Wikipedia talk:Overcategorization/Archive 5

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Categorising by national descent, origin, nationality, etc.

I have been struggling for a while now to come up with some clearer guidelines for how the following categories ought to be applied to people so as not to create inconsistencies and/or overcategorization:

Then there are subcats like Category:People by occupation and nationality and "Foo-ian Goo-ians" (see, e.g., Category:Canadian Americans) that further confuse the issue. I don't have a specific proposal, but am hoping to generate a discussion that might lead to a new paradigm. I have some ideas to throw into the ring:

  1. Let's spell out the difference between "national descent," "national origin," and "nationality."
  2. "Nationality" often seems to be used interchangeably with "citizenship"; maybe we should call it that.
  3. Apply the "Foo-ian Goo-ian" category consistently --- does it mean "people by ethnic or national descent" (like Ted Kennedy is categorised as an Irish-American politician)? or people by nationality (like Alanis Morissette is categorized as "Canadian American" because she has become a naturalised U.S. citizen while retaining her Canadian citizenship?) With respect to the latter example, I might prefer to categorise such people as "Foo-ian immigrants to Goo," as Michael J. Fox is categorised in Category:Canadian immigrants to the United States. There is no logic to the discrepancy between Morissette and Fox. I'm not sure what the answer is -- I would just like to argue for consistency and logic.And there is not much of a clear distiction between the use of "Irish-American" as a descriptive term in a subcat and "Canadian American" as a subcat.
  • To clarify this, Category:Irish-American politicians is a subcat of Category:Irish-Americans. I picked Kennedy because he is an obvious example of someone thought of as Irish American; other Kennedys are categorised in the main cat. In the case of the Kennedys, the use of the term fits within "national descent"; the family has been in the U.S. for several generations. Despite the common usage of the term, "Irish American," would it be clearer , from a categorisation stand=point, to create Category:Americans of Irish descent. See, for example, Pamela Anderson, who was born in Canada and is of (partial) Finnish descent; she is categorised as "Canadians of Finnish descent" and "Finnish-Americans." I know the former category was recently created by an industrious editor; is it more useful than the latter?

Also, as we have touched on before, is the intersection between occupation and nationality really useful, especially if nationality is used to represent citizenship? To go back to an earlier discussion about Michael J. Fox, is it meaningful to double up on categorising him in all of the following: "Canadian film actors | Canadian television actors | Canadian voice actors | Canadian child actors | American film actors | American television actors | American voice actors | American child actors," etc?

Thoughts?--Vbd (talk) 02:46, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

In professional astronomy, I see no reason to categorize astronomers by nationality. Modern professional astronomers may work in multiple countries during their lifetimes, frequently outside of the countries where they were born. The locations where astronomers worked or where they were educated are more important than their nationalities. Dr. Submillimeter 14:58, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
While I agree with Dr. Sub above that knowing someone's nationality or place of birth isn't as important as other aspects of the person's biography, I think there are a substantial number of readers who are specifically interested in reading about people from their own country or state or region. There is a sort of cultural pride in knowing who the "important hometown people " are in your area. So even though in the astronomy field it's true that these people move around and work in multiple countries, at the same time I think a fair number of readers probably find it interesting to be able to find an index of famous astronomers and scientists that hail from their own area.
Of course, that doesn't directly answer the main questions asked in this thread about whether and when these categories should focus on place of birth versus nationality, but I think it does illustrate at least one reason why these profession-by-geographic-area categories are worth keeping in some form or another. Dugwiki 16:18, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, Vbd for alerting me to this. My hobby horse in this issue is that people get categorised according to an accident of birth/technical citzenship, rather than culture and identification. For example, Nicole Kidman was born to Australian parents, grew up in Australia and identifies strongly as Australian, but because she was born in Hawaii, is consequently a US citizen and lives part of the time in the US, she has been given the categories "American adoptive parents | American Australians | American film actors | People from Honolulu "! Another example is an obscure biography subject, Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan, a spy for Japan/traitor to the UK in WW2. He was born in New Zealand, but as an infant moved to the British crown colony of Burma, where his mother remarried to a Briton when Heenan was two. He was consequently brought up in Burma and England. It appears that he never returned to NZ, and yet some helpful soul has added him to "New Zealanders of World War II". Now, even if we could establish that his mother was a born and bred New Zealander, I think it's stretching that category to refer to him as such. Grant | Talk 16:15, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I know Nicole Kidman has been the subject of heated debate relating to these issues. I am curious, Grant . . . would it matter to you if she had became a U.S. citizen by choice, rather than by an accident of birth? Your focus is on her sense of self-identification or cultural identity as Australian, which in many instances may be difficult to ascertain. As Kevlar points out below, citizenship is much more easily determined. Kidman's case is unusual because she is not an immigrant to the United States, like MJF is.--Vbd (talk) 06:30, 28 March 2007 (UTC) (BTW, I am shaking my head in response to your tale of Heenan being categorized as a New Zealander.)
I think it's realistic and reasonable for people to have multiple national/cultural/citizenship categories in Wikipedia, as is the case with Michael J. Fox. That is, it's more than reasonable to categorise someone as American if they have voluntarily taken out U.S. citizenship as an adult, although to me that doesn't preclude them retaining a pre-existing national identity, or possibly even several national identities. I just question the basis for the assignment of many categories. I guess I don't have a problem with Nicole Kidman among "Australian Americans", since she lives in the US most of the time. But to classify Kidman with "American Australians" I think is bizarre, as is "People from Honolulu". I wonder how much time she's spent in Hawaii since she was a toddler! Likewise, Pamela Anderson's Finnish ancestors emigrated to Canada not the USA and I'm not aware of any Finnish cultural dimension that she has taken to the USA (!), so while "Finnish Canadian" may be warranted, I don't see how "Finnish American" is. Grant | Talk 08:29, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Once again, thanks for raising this and alerting me, Vbd, it seems we have several editors working at cross purposes here. This is what I would like to see: a clear distinction between ethnicity and citizenship with the word nationality avoided when ever possible as ambiguous. This is especially pertinent when it comes to multi-national or multi-cultural entities like India, the Soviet Union, or Austria-Hungary. One could be a Tamil from India, or Tamil from Sri Lanka, or a Tamil from Canada; or a Ukrainian from the Soviet Union, a Ukrainian from Poland, or a Ukrainian from Ukraine, and so on. People’s citizenship is a legal fact that can be easily documented. People should be categorized by citizenship first. Secondarily, it may be necessary to clarify a person’s ethnic origin. For your example of actors, the relevant thing would be "where do they work?" So it becomes Category:Actors in the United States which is quite different from Category:American actors . Actors are people who may happen to work in any number of places, but they place doesn’t “own” them. I will have more for a filled out proposal on this later.Kevlar67 02:09, 28 March 2007 (UTC)
Further to the above. People who migrate from one country to another need to categorized by the place they left and the place they went to. But this doesn't mean that others won't show up!! E.g. an ethnically Ukrainian person born in Poland who moves to Canada, would be in both Category: Polish immigrants to Canada and a Category: Ukrainian Canadians.
Also, categorization by birthplace or place of residence needs a whole other discussion (e.g. Category: People from Tokyo). There are many, many, many examples of this so it needs to be treated separately.
Lastly for artists who work in a langue-related art (vocal music, literature, film), Categorization by language is at least as important as nationality if not more so. Tamil-language cinema is recognizable body of work but occurs in India, Sri Lanka, Canada, etc. French-language cinema occurs in France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Morocco, Congo, etc. (See Category:Occupations by language and Category:Languages by occupation). Kevlar67 04:31, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi Kevlar, you say an ethnically Ukrainian person born in Poland who moves to Canada, would be in "Polish immigrants to Canada". I think this is fine, as long as such a person spent a significant amount of time in Poland. If he/she was simply born in Poland to parents who were passing through, I don't think that's really meaningful, unless he/she Poland automatically grants citizenship to those born there, which is not something that all countries do. Grant | Talk 08:27, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Well that's why I recommend categorization by citizenship rather than nationality. If a person is a citizen of Poland, that is a verifiable fact. If we have proof they self identify as something else that's great too, but citizenship should be the first concern. Kevlar67 03:22, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
One of the problems with this discussion is that people are trying to describe how they themselves would interpret the categories and not how the categories would be interpreted by everybody. For example, someone could say that "Polish immigrants to Canada" should be used for people who spent "a significant amount of time in Poland", but the average editor is not going to know that. Additionally, someone could add that criterion to the category, but the criterion could be removed later by someone else. If these categories are going to be used, then they will used for all immigrants. "Restricting" the categories' use is unrealistic. The categories should either be deleted or used in the broad contexts that their titles suggest. Dr. Submillimeter 09:19, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
But "the average editor" shouldn't be adding categories on the basis of what they don't know. Categories should be added on the basis of significant facts, such as citizenship and the national culture with which the subject of a biography identifies. If someone is born in X to parents from Y, leaves as an infant, grows up in Z and has no significant contact with X thereafter, then I don't think they should be put in categories relating to X, unless we have a category such as "People born in X". Grant | Talk 16:34, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
the immigrant case is straightforward - if that particular country grants citizenship for anyone born there then... and if they don t then they are not immigrants of that country - this info should be perfectly ascertainable. as for someone born in X who never returns there, as long as they have citizenship they are from X and if they don t, they re not. We have a problem though don t we as things stand for categorizing someone who grew up in a national culture but never gained that place's citizenship Mayumashu 02:08, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I m with Vbd (kudos for getting this started) and Kevlar that people should be categorized based on parentage and lineage where self-identification an accessory as it is only occasionally verifiable. I agree with Vbd too that Category:Americans of Irish descent. I think that Category:Irish-Americans could be kept to hold verified self-identification cases and possibly those whose entire parentage/lineage in of that particularly descent and as such would be a sub-category page, although I wouldn t mind seeing this go as it s likely to be "abused". Kevlar's point that "nationality" is ambiguous and "citizenship" should perhaps be a replacement is interesting and a change I would support. Mayumashu 02:08, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I m in favour of a "double stream" categorizing system that would categorize all people according to occupation regardless citizenship, to the level for instance of the kind of actor one is Category:Canadian television actors describing Canadian TV and not Canadians on TV, Category:Child actors, Category:Bollywood actors, etc. and then by nationality but only to the level of occupation in general (Category:Indian actors, Category:Indian scientists, etc.), permitting massive listed cat pages and reducing cat clutter Mayumashu 02:19, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Similarly, Category:Expatriates and its sub-cat pages should probably be done away with. Having these combined with occupation seems an unnecessary duplication for one. I started them up as there were a few pages in place for non-Asians in the Far East (probably the result of pseudo-racism, actually based as much on cultural difference as racial - I ve lived here 10 years) but not for other expat groups in other places. The fundamental problem with these is that setting a period a time for which a mere stay becomes residence is wholly arbitrary. Again, citizenship and parentage/lineage are the only solid basis for categorizing people and origin, and occupation should be largely independent of these. Mayumashu 02:57, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

