here though. It seems like you quickly added the information to Mossad simply to justify having the link on the disambiguation page. Can you explain why you especially want this link? It's a rare and special case to include two blue links for an entry when two pages happen to have more or less equal information on a topic, but here you seem to be trying to create such a special case rather than bolstering the information on a single page. Why is that? -- Fyrael (talk) 03:30, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
I misread who was saying what at the start of this and now understand that Huldra thought two links were appropriate simply because it was a joint venture. Hopefully everyone is clear now about why two links is not ideal. -- Fyrael (talk) 19:41, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
I would think that the entire conundrum could be easily resolved by creating an article on the relevant sense of "Operation Harpoon". bd2412 T 03:38, 30 April 2018 (UTC)

How to emphasize an entry

I'm looking at Basil (name) and would like to emphasize Basil of Caesarea as the most likely candidate for someone referred to in print simply as "Basil" However, I'm not sure how to do this. MOS:DAB forbids bolding entries for emphasis. I see some related discussions on this page's archives about Linking to the main article and Bolding links, but nothing seems quite relevant to my question. Daask (talk) 18:34, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

Basil (name) isn't a disambiguation page; it's an anthroponymy article. The only emphasis on the disambiguation page Basil (disambiguation) is for the primary topic (which happens not to be a person). But that Basil, if commonly referred to in reliable sources as just "Basil", could be added (without emphasis) to the disambiguation page. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:13, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

Articles ("a", "the", etc) before individual entry descriptions

I feel like I'm going crazy but I vividly remember that the MOS for disambiguation pages said not to use articles like "a" and "the" before the description phrases, even just a couple year ago. Yet the article history for the MOS does not to suggest this even going back many years. Does this strike a bell with anybody? Do you know what I'm talking about or where I might have gotten this idea? Puzzled, Jason Quinn (talk) 12:30, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Are you thinking of the rule at MOS:DABPEOPLE which says "Do not include a, an or the before the description of the person's occupation or role."? PamD 17:49, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
Possibly. I don't really know. I'm usually not so clueless that I would miss that that is only intended to apply to people. Usually. Your guess is as good as any at the moment. Thanks. Jason Quinn (talk) 19:20, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
Is there a reason for that instruction? I'm in the opposite position, not remembering MOS:DABPEOPLE. To me, the example entry "John Adams (composer) (born 1947), American composer, came to prominence with Shaker Loops in 1978" seems somewhat inferior to "John Adams (composer) (born 1947), an American composer who came to prominence with Shaker Loops in 1978". Dekimasuよ! 19:24, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
This change references Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Disambiguation pages/Archive 29#Lists containing people names - RFC. Which, granted, doesn't give much in the way of reasons. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:18, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

Red links

Hello, having red links on a disambiguation page apparently is discouraged on this Wikipedia. The second sentence on the relevant manual section says, "Do not create red links to articles that are unlikely ever to be written, or are likely to be removed as insufficiently notable topics." This leaves open the possiblity of linking articles which are like to be written and kept. The first sentence concretizes this with "A link to a non-existent article (...) should only be included on a disambiguation page when a linked article (...) also includes that red link."

But in some cases, while the English Wikipedia fails to have content about a topic, several other ones have. For example, 21 other Wikipedias have an article on the general concept of sports records, while the English Wikipedia only has an article on world records, a specific type of sports records. While there may be no link to the general concept here, meaning that it fails to match the criterium, I think those 21 articles could be considered as links to this topic as well. So adding this link to the disambiguation page (encouraging the writing of this article) would be justified. Bever (talk) 17:49, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

@Bever: Per WP:DABREDLINK, a disambiguation page entry can both have a red link and a blue link if the existing article mentions and links to the non-existent article. Interqwark talk contribs 17:51, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) In fact it is rather strange to have a list of 'meanings' of the word 'record' without one of the main meanings on it, but with many subordinate uses of the word. Of course this is just an example, I write here about it because I think language versions of Wikipedia could learn from each other (also in the other direction of course). Bever (talk) 17:53, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
FYI, there is an Edit conflict template. Interqwark talk contribs 17:54, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
Why not create an article at Sports record? bd2412 T 19:50, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
There are not, in fact, a list of 'meanings' in disambiguation pages. Disambiguation pages have lists of 'Wikipedia topics' that would be valid topics for the same title but can't have the same title due to technical restrictions. Disambiguation pages do, however, link to Wiktionary, which lists 'meanings' of the title, where the title has such a Wiktionary entry. See WP:NOTDICT. In this case, you could certainly create a Wikipedia article on sports records if you wanted. Disambiguation pages are navigation pages to assist the reader in reaching an article on the topic sought. If there is no such article, there is no corresponding disambiguation page entry. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:53, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

Best way to mend broken links?

Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Disambiguation_pages#Where_redirecting_may_be_appropriate uses Star Trek's Delta Quadrant as an example. Please discuss why this is problematic at Talk:List_of_Star_Trek_regions_of_space#THE_Delta_Quadrant

-- (talk) 07:16, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Without an article

Is a disambiguation page necessary if it consists of multiple entries without a Wikipedia article that is directly related to the disambiguated term? E.g. High on Life consists of multiple entries but none of which has a Wikipedia article. The editor whose username is Z0 06:51, 27 July 2018 (UTC) (discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Disambiguation). The editor whose username is Z0 11:21, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

@Z0: You asked exactly this question at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation, and I answered it there. Please don’t post the same question in multiple places. — Gorthian (talk) 07:47, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

People and Places at the top?

