Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (capitalization)

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Television series not in English from English-speaking countries[edit]

There's a slowly rumbling renaming war going on around several articles on Spanish-language television shows produced in the United States. Spanish-language (from Spain and Mexico) shows seem to generally, though not always, only capitalise the first word; US shows (in English) capitalise all major words (as per the conventions listed here) - but the intersection is causing some confusion. Has anyone any basic solutions? Grutness...wha? 13:25, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

To summarise and paraphrase comments posted to my user talk page -
  • (from AussieLegend) Damián80 and ElNiñoMonstruo have been warring over the issue of capitalisation (as well as other things). Both have received warnings - one for adding capitals, one for removing them. The warnings that ElNiñoMonstruo have received cite Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization)#Capitalization of expressions borrowed from other languages as justification for not capitalising.
  • (from me) It seems to me that there is no hard-and-fast rule. These expressions are not "borrowed from another language", and as such can hardly be said to fall under that classification. They are phrases within a language (these series are entirely in Spanish), but being produced in a country where capitalisation of every word is standard. As such, they fall into a grey area. Spanish-language series made in Spain and Mexico do not capitalise every word, but all other Spanish-language series I had run across from the US capitalise throughout. If full capitalisation is wrong, then many articles will need to change: Amor en Silencio, Amor Mío, Amor en Silencio, Vas o No Vas, El Cartel, El Secretario, 12 Corazones, Caso Cerrado, Suelta La Sopa, Un Nuevo Día, La Corte de Familia, La Corte del Pueblo, La Hora Lunática, Mas Vale Tarde... and about 100 others.
  • (from Paulah88) To complicate matters further... In Spanish you capitalize only the first word and proper nouns in a title, e.g. Por ella soy Eva. But I checked Telemundo's web site, and they use the English conventions of capitalization, with upper case for everything except little words, e.g. El Señor de los Cielos. Why would a Spanish broadcaster use English conventions? Quien sabe?! (Who knows!) And if many of their titles originate off shore, then using a standard of "country of origin" seems to be inviting more confusion and disputes. Personal opinion here: Spanish eyes are accustomed to lower case (Amor de lechuga), but our articles are in English, so we should assume they're viewed by English eyes accustomed to upper case (Love in the Lettuce).
Grutness...wha? 01:53, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
The problem is you do not agree, all titles were previously capitalized; but then came another user changing the way the titles to lowercase. And things are always being generated problems, especially with items that have titles in Spanish. Telemundo is an American television, but many of its telenovelas are hardly produced in the United States, mostly have productions made in Mexico or Colombia. The problem is is that if allowed to capitalize all titles will then written poorly written. So just because Telemundo is an American chain, everyone will want to do the same with telenovela Televisa. For example this: "Muchacha italiana viene a casarse," to be written like this: "Muchacha Italiana Viene a Casarse" or "Muchacha Italiana Viene A Casarse". It makes no sense to put the titles on the way to anyone he pleases. Now according to the rules of the RAE, all titles should be lowercase to start only, and should be capitalized when it comes to nicknames, names, surnames, finance etc [1] The link is in Spanish; because you were the rules created for titles that should be in Spanish. Now, of course in English wikipedia, put the titles they want. I think that with respect to items of telenovelas, the titles should be lowercase, it would be more appropriate, plus many of the Spanish soap operas are.--Damián (talk) 19:57, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
So if we allow titles Telemundo telenovelas, are written in capital letters, just for being an American television network. So we should do the same with telenovela; Argentine, Mexican, Colombian, Venezuelan, etc.--Damián (talk) 20:04, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Wrong Damián80, you are wrong at all. -ElNiñoMonstruo (talk) 05:31, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
@ElNiñoMonstruo:, Just do come here to say this?, really, if you will not bring any good to the conversation, I ask you to save you your bad comments towards me.--Damián (talk) 12:13, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment The MOS says Capitalization in foreign-language titles varies, even over time within the same language; generally, retain the style of the original. This seems clear. Peter coxhead (talk) 06:07, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Peter, that may be clear as far as the MOS is concerned (and I admit I hadn't seen that), but it still causes problems with both the naming and navigation. As far as naming is concerned, there are articles in lower case in the titles which refer to the programme in upper case in the text and vice versa; there are also programmes where different sources show different capitalisation. As far as navigation is concerned it makes hunting for a title hit-and-miss for the reader unless there is a very clear rule of having redirects from alternative capitalisation. Grutness...wha? 01:07, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
The text should follow the styling of the title, and, yes, there should be redirects for alternative capitalizations. This only seems to be explicitly stated for organisms (see WP:NCCAPS#Organisms). (In terms of the criteria set out at WP:AT, it's clear that consensus puts consistency low in the priority order – I find this a bit odd, but that seems to be the consensus view.) Peter coxhead (talk) 08:25, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment As a half-assed Spanish speaker, familiar with Telemundo, Univision, and other US-produced, Spanish-language programming (to an limited extent) for 20+ years, and a linguist by partial training (college minor), I have to observe that American Spanish (in the US sense, not "the Americas" sense) clearly uses American English capitalization conventions, in both television programing and other titling cases, e.g. publication titles, article headlines, etc.; and this is entirely reasonable and perhaps to be expected, since languages in close proximity to one another borrow, with the language with the highest literacy rate and largest publication output dominating written style matters (e.g. Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Welsh language publications tend to follow British English style rules on most matters, and Breton ones those of the French language, etc., etc.

