This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Wikipedia talk:Article titles

DIFFCAPS for title-case terms

I thought I had a moderate leaning restrictive line for when DIFFCAPS / SMALLDETAILS is sufficient disambiguation. I believe that terminal punctuation "." and "," is never enough, other terminal punctual is rarely good enough, plural forms are rarely good enough, leading articles ("the", "a" etc) are not good enough and homoglyphs are not good enough.

At Talk:Mass_Hysteria_(band)#Requested_move_4_September_2018, User:Amakuru 12:09, 3 October 2018, tells us "DIFFCAPS for title-case terms is basically dead". I see the point. Non regular Wikipedians (i.e. most readers) will not instinctively know Wikipedia's slightly unusual disdain for capitalised title case outside of composition titles.

I propose that Amakuru's position be agreed with. Title case DIFFCAPS are not sufficient disambiguation. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:57, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

  • User:Cuchullain closed the RM, showing, I'll say, that DIFFCAPS for title-case was unpersuasive. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:52, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: I'm not sure what "slightly unusual disdain" for title case refers to. Using sentence case in article titles and headings, as we do, seems pretty standard in most of the English-speaking world (that is, outside of the U.S., and increasingly there too) for everything except the title of the publication itself. That being so, having a term in title case would, and does, clearly indicate some kind of special emphasis.

    The argument that most readers won't be familiar with Wiki capitalization rules keeps cropping up in these discussions; while certainly true, how does that affect usability of the site in practice? Using Dicklyon's example, how many readers interested in the foodstuff are really going to search for Red Meat as opposed to red meat?

    Finally, as an aside, if the distinction is eliminated from this policy, then WP:NCCAPS#Page names that differ only by capitalization will likewise have to be struck. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 09:34, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

  • A similar conclusion happened with Talk:Eighth Grade (film). If editors are going against this aspect of policy, then get rid of the red-meat example. It is a waste of time to keep that aspect when it cannot be invoked. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 14:01, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I've been feeling of late that DIFFCAPS makes me sad and would generally support this action. However, I would prefer to see an RFC on the topic given its age. --Izno (talk) 16:27, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
    Well we can turn it into an RFC by putting an RFC tag at the top of this section, then continuing the conversation right here. It doesn't need an act of Congress to? ut that into place!  — Amakuru (talk) 22:34, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
    With the opening statement up there? The answer may come back inconclusive. --Izno (talk) 00:03, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I'd support an RfC on this subject...I've never been a fan of this piece of guidance. RGloucester 18:13, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "It's dead, Jim" to paraphrase Amakuru. Randy Kryn (talk) 08:08, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Since discussion appears to have stalled, I've started an RfC below. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 00:42, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

Request for comment: DIFFCAPS

Should WP:DIFFCAPS specify that title case alone is insufficient disambiguation and/or eliminate the Red meat vs. Red Meat example? See above discussion for the specific context of this request. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 00:42, 17 October 2018 (UTC)


