Wikipedia talk:Superfluous bolding explained

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Monkey See, Monkey Do[edit]

I have removed the wiki-link to Monkey see monkey do twice. I have removed them because the linked article is not about further information on this article or an elaboration on: "mimic the structures of other articles". If you absolutely want to wiki-link this I would suggest Imitation over Monkey see, monkey do, as it better explains what is meant by the phrase. On a side note if it's the monkey you like there's a picture of a monkey on the Imitation article :) - Mcmatter (talk|contrib) 13:29, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Look, I appreciate your efforts, but the link added by the other IP editor really is a good idea imho. The slightly derogatory ring of the widely known proverb "Monkey see, monkey do" (and, by extension, the connotations of placing this particular link) are (a) in full agreement with the general stance of the essay, and (b) in the opinion of the original editor and my humble self, add an explanatory layer not yet present in the article. A link to imitation wouldn't accomplish any of that.

Ok, look, I don't want to make a huge fuzz over this either. How about this: If you are truly convinced that the link not only doesn't add anything to the essay (which imho it definitely does) and find that the link actually harms the essay, then I won't insist on it. But I'd really like to hear a plausible reasoning on how exactly the link harms the essay. --78.34.252.223 (talk) 14:57, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

(On a related not, please also consider that Monkey see, monkey do is a popular and immediately intelligible description of the phenomenon of Hypercorrection. The MSMD link prefectly complements the one to the more technical article about Hypercorrection. --78.34.252.223 (talk) 15:01, 14 July 2010 (UTC))
((Also also, as part of the MoS, WP:OVERLINK applies to mainspace Wikipedia articles, not to project space essays. Placing that link frankly doesn't corroborate your basis for that revert. Just noting. --78.34.252.223 (talk) 15:07, 14 July 2010 (UTC)))
This article is meant as a supplementary to the WP:MOS, therefore it should still fall in line with it.
Monkey see monkey do is slang/jargon, I do agree it does fit with the article, but the average english user will be able to understand the meaning of mimic without being taken to a page about a slang term not directly mentioned, it would be the same as linking 'photo finish' to 'By the skin of their teeth'. Hyper-correction is not the same as monkey see monkey do, hyper-correction is a linguistic rule application failure, monkey see monkey do is imitation. - Mcmatter (talk|contrib) 15:32, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok, they're distinct things, but I suppose you're not saying that monkey-see-monkey-do- type imitation isn't involved in these cases of hypercorrection which the essay talks about? So, again, how is the link irrelevant if it serves to succinctly describe a nuance the prose otherwise couldn't? --87.79.163.38 (talk) 15:41, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Monkey see and monkey do(MSMD) doesn't add any new information to the essay, the definition (which is referenced to wiktionary) is almost verbatim the same as the line in this essay and the rest is unreferenced and poorly organized historical information on the saying. Linking anything in that line to MSMD is a misleading link, a user clicking on mimic will expect to go to the article on mimicry, however if we add MSMD into () beside the line on mimicry then the user will know what they are clicking on and the link will apply to the sentence as a whole as opposed to just the word. - Mcmatter (talk|contrib) 16:18, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
WP:EASTEREGG can explain my last point better then I did. It's not policy but it illustrates my point better then I do. - Mcmatter (talk|contrib) 16:38, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
You are citing a guideline that only applies to mainspace articles. It is entirely irrelevant for this project space page. Face it, you are outnumbered and out of arguments. But you have the established account and you will just have your way no matter what. Bye. --87.79.172.46 (talk) 12:52, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

I cited the last guideline only to help explain my point, since you didn't seem to understand, I even said that I knew it's not policy. As for being outnumbered it's you and me (I think) no one else has put in any other input. In my first reply, I conceded that the essay does resemble 'Monkey See, Monkey Do', I offered up a compromise in my last reply and now have incivility returned. - Mcmatter (talk|contrib) 13:24, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

You are wrong. --87.79.172.82 (talk) 11:52, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
The whole essay is written as an argument and to overturn a current practice. Think the monkey remark fits in this context. Not sure I even agree with the argument, but I'm fine with the monkeying. This is a different situation than someone writing (or trying to write) agreed policy. Monkeys need to learn context!TCO (talk) 17:06, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
It's generally bad form to monkey with (pun intended) the point-making in an essay, if it doesn't violate any policies or do things in bad faith like linking to racist slurs or whatever. If you disagree with an essay, go write a competing one. It is often most effective for a "stop doing this lame behavior" essay to be faintly insulting in precisely this way, to jolt bad-actors into reconsidering their behavior. And I agree that the article link does add value when people look at it, both because it demonstrates that the concept is notable and well-defined enough that we have an article on it – it's not just some wild, random opinion by one Wikipedian writing a cranky essay – and it's actual wording conveys key concepts related to the real topic, namely that over-bolding is an example of user-distracting style abuse, via mimicry "without an understanding of why it works...usually with limited knowledge of the consequences." All that said, 87.79.172.82 needs to go read WP:DICK, and realize that he/she/it doesn't WP:OWN this page. And WP:LAWYER – when someone makes it clear that they're citing a page because it's reasoning makes sense here, too, bashing them because the cited page was written with mainspace in mind is really just a bunch of weak nonsense. It's a straw man fallacy. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 20:03, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

