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Difference between revisions of "CZ:Naming conventions"

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Citizendium has various conventions about how to name articles.  Perhaps most importantly, all words in an article name, except for the first word, should be lower case and singular, unless it is normal usage to write it in the upper case or plural (e.g. [[Great Britain]] and [[pants]]).  Another important convention is that the common names for things should be used in preference to the recondite or obscure, although this may have a few exceptions.  See below for details.
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Citizendium has various conventions about how to name articles.  Most importantly, all words in an article name, except for the first word, should be lower case and singular (e.g. [[Sympathetic nervous system]]), unless it is normal to write it in the upper case or plural (e.g. [[Great Britain]], [[Pants]]).  Another convention is that the common names for things are preferred to the obscure, although there are exceptions.   
 
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{{TOC|right}}
 
{{TOC|right}}
  
 
== How to title articles ==
 
== How to title articles ==
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If an article concerns only one aspect of a topic, then it should have a precise title that accurately reflects the content.  For example, if an article about [[Russia]] is only about the ''history'' of Russia, then it should be named [[History of Russia]].
  
It is important to choose the right title for an article.
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'''Generally, prefer common names.'''  The common names for things are preferred to the recondite or obscure.  For instance, you might better place an article at [[Bill Clinton]] rather than [[William Jefferson Clinton]].
 
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'''The title should describe the contents of an article accurately.'''  If you have written an article about a topic, only to discover that your article concerns only one aspect of the topic (such as its history), then it is preferable to place your article on a more accurately-named page, to write a short article about the original topic, and then link from that short article to the new page.  For example, if you were to write an article about [[Russia]] only to find that you had written exclusively about the ''history'' of Russia, then you should move your article to [[History of Russia]], and link to that new page from a brief article about Russia on the [[Russia]] page.
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'''Generally, prefer common names.'''  The common names for things--if accurate--should be used in preference to the recondite or obscure (although this may have a few exceptions).  For instance, you might better place an article about the 42d President of the United States at [[Bill Clinton]] rather than [[William Jefferson Clinton]] since he was known as and identified himself as Bill Clinton.
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== Typographical and stylistic rules ==
 
== Typographical and stylistic rules ==
  
'''Prefer lowercase except when uppercase is commonly written''': The article title should be lowercase.<ref>The first character is currently "forced" uppercase by our software, but the names of the articles are generally considered to be lowercase: "[[computer]]."</ref> A name that is typically used with title case in a normal sentence should use that form in the article title.  So: [[love]] and [[computational complexity theory]]; but [[American Chemical Society]] and [[Mississippi River]].  
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'''Prefer singular''': Prefer the singular form of nouns ([[Bear]], not [[Bears]]).
  
'''Prefer singular''': Prefer the singular form of nouns (with few exceptions). For example, prefer [[bear]] to [[bears]].  This makes linking to articles easier and more intuitive.
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'''First name first''': Articles about people put the first name first (e.g., [[Albert Einstein]]). Our metadata template alphabetizes the page according to the "abc" field in the metadata template.  Fill in the "abc" field  as <code><nowiki>abc = Einstein, Albert</nowiki></code>. This will file the Einstein article in all categories under "E" rather than "A" (See [[CZ:Using the Subpages template]]).
  
'''First name first''': Unless there is a compelling reason not to, articles about people should begin with the person's first name first (e.g., [[Albert Einstein]]).  Our metadata template will alphabetize the page in category listings according to the "abc" field.  Fill in the "abc" field in the metadata template as <code><nowiki>abc = Einstein, Albert</nowiki></code>.  This field will file the Einstein article in all categories under "E" rather than "A" (See [[CZ:Using the Subpages template]]).
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'''Punctuation''': Avoid punctuation in an article title, but there are many exceptions:  
 