I come across a lot of sectioned dabs that start with "Places", then "People", then other sections alphabetically, but I see nothing in any guideline that suggests doing this. If there's a good consensus reason for it, it needs to be in the guideline; otherwise, we should re-emphasize that alpha is preferred. Right now, we have editors "correcting" each other in both directions, which is obviously not productive. So which do we prefer?

A. Places, then People, then everything else (and why that way?)
B. Alphabetical, unless there's a good local reason to do otherwise.

swpbT go beyond 14:30, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

In general, alpha sort unless there is a good reason to do otherwise (such as where some terms might be more prominently used as a place name and so places should go first). olderwiser 14:46, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
How much more prominent? We have MOS:DABORDER saying that entries that get boosted to the top should be few in number and "significantly more likely" targets – can we confidently say that about whole sections that may have a mix of prominent and obscure entries in them? (Playing devil's advocate – I have seen pages where it makes sense, and I want to feel out where the line is.) —swpbT go beyond 14:55, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
As with anything related to disambiguation, a hard and fast metric is next to impossible. As for applying the significantly more likely" criteria to entire sections, I don't see why not if there is a reasonable case for it. olderwiser 15:06, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
I completely agree. Every case is different and there are so many variables for so many dab pages that a specific rule would be unworkable. The guide should always be "what are most readers likely to be searching for on the particular page?". Station1 (talk) 17:03, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Agree with Bkonrad, though I must say I often see places higher than I think they should be, when they are all pretty tiny. Johnbod (talk) 17:05, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Per WP:NAMELIST most people are PTMs so per WP:DABORDER places should generally go before people. Crouch, Swale (talk) 17:34, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
    • I don't buy that at all. 1) WP:DABORDER is about order within sections, not of sections; 2) "People" sections often have links to anthroponymy pages, which are not PTMs; 3) If a PTM isn't known by the ambiguous title alone, it doesn't belong on the dab at all; 4) Even if DABORDER applied to sections and "People" sections were all PTMs, it would suggest putting them at the bottom of the page, not above every section except Places. —swpbT go beyond 18:28, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
      If the "people" has only those that include that name then I thought the standard practice was to list the people section last, but yes if there is a first/last name article then I'd just use alpha order. Name holders are allowed on the main DAB pages if there is no article. Crouch, Swale (talk) 18:35, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
  • A "People" section would list non-PTM entries, people who are referred to by the ambiguous title alone. It would go in whatever order sections are ordered. A "People with the given name" or "People with the surname" section, listing PTMs, would go at the bottom, before a "See also" section. A given disambiguation page might have both a "People" section and a "People with the surname" section. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:19, 18 October 2018 (UTC)


The pages listed at The Dark Destroyer all have a backlink to that disambiguation page for their nickname in the hat. Is that appropriate? I am unconvinced it is. WillJonesUK (talk) 14:25, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

It's not necessary for disambiguation, since none of them is the primary for it. I suspect that it is inappropriate, but that's a topic for WT:HATNOTE -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:31, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

Disambiguation form

The current example:

Example A

A school is an institution for learning.

School or the school may also refer to:

  • School of thought, a number of individuals with shared styles, approaches or aims
  • School (fish), a group of fish swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner

Is poor form because it puts the bold term in link brackets (dont link bold text) and it puts the first term in the list at the top in a confusing way: Proper form has long been:

Example B

School may refer to:

There are some false arguments about what people do or don't "want to see" on disambiguation pages. They don't make sense. Disambiguation pages work because they are simple and complete (or try to be). -Inowen (nlfte) 22:41, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

I disagree with everything here. (For transparency, Inowen and I have been discussing this topic on another page and I invited them to open discussion here since it's a more appropriate venue.) Take a look at school (disambiguation), apple (disambiguation), car (disambiguation), fish (disambiguation). They all clearly identify the primary topic at the top, as it should be. I don't see anywhere that indicates that proper form has long been what you're suggesting it is. This is the Wikipedia page that reflects the consensus and what the community has decided on as proper form. Having the primary topic (when there is one) at the top in bold draws the eye straight to it and easily identifies it. Users are not going to school (disambiguation) to find school, so it should not be mixed in with the other links. All the rationale in the section WP:DABPRIMARY is solid as it stands, and is in keeping with current practices. cymru.lass (talkcontribs) 22:51, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I have laid out my thoughts clearly. There is some need for community consensus on this issue. -Inowen (nlfte) 23:02, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
There is existing community consensus, supporting the long-standing current example you quote above. It is not "poor form". PamD 23:19, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
In the current discussion is the Boston Massacre (disambiguation) page, which was mistakenly called a two-term disambiguation, because the first term was listed with the opening text. -Inowen (nlfte) 02:05, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Inowen, I don't understand your objection(s). Maybe if you discuss what doesn't make sense to you in the Linking to a primary topic section, we can understand better what the issue is. --John (User:Jwy/talk)

Inowen, there is guidance to avoid wikilinks in bold title words (WP:BOLDAVOID), but that manual of style is for articles. The manual of style for disambiguation pages (which are not articles) uses a bolded wikilink to link to a primary topic, where one exists. This is still simple and complete. Consensuses you disagree with are not "false arguments". There is indeed community consensus on this issue. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:26, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

Inowen, Boston Massacre (disambiguation) is a two-term disambiguation (well, now, a one-term since one of the other entries was removed). The primary topic, the Boston Massacre, is located at Boston Massacre and that is where people will land when searching "Boston Massacre". Thus, the disambiguation page exists to disambiguate other uses of that term. cymru.lass (talkcontribs) 17:21, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

