Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Text formatting

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WikiProject Manual of Style
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Revisiting MOS:ITALICS#Foreign terms[edit]

As someone brought up on my talk page, our examples, esprit de corps and praetor, of what to not italicize when it comes to foreign borrowings are both actually italicized at each of their respective articles! D'oh. I bet that a review of all major style guides that happen to include praetor or comparably familiar ancient Roman titles, like legatus, lictor and quaestor (i.e. less familar than centurion, consul, and prefect, but much more so that obscure ones like cubicularius, praefectus urbi and signiferi), will not italicize them, nor other familiar ones in other languages (czar/tsar, caliph, kaiser, etc., vs. Feldwebel, shàngjiàng and kuningatar). For the French phrase, in question, esprit de corps, I'd bet that a significant number of style manuals do still italicize that phrase. It's mid-way on the adoption curve. Like force majeure, éminence grise, and enfant terrible, it's not nearly as familiar as everyday terms like laissez-faire, tour de force, ménage à trois, carte blanche, cordon bleu, but much more familiar to most people in most contexts that adoptions that are almost always still italicized, like fait accompli, coup de grâce, noblesse oblige, etc. Dance and cooking terms like folie à deux and soufflé are almost never italicized any longer. A similar "adoption curve" would be easy to come up with for Spanish, German, even Japanese. We need to more clearly spell out that super-familiar, fully-assimilated things like zeitgeist, macho, chic, and samurai don't need italics (nor German capitalization of common nouns), but uncommon ones (Weltanschaaung, Sagrada Familia, objet trouvé) do, and need to better convey that uncertain cases should be based on what sources are doing (not specialist sources, which will either italicize nothing, ever, that's familiar in that field, or conversely italicize everything as a form of overcorrection and emphasis). "Sources" here means modern (e.g. last 25 years) a) style guides intended for general English language writing, b) examples of general English-language writing like usage in major newsweeklies, and c) dictionaries that do italicize some of these phrases, when uncommon, and do not when common (some dictionaries italicize no entries at all, and others probably over-italicize virtually all modern borrowings, no matter how well-assimilated they are.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:28, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

@Kwamikagami: In a recent edit, you changed the text to say that some non-Latin scripts shouldn't be italicized. This implies that some can be italicized. As far as I know, all non-Latin scripts should not italicized, and I can't think of any exceptions, so please explain. — Eru·tuon 22:35, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

We have a Russian source as a reference, that's an article in a journal. The article title would be placed in quotation marks, and the journal title would be placed in italics. That would be true whether we gave them in Cyrillic or in Latin transliteration. — kwami (talk) 22:48, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kwamikagami: Not sure what you're saying: that journal titles in non-Latin alphabets are given in italics? If so, that is an exception relating to refs. In other situations, Cyrillic is not presented in italics, as in the intro of Fyodor Dostoyevsky or the examples throughout Russian phonology. — Eru·tuon 02:55, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Italicization of quotations again[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussions elsewhere.

I've opened an RfC at Template talk:Tq#Removing the italics option that could affect the unwanted incidence of italicization of quotations simply because they're quotations. See also Template talk:Qq#Italicization disputed for some related discussion.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:39, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Succession box use of bold[edit]

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Succession Box Standardization#Unnecessary bold proposes removal of bold from succession boxes as that bold is contrary to MOS:BOLD. Comments on that page are welcome. One obvious questions is: should we consider updating MOS:BOLD to include use of bold in succession/nav/info boxes? (I think not, but one must ask the question.) Mitch Ames (talk) 06:02, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Italicization of space vessels again[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere

The discussion about whether to italicize the names of spacecraft, per MOS:TEXT, has been reopened at Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 48#Should this be italicized?.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:25, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Thanks for opening this, SMcC. I think User:Philosopher got it right in the linked discussion. I think its clear that the names of individually named spacecraft should be italicized (e.g., Eagle (Apollo 11 lunar lander), Columbia (Apollo 11 command module; also space shuttle), Challenger (space shuttle)), following the accepted precedent of italicizing individually named sea vessels (e.g., U.S.S. Enterprise) and individually named aircraft (e.g., Spirit of St. Louis). Numbered space missions (e.g., Apollo 11, STS-124) should not be italicized when the spacecraft was given a separate name different from the numbered mission. To my way of thinking, it is far less clear what to do about numbered space missions/spacecraft that were not individually named (e.g., Ranger 8), the key question being is "Ranger 8" a mission, a spacecraft, or both? Perhaps someone else has already thought through this last example. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 16:38, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Invitation to comment on VP proposal: Establish WT:MoS as the official site for style Q&A on Wikipedia[edit]

There is a proposal at the Village Pump that WT:MoS be established as Wikipedia's official page for style Q&A. This would involve actively guiding editors with style questions to WT:MoS and away from other pages, such as this one. Participation is welcome. Darkfrog24 (talk) 20:22, 17 May 2015 (UTC)