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#Disambiguation titles use parentheses (e.g. [[Accidental (music)]])—[[CZ:Naming_Conventions#Disambiguation_in_page_titles|see below]]
'''Punctuation''': Do not use punctuation in an article title.  Dashes, hyphens, colons, semi-colons, parentheses, periods, and commas should be avoided in article titles unless excepted.  There are four exceptions to this policy: (1) a disambiguation title should use parenthesis ([[CZ:Naming_Conventions#Disambiguation_in_page_titles|see below]]); (2) geographical place names (e.g., [[Anchorage, Alaska]]); (3) artistic works shall be rendered exactly as produced (e.g., [[William Faulkner|William Faulkner's]] ''[[Absalom, Absalom!]]'', [[Willa Cather|Willa Cather's]] ''[[O Pioneers!]]''); (4) Initials if used as common name (e.g., [[J. R. R. Tolkien]]). Note also that initials are spaced (we prefer J. R. R. Tolkien to J.R.R. Tolkien).  Some initials, however, do not use periods (e.g., USS, HMS, RMS, USSR, PRC, BBC, NBC, etc.; but always U.S.).<ref>The usage of "U.S." is technical as the search engine will differentiate between "U.S." and "us" but not "US" and "us". Thus if it were "US", a search for U.S. topics such as the "U.S. Civil War" would also return "between us, civil war erupted."  Similarly, searches for "US" topics would also return "USSR" topics.</ref>
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#Geographical place names may require commas (e.g., [[Anchorage, Alaska]])  
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#Artistic works are rendered as titled (e.g., [[William Faulkner|William Faulkner's]] ''[[Absalom, Absalom!]]'', [[Willa Cather|Willa Cather's]] ''[[O Pioneers!]]'')
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#A person's name may include initials (e.g., [[J.R.R. Tolkien]]). Most institutions with acronyms or initialisms (e.g. NATO, WHO, USSR, BBC, NBC) along with official names comprised of initials (e.g., USS, HMS, RMS) do not use periods; but note that CZ usage is U.S. and not US<ref>The usage of "U.S." is technical as the search engine will differentiate between "U.S." and "us" but not "US" and "us". Thus if it were "US", a search for U.S. topics such as the "U.S. Civil War" would also return "between us, civil war erupted."  Similarly, searches for "US" topics would also return "USSR" topics.</ref>
  
 
== Disambiguation in page titles ==
 
== Disambiguation in page titles ==
 
{{seealso|CZ:Disambiguation}}
 
{{seealso|CZ:Disambiguation}}
To ''disambiguate'' is to reduce ambiguity.  It is occasionally necessary to place clarifying phrases within parentheses to specify ''which'' of various possible topics might be meant. There are at least two sorts of case in which this is necessary:
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To ''disambiguate'' is to reduce ambiguity.  It is occasionally necessary to place clarifying phrases within parentheses to specify ''which'' of various possible topics might be meant. For example, when
 
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#The title is used in multiple ways, and the sense in the article is ''not'' the most common sense.  For example, there is a line of cosmetics called "Philosophy"; the article about that might live at [[Philosophy (cosmetics)]]. The article about deep thought continues to live at [[Philosophy]].
* The title (i.e., the word or phrase in the title) is used in multiple ways, and the sense discussed in the article is ''not'' the most common sense.  For example, there is a line of cosmetics called "Philosophy"; the article about that might live at [[Philosophy (cosmetics)]]. The article about deep thought continues to live at [[Philosophy]]--no parentheses needed.
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#The title takes a common word or phrase and uses it in a special way.  For example, "attack surface" is a term in computer science, but the words ''could'' mean all sorts of things, such as the deck of an aircraft carrier or a ping-pong table.  To clarify that we are using the word or phrase in a special way, we include a disambiguating phrase: e.g. [[attack surface (software)]]; [[phenomenon (Kant's philosophy)]]; [[frontal scale (snakes)]].
 
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* The title takes a common word or phrase, or what might appear to be common, and uses it in a special way.  For example, "attack surface" is a term in computer science, but the words themselves ''could'' mean all sorts of things, such as the deck of an aircraft carrier or a ping-pong table.  Simply to clarify that we are using the word or phrase in a special way, we include a disambiguating phrase: [[attack surface (software)]].  More examples: [[phenomenon (Kant's philosophy)]]; [[frontal scale (snakes)]]; [[pissant (insect)]].
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Some titles should ''always'' be disambiguated&mdash; in particular, those titles that do not suggest any one particular sense.  For example, "Georgia" is apt to bring to mind the U.S. state as much as the country in the Caucasus.  Or, in any event, in the interests of [[CZ:Neutrality Policy|neutrality]], we should not pretend that any one sense is the primary one. Therefore, we should use [[Georgia (U.S. state)]] and [[Georgia (country)]], or similar, suitably unambiguous titles. What should we put at [[Georgia]] (with no parentheses)? At [[Georgia]], we should put a "[[CZ:disambiguation|disambiguation]] page," i.e., a page that lists and links to the different pages with the title in question.
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Some titles should ''always'' be disambiguated&mdash; in particular, those that do not suggest any one particular sense.  For example, "Georgia" is apt to bring to mind the U.S. state as much as the country in the Caucasus.  Therefore, we  use [[Georgia (U.S. state)]] and [[Georgia (country)]], or similar, suitably unambiguous titles.  At [[Georgia]], we put a "[[CZ:disambiguation|disambiguation]] page," i.e., a page that lists and links to the different pages with the title in question.
  
