Conservapedia talk:Editing article and talk pages

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Capitialization of article names

People do realize that when the names of the articles are in all caps, this makes it rather difficult for the wiki software and thus the editors to link to the proper article. As Conservative has pointed out, excessive redirects also hurt page ranking. When you want to talk about blocked trains by typing [[blocked trains]] you are instead forced to do [[Blocked Trains|blocked trains]] to get blocked trains. This adds an unnecessary burden on the person writing the article to add a pipe link, and a redirect from the lower case version so that if someone does link it, it doesn't show up as a wanted page and a red link. This is not so much a matter of "be different than wikipedia" but rather "this is how the software works and the way to make the most use of it." This becomes even more important if non-sysops are not allowed to make redirect page links.

I would strongly suggest that administrative types reconsider the name of the article. If it is a proper noun, certainly have it in the proper case - but if it is not, let the wiki software handle it correctly.

If the decision is to remain have it upper case, I would likewise strongly recommend that this be put down, enforced, and you go though all the pages that do not conform to this and rectify them. Do realize that you will be working against the software in trying to do this. --Rutm 11:28, 17 August 2007 (EDT)

  • No, it isn't "working against" the software at all. That is not an accurate statement. Now some editors, on rare occasions might have to do as in your examples. How often does that happen? Not much. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 20:33, 17 August 2007 (EDT)
New articles, out of the past 500 that are not title caps:
  • New! Capitol punishment‎; 18:51 . . (+582) . . Boyscout (Talk | contribs)
  • New! Communazi pact‎; 16:04 . . (+37) . . RobS (Talk | contribs) (create)
  • New! Average velocity‎; 08:10 . . (+209) . . SharonS (Talk | contribs)
  • New! Instantaneous velocity‎; 08:09 . . (+203) . . SharonS (Talk | contribs)
  • New! Zone blocking shceme‎; 23:56 . . (+295) . . TimmyJdb (Talk | contribs)
Poking about, you've also got citizenship cases, prior restraint, parochial school. Look through Category:US Senate Terms or Category:Biology and you'll see many, many, many examples of non-title case articles. You might need to do a sysop education class if you want to change all of these and have that change stay going forward. --Rutm 20:46, 17 August 2007 (EDT)
Linked from the main page, you've got mainstream media, liberal bias, public school, 2008 presidential race, illegal alien. This happens quite a bit and is the natural way to write articles, which is the way the software best supports. --Rutm 20:52, 17 August 2007 (EDT)
  • Well, as you already knew before posting, this is something that we are doing just as you suggested, systematically changing. Originally most articles were created in title case, then it mostly stopped for a while, mimicking Wikipedia. So, does this mean you would like to coordinate this project, like Azriphale is doing with the categories? --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 20:56, 17 August 2007 (EDT)
I believe you are waisting significant amounts of time and energy trying to do this which ultimately will end up as a bad thing. You are making it harder for contributors to add material, to link to existing material, and for search engines to find the material in question. Aside from 'being different than Wikipedia', what is the reason to do this? How much work and education will it take of sysops and users rather than working with the software as it is designed? --Rutm 21:00, 17 August 2007 (EDT)
  • So, you are merely a troll, spoiling for a disruption? Why do you insist on saying what several Wikimedia programmers have told me is false? Title case in no way disrupts the software or makes it "work harder". It in no way impacts search engine bots, as they are adaptive, and learn. It might effect placement for a day or two, but afterwards it compensates. And that information came to me from a pretty unimpeachable source at Google. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 21:12, 17 August 2007 (EDT)
I don't know about search engine rankings and how "hard" the software works, but it does make it harder for editors, and it's not accurate to say that this is "not much". It's also fair to say that it's not the way that the software was designed to work. Philip J. Rayment 10:13, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
I agree with Philip on this. It is much easier to put links into pages if only the first word is capitalized. --Tim (CPAdmin1)talk 10:36, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
Search engines don't like being redirected. If nearly every link to multi word link is a redirect, they will slightly lower the score of those pages. Nor do they like what appears to be duplicate content at multiple pages.
Secondly, when writing articles, it is natural to put the [[ ]] around relevant word groups. This can be seen in instantaneous velocity where the contributor was writing and then put in [[average velocity]]. To make this upper case, it would either require the contributor to write [[Average Velocity|average velocity]] or create a redirect page at the lower case version to the title cap version - something that it appears that non-sysops are forbiden to do.
This also increases the likelihood of having two articles that differ only in case that need to be merged later. If one user created a link to [[Average Velocity]] page and another created a link to [[average velocity]] without realizing what the other had done, and then two people come and each fill in content at each page, you end up having to merge the documents later.
This makes more work for those with the move power to constantly patrol the recent changes and move files to the one that the manual of style states.
It is not a matter of making the software work harder, but rather needlessly making the individuals work harder at getting an article into the wiki properly. It also makes it so you cannot leverage the wiki knowledge of other users entering who are familiar with other wikis (I challenge you to find another wiki out there that has all upper case article titles).
--Rutm 12:01, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
  • Is there something about the statement above, that the decision had been made, that is escaping my learned colleagues and editors? Has anyone done an actual count as to how many articles exist with Title Case as compared to what you suggest? And how many existing articles without Title Case are merely re-directs from ones that began with it? Now, please move on. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 14:57, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
I hate to disagree publicly about this, but I think this is going to more trouble than it's worth. We can differentiate ourselves from Wikipedia by making quality articles that are objective and reliable; capitalizing words unnecessarily isn't going to help our reputation any.
For proper nouns, like Abraham Lincoln, we're already doing it. For book titles, we capitalize all but the small connecting words: The Church of Liberalism.
But terms like intelligent design (the theory itself) are ofter shadowed by a movie or book title having the same words: Intelligent Design (the book by William Dembski. --Ed Poor Talk 15:22, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
  • Ed and I have talked, and he believes he has a software solution (being the greatest Mediator on the Planet) that will please everyone. Stay tuned. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 16:41, 18 August 2007 (EDT)

