Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style

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Welcome to the MOS pit

Style discussions elsewhere[edit]

Add a link to new discussions at top of list and indicate what kind of discussion it is (move request, RfC, open discussion, deletion discussion, etc.). Follow the links to participate, if interested. Move to Concluded when decided, and summarize conclusion. Please keep this section at the top of the page.


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Extended content

Collective singular[edit]

I have recently seen more and more misuse of the collective singular in American English and now it's becoming rampant on Wikipedia. But I don't want to start making edits without consensus.

Words such as "group," "band," "audience," "militia," and others that are a collection of elements are singular nouns that require a singular verb, e.g. "the group is," "the band wants," etc. Only when the members of these groups stop acting as a unit and start acting as individuals can this change. For example, "The band is going to play a concert" is correct, however, if each member is going to play separately, now we have "The band are going to play their own compositions." While this is technically correct, it's clearer to refer directly to the elements of the collective and say "The members of the band are going to play their own compositions."

"Deep Purple is an English rock band" is correct, NOT "Deep Purple are..."

I understand that this is less strict in British English. A good discussion can be found at Grammarly. There are a few ambiguous cases where it could go either way and those are fine. But in clear situations where it's a question of correct or incorrect grammar, the correct use should be expected. RogerBPennJr (talk) 19:00, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As Deep Purple are an English band, the article would use British English (WP:ENGVAR), in which that phrasing is not an error. No opinion on making the change in articles specifically designated as having been written in American English.--Trystan (talk) 19:49, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Valid point. RogerBPennJr (talk) 21:12, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is wholly an variety of English thing, so which is used depends on the variety of English used in an article, which often times is a matter of the nationality of the subject. So your example regarding Deep Purple is completely wrong, because as a British band the article on Deep Purple uses British English, where the plural verb is correct. oknazevad (talk) 19:49, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While this is true in the Deep Purple example (I chose a bad one), that was just one example. I have seen this in numerous places, not just British articles. I also didn't realize that the wiki language choice didn't differentiate (US English and British English are usually treated as separate languages). So thanks for making me aware. My real intention here wasn't to point out bad examples but to clarify the position on this, especially going forward as this becomes more and more common (not just on Wikipedia). It may be that due to the international nature of the Internet, Netflix, etc, languages are becoming blended. I have noticed much more use of British names, spellings, and expressions here in the US, and my daughter, who is online daily with several English friends reports that they are seeing the same there. RogerBPennJr (talk) 21:33, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
¶ I'm far more troubled by a trend that I fear may have no answer: the use of "they" and "their" when referring to a single person. For (hypothetical) example, "When a President is elected, they must face Congress" or "No author likes unfair criticism of their work".
Apparently, examples of this can be found as far back as George Washington's written prose, so it's hardly a new usage, even if formally disapproved of. And most of the alternatives where the subject could be of either sex, are just as awkward and ugly, for example, "[s]he", "s/he", "his or her" or "her/his". "It" is neuter, but applying it to any human person is just demeaning ("the professor delivered its lecture...")
On the other hand, a Sporcle quiz about woman authors once asked readers to match each author with their work, which prompted me to point out that (whatever one's philosophy or politics) in every case it would be her work. (Sporcle did change their title.)
—— Shakescene (talk) 20:14, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The usage goes back quite a way before Washington! Cheers, all. Dumuzid (talk) 21:42, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I totally agree with you! And yes, "it" would be correct if you're neither a he or a she, but that is a little inhuman. Unfortunately, the neutral singular when gender is unknown, as in most Romance/Germanic languages, is the masculine. But that's been contended since the '60s. However, the use of they/them in its place is just plain confusing. In many cases I have a hard time following the meaning of a writing or conversation when this happens. I guess we need a whole new word. RogerBPennJr (talk) 21:43, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And is, arguably, a hangover from the days of thou and thine as the formal version of you and yours. And well enough established in common usage now, particularly as a solution to the gendering problem, that it would be fruitless to howl at the moon about it. Meanwhile the British English position on the plural for collective bodies is misrepresented above as always demanding the plural, whereas in reality the British English position is more nuanced. Where the action is collective and unanimous, singular usage (as per American English) is usually seen as correct, such as “the team is playing well” or “ the committee is united in condemning this decision”. However where the members of the collective are at odds, or acting individually, then plural is the correct approach. For example, “the committee are split as to how to proceed” or “the team are all over the place tonight”. MapReader (talk) 22:48, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Err, "thou" and "thine" are not a "formal version of you and yours". They are the second person singular. English adopted a T-V distinction in the later middle ages, see T–V_distinction#English and the use of the plural form spread from one's superiors to everyone over the course of 500–600 years. This of course was only in standard English, use of the "T" form persists in regional dialects. A variant of it has been observed that uses "you" as the singular and "yous" as a plural! In passing, the use of "T" for the divinity was an intentional choice by the KJV translators, it emphasised the personal relationship of the individual to God, as of a child with his father. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 07:38, 2 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The spelling ye is actually a rendition of þe (thee in more modern orthography), with the Thorn replaced by the more readily available y after movable type became relevant.
The KJV of the Hebrew scriptures is unavoidably anomalous in that it translates the plural[a] אֱלֹהִים (Elohim, transl. God[a]) in the singular.
If it goeth back over 250 years, then it isn't a "trend", 'tis established English. Thou art entitled to thy feelings, of course, but to me, "troubled" seemeth an overreaction, and it leadeth me to wonder whether thou art troubled by the way people now use "you" in the singular instead of "thou" the way they're supposed to and have stopped conjugating their verbs correctly! Largoplazo (talk) 23:35, 1 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ a b Elohim is plural, but used with singular verb forms when referring to the Deity.

Question regarding mos:ethnicity[edit]

Does MOS:ETHNICITY only apply regarding biographies of persons, or can it apply to other forms of articles aswell? Specifically in regards to an article about a battle where a small portion of the fighting force is of another ethnicity but not notable to the battles notability. Ola Tønningsberg (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Ola Tønningsberg I think this is probably a more complicated problem than MOS:ETHNICITY is supposed to solve (i.e. that of overemphasis in lead sections). It would help to have specific example, but yes, I suspect that mentioning the ethnicity of a small part of a force too early in an article would probably be undue emphasis. — HTGS (talk) 05:11, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ola Tønningsberg See Crimean Tatars at Battle of Zenta for instance. TaylorKobeRift (talk) 00:23, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for the reply @TaylorKobeRift. How would you go ahead with 2004 Nazran raid in the lead where it says some ingush militants participated in the battle? In my opinion this gives undue weight and it would be much better moving this designation right below to the "attack" section. The opening line looks ridicoulous at the moment. Ola Tønningsberg (talk) 13:16, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I @Ola Tønningsberg I would advise asking the more pertinent talk page that is Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history, they may be able to assist you. TaylorKobeRift (talk) 16:20, 1 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


From what I see, the MOS:PREFIXDASH part has been introduced on the basis of at least this discussion from 2010 citing The Chicago Manual of Style. With the example of "pre–World War II", the manual justifies such usage as "space that cannot be besmirched by hyphens because “World War II” is a proper noun". But it also admits that it "is a rather fussy use of the en dash that many people ignore, preferring the hyphen". Indeed, I see several issues with it:

All in all, I believe MOS:PREFIXDASH/SUFFIXDASH should be deprecated and removed per WP:CREEP. Thoughts? Brandmeistertalk 13:28, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's possible that this style is old-fashioned, but it was correct typography back when I learned it. Are you suggesting that we shouldn't follow the old-school convention at all, or that we shouldn't care? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:53, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We shouldn't follow it and remove from our MoS, as it doesn't appear to be universally accepted. This would mean that a host of categories moved from hyphen to dash, such as Category:Anti–nuclear weapons movement should be reverted to hyphens, but I think it is worth it. Brandmeistertalk 22:11, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, more like "require the opposite" than "it's not important to be consistent between articles"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:08, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It was in Chicago some time ago, I think, and in MOS's earlier days was heavily advocated by a US-based editor who may not still be here. I think it's a bit weird, but I don't care much if it's kept. In practice it's used only in a small number of instances. Tony (talk) 04:20, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree it's weird, but I'm not convinced it's worth changing the MoS. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:59, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strongly support removal. The use of the endash instead of a hyphen causes endless problems, especially when used in article titles. Cannot cut and paste due to code page issues. Bot issues requiring – or – to be used in URLs. When trying to edit an article, it makes it hard to search and replace. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:33, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Could you elaborate on the code- and bot-based issues you mentioned? I'm not super familiar with the technical aspects around here. PhotogenicScientist (talk) 13:51, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    AIUI these problems aren't specific to this rule. We'll have those complications if people are allowed to use any kind of dash (or certain other characters, such as &) in article titles. And if you have to write the bot code to cope with one article title, then you save nothing by removing it from some article titles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:52, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support removal. The use of dash makes articles unaccessible to read and edit. A reader cannot simply use the 'find in page' function to search text and is cumbersome to add when editing. It does not make articles easier to understand or readable. Therefore Wp:Creep is a factor as it is adding to Wikipedia's overextensive instructions without giving benefit. This odd usage of en-dash should not be included within Wikipedia's MOS. Carpimaps (talk) 07:34, 21 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No Really? You want to meld Anti–nuclear weapons with Anti-nuclear weapons? You think the difference is trivial? I know, let's stop using commas -- just use periods instead. They look pretty much the same anyway. EEng 01:29, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @EEng:, yes, if readers notice the difference between a hyphen and an n-dash, it's a useful distinction. But the variation in the length of these marks between fonts in common use under different operating systems, etc. is such that in practice it's not actually very useful. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:10, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    the variation in the length of these marks between fonts in common use under different operating systems, etc. is such that in practice it's not actually very usefu[citation needed] EEng 20:02, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Using endash might be grammatically correct – though, based on the various style guides it looks like there's no strong consensus – but I think the practical impact of this change to articles/article titles would be minimal. "Anti-nuclear weapons" pretty clearly refers to the position of being against nuclear weapons, not to weapons based on the implied "anti-nuclear" technology. "Pro-civil rights protestors" are pretty clearly protestors who are in favor of civil rights, rather than people protesting for rights who behave in a civil manner. As for proper nouns, I think "pre-Industrial revolution" pretty clearly refers to the time period before the Industrial Revolution, and not to a revolution that happened before industrial (lowercased) times.
    If there are technical issues to be solved by using hyphen vs endash, it might be worth implementing. PhotogenicScientist (talk) 14:03, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    "Enuf" pretty clearly means "enough", but we don't do that either. EEng 20:02, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    And "enough" causes no technical issues. PhotogenicScientist (talk) 20:44, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If there are technical issues to be solved, as you said. I'm not sure that there are technical issues that this would solve. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:55, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I like this ndash. I also am of the age to have learned this as "proper", but it really helps prime my brain to digest the next unit as a single token. The hyphen binds more tightly than the dash, and implies to me the existence of (using the examples given thus far) "anti-nuclear weapons" detonating from the runaway fission of an anti-nucleus, and the second War in a place called "pre-World". Maybe I'm dumb. Like User:Hawkeye7 above, I do count rather more than five keypresses to input –, but on my device it's a single long press on the hyphen, which gives me the options of mdash, ndash, middot, and underbar/underscore. I don't know that we necessarily need to mandate an ndash in this usage, but I'm certainly opposed to replacing it with a hyphen, if that is the proposal here. Folly Mox (talk) 07:43, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Remove It's fussy and old-fashioned, not general practice in current style guides, and makes article linking difficult. — The Anome (talk) 08:14, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I thought that all article titles containing a dash also had a redirect with a hyphen (wasn't there a bot generating these?), so it shouldn't make linking difficult at all. (Of course, it's no issue at all in the visual editor, because you have options there like searching for the page, pasting in the whole URL for automatic conversion, etc.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:31, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    They don't; they have to be created manually. WMF has tried and failed to make it seamless. Try it with the Category:Anti-nuclear weapons movement. You'll get the soft redirect page. Note that categories do not redirect the way articles do, so every one of them creates additional, ongoing maintenance work. Ndashes should never be used with categories. The whole ndash thing has been a tragedy from the start. Also: I do not use and do not accept, recognise or respect the Chicago Manual of Style. We have the Australian Commonwealth Style Guide per WP:ENGVAR. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 23:10, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep as I don't see a strong reason to change/remove it. The source for "AP" above is a summary of the guidelines, so this edge case for compounds not being mentioned doesn't mean using hyphens is AP-approved. The source for "Chicago" above is similarly narrowed, an FAQ question. I was able to find a source for MLA that says hyphens between all words is preferred, except for proper nouns, where endash should be used instead. And I found a source for the complete APA guide (that I don't think I can link for copyvio reasons) that had exactly 0 examples of this kind of compound, in either of the sections on hyphens or dashes. PhotogenicScientist (talk) 22:10, 23 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • You can’t beat a discussion on which type of dash to use. WP at its best.. MapReader (talk) 14:25, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep. If it's found in Chicago, MLA, and other academic style guides, we should continue to follow suit, since our own style guide is based on those. MoS has adopted virtually nothing from AP Stylebook and we do quite the opposite of what it recommends in many cases, because news style and academic style are very different. WP is not written in news style as a matter of policy (WP:NOT#NEWS).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  07:02, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Keep – Personally I've found the PREFIXDASH and SUFFIXDASH guidelines quite helpful for clarity, in Wikipedia and in my own personal use. I'm also not convinced that the increased difficulty of typing dashes is very significant for this debate, since we use en/em dashes in so many other situations that everybody agrees are appropriate—I'm sure PREFIXDASH/SUFFIXDASH account for a very small share of dash usage on Wikipedia. (Full disclosure—I'm kind of obsessed with dashes, as a userbox of mine proudly displays. So I'll basically always oppose limiting their use. I'm arguably biased.) — ⁠Will ⁠• ⁠B[talk] 00:19, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Disallowing use of the ʻokina in Chinese romanized article titles[edit]

Kwamikagami, who uses the label kwami, has been renaming articles about Chinese topics so that ʻokinas (ʻ) replace apostrophes (') such as this edit where Kwamikagami moved page Yang-style t'ai chi ch'uan to Yang-style tʻai chi chʻüan. There was discussion at Talk:Cheng_Man-ch'ing#Wrong_apostrophe in which Kwamikagami/kwami stated It's Wade-Giles transcription. Their symbol for aspiration is covered by the Unicode character for okina. It's not an apostrophe: that would mean that "Ch'ing" is a contraction.

As the Wade-Giles article indicates it is a romanization system for Mandarin Chinese that was completed in 1892 & that in mainland China Wade–Giles has been mostly replaced by the Hanyu Pinyin romanization system, which was officially adopted in 1958 with some exceptions. According to the Hanyu Pinyin article, The apostrophe (') [...] is used before a syllable starting with a vowel (a, o, or e) in a multiple-syllable word, unless the syllable starts the word or immediately follows a hyphen or other dash. Thus in modern romanization of Chinese, the apostrophe is used instead of the ʻokina.

I am familiar with both the ʻokina from having lived in Hawaiʻi for fourteen years & with Tai Chi (also Tajiquan and T'ai Chi) having studied it for twelve years. In my anecdotal experience, the use of the ʻokina is clearly the exception in texts on the latter subject. It appears to me that the use of the ʻokina in such article titles is clearly a violation of WP:COMMONNAME.

I want to propose that MOS:Okina be extended to article titles in general so that we avoid punctuation that is hard to type or enter when it is not part of the common name. As per WP:RFC#BEFORE, I am opening a discussion here before opening an RfC. Peaceray (talk) 17:09, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

+1 Support, for the reasons given above and at Talk:Cheng_Man-ch'ing#Wrong_apostrophe, where I wikilink to show that Wade-Giles also accepts use of the straight apostrophe.. Note that these edits adding ʻokina were made both to article titles and to links of these articles in other articles. Note also that in the above quote, even kwami drops the ʻ from "okina". – Raven  .talk 17:44, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The apostrophe in pinyin does something completely different from the spiritus asper in Wade-Giles. Apostrophes are widely used instead of the asper, but old scholarly standard is the asper. I don't see the relevance of okinas here, as far as I know they relate to Hawaiian. —Kusma (talk) 18:40, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So opposethe proposal. —Kusma (talk) 18:41, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thinking about it more, the presence of apostrophes as syllable separators in pinyin is a good reason not to use apostrophes as sound modifiers in Wade-Giles. —Kusma (talk) 18:55, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So are you saying that we should omit the apostrophes altogether?
Also, ʻokina is just the Hawaiian name for this letter. That's irrelevant for us. It's not as if only English can use the letter 'H' just because we call it aitch. — kwami (talk) 20:02, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Spiritus asper is a redirect to rough breathing. According to that article it generally refers to ̔ (U+0314) but can also refer to the ʻ character commonly known as the ʻokina. As the article indicates:

The character, or those with similar shape such as U+02BB ʻ MODIFIER LETTER TURNED COMMA, have also been used for a similar sound by Thomas Wade (and others) in the Wade–Giles system of romanization for Mandarin Chinese. Herbert Giles and others have used a left (opening) curved single quotation mark for the same purpose; the apostrophe, backtick, and visually similar characters are often seen as well.