  • Oppose. Unless the best title for a given article is identical with the best title for another article, there is no technical requirement to change either title. If two similar but not identical titles might reasonably cause confusion, that is usually best handled by hatnotes, along with disambiguation pages if necessary. Exceptions are best decided on a case by case basis. Red Meat gets fewer than 2% of the views red meat, but most of them want the comic strip,[1] so there's no reason each article should not be at its own best title. Station1 (talk) 04:37, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as above. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:17, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
    • Expecting newcomers to understand Wikipedia title styling, which is at odds with usual title styling in the wider world, is to accept a newcomer barrier. Newcomer barriers should be minimized as far as reasonable. "Commonsense" is a blithe dismissal of an encultured community ignoring these barriers. DIFFCAPS (titlecase) discussions decide very small matters of disambiguation for articles on topics with ambiguous composition titles, and very frequently, as with "Mass Hysteria", the community agrees that "DIFFCAPS (titlecase)" is not sufficient disambiguation. This policy should not imply at "DIFFCAPS (titlecase)" is sufficient disambiguation, when it is usually agreed otherwise. Red Meat is a contentious case, and as a contentious case it should not be listed as an example, let alone the first example. Indeed, Red Meat is not consistent with the DIFFCAPS rationale, because a reader typing "Red Meat" into the search box and looking for the comic strip would be much better helped by Red Meat (comic strip) appearing as a suggestion, which doesn't happen because of a single bad DIFFCAPS RM decision in which the participants overtly referenced this policy section as questionable. Also, PRECISE titling, titling that doesn't lead some readers into mis-recognition mistakes, means that ugly, prime real estate occupying hatnotes are not needed. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:48, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
      • Where did any of the RM participants here say anything about the policy being questionable? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 19:39, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
        • “I'm sympathetic to the argument, but it's my opinion that sometimes”. This is not supportive of a capital P policy.
          “textbook example of our naming conventions (until such time as the policy is changed)“ alludes to “support the policy because it is policy, not because it is a good idea”.
          SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:10, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
          • Those are some debatable inferences there. In any case, nowhere is there an overt reference to the policy as questionable in itself. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 05:26, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
            • Quite right, not “overt”, struck. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:49, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
              • Noted. But how exactly does it amount to a "bad" RM decision when the closer sides with three out of four participants (respondents to the request themselves were unanimous)? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 01:22, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
                • Um. I appreciated your careful reading of my words. No, the “decision” or “close” wasn’t “bad”. I’ll have to work out what I meant and rephrase. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:33, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - I've been part of many of these discussions lately and have never seen a valid case for this part of the policy. Yes, as Station1 says, there is no technical requirement that blocks two articles with the same title in different caps, but so what? Are computers the intended audience? Human beings, especially ones that aren't knowledgeable of how (read: why) Wikipedia works, won't know that these titles are different articles. In almost all places a reader encounters, there is no distinction between caps. You could write WWW.WIKIPEDIA.ORG or WwW.WikIpeDiA.oRg and reach the same site; create a word document in your computer and it won't let you create another one with different caps; even when speaking you don't know how that person is imagining the spelling style. Then why do we expect our readers to all of sudden realize that something here is different than every other place they know? Also, as can be seen at Talk:Spider-Man: Far From Home/Archive 1#Requested move 14 July 2018 and Talk:Mid90s#Requested move 23 July 2018 - different publications sometimes even use slightly different styles (whether that is a capitalization of one word, or a use of a dash or not). This whole section should be deleted - difference in capitalization, difference in punctuation and difference of articles ("the", "a" etc) are all meaningless differences to readers, our audience. --Gonnym (talk) 12:12, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Title case alone is technically sufficient to differentiate the titles, and hatnotes are sufficient for navigation. Use the best title for an article, and deviate from that only when technically required. There will still be cases where one topic is primary for multiple cap variations, but there will also be cases where different topics are primary for caps variations. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:15, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – This is a clear example of a reader unfriendly policy. Different capitalisation does not clearly indicate a different topic, does not satisfy the requirements of WP:CONCISE, and furthermore, there's no reason to send some of our readers to minor topics they don't want merely because they capitalise things differently from us when they type. Natural and parenthetical disambiguation are ALWAYS preferable. RGloucester 13:20, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
No, I did not mean WP:PRECISE. I do not think 'Red Meat' contains sufficient information to distinguish it from other topics, even to someone familiar with that topic area. Concision is not merely brevity, the topic must also be clearly identified. If one looks at 'Red Meat' in a vacuum, there is no clear indication that said appellation refers to a comic strip. RGloucester 15:25, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose both. Distinguishing title-case and sentence-case terms seems like a common-sense and useful way to keep titles as concise as possible. No sign it creates a serious problem with navigation. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 21:52, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It seems the proposal entails two interrelated changes. These are, to use the red meat example (with some simplification):
    1. Moving Red Meat to Red Meat (comic strip). Taken on its own, this doesn't have much to recommend it: there is a gain in precision and a loss in brevity, I don't know if they balance out, but I would generally want to avoid titles with parenthetical disambiguators whenever possible: these are wikipedia-specific and not part of the natural-language repertoire of most of our readers. If the move is nevertheless performed, the proposal entails the second step:
    2. Retargeting Red Meat (title case) to Red meat (lower case). Now this is more problematic. The vast majority of our readers search using all lower case. Some of them would be looking for the comic strip, and that's why we've got a hatnote at Red meat; if we really wanted to make things even easier, then we should adopt a preference (weighted against WP:PRIMARYTOPIC) for having the article at the lower-case title be a disambiguation page whenever possible. Regardless, these readers are not affected by what happens with the page whose name is in title case. The readers that are affected are those who have searched using title case. Of course, some of them have done so by mistake and are actually looking for the type of meat rather than the comic strip; it's for them that Red Meat has a hatnote pointing to Red meat. But if a reader has taken the trouble to use title case in their search query, then it usually means they expect the difference in case to be significant and to take them to their intended target quicker. That is, readers who search for "Red Meat" (in title case) are most often looking for a proper noun, some published work (presumably the comic strip) rather than the type of meat. We will be doing these readers a disfavour by making Red Meat a redirect to Red meat.
    The distinction between lower case and title case doesn't presuppose any knowledge of wikipedia, it's part of the way the English language is written, and some of our readers make use of it when searching. Overall, the proposal will negatively affect those readers, while making no difference to the rest of our users. – Uanfala (talk) 13:06, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
  • @Randy Kryn, Izno, Amakuru, Dicklyon, and Erik: Pinging people from the above discussion who've not commented here. RGloucester 19:17, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support simply because editors are going against policy as they did here even though policy was invoked: Talk:Eighth Grade (film). If this aspect cannot be invoked, then there is no point in having it. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 19:26, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the proposition "that title case alone is insufficient disambiguation"; say so and remove the Dead Meat example. Dicklyon (talk) 21:50, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the proposition "that title case alone is insufficient disambiguation". — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 09:59, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. In most cases title case differences alone are not sufficient to resolve title ambiguity. olderwiser 10:10, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support "that title case alone is insufficient disambiguation". Excess reliance on WP:SMALLDETAILS creates unnecessary headaches and puzzlement. Simple capitalization differences should not be grounds for eschewing disambiguation. — JFG talk 10:43, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Absolutely. I've always thought (and argued in RMs) that this is ridiculous and not helpful to disambiguation. -- Necrothesp (talk) 11:20, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Depends We do have Iron Maiden/Iron maiden but Attention Seeker is a redirect. As noted its possible to have titles at different caps by the software (apart from the 1st letter) by contrast Slapton, Buckinghamshire and Slapton, Devon cannot both go at Slapton. Personally I search by capitalizing the 1st letter instinctively when searching. Crouch, Swale (talk) 13:06, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't how we can say categorically that title case is insufficient. Sometimes it will be, sometimes it won't. Case-by-case discussion - aka the status quo - seems an excellent way to find out which one a particular case is. Dohn joe (talk) 02:31, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Not that I'm a big fan of it, but as Uanfala pointed out, we seem to be seeking a solution for a non-existing problem, and further, we would inconvenience the readers who are aware of proper casing. Perhaps we should amend the wording to further discourage the practice, but it makes perfect sense for a limited set of examples (Iron Maiden / Iron maiden being the most apparent one), and I'm reluctant to deprecate it altogether. No such user (talk) 10:39, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Forgot to cast a vote here, but as I've said before, DIFFCAPS is a navel-gazing Wikilawyering policy which depends on the quirks of our internal naming conventions and puts the readers last instead of putting them first. Let's be absolutely clear here, Red Meat would mean a food product to the vast majority of English speakers, and we are not serving anyone by taking them to a page about an obscure comic strip when they select that option from the search box.  — Amakuru (talk) 22:31, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Support: It seems highly unlikely that it would even occur to a reader that capitalization would be a significant distinguishing factor on Wikipedia, web search engines seem to totally ignore capitalization, it tends to be somewhat hard to type with specific capitalization on some devices, and many people (especially younger ones) often don't bother trying to follow capitalization rules in the interest of increasing their typing speed. If the Wikipedia:Article titles policy needs to discuss the question, it should probably say that capitalization alone is ordinarily not considered sufficient for disambiguation. And Red Meat has always seemed too contentious to be the basis of Wikipedia policy. What kid is going to realize that "Eighth Grade" might take them to a different place on Wikipedia than "eighth grade"? —BarrelProof (talk) 16:01, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose both. Not broke; don't fix. There isn't a real problem here, and this has always been handled on a case-by-case basis anyway. WP:Common sense is in fact being applied, even if someone can find a case here and there where it has not prevailed due to who was at that time involved in the discussion. Problems like that just even out over time. Where we have potential issues is usually going to resolve to cases when topic A is usually but not always capitalized and topic B is usually but not always lower-cased. People who make a DIFFCAPS argument in such a case are simply wrong.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:43, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The purpose of a title is to tell the reader the name of the subject discussed in the article. It follows that the title should be as close as possible to the actual name of the subject. Disambiguation should be minimal -- only what is required to avoid clashes. The risk of a reader unintentionally capitalizing a letter when he wants the lower cased form is overblown. Parenthetical disambiguation seems to be unique to Wikipedia, so I can't accept the argument that it is what readers expect. FineStructure137 (talk) 23:12, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. In its current form, WP:DIFFCAPS hurts the usability of Wikipedia, since popular web search engines are case-insensitive and most readers would be more familiar with a system that treats articles in the same manner. Having two separate articles at the same name (with different capitalizations) is confusing, and the usability impact outweighs the convenience of giving one of the articles a shorter title. — Newslinger talk 09:43, 18 November 2018 (UTC)