I know this a bit back in time, but has any progress been made on a software solution? Or has any more formal policy as to the proper capitalization and how to create wikilinks been specified? Having it be inconsistent just leaves more work for the day it does become consistent. --Rutm 15:32, 6 September 2007 (EDT)

  • If you check the other page here, Manual of Style, you can clearly see it dictates Title Case, and to not wiki-link dates. Unless and until some other solution is found, that is the decision. I posted on your talk page, asking you to contact me, to inform you about this matter, so I am happy you decided to post here, at least. If some software solution is found, the Manual of Style will be changed. As for wiki-dating, that was a decision of the Owner. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 15:38, 6 September 2007 (EDT)

This policy has been reversed, following discussion here, and in line with the majority preference on both this page and the linked page. Philip J. Rayment 01:04, 6 December 2007 (EST)

Saints

Currently there are three different styles in use: Saint, St and St. There are also unique links to various saints, like Paul. I propose that the title Saint be used for holy persons and that St. be used for places, institutions or other derivatives. St without a period to signify an abbreviation should be scrapped. Also because first names are common to many people the single name articles should be moved to Saint Someone. BrianCo 15:18, 25 November 2007 (EST)

I suspect (but can't quote examples to be sure) that there are places which are known only by "Saint something", so "St." wouldn't be appropriate.
I agree, though, with dropping "St" in favour of "St.".
As a Protestant, I don't like people like Paul being referred to as "Saint Paul", so do object to this being policy. The Bible uses "saint" of any Christian, not just ones granted that status by the Catholic Church. I do accept that simply "Paul" is not the best for an article title, but there are alternatives, such as "Saul of Tarsus", "Paul (missionary)", etc.
Philip J. Rayment 20:44, 25 November 2007 (EST)
Where St is used in place names, the inclusion of a full stop (period) or not should surely be determined by the name itself - that is, whether the local municipality (or whatever - eg the US Board on Geographical Names) uses a full stop. In other cases, I would argue in favour of St rather than St. . Too much punctuation makes the page look messy, and the trend is in favour of doing away wuith stops. Who, nowadays, writes U.S.A. and U.K. rather than USA or UK? Think of keyboard wear and tear, quite apart from anything else. Koba 06:47, 9 March 2008 (EDT)

Policy on categories: Capitalisation and singular/plural

There is currently no formal (written) policy on capitalisation of categories, although there has been un unwritten policy to use title case, probably in line with the former policy for article names.

Some discussion on this issue has occurred here and here, and possibly other places.

At the first link Learn together hinted, and stated more explicitly in the second, that there were more title-case categories than lower case categories. This seemed to me to be little more than gut feeling, so I did a rough count. There are currently 1669 categories, of which 951 comprise more than one word. Dividing those 951 categories very roughly into two groups, title case and lower case (both groups, due to the simple sorting algorithm I used, include categories that would remain unaltered under either option, such as category:United Stated Department of the Interior (sic: that needs fixing!) under upper case and category:Department of Justice under lower case) gives 426 lower case categories and 525 title case categories.

So Learn together is correct that there are more title case categories, although the difference is not enormous.

The advantage of lower-case names for article titles is that linking is easier, but this doesn't apply to categories, so the most reasonable thing to do would seem to be to make categories title case.

Any comments or objections? If we have/get agreement, I will incorporate that into the Manual of Style.

Philip J. Rayment 06:02, 11 December 2007 (EST)

In my opinion, your thoughts on this are good, I agree with title case for Categories. But either way, it's a very good idea to make a decision on this now, as the category listing is growing, and there should be uniformity. -- Taj 06:29, 11 December 2007 (EST)
Indeed, there doesn't seem to be much sense to reinvent the wheel. We had changed about a thousand entries or so from lower to title case when that was standard we were told. There is still work to be done (a lot of it), but it didn't seem to make sense to backtrack over the same ground we have already covered. By the way, a number of the lower case categories are shells, meaning that content has basically been removed, but they still exist. May I recommend having a formal section where we can point them out to you for removal? That would seem to be wise. Learn together 10:27, 11 December 2007 (EST)
I like title case for categories, but I'll go along with the consensus. --Ed Poor Talk 19:40, 11 December 2007 (EST)
I have no preference for category case. I think the choice should be what ever comes more naturally, but that might be quite subjective. Whatever the decision it should be explicitly stated to avoid confusion and stuck to. I don't agree with Learn together's point about not backtracking. If you're going the wrong way then you need to turn round at some stage. If it means undoing work that has been done then so be it. I can appreciate him not wanting to undo all his own good work but that shouldn't be an argument for not doing it. The main thing is that we get it right. On balance though I probably go with title case. One good thing about categories however, is that anyone can change them but article titles are restricted to sysops. BrianCo 15:15, 12 December 2007 (EST)
Not backtracking is appropriate in cases where there is no indication that backtracking would provide a better solution. Since no one commenting so far, including you, seems to believe that would be the better way to go, I am surprised you called me out on this issue. It's not rocket science. Let's not make it a bigger issue than it is. Learn together 03:01, 13 December 2007 (EST)

If we are going to write a policy on this, we might as well ensure that we have agreement on something else: Should categories be singular or plural? Learn together has asked me to delete Category:Musical Instruments because Category:Musical Instrument already exists. But I was under the impression that most categories were plurals. What's the thoughts on this? Philip J. Rayment 00:52, 14 December 2007 (EST)