If we keeps the expats pages, then it should be for instance Category:People in Zimbabwe and not Category:Zimbabwean people. Then the problem is though Zimbabwean citizens not resident to Zimbabwe do not fit. I think again the expat cat pages should be removed.Mayumashu 03:37, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Grant65's contribution hits on a fundamental flaw with things as they stand - someone who spends sigificant time in a country but does not gain citizenship - it s admittedly a rare case (Robert Goulet is one), how should they be catted? Should they slip through? (As it stands they are expats.) Mayumashu 03:41, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Here's the rub. Someone can be in a place without being of a place. You can be an Actor in the United States, without being an American actor. You can be a sportsperson in the UK without being a British sportsperson. That's something we have yet to address. Kevlar67 03:29, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

This has been a long festering problem with categorization, that seems to be getting worse because there are so many different ways of relating people and place. I have been long bothered by the tendency to divide people by nationality, citizenship, etc... when it is not relevant to the subject, which is usually occupation. If someone is a politician it makes sense to have politicians by the country of citizenship. If we are talking about film actors, the most important distinction is probably actors by language. When discussing "British theatre actors", we mean "British theatre" and not "British actors". Many occupations are centered around a location (Law, politics, live theatre, etc...) but many are international. Why do we divide Scientists by nationality? If I am looking for Biologists, I'd only be interested in British biologists if they specialize in the flora and fauna of Britain, otherwise nationality seems irrelevant, and dividing categories by nationality separates people arbitrarily. Deciding whether Chemists should be divided by the country in which they were born, the country they identify with, the country in which they now reside, or the country stamped on their passport seems like the wrong question. Why are we dividing them at all if they go together?. So I'd like to propose that we get rid of categorization by nationality, citizenship, country of origin, and country of residence unless it is a defining characteristic.

This would mean that there would be some very large categories. There has been resistance to having very large people categories, but I don't understand why. Navigating through a category of people alphabetically is easier than navigating through a category divided arbitrarily by nationality. If professions are international, it makes sense to combine all people together.

There seems to be overwhelming desire to categorize by nationality. We can still do this. I'd make these huge as well, Like "Citizens of the United States".

So for someone like Roman Polanski, I'm advocating the following categories: Citizens of France, Polish-language film directors and English-language film directors instead of French people, French actors, French film directors and English-language film directors. He is known for being a director of Polish and English language films. He's not know for being a French actor or French film director, and both of those terms are very ambiguous. His article doesn't mention him being an actor, so he shouldn't be categorized as one. He may be a citizen of France, and live in France, but it seems wrong to call him "French".

We need to be careful about how we hyphenate, especially when the hyphens are just implied. There is a big difference between "French-film actor" and "French film-actor". I don't think we should have a category for "French film-actors". Considering the international nature of the film industry, I think "French-film actor" is not needed, but I'll concede that the need for this one is debatable.

If category intersection ever come to pass, we'll be likely be making these changes anyhow. I think there is value in starting the transition now.

--Samuel Wantman 09:39, 5 April 2007 (UTC)


My thanks to all of you who have contributed to this discussion. I started it, but have not added to it because I really wanted to learn what others had to say about these categorization questions. I am not sure how to proceed in terms of formally changing guidelines, but I would like to come up with some specific proposals.
My first proposal is that we categorize people by citizenship. Per Sam's example, Roman Polanski should be categorized under "Citizens of France." In Michael J. Fox's case, he would be in "Citizens of Canada" as well as in "Citizens of the United States." Alternatively, Polanski and Fox could be categorised "Polish people" and "Canadian people," (which are existing, very broad categories) and as "Naturalized citizens of France" and "Naturalized citizens of the United States" (which I prefer).
Note, by the way, the following language from WP:MOSBIO about what to include in the opening paragraph of a biographical article: "Nationality (In the normal case this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen or national, or was a citizen when the person became notable. Ethnicity should generally not be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability.)"
I've been struggling with what to do with the ethnicity categories. I suggest that we only consider one generation back in categorising someone; that is to say, look only at where their parents are from. So because Pamela Anderson's parents were both born in Canada, we don't care that her paternal grandfather was Finnish and we don't categorise her as being "Finnish-American" or a "Canadian of Finnish descent." That tidbit of information in the article reads more like a piece of trivia than anything else. Also, note that bios often don't go back more than one generation. (Kidman's article is silent on her origins beyond Australia because that's what she is -- Australian.)
I have a harder time with the Kennedys, because they are so strongly identified as being Irish-American. (I apologise that my examples are so North American-centric.) Perhaps we continue with what Mayumashu started, which would see the creation of categories like Category: Americans of Irish descent. So we might have:
  • "Foo-ians of Goo-ian descent" -- for Foo-born Foo-ians who have one parent or grandparent from Goo.
  • "Foo-ian Goo-ians" -- for Foo-ians of full Goo-ian origin (both parents Goo-ian). It also includes people born in Goo to a Foo-ian parent (or parents) who later obtained Foo-ian citizenship.
I think that if we adopt "Category:Naturalized citizens of Foo," we might not also need "Goo-ian immigrants to Foo" -- people of Goo-ian citizenship who attain Foo-ian citizenship.
Finally, along the lines of what some of you have suggested, I would also like to propose that we do away with categories that intersect nationality (or ethnicity) and occupation, unless such intersection is relevant to the subject's notability. If you look at Category:People by occupation and nationality, there are 166 sub-categories; there are 176 sub-cats in Category:People by nationality and occupation. But how do we winnow these down? Perhaps we start with the ones that seem to be causing the most trouble, such as "actors" or "scientists," and go from there. What do people think about Kevlar's suggestion of "Actors in the United States"?
I have not been around WP long enough to know how these discussions get turned into categorisation guidelines. Any help, suggestions, guidance, support, etc. that you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.--Vbd (talk) 03:34, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary inclusion criterion or Significant Thresholds?

The examples given at the arbitrary inclusion definition are non-round numbers, and unexceptional thresh-holds: is it also the intention of this guideline to prohibit categories that collate those who share the distinction of having crossed a threshold figure (typically a power of ten or 5 times such a number), which marks a significant acheivement? This would include Category:300 hits club and Category:Footballers with 100 or more caps, both of which are currently listed for deletion. Personally, I am undecided: if all numbers are deemed to be arbitrary, then categorisation of million/billionaires, and even centuries and decades, would have to go; on the other hand, is the 100th/1000th/100000th iteration different in kind from the one that preceded it? Kevin McE 11:21, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

  • In general such thresholds are as arbitrary as "295 hits club" and so forth. It may be different if you get some kind of special prize for reaching 300. The decades/centuries categories aren't really arbitrary, they're meta-categorization to make it easier to find specific years, and themselves don't contain articles. As for millionaires, we indeed don't have a Category:Millionaires. >Radiant< 09:43, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't know about just deletion, but definitely listify. The criteria seems to be spread across several different monetary denominations. Though if that were fixed, I might vote "Keep". - jc37 14:29, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Links and categories

There seems to be a dichotomy between those who are looking to hone categories into encyclopedic taxonomies and those who are looking for a tagging system in which they can do keyword searches. The more we push at removing overcategorization, the more there is a need for a simpler tagging system. If we can answer that need, it might make everyone happier. Towards that end, I've written up a proposal to do keyword searching based on wikilinks. Please take a look. I'm calling it Wikipedia:Link intersection. Comments would be appreciated. Thanks, -- Samuel Wantman 06:47, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Eponymous categories (once more)

I've been reading Wikipedia:Overcategorization#Eponymous_categories_for_people and noting with satisfaction that many inappropriate eponymous categories have been deleted. One thing I'm not sure about, with the exceptions bit, is the example of the biographical daughter articles in Category:Jan Smuts. Surely the series of biographical articles are best grouped using an article series box, which already exists? Namely, Template:JanSmutsSegments. Smuts' also lost his categories, but that's a separate issue I'll deal with elsewhere. Carcharoth 18:39, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Correction. Smuts hadn't lost any categories. It was the daughter articles, which I've now added to Category:History of South Africa and similar ones. Carcharoth 19:22, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Reverted addition to the eponymous people exceptions

FYI I reverted a change by Kingboyk today to the eponymous categories section. He tried to add the following subsection -

(A second exception to the rule against eponymous categories is) where Wikipedia's coverage of the person in question needs to be split into multiple subcategories in order to fit into the existing categorisation system. The main examples of this are musicians and writers, who generally have subcategories for their works. For example, John Lennon was notable both as an author and as a musician. Category:John Lennon contains Category:Books by John Lennon, which is a subcategory of Category:Books by author; Category:John Lennon albums, which is a subcat of Category:Albums by artist; and Category:John Lennon songs, which is a subcat of Category:Songs by artist.