 
Similarly, [[CZ_Talk:Naming_Conventions#Proposed_solution | royalty should be disambiguated]] by kingdom in parentheses.  King [[James I]] should be disambiguated in the title by kingdom: [[James I (England)]], [[James I (Scotland)]], [[James I (Aragon)]].
 
Similarly, [[CZ_Talk:Naming_Conventions#Proposed_solution | royalty should be disambiguated]] by kingdom in parentheses.  King [[James I]] should be disambiguated in the title by kingdom: [[James I (England)]], [[James I (Scotland)]], [[James I (Aragon)]].
  
 
== Geographical names==
 
== Geographical names==
Names of geographical entities should be written in full, in title case, and without the definite article ("the"): [[Pacific Ocean]], [[Red Sea]], [[Nile]], [[North America]].  Please use the common name in English ([[Amazon River]] '''not''' "River Amazon" since the river is usually known by the former name).  Generally, use the name of a geographical entity usually given by the locals if English-speaking, and most often used in English if the locals are not English-speaking (e.g., [[Rio Grande]]).  In uncertain cases, some sort of disambiguation should be used in the title.
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Names of geographical entities should be written in full, in title case, and without the definite article ("the"): [[Pacific Ocean]], [[Red Sea]], [[Nile]], [[North America]].  Generally, use the name of a geographical entity usually given by the locals if English-speaking, and most often used in English if the locals are not English-speaking (e.g., [[Rio Grande]]).  In uncertain cases, some sort of disambiguation should be used in the title.
  
 
==Incorrectly named articles==
 
==Incorrectly named articles==
If you see a page that you think has been incorrectly named, first look at the article's Talk: page to see if the issue has been previously discussed and if a consensus has been reached about it.  If not, leave a note with your suggestion, and add the article to [[:Category:Rename suggested]] (add <nowiki>[[Category:Rename suggested]]</nowiki> to the bottom of the talk page). It might also be wise to notify the Constabulary directly, since the "Category:Rename suggested" is, at the moment, not frequently looked at. The Constables can be reached by sending an email to [mailto:constables@citizendium.org constables@citizendium.org] or by clicking on one of the various Constabulary links that are scattered throughout Citizendium's pages.
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If you see a page that you think has been incorrectly named, first look at the article's Talk: page to see if the issue has been previously discussed and if a consensus has been reached about it.  If not, leave a note with your suggestion, and add the article to [[:Category:Rename suggested]] (add <nowiki>[[Category:Rename suggested]]</nowiki> to the bottom of the talk page). It might also be wise to notify the work group editors directly, since the "Category:Rename suggested" is, at the moment, not frequently looked at. You can find a list of the work group editors by navigating through the [[CZ:Workgroups]] pages.  Look for the "editors" link under "community".
  
 
==Special cases==
 
==Special cases==
===Lowercase first letters===
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*Some pages, like [[pH]] and [[e (mathematics)]], require lower case titles, which are done like this:
Some pages, like [[pH]] and [[e (mathematics)]], require lower case titles, which are done like this:
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:<nowiki>{{lowercase|title=pH}}</nowiki> at the top of the article gives the correct title form for [[pH]]<br>
 
:<nowiki>{{lowercase|title=pH}}</nowiki> at the top of the article gives the correct title form for [[pH]]<br>
 
:<nowiki>{{lowercase|title=e (mathematics}}</nowiki> gives the correct title form of [[e (mathematics)]].
 
:<nowiki>{{lowercase|title=e (mathematics}}</nowiki> gives the correct title form of [[e (mathematics)]].
  
=== Article titles with a "/" in them ===
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*Some pages, like [[9/11 Attack]], require a "/" in their titles, which for technical reasons doesn't work with our [[CZ:Article structure#Subpages|subpage]] system. Use {{tl|slashtitle}}, and follow the instructions on that page.
Some pages, like [[9/11 Attack]], require a "/" in their titles, which for technical reasons doesn't work with our [[CZ:Article structure#Subpages|subpage]] system. Use {{tl|slashtitle}}, and follow the instructions on that page.
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== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==

Latest revision as of 17:54, 5 December 2010

[edit intro]

Citizendium has various conventions about how to name articles. Most importantly, all words in an article name, except for the first word, should be lower case and singular (e.g. Sympathetic nervous system), unless it is normal to write it in the upper case or plural (e.g. Great Britain, Pants). Another convention is that the common names for things are preferred to the obscure, although there are exceptions.