I'm not sure any decisions have been made in this area in the past. I've seen singular and plural in categories. In this regard, if one category has 59 entries and the other has 4, I move the entries to the category that is established. In this case it happened to be singular. I would recommend a "spot check" of categories/articles that have singular or plural forms and see which way has been the most common until now. That should at least give us information to consider. Learn together 01:12, 14 December 2007 (EST)
In looking at this in more detail, the trend is strongly to plural. Let me know when a decision has been made to make this policy and I will see about implementing changes in this area as well. Learn together 18:04, 14 December 2007 (EST)
The following are groups I have come across so far that fit this criteria:
* Category:Bird
* Category:Creationist
* Category:Musical Instrument (of course)
Learn together 15:50, 17 December 2007 (EST)

Policy written

I was disappointed at the lack of response here regarding plurals, but I believe that there's been enough opportunity, and not having a policy is holding up some work. I believe that Learn together is correct regarding the trend being towards plural titles for categories, although there's plenty of examples where plurals are simply not applicable (e.g. category:New Testament).

So I've now amended the Manual of Style to include categories. If the plural bit is not clear enough, we can tweak it later.

Philip J. Rayment 05:15, 22 December 2007 (EST)

Thank you. I will be sure to adhere to the approved specifications. Learn together 20:26, 22 December 2007 (EST)

Books by foreign authors

What's the MoS recommendation regarding book titles written by non-English-speaking authors?

For example, say you want to write about Machiavelli's "The Prince" (original title "Il Principe", apparently), would you start the article at the original title or at the most common US translation? --JakeC 18:02, 28 December 2007 (EST)

I believe the practice has been the common English translation. Learn together 20:55, 28 December 2007 (EST)
I guess that makes sense. :) Thanks for the reply! --JakeC 22:51, 28 December 2007 (EST)

Etymologies and the like

I was looking at Pyrenees on Wikipedia recently, and had to wade through the language variations cluttering the opening sentence:
The Pyrenees (Spanish: Pirineos; French: Pyrénées; Catalan: Pirineus; Occitan: Pirenèus; Aragonese: Perinés; Basque: Pirinioak) are a range of mountains ...

Conservapedia, being younger, is not replete with this sort of clutter, but it does have some. This example from Sin is about as bad:

Sin (from Old English synn, from either Old Norse synd or German Sünde, from sun(d)jo it is true, from Sanskrit(?) es- it is) is any failure ...

It's not worth putting such details in a separate section (i.e. under it's own heading), but surely we shouldn't be cluttering opening sentences like this. Might I suggest that we create a template that would be an "etymology box", so that these sorts of details can float off to the right (or wherever) rather than clutter the opening sentence?

Oh, and the reason I'm posting this here is so that we don't just have a template, but we make this template a requirement.

Support? Opposition? Alternatives?

Philip J. Rayment 04:40, 7 January 2008 (EST)

I agree --Tim (CPAdmin1)talk Vote for President 11:05, 4 February 2008 (EST)
I've created the {{etymology}} template for this, and applied it to theater and sin. Philip J. Rayment 05:03, 9 March 2008 (EDT)

Titles

Yoinked from main page's talk: Dunno if there's a better place for it, but is there an official policy on bolding titles in articles? For example, should it be "Sir Elton John" or "Sir Elton John"?

Also for military ranks, doctorates, etc. Any titles held for life (IE, not POTUS). Barikada 09:20, 4 February 2008 (EST)

I don't think they should be bolded. My preference would be for something like:
Isaac Newton (Sir Isaac Newton FRS) was a ...
or
Norman Schwarzkopf (General Norman Schwarzkopf, also known as Stormin' Norman) is a retired...
However, if it forms part of his actual name, then the whole thing should be bolded, such as
Pope Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger) is the current...
Ajkgordon 11:01, 4 February 2008 (EST)
In the case of "sir", I think that my preference is to bold the title as well, as is done in Isaac Newton, but probably not bold otherwise (although it might depend on normal usage). I can't give a logical reason why this must be so, but it just seems to be better, in my opinion. I will note, however, that I've often seen or heard people refer to a title as though it was part of the name, such as "My name is Dr. Fred Nurk". (By the way, I'm assuming in these comments that the person actually uses the title. There was a discussion elsewhere (Isaac Newton talk page perhaps) about using the title "Sir" when the person themself doesn't normally use it.) Philip J. Rayment 21:11, 4 February 2008 (EST)

New Categories

We should elaborate on the categories section. Some guidance on when it is appropriate and inappropriate to add new categories would be helpful. --Crocoite 17:46, 8 March 2008 (EST)