That, however, is not actually an exception to the rule. The reason is because all the subcategories he mentioned can easily be accessed from John Lennon's main article, meaning that John Lennon's article serves as the main navigational hub to peruse both his books and his albums. The fact that he authored both books and albums is therefore not in itself a reason to create an eponymous category for the man. Dugwiki 19:18, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect. John Lennon is not an album. --kingboyk 19:28, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say John Lennon is an album. I said that Category:John Lennon albums and the list of John Lennon albums are easilly accessible from John Lennon's article. You don't need the Category:John Lennon for that purpose. Dugwiki 19:32, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

P.S. That's not to say Category:John Lennon doesn't fit the main exception. It has within it articles directly related to John Lennon that aren't easily categorized elsewhere, such as John Lennon Museum, List of John Lennon tributes and others. So this does fit the exception already listed. Dugwiki 19:31, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I would agree to Kingboy's additional exception, there is not really consensus for such a broad prohibition on eponymous categories. Dug's continually stated argument about articles being a navigational hub are based on his own browsing preferences and should not be foisted on the rest of the community, as not all readers use wikipedia in the same way that he does. Tim! 22:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I would be interested in the way you think these eponymous categories are being used that is not being taken into account. -- Samuel Wantman 22:47, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
And to reply, I'm not "foisting" anything on the community. All I do is explain how I logically think things normally work, and other editors are free to agree or disagree with my assessments. In this particular case, I saw a change to the guideline that hadn't been previously discussed here. So I reverted the undiscussed change and also explained some reasons why it seemed like a questionable alteration to the article. I'm not "foisting" my opinion on anyone, though - I'm just maintaining the status quo in the document pending discussion. If it turns out that editorial consensus wants that change, then so be it. But it hadn't even been discussed one way or another at the time I reverted it, and so far from the above and below comments it sounds like the reversion may end up sticking. Dugwiki 19:11, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I concur with Dugwiki. It usually isn't necessary to create extra layers of categorization like this. To counter with "John Lennon is not an album" is about as useful as saying "Yoko Ono is not a John Lennon". >Radiant< 10:54, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Interdisciplinary fields and categories

There seems to be a move to delete categories covering interdisciplinary fields and areas at the moment as being a form of overcategorization. These fields cut across other more narrow scientific fields in a wide-ranging manner, relating topics that may at first sight appear unrelated. However, much can often be learned from relating different fields, taking the best from one field and applying it in another, for example. I certainly think that Wikipedia should not be biased against such fields and categories covering such areas just because they are wide-ranging and thus may be considered by some to be "overcategorization". See Call for Deletion for Category:Complex systems and Call for Deletion for Category:Systems, for example. What do other people think? — Jonathan Bowen 16:22, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't think that "systems" is an interdisciplinary field per se. Do you have any other examples of this alleged move, or is it perhaps just an incidental occurence? >Radiant< 16:30, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Complex systems is an interdisciplinary field and the various different types of system are an important motivation for the field. — Jonathan Bowen 01:16, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Nobody is disputing that. However, it does not follow that this field necessitates a category of everything that has "system" in the name. >Radiant< 09:03, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
  • I think another way to say this is that not everything that deserves an article also deserves a category. Sometimes an otherwise interesting and notable academic field is so broad and/or so subjective in its interpretations that it makes for a good article but does not make for a good criteria for category inclusion. Another example of that is Cult Film. Cult Film as a broad topic is definitely worthy of an article, but because the phrase is so subjective it makes a lousy criteria for inclusion in a list or category and thus Category:Cult Films was deleted (see [1] for discussion). The study of systems is likewise an example of a field of study that is worthy of an article, but for which a category would become far too broad to be maintainable (because so many things across all the spectrum of Wiki articles can conceivably be called "systems"). Dugwiki 15:31, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Still problematic

I was recently pointed to Margaret Atwood, which seems to suffer from having too many categories. Apart from a few standard categories and some award cats, here we see the following:

  • She is from Essex, and from Ottawa, and from Simcoe, and from Toronto as well (she's also alumna from two different places, but that makes more sense)
  • She's a novelist. And a woman. And a writer. And a poet. And a science fiction writer. And a short story writer. And from Ontario. And, guess what, a writer. And a woman. And a short story writer. And a woman. And also, a novelist.

She's also a literary critic twice and a feminist twice, but the above overdose of permutations of "some kind of writer" and "something else" is extremely redundant. Imho. >Radiant< 11:40, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Some of this might be a case of necessary redundancy as some of the subcategories you mentioned are intended to break up otherwise very large categories. However, some of the categories listed on her article sound like they could probably be removed from the article as totally redundant or even deleted in cfd. Specifically
  • Category:Canada's Walk of Fame appears to be an unnecessary award winner category. I would recommend nominating for deletion and listifying.
  • Category:Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada is likewise an award winner category. This one might also qualify for possible listifying/deletion.
  • Category:Companions of the Order of Canada - another award category
  • Category:Booker Prize winners - another award category
  • Category:Pantheists can be safely removed from the article. The article appears to make absolutely no mention of her being a Pantheist. So even if she is one, it's apparently not verified within the article. (I went ahead and removed this category from the article myself.)
  • Do we need to break down Category:Women writers by both nationality and genre? I understand that Women writers is a large category, but is it actually necessary to subdivide it in multiple ways? Seems to me you could do one or the other but not both and still accomplish the goal of breaking up the category. I might recommend either merging all the by-genre categories of Women Writers and leaving by-nationality in place, or vice versa. (That's assuming we keep Category:Women writers in place, which some people want to delete entirely.) Dugwiki 16:00, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Note that I nominated Category:Authors selected for Canada Reads for deletion, which did contain Margaret Atwood.
Category:Booker Prize winners may receive stiff opposition to deletion, since it is a notable literary award that is the British Commonwealth's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. If the Booker Prize category is deleted, then all other literary award categories should probably be deleted as well, including Category:Pulitzer Prize winners. (This might not be a bad thing, but it might be really hard to get support for this. I myself do not know how I would vote.)
Civil award categories awarded by countries (such as the Order of Canada) have not been discussed at WP:CFD at all, so a nomination of Category:Companions of the Order of Canada for deletion by itself could fail simply because it singles out Canada. However, it may be appropriate to nominate a series of civil award categories from multiple countries (including Category:Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and multiple British knighthood categories) to discuss their merits. Dr. Submillimeter 16:35, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarifications, Doc. Note that I was only indicating these categories might be things worth reviewing for deletion because they fall under the general scheme of "categorizing by awards won". It's certainly possible that some or all of them have legitimate purposes. Dugwiki 17:38, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I think the categorisation of people is becoming somewhat of an obsession for some people. I see a recent featured article, the best of what Wikipedia has to offer, Charles Darwin is in 24 categories — including a dreaded eponymous category! — and nary a twitter in its FAC. Tim! 16:41, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Considering FAC deals with article writing style and proper citation I'm not surprised categorization isn't mentioned one way or another. Categorization is about article indexing, not article style per se. Dugwiki 16:50, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
P.S. The "dreaded eponymous" category in Charles Darwin appears to be a legitimate exception to the OCAT rule because it includes a number of subarticles directly related to Darwin that aren't easily categorized elsewhere. Thus the eponymous category is probably a needed supplement to the main article for navigation in this case. Dugwiki 16:52, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
P.P.S. I also notice that a couple of the categories in Darwin's article probably aren't needed. For example, he's under both Category:English scientists and its subcategories Category:English geologists and Category:English naturalists, meaning that the "scientist" category should be removed (articles normally aren't supposed to be in both a category and its subcategories if the subcategories are a subdivision scheme.) Also, there is the "family tree" category Category:Darwin — Wedgwood family which seems questionable (most family tree categories are deleted in favor of their associated list articles, in this case Darwin — Wedgwood family). I am removing the scientist category, and might recommend nominating the family tree category for deletion. Dugwiki 16:59, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
In this case Darwin — Wedgwood family is (at least at the top) a well-developed list, with extensive summary-style and annotations for the major members of the family. What the article doesn't provide is a pure index list, which is what the category provides. At long as the category page makes clear that it is only an index of the family, it is easier to use the category as a pure list, rather than the article. Carcharoth 17:23, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I have no problem with the article. I'm not so sure the category is actually needed for navigation, but that's a subject for editors to discuss if the category came up at CFD. Keep in mind also the potential problems of category explosion with allowing family trees as categories for most notable individuals. Go back far enough on a family tree and you'll have multiple intersections of trees from different notable ancestors. Dugwiki 17:43, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Good point. Burn family tree categories. Carcharoth 14:03, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Awards categories

I'd appreciate some advice on working out at what point award categorisation becomes overcategorisation. I started at Category:Medalists, and foolishly wandered upwards to Category:Awards and quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer number and diversity of awards categorised on Wikipedia. My question is when is a category needed as well as a list? Some examples:

I could go on and on, but that list is enough for now. What is the best approach for awards, and when should categories be used and when should lists be used and is it ever appropriate to use both? Carcharoth 19:33, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I think in general using lists for awards is a better approach, because it allows us to tell when and why the person got the reward. Rather than a "category of gold medalists", I would want to read that John Doe got a gold medal for pole vaulting 300 feet. Rather than a "category of oscar winners" I would want to read that Jane Dee got an Academy Award for her stellar supporting role in Gigli. Et cetera. >Radiant< 08:56, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Just a general naming conventions note:

  • In past CfD discussions, it was pretty much agreed upon that except for laureates ("x laureates") and medalists ("x medalists"), the naming convention should be "x recipients". "(award) winners" should be avoided entirely.
  • "Lists of x" cats are different than "x" cats, since they (as named) are categories of lists.
  • Per WP:OC#Award winners, "the winners of all but the most internationally well-known awards should be put in a list rather than a category." - I think the language is a bit strong though, since until I recently found an example, there wasn't even a CfD example for this section (making it POV, and apparently not as a result of CfD). I'll tone down the text somewhat. That said, minor awards shouldn't be categorised. Which means that to determine "minor", the category should be listed, as nornal, at WP:CFD.