This needs rethinking and revision[edit]

I don't think this page represents general practice any longer, or where it is headed. It's become a norm here that some identifier of the topic is bolded in the lead, since WP content can be reused in any way within the GFDL/CC licensing terms, including without the article title. This means we need to think more clearly about what names we give to articles, and how to write leads, not that we should abandon boldfacing any time a proper name isn't involved. While some of this essay remains pertinent, especially some of the clearer examples of rather lame boldfacing, parts of it are clearly obsolete.

A clear example would be Effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, one of the "don't boldface" cases used in this essay. If you go to the article, as of this writing, you'll see that the lead begins with "The effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans have been long-lasting. As the center of Katrina passed South-east of New Orleans on August 29, 2005, winds ..." This is perfectly acceptable and downright normal at Wikipedia, as of February 2012. If the article had been badly titled, to make a lead look stupid when written this way, e.g. New Orleans effects of Hurricane Katrina, the article would need to be moved, rather than the capitalization convention abandoned. This probably means that the other "smoking gun" examples in the essay should probably be renamed or have their leads tweaked. The fact that a convention can sometimes require some thought in its application doesn't mean it should be abandoned. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 20:15, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Use of Bold to Improve Readability[edit]

I have spent much time editing, and I hope improving the article on Soil. Recently someone edited the article to eliminate what that editor felt was excessive use of bold outside of WP guidelines. I understand how distracting it might be to find an excessive use of bold within an article, but I used bold in an attempt to improve the readability.

I don't know about you, but I have the attention span of a gnat. Five seconds into the reading of a paragraph my attention has slipped towards thoughts of Lady Gaga (love that name). I find the use of bold enhances my retention greatly. In way of example, I ask you to read the section "Soil forming factors" and make note of how the use of bold to connect the ideas to be expanded upon listed in bold in the introducing paragraph of that section enhances the retention of the information.

I would hate to see the guidelines expanded to allow the total free use of bold as it would likely be abused, but in the case of its use to highlight key ideas that are later expanded I might suggest that WP guidelines should be enlarged a bit.

Honestly, I'm just writing this because I want someone to go read the article. Zedshort (talk) 01:10, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Dubious examples[edit]

This is described as "awkward phrasing":

The Selarang Barracks Incident, also known as the Barrack Square Incident, was an incident on ...

I'm not sure what "awkward phrasing" is supposed to mean; I don't find anything award about the example. Indeed, Selarang Barracks incident is currently classified as a good article and begins:

The Selarang Barracks incident also known as the Barrack Square incident or the Selarang Square Squeeze, ...

so the only point of contention would be the capitalization of "Incident", which has nothing to do with superfluous bolding. Perhaps the editor who used it as an example is under the impression that the incident is one of those "that don't necessarily have their own names"? It would appear from the lede that in fact there are three different recognised names.

I also note that no "correct" text is provided for the "incorrect" January 31 2007 Boston bomb scare and electrical characteristics of a dynamic loudspeaker ledes; the former now redirects to 2007 Boston Mooninite panic (which is bolded) and the latter to electrical characteristics of dynamic loudspeakers, which is not bolded but has wiklilinks in the lede text. jnestorius(talk) 15:28, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

jnestorius: "awkward phrasing" refers to triple repetition of the word "incident" in the single sentence, particularly the tautological definition "Selarang incident was an incident", but I sort of agree that it isn't obvious. I think the lead section of the article, despite being a GA, is extremely poorly written: "The Selarang Barracks incident [...] was an event during the World War II started on 30 August 1942" says nothing about the nature of an event, and leaves ambiguity as to whether the WWII started in 1942. As for electrical characteristics of dynamic loudspeakers, wikilinks are expressly permitted in the lede text – what is not permitted are bolded wikilinks.
I agree that the bad examples should be followed by good counterexamples, I will try to address that. No such user (talk) 14:36, 22 June 2016 (UTC)