Crocoite, do you mean new categories? I think every article should have some sort of category, its part of the basic organisation of the site. BrianCo 17:59, 8 March 2008 (EST)
Yes, I mean new categories. I agree with the basic necessity of categories. --Crocoite 18:03, 8 March 2008 (EST)
Do you have any suggestions on what those guidelines should be? Philip J. Rayment 00:38, 9 March 2008 (EST)
Large categories should be broken down when size becomes combersome or difficult to manage. It should also be appropriate for our target audience. Personally, I try to only create new categories when I can place several articles under the new category and make a logical link within the overall category structure. One of the big shortcomings of Wikipedia is the morass of categories and navigation. Generally I have found our KISS method to be easier for casual movement. It should also be noted that one of the strategies discussed by those who oppose the message of Conservapedia was to make our category system so complex or ridiculously redundant that we lose the ease of movement of the attention of people who might be curious about what our site has to offer. Any new contributors who jump in with creating a number of questionable categories and altering current category designations before even adding new articles should be looked at carefully. Learn together 03:28, 9 March 2008 (EDT)
Thanks Learn together for your very helpful comments. I have incorporated your suggestions into my list below:
Appropriate
  1. Every article should have at least one category.
  2. Large categories should be broken down when size becomes combersome or difficult to manage.
  3. Appropriate for our target audience (conservative and Christian).
  4. Make a logical link within the overall category structure.
  5. New editors should discuss appropriate categories on the articles' talk page prior to adding categories.
  6. Categories are to be in title case (e.g. Australian Cities and Towns, not Australian cities and towns)
  7. Categories are to be plural where applicable (e.g. Planets, not Planet, but Rail Transport).
Inappropriate
  • New editors adding categories without discussing it on the articles' talk page.
  • Adding categories to articles based upon "silly" grounds.
  • Categories in lower case (e.g. not Australian cities and towns)
  • Categories in singular tense (e.g. not Planet)
  • Few members in the category - it is possible to over-categorize if the category will only have a few members.
  • A similar category already exists.
  • Trying to use a Neutral Point of View (NPOV). Conservapedia doesn't follow Wikipedia guidlines regarding NPOV.
This is a start. --Crocoite 03:45, 9 March 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the comments. I've changed Crocoite's bullets to numbers for easy reference. I have a few concerns with the suggestions, however.
  • Learn together says that "Any new contributors who jump in with creating a number of questionable categories and altering current category designations before even adding new articles should be looked at carefully". Well, anyone, new or not, who adds questionable categories should be looked at carefully. So let's leave that point out. That leaves "Any new contributors who jump in with creating a number of categories and altering current category designations before even adding new articles should be looked at carefully". Now this I have a problem with. I know I'm at odds here with others, including Andy, but what's wrong with a new editor's first contributions being to add or alter categories, and even new ones, assuming that they are appropriate? The point we should be focusing on is providing guidelines as to what is appropriate, not whether or not the editor is new.
  • Requiring editors to always discuss categories on talk pages is just bureaucracy, in my opinion (which is not to say that such things should never be discussed on talk pages).
  • Crocoite's points 1 to 4 are all good, except of course that points 2 to 4 could be somewhat open to interpretation (how large is too large, for example).
  • Crocoite's points 6 & 7 are valid, but already in the Manual of Style.
I'm not commenting on Crocoite's "inappropriate" points, as they are mostly just the negatives of the first list.
Perhaps we should be putting some numbers on things. Something like "any categories with fewer than x entries should not be broken down without prior discussion".
I realise that my comments are probably not very helpful (and of course they should be taken as being from me as an editor, not as an administrator), but perhaps I'll have better ideas after some more feedback. Please feel free to disagree with me.
Philip J. Rayment 04:01, 9 March 2008 (EDT)
Mr Schlafly seems to have made his views on categorisation clear here. If it's his wish that users can't easily find articles dealing with the pernicious nature of liberals we should respect that. Tho personally I can't see much point in producing articles that visitors are unlikely to find due to the difficulty in second-guessing the somewhat esoteric titles for use in the search box. BenHyme 07:56, 9 March 2008 (EDT)

City/town/county names as article titles?

Is there currently a defined style for articles whose title is the name of a city/town/county? I'm pretty sure that currently we have articles with the following style titles: City; City, ST; City, State. It seems reasonable to bring them all under a universal style, and in my brief searching I didn't see an existing style definition. I propose that for United States locations we use City, ST (or whatever the formal name is, if not a city; examples: Andover, MA; Town of Andover, MA; Essex County, MA). If this isn't the correct place for style proposals, feel free to move it. Jinkas 21:01, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Right place, but wrong priority. Even more important is whether Deborah should be uploaded stub articles for cities in Texas. Better to have a Cities in Texas article than a lot of stubs, I'd say. --Ed Poor Talk 21:06, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
It was Deborah's recent city-stub marathon that triggered the question, but regardless of priority I'm sticking with my initial inquiry. :-) See the California Cities and Towns category for some examples of the current diverse methods for titling city articles. Jinkas 21:13, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Good suggestions, Jinkas. Unless another Sysop objects, I like your proposed standard.--Aschlafly 21:31, 21 April 2008 (EDT)
Oh, I wish people would stop think just in U.S. terms! First, I'd go for "City, State", not "City, ST", as (a) (many?) other countries don't have two-letter codes for their states, so that format would not be universally applicable, and (b) the American state codes would not be as familiar to non-Americans as the names of the states. Second, and this is more of a query than an objection or proposal, what about countries without states? Do we say "Newcastle, England" ("City, Country") and "Newcastle, New South Wales" ("City, State") or "Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia" ("City, State, Country"), or what? It's probably okay to have "City, State" where there are states and "City, Country" where there are no states, but I'd be interested in other views on this. Then of course there are places with provinces or etc. instead of states, but I guess we simply treat them in the same manner as states. Philip J. Rayment 03:07, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
Thank you for your input. I made a suggestion about US terms because it is with US terms that I am most familiar. As far as I know, other countries do not have two-letter codes for their states, so my proposal would be applicable to US cities only. Other users with more international experience, such as yourself, Joaquín Martinez, or any other of the good users who live outside of the US could certainly propose a style definition for cities in your country or international cities in general. Furthermore, although my proposal could be construed this way, I was not advocating for having only a City, ST article and nothing else. For US cities, let's put the main article (with category) in City, ST, but create City, State and City (if appropriate) as redirects. Jinkas 09:31, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
Personally, I'm not sure this is needed at this time. I go with the thought that the fewer rules we apply, unless obviously necessary, the better. The fewer rules that there are and the easier that we make it to edit, the more likely people are to want to create articles, or to edit those that already exist. Many cities are known by their names alone: "Las Vegas", "Los Angeles", "Boston", etc. I think there should be some amount of discretion left to the article creator. In the event that a city, ST naming convention is adopted (or city, state) then please also make sure that the city names alone are created as redirects. An article on Nevada may make mention of famous cities such as "Las Vegas", "Reno", etc. We don't want the Nevada article to say "Las Vegas, NV", "Reno, NV". (Note: I am aware the editor can put "Las Vegas, NV|Las Vegas" but again we are adding extra levels of complexity, and the greater the level of complexity, the less likely the rule is to be properly followed.
These are my thoughts, but I don't wish to have this classified as an "objection". If there is a concensus that city naming convention should be adopted, then I don't want to impede that view.
Thanks Learn together 03:39, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
Thank you for your comments; I would like to say a few words in response. I think it is important to adopt some sort of universal style at this time, while the number of city articles is still somewhat small and easy to change. As I mentioned above, a redirect from City, State to City, ST would be created, as well as a redirect from City to City, ST when appropriate (and I believe your mentioned examples of Las Vegas and Reno would be more than appropriate). I don't think this would inhibit or discourage editing as I have proposed no punishment or system of enforcement. Our users could edit as normal, and if a sysop or someone with the permissions to move pages notices an article that happens to be misnamed, they could simply move it to the correct name and establish the appropriate redirects. I think that uniform style definition in this regard will give a consistency to a large part of Conservapedia that will add to the professional appearance of this resource. Jinkas 09:31, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
I agree with Ed. In my opinion creation of lists of stub cities plays into the hands of our detractors who like to claim we are specialists at one line articles. We don't need to make that a reality. We've worked hard to improve our reputation, and that doesn't do us any favors. Learn together 03:41, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
I took it for granted (but shouldn't have, particularly as Jinkas did implicitly reject this option) that this proposal to show (for example) "City, State" does not apply where the city is sufficiently well-known to just be referred to by it's name ("City"). That's why I chose "Newcastle, England" as an example rather than "London, England", as I assumed that the latter would be just "London". We already have Melbourne, and I don't propose changing that to Melbourne, Victoria, despite the existence of Melbourne, Florida (which would be named that way), because Melbourne (the Victorian one) is a major world city (yeah, not as major as New York, London, or etc., but more than twice the population of Las Vegas).
However, there are or will be many places where just the city name itself will be insufficient of not unique ("Perth, Scotland", vs. "Perth, Western Australia", for example?) for which we should have a naming convention.
I'm not suggesting creating many stub articles, but sooner or later, if not already, we'll want non-stub articles on some of these places, and we'll have this issue. As it's been raised now, we might as well discuss it now.
Philip J. Rayment 10:35, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
I agree with Phillip that we should have this discussion now. I created Colorado Springs and it doesn't have a state because I'm not aware of any other places named Colorado Springs. --Crocoite 10:55, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