Table taken from Letter_case#Title_case. Wikipedia's chosen style for composition titles is indicated in the third row "Title case, matches MOS:TITLECAPS"

A comparison of various case styles (from most to least capitals used)
Case style Example Description
All-caps  THE   VITAMINS   ARE   IN   MY   FRESH   CALIFORNIA   RAISINS  All letters uppercase
Start case The Vitamins Are In My Fresh California Raisins All words capitalised regardless of function
Title case, matches MOS:TITLECAPS The Vitamins Are in My Fresh California Raisins The first word and all other words capitalised except for articles and short prepositions and conjunctions
The Vitamins are in My Fresh California Raisins As above but also excepting copulae (forms of "to be")
The Vitamins are in my Fresh California Raisins As above but excepting all closed-class words
German-style sentence case The Vitamins are in my fresh California Raisins The first word and all nouns capitalised
Sentence case The vitamins are in my fresh California raisins The first word, proper nouns and some specified words capitalised
All-lowercase the vitamins are in my fresh california raisins All letters lowercase (unconventional in English)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by SmokeyJoe (talkcontribs) 05:15, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

Title case can reasonably be expected for all Wikipedia articles. A Wikipedia article is a composition, the article title could be considered a composition title, and thus could be expected to be in title case even it is also a descriptive title. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:20, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I think you've got it backwards. Article titles are normally in sentence case per WP:TITLEFORMAT, unless specifically about a work of art, literature, etc. A cursory perusal of any given topic area should make this obvious. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 06:24, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
You've misunderstood the point. Yes, titles are in sentence case by default, but they could also reasonably be expected to be in title case. Plenty of publications put all titles in title case (hence the name). DIFFCAPS expects readers to be aware of the fact that we title articles in sentence case in order to recognise the article title, which is an unreasonable expectation.  — Amakuru (talk) 06:37, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I see the point now. However, I'm not sure I agree. The use of title case for all titles within a given publication is mostly done in the U.S., not so much elsewhere. Also, any reader who spends five minutes on Wikipedia can see that most of our article titles are not in title case. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 07:12, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Mostly, I can't believe we actually have an ad worked into our style guideline as an "example"! Wnt (talk) 22:37, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── This idea keeps cropping up that readers won't understand or know the difference between title case and sentence case. This makes little sense to me. For one thing, the written word exists in more places than the Internet. Most of those places, such as books and newspapers, have definite capitalization rules that readers will be familiar with from experience. DIFFCAPS merely reflects this reality. For another, even written (typed) online communication doesn't use arbitrary capitalization as a general rule. When beginning an email, how many online users will type "DeaR MrS. joNEs" rather than "Dear Mrs. Jones"? Readers who are truly only semi-literate might be momentarily confused by these rules, but then they will be baffled by most written communication. We shouldn't make titles needlessly long and cluttered with disambiguating terms just to placate these few, and I've never seen any evidence that this kind of confusion is a real problem. For the truly borderline cases, hatnotes make the desired page a click away. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 20:28, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

I'm not sure why we're talking about whether WP should have a title-case or sentence-case system for capitalizing our article titles in the middle of a thread about how to treat the name of works of art. But anyway: I arrived here in 2005 or so with the name pro-title-case viewpoint, but have come around and did so pretty quickly. Titles of sub-works (articles, chapters) being given in sentence case is the modern norm in the majority of academic publishing (an encyclopedia is an academic work). It also serves some important functions we care about, like (except for the first word, anyway) making it clearer what is and is not a proper name within the the title. This has the side benefit of not encouraging and spreading over-capitalization (in our prose or around the world), and not having a mismatch between the subject's name as presented in the title and the article body. I don't think the sky would fall if we switched to a title-case system, but today I'd be inclined to oppose on these bases, and because, with over 5 million articles, it would be a tremendous amount of work (much of which could not be automated) for no clear benefit.