In your rename to Yang-style tʻai chi chʻüan, you used ʻ, which is the same character as ʻokina. Since I believe ʻokina is the more common name for the character, I will continue to use it. Although I recognize that you would prefer spiritus asper, it is an ambiguous term, & ʻokina is not.
Why do I believe ʻokina is more common than rough breathing? Well, I invite folks to have a look at their relative page views. ʻOkina is viewed far more often than Rough breathing.
  • "Pageviews Analysis for ʻOkina and Rough breathing". Retrieved 2023-03-26.
Peaceray (talk) 20:47, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am going to hark back to the rough breathing article that states Herbert Giles and others have used a left (opening) curved single quotation mark for the same purpose; the apostrophe, backtick, and visually similar characters are often seen as well.
I find it absurd that some advocate abandoning WP:COMMONNAME in favor of the linguistic dogmatic adherence to Wade–Giles, a romanization system that has been superseded, & for which the vast majority of users & editors cannot determine how to enter a particular diacritic on a typical English keyboard. Peaceray (talk) 21:08, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The WP:COMMONNAME often is one that does not conform to any system. For example, Taipei would be Taibei in Hanyu pinyin and Tʻaipei in Wade-Giles. Personal names in Wade-Giles also typically do not use a spiritus asper/apostrophe (last I checked, Taiwanese passports still worked like that). In the example above, I would go for taijiquan over tʻai chi chʻüan since (as you observe) nobody uses Wade-Giles (and certainly nobody uses correct Wade-Giles). —Kusma (talk) 07:40, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One problem is for readers typing the title link in. Using the straight "typewriter (or ASCII) apostrophe" makes that easier, and it's also non-typeset standard, including on the Web — as you can see from pages like Best Tai Chi Books and Amazon's list of T'ai Chi Ch'uan books. Notice that the typeset covers of those books generally don't use ʻokina, but the typeset-apostrophe resembling a right-single-quotation mark.
Also, the Ukrainian Г tends to be pronounced softer than the Russian Г (e.g. 'Serhei' instead of 'Sergei'), but we do not therefore shun the use of it in either language; likewise French and English J as in 'journal'. That Pinyin and Wade-Giles use apostrophe differently is true — though they still both use it — but those systems also represent different sounds by given alphabetic characters... should we therefore avoid using those letters in one or the other? – Raven  .talk 21:56, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support, as per the discussion nominator; violates WP:COMMONNAME. Harder to type, searching becomes harder. -- Ham105 (talk) 19:08, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Makes no difference in searching. — kwami (talk) 20:02, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Typing in the link with ʻokina is harder, not accustomed use for typing, and at Talk:Cheng_Man-ch'ing#Wrong_apostrophe I showed how your moves disabled original redirects (with straight apostrophes) by making them double-redirects — ironically, to target articles which had no punctuation other than hyphen. Xqbot fixed those after a while; but why break them even temporarily, instead of copying rather than moving the redirects — which would not have broken anything? – Raven  .talk 21:29, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The point here is that the spiritus asper is a letter, not a punctuation mark. As such, it should be encoded in Unicode as a letter. That may be ʻ, or ʼ, or ꞌ if you prefer it straight. — kwami (talk) 20:06, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Modifier letter apostrophe (ʼ); is also not "punctuation", and it matches those typeset books. The ASCII apostrophe serves the same purpose for non-typeset text, and, critically, for reader keyboards. – Raven  .talk 22:09, 25 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support in general; while I currently live in Taiwan (which doesn't use the apostrophe at all), the fact that Hanyu Pinyin needs the apostrophe to separate syllables properly means that I'd prefer to have the restriction in place for ease of access. - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 16:19, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do not use an apostrophe for a character that is not functioning as an apostrophe, and do not use an ʻokina for a character that is not an ʻokina. If the modifier letter apostrophe is functionally appropriate for this language set—that is, this character behaves more like a letter than an apostrophe—then that should be used, especially as it is right-hand, not left-hand like the ʻokina. The long-term solution should be to create a template similar to {{okina}}, but for this purpose; I do not believe MOS:OKINA is the place to rule over this problem. — HTGS (talk) 21:41, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That template would be {{hamza}} (ʼ). As for "Do not use an apostrophe for a character that is not functioning as an apostrophe" — an apostrophe can have any of multiple functions: see Apostrophe#Use in transliteration: "Furthermore, an apostrophe may be used to indicate a glottal stop in transliterations." – Raven  .talk 22:20, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
{{Hamza}} may be fine. If editors of these sorts of articles are happy to use the same template, then don’t create a new one. My intuition is that a) there may come a point where use of hamza differs from how we want to use the Chinese character, and b) templates are cheap. As for the MOS suggesting that apostrophes are fine, that’s fine, it wouldn’t be the first time I disagreed with some small part of the MOS. I don’t understand an ounce of Chinese, but I think it’s preferable to use a semantic character over one that is not. (Like an N-dash vs a minus sign .) — HTGS (talk) 23:22, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"there may come a point where use of hamza differs" — Many widely used templates have warnings about that wide use, which request no change without discussion; there would be time to change templates.
"... how we want to use the Chinese character..." — But of course we are discussing which Western character to use in English-language text for transliteration of spoken Chinese. None of these are written-Chinese characters. – Raven  .talk 23:43, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
HTGS, considering WP:COMMONNAME, what would you then suggest we use for titles when the apostrophe is commonly used? Peaceray (talk) 22:34, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In evidence of WP:COMMONNAME, these secondary-source book covers found via Tai chi classics: [1] [2] [3] [4]. – Raven  .talk 23:36, 26 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those certainly do look like hamzas, but they don’t look like okinas. If Chinese speaking editors feel that apostrophes make more sense, then use those. I was merely saying that if a character does not function like an apostrophe then we should prefer the character it acts like; of course for print, and visually, there is no difference. — HTGS (talk) 01:22, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again, "function like an apostrophe" needs to take into account how many ways the apostrophe does already function, particularly in transcriptions. See Harbeck, James (October 29, 2015). "The wacky world of apostrophes, explained: Why is there apostrophe in O'Hara? Is it tai chi or t'ai chi? And what's up with Hallowe'en?". The Week. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2023-03-27.: "To indicate aspiration. Aspiration is like saying a little 'h' after a letter. In English, we sometimes do it without thinking (like after the t in top but not the t in stop), but it doesn't make a difference in the meaning. In some other languages, it does make a difference. We often represent it with h when we're transliterating those languages — such as Thai. But occasionally we use… yes… the apostrophe. The Wade-Giles system of transliteration for Mandarin Chinese did this. It's why there's one in t'ai chi (or two in the full name, t'ai chi ch'uan). But that's no longer the standard way to write Mandarin Chinese in Roman letters. The official system is Pinyin, which spells t'ai chi as taiji. So in English, many people just throw up their hands — slowly, gracefully (this is t'ai chi, after all) — and write tai chi." – Raven  .talk 01:37, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The only place where I have ever seen consistent use of correct Wade-Giles with aspiration marks was the National Palace Museum in Tʻai-pei. I oppose making a rule to prohibit the use of ʻ, but I wouldn't be surprised if the WP:COMMONNAME almost always comes out without any marks at all, either in bastardised Wade-Giles or in pinyin. —Kusma (talk) 07:48, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have such templates: either {{asper}} for a traditional form or the semantically superior {{wg-apos}}. Ping Beland, who worked on consistency for Wade-Giles, for awareness. —Kusma (talk) 07:42, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Beland: would you like to look this issue over and offer opinions/suggestions? – Raven  .talk 10:54, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it would certainly be easier to use the ASCII apostrophe for all Chinese romanization. There's an argument for doing that if it's generally an acceptable variant for Wade-Giles, or as a result of combining MOS:STRAIGHT with the curved quote character Giles and others used. We don't use the ASCII apostrophe for Polynesian languages, though, because there seems to be a strong consensus to use the real non-punctuation letters. I don't have a strong opinion, so I leave it to the subject-matter experts to determine what should be done for any given Chinese romanization. I'd just say:
  • WP:COMMONNAME does mean that titles won't use any particular romanization system consistently, or sometimes any at all. If there is a consensus to set a default system for cases where actual English usage is rare or too varied to declare a clear preference, that seems fine. Picking one that uses ASCII apostrophes or none at all for a default for both titles and article text would make things easier, but again I leave it to subject-matter experts to decide if that's appropriate.
  • Article bodies should use {{wg-apos}} for Wade-Giles transcriptions, in case consensus changes about what character to use. That's what we used on Wade–Giles due to lack of consensus on the talk page there. (It looks like I forgot to update MOS:APOSTROPHE when I updated Wade–Giles, but I just did so.) I'm constantly finding and correcting words that don't follow Wikipedia standards for how to use apostrophes, ʻokinas and friends, prime marks, backticks, accent marks, and quote marks. Articles with Chinese, Arabic, and Greek text are still a bit of a mess because it's difficult for language non-experts to know which of several systems or characters is being used, and thus whether or not whether the right characters are being used. Using a template that specifies the system in use makes it easy to tell that the correct character is being used, and makes it easier to verify the spelling.
  • If the common English name is (somewhat unusually) written in the article body with a template (like {{wg-apos}}) then as MOS:APOSTROPHE has advised for a long time, the title should directly use whatever character is in that template. In order to prevent this from causing problems for searchers (whether using Wikipedia's internal search engine or an external search engines) who type the ASCII apostrophe, we always make a redirect from the ASCII version of the title per WP:TITLESPECIALCHARACTERS. This seems to work fine for Polynesian languages, and once an article and those linked from it are all converted to use the proper characters it's beautifully consistent and professional-looking. It should work fine for Chinese systems as long as we have a relatively stable consensus about which character each template should use. (If that ever changes we'd need to move a bunch of articles, but if the correct template is used in the body at least they'd be easy to find.)
-- Beland (talk) 21:52, 27 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you! Currently the WP:TSC paragraph in question reads:
Similarly, various apostrophe(-like) variants (’ ʻ ʾ ʿ ᾿ ῾ ‘ ’ c), should generally not be used in page titles. A common exception is the simple apostrophe character (', same glyph as the single quotation mark) itself (e.g. Anthony d'Offay), which should, however, be used sparingly (e.g. Quran instead of Qur'an and Bismarck (apple) instead of Malus domestica 'Bismarck'). If, exceptionally, other variants are used, a redirect with the apostrophe variant should be created (e.g. 'Elisiva Fusipala Tauki'onetuku redirects to ʻElisiva Fusipala Taukiʻonetuku).
I note the word "exceptionally". – Raven  .talk 03:01, 28 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Support the proposal (oppose the use of the ʻokina for Chinese romanization). The ʻokina is a character from Polynesian orthographies and its appropriate use is there. Can anyone point to an example of U+02BB being used in a reliable source to encode Wade-Giles or Hànyǔ pīnyīn text? That would seem to be a reasonable requirement for introducing it into Wikipedia's Chinese romanizations. Wade-Giles has been written with a variety of apostrophe-like characters and it is not Wikipedia's job to lead a standardization, especially using a character from another script that has not been used in this way before. Hànyǔ pīnyīn does have a standard (Chinese national standard GB/T16159—2012) and while it does not seem to prescribe the shape of its obligatory apostrophe, the printed document uses something like U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK where it occurs in examples (i.e. and 6.6.2), which is different in shape to the ʻokina. This PDF of Chinese national standard GB/T28039—2011 for personal names encodes the apostrophe as U+2019 RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK, though that document displays on my system using a fallback font which means I wouldn't rely too much on it. And in practice the ASCII apostrophe is also very common in Hànyǔ pīnyīn text. (BTW a lot of this discussion has wandered off-topic into the best way to represent the WG aspiration mark and the HYPY syllable separation mark; I have opinions about that but they're off-topic as this proposal is just to rule out one very poor option.) Matt's talk 07:35, 1 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment It would help those of us who are not familiar with Chinese Romanization or Polynesian transliteration if the Wikipedia article on 'okina included information on its use beyond Polynesian languages -- or if it was used only for those languages. BTW, while I don't claim to be competent in Mandarin, from what I've read I was under the impression that words in Mandarin & its related languages were all monosyllabic. (NB -- not taking a stand for or against the proposal, just pointing out my ignorance & the lack of help from the first reference I consulted.) -- llywrch (talk) 05:30, 3 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Conflicting styles for names of laws[edit]