So where does this stand? I see some discussion and some suggested improvements, but what does it take for this to be "policy?" Perhaps a few more sysops/editors could weigh in? I'd like to get to work on this (by the way, I'll need move permission to do this effectively), but I'm not the fastest editor here so it's going to take a while and I'd like to get started. Jinkas 16:50, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

I'd like to see a few more opinions, and ones that form some sort of consensus. If we get that, I'll write it up as policy. Philip J. Rayment 19:27, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
I put a note on the talk page of each active sysop that hadn't already been alerted or that hasn't already participated in this discussion. Hopefully that will give us some more opinions and a uniform view of how to treat these article names. Jinkas 19:43, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
You could include any non-sysops who have reasonable experience here and who might have an opinion on this. This sort of issue, being a consistency issue more than anything, is not something that needs to be decided by sysops exclusively. BrianCo and Arizaphale come to mind. Philip J. Rayment 20:02, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
The circle has been duly widened. Jinkas 20:15, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

My two cents/tuppence/deux centimes/dos centavos/zwei pfennigen:

An article on any given city ought to have as its title the city and the state, or city and province, or city and country.

The style for cities and towns in any country big enough to have provinces the size of, say, Colorado (USA) ought to be: City, State, Country. Use the full name (except use USA for the United States). The reason: not everyone is going to know the abbreviations for Canadian provinces or Mexican states (or Australian States, for that matter).

Exceptions: States or provinces having more than two words in their names. Thus, "New York" ought to be spelled out, but not "New South Wales."

I want to encourage city articles on cities in all nations.

Every State or province ought to have one article listing all the cities within it. Then you should break out a city article only when you can fill a standard letter page with content (text and/or images). Cities and towns that rate only a paragraph ought to get a paragraph in the list article.

I grow tired of clicking on Random Page only to see stub after stub after stub. Let's fill them out or rake them all into one article, with header redirects if necessary.--TerryHTalk 20:49, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

I endorse Jinka's style suggestion. However, I think it should be a suggested guideline instead of a rule. Conservative 20:50, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
I agree on the guideline/rule distinction, whatever that means! This will be a Manual of Style "rule". I guess the difference is that failing to follow the Manual of Style is not (normally?) a punishable offence, but having it in the Manual of Style justifies anyone else (a sysop in this case, as only they can "rename" pages) changing the article to conform to the Manual of Style. Philip J. Rayment 22:12, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
I agree with Philip's interpretation; see my response to Learn Together above for my thoughts on "enforcement." Whatever we decide on, it shouldn't be a stick with which to beat users; rather, it should be a way to give a professional consistency to a subset of Conservapedia's articles. Jinkas 23:00, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
My take on this would be the following:
Country, state, province are unique; each would have separate articles (Mongolia, New York, Alberta, etc)
City articles that don't have to have countries or states attached as part of the article title, as they are recognized world-wide (Los Angeles, Lisbon, London, New York City)
City articles that do have to have countries or states attached as part of the article title (Lisbon, Texas; Saginaw, Michigan; London, Ontario)
Counties would be listed as Rutherford County, Tennessee; Genesse County, Michigan; Pima County, Arizona. Karajou 07:51, 26 April 2008 (EDT)
I agree with Karajou. It would cut down on the confusion. *nods* Kektk 12:06, 26 April 2008 (EDT)

(unindent) Feedback requested, so here it is: I think PJR has it right tht it should be city + state/province, spelled out. In those rare cases that a city and state need further clarification from the outset, the first line of the article could be an italicized indicator of disambiguation (how many people ever used this word before wikis, I wonder?). Spell out the state/province completely.