I'll say it again. The examples above have been labelled A and B. Example A is poor form. It's also illogical, as it assumes one definion of "school" is its top definition. The proper thing to do is to have all meanings of "school" within one single list. -Inowen (nlfte) 22:26, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
Example A reflects that one topic for "school" is primary, as is proper and good form. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:29, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
@Inowen: but there is a "top definition" (Wikipedia's term being "primary topic") for the term "school". The article about it is hosted at School. When you say "school", a vast majority of the time you're referring to an educational institution. Therefore, it's the primary topic. There is enduring consensus for this being how we disambiguate terms with a primary topic on Wikipedia, and there is also a process in place for disambiguating terms without a primary topic. In your arguments on here, I don't really ever see a solid reason why we should discontinue the practice, just that it's "poor form". cymru.lass (talkcontribs) 17:13, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

Sidebar in disambiguation page

Is it useful to have a sidebar at 2000s? For me this is not efficiently guide the readers, similar to why a bulleted entry don't have more than one navigable link. They both have similar sidebar at the non-disambiguation page: "Decades of the 2000s" sidebar can be found at 21st century and "Centuries of the 2000s" sidebar can be found at 3rd millennium, both are linked from 2000s. Hddty. (talk) 16:00, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

Nope. MOS:DABICON. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:12, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
I am nominating the templates for deletion here. Thanks. Hddty. (talk) 04:56, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Redirects from alternative names

The guideline under § Piping and redirects states:

Linking to a redirect can also be helpful when both:
  1. the redirect target article contains the disambiguated term; and
  2. the redirect could serve as an alternative name for the target article, meaning an alternative term that is already in the article's lead section.

Isn't this redundant? How can a term be in the lead section without also being present in the article? Is the lead section not a part of the article? It seems like #2 is all we need to say. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 01:37, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

The term needs to be in the article. The redirect used doesn't necessarily need to include the term. Perhaps that latter part needs to be tightened to make it clear that this is only for redirects that include the ambiguous term. I figure that's what it meant. But that's not what it says. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:59, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the term needs to be in the article. My point is that "the articles's lead section" per #2 above is part of the article, so #2 contains all necessary information. I see now that it doesn't specify which term is being referred to. However, the James Carrey example that follows is clearly about a redirect from an "alternative term" that is just the term being disambiguated, in other words a primary topic that's also a redirect. The text above could be condensed to something like:

Linking to a redirect can also be helpful when the ambiguous term redirects to a page where it could serve as an alternative title, meaning that is used as a synonym for the title in the article's lead section. For example...

Sangdeboeuf (talk) 20:44, 24 October 2018 (UTC)
The current language allows a link to a redirect where the redirect is an alternative name but the redirect does not include the ambiguous term. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:11, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Such as? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 23:09, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Beats me. I just pointed out that the change you made changed the meaning. I'd be happy to support the change, BTW. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:32, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

At the top of the page

Wonky aspects of the "At the top of the page" section:

The very first paragraph is a mess of backwards instructions.

The "linking to primary topic" sort of forgets to lead with the basic instruction. Also, it could be more explicit in how it directly contradicts the MOS for article space.

Feel free to discuss my bold fixes here. CapnZapp (talk) 17:04, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Bold fix User:PamD's, not mine, but anyways - two questions regarding:

When the term being disambiguated has a primary topic (ie when the disambiguation page has a title ending in "(disambiguation)"), the introductory line includes the word "also": see the "school" example above.

1. Is it invariably true that "title ending in (disambiguation)" is the definition of a term having a primary topic? 2. "see example here" isn't it better to hyperlink to a section referenced, or even better: provide an example right then and there? Cheers CapnZapp (talk) 10:51, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
@CapnZapp: Thanks.
1: Not sure. Have changed to "usually" to be on the safe side. Can you think of an example where not? (Probably something complicated involving redirects?)
2: Have linked to the section for the "school" example: I was trying to save space by not duplicating it. PamD 11:30, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
1: A term "foo" having a primary topic means that the disambiguation page isn't at "foo". It might not be at "foo (disambiguation)" either, if the term "foo" shares a disambiguation page with, say, "fu". But a disambiguation page at a "foo (disambiguation)" title does invariably have a primary topic line (or needs to be moved per WP:MALPLACED). So the terms with disambiguation pages at "foo (disambiguation)" is a subset of all terms with a primary topic, and the "usually" isn't needed. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:26, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for exactly the kind of answer I fished for :) Doesn't this mean we should not use "the disambiguation page has a title ending in "(disambiguation)" as the definition of "term has primary topic", even though it is always true? :) CapnZapp (talk) 13:32, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
As PamD alluded to, its possible for a disambiguation page to be at a base name, without the "(disambiguation)" qualifier, but still be the target of a "foo (disambiguation)" redirect because it serves to disambiguate two (or more) titles, one or more of which does have a primary topic. But the base-name disambiguation would not have the "also" in its intro. I'll suss out an example... -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:22, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
For example: Etc. (has a primary topic) and ETC (doesn't). So "etc." is a term that has a primary topic whose disambiguation page's title doesn't end in "(disambiguation)". There's probably a better example, but they are hard to search for. -- JHunterJ (talk) 15:11, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Please note that my main impetus isn't "is what Pam wrote false?". It is "is 'the disambiguation page has a title ending in "(disambiguation)"' really the best definition of "has a primary topic"? Regards, CapnZapp (talk) 16:19, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
No. Mechanically, a title "Foo" has a primary topic if clicking on the wikilink [[Foo]] (Foo) lands the clicker on an article (full or section). Here, though, 'the disambiguation page has a title ending in "(disambiguation)"' is an excellent way to describe the (somewhat implicit) subject of the instruction: "the introductory lines for a disambiguation page titled with a term that has a primary topic". -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:26, 7 December 2018 (UTC)