There presently exists either conflicting instructions for how to style the names of laws (i.e. "the Constitution Act, 1982") or no clear acknowledgement of an exception for Canada-themed articles. Presently, MOS:NAT includes court case names as words that should be italicized. But, there is nothing about the names of acts of parliament/laws, implying those should not be italicized. MOS:LAW#Canada just says "The Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation [...] is the most commonly cited guide." But, that's not a clear statement that that governs in-Wiki style; nor that that's what we ought to follow in editing Canada-related Wikipedia articles. (And, how would that work when it's a Canadian law being referred to in an article about, say, New Zealand? Or in an article covering a broad topic like Immigration law, where laws in different countries might be named?) MOS:CANLAW just says, "in Canada, per the McGill Guide, titles of acts are italicized", which, again, isn't a clear instruction about what to do in Wikipedia.

I began a discussion about this here: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Text formatting#Conflicting styles. By my interpretation of it, there was a weak consensus that things need to be spelled out more definitively. So, perhaps that can be done here? MIESIANIACAL 00:08, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For a US perspective, we italicize the names of court rulings, though not their dates or locations — e.g., Texas v. White, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 700 (1869) — and also not the names or locations of statutes — e.g., the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a.k.a. An Act to enforce the fifteenth amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes, 79 Stat. 437; or the USA PATRIOT Act a.k.a. Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001, 115 Stat. 272. – Raven  .talk 02:12, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don’t see this as a problem, any more than different spellings between US and Commonwealth articles is a problem. We have Labour Standards Acts in Canada; the US may have Labor Standards Acts. And yet Wikipedians deal with it just fine. And, the McGill Guide isn’t just proprietary; it’s an attempt to describe the customary usage of the legal profession and courts in Canada. It both reflects standard usage, and guides it. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 03:58, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How is it not problematic on, say, Abdication of Edward VIII, for example? The one article names laws from South Africa, the Irish Free State, the UK, and Canada. Are you saying it's going to be acceptable to italicize just "Succession to the Throne Act 1937" and leave all the other law names in plain text? -- MIESIANIACAL 16:01, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, but, that doesn't really clarify what's to be done with the names of Canadian laws. Do we italicize or not? And, if yes, how can we make that more clear in the MoS? -- MIESIANIACAL 16:01, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We should centralize discussion of this in one location. —Joeyconnick (talk) 18:34, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. That's why I came here. The other discussions puttered out after not much input; those talk pages don't seem to be as active as this one and (I think) I've put notes at all of them directing anyone in those hinterlands to come here. That said... Is there a better place than this? -- MIESIANIACAL 23:47, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How are these acts and laws styled by, say, historians who write about them? Blueboar (talk) 00:03, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would have appreciated an @-mention since I am clearly one of the people you mention at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Text formatting#Conflicting styles who has "corrected" you. Or at least a mention of having started this discussion on the Talk:Canadian Confederation page would have been nice.
I've alerted Wikipedia talk:Canadian Wikipedians' notice board. —Joeyconnick (talk) 03:00, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought I'd left a notice of this discussion at the end of that discussion, which you would see, since you got involved at that discussion. However, your comment above implied I did not leave said notice there and, sure enough, I didn't. I've added one now. There was no deliberate effort made to exclude you. -- MIESIANIACAL 03:44, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fair enough 🙂
There are definitely several places where this could be discussed, that's for sure. —Joeyconnick (talk) 03:59, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we italicise statutory laws in Canadian articles, it would be the only example of a style decision we enact by country. We don’t, for example, apply MOS:LOGICAL by geography, and an unitalicised law would not be confusing to Canadian readers, so I don’t see a particular need for this carve out . This style decision is also only applied by legal style guides in Canada, and is not even universally applicable there (unlike how “colour” is universal in England, etc). See also, Wikipedia:Specialized-style fallacy.
However, if other editors disagree, and hold that this style should regionalise per wp:TIES, then the other questions are simple: only italicise statutes in articles that are expressly Canadian. Do not italicise a statute because it is Canadian, but do italicise all statutes in Canadian-styled articles. — HTGS (talk) 00:30, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's all very reasonable. However, to clarify, again using the example of Abdication of Edward VIII, which employs Canadian spelling (making it "Canadian-styled"?), covers a Canadian topic, and includes the name of a Canadian law, you would not italicize the name of the Canadian law there because the article is not expressly Canadian (it's also Irish, South African, British, etc). Is that correct? -- MIESIANIACAL 03:49, 31 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can’t see that Abdication of Edward VIII is written in Canadian style, and I don’t see any reason that it should be. But assuming it were, and if we agreed that Canadian articles get this particular style applied, then all legislation should be italicised, not merely the Canadian law; if the article is not Canadian, then no legislation should be italicised (though case law would be). Think of this as a style that applies to the page, not to the word. — HTGS (talk) 10:34, 1 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to clarify, the Canadian legal style isn't to just italicise Canadian statutes; it's to italicise all statutes and international treaties, regardless of source. And to repeat the point I made above, this is not just the McGill guide making it up; this is standard style, across Canada. For an example, take a look at this Supreme Court of Canada decision: R v Keegstra, and scroll down to the "Statutes and Regulations Cited". (I've picked the Keegstra case because it's got federal and provincial laws, international treaties, and laws from other countries, all italicised regardless of source, so it's a good example of Canadian style, in my opinion. If you look at any other SCC case, you'll see the same style, or cases from other courts on the case collection, you'll find the same usage.)
In my view, as mentioned up above in relation to Commonwealth spelling, this is just a specific example of a style that has a strong connection to articles about a particular country: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Strong_national_ties_to_a_topic. Just as a particular spelling or date style may have a strong connection to a particular country, so too this issue. It's got a strong connection to articles about Canada and should be followed, in my opinion. A simple guide would be if the article already has a "use Canadian English" tag. If that's the case, then all references to statutes and treaties would be italicised, regardless of source. If it's an article that's got a strong connection to some other country, say New Zealand, then we would use New Zealand style, even if the article cites a Canadian law.
And I disagree with the statement above that "it would be the only example of a style decision we enact by country". There are already style guides for different countries, including things like spelling and dates, but other differences as well:
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Ireland-related articles
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/India-related articles
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Canada-related articles
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/France- and French-related articles
One of the strengths about Wikipedia, in my opinion, is that the Manual of Style accomodates diversity, so that it's not an American encyclopedia, or a British encyclopedia. The style guide for spelling and dates is an illustration of that. Adding a clause to the Manual of Style/Canadian articles that says statutes and treaties are italicised would be one more example of an acceptance of diversity, which I think is important in an encyclopedia that prides itself on universal global appeal. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 00:14, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One final point: italicisation of case names is not universal to all legal systems. For example, here's a link to a recent decision of the French Conseil constitutionnel. You'll see that the case name is not italicised, simply underlined: Décision n° 2023-1039 QPC. Italics are used in the case for quotations. Does that mean that in discussing a French court decision, we should italicise it on Wikipedia because that's the common law style? Or do we respect diversity in legal style amongst countries? Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 00:35, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, what I wrote was that Abdication of Edward VIII uses Canadian spelling. I put a question mark beside "Canadian-styled", in brackets, because I'm not entirely certain whether or not it's the spelling that makes an article "Canadian-styled". Regardless, the concern remains: If there's to be a particular way of styling the names of Canadian laws, what does one do in an article that covers a topic that's pertinent to multiple countries and names both Canadian and non-Canadian laws?
I'm not against italicizing the names of Canadian laws, per se. But, I have already identified one example of a problem with treating the names of one country's laws one way and all the rest another way. -- MIESIANIACAL 18:03, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Already addressed upthread: if the article has a strong connection to Canada, use Canadian style for all statutes and treaties. If it's got a strong connection to another country, use that country's style. Sure, there will be judgment calls on certain articles, but for the most part, it's pretty clear whether an article has a strong connection to one country or another. The article on "Abdication of Edward VIII" affects several different countries, and if everyone of them except Canada uses the non-italics style and only Canada uses italic-style, then the majority governs. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 18:14, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Response to this comment: "I can’t see that Abdication of Edward VIII is written in Canadian style, and I don’t see any reason that it should be." I believe that the point Miesianiacal is making is that the Abdication article isn't just a British article. (But I don't want to put words in your mouth, Mies, so if I've not stated your position properly, please correct me.) As the first sentence of the article states, it's about a constitutional crisis that affected the entire Empire, not just the UK, and there are numerous references to the other Dominions, including Canada, and their laws. It's an article that has a strong connection both to the UK, and to the Dominions that retained the monarch as their head of state. In that case, as suggested above, then majority/consensus would govern. If most of the countries listed in the article don't italicise, then the article doesn't italicise. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 18:18, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Think of this as a style that applies to the page, not to the word." Precisely. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 18:26, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just realised that there's another piece of the puzzle that I don't think is mentioned: we already have different style recommendations for legal matters from different countries, as set out here: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Legal. I don't see this as much different; we accept that there will be different legal styles for different countries. 19:22, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
Yes, you interpreted my concern correcly: there are articles out there that cover topics related to numerous countries. That's why I asked above if we're saying articles that discuss only a Canadian topic or topics should have any law names italicized. Otherwise, render them in plain text. Which is all fine. My only question now is: how can we more clearly communicate this in the MoS? Shouls WP:ITALIC contain an instruction to see MOS:LAW for country-specific styling (perhaps under MOS:NAT#Names and titles)? Should the "In Canada" section at MOS:LAW state essentially what we've just determined above? -- MIESIANIACAL 21:43, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And also articles like Demise of the Crown and Accession Council. I think we should put it in the general MOS/Legal and also the MOS/Canadian. How about something like this for MOS/Legal:
"There are also two specific wikipedia articles which may be of assistance: Case citation: Canada and Citation of Canadian legislation."
"In addition, for articles which are primarily about Canada, the titles of all legislation are italicised, including all Canadian statutes and also non-Canadian statutes, such as international treaties and statutes from other countries."
And then something similar for MOS/Canadian.
I would suggest leaving this discussion up for a week to see if anyone has any concerns, before adding it to the MOS/Legal and MOS/Canadian. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 00:10, 3 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that's good for MOS:LEGAL. I also think the final sentence at MOS:CANLAW should be edited to say something similar, e.g. "in Canada, per the McGill Guide, titles of acts are italicized. For Wikipedia articles primarily about Canada, the titles of all legislation are italicised, including all Canadian statutes and also non-Canadian statutes, such as international treaties and statutes from other countries." Additionally, a link to MOS:CANLAW should be added at MOS:NAT and, perhaps, at MOS:LEGAL#In Canada, as well.
Agreed on keeping this open for a while longer. Editing the MoS feels rather formidable; I'd prefer to be certain about support for edits before they're made. -- MIESIANIACAL 17:57, 3 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am normally more focused on content than format but Wikisource cares and a discussion of this type seems like an excellent place to ask if I am correct in thinking that since the repatriation of the Constitution Canadian law, certainly Quebec law, is becoming a hybrid civil law code system? Could someone point me at some resources on this? i sm particularly interested in the personhood of that river. Is that under Innu jurisdiction? Please put any responses.on my talk page as I don't want to hijack this thread more than I already have. Is there a portal somewhere? I am mostly working on disentangling the common and civil law systems, so not necessarily Canadian, but not excluding that given the Innu question. Elinruby (talk) 21:32, 2 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will come to your talk page to discuss. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 00:10, 3 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know why the discussion is so long. For every article we should choose the English language version to use, then apply its legal style guidelines. If an article refers to laws from other countries, for example if a Canadian article refers to a law in the U.S., we use a Canadian legal style guide for citing foreign laws. That may differ from how we would cite it in a U.S. article. TFD (talk) 02:01, 3 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it's a mistake to allow or demand that the styling of some article elements should follow local customs. Wikipedia sets its own standards (e.g. caps for 4 or 5 letter prepositions), and those standards, easy to inspect in the Wikipedia's MoS, help editors and avoid surprises in readers. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 23:53, 3 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Except Wikipedia already has a policy that some style elements should follow local customs. The US v Commonwealth spelling is a clear example of that, as is the variation in date styles: MDY v DMY, as set out at MOS:ENGVAR. As well, MOS/LEGAL already accepts that there will be variations in legal style requirements depending on the country in question. For example, cites to the US Supreme Court put the year in parentheses at the end; cites to Canadian Supreme Court cases put the year in parentheses right after the style of cause (for the first series of the Supreme Court Reports; square brackets are used for the seccond series). Once it's accepted that there is no single uniform style, then it's not a sufficient argument to say there should be uniformity. The use of italics in Canadian statute citations is extremely well-established as a style convention in Canadian law. Why is allowing the date in round parentheses after the style of cause okay in Canada articles, even though it's different from US legal style, but italics for statutes is not? Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 02:01, 4 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Don't italicize names of laws/statues/constitutions/treaties. Do italicize case names. This isn't difficult. It's not a style WP invented; it's imported from Chicago and most other style guides.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:08, 10 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So Wikipedia uses US style guides for all purposes? How about spelling? Does Wikipedia use Websters for all purposes? Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 03:25, 10 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And in any event, WP:MOS/Legal already recognises that there are different styles for legal citations, depending on the country; Chicago does not govern for all countries. And, in skimming through that section, I just noticed something in the Australia section which I had missed: "A citation to an Australian Act of Parliament should begin with the short title of the Act in italics". That means that WP:MOS has already recognised that italics should be used for statute names in Australia. I therefore don't see what the rationale is for saying italics should not be used for statutes in Canadian articles. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 04:19, 10 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or it's another "I found this in some style guide I like better" injection by someone without any discussion or consensus behind it. The main point of Wikipedia having a style guide is producing general consistency across articles (aside from unwavering linguistic variation like the -our/-or ENGVAR split). Importing italicization variances that are at odds with each other, from style guides that have had nothing to do with MoS and its development, is antithetical to MoS's purpose. What happens when some style guide in New Zealand or whatever is published that says song titles should go in italics but albums should take quotation marks? Do you expect us to reverse site-wide practice for every musical act with an NZ connection?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:20, 29 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requesting inputs[edit]