    Proposed solution: I'm agreed with Grutness that this isn't "borrowed from another language", and greed with Peter that the section he quoted is applicable. In answer to Grutness's question later, the resolution of the conflict between different sources capitalizing differently is a) do what the actual original show/publication does, and when that's indetermintae (e.g. because its' ALL-CAPPED or all-lowercase for stylistic effect), then do what the majority of the English-language sources do, because this is the English-language Wikipedia. I.e. prefer the English not Spanish edition of TV guide, etc.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:39, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

See MOS RfC - Animal breeds in lower case[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere

Someone's opened an RfC on using lower case for animal breeds except where they contain proper names, and this is followed by an alternative proposal based on breed standards. Both proposals would be a naming convention as well as style rule, so regulars here are liable to be interested in commenting.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:23, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Uppercasing or lowercasing like as a preposition[edit]

Typically, a four-letter preposition must be lowercased. like is anything, like a verb and a preposition. How are Love You like a Love Song and I Like It Like That different from each other? --George Ho (talk) 02:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

When 'like' is a coordinate conjunction, it is capitalized. Eric - Contact me please. I prefer conversations started on my talk page if the subject is changed 01:05, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Capitalization of foreign-language recordings[edit]

I really hate to beat up a dead horse and I was hoping I would never have to deal with this again. But regrettably, the issue has come up again. About a week ago or so, AJona1992 requested "Baila esta cumbia" to be moved to "Baila Esta Cumbia" because that is the spelling most English-language reliable sources used. However, this move was opposed because it technically goes against proper grammar in Spanish. Even when I pointed out the guideline here that: "If the article is about a work in a foreign language (such as a book or other written work, movie, album, or song), using the capitalization found in most English-language reliable sources is recommended", the article was still not moved. The closing administrator pointed out that "If the French expression is untranslated (not a loan word), follow French capitalization practice.... for many works of art the capitalization practice can be derived from the original publication, e.g. the capitalization of the title of a French novel can usually be derived from how it was published. For Spanish, German, and any language usually written in the Latin alphabet the same (or something similar) would apply, so the guidance of WP:NCCAPS here remains unclear and/or contradictory" which is why I'm here. This is not even the first time I've been involved in case. Three years ago, there was a guideline on WP:WikiProject Albums that said a foreign-language album should use its native capitalization which an editor pointed out to me when I using capitalization found on English-language sources. However, when I started moving Spanish-language albums to its native capitalization, I got into major trouble and it's still painful for me to talk about it. Yet months later, the community still opted to go for the foreign-language albums to use its native capitalization as a user stated that "Capitalization of expressions borrowed from other languages" saying that "albums and songs aren't special cases as far as I'm concerned. This states that foreign-language terms are to be written according to those languages' conventions, unless that term has been widely adopted into English. (Bearing in mind that article's titles and text are written in English, using the Latin script". I should point out they were in favor of applying native capitalization of foreign-language songs on the track listing rather than the article title. Then the "French-language expression loan" was also pointed out on the Como Ama una Mujer talk page for a requested move although the move to use its native capitalization was rejected. That isn't the only WikiProject that wishes for foreign-language works to use its native capitalization. This is also a guideline at WikiProject Classical music which says to "For Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese titles, capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns (names of particular people or places) in that language". So you have two WikiProjects which support foreign-language titles using its native capitalization. But this feeling isn't mutual at WikiProject Latin music (of which I'm a member of), that primarily deals with Spanish- and Portuguese-language recordings, where most of the active members (including myself because of what happened before) prefer to use capitalization found on English-language sources.