And I agree, these categories need cleaning up badly. (This has been on my "to do" list for months... sigh at distractions.) - jc37 19:00, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I think what defines the exceptions is going to probably have to be resolved on a case by case basis for now. I'd personally would almost like to have no exceptions and only use lists for awards, but that would be the most extreme way to do things and I doubt there's any consensus for that. How to decide when an award is "internationally well-known and individually defining" is difficult and subjective. I suppose some evidence you could look at in this regard would be to ask questions such as -
  1. Do award winners receive major international media attention? A Nobel Prize winner will be written about on the front page of every major newspaper, but most papers won't mention someone winning a "Carnegie Science Center Awards for Excellence" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  2. Is the award often mentioned in articles and interviews with the person? When a newspaper interviews the person, do they tend to mention that they won the award (ie "Olympic gold medal winner and professional wrestler Kurt Angle was in Pittsburgh today ...")
  3. Is the person fairly likely to be at the formal award reception? While actors don't always make it to the Academy Awards if they win, they usually do. But an actor who wins People's Sexiest Person of the Year award probably won't be at a ceremony for it (assuming there is one).
  4. Is the award governed by an international and/or very well respected body? The more localized or partisan the organization that oversees the award the less likely it is to be truly defining.
Just some questions to think about, I suppose, when looking at awards for possible exceptions to the rule of thumb against categorizing winners. Dugwiki 20:00, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
For me, my "demarcation line", if you will, is Newbery Medal recipients. The award should be at least as noteworthy as that, in my opinion. Yes, it's subjective, but it seems to work for me. See also the comment about spelling bees at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes#People. - jc37 20:44, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Another criteria might be whether the people and books (or whatever) involved have articles. Newbery Medal has all the book blue-linked. But Mythopoeic Award doesn't have all of them as blue-linked, though the article still looks acceptable to me. Another example would be Hugo Award for Best Novel, where all the winners and their books have articles, but the other nominees have some red-links. In some cases, such as Royal Medal, the red-links are due to being an obscure scientist from 100s of years ago, or a very recent scientist who is only just gaining acclaim. What this means for categorisation, I'm not sure. Carcharoth 10:33, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

One of the criteria I think of is whether the award/honor would be mentioned in the first paragraph of a recipient's biography. So, for example, Alexander Fleming should be listed in a category for recipients of the Nobel Prize (because that award is mentioned in the first paragraph of his article) but probably nothing else. Dr. Submillimeter 10:50, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

That works for me. Does anyone want to throw a couple of the categories onto CfD. Those that have nice list articles already in place, obviously. That might give a better example than the teen beauty pageant example we have at the moment... Carcharoth 11:22, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
The first paragraph rule of thumb actually sounds pretty good. The "blue link" rule, however, might not work too well. Keep in mind that things only have to be "notable" to have a blue link (ie they just have to meet minimal notability requirements to have an article). I guarantee that everyone who has won People Magazine's annual Sexiest Man Alive award is notable, and in fact the article contains no red links. But clearly this award doesn't come close to the highest level of importance type of exceptions we're talking about here. Dugwiki 15:21, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Ethnicity/Race/Religion in categorization

I think such categorization isn't worth the trouble. Living melting pots (people with multiple ethnicities) are especialy hard to categorize. For instance "African-American wriers" do not "write" in a uniform way. The written text may be about "African-Americans" or a sci-fi book not involving any "African-Americans" or even humans.

If someone is an African American writer. It can be categorized as being an "African American" and the Writer's preferred format, genre, language, country (nationality).

As for religion of the writer, that would be irrelevant unless written works are about religion which would make religion the genre.

-- Cat chi? 14:37, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Categorization by city questions

I noticed we've had a number of cfd's recently (many from Otto) that involve subcategorizing people by city. Otto's contention has been that subcategorizing by city is overcategorization because people move frequently and having a common city does not necessarily make people similar.

However, on the flip side, there are good reasons to subdivide people by city by occupation. People in the same line of work tend to be influenced by their local peers, leading to specific local subcultures within professions, such as Category:Musicians of New Orleans tending to have distinct New Orleans musical flavor. Similarly politicians, lawyers and other professionals are going to tend to be inherently more interesting to someone within the person's local area than to people in other regions and countries. Thus it is useful to subdivide people by the city in which they practice their occupation and then by occupation.

I think where WP:OCAT could come into play is that we probably don't need to categorize people by city and only by city. An alphabetical list by name of everyone within the same city is little more than a phone directory for the city. Therefore I would recommend considering adding a section similar to the following to OCAT -

By city and occupation categorization - Because people in specific careers are often influenced by their local professional culture, it can be useful to subdivide biographies by occupation and the city within which they primarilly practice their profession, such as Category:Musicians of New Orleans or Category:Los Angeles politicians. This allows readers to investigate people of specific types of occupations within the locality they're interested in studying. However, biographies should not generally appear categorized only by city, such as appearing in Category:People from New Orleans by itself. An alphabetical list of people by city with no regard to occupation provides little more than a directory of names with no indication of anything specific the people share other than the possible coincidence of geography. Therefore articles located in categories such as "Category:People from (city)" should be relocated to appropriate by-occupation-by-city subcategories instead. Such "People from (city)" categories should therefore be navigational hubs to related subcategories only, with few or no articles directly in the category.

What do you guys think? I'm sure my wording can be improved (probably shortened, too), but the general gist would be to reduce the number of city-related categories within individual articles. It would mean that you are leaving the local occupation category of a person in their article, but taking out the related parent category which isn't as useful. It also could address some of the issues where articles have multiple "People from (city)" category tags when some of those cities aren't actually directly related to the person's career. Dugwiki 17:52, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Read the text on Intersection by location in the guidelines, which already addresses many of these points. The guidelines already indicate that a random city/state/province and career intersection is going to be irrelevant (as can be seen by the examples) and should be discouraged. However, the guideline also already indicates that the categories are acceptable when the intesection is actually relevant. Category:Musicians of New Orleans and Category:Los Angeles politicians would meet the criteria to be exceptions. (After all, political boundaries are clearly relevant to the careers of politicians.)
The only point that should be addressed is whether to categorize people as residents of cities or national subdivisions (state, province, county, etc) in general. As far as I can tell, this has not yet been addressed in WP:CFD, and it seems premature to add this to the guidelines. Dr. Submillimeter 18:26, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Good point on the "Intersection by Location" section. I overlooked that (I was looking specifically for "intersection by city" when I wrote the above.)
Therefore I think you're right that the better approach would be to look at slightly expanding the Intersection by Location section to clarify the question of whether or not to place individual articles in "People from (location)" categories. I think the same overall point I made above apply to pretty much any location category, namely that "occupation-by-location" can be useful but "alphabetical by name-by-location" by itself probably isn't very useful. Perhaps something like the following (adding the underlined section)...

Intersection by location Examples: Roman Catholic Bishops from Ohio, Quarterbacks from Louisiana, Male models from Dallas Avoid subcategorizing items by geographical boundary if that boundary does not have any relevant bearing on the items' other characteristics. For example, quarterbacks' careers are not defined by the specific state that they once lived in (unless they played for a team within that state). However, geographical boundaries are useful for dividing items into regions that are directly related to the items' characteristics (for example, Roman Catholic Bishops of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio or New Orleans Saints quarterbacks). In the particular case of biographies, individual biographical articles should not appear in categories solely by location but rather in an appropriate related subcategory. Sorting by occupation within a locality is more likely to be useful than sorting by name alone. For example, if a person is from New Orleans place do not place it directly in Category:People from New Orleans but instead place it in an appropriate subcategory, such as Category:Musicians of New Orleans.

Any thoughts? Dugwiki 19:12, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
  • It's a bit verbose but the point is good. In general articles shouldn't be both in a cat and its parent cat. >Radiant< 15:40, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Added to eponymous people categories

I have added the following to this section. I believe it reasonably reflects consensus as expressed in the results of numerous CFDs addressing each of the category types:

This guideline should also be considered for categories named after families, groups, television series, films and film series and books. Examples: Sports broadcasting families, ZZ Top, American Dad!, Honey I... films. Otto4711 00:34, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Fair enough. >Radiant< 09:54, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Probably not. Too broad. Let's keep this to simply people. We can discuss the other parts on this page, if wanted. (Compare to the several performers by performance discussions.) - jc37 11:08, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with the proposed addition. The reasoning behind why eponymous categories should be avoided for individual people also presumably would apply equally well to groups (eg musical groups), television series and individual films. Basically if a main article serves sufficiently well as a navigational hub to peruse article links about the topic then you don't also need in addition to that an eponymous category that serves the same purpose. Also I believe that this same reasoning has been applied successfully to articles that aren't just about individual people in cfds over the last couple of months as noted by Otto above. So despite JC's somewhat vague comment above, there might actually be some consensus for this already in related cfd discussions. Of course, that's just my opinion. Please feel free to disagree (and I'd be curious if JC could expand more specifically on why he thinks the proposal is "too broad". What categories would be disallowed by the addition that should be allowed?) Dugwiki 15:30, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

No, this addition does not reflect wide-spread consensus of the wikipedia community. Otto4711 has cherry-picked a few results of small categories which were deleted.