How to title articles

If an article concerns only one aspect of a topic, then it should have a precise title that accurately reflects the content. For example, if an article about Russia is only about the history of Russia, then it should be named History of Russia.

Generally, prefer common names. The common names for things are preferred to the recondite or obscure. For instance, you might better place an article at Bill Clinton rather than William Jefferson Clinton.

Typographical and stylistic rules

Prefer singular: Prefer the singular form of nouns (Bear, not Bears).

First name first: Articles about people put the first name first (e.g., Albert Einstein). Our metadata template alphabetizes the page according to the "abc" field in the metadata template. Fill in the "abc" field as abc = Einstein, Albert. This will file the Einstein article in all categories under "E" rather than "A" (See CZ:Using the Subpages template).

Punctuation: Avoid punctuation in an article title, but there are many exceptions:

  1. Disambiguation titles use parentheses (e.g. Accidental (music))—see below
  2. Geographical place names may require commas (e.g., Anchorage, Alaska)
  3. Artistic works are rendered as titled (e.g., William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!, Willa Cather's O Pioneers!)
  4. A person's name may include initials (e.g., J.R.R. Tolkien). Most institutions with acronyms or initialisms (e.g. NATO, WHO, USSR, BBC, NBC) along with official names comprised of initials (e.g., USS, HMS, RMS) do not use periods; but note that CZ usage is U.S. and not US[1]

Disambiguation in page titles

See also: CZ:Disambiguation

To disambiguate is to reduce ambiguity. It is occasionally necessary to place clarifying phrases within parentheses to specify which of various possible topics might be meant. For example, when

  1. The title is used in multiple ways, and the sense in the article is not the most common sense. For example, there is a line of cosmetics called "Philosophy"; the article about that might live at Philosophy (cosmetics). The article about deep thought continues to live at Philosophy.
  2. The title takes a common word or phrase and uses it in a special way. For example, "attack surface" is a term in computer science, but the words could mean all sorts of things, such as the deck of an aircraft carrier or a ping-pong table. To clarify that we are using the word or phrase in a special way, we include a disambiguating phrase: e.g. attack surface (software); phenomenon (Kant's philosophy); frontal scale (snakes).

Some titles should always be disambiguated— in particular, those that do not suggest any one particular sense. For example, "Georgia" is apt to bring to mind the U.S. state as much as the country in the Caucasus. Therefore, we use Georgia (U.S. state) and Georgia (country), or similar, suitably unambiguous titles. At Georgia, we put a "disambiguation page," i.e., a page that lists and links to the different pages with the title in question.

Similarly, royalty should be disambiguated by kingdom in parentheses. King James I should be disambiguated in the title by kingdom: James I (England), James I (Scotland), James I (Aragon).

Geographical names

Names of geographical entities should be written in full, in title case, and without the definite article ("the"): Pacific Ocean, Red Sea, Nile, North America. Generally, use the name of a geographical entity usually given by the locals if English-speaking, and most often used in English if the locals are not English-speaking (e.g., Rio Grande). In uncertain cases, some sort of disambiguation should be used in the title.

Incorrectly named articles

If you see a page that you think has been incorrectly named, first look at the article's Talk: page to see if the issue has been previously discussed and if a consensus has been reached about it. If not, leave a note with your suggestion, and add the article to Category:Rename suggested (add [[Category:Rename suggested]] to the bottom of the talk page). It might also be wise to notify the work group editors directly, since the "Category:Rename suggested" is, at the moment, not frequently looked at. You can find a list of the work group editors by navigating through the CZ:Workgroups pages. Look for the "editors" link under "community".

Special cases

  • Some pages, like pH and e (mathematics), require lower case titles, which are done like this:
{{lowercase|title=pH}} at the top of the article gives the correct title form for pH
{{lowercase|title=e (mathematics}} gives the correct title form of e (mathematics).
  • Some pages, like 9/11 Attack, require a "/" in their titles, which for technical reasons doesn't work with our subpage system. Use {{slashtitle}}, and follow the instructions on that page.

Notes

  1. The usage of "U.S." is technical as the search engine will differentiate between "U.S." and "us" but not "US" and "us". Thus if it were "US", a search for U.S. topics such as the "U.S. Civil War" would also return "between us, civil war erupted." Similarly, searches for "US" topics would also return "USSR" topics.


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