I'm aware about the issue of capitalization for foreign-language works has been brought up several times before. The earliest debate goes back to in 2007 which only involved about three editors and it was agreed to use capitalization found on English-language. Then there was of a debate of whether or not an Italian-language film should use its native capitalization or the capitalization found on most English-language reliable sources where the latter was preferred. Going back to WikiProject Albums, the preference for foreign-language titles in albums was discussed and agreed in 2008. I noticed some inconsistencies too. For example, there is a good article for a French-language song which uses capitalization found on English-language sources, but Celine Dion albums discography (a FL) uses its French-capitalization despite sources such as Allmusic using different capitalization and it was never brought up on the FLC. The point I'm trying to make is that the guideline for capitalization of foreign-language works doesn't seem to be clear enough. It says to use capitalization found on most English-language reliable sources, yet there's a preceding paragraph which leads to this guideline stating that French-language works of art are to use its native capitalization if there are no English variants. But what about Spanish and Italian-language works of art? What makes French-language works of art special that the other languages cannot follow its own capitalization too? As I mentioned earlier, I do not support foreign-language works of art following its native capitalization, but this inconsistency cannot be ignored. Not just because of what happened earlier, but sometimes you have recordings that uses of a mix of both Spanish and English in its title. For example, Desde un Principio: From the Beginning, a compilation album by Marc Anthony uses both languages in its title. Then there are some recordings that uses Spanglish words and Spanish-language recordings that use an English-language title and vice-versa. What happens to those articles then? Again, I'm sorry for bringing up another discussion about capitalization of foreign-language works, but I am frustrated at the moment and I just want to continue working on Latin music albums without further disruption. I have some suggestions to compromise what should and shouldn't use its native capitalization, but I would rather hear comments from other editors first. Erick (talk) 18:47, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Comment:First off, I think you did an awesome job in summarizing the topic to date in a dispassionate manner despite your taxing history with the topic. That said, perhaps because I am a polyglot (sorta), I feel that any proper name (when referred to in its native language) should be copied and pasted as is. Unfortunately, Wikipedia policy and practice are at odds on multiple levels and should absolutely be made consistent, but it seems intuitive to me that a name is a name, and inviting editors to use their judgement to deviate from that standard should be the exception and not the rule. The only exception (in my mind) would be if the English speaking world had a name for something that is more common than the name in the native language, like Arch of Titus (instead of Arcus Titi in the native Latin). The big problem with applying English grammar to foreign languages is that it opens up the can of worms of the language proficiency of the editor. In English, we don't capitalize the articles and prepositions in titles unless they come at the beginning of the title. So then, in Spanish titles, do we capitalize "el" or "las"? What about "unas" or "un"? Which prepositions do we not capitalize? En? Fuera? Bajo? Entre? Sobre? What about if one of those words are used in a pun, and "sobre" means "over" and "envelope" at the same time? Or how about in German, they capitalize ALL nouns, whether proper or not. So, if we copy and paste something from that language, should we then have to sniff out which nouns should not have been capitalized? In Russian (and many other languages) they conjugate nouns and proper names. Should we remove those endings because they don't conform to English conjugations? When you bring in Spanglish titles it just gets even more nasty. How do we make it comform to English grammar? Should we even try? I say no. Just copy and paste whatever its officially called it and we're done.--Esprit15d • talkcontribs 20:52, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - excellent summary. There is a conflict between the minority of quality sources (eg English language Latin music books, Grove MOS, Continuum MOS) and the majority of non quality sources (eg Billboard MOS): so the guideline "using the capitalization found in most English-language reliable sources is recommended" should be changed to the most reliable, or simply we have a MOS like WP:FRMOS for French accents and stick to it. Hunting round to duplicate the MOS song-by-song for "English sources" for most songs is daft and random. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:09, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
    • @In inctu oculi: Now that you've mentioned it, going back to what happened to me in 2011, I noticed that Amazon, Billboard, or Discogs were used against ALBUMCAPS at the time, but since when were they ever reliable sources especially on grammar? Amazon is just a retail store, Billboard capitalizes the beginning of every word even in English regardless whether of its proper or not, and Discogs isn't accepted as a reliable source as it is user-created content as far as I know. Allmusic is fine since it is considered a reliable source by WikiProject Music and their capitalization is what I usually use on the articles I work on. It would be way more preferable to use capitalization found on other reliable English-language encyclopedias, books, or as you say the most reliable sources. Then there are cases of foreign-language albums with track listings that follow its native capitalization. A perfect example would be Ni es lo mismo ni es igual by Juan Luis Guerra where the album title and its track listing follows the capitlization rules. Most popular Spanish-language albums don't usually follow its native capitalization because they are usually recorded here in the US. Maybe SMcCandlish's proposed suggestions for Spanish-language telenovelas above could (not saying should) be applied to Spanish-language recordings as well? Erick (talk) 02:24, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