There's an even stronger reason, though: we already get constant squabbling any time title case is involved. It's like people's brains just fall out on the floor. A diffuse cluster of editors regularly active at RM just cannot seems to understand or will not accept that WP has a title case system that uses the five-letter rule for prepositions, like a lot of mainstream book publishers do ("in", "for", "into", "from", "About", "Along", "Toward", "Alongside"), while newspapers typically have a four-letter rule ("in", "for", "Into", "From", "About", ....), and "high academic" publishers usually follow a capitalize-zero-prepositions rule ("in" ... "from" ... "alongside"). Then their dropped brains melt on the floor when confronted with a word that's usually not a preposition but is being used as one in the case at hand ("Do It like a Dude") or a word commonly a preposition that in this case is something else, like a phrasal verb's particle half ("Call Off Your Dogs"). The liquified brains then evaporate completely, when their "follow the sources" mantra, which they don't understand or will not accept applies to facts in the content not how we write about them, encounters "Do It Like A Dude" on a CD cover (and sometimes in crappy entertainment magazines), leading to the wacky idea that WP "must" write it as "Like A". It boggles the mind [that remained snug in its skull] that some people have this much difficult with it, but they definitely do.

It's become abundantly clear that title case isn't workable as a general approach except within a small organization where everyone has the same understanding about how to capitalize titles, knows enough about language to understand prepositions (or at least the willingness to go look it up), and can be fired for being pains in the ass if they won't follow the house style book. On WP, title case for every article title would be an unmitigated disaster of constant fighting about the same crap over and over again, a huge productivity vacuum – take all our disputes about names of WP articles that are titles of works or other proper names, and multiply it by at least hundreds of thousands (the total of: 5 million or so articles, minus one-word titles, minus multi-word titles with no prepositions).
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  16:48, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

@Gonnym: you really think that most readers who have ever picked up a book or newspaper won't immediately see a difference in meaning between price of milk and The Price of Milk (definite article, capitalization)? Maybe not the best example; I've just edited both pages recently so they are what springs to mind. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 20:45, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