This whole guideline is suffering from extreme instruction creep already. It is supposed to reflect the results of CFD, not set the agenda for future nominations. We started out with a few well defined and uncontroversial things like Category:Fictional characters who love to shop. Now we are heading into much more uncertain territory, starting with performance by performer which was highly controversial and now eponymous categories. The results of these categories are quite varied, and are often commented on by a small number of people. To extrapolate this to suggest that all categories named after families, groups, television series, films and film series is a big mistake. Tim! 16:25, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

That's a straw man. Otto is correctly noting that certain classes of categories have a pattern of getting deleted through community debate. If you disagree with that I suggest you list those categories at WP:DRV. >Radiant< 08:23, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Well you closed this one as keep. There are plenty of other counter-examples to Otto's Tim! 17:06, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Well Tim, that's why it's a guideline and not a policy. There is nothing that suggests that this is an iron-clad Rule That Must Be Obeyed. All that the addition is that the same guideline that should be thought about for categories named for people should also be thought about for categories named after things like TV shows. It's hard to understand how a reasonable person can disagree with advice to think about something. Otto4711 19:19, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
No. I think you're mischaracterising this page, and how a guideline should be interpreted. WP:IAR is policy, but one that should be used only when appropriate, and should not be cited as an "excuse" for a multitude of exceptions. We agreed above that this page is to be a reflection of WP:CFD, not as a place to "push an agenda". So if I take your response at face value, then your additions to the page aren't appropriate at this time. - jc37 18:33, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what "agenda" it is that you think I'm trying to "push" here nor do I understand what WP:IAR has to do with anything as no one else seems to have mentioned it. It seems pretty obvious to me that the categories of the type that I mentioned are being deleted with pretty solid frequency in one CFD after another, despite the one or two odd exceptions. Since this is a guideline and not a policy, my addition based on my observations seemed reasonable. Honestly, it doesn't really make any difference to me if it's included or not since the community is deleting the categories as they come up so if the addition is so controversial that it engenders rumblings of "agenda-pushing" then y'all can continue the discussion without me. Otto4711 19:44, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Whoops, time to backup a bit. I was responding to you and User:Tim! at the same time, and apparently my intent was confused due to that. My apologies. I was reiterating about the agreement above, not specifically suggesting that you were "agenda-pushing". I mentioned this specifically since that has been User:Tim!'s concern about this page in the past. The comment about WP:IAR was in response to how you were characterising how a guideline should be interpreted. But in re-reading your comment, perhaps I misunderstood. Would you like to clarify? - jc37 20:18, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I think some of the concerns about "series" categories is related to size, so maybe it would be appropriate to revisit the "small with no potential for growth" item, rather than add to the eponymous item. I think the pattern of deletion Radiant! is seeing is more to do with size than eponymity (please feel free to disagree here Radiant!). Tim! 10:11, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

It is true that the larger a category the more likely it is that you can't reasonably use the main article for navigating subarticles on the topic. However size in and of itself isn't actually the question. For example, you still shouldn't create an additional eponymous category for an author who has written a large number of books if all those books are already going to be in his list of works and in his subcategory of "Books by author". Similarly you don't need an eponymous category for a director who has a large number of films to his credits since his film list will almost certainly appear in the article anyway. But generally speaking very small eponymous categories are likely to be deleted since it isn't hard to fit a small number of links within the main article. Dugwiki 17:12, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Question - given that the number of deletions of eponymous categories for TV series, bands and families has now passed the 100 mark if not the 200 mark, is it safe yet to add TV series, bands and families to this section? Note that adding this would not be mandating deletion but would simply be saying that this standard should be considered. The community has spoken pretty loudly and consistently here and adding those items would at this point be reflecting consensus. Otto4711 17:32, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm ok with that change. TV series, bands, films, people, video games are all pretty much handled the same way now when it comes to having an eponymous category. Most of them don't need one, and the few exceptions are for those that have a particularly large or varied number of associated articles that aren't easily navigated from the main article. Dugwiki 17:41, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Some category cleanup is needed here

I happened to come along this page while reading a talk page earlier: [2]. Winston Churchill has 60 categories! Now this is a mess, and the top 50 have 34 categories at least. All of these clear overcategorization of articles should be top priority, in my opinion. Lots of categories = a cluttered mess. RobJ1981 00:25, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

In the past, I used Wikipedia:Special:Mostcategories as a starting place to find examples of overcategorization. I even considered writing a monthly survey of the pages with the most categories and proposed solutions. Here are the top five articles in the list and the problems that I see:
  • Winston Churchill - This article currently contains multiple award/honor categories that could be nominated for discussion at WP:CFD. Additionally, the categorization by session of parliament is infeasible, and all the categories should be listified given the precedent for this type of thing (as was the case for the baseball all-star categories back in November).
  • Éamon de Valera - Like Winston Churchill, this article contains categories for every session of the Dáil (the governing body of Ireland) in which this person was a member. These categories should probably be listified and deleted (again, refer back to the all stars categories).
  • French language - The article is currently categorized by every country in which the language is found. This type of categorization needs to be examined further, but it may not be useful for categorization. The system does make sense for countries that include the speakers of several different indigenous languages (such as many African countries), but it makes less sense for countries with large immigrant populations from around the world (such as the United States or United Kingdom). It also leads to severe problems with widespread languages, such as French. If English language was categorized this way, the article would contain more categories than Winston Churchill.
  • Sportvereinigung Dynamo - The article looks like it was created recently, and it has been edited primarily by two novice users. This article contained categories for every sport sponsored by the organization, which was impractical. I reduced the number of categories to 3 (not including stub categories). Dr. Submillimeter 09:04, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Albert Einstein - This article contains a large number of categories detailing many aspects of Einstein's life and viewpoints. Some of them probably are not necessary. This category also contains a large array of nationality/Judaism/career/history intersections (such as Category:Swiss vegetarians, Category:Jewish American writers, and Category:German-Americans) that resembles an exercise in combinatorics. I really do not know where to begin with reducing the categories in this article. Dr. Submillimeter 09:04, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Zebra Waxbill - This little bird is categorized by every African country in which it is found. I have recommended upmerging these categories and similar categories, but this has encountered resistance. (Category:Biota by country lacks coherent management in general, and no one has been able to dedicate enough time to cleaning up the category tree.)
Since my nominations at WP:CFD resulted in personal attacks on me rather than discussions on the categories, I have ceased to work on massive category deletion. However, I would support nominations to merge or delete some of the problematic categories described above. Dr. Submillimeter 09:04, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I took care of Zebra Waxbill by giving it the same categorization as African Fish Eagle. I.e keeping only Category:Birds of Africa. I've said before that the "countries" should probably be broken or grouped into regions instead.Circeus 14:34, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
The fix with Zebra Waxbill is good, but it is not a permanent solution. Look at the other animals in Special:Mostcategories, such as Bronze Mannikin, Green-winged Pytilia, African Quailfinch, and Magpie Mannikin. The categorization for these other birds are the same as the categorization was for the Zebra Waxbill, and as long as the categories exist, some people are going to use them to list every bird that falls within the countries. The categories should be merged into at least a couple of regional categories (possibly Category:Birds of North Africa and Category:Birds of Sub-Saharan Africa) and possibly a few categories to indicate endemic species in specific regions (such as Category:Endemic birds of South Africa). Dr. Submillimeter 14:45, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I've put a couple of Churchill's categories up for deletion. I agree that categorizing by every session of Parliament is overcategorization but my stock with mass noms is about as high as yours at the moment. Otto4711 15:21, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Some of the categories in these articles can be removed from the article as not being included in the article. For example, I looked over Albert Einstein and commented out the tags for his being a vegetarian since the article never discusses his vegetarianism, and also removed the tags for Category:Pantheists and Category:World Federalists since neither of those is mentioned (the closest would be the line about desiring a world government body). Dugwiki 17:31, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Soliciting WP:ESSAY feedback

Please see Wikipedia:Categories are different from articles. -- Kendrick7talk 20:07, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Categorizing redirects

Apparently a new software upgrade allows us to categorize redirects and have them show up in italics in the category list. Does anyone else think that this is a bad idea? In almost all cases, this either results in something being listed twice in the category (since both the article and the redirect are in there) or it results in confusing categorization in that a redirect (that is in a cat) sends you to an article that is not. Thoughts please? >Radiant< 09:52, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

This does seem like a bad idea. Categories are sometimes used as lists, as so some things will be listed multiple times in these lists. For astronomical catalogs of objects (such as Category:Messier objects), for example, some objects are currently listed by their catalog designation (Messier 104) and their Wikipedia article name (Sombrero Galaxy). The double listing makes it seem like the catalog contains more objects than it actually does. Dr. Submillimeter 10:48, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I think this is a good example of when to categorize redirects. Now that they are in italics, it is clear which are the redirects. The only downside is that the count is not accurate. The upside is that people can find pages by both names. I'd say more up than down. -- SamuelWantman 08:26, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree that this is a bad idea. Another problem: cats. that are currently below 200 members, and so appear on one page, may now stretch onto two pages. Don't get me started on software "upgrades." UnitedStatesian 12:33, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we should get a bot to fix this problem. >Radiant< 12:50, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that including redirects in categories is usually a bad idea because it creates essentially duplicate entries. In most cases you should not place categories in redirects. Dugwiki 16:02, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
On the flip side, the fact that redirects now appear in italics makes it easier to identify redirects that should have category tags removed. Dugwiki 16:03, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree: bad idea. A redirect should just be that: a redirect, it doesn't need categories for it. RobJ1981 21:39, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
In nearly all cases, I agree that categorizing redirects will be a bad idea. The one exception I can think of is that we have a few categories which are, in essence, "things known by multiple official names", where it would make sense to include the alternate name redirects but sort key them to be next to their proper page.
On second thought though, this seems like an abuse of the category system for a purpose intended to be served by lists, and it would be better to get rid of the categories of this type. --tjstrf talk 21:49, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

I think this is a great new feature, and I have been advocating this change for a while. There was a recent discussion about this at the village pump, and there has been discussion at Wikipedia:Categorization and the village pump that discussed this.