External links

I would have thought that external links are never acceptable on dab pages, full stop. But then the dab page Hole had until a recent "cleanup" a See also link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry for holes [10]. Now that in my opinion is one rare instance where an external link is actually a good idea. There exists an encyclopedic topic (of a WP:BCA type) that readers might expect to find here, the topic is a major one for the ambiguous term (arguably the primary topic in this case), wikipedia doesn't have an article about the topic yet, but one is available, with the same scope as you would expect to find here, in a different encylopedia, and that encyclopedia has compatible values (neutral, scholarly, freely available online, ad-free, etc). I don't remember seeing these conditions being met elsewhere, but they are here and that I think makes this external link appropriate. One editor, however, has apparently disagreed, so I'm bringing this up here for further input. – Uanfala (talk) 13:57, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

Oppose external links (apart from Wiktionary) as it's much better to have a clear simple rule than to have complicated rules (and hence more editor disagreement) about when/not ELs can be added. Either a page is a dab or it's not (e.g. it's a BCA) - anything that blurs that distinction is bad. DexDor (talk) 06:40, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Just for the avoidance of doubt, I'm not proposing any change to the existing rules. The situations I imagine external links to be appropriate are way too rare to warrant mention in the stylebook. – Uanfala (talk) 11:18, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
We shouldn't add external links to diambiguation pages. These are for getting you to an English wikipedia article where you can find something about the topic. If there is an important topic that is missing, the answer is to write the article or include it in another relevant article and then include the link on the diambiguation page. ~ GB fan 12:45, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
  • I think GB fan says it just right. I would add that we actually have articles for Pinhole and Perforation, and an article on holes generally should be easy to write. Also, the SEP article actually is not very good. It reads like an essay designed to show off the writer's vocabulary. In any case, I have just created Draft:Hole. Let's build it, and fill this hole in the encyclopedia. bd2412 T 13:01, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
    • Would anyone like to pitch in to help get this draft written? bd2412 T 22:50, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
    • Note: I have now proposed to move the disambiguation page to make way for the draft to become the primary topic. Please have a look. Cheers! bd2412 T 14:54, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

Contradiction between MOS:DABMENTION and MOS:DABREDIR

The entry in contention is at Dong, where I created Do Online Now Guys as a section redirect to Vsauce#DONG:

User:Aceing Winter Snows Harsh Cold has told me at Talk:Dong:

Read "If a topic does not have an article of its own, but is mentioned within another article, then a link to that article should be included. In this case, the link does not start the line, but it should still be the only blue wikilink. " (Wikipedia:Disambiguation_pages#Items_appearing_within_other_articles) Your edit does not follow this rule, the article it links to is not "Do Online Now Guys", but instead "VSauce". "VSauce" only has a section about it, the entire article is not about "Do Online Now Guys".

This would appear to contradict MOS:DABREDIR, where Delta Quadrant was "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." 93 (talk) 04:02, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

I'm not getting the problem here. MOS:DABMENTION does not say that the target article must be about the ambiguous term. Vsauce has a subsection named "DONG", which satisfies the guideline that the term "is mentioned within another article".
(The DABMENTION wording as it stands is arguably overly broad, but your specific case is fine, in my opinion.)--NapoliRoma (talk) 04:16, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I think there is a wording ambiguity at MOS:DABMENTION:
If a topic does not have an article of its own, but is mentioned within another article, then a link to that article should be included. In this case, the link does not start the line, but it should still be the only blue wikilink. For example:

Maggie Anderson may also refer to:

The phrase "In this case, the link does not start the line," can be interpreted as meaning that the link should not start the line when it is only mentioned in the article and not the article topic. 93 (talk) 04:38, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I have always taken redirects and linking directly to a mentioning article as separate cases, so I don't think the styling mentioned there applies to redirects. And natural language would seem to take care of the problem entirely, in my opinion. Using the quoted example it would make no sense to start the entry with Corpus Callosum or Brigadoon because then it essentially reads "Maggie Anderson may also refer to Brigadoon...", which clearly isn't true. On the other hand "Maggie Anderson may also refer to Maggie Anderson (Brigadoon character)[a redirect I just made up]..." makes perfect sense. I've never seen someone object to a redirect at the start of an entry before. -- Fyrael (talk) 14:56, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

Requesting attention to Organizing disambiguation pages by subject area; trying to head off a war on several fronts

Organizing disambiguation pages by subject area is a supplement geared toward very long dabs. I created most of its content, but I've tried very hard to stick to consensus, or in its absence, common practice.

An editor many of us know from this page has recently taken an interest in that one, and wants to impose some personal preferences: [11] (and see my summaries in History). Some of these (IMO) break with consensus and/or common practice, others I just disagree with. In both cases, I want to avoid warring, and I fear from experience that's where we're heading. To that end, I want more editors watching and weighing in on that page, to establish consensuses for any changes, and to enforce WP:STATUSQUO where there isn't consensus.

To be clear: I don't own the page, and I don't care much whether it ends up as it started – I care that it is handled with proper process, like WP:BRD (this has not been violated yet) and that it remains maximally helpful to editors and readers of large dabs. You all, whose insights have been so valuable here, are needed there. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 14:16, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

I tried to update it to reflect consensus or at least common practice. I never encountered the three-levels-deep monstrosities of section organization, nor section hatnotes, until the personal preferences were encoded there. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:24, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

How much structure is too much?