MOS:GEOCOMMA question[edit]

Bringing attention to an editor's question on this sub-page: Regards, Rjjiii (talk) 05:42, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Q: How to capitalize (or not) the shortened version of pre-kindergarten in a section title?[edit]

In a section title (where sentence case is supposed to be used), which of the following is proper:

  1. === Private Pre-K, elementary and middle schools ===
  2. === Private pre-K, elementary and middle schools ===
  3. === Private Pre-k, elementary and middle schools ===
  4. === Private pre-k, elementary and middle schools ===

If I use the long version, I presume this would be correct:

  • === Private pre-kindergarten, elementary and middle schools ===

 — Archer1234 (t·c) 13:05, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Pre-kindergarten page is a bit inconsistent using both Pre-K and pre-K, but never pre-k. I'd go with pre-K or avoid the contraction all together. pburka (talk) 13:32, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Use pre-K. The K is a one-letter acronym.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  03:06, 10 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with SMcCandlish. Tony (talk) 12:03, 26 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

REFPUNCT and efn[edit]

Should MOS:REFPUNCT explicitly mention {{efn}} and similar, as well as <ref>...</ref>? This is a sample edit to move the footnote after the punctuation, but if an editor (eg Ereunetes) were to follow the link to REFPUNCT, it might not be immediately obvious that it applies to {{efn}} as well as <ref>...</ref>. Mitch Ames (talk) 03:45, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support. Indeed the section could do with a rewrite since it suggests that ref tags can be used for explanatory footnotes, which is a deprecated practice (unless the inconvenient "note tag" method is used, which seems rare nowadays). --𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 10:11, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Where is it documented to use, e.g., {{efn}}, rather than <ref>...</ref> for explanatory notes? -- Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 12:59, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I am pilloried here I must say that my Terrible Mistake was just that. I am currently suffering from complications after cataract surgery and have trouble seeing small objects like full stops and commas on the monitor (not to mention difficulty positioning the cursor). So please pity an old Wikipedian. I promise to be more careful in future. But I was aware of MOS:REFPUNCT. Please don't make more of it than it is worth. As for the difference between efns and sfns (I seldom use the latter, by the way, but I have enthusiastically switched to efn, whereas I used to abuse the group=note version of ref. No doubt another reason to pillory me? Ereunetes (talk) 17:59, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re ref being deprecated for explanatory notes: [citation needed]. On the other hand, I definitely agree that efn should be after punctuation the same as ref. Same also goes for {{ran}}. —David Eppstein (talk) 18:35, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with DE. I prefer to use efn for non-citation footnotes, but the distinction between citation and footnote is not always so clear. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 18:43, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am getting befuddled here. I always used to put the refs after the punctuation. But people like Mitch Ames (or his bot) recently kept correcting me. So I have recently made a point of placing my full stops and commas after the ref or efn (which I think should be treated the same; otherwise it gets too confusing. And by the way, even though efn should be preferred for commentary, there should be refs placed inside them where appropriate). Can you please make up your mind? Ereunetes (talk) 23:17, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Footnotes after punctuation looks strange to me, but it is the wiki house style and I try to adhere to it. Have you warned Mitch Ames that what he is doing is disruptive? -- Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 16:27, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My mind is pretty made up. Could you give an example of MA or his bot "correcting" by putting either refs or efns before punctuation? We agree on refs being recommended for commentary footnotes. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 17:41, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please contribute. Cinderella157 (talk) 23:51, 12 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MOS:SIC and changes to initial capitalization in quotes[edit]

Currently MOS:SIC says "If there is a significant error in the original, follow it with {{sic}} (producing [sic] ) to show that the error was not made by Wikipedia. However, insignificant spelling and typographic errors should simply be silently corrected (for example, correct basicly to basically)." I'd like to add something like "This includes changing the initial capitalization of a quote, as long as this does not change the meaning of the quoted text (for example, quoting The interpretation was clear can be rendered in running text as The reviewer concluded that 'the interpretation was clear', rather than The reviewer concluded that '[t]he interpretation was clear'."