I wish to update my take on capitalization for titles of foreign-language works of art. A few days ago, I brought this issue up on the Latin music project talk page and proposed a guideline on how the project will deal with Spanish- and Portuguese-language recordings. It was unanimously decided by the active members that the Latin music project will utilize capitalization found on English-language reliable sources as opposed to its native capitalization. And thus, I too shall follow the consensus of the project. @Esprit15d: I know you mean well, but you must understand that neither me nor the members of the project will feel the about the issue. There are currently over 100 GAs and 50 FLs in the project and to suddenly apply the rules of capitalization for Spanish or Portuguese would be a daunting task and I doubt any of them would be willing to do it, I know I wouldn't. I should also point out that the majority of members who supported the guideline are native Spanish-speakers. @In inctu oculi: this does mean I will not utilize the native capitalization of a foreign-language recording even if the album cover and track listing does. The only major exception to this is if there are insufficient English-language reliable sources available, then the capitalization on foreign-language reliable sources should be used. So here's my conclusion: Me and the rest of the active members of the Latin music project will use capitalization found on English-language reliable sources. However the Classical, Opera, and Album projects handle foreign-language titles is their decision and I will respect that decision. In turn, I ask that they also respect our decision on how we handle foreign-language titles. That is all I am going to say on this matter. If someone else wishes to continue this discussion, that is fine. Otherwise if no one wants to continue it, then it should be closed. Erick (talk) 18:31, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

The ping above is a redlink, so didn't see it. I wasn't pinged on the other discussion at all. I can only say what I've said before, (1) this is a MOS choice, I am one of those who prefer a hardback book MOS approach to Billboard/Allmusic MOS. (2) the lead is much more important than the title, the lead in my view should follow the real song spelling/capitalization, not Spanglish/Franglish. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:27, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
@In ictu oculi: Then I think we can come to an agreement. If an editor is the sole contributer to an article and wishes to use capitalization found on English-language reliable sources from handbooks like those you mentioned, then that decision should be respected. Likewise, if an editor is the sole contributer to an article and wishes to use English-language reliable websites or other books, then that decision should also be respected. If there are several editors who have contributed to an article, then it should be up to consensus. As I have mentioned before, I respect whatever guidelines the Classical music and Albums projects wishes to follow for foreign-language capitalization and in turn I ask they respect the Latin music project wish as well. Erick (talk) 00:52, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
@Magiciandude: well I think I have my foot more in Classical music project, and interest in Latin music tends to the jazz/salsa standards rather than pop. It does make more sense for US Latin artists to follow a Caps Title style (for convenience say "Billboard MOS") than for tangos and boleros. I also think your point about respecting article creator/contributor is valid and should be more widely recognised in all projects. I will continue to express my preference for "hardback" style in discussions, but as above the lead is far more important than the title, for example I am going to proceed to remove that eyesore "stylization" repeat on the Ai Se Eu Te Pego lead sentence. It's understandable that Japanese and Korean artwork has "stylizations", but Portuguese is a straightforward Latin alphabet language. Thank you btw for your posts on this subject. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:24, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

I think this edit brought on the confusion. The "2 step" rule was never intended for titles of works of art, but for expressions, such as fin de sièclenot for album titles such as Fin de Siècle or Fin de siecle or a book title such as Fin-de-siècle Vienna. It was never the intention to go look for an album title and see whether or not it is an "expression" translated-or-not: the capitalization of a work of art is is independent of the consideration of whether or not that title is an expression.

So I'll separate the two again. Capitalization-wise I think there is some leaning towards the primary source, that is, the title as given by the artist, in whatever language, and stick to the capitalization rules of that language. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:29, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

For comparison, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (operas): most opera titles @Wikipedia use the original language, with the capitalization of that language, e.g. La clemenza di Tito. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
@Francis Schonken: Yes, and the Manual of Style for music also does for classical compositions. The bit about using capitalization found on English-language reliable sources was something I added without gaining consensus so I should have brought it up on the talk page first. Anyways, thanks for separating the information into two sections, it should lessen the confusion a lot. Erick (talk) 16:05, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Is there still anything that needs further discussion, or can the under discussion tag be removed now? --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:38, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