There is already a practice of categorizing redirects. This is when there are two perfectly good names for an article, and they are not close alphabetically. The primary purpose of our categorization system is to help people find articles. If you were to look in the index of a book, alternate names are often listed this way, directing you to see the other listing. Phone directories do the same thing. I started adding categorization to redirects after a discussion at a CfD about whether a Category:Vertical lift bridges should be renamed to match the eponymous article or vice versa. Rather than rename the category, I renamed the article and categorized the resulting redirect. The result has remained uncontroversial since last October. Now that the redirect is shown in a different format it is even better. To see the result, look at the listing for "lift bridge" in Category:Bridges.

I can also imagine entire categories of redirects. For example there could be an entire taxonomy of categories for Linnaean classifications of lifeforms to parallel a common name taxonomy.

The only recent change is that now we see when a redirect is categorized. It has always been possible to categorize redirects. I would be in favor of adding guidelines that explain when categorizing a redirect is acceptable and when it is not. Even if you don't think redirects should be categorized, having them appear different will make them easier to spot. -- SamuelWantman 19:38, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not seeing the italicised entires. Is this skin dependent, or do you need to enable it in your preferences or something? Tim! 21:49, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
It's the redirect-in-category style in MediaWiki:Common.css, so not skin dependent but not visible until your browser reloads the css file (see Wikipedia:Bypass your cache). -- Rick Block (talk) 16:25, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Ah, great thanks :) Tim! 16:32, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I started one of the discussions linked above, specifically the Village Pump one here. That discussion has some excellent examples of when categorising redirects is useful. The previous problem (knowing when something was a redirect) is no longer a problem as the redirect now appears in italics. The actually ability to categorise redirects has been around for ages and ages - it is only this italics thing that changed recently. I'm going to try and make a list below of the different reasons for categorising redirects, and attempt at starting a guideline that documents current practice. Carcharoth 09:35, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Done. See next section. Carcharoth 11:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

(ec) - It seems to me that one main use for categorising redirects is the redirect name of something that is a member of a list page. Just because it's a stub and possibly has been merged to a list (or a section which has not grown enough to be its own page) doesn't mean that it's not worth categorising. See also WP:CLS. - jc37 11:15, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I also think that categorizing redirects is not only appropriate, but is actually extremely helpful. For example, when the redirect concerns only a historical or a minor aspect of the target article, as can often happen when merging stubs. It may be incorrect or confusing to apply the same category to the target article, while the redirect does fulfill the criteria for the category. olderwiser 12:05, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
  • I've just found an excellent example of how to organise a category containing both categories and redirects. See Category:Messier objects. The Messier numbers are pipe-sorted so they appear as a single list at the top of the category, and the articles without Messier numbers in the title appear in the alphabetical part of the category. It would also be simple to split that category into two, and have links between the categories. The new category would be something like Category:Messier catalogue numbers. See also List of Messier objects. Ideally, in my opinion, readers should have the option of starting from List of Messier objects, or Category:Messier objects. Both systems have their own advantages and can easily co-exist. Carcharoth 19:06, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree (knowing nothing whatever about Messier or his objects) that Category:Messier objects is an excellent example of the advantages of this software advance. Eg Messier 104 (which redirects to Sombrero Galaxy) is there in italics and Sombrero G is there in plain - this seems very neat. Otherwise one might wonder why Messier 104 was missing. -- roundhouse 12:54, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
The problem with this proposal is that Sombrero Galaxy itself would not be in Category:Messier objects, so it would be difficult to navigate from the actual article to the relevant category. This defeats the purpose of the category scheme. Dr. Submillimeter 10:58, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I was expressing support for today's version of Category:Messier objects where both names appear. As both Dr S and Carcaroth can be relied upon utterly, I am sure something even more valuable will emerge. Another more mundane example is Category:Education in Sheffield where if schools have changed name the old/new name can appear in the category, in italics (depending on the redirect). -- roundhouse 14:55, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Roundhouse0, if I go to Messier category and don't see any entry for M104, I would wonder (and actually have at one point for one that didn't have the redirect categorized) what happened to that object. Whatever is agreed upon needs to address the issue of how not to have gaps in a list that would suggest there is no such object like M104 when in fact there is and its article has a different name. WilliamKF 00:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed guideline for categorising redirects

This is a proposed guideline for categorising redirects, following on from the discussion above, and intended to document current practice and suggest best practice in other areas and indicate where categorisation of redirects can be misleading. The current state of the guideline is here (though there has been edit warring over in the past over what this says).

Please add comments below. Carcharoth 11:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Administrative categorisation - these categories are only intended to contain redirects, and are helpful in keeping track of redirects and further subcategorising them as needed. They include both redirects within article (main) namespace and in other namespaces. They are often applied using a template, though such categories can also be created and populated directly. See Category:Redirects, Wikipedia:Template messages/Redirect pages, Category:Redirect templates and Wikipedia:Redirect#What do we use redirects for? for details. Essentially, this categorisation is identifying redirects and types of redirects, and is intended for Wikipedia editors, not readers.
  • Navigational categorisation - this categorisation applies to article (main) namespace. Since one of the functions of the category system is to allow readers to browse through categories, the category system is sometimes used like an alphabetical index. In these cases, it is sometimes helpful for redirects from common alternative names to appear in the index list, but clearly marked as a redirect (ie. in italics). Possibly a stronger marking system is needed, as it is not clear to everyone what the italics mean. Care also need to be taken over whether alternative names should be mixed in with other names, or not. Sometimes an entirely new category is more appropriate (see Taxonomical categorisation below). Some examples are Heosemys depressa, deuterium oxide, 1P/Halley, European shore crab, baking soda, Alnitak, and The Abduction from the Seraglio. These are all names that would not look out of place on a category page (an interesting exercise is to think what categories you would expect to find these names in). Indeed some category pages should use these names, but the only way to do this at the moment is to recategorise the redirects.
  • Subtopic categorisation - sometimes subtopics of an article have well-known names, or expectation for an article might be created based on other article names, and these should be categorised, usually as a redirect to the appropriate section of the main article. This situation can arise either following a merge of several related articles to form a main article, or when a subsection of an article has not yet expanded enough to warrant its own article. Some examples of this are butterfly vertebrae (appearing in Category:Dog health) and Bibliography of J. R. R. Tolkien (appearing in Category:Bibliographies by author).
  • Taxonomical categorisation - sometimes articles can be organised by more than one taxonomy. The best example of this is the organisation of animal and plant articles by common names and binomial name taxonomy, but there are other examples as well. Category:Panthera species was one previous attempt to create such a taxonomical category, allowing a single alphabetical listing of articles and redirects on Panthera species, serving a similar but slightly different fuction to the article Panthera species (the article is an annotated list, not an alphabetical index like the category was). I might redo the categorisation of the redirects to demonstrate this, if people want to see what it looked like. Another example is Henneth Annûn, covered at a subsection of Ithilien, but still appearing in Category:Middle-earth places. A real-world example shouldn't be too difficult to supply here.

Advantages

  • Categorising redirects keeps track of them and keeps them organised and tidy.
  • Doesn't favour one article title over another - both can be categorised.
  • Allows readers to browse different category structures using different names for articles (some articles have alternative names that are widely used). eg. Pathera species, alternative names for stars, English language titles of foreign language books.
  • Can allow clearer categorising, as redirects can be used to create uniformity in article titles, or clearer naming of articles, when an existing article (for various reasons) is at an unwieldy title name.

Disadvantages

  • If done badly, excessive categorisation of redirects can overwhelm an existing category structure. If this happens, a possible solution can be to create new subcategories and reorganise that area of the category structure to make it easier to use.
  • Including redirects messes up article counts, unless redirects can be excluded from the page count totals for categories.
  • Increases reader expectation that categories are a complete list of articles on a particular topic, when in fact they are often incomplete (due to failure to categorise correctly or due to there being a lack of existing articles).
  • Putting the article and the redirect in the same category can be confusing (but is sometimes needed). When they are not in the same category, there still needs to be a category tag on the article that leads people towards the right part of the category structure, even if not to the exact same category that the redirect appears in.

Discussion

Is this a good start at explaining and laying out some of the issues involved? Would there be enough interest to move this to its own page and start editing and discussing it? Carcharoth 11:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Great start. Yes, I think this should be worked on at its own page and quickly linked to many places. -- SamuelWantman 21:37, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
I'd love to put this on its own page, but I'm stuck on where this falls between Wikipedia:Redirect and Wikipedia:Categorisation. As this applies to all redirects, but not to all categories, would moving the discussion to Wikipedia talk:Redirect might be a good first step? Carcharoth 22:32, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
It is hard to work out text on a talk page. There is no collective space to edit. How about moving it to Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects and inviting people from Wikipedia talk:Redirect and Wikipedia talk:Categorization? -- SamuelWantman 22:39, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
OK. Done. Proposed text moved to that page. Discussion bits moved to Wikipedia talk:Categorizing redirects. I'll send out the invites at those other pages, and stick something on the Village Pump and a few other places I can think of. Carcharoth 23:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Categorising shows by TV network

I removed a bunch of articles from subcategories of Category:Australian television series by network (such as Category:Seven Network shows) because they were not in fact produced for, commissioned by, or first shown on, those networks. For instance, I removed the American shows Stargate SG-1 and Ghost Whisperer from Category:Seven Network shows. I used edit summaries like "removing Category:Special Broadcasting Service shows -- SBS merely show(ed) this program, and have/had no role in its production", which I thought to be quite self-explanatory. I felt that this was a beneficial move for several reasons.