This suggestion was prompted by Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, which includes "The Sun's editor, Charles Anderson Dana, favorably received Church's editorial, deeming it "[r]eal literature". He also said that it "[m]ight be a good idea to reprint [the editorial] every Christmas ... ". This seems ugly and unnecessary. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 09:41, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think this is already covered by MOS:CONFORM (near the bottom, just before "Attribution". Mitch Ames (talk) 12:36, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you! That's what I was looking for. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:39, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Emphasizing that guideline's provision that it's not normally necessary to make capitalization changes explicit. EEng 17:32, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A question on MOS:COMMONALITY - number of regions or population?[edit]

MOS:COMMONALITY states When more than one variant spelling exists within a national variety of English, the most commonly used current variant should usually be preferred. With that in mind, I'm currently in a discussion with another editor about the spelling of "theatre" vs "theater" in a non-regional article. The disagreement is around what "most commonly used" means. I'm taking it as MOS:S's regional varieties where 5 different regions use "-re" while one, the USA, uses "-er". The other user, however, believes that most common should refer to the sheer population, in which case the USA wins as it has a greater population than all other regions combined. However, in my mind, if this were the case American English would usually always be the default (except on regional articles) across all en.Wikipedia as its population will always win out against other regions combined. Furthermore, according to MOS:S, both spellings are used in the USA (though "-er" is more popular), but as it doesn't specify how big of a population uses either, it's impossible to tell if the population of people saying "-er" actually is greater than other English varieties combined. Thoughts? — Czello (music) 19:55, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not really, the USA has a population of around 333 million, India has a population of 1,300 million. Returning to the theatre/theater issue though, even within the USA there is a growing, yet still minority, spelling as theatre. The first note to theatre says: Originally spelled theatre and teatre. From around 1550 to 1700 or later, the most common spelling was theater. Between 1720 and 1750, theater was dropped in British English, but was either retained or revived in American English (Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, 2009, CD-ROM: ISBN 978-0-19-956383-8). Recent dictionaries of American English list theatre as a less common variant, e.g., Random House Webster's College Dictionary (1991); The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition (2006); New Oxford American Dictionary, third edition (2010); Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2011). Martin of Sheffield (talk) 20:38, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, I didn't include India as it wasn't listed at MOS:S. Do they say "theatre"? — Czello (music) 07:09, 25 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't follow the argument at all. The quoted text is talking about variant spellings within a particular variety. How would a cross-variety comparison be relevant to that text? --Trovatore (talk) 21:44, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The point being that a simplistic US=theater, <rest of the world>=theatre doesn't hold water. In this particular case the USA assumption is not a good case to build arguments upon. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 21:56, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, that's not the point at all. The point is that both editors (Czello and his/her interlocutor) seem to have completely misunderstood the guideline. COMMONALITY doesn't apply to theatre/theater, because there is no spelling commonly used in all varieties. Rather, the controlling guideline, for an article without "strong national ties" is WP:RETAIN. --Trovatore (talk) 21:59, 24 April 2023 (UTC) Actually I seem to have misread your comment here. I still don't think "theatre" is common enough in AmEng to use COMMONALITY, though. It does show up in the States, but mostly in the (proper) names of venues that want to be posh. --Trovatore (talk) 22:04, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your struck comment is actually correct - we do both appear to have misread the original guideline. Thanks, I hadn't encountered WP:RETAIN before. — Czello (music) 07:13, 25 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As to the question of what ENGVAR (of which COMMONALITY is a part) implies for whatever article you're talking about, it would depend on what variety the article is written in. Just because it's a "non-regional article" doesn't mean it can't have an English variety, controlled by WP:RETAIN. If it's in American English, then use "theater"; if it's in (say) British English, use "theatre". --Trovatore (talk) 21:46, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whenever you started adding up the numbers to see which is bigger, you are really applying a "might is right" argument - not cool. And any good statistician or advert man can rearrange the numbers to support either side (as your argument showed for counting regions vs population). So it's neither fair, nor objective. As said above, MOS:COMMONALITY is meant to find a common term that both parties are happy with, not a club to bludgeon the other party with. As per WP:ENGVAR, if the article has strong ties only to the US then use the most common US term. If it has strong ties to only the UK then use the most common British term. Otherwise we apply WP:RETAIN which says keep using whichever dialect of English was first applied to the article unless there is consensus to change.  Stepho  talk  23:30, 24 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Permanent restriction on changes to the MOS (or subsidiaries like MOS:NUM) by IP editors and new editors[edit]

Is there any credible reason why IP editors or new editors may make arbitrary changes to the MOS? In every case I have seen, the edit has been vandalism, disruption or block evasion. I invite comments on a proposal to make this series of articles restricted to confirmed editors. 𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 10:37, 26 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because occasionally they make constructive edits that improve the MOS and Wikipedia. A LOT of editors watch this page, the vandalism and disruptive edits are quickly caught and reverted. Blueboar (talk) 11:36, 26 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I agree with Blueboar. Tony (talk) 12:02, 26 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can see that there is no obvious consensus so I'll consider the proposal closed. What led to this is an edit by a strongly suspected sock to MOSNUM which has had to be let stand (and the discussion about it) pending the outcome of an SPI investigation that is currently in the backlog. --𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 13:30, 26 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changing policy on the transliteration of Korean names[edit]

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Korean) § Changing of naming conventions. :3 F4U (they/it) 01:34, 29 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reconciling MOS:TENSE and closure of a business[edit]

I've always taken MOS:TENSE to mean we should prefer language such as Acme Company is a former ... over Acme Company was ... in our articles about past businesses. Is there some additional guidance not in MOS:TENSE or should we add an example if this is indeed a case where one should use past tense? For a recent example, see First Republic Bank (there is also a MOS:TENSE discussion on the talk page). —Locke Coletc 17:47, 1 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Per MOS:TENSE "Generally, use past tense only for past events, and for subjects that are dead or no longer meaningfully exist." (bold mine) If the business doesn't meaningfully exist anymore, guidance is currently clear and unambiguous: use past tense. --Jayron32 18:18, 1 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the case of First Republic Bank, I think I was getting hung up on the no longer meaningfully exist for something that was sold and closed less than 24 hours ago. I think it's further muddied by the fact that, despite being purchased, JP Morgan Chase is saying you can still use the First Republic app, still visit First Republic branches, still work with employees at First Republic, and so on (see here). Are we at a point where we can say First Republic Bank no longer meaningfully exist[s]? That's the ambiguous part for me. —Locke Coletc 19:26, 1 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, then that is the problem. The policy is fairly clear, but we have a case of unclear application. No change of the policy is going to fix that. Does First Republic still meaningfully exist? Depends on what you mean by "meaningfully" and "exist". You're going to need to work that out via consensus discussion at the talk page, and no policy exists, or will ever exist, that will allow you to bypass the hard work of talking to people and convincing them you are right (and more importantly, of listening to people and being willing to be convinced that they are right). --Jayron32 11:12, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes: if current existence is ambiguous, either "was" or "is" could be used. If it clearly doesn't exist now, "was" is needed; if it clearly does exist now, "is". Tony (talk) 12:48, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you both for your feedback, I think I'll leave well enough alone on this specific instance. —Locke Coletc 15:29, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I read that announcement from JP Morgan Chase as saying that all those FR branches and such are now Chase branches etc but the switchover in branding will take time. I've had similar changeovers happen with banks I've used in the past. Old brand things continue to work but are slowly updated/replaced with new ones after buyouts/mergers.--User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 03:51, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In that situation it’s often helpful to clarify specifics at the outset: X was a company … as of [some date], some branches of X are still in operation under the X brand. — HTGS (talk) 06:00, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

clarification on MOS:US and MOS:NOTUSA[edit]