Breaking up dab pages into sections helps navigation, but if we start breaking up sections into smaller and smaller sections, and having longer and longer tables of contents, at some point this will start adding clutter and getting in the way of navigation. Where do we draw the line? The specific disagreement that brought me here – and I wouldn't have bothered if it didn't seem to be part of a persistent pattern – concerns these two versions of Lease (disambiguation): before [12] and after [13]. Having five entries arranged into two sections seemed alright. But further breaking them up into three sections seems like a bit of an overkill. I would venture the opinion that one-entry sections are almost always to be avoided, and if the number of sections is close to one half of the number of entries, then there's something clearly wrong. Any other opinions? – Uanfala (talk) 04:15, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

I agree that it's better without so many headings. Can User:Froid explain why they think so many headings are needed? DexDor (talk) 06:40, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
(1) I wholeheartedly agree with what User:PamD wrote, below, regarding Places and People. (2) For other categories, I fervently believe that two or more like items that form a natural grouping should be so grouped. (3) When there's an overarching grouping, e.g., "Arts, entertainment, and media", and a subgrouping with, say, "Music" containing 2 or more items, but the other, items that are unrelated to music but belong in the overarching Arts, entertainment, and media grouping should, in accordance with the MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) principle, be grouped as "Other uses in Arts, entertainment, and media". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Froid (talkcontribs) 21:05, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
"People with the name" are partial title matches kept on dabs unless/until an anthroponymy list article is created, and always go after the actually ambiguous entries. MOS:DABNAME. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:30, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
As a matter of principle, we should never have a section with a single entry under it. In theory, whatever distinguishes an entry from others could ultimately be used to create a separate section for each entry on the page. In the Lease (disambiguation) example, there is no greater justification for having a separate heading for "Places" than there would be for having separate headings for "Computer science" and "Corporations", with each items then having its own section. bd2412 T 13:14, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I have a feeling that "Places" is indeed a special case, and justifies a section even if it's only got the one entry. "People with the name", as stated above, are a special case too. PamD 19:11, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with User:PamD. Froid (talk) 21:05, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't see the reasoning for this proposed special treatment of places. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:24, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
WP:LONGDAB does not have the force of a guideline, but it has a simple recommendation that could be adopted into the guideline by consensus: 10-12+ entries should usually be split; <3 should usually be merged. It's very hard to justify single-entry sections in light of the goal of getting the reader where they're going ASAP. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 19:01, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

Separate DAB pages for TOT and Tot

I was trying to find out what "ToT" meant, as used without explanation in an article. When I typed in "ToT" in the searh bar, I was taken to Tot,but I didn't find the an explanation that fixed the context. I was later told it meant Transfer of Technology. After some searching, I eventually found the DAB page TOT had the explanation, but I had missed the link to that under See also on the Tot Dab page. It's my understanding of DAB pages that Tot ought to cover "Tot", TOT, and ToT. Should "TOT" be merged with "Tot"? Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 06:20, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Those are short enough to be combined, IMO. Regardless, I've created ToT to redirect to TOT until that happens, to avoid the immediate issue you encountered. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:49, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I was thinking of doing that too, but never did it, so thanks. Would the best option be for me to propose a merge, or should I just Be Bold and do it? TOT, has a longer history, so I might swap the pages too. Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 19:09, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't see any problems with being bold and just doing it. There is no need to separate out these into two DAB pages. ~ GB fan 19:14, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
And swapping the pages isn't necessary, even given the differences in edit history length. Just the merge notation on the talk page to continue the attribution. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:23, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
For what it's worth, WP:DABNAME suggests the page should live at Tot if you're combining them. -- Fyrael (talk) 21:11, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I understood that from the beginning, hence my suggestion to swap the page histories so that TOT's history would then reside at Tot, and be the sole DAB page. - BilCat (talk) 06:51, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Done, though I'm not certain I organized it well enough under the existing headings from TOT. - BilCat (talk) 07:10, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

MOS:DABABBREVIATIONS listed at Redirects for discussion


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect MOS:DABABBREVIATIONS. Please participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. –MJLTalk 14:55, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Unfortunate need to revisit the "People" and "Places" issue

Some editors (a small but prolific number, as far as I can tell) like to always put "People" and "Places" at the tops of dab pages. Most others alphabetize unless there's a good reason not to. The last discussion I started didn't result in a consensus, but I think we really need one, because:

  1. Editors continue to revert each other in both directions on this, which is a waste of time.
  2. Consistency is vital, especially on long dabs, to help readers.

My preference is to not treat "People" and "Places" differently from other sections (PTMs aside) without a strong local reason, but I feel even more strongly that we need this resolved one way or the other. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 18:57, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

"These sections (and any subsections) should typically be in alphabetical order, e.g.: Arts and entertainment; Business; Government and politics; Places; Science and technology." MOS:DABORDER. It's been resolved. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:28, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I disagree. I believe Places and People belong at the top of the page; furthermore, I agree with User:PamD's statement about them, in the previous section on this page. I also believe the "Arts, entertainment, and media" grouping, used by many editors, is a more inclusive and appropriate grouping than "Arts and entertainment". Froid (talk) 21:10, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
User:PamD did not say anything about putting sections at the top. She can speak for herself. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 18:54, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I believe that places are special and should come first in most cases. I also interpret WP:MOSDAB to say that lists of people with the ambiguous term as a surname or given name should come at the end. PamD 19:55, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
See MOS:DABNAME For short lists of name holders, new sections of People with the surname Xxxx or People with the given name Xxxx can be added below the main disambiguation list.. PamD 20:01, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Why are they special, and why at the top? —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 12:50, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

@Bkonrad, Station1, and Crouch, Swale:swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 19:34, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