Firstly, and primarily, categorising all shows that have been broadcast in many countries by each and every broadcaster that has ever showed them results in overcategorization. This is very much in the same spirit of the following part of Wikipedia:Overcategorization:

"Categories should not categorise performers by their performances ... because performers typically are in many different productions, so their articles can become cluttered with a huge number of categories. Since lists can provide this information with more detail, often in the article about the performer, the categories are not needed."

If it is considered okay to categorise by TV network in each country a TV show is shown then, for instance, The Bold and the Beautiful would have 22 TV network categories, just going off the countries listed in the article alone. This would be vaguely akin to categorising movies by which countries they have been theatrically released in, at least for many of the popular US shows.

Secondly, I've just noticed that the parent category in all this is called "Australian television series by network". Including non-Australian shows in subcategories of that parent category is wrong.

Unfortunately, DXRAW (talk · contribs) evidently saw it another way, and went through all these 70 or so category removals I made and undid them all, without any indication why he or she was undoing these edits, and without responding to my message to his or her talk page requesting an explanation.

I'd like some guidance here. Was I right to remove these categories from these articles? - Mark 04:41, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe you were right. It's overcategorizing. Many shows have been on numerous networks: it's not notable to list them all in the categories. List it in the article (if it's notable), and that's that. Categories should be for important things, not just anything and everything that can be crammed into the bottom of the page as a category. RobJ1981 04:45, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
TV shows should (in most cases) only be in the category of the network which made the show. Syndication, etc, should not be represented by categorization. --After Midnight 0001 04:51, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
The categorisation of, for example, Stargate SG-1 and Ghost Whisperer in Category:Seven Network shows, is not appropriate, as they are not "Channel Seven shows". Channel Seven didn't fund them, or have any role in their making. Maybe, for example, Bert's Family Feud could be categorised into such a category, as it was Ch. 9 who were the original purchasers of such a program, and brought it to the masses (and maybe, eventually, another network overseas). But we're not going to categorise it as a "NBC show" if, for some (unknown) reason, they bought it. Applying the reciprocal for US-originating shows, such shows like CSI and Heroes should not be categorised into Category:[Australian TV network of your choice] Network shows. This is even more so, as US shows (which are the most famous, generally) are shown in so many countries that categorising them into each individual countries' network of shows is over-doing it. I agree with Mark on this one. Daniel 05:55, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
I, too, agree with Mark and I've rolled them all back. Many of these shows are broadcast in dozens of countries around the world and sometimes even on multiple stations within a country (for example, Keeping Up Appearances has been broadcast in Australia on the ABC and Channel 7) and the decision to categorise them in this way needs a clear consensus because it has huge implications for category management. Sarah 07:24, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Somebody should fix the categorys then as it says

Television shows broadcast by the Australian television station, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation or ABC.

DXRAW 07:14, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree with everyone (wheee!). In particular, it would be madness to have a category for every single network on which a television programme was broadcast. I also agree that the placement of these specific categories implies that the shows are Australian (which makes sense; why else would anyone care that it was broadcast on Seven?), so American programmes need not apply. It would be a good idea to make this clearer on the category pages. fuddlemark (befuddle me!) 11:35, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Categories for people comment/questions

I recently came across Category:Avril Lavigne, and it has several biography articles in it. Some for her bandmates, and one for a person she is dating. Is this necessary? The article states things such as relationships, so why categorize it? Imagine if Avril had many famous relatives: they would just be jammed into her category as well. This seems like a case of overcategorization, but I wasn't sure. If this is indeed overcategorization, many people categories probably need to be looked at and cleaned up (as I'm sure the Avril category isn't the only one like this). RobJ1981 07:17, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, and very many of the subcategories of Category:Categories named after people (itself a bizarre category: why such self-reflexivity?) seem to violate Wikipedia:Overcategorization#Eponymous_categories_for_people. I've just nominated one of these subcategories for deletion: see my Gabriel Garcia Marquez proposal. Though if my previous experience is a guide, I suspect I'll be told I should have proposed deleting the entire super-category, or at least to have proposed multiple deletions at one time. (See this example and this one of being told such things.) So I thought I'd at least raise the issue here. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 12:38, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
The parent category Category:Categories named after people is fine because there are some exceptions to the general rule against eponymous categories. So this parent is useful for housing the ones that are ok. Therefore just keep nominating the specific ones that don't look ok for deletion and don't worry about the parent or doing an umbrella nomination. Dugwiki 14:48, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement, Dugwiki. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 16:00, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Question about Small with no potential for growth

There's been some discussion about this aspect of the guideline--or rather such a discussion has been assumed. (See this deletion review debate.) This issue is, as I see it, when a category can and should consist solely of subcategories, even if that mean that some of those subcategories are small and with little or no potential for growth. The example given in this case was Category:Flags by country.

Yet there are plenty of categories in Wikipedia that seem to violate the principle articulated in the debate concerned. For instance, should be create the subcategory Category:Literature of Taiwan just because every other national literature in Category:Literature by nationality has its own category? Or should we, by contrast, be decategorizing (say) Category:Tunisian literature or Category:Swahili literature because they contain either a single article or a single (sub-)subcategory?

First, my perspective as a user is that if I see a category I think "Wow! There's a whole series of articles on Swahili literature!" And I feel at best somewhat cheated when I clink on the category link and discover almost nothing there. Or to put this another way, from looking at Category:Literature by nationality I get no sense at all as to which national literatures are fleshed out (Category:Icelandic_literature, say) and which are not.

Second, regarding the wording of the guideline. Almost everywhere else (Wikipedia:Categorization, for instance), the implication would seem to be that a "large" category is one that has over 200 members, i.e. which necessarily goes over two pages. I quite agree that in such cases mixing subcategories and articles is a bad idea. And the example given here, Category:Songs by artist, illustrates that point. But it also illustrates the point that this is a special case, specified as such in the category description (in bold, what's more!). Shouldn't therefore, following this model, all such special cases also specify that they should be composed only of subcategories? The same goes for, say, Category:Albums by artist (albeit without the bold).

But by contrast even Category:Films by director has a lone article stuck at the end of two pages of categories. Likewise Category:Works by author, not to mention Category:Plays by author (still less Category:Single-author short story collections). Again, should we really be creating, say, Category:Dorothy L. Sayers plays to hold the single article List of plays of Dorothy L. Sayers? Wouldn't it be better to delete, say Category:Anne Nichols plays (empty!). And generally to be cutting down on category clutter?

Anyhow, I think that it might be good to seek some consensus, and perhaps to clarify this aspect of the guideline. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 15:31, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I fixed the bad film in Category:Films by director UnitedStatesian 15:35, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Heh, thanks. (Actually you didn't really: I have now.[3]) Meanwhile, I've also been thinking that there's a difference between, say, Category:Books by author (which was the previous example used) and, say, Category:Flags by country or Category:Literature by nationality: the difference is something along the lines that Flag of Nepal or Swahili literature immediately announce, by their titles, that they belong to that category; they reference both the foo and the bar of the "Foo of bar," if you like. Even subcategories such as Category:Tunisian literature do the same. By contrast, it's not obvious by their titles that The Foundling and Other Tales from Prydain is a book by Lloyd Alexander or Andrew Lost a book by J. C. Greenburg. This is why these latter two can justify very small subcategories. And by contrast, why Category:Dorothy L. Sayers plays is the exception that proves the rule: it doesn't need its own category, because its title announces both the foo and the bar. Anyhow, just another way of looking at things. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 15:47, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I really do not see the problem with having small categories that are part of a larger scheme (which is the complaint against Category:Flags of Nepal). Categories such as Category:Tunisian literature are not described accurately as "small with no potential for growth" since they could grow in the future (as more relevant articles are created on the topic). The "small with no potential for growth" criterion was really added to deal with stranger things such as "Romanian-speaking countries" and "Catalan-speaking countries". It also addresses such things as "Fictional Black African-American DC animated Superheroes with the power to manipulate electricity". These are things that are not part of a larger scheme (or at least a larger practical scheme), nor do they have the potential for growth, nor are they practical categories in practice. In contrast, Category:Flags of Nepal may be practical in practice because it is part of a broad hierarchy of sorting articles. Dr. Submillimeter 16:49, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

No, the question I'm raising whether the "larger scheme" to which you refer is the same as the "large overall accepted sub-categorization scheme" to which the guidelines refers.
(Of course the article wasn't proposed for deletion on the basis that it was small and had no potential for growth; naturally it has some, rather limited, potential for growth. As would, say, Category:Flags of Lichtenstein, Category:Flags of El Salvador, and so on, and nobody's suggesting creating those categories. But this guideline was invoked only by the closer, not by the proposer or any of the discussants, and only in order to argue that there was here a "large overall accepted sub-categorization scheme" similar to that of Category:Songs by artist.) --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 17:03, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
The solution to your problem is to nominate all of the categories in a questionable scheme (or the part of the scheme that you dislike) for discussion at WP:CFD. So, for example, I suggest nominating all of the underpopulated subcategories of Category:Flags by country for merging into the parent category. The discussion at WP:CFD will determine whether or not the whole scheme is an accepted sub-categorization scheme. (I myself have done this for a few classification schemes (such as classifying animals by U.S. state, Canadian province, and Mexican state).) Until you or someone else makes that nomination, we will continue to assume that the whole categorization scheme is an appropriate one. Dr. Submillimeter 17:19, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I've discussed that solution at the this deletion review debate (and Radiant commented very helpfully). That may be the path to go. But obviously, if people continue to refer, however implicitly, to this guideline in the ensuing discussions, I thought it might be useful to see if we could reach some consensus about the guideline itself. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 19:47, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to take the relative silence here as consensus, at least for the time being, and have adapted the guideline accordingly, until such point as people want to revisit the question. --jbmurray (talk|contribs) 00:55, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Recreated categories