Feel free to visit my talk page for my broader opinion on this subject, but I'll spare the viewing masses. Aziraphale 13:36, 26 April 2008 (EDT)

Article title: Birth name, artist name, nickname?

Following this discussion, it has become apparent that there is no policy about an article title when it comes to persons.

I hereby suggest this policy:

When creating an article about a person or multiple persons, go in this order when choosing the title:
  1. If there is an officially acknowledged artist name, use that one ("Nicolas Cage" instead of "Nicholas Coppola", "Freddie Mercury" instead of "Farrokh Bulsara", "Donatello" instead of "Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi")
  2. If the person is almost exclusively referred to by a nickname, use that one ("Bill Clinton" instead of "William Jefferson Clinton")
  3. If none of the above apply, use the real name in the form it is most widely used.

Please state your opinions or suggestions here. --JBrown 14:45, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

Capital letters?

This is supposed to be a style guide, but it switches between headings of the style ==Capitalized Heading== and ==Lowercase heading== like a bird flitting between perches. I don't see anything about capitalization of headings, articles titles and words in general. What is it supposed to be? Freethought 23:49, 7 June 2008 (EDT)

There are guides on article and category titles there (you couldn't have looked hard enough), but not section titles. Do you want to propose something (I agree it's needed)? Philip J. Rayment 03:59, 8 June 2008 (EDT)

Two propositions

  • Number 1: Article titles should be singular. (e.g. Painting, not Paintings)
  • Number 2: When the {{stub}} template is used, it should be placed at the (top/bottom) of the article.
(The second would contain either "top" or "bottom," depending on what the sysops prefer. -CSGuy 18:10, 3 July 2008 (EDT)
I support the first one (I thought we already had that, but it appears not). The second I think needs more guidance about how much and when it should be used, but I do support consistency of placement. Philip J. Rayment 21:04, 4 July 2008 (EDT)

Earth or earth?

I'd like us to decide on a style for the term used to refer to this planet. There seems to be two main views on this:

  • That the capitalised version (Earth) should always be used when talking about the planet (but not, or course, when talking about dirt). So The Earth is not exactly spherical.
    • This is supported by:
      • The United States Government Printing Office Style Manual 2000 (according to this Wikipedia talk page, although their link is dead).
      • New Jersey Institute of Technology (according to this page, but no link provided).
      • The Chicago Manual of Style (according to the same page, but no link is provided).
  • That an uncapitalised version (earth) is always used, except when referring to the planet as one of several planets. So The earth is not exactly spherical, but the inner planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

This was from a quick Google search. Perhaps others can find more. Personally, I'm not too fussed either way, although I would like some consistency and therefore a decision in the Manual of Style. What do others think?

Philip J. Rayment 09:00, 23 September 2008 (EDT)

I had previously changed "earth" to "Earth" in articles here, but after reading the above, I guess the issue was more complicated than I thought. Almost all proper nouns are capitalized, so I'll probably stick with that in my own writing. But if there isn't a consistent prescriptive rule, maybe it's not worth mentioning yet (particularly since issues like article title capitalization are still very inconsistent here) --Interiot 11:48, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
We do have a required style for article titles, and I have a page where other editors have been listing pages needing renaming/moving. Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism have recently been listed there, and I don't know what I should move them to, i.e. whether to use a capital or lower case "E". This is why I've brought it up now. Philip J. Rayment 16:52, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
I have never heard of the second rule; it seems somewhat arbitrary. I think that the method one (always capitalize) is easier to deal with, so I would vote for that. It seems like, grammatically, it doesn't matter which one we choose. HelpJazz 18:15, 23 September 2008 (EDT)

Just for a laugh, whilst researching this issue, I also came across this message-board post:

I am always suspicious of people who remove the capitalisation from proper nouns. Christians did this to the name of our dear planet, citing it as "earth" as part of their marketing strategy of disparaging this life in favour of the benefits of the next one...

What the...??!!

Philip J. Rayment 09:00, 23 September 2008 (EDT)

As strange as it seems, I was once told the same thing, but instead of "Christians" it was "liberals". I don't know why liberals were supposed to have done this, but somehow decapitalizing non-proper nouns was supposed to lead to the destruction of the conservative message. HelpJazz 18:15, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
Considering who told you, I'm not at all surprised. Philip J. Rayment 22:23, 23 September 2008 (EDT)

Article names

Now that {{lowercase}} has been ammended, the wording of the Article Names section of the MoS needs to be updated as well. HelpJazz 01:33, 5 October 2008 (EDT)

Birth-Death

Would it be possible to create a standard for listing the birth-death in a person's article? Some have the dates in parentheses, so have b./d., some have a hyphen, etc. I think deciding on a unified way of presenting the info would clean up the articles. LiamG 05:11, 12 October 2008 (EDT)

Ok, I propose this format:

PersonName (b. FullDate - d. FullDate) ...