I read MOS:US carefully. It allows for the use of US as an abbreviation for United States of America but not USA as an abbreviation (except in actual quotes, as noted). Is this correct? Also, it seems that editors are divided on whether to change USA to United States while others change it to US, all within identical or similar article context. And if it is indeed correct, what was the rationale for allowing US and not USA. Thanks for any of the rationale on this. L.Smithfield (talk) 05:47, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Correct, generally do not use "USA'. Also, it seems that editors are divided on whether to change USA to United States while others change it to US: Is that your personal experience, as it's not explicitly in the MOS. As for the USA rationale, you can try using the "Search archives" at the top of this talk page. (Unfortunately, those supporting discussions are generally not footnoted in actual guidelines)—Bagumba (talk) 06:52, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the clarification (in keeping with MOS:NOTUSA). I looked (searched) through as much of the archives as I could and I could not find a relevant discussion of why US is allowed and USA is not. So, I sort of assume that this issue was decided a very (very) long time ago, and might be lost to history. Also, there is no real guidance of whether US is preferred over United States; and yes, from my experiences viewing many articles, there is no clear pattern as to why one of these might be chosen over the other. One might think that a rationale for choosing between US and United States might be to use the spelled out version wherever possible and to only use the abbreviated version (that is US) where space is restricted or at a premium of some sort (table column, other). But no, there does not seem to be a pattern that fits a space-available hypothesis. Both are used in both space-constrained places and otherwise. Any other comments or information is welcomed. L.Smithfield (talk) 11:00, 2 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Speaking for myself, I find USA to be somewhat ... "informal" for lack of a better word. It seems to me that US is in a bit higher register. On the other hand USA is associated with sporting events, with patriotic display, and with the newspaper USA Today (the last uses it almost as an affectation). (It occurs to me that it might actually be reasonable to reexamine allowing USA in specifically sporting contexts.) --Trovatore (talk) 21:18, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've often wondered about this myself, and have never found an explanation. For me, "US" is more informal than "USA" and not what I would expect to see in a reference work. DuncanHill (talk) 22:05, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I struggled a bit with the word "informal" as used to describe USA . Maybe it's not quite what I mean. Maybe "flowery" or "affected"? Or, sometimes, informal, as in the sports and patriotic contexts I mentioned. But when speaking in a matter-of-fact, dry tone, you say "United States" and "US", not "United States of America" and "USA".
Or at least you do in the US :-) . Could be a Yank/Brit difference here. --Trovatore (talk) 22:12, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia has a manual of style. One purpose of a manual of style is standardization, that way people don't sometimes see US and sometimes see USA and wonder if there's a difference. At some point long ago a decision was made to standardize on US or U.S. (people have strong feelings about those and we couldn't standardize on one of them). There doesn't have to be a big difference between them or a strong reason for one or the other. As to what to change it to, it depends on context. Use your good judgement and if anyone disagrees discuss it on the talk page or let them win a battle because it's not that important. SchreiberBike | ⌨  22:20, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We're generally not huge on cross-article standardization for its own sake, and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to ban USA just for standardization. I find that USA has an odd tone that (pace Duncan) I would not expect to find in a reference work, and that's a good reason not to use it. --Trovatore (talk) 22:30, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For myself, I tend to find the response above by SchreiberBike compelling. Although I was curious about why US was chosen over USA, I agree with SchreiberBike that a MOS standard on one of them is better than both being used and people wondering what is up with that. OK, so the decision was made long enough time ago that we do not quite have the discussion about it handy to reference. If it was a long discussion (which it probably was), maybe we do not want to read all of that anyway. At some point we need to have faith that editors of the long past weighed the options (carefully) and came up with the best compromise. In the present case it turned out to be US over USA. I am fine with what they decided. Thanks to SchreiberBike for apparently having some insight into the past decision. As for what to replace any USA instances with (since there does not seem to be an existing consensus or guidance), I am tending to go with the 'space-available' sort of rationale; that is, if space is available spell out United States and if not use US (except that use within quotes are sacrosanct as per usual, and any other relevant existing MOS:US guidelines). That seems reasonable to me. Thanks for all of the comments. Any additional comments are still welcomed. L.Smithfield (talk) 23:49, 3 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We really don't generally have standard forms just to have standard forms. See ENGVAR and STYLEVAR and so on. That said, I agree it's possible that that was the original rationale, long ago.
But I doubt it. I think it's more likely to have been the "tone" issue I called out. --Trovatore (talk) 01:55, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've seen it said outside of WP to only use "U.S." as an adjective, not as a noun, so that's what I follow if writing new text. —Bagumba (talk) 02:28, 4 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think an older version of MOS:NOTUSA said that USA could be confused for United States Army. Purely as personal observation, "US" seems to be the preference in current use in the world, with "U.S." running a distant second and "USA"/"U.S.A as outdated forms.  Stepho  talk  01:25, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hair space or thin space after dash in block quotations?[edit]

§ Other uses (em dash only) states that for block quotations, it's best to put a hair space after the attribution em dash. It also says that "most of Wikipedia's quotation templates with attribution-related parameters already provide this formatting". While {{cquote}} and {{quote frame}} do indeed use a hair space, {{blockquote}}—the primary template for block quotations—uses a thin space. As far as I can tell, it's never used a hair space. Am I missing something? Which is correct? — ⁠Will ⁠• ⁠B[talk] 20:26, 7 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Foreign names[edit]

What if the topic of the article itself is something without an English word, e.g., a snaphane? As of now, "Snaphane" in the title is written without italics, but in the article itself, italics are used.--Marginataen (talk) 10:43, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I boldly made the change. If there's disagreement, let's discuss on that talk page. SchreiberBike | ⌨  12:16, 13 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Word joiners to prevent unwanted line breaks[edit]

I've noticed that putting an opening parenthesis or bracket after a double straight quotation mark can produce an unwanted line break. Since this is a common combination of characters, should we be requiring that all quotations that open with a bracketed or parenthetical word/phrase have {{wj}} placed between them? For example, without a joiner, some sentences might appear as:

  • The program was criticized primarily because "
    [the equipment] was selected for its low price".

But when typed as "{{wj}}[:

  • The program was criticized primarily because
    "[the equipment] was selected for its low price".

Note that {{wj}} is apparently not needed for closing brackets, or for single straight quotation marks (apostrophes). (It's also not needed for curly brackets, but of course we don't use those on Wikipedia.) — Will • B[talk] 00:55, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems like it would be easier to do it this way:
  • The program was criticized primarily because the equipment "was selected for its low price".
--User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 13:09, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay well yeah, this specific example was basically just made up in a hurry, and it's not a very good one; in retrospect I should've just used lorem impsum. So, y'know, pretend I picked an example where it actually makes sense lol. — Will • B[talk] 14:11, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can't think of any example where it would make sense to start a quotation with such an amended phrasing. If you are already having to change the wording or add explanatory text, just leave that part out of the quotation and make it part of the sentence leading in to the quoted material. --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 15:53, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I generally agree actually, though there may be edge cases where changing the tense in the first quoted word is clearer than excluding that word from the quotation. But it's not just editorial replacements that this affects—for instance, the Manual of Style gives this example where changes in capitalization are explicitly noted (though it also says that using brackets around letters in this way is not required):
  • The program was criticized primarily because "[t]he equipment was selected for its low price", according to LaVesque.
It also gives an example where the first word is in parentheses:
  • He rose to address the meeting: "(Ahem) ... Ladies and gentlemen, welcome!"
— Will • B[talk] 16:39, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1) changing a tense would usually only require changing the ending (changing "covers" to "cover[ed]"), so it wouldn't start the quoted material, 2) if the use of brackets around capitalization changes isn't required, how is it a problem?, 3) I can think of no reason why "ahem" would be written in parentheses here in the first place. --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 17:02, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. I agree that "cover[ed]" is preferable to "[covered]". But in addition to irregular verbs like "come" → "[came]", whole-word bracketing is also necessary when dropping -ing (e.g. "leading" → "[lead]"). And when we want it clear that a particular root word was used, we wouldn't exclude it from the quotation simply to avoid brackets.
  2. I generally prefer not to bracket capitalization changes, but it's nevertheless permissible according to the MoS. Seems like either we should ban first-word bracketing altogether (which I doubt we want), or advise people to use {{wj}} when it is being done.
  3. That "(Ahem)" quote is just another random example I pulled from the MoS. In any case, it's definitely a lot more common for quotes to begin with brackets than with parentheses.
For what it's worth, of the first fifteen films listed as featured articles, six of them have one or more instances where the first word of a quotation is bracketed, including one where the line broke incorrectly (on my browser). The brackets may not be necessary for all of them, but my point is that this isn't an uncommon occurrence. — Will • B[talk] 00:38, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I looked at several of those and all such instances I found were either easily rectified by moving the start of the quoted material or were instances where the quotation wasn't really needed and the material would work better if it were a paraphrase. Basically, starting quoted material with a changed word just comes off as bad writing. --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 03:17, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers § Proposal: Allow use of % for percentages in non-technical articles. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 21:25, 14 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"The Right Honourable"[edit]

I've noticed that the infoboxes for most UK members of parliament contain the honorific "The Right Honourable" above the name. See for example Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May, Enoch Powell. As far as I've found, in fact, they all do unless the figure has a "higher" title, e.g. Oswald Mosley. However MOS:PREFIX states:

In general, honorific prefixes and suffixes should not be included, but may be discussed in the article. In particular, this applies to:

Am I missing something here? Is there a consensus somewhere that we make an exception for infoboxes? If so, I haven't found it in the archives. Should the guideline be amended, or should the prefix be removed from the infoboxes? Generalrelative (talk) 01:08, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The template for the officeholder infobox has a field for "honorific_prefix" as the very first field in the template:
I assume that the MOS directive is meant to keep an article from being littered with honorifics, but the infobox is the formal summary about the individual; the "tombstone" info, and therefore a single use of the honorific at the beginning of the infobox makes sense to me. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 01:32, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the reply. I'd prefer if there were more clarity on this though. If there is agreement that titles like "The Right Honourable" should be in infoboxes, I'd suggest that we should amend the language in MOS:PREFIX to say so, as it does immediately below in MOS:SIR. As it stands, the guideline appears to proscribe it.
I'll say that to my eye this looks a bit like title spamming, though I understand that that may be a cultural bias I have as an American. Broadly, I've noticed that there does seem to be significantly more emphasis on honorary titles in the infoboxes of UK figures, and those of some other nations, than US ones (where e.g. all judges are technically "The Honorable" but even the bios of Supreme Court Justices do not included such prefixes).
On the surface, I suppose it might be fine if bios of figures from the UK and other nations emphasize titles where US ones don't, if that's something that editors who focus on these figures are concerned with, but I wonder if it might better serve the interests of the encyclopedia, and the purpose of this MOS, if we had a bit more standardization –– or just observed the MOS:PREFIX guideline as written –– across the board. Generalrelative (talk) 03:50, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's actually quite common outside the US. "Rt. Hon" is used in Canada for the PM and the Chief Justice of Canada, "Hon" for federal Cabinet ministers. Other countries do the same: Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and South Africa, just to name a few. It's also common with religious leaders, including in the US: Popes, patriarchs, archbishops, presiding bishops, bishops, cardinals, and other ministers in non-hierarchical churches.
I hope you won't take this the wrong way, but frequently in MOS discussions, an argument for "standardisation" means "do it the way we do in the US". See just higher up in this Talk page for a discussion about the use of italics in Canadian legal articles, and "standardisation" = US style.
My view is that Wikipedia is, and bills itself, as an international encyclopedia in English, not an American encyclopedia. That's why different spellings, and dates, and other stylistic conventions vary with the country that an article is about. Diversity of style is an expression of an international encyclopedia. This issue of honorifics is just another example, in my view. If US posters don't want to use honorifics, because that's not their style in their republican (small-r) tradition, so be it. But that doesn't mean that the US preference should bar the usage of honorifics in articles about leaders of other countries, that do not share that US tradition. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 16:08, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And I just noticed that today's featured article, about an American Jesuit, does use the honorific in the infobox: Enoch Fenwick. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 21:37, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let's try to refocus here. I accept that it was me who started making cultural comparisons, but my point was never that there are zero bios of Americans with honorifics in the infobox.
My essential point is that default usage of "The Right Honourable" in the infoboxes of British MPs appears to go against MOS:PREFIX, which states explicitly that this title should not be included except when discussing it in the article body. Our options then are:
  1. Amend the guideline to say that infobox mentions of "The Right Honourable" are cool (as is done for "noble" titles in MOS:SIR)
  2. Remove the prefixes
  3. Agree to WP:IAR in this case
All of these are potentially fine. My purpose was to point out that we appear to be doing #3 by default. Generalrelative (talk) 22:10, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For the correct use see The Right Honourable#In the House of Commons. Briefly: ordinary MPs are called "honourable" within the chamber to try to keep debates civilised. "Right Honourable" is only applied to those MPs who are also members of the Privy Council. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 07:51, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Strange Titling of Diaspora Articles[edit]