  • As per last time I would generally list sections in alph order unless (possibly) one section only has PTMs, per WP:NAMELIST most people with the last name (or first name) are PTMs and only go on the surname/first name article unless none exists (in which they generally go at the bottom of the DAB) or like Elvis or Hitler they are well known by a single name. The same lodgic can apply to place names, for example North Mundham and South Mundham aren't full matches for Mundham. Crouch, Swale (talk) 19:44, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • It should depend on the term - in some cases there are loads of places, some quite large, in other cases it is surnames, or something else entirely. Bristol (disambiguation) rightly (imo) goes: Places, companies, ships, "other uses", ending with the few "People with the surname". Now, JHunterJ, please don't go messing with that. Johnbod (talk) 14:16, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
    "It depends" is a great answer. Where a title is most likely sought as a place name, and where the number of sections is small, places-first makes sense. "Places-first" as a rule of thumb, though, does not; "Alphabetical" as a rule of thumb makes sense, especially when the sections become numerous. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:54, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Ah, that may be a point: it may be that items of the same type as the primary topic need to go at the top, to avoid some of the most likely ambiguity. Hence places at the top of Bristol (disambiguation). Are there some sample pages we could look at which are contentious today, please? PamD 14:46, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Replying to ping: I stand by what I wrote last time: Every case is different and there are so many variables for so many dab pages that a specific rule would be unworkable. The guide should always be "what are most readers likely to be searching for on the particular page?". In most cases, when dab pages are even useful, 90% of readers are looking for one or two or at most a handful of things, and they should be near the top, no matter what they are. The order of everything else is relatively unimportant. Station1 (talk) 17:26, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Here is a very good example of why standardization and alphabetization is often a very bad idea. Station1 (talk) 18:53, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
      • That looks like a good example of why not putting the primary topic at the base name is often a bad idea; but there's a move request in process, so I couldn't format it as if there were a primary topic yet. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:57, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
        • I agree completely (but am slightly confused, since it looks like you are the one who moved it). But since the dab page is now at the base name, what do you think of putting the album, song and film at the top, and then everything else? Station1 (talk) 19:36, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
          • Ah, it's another move discussion still in progress. That one I disagreed with but still wielded the mop. IMO, the album and song should definitely be at the top as a non-section "most commonly refers to" followed by everything else under a sectioned "may also refer to". -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:48, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Conflicting examples

Does anyone else see the incorrect example given at MOS:DABREDIR as conflicting with the correct one given at MOS:DABPIPING? Why is

  • (incorrect) Delta Quadrant, a Galactic quadrant of the Star Trek universe
    Delta Quadrant, a [[Galactic quadrant (Star Trek)#Delta Quadrant|Galactic quadrant of the ''Star Trek'']] universe ☒N


  • (correct) Ten or Tenshinhan, a character in Dragon Ball media
    Ten or Tenshinhan, a [[List of Dragon Ball characters#Tenshinhan|character in Dragon Ball media]] ☑Y

Aren't they essentially the same? Can we reword the policies or give better examples? I've done many dab cleanups using this technique, thinking it was correct. Hoof Hearted (talk) 17:58, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

The first is incorrect because the first should use the extant redirect Delta Quadrant that matches the ambiguous title "Delta". There is no corresponding redirect that matches "Ten" for Tenshinhan. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:12, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
So we aren't supposed to create redirects for DAB purposes? I thought that's what the policy was saying - if a redirect doesn't exist and you feel the topic may eventually have its own article, make one. I interpretted it as the correct correct thing to do would be to make a redirect for Ten (Dragon Ball) to go to the section in List of Dragon Ball characters if it didn't exist. (I realize this is an old example). And I guess now that the redirect does exist (since 2008), the second example is incorrect. Hoof Hearted (talk) 18:20, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
Eh, I sometimes create redirects for dab purposes, but that's neither here nor there for the purposes of this question; if the redirect doesn't exist, you could boldly create it or you could use a link in the description (and the link in the description can use piping normally). I didn't find Ten (Dragon Ball) when I checked the extant redirects to List of Dragon Ball characters since it redirects elsewhere. So you're right, the Tenshinhan example is also incorrect. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:09, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
@JHunterJ: I'd also argue it shouldn't be a rule that you must use an extant redirect (if that's what you're implying). There are tons of (otherwise non-notable) songs that redirect to albums which I would view as surprising links like I've described below. Take a case like In the Shadows (Ivy song) which redirects to Realistic (album). Which would you rather see:
  • [[In the Shadows (Ivy song)|"In the Shadows" (Ivy song)]], 1995
and be redirected to the album, or
  • "In the Shadows", a song by Ivy from their 1995 album ''[[Realistic (album)|Realistic]]''
I'd prefer the latter even though a good redirect exists. Hoof Hearted (talk) 18:52, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
I'd definitely prefer the former, which has the benefit of not needing to be updated if an article is created, and yes, that's what I'm implying (and also what the guideline says "should" be used). -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:41, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
I like your point about article creation. I still think it's a surprising link, but I can live with that consensus. Hoof Hearted (talk) 19:53, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The underlying assumption appears to be that there are topics (treated within another article) for which it is legitimate to add an entry to a dab page, but for which no redirects should be created. I'm finding that strange. Surely, if something is significant enough to be added to a dab page, then it is significant enough to have a redirect? – Uanfala (talk) 19:23, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
    I don't think it's "no redirect should be created". If something is significant enough to be mentioned in the encyclopedia, then it is significant enough to be added to the dab page. I don't have any issue with a redirect being created. It is legitimate to add an entry to a dab page for which no redirect has been created. The person adding it is neither obligated nor prohibited from creating the redirect. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:39, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
    There is the element of surprise to keep in mind. If the entry is nothing more than an entry in a list (or a passing mention in another article) a redirect may be rather surprising for a reader (where a link can usually be assumed to go to an article or a section with a title at least somewhat similar to the linked text). In such cases I think it better to use a piped section link in the description. olderwiser 19:50, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
Right, the other rules at MOS:DABREDIR should be followed to keep surprise in check (the title of that section [or article] is more or less synonymous with the disambiguated topic). And I also agree with JHunterJ I've always treated the creation of a redirect as up to the editor (I generally don't). If we keep the Delta Quadrant example, maybe the current "correct" example should be labeled "correct/best", but the third piped description example could be "acceptable"(?), while the middle piped subject would remain "incorrect". Would this be a better example for MOS:DABPIPING (replacing the Ten example):