FullDate meaning all the information we have in the Month Day, Year format (and the blockquoting is just to set apart my example from the rest of my post). Is this all right? Are there any objections? I think it would definitely unify our articles if we had some sort of set format. LiamG 14:09, 13 October 2008 (EDT)

How does this page work? Should I be sending other people messages to check here? I don't want to step on anyone's toes, but maybe I should just be taking initiative? I would like to make sure this is ok before I change anything. I'm hoping someone notices that I'm kinda talking to myself here, haha. LiamG 10:43, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

I'd post on Philip's talk page. HelpJazz 20:11, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

The Manual of Style itself is only altered by sysops. HelpJazz's suggestion to contact Philip would be your best bet as he seems to have the most active interest. As a general rule, if something isn't confusing or contradictory, then we usually aren't as concerned to see a procedure put in place as part of Andy's original idea was for people not to worry about a lot of formatting rules such as existed on WP. Learn together 20:27, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

I did ask Philip, and he told me to come here. I'm sorry if I suggested something wrong. I didn't want to complicate things or anything; I just thought it'd be more encyclopedic to have a set structure, rather than have the similar articles look disparate. I'm sorry. I'll just let them as it is. Hope I didn't cause any trouble. LiamG 21:11, 15 October 2008 (EDT)
You didn't suggest anything wrong. If Philip told you to come hear and talk then you did what you should have. Learn together 22:52, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

Gentlemen... As LiamG points out, I advised him to come here to put forward a suggestion. True, only sysops can change the Manual of Style, but I'd like to see MoS changes decided by consensus, and this page, not my talk page, is the place to discuss such things.

What I failed to tell LiamG is that very few people seem interested in this side of things, and that posting here is not likely to get much of a result. But it is still the appropriate approach to take, and I was hoping that someone would at least comment. I didn't comment here myself partly because I didn't have much of an opinion (but see further comments shortly), and partly because I had already commented on my talk page. On my talk page I did suggest the possibility of creating a template for biographies, partly because one thing I don't like is clutter in sentences, such as putting the birth and death dates (and whatever else) in the opening sentence.

I'm disappointed that two other editors have now commented on this page, but not offered any opinion at all about the suggestion. Of course you are not obliged to have opinions, so are not obliged to comment, but given that you did have something to say, perhaps a "I don't see anything wrong with that" comment would have been at least some help.

As for Andy not liking rules as on Wikipedia, my understanding of that is that he is talking about behavioural and dispute-solving rules, not style rules. Every encyclopaedia, and pretty well every other publication (books, magazines, newspapers, web-sites, etc.) have style rules, whether they produce their own or decide to follow a widely-accepted one such as the Chicago Style Manual (I think it's called). I know from personal experience that the dispute-solving rules on Wikipedia are extensive, contradictory, unclear, and a major nuisance, but the style rules are, for the most part, quite reasonable, accessible, and necessary. That's not to suggest that Andy is personally concerned with style rules; he certainly appears to not be, but that doesn't mean that he has any objection to others producing such rules.

Inconsistency itself can be confusing, so that is reason to be concerned about these rules.

And yes, LiamG, I have suggested to others before that they ask other editors they know to come here and offer their opinions.

Philip J. Rayment 21:49, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

Heh, sorry, I didn't realize he had already asked you. I didn't offer any comment, because I don't really care how we format (especially if a change in formatting means another little project for me ;-) ) but I do agree that we need a rule, whatever it may be. HelpJazz 21:57, 15 October 2008 (EDT)
No one, to my knowledge, is complaining about Liam writing here or the decision to have him write here. I don't view the date format question as being a big issue, but I'm rather ambivalent. I don't see it as being meaningful right now in that there are many, many more articles with birth and death dates than the number of people who will currently go around seeing that they adhere to an adopted standard. Generally speaking, I've found articles have a tendency to include full birth and death dates when they are larger and just the year when they are smaller. Mostly I see something like this after the person's name (1896 - 1964) which I think is acceptable. Likewise if an editor wanted to update it to (Jan 23, 1896 - Jul 21, 1964) that would be fine too. The fact is most of our editors who create articles and put in dates aren't going to be coming to this page for guidelines and I haven't seen any arguments or complaints about it so I think I am justified in not necessarily taking a strong position. I don't think it's necessary as our editors don't see to be having any difficulty with it as is, but I'm certainly not going to fight it. Learn together 22:52, 15 October 2008 (EDT)
Having a standard doesn't force anyone to start another project, but it does provide an opportunity for someone if they are looking for something to do.
Also, having a standard probably won't mean that people will come here for guidelines, but really, they should, shouldn't they? If you are going to contribute to an encyclopaedia, surely you have at least some obligation to find out what standards that encyclopaedia uses? But even if they don't, if editor A sees editor B doing something inconsistent with these standards, A could point this out to B (so B does learn even though he didn't come here first), or editor A could change it himself and have this standard as his justification in case there is any dispute about editor A changing editor B's work. There was a big argument on the Isaac Newton talk page about whether or not to refer to him as "sir" in the first line. This is the sort of thing that having a standard can avoid.
You many be correct, Learn together, that it is not necessary, but it is still quite useful and worth doing.
Philip J. Rayment 03:52, 16 October 2008 (EDT)
I agree with Philip J. Rayment that there should be standards that Conservapedia is striving for. As to the birth/death date, I like the proposed suggestion (putting aside the issue of a fact box of some kind). --Hsmom 09:58, 16 October 2008 (EDT)
Using just years rather than full dates is neater, more concise, and helps smooth over problems of uncertain dates. Bugler 17:13, 16 October 2008 (EDT) (1961-)

Ok, so far we've got my proposal (which I honestly just made so people would start talking, and Bugler's proposal. Anyone else? LiamG 08:36, 17 October 2008 (EDT)