Some diaspora articles follow really strange naming conventions. A lot of articles follow the "List of Lebanese people in Brazil" naming convention of mentioning a people in country. While the articles are intended to list Lebanese–Brazilians, this isn't very clear, as the title also seems imply any sort of Lebanese person in within the boundaries of Brazil could apply, and honestly listing every notable Lebanese person on vacation in Brazil seems frivolous. I moved a couple articles, such as the aforementioned List of Lebanese Brazilians, however when I noticed there was a couple dozen of these types of articles just within Lebanese diaspora I figured I should bring it up in a couple places before I moved anymore.

I've already left comments on WP:Lebanon and WP:Ethnic Groups but iits been a couple days without any responses so I figured opening a thread here would be a good idea. FlalfTalk 16:13, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent change to MOS:GEO[edit]

@CactiStaccingCrane: In your recent edit ([5]), you changed the last sentence of MOS:GEO:

To be clear, you may sometimes need to mention the current name of the area (for example "in what is now France"), especially if no English name exists for that area in the relevant historical period.
Mention the current name of that area is acceptable, especially if no English name exists for that area in the relevant historical period.

I was going to just correct the grammar there (add “of” after “Mention”), but I can’t quite figure out exactly what you intended, especially as the meaning is now changed. Given the new meaning, I think what you want is “Use of”, not so much “Mention”? — HTGS (talk) 00:46, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I presume "mentioning" was meant. isaacl (talk) 01:17, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, that's a typo by me. I should be more careful with my edits. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 10:22, 16 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Massive spree of undiscussed changes by CactiStaccingCrane[edit]

There has recently been an overwhelming slew of completely undiscussed alterations [6] made by CactiStaccingCrane, who seems bent on wholly remaking MoS in their own personal idiom.

CactiStaccingCrane, please see Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines and become aware that this document, like any P&G page, should be edited with great care, generally after discussion (except in the case of trivial copyediting), and with an experienced eye toward problems that could be caused by altering long-standing wording. WP:Policy writing is hard, and writing MoS is harder than usual in that sphere because of the number of other guidelines and policies that MoS interacts with, and the fact that a change to a single MoS line-item can effectively result in a need to make changes in many thousands of pages and/or move around hundreds or more of them.

I'm certain that you mean well, but you seem almost completely unaware that a large portion of MoS's nitpicks, including a lot of highly specific wording and fine hair-splitting in examples, are based on results of previous discussions, both here and frequently at WP:RM.

It is my position that this entire raft of changes should be mass-reverted back to the stable version [7] before CactiStaccingCrane began acting like this is some school paper they were asked to help trim.

I have no doubt that some of the simpler copyediting-oriented changes are good and would be acceptable to just about everyone, but just the most recent change [8] is so wrong-headed in so many ways I hardly know where to begin. It borders on perverse.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:34, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've been carried away with my edits. I've reverted all my changes and move the currently newest version to the sandbox. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 07:09, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with SMcCandlish. I didn't like that new opening, so I'm glad it's been reverted. I did notice a few good copy-edits lower down. Best done in small increments. Tony (talk) 09:16, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Technical language[edit]

This section of the MoS claims that editors should try to make technical topics understandable to as many readers as possible and to minimize jargon or at least explain it. What if wikilinks showed the short descriptions of articles when they are highlighted so readers can understand what the linked term means without having to visit the linked article? This way editors won't have to come up with explanations within the article text. The short descriptions of articles covering technical topics can be made simple enough to make readers understand what the linked topics are about. For example, a link to peralkaline rock could show "Igneous rocks which have a deficiency of aluminium" when highlighted. A similar idea exists for inline citations. Volcanoguy 07:42, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is already possible. Use the {{efn}} mechanism and when you hover over the footnote reference a tooltip comes up with the contents. See for example Hartley Colliery disaster where if you hover your mouse over the fourth paragraph of the section "Hester Pit" you will see definitions of "stoppings" and "traps" appear under note [b] and [c] respectively. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 08:05, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In principle, the first sentence or two of the article should provide this summary. Short descriptions suffer from a silly limit of just 40 characters. Wikipedia talk:Short description/Archive 9#Length – 40 or 90 characters?? so are usually too terse for your purpose.) 𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 08:31, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Manual of Style rewrite proposals[edit]

For the "Section organization" section, it is more concise and clear to copy from Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout directly and make a few changes.

Section organization[edit]

Certain standardized templates and wikicode that are not sections go at the very top of the article, before the content of the lead section, and in the following order:

An article's content should begin with an introductory lead section – a concise summary of the article – which is never divided into sections (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section). The remainder of the article is typically divided into sections. If an article has at least four section headings, a navigable table of contents appears automatically, just after the lead.

Infoboxes, images, and related content in the lead section must be right-aligned.

If the topic of a section is covered in more detail in a dedicated article (see Wikipedia:Summary style), insert {{main|Article name}} or {{further|Article name}} immediately under the section heading.

Additional material (some optional) may appear in order after the main body of the article, as explained in detail in Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout § Standard appendices and footers:

The following final items never take section headings:

Stand-alone list articles have additional layout considerations, as explained in Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists.

CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 10:38, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I will try to make incremental changes as Tony1 has suggested. CC: SMcCandlish. CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 10:41, 18 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does anyone objects to my proposal? CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 09:13, 21 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CactiStaccingCrane: I think this would be an improvement, both in being more concise and in precisely mirroring the more detailed version at MOS:LAYOUT. It would be worth studying the main-MoS version, MOS:SO, and make sure that every point in it is actually covered at MOS:LAYOUT. We want to make sure there hasn't been any tiny WP:POLICYFORK between them. If there's a detail missing from MOS:LAYOUT, I would just merge it in from MOS:SO, then replace MOS:SO with your summary of MOS:LAYOUT, above.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  07:33, 25 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Q about WP:OVERLINK[edit]

Do we have a place where we can bring concerns about MOS issues within an article? I'm concerned about overlinking in an article, where an editor sees the need to link "fried egg" and "Denmark" etc. ("leftover" too--I was surprised to find we have an article on that simple dictionary term) and is edit warring over it. It's not a matter for ANI, really. I don't know whether to just revert, leave a "vandalism re:MOS" warning, or what. I think I'm going to leave the warning, but the more important point is that the editor needs to understand the importance of the MOS, and likely needs to hear it from someone other than me. Does WP:MOSN exist, in parallel with RSN and BLPN? Thanks, Drmies (talk) 01:08, 19 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Drmies: Well, don't call it "vandalism"; that would be uncivil, and the user clearly doesn't mean to do harm but thinks they're helping. I would just revert it per MOS:OVERLINK, and hopefully they'll get the hint. PS: WT:MOS basically is the MoS noticeboard and has always served that purpose as well as discussion of making edits to MoS itself. I guess MOSN should redirect to it for anyone who guesses at that.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  07:36, 25 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This is a continuation of a discussion that began at Talk:Ruble.

There is a dispute over what spelling should be considered a regional variant.

My position is that "ruble" is specific to American English and that "rouble" is the international standard owing to it's use by such organizations as the European Central Bank and Goznak.

I would like to propose that the MOS recommend "rouble" except when an article is explicitly written in American English. (talk) 10:26, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Isn't this just a bog-standard WP:ENGVAR issue? Or would you like rouble/ruble to be added to the examples at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Spelling? —Kusma (talk) 10:36, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The latter, it has traditionally been considered a normal ENGVAR issue on Wikipedia, but this does not seem explicit enough as there are ongoing difficulties (see the latest discussion @ talk:Ruble). For example the page ruble is largely in British English, yet it has an American English title. (talk) 12:19, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems best to settle the discussion how to present the page ruble at Talk:Ruble. —Kusma (talk) 12:41, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This question was settled definitively at talk:Rouble#Request for comment less than six months ago. This is going precisely nowhere. I may be wrong but this is highly reminiscent of the obsession of a certain banned editor. Either way, it is a ridiculous waste of time to try to reopen it here. WP:SNOWCLOSE. --𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 15:07, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As the person who started the debate over at Talk:Ruble, I agree with @Kusma's suggestion about keeping the conversation there. NotReallySoroka (talk) 15:21, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yep, this is just forum-shopping to rehash something already settled at Talk:Rouble#Request for comment recently, and any follow-on proposals should be at the same talk page.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  22:41, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]