Jam may refer to:

  • (correct/best) Jam, a round in a roller derby game
    Jam, a [[Roller derby#Jams|round in a roller derby game]] ☑Y
  • (acceptable) Jam, a round in a roller derby game
    Jam, a round in a [[roller derby]] game ☑Y
  • (incorrect) Jam, a round in a roller derby game
    Jam, a round in a [[Roller derby#Jams|roller derby]] game ☒N
  • (incorrect) Jam, a round in a roller derby game
    [[Roller derby#Jams|Jam]], a round in a roller derby game ☒N <-- this example may not be necessary if we keep the Delta redirect examples above
Hoof Hearted (talk) 14:40, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
The third entry, which you've labelled incorrect is actually correct/best and the first entry is incorrect. -- Fyrael (talk) 16:00, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Hmmm... that's not been my interpretation of MOS:DABPIPING: The text of the link should not be the title of a different article, and should not surprise the reader. It could confuse the user who clicked a link labeled "roller derby" but was taken to a page that begins with the heading "Jams". By labeling the link more broadly as "round in a roller derby game" the user is more likely to understand it as a synonym for Jam. Isn't this what the current Ten example is demonstrating? Hoof Hearted (talk) 16:08, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I was afraid that this would happen, where the talk about redirects completely skipped past the original question. When we decide that piping is helpful in order to target a section, we still want the display part to match the article title. We only make an exception for the character list link because that article's name doesn't flow naturally in a description. So we're making a minor modification instead of doing something like "<description>; See List of Dragonball characters". So, pretending for a second that there's no redirects here and the editor chooses not to create a new one for it: The original Delta Quadrant example is labelled as incorrect because we're obscuring the name of the linked article when there's no reason to. -- Fyrael (talk) 16:15, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Except that a piped section link takes the reader past the article title. I'd recommend the first example as most descriptive of where the link leads. I think the third example purporting to be a bare link to the article which actually goes to a section can be confusing. I wouldn't necessarily rate it as incorrect, but as a lower preference than #1 or #2. olderwiser 16:44, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
And you're right BK. I guess I saw the third example as "correct but not recommended" which may as well be "incorrect". I wouldn't have a problem marking it correct though.Hoof Hearted (talk) 17:29, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Fyrael, I can see the distinction you're making, but still think the first Jam example is superior. Are you saying the incorrect Delta Quadrant example could be modified this way to make it correct (likewise, ignoring the extant redirect)? Delta Quadrant, a [[Galactic quadrant (Star Trek)#Delta Quadrant|Galactic quadrant]] of the ''Star Trek'' universe. If this is the consensus, that's fine. I would still recommend updating examples or clarifying that the Ten example in the guideline today is only correct if the redirect doesn't exist. At the very least, a better explanation of why one is wrong and the other isn't. Hoof Hearted (talk) 16:48, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
I will grant that the behavior you're both suggesting is more consistent with what the user would see if the link were actually a redirect. In my mind, the surprise would come from a link suggesting that I'm going to get a full article on this topic, but instead arrive at what might be a tiny blurb. Whereas if the link displays the article name then I know my topic will only be a part of the article, and if I arrive at a specific section then that's just a helpful surprise because I don't have to search for my term. But I'm sure these expectations of mine are based on having used and edited DAB pages so much and a newer user's might be totally different. -- Fyrael (talk) 17:21, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Should the above example include:
where there's a redirect created pointing to the section? It sometimes seems the tidiest way to create a good linked dab page entry with no piping. PamD 19:01, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
While I think (creating a redirect) is a valid technique, the example I'm proposing to replace is in the Where piping may be appropriate section, so I was trying to create an appropriate demonstration. It may not be a bad idea to mention redirects as an option though. Hoof Hearted (talk) 19:10, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

Clarification needed on MOS:DABRL

Hi all - I was deleting a red-linked entry from a DAB page and was reverted, with the new (to me) guideline MOS:DABRL. Here's my revert [[14]] As I read the guidelines, you don't have to remove a red-link from a DAB page if it is also red-linked in an article, suggesting it may eventually be written. However, the entry I deleted is red-linked only on two dab pages and two lists. Are lists considered articles in this context? I thought not, because I've been also removing items from lists that do not have articles. Here's the specific guideline:

A link to a non-existent article (a "red link") should only be included on a disambiguation page when a linked article (not just other disambiguation pages) also includes that red link.

If a list doesn't meet the standards as an article, should the text be clarified to close this loophole?

A link to a non-existent article (a "red link") should only be included on a disambiguation page when a linked article (not just other disambiguation pages or lists) also includes that red link.

If it does include lists, the text should say

A link to a non-existent article (a "red link") should only be included on a disambiguation page when a linked article or list (not just other disambiguation pages) also includes that red link.