Sorry, but this is going to get a little off the track. I mentioned above and on my talk page that I don't like clutter in the opening sentences, and on my talk page I linked to this previous discussion. I've just found another example on Wikipedia:
Alexander the Great (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας or Μέγας Ἀλέξανδρος,[1] Mégas Aléxandros; July 20, 356 BC[2] – June 10 or June 11, 323 BC),[3] also known as Alexander III of Macedon (Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' ὁ Μακεδών) was an ancient Greek[4][5] king (basileus) of Macedon (336–323 BC).
That's an awful lot of parenthetical information in an opening sentence that otherwise just says "Alexander the Great was an ancient Greek king of Macedon". Not that the information is unnecessary, but it doesn't need to clutter up the opening sentence. Bugler's suggestion helps reduce that clutter, but I don't really agree with deliberately leaving out more precise information if it is available. We could have a template (i.e. a box to the side) with detailed information about the person (birth date/month/year and death date/month/year, plus other information) and have just the birth and death years (or even just the birth year) in the opening sentence, if we thought that wasn't unnecessary duplication.
Philip J. Rayment 11:05, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
I like that idea. I can't help making it, though, since I don't know how to make a template. LiamG 11:39, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
I've created template {{Bio}}. Philip J. Rayment 08:24, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

References

I would also like us to agree on a standard for references. Too many articles include only the URL of a reference. If that page is moved, we are left with no idea where the information came from. (I've been coming across this quite a bit - I'm the sort of person who actually reads the references.) If a full reference is provided, then the information can often be relocated and the URL updated. In addition, a full reference gives much more information at a glance, and writing it to some extent forces the writer to ask themselves "where is this fact actually coming from" before using/believing it. Format would vary a bit based on the type of reference. The MLA handbook suggests author's name, title of document, information about print publication (for example, if it is an article from a magazine), information about the web site (name of site, date updated), date of access, and URL. That seems like a sensible approach to me. Here's an example:
<ref>author, title, published in Newsweek, date of publication, Newsweek.com, date of posting, retrieved on date, [URL] any notes about the reference</ref>
--Hsmom 09:58, 16 October 2008 (EDT)
See (and contribute) here. Philip J. Rayment 10:19, 16 October 2008 (EDT)
Wow - thanks - but that's a little overwhelming, details-wise. I'm not sure at this stage of the game Conservapedia can reach that high. I guess my main concern is that there are references given (because more often than not there are none at all, even when the author seems to have used a reference (or even copied word-for-word from one)), and ideally that there is more than just the URL included in them (which is not usually the case at this point). I'm not that fussy about format at this point - if the obvious information gets in there, I'll be happy.--Hsmom 00:11, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
It doesn't seem that difficult or overwhelming. There are plenty of standardized citation methods out there. Forcing a specific model of citation ensures that people include all relevant information in the citation as well as think critically about the source they are citing from. Often on the internet people simply put a url with no other information as a source. Forcing them to fully cite will help them to analyze whether this is a good source. ----ToJones 20:58, 27 October 2008 (EDT)

Bibliography

! Part of this article was copied from Citizendium but the copied text was originally written by me, RJJensen (under the name Richard Jensen). Conservlogo.png
RJJensen 00:59, 21 April 2009 (EDT)
  • Richard.....?? I need the cliff notes, Professor! --₮K/Admin/Talk 01:30, 21 April 2009 (EDT)
happy to oblige. :) RJJensen 01:38, 21 April 2009 (EDT)

Pronunciation Guides

I've noticed that the Palin article includes a note about how to pronounce her surname, which I think is a good precedent. I was going to add similar notes to other people whose names have unintuitive pronunciations, like Euler, but before I did so, I wanted to confirm that it was desirable and that the style used in the Palin article should be considered the model. I personally think that that style is better than using IPA or something, because most people don't know (or need to know) IPA, so while it has the advantages of being universal and very standardized, it's not especially fitting for a site that's used by English speakers who don't have any special reason to know IPA. I would propose the following standards:

  • Add the pronunciation immediately after the first time the word appears, in the style of the Palin article. (pronounced pay'-lynn)
  • Don't add pronunciations for words that are likely to appear in a dictionary.
  • Don't add pronunciations for common English-language names or names that have a pronunciation obvious to most English speakers.
  • In general, only add a pronunciation if it's likely that a typical CP user who had never heard the name spoken aloud would be likely to mispronounce it based on its spelling.
  • Use the standard American pronunciation. Where regional accents affect the pronunciation of the word, use the form you believe to be more common.
  • Avoid offering two pronunciations unless it's a very special case. Pronunciations take up valuable real estate at the very beginning of articles.

My apologies if there are already policies about this; I searched for "pronunciation" and didn't see any. -- DaveB7 20:43, 6 July 2009 (EDT)

Templates

I noticed there isn't a spot in the layout indicating where 'navbox' templates should be placed. As an example, for Evolution the template is placed before references. However, for Deceit the template is placed after references.

Introductory paragraph
(body content)

{{should-template-be-here}}

==References==
==Also See==
==External links==

{{or-should-template-be-here}}


[[Category: ______]]

Am I looking into it too much or is this something that should be added to manual of style? I have no idea why, but I like to keep things as orderly as possible and this is something I haven't found yet as a definite templates should go here type of thing. Does it matter where they go? Thanks! DerekE 13:41, 17 December 2009 (EST)

A quick look shows me that most are at the bottom....and at the time we started using them, that was the intent. I will make the placement clear on the style guide page. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 17:16, 16 November 2010 (EST)

Capitalization

Should titles be capitalized "Like This" or "Like this"? Should "Category:Chemical Compounds" be Category:Chemical compounds"?

Categories use Title Case, article titles do not. --ṬK/Admin/Talk 17:13, 16 November 2010 (EST)

Style books and references

Shouldn't there be a discussion of style books and dictionaries here? I would expect a U.S.-based reference work to follow The Chicago Manual of Style, including Merriam-Webster spelling. There is also AP style (for newspapers), MLA style (for scholarly papers), and Yahoo style. The British use The Oxford Guide to Style. PeterKa 11:05, 17 January 2014 (EST)

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