@Francis Schonken: I just have two more suggestions for the guideline before finishing this discussion. I would add using capitalization found on foreign-language reliable sources for that work of art if there are too few or no English-language reliable sources available. And per @In ictu oculi:'s suggestion, I think it would be appropriate to change from "in most reliable English-language reliable sources" to "the most reliable English-language sources" since there websites that ignore the proper capitalization for English-language works of art. Erick (talk) 14:50, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Re. "...if there are too few or no English-language reliable sources available": This is already covered in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)#No established usage in English-language sources, so I added a {{see also}} under the section header referring to WP:NCUE.
Re. changing "in most reliable..." to "the most reliable...": no, the first was intended. Ranging sources from "average" reliability to more reliable is illusive: either a source has enough reliability for its intended use in Wikipedia, or it hasn't. Discussions on whether one source is "more" reliable than another, I've seen them, and that's specifically where I wouldn't want to go, per WP:NPOV. It's about quantity in all sources that fall in the spectre of "reliable" when naming issues are concerned. For some topics that can be narrowed down to Google books or whatever, but that follows from general WP:AT policies not needed to be repeated here. --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:18, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

@Francis Schonken: A fair point on both issues and I think that pretty much wraps up this discussion. Again, thanks for the help. Cheers! Erick (talk) 17:36, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Problems with the syntax of the new guideline[edit]

To %User:Francis Schonken, §User:Magiciandude, ‡User:In ictu oculi &User:Esprit15d and ¿any other interested parties:

I was linked to the new WP:NCCAPS#Works of art guideline and this discussion from an RM discussion and am glad this issue has been addressed. However, I find the wording of the new section confusing, in particular, the bolded passages that follow:

"If the article is about a work of art (such as a book or other written work, movie, album, song, or composition) with a title in a foreign language, or by a foreign language creator, usually the capitalization found in English-language reliable sources is recommended, but when such sources use different capitalizations there is some leaning towards the capitalization rules valid for the language of the creator."

After a cursory reading the discussion above, my interpretation is that "creator" means creator of the work of art and not the creator of the article but a discussant above uses it to mean the article's creator. Which is the case? In addition, I find that double qualifying "usually" with "recommended" to be a bit weak and the phrases "there is" and "leaning toward" to be excessively vague.

If the guideline indeed refers to the creator of the work then how about some changes along the lines of the following:

If the article is about a work of art (such as a book or other written work, movie, album, song, or composition) with a title in a foreign language, or about a work by a foreign-language creator, usually the capitalization found in English-language reliable sources is recommended, but when such sources use different capitalizations deference should be given to the capitalization rules valid for the language of the creator of the work."

If the guideline instead refers to the creator of the article then how about:

If the article is about a work of art (such as a book or other written work, movie, album, song, or composition) with a title in a foreign language, or was created by a foreign-language contributor, usually the capitalization found in English-language reliable sources is recommended, but when such sources use different capitalizations deference should be given to the capitalization rules valid for the language of the creator of the article."

(I don't really know what a "foreign-language contributor" is, so I hope the latter is not correct.) What thinkes y'all? Thanks. —  AjaxSmack  04:47, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Lists of presidents[edit]

Hi, on Talk:List of Presidents of South Sudan, I just saw the remark/question: "No reason to cap "presidents". is there?" by Hadrianheugh. I thought, Hadrian is right, but first I looked it up on this guidelines page, which says, "Do not capitalize the second or subsequent words in an article title, unless the title is a proper name." and does not mention an exception for presidents. So I changed the title of the aforementioned list to List of presidents of South Sudan. But now I discovered Category:Lists of presidents where very many presidents have a large P. Is there perhaps an exception for lists? Bever (talk) 07:17, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

@Bever: This should not be capitalized, per MOS:JOBTITLES. Errors of this type are widespread at Wikipedia and no one seems to care much. ―Mandruss  11:53, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Sundostund even cared so much that he reverted the move. Without explanation however, so I repeated the move. Bever (talk) 22:42, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I didn't saw that consensus is reached on Talk:List of presidents of South Sudan about the capitalization, I wouldn't revert if I saw the talk page opinions... As for the capitalization issue in general, take a look at the extensive discussions about the issue which took place in 2012 (Talk:List of Presidents of the United States/Archive 6#Requested move and Talk:List of Federal Presidents of Austria#Requested move). I have nothing more to add to what is already said in those discussions, so I'm letting other users to reach consensus about the issue. Cheers! --Sundostund (talk) 14:06, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the links, as those discussions show me what I would be up against if I attempted widespread corrections of these errors. ―Mandruss  19:57, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

AoB Plants or AoB PLANTS?[edit]

This journal stylizes itself AoB PLANTS. However, I thought that we did not follow such styles and would use normal capitalization conventions, unless something is an initialism. "Plants" obviously is not an initialism, so i guessed the correct title would be "AoB Plants". ("AoB" stands for "Annals of Botany" and is an initialism). However, reading through this guideline, I see nothing mentioned about article names being (in whole or in part) all caps. What's correct here? --Randykitty (talk) 17:50, 9 April 2015 (UTC)