TimTempleton (talk) (cont) 21:35, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Checking for the presence of incoming links is not an end in itself but only a shortcut, a proxy measure of the likelihood of there being some day enough content about the topic (whether in an article of its own or not). I personally find it to be a poor measure, so I try to directly evaluate the underlying prospects whenever possible. The river appears to be more of a stream [15] but it does crop up in sources here and there (judging from a look at google books). So yeah, probably we'd rather have an entry for it. But I don't think what we have in Maitland (disambiguation) is the best solution. Sure, somebody is bound to say that if the topic is merely mentioned somewhere then the dab entry should point to the article making that mention. But that article is a pretty long list, and the mention is pretty tiny, so much so that the existing entry is of no use to readers and can probably only annoy them: a reader clicks on the blue link, arrives at the list article, spends some time digging around until they finally locate the list entry for that river, only to find out that it doesn't tell them anything the dab entry hasn't already told them!
    If the dab entry is so useless, then why not remove it? Well, there are already two more rivers with the name listed on the dab page; imagine a reader who's come across a reference to a river called Maitland, but who doesn't know where in the world that river is. They come to wikipedia to find where it could be. Imagine now that the reference was indeed to the South African river, but we had removed the entry: that reader looking at the trimmed dab page can conclude that their river is one of the other two, which would be a mistake: the dab page has misled them. Not misleading readers ranks higher than considerations of style, so we should include an entry. How do we make it a bit more useful then? I'd go for an informative descriptor, something along the lines of "a river in Sarah Baartman District Municipality of South Africa's Eastern Cape Province". That pretty much gives our readers everything that wikipedia has to offer on the topic at the moment. And our job is to help readers find what wikpedia has to offer, even if it means occasionally breaking the rules. – Uanfala (talk) 22:31, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
    It's a slippery slope. From editing business and technology articles I see this as a popular way for companies to get their names and products onto the encyclopedia. I suppose we could say it's a judgement call, by making exceptions for places that don't tend to get used as spam, but that could also be contentious, if you think about the ongoing AfD discussions related to notability of random bus and train stops, many occurring in rural areas of countries, and with minimal sourcing. Where does it end? Might you argue that several red-linked start-up/small companies that have been deleted from DAB pages are more notable than this South African river? Taking it to the extreme, what would happen to the John Smith dab page if everyone who was named John Smith added themselves and the one thing they were most famous for, without sourcing, and also created a John Smith list with their names on it? I like info being useful, but weigh it versus an excess of info which makes the important things harder to find. The folks who see the name Maitland River with no geographical context are more likely to be looking for a more notable one, but they can't quickly narrow it down now that we've thrown in a less notable one. This central Wikipedia issue makes me think of the type I versus type II hypothesis testing errors in our college stats classes. Is it worse to inadvertently remove notable items than to keep non-notable items? It's a central debate. But I ramble - I do like your idea - maybe keep it unlinked, but include a qualifier which includes a blue link. TimTempleton (talk) (cont) 23:10, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the logic shouldn't get extended too far. In this particular case, I wouldn't have entertained the idea of having an entry for the South African river if there weren't the possibility for readers who are looking for it to get thrown off course by the mention of other rivers with the same name, or by the fact that the eponymous settlement in South Africa is in a different part of the country. Generally speaking, the thing ensuring we don't go down the slippery slope is the difference in reader expectations. People know there are a great many companies out there and that very few of them have wikipedia articles. Durable features of the landscape, on the other hand, are expected to be covered in an encyclopedia; it won't be too much of an exaggeration to say that includes any body of water larger than a puddle. – Uanfala (talk) 12:12, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Timtempleton: No change in wording is necessary; according to WP:SAL, a list is an article. And, as Uanfala points out, even a brief entry in a list may be informative. If it’s red, it lets us know that it’s a potential article to be written. Just don’t forget that there must be a blue link for every red-link entry. — Gorthian (talk) 02:19, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Just to be clear, what I was trying to point out with respect to brief mentions in lists, was that they're seldom worth linking from a dab page. If all the information they contain can be packaged into the descriptor of the relevant entry on the dab page, then we're better off not linking to the list at all. – Uanfala (talk) 12:12, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Gorthian Thanks for pointing out the policies. I learned something new today. Treating a list as an article isn't intuitive, but I'm sure there was a lot of discussion. TimTempleton (talk) (cont) 03:57, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
  • A list article counts as an article, because it's an article. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:20, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    And because it's an article, everything should be sourced - see WP:LISTVERIFY, so the reader who is taken from a dab page to a list will gain access to a reliable source which at the least confirms the existence (location, whatever) of the subject. PamD 14:39, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
    And if an editor wants to remove it from the dab page, they should remove it from the list first. -- JHunterJ (talk)
  • In the spirit of WP:SOFIXIT, you'll see that the list entry for Maitland River in List of rivers of South Africa now has the coords of the mouth, so is much more informative! PamD 15:24, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

"See"ing things

I often see a construct like the example below, inviting the reader to "see" an article. This fails as a self-reference (WP:LINKSTYLE, for example, notes this as bad behavior); as a more project-specific error, it's almost always a flag that the entry is cast as a dictionary definition.

I'd like to add something specific about "see" (perhaps adding the tag WP:DABNOSEE) to WP:DABDIC:

Ending an entry with "see [[somepage]]" implicitly converts it to a dictionary definition. If "somepage" could reasonably be named after the topic, recast the entry to demonstrate that; if not, omit the entry.

Thoughts?--NapoliRoma (talk) 21:26, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

(OTOH, disambiguation pages are giant aggregations of self-references, so maybe that's not so much the issue...)--NapoliRoma (talk) 21:28, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Agreed. Not sure about that example, though, since it's not well-reflected in the consonance and dissonance article. Probably a better phrasing within the article is possible, but IMO the example in any addition here should be a more clear-cut example. There are a bunch of British MPs who would do. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:56, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes the term disambiguated is not quite a synonym or a clear subtopic of the target article, and in some of those cases it might be difficult to word the description in a way that is both sensible and that makes it clear what article is being linked to. – Uanfala (talk) 15:43, 26 June 2019 (UTC)