I think that they won't know what your meaning is. Have you been around WP:RM? Look how many incorrectly titled articles are nominated each day. Just from today you have Talk:French Republican Calendar#Requested move 11 October 2018 which the nominator wants to change "French Republican Calendar" to "French Republican calendar" with one other editor supporting "French republican calendar". Or you could look at Talk:Victoria (Australia)#Requested move 9 October 2018, where the editors can't agree on how that title should be. And again, look at the 2 previous discussions I cited, which all have similar issues. Our -pedia isn't written by experts in their field and we don't have paid professional editors to spell-check common mistakes. How do you expect our readers to know what a random editor wanted the title to represent, when we ourselves can't even adhere to the common naming guidelines or even agree to a common style? And if you are asking about readers being confused then yes, how is Airplane different from Airplane!? When you talk about the film with a friend, do you yell out the name? --Gonnym (talk) 20:57, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, Wikipedia is a written, not spoken, project. Written and spoken language are pretty different; they are to some extent handled in different regions of the brain. Speech contains nonverbal cues that writing doesn't. Thatswhywedontwr­itesentenceswithwor­dsallcrammedtoge­therlikethis even though that's how most of us talk. As for inconsistency in applying the policy, that's to be expected from any group effort. How do we expect readers to know that anything on Wikipedia is correct? The idea is that collaborative editing is a self-correcting process. And readers often won't know the exact meaning of an article title. But most readers looking for a specific article should already have some familiarity with the topic(s), and so any further disambiguation will be unnecessary, or can be handled with hatnotes and DAB pages. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 22:25, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia also serves the blind. Review Wikipedia:ACCESSIBILITY. Many use screen readers. Ambiguous titles hurt. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:53, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I respond to your point about users not understanding what an article is by its title by showing you that article choices are in a lot of situations flawed, and you respond by using the "it's a work in progress" argument? If the system is flawed, don't add a clause that acts as if it isn't. Also, your written vs spoken argument is irrelevant. If I tell someone who doesn't know of Airplane! to go check it out on Wikipedia, he'll just type either "Airplane" or "Airplane film" - now let's assume there is another film - "Airplane." - does that make it even more obvious now? Or if you want a real-current-example, see Talk:Bad Lands (1939 film)#Requested move 8 October 2018 - can you tell me which film the 1939 film is? Bad Lands, The Bad Lands, Badlands or The Badlands? Why use a hatnotes or a dab page when a better title option can make it clear? And also, you've completely ignored my point where the same spelling with different caps is unheard of in most daily usages for readers - from browsing online, google searches, word documents and even picking user names in various sites - they don't expect this non-standard approach here either. --Gonnym (talk) 05:10, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Whether any of the naming choices referenced are/were "flawed" is open to debate. The only example offered that has anything to do with "typographically near-identical expressions" on Wikipedia is the Bad Lands film example. The others deal with basic formatting consistency and adherence to sources. These complaints are really just idle speculation until somebody shows that DIFFCAPS creates a significant problem in practice. I think the most persuasive argument so far is SmokeyJoe's point about screen readers. I believe most would read Red meat and Red Meat as identical. Not sure about punctuation, and all-caps text is apparently often read letter by letter. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 20:15, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
But wouldn't the screen reader then go on read the hatnote next, just like a sighted person would? I thought that was a reason that they are always at the top of the page. Station1 (talk) 23:03, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that's true. Ambiguity for screen-reader users seems like it would be a concern mostly with lists of links, such as in "See also" sections or on disambiguation pages that closely follow MoS guidance to omit wordy descriptions. Otherwise, search results and links in running text should normally have enough context/description to distinguish similarly-named titles. @SmokeyJoe: do you have a specific instance in mind where ambiguous titles made navigation difficult for screen-reader users? —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 18:27, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
The alternative of using parenthetical disambiguation might create its own accessibility problems. As Uanfala pointed out, such parenthetical terms aren't a very natural-sounding use of language; Red Meat (comic strip) read aloud might sound like two separate items, since screen readers often don't indicate parentheses and other punctuation. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 18:45, 20 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't have anything to add to the brief comments I made the last time this came up. Graham87 02:38, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment. Titlecase was designed by compositors for compositors, probably by American compositors, and it often produces what look to me like very ugly or foolish results. The rules can also be difficult to understand and/or unclear. However, titlecase is too well embedded in Wikipedia to change now. (How I envy German Wikipedia, for having a language where the capitalisation rules are crystal clear, and don't vary between quotations and titles of artistic works or organisations!)
Should the song listed on the album label and sleeve as "REFLECTIONS IN A FLAT" be listed as "Reflections in a Flat" or as "Reflections in A flat"? Either loses the pun. That song is unlikely ever to pass WP:NSONG, but the point is more general. Narky Blert (talk) 22:17, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Is this the discussion that could send DIFFCAPS into oblivion? Flooded with them hundreds 09:50, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Article names of statues of people

We have some articles such as the recently created Louis Agassiz (sculpture) and Alexander von Humboldt (Stanford University) whose titles seem strange to me, as they presume that the name of the subject is the name of the work, even though no cited source supports that interpretation. They open like "Alexander von Humboldt is a statue...". Their creator (@Another Believer:) says this is common, at least for statues in the US, so it's done for consistency. Does anyone have more info on this, or suggested alternatives, or know of a relevant guideline or convention? Dicklyon (talk) 05:01, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

For statues there seems to be a clear split between different countries, or perhaps different sides of the Atlantic: compare Category:Sculptures of men in Germany with Category:Sculptures of men in Canada. UK similar to Germany ("Statue of ..."), US similar to Canada ("... (sculpture)"). Women treated the same, eg (Category:Sculptures of women in the United Kingdom. There's also a question of how these should be sorted - Statue of Millicent Fawcett files under "S" while Statue of Amy Winehouse files at "W". Painted/drawn portraits and photographs are related areas which ought perhaps to be considered alongside any discussion of names of sculptural representations of individuals: compare Catharina Brugmans and Portrait of Baertje Martens. PamD 08:04, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
And looking at Category:Statues in California we have Alexander von Humboldt (Stanford University), Benito Juárez (Tamariz), and Ernest W. Hahn (sculpture) - disambiguated by location, artist and form. And William McKinley statue (Patigian). Maybe some scope for an improvement in consistency?! PamD 17:48, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
OK, looks like a bit of mess. Time for a powwow on some conventions? Dicklyon (talk) 04:16, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
I see little problematic with titles such as "Louis Agassiz (sculpture)". I think it is understandable enough. Alphabetization should follow the person's name, not "s" for "statue". I also find the title "Benito Juárez (Tamariz)" acceptable. When there is an article on the artist it is defensible to put the artist's name in the title. Bus stop (talk) 14:13, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
It's not problematic if the statue is called