Have a look at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 March 8#Category:Fauna of Europe subcategories. Nearly three months after that discussion which led to upmerging of 34 European "by country" fauna categories based on this overcategorisation guideline, six of the nominated categories have been recreated. Category:Fauna of Denmark was nominated late and never upmerged. Others created after the upmerge or not included in the April 2007 nomination include Category:Fauna of Serbia, Category:Fauna of the Netherlands. Part of the problem may be Category:Fauna by country, which by its existence encourages people to recreate the "missing" categories. What should be done to discourage recreation like this? Carcharoth 04:35, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

I had begun working on consolidating the "fauna by country" categories into "fauna by ecozone" categories, but I received little support and strong resistance. After a personality conflict with User:KP Botany, I stopped working on the "fauna by country" category system. In general, nominations to upmerge "fauna by country" categories has received mixed support. While the nomination to upmerge categories into "fauna of Europe" did work, a similar nomination to upmerge categories into "birds of Africa" failed. (Also note the categorization problems with articles like Bronze Mannikin.)
The only way to discourage this is to do submit nominations to upmerge all "fauna by country" categories into "fauna by ecozone" categories. For countries where animals are found only within the country, I suggest using "endemic fauna of country" categories.
Unfortunately, no one and no WikiProject. has taken the lead in maintaining these categories, so they will continue to be a mess until someone fixes the problem. Dr. Submillimeter 07:11, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Also note two previous discussions on this topic at Category Talk:Biota by country. I have found myself very frustrated by repeating myself continuously on why this categorization system is impractical. Dr. Submillimeter 07:15, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I think some of KP Botany's arguments are reasonable, in particular the ones about how to reference the geographical location and range of an animal (the categorisation should be based on referenced information in the articles), but in the main I agree that it is more important to have a minimal number of categories per article than to have national categories. I would suggest that animals and plants have no more than one or two geographical/biozone categories. Maybe one for a geographical category system that most people will recognise and one for the biozone names. And I entirely agree with your endemic species comments. Maybe the bst thing to do is build up a new categorisation system and then, later, propose deleting or listifying the by country categories when the new category system is in place? Carcharoth 08:01, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I think this is a bad use of the categorization system. I'd get rid of all these categories and replace them with articles or lists. Having categories leads to tremendous clutter or will create artificial constraints (like limiting to no more than one or two geographic/biozone categories). As lists, this can be as detailed as need be, and articles won't get cluttered. Why does everything have to be a category? -- SamuelWantman 10:54, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  • All tagged as recreation. Are there any related cats that we missed? >Radiant< 11:05, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Tagged as recreation sounds good, but am I missing something? I can't see any tags on the categories. Carcharoth 14:26, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
      • Oh, I meant I simply listed them on CFD/W for reprocessing. If these were articles, I'd have hit the delete button, for categories that require some bot work this is the equivalent. >Radiant< 14:34, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Guideline vs "Style guideline"

? - jc37 11:44, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I would classify this as a standard guideline. "Style guideline" usually implies that it has to do more with the textual format of a page and how the page looks or reads. A style guideline for categories might discuss, for example, good ways to write category descriptions, recommended spelling for category titles, and ways to help sort subcategories within the category. By contrast, this guideline is more of an inclusion/exclusion guide for what categories are or are not appropriate as a whole.
So, just my opinion, I'd label it as a guideline and not a style guideline. (Not that the label one way or another changes what WP:OCAT says or how it's followed by editors. It's more of an aesthetic labelling I think.) Dugwiki 17:01, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Dug. The categorization has little to do with the style in which a page is written. But the difference isn't all that important. >Radiant< 11:59, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Is this overcategorisation?

Ooh. I feel ill: Category:United States Navy state-related ships. Is it me, or is that categorisation scheme based solely on trivia about the names of the ships? It seems to me that the category names are convoluted and easily misunderstood. I think Category:United States Navy ships with names associated with a state is a better naming convention, but when category names get that long you just know something is broken somewhere... :-) Incidentially, I also came across the various destroyer categories, which can be easily mis-read: Category:Korean War destroyers of the United States and Category:Destroyers of the United States just read like the worst forms of category name telegraphese to me. Is there a guideline somewhere to minimise this sort of "try and squeeze as much as you can into a category name, but still make it so short that it isn't quite clear what you are referring to" problem? Carcharoth 01:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

See the Dec 27th discussion ... I agree, but there was no consensus. -- Prove It (talk) 16:34, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Graphic references in "Performer by performance" section

Can we remove or tone down some of the explicit examples in the "performer by performace" section? Some of them gross me out. Dr. Submillimeter 13:58, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I had forgotten having that discussion with you. Please remind me which ones you have/had concerns with, and why. (While Wikipedia is not censored, I don't see why we can't give some leeway for palatability reasons, if nothing else.) - jc37 14:01, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Can we just remove the references to "spit take" and "anal sex"? While sexual descriptions in general do not bother me, these two seem particularly vulgar. I would prefer not to feel nauseous when I read a guideline page, and I am guessing that the average Wikipedia user reading this page does not necessarily want to see hardcore porn terminology, either. Dr. Submillimeter 15:27, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
You may want to actually read the Spit take page (it's a classic comedy bit). As for Anal sex, I thought that was the least offensive of the porn cats which were deleted last year or so. If you can find a better/less offensive one, I'd also appreciate it : ) - jc37 21:26, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
(I was distracted by other discussions.) Now that I know what a "spit take" is, it does not sound as vulgar as I first thought. (Given the close placement of the term to the anal sex term, I thought "spit take" was a porn term as well. Maybe the section can be rewritten to avoid this problem?) Dr. Submillimeter 17:04, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
(Parenthetical-I totally understand.) - How do you propose that we we re-write the examples? - jc37 08:00, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
If spit take was removed from the list, then it would look OK. The list already contains enough examples anyway. I also suggest shuffling anal sex to the end of the list. Dr. Submillimeter 08:59, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
The idea was to try to show an example from as many different types of performance, to exemplify its all-inclusivity. However, the re-order makes sense for the casual reader who might not click on the links. Look better? - jc37 10:20, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Dr. Submillimeter 11:11, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Expand this guideline to lists

There is a proposal Wikipedia:Overlistification to create a guideline similar to this one but which deals with lists. My idea was to prevent creating multiple guidelines that deal with essentially the same subject, and expand this one to include lists. I imagine that lists would have more relaxed criteria. Your opinion is appreciated. CG 22:13, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Duplicate categories

Surprisingly, WP:OCAT currently contains no guidance against duplicate categories. I suggest the following:

===== Duplicate categories =====
Example: Category:Anglican Primates of All Ireland, a duplicate of Category:Anglican bishops and archbishops of Armagh
Categories should be named by the principle set out at WP:NAME: "Generally, article naming should prefer what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature."
Sometimes the items in the category could accurately be referred to by a different title. In that case, the other title should be referred to in the category description, but it is unnecessary duplication to create a second category with identical membership.
In the example above, the holder of the office of Anglican Bishop or Archbishop of Armagh is ex officio the Anglican Primate of All Ireland: the posts are always held by the same person. If fully populated, two categories would have identical membership, so there is no need to have two categories.
Any thoughts? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:43, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
We definitely need this following the deluge of Pastorwayne categories that have appeared at WP:CFD. Just one comment: could it be formatted as one paragraph? Dr. Submillimeter 08:18, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I personally think there should be a speedy-merge facility (of the later one into the existing one) as 2 such categories are the same one under different names (each is a subcat of the other). There is a procedure for changing the name of a category - CfD; not creating a copy.
I also think a category without a defining/explanatory clause and/or linked article at the top should be regarded as defective and treated like an empty article. (There is a case to be made for Category:Primates of Italy as according to Pope the title was created in 1929 - however this needs to be stated on the category page as it is not general knowledge ... I expect there would be still be a consensus to delete Category:Primates of Italy but it isn't a duplicate.) -- roundhouse0 12:39, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Another way of doing it might be as in Category:AIDS - leave Category:Anglican Primates of All Ireland, make it a redirect to the original one (doesn't involve Cfd unless there are objections). -- roundhouse0 12:57, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
roundhouse0's second proposal is problematic. Categories are typically created without any descriptive text on the basis that the titles are sufficiently descriptive by themselves. Speedy deleting these categories because they contain no actual content would cause a lot of disruption.
roundhouse0's first proposal seems reasonable at first, but it will not work. Many WP:CFD proposals to merge duplicate categories are often reversed, and sometimes it is appropriate to merge two categories into a new third category. It would probably be appropriate to continue using individual discussions to make decisions regarding these categories.
Having said that, it would be useful to have some sort of speedy merge/delete mechanism for categories created by a disruptive editor (such as User:Pastorwayne, who is responsible for the multiple "primate" categories now appearing at WP:CFD). Dr. Submillimeter 13:13, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
  • We should definitely avoid categories that are duplicates (and probably, even those that are substantially overlapping, for some reasonable definition thereof). This essentially follows from the maxim that an article should not be in both a parent category and a child category thereof. If all <foo> are <bar>, then an article that is a <foo> should not also be in category <bar>. Likewise, if the title of <quux> automatically gives you a function of <yoink> (darn, running out of metasyntactics here) then the article on quux is the place to explain that - putting all people in Category:Quux in a new Category:Yoink is essentially obfuscating the issue. >Radiant< 12:46, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Don't we already have general guidelines against duplicates? I would think that WP:CFORK covers the matter fairly well. Do we really need special guidelines just for categories here, or would that be WP:CREEP? (I'm inclined to think the latter.) Xtifr tälk 19:33, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
    • Xtifris right; we do not need duplicate guidelines on duplicate information. Maybe just a link to general naming guidelines would be appropriate. Dr. Submillimeter 08:19, 22 June 2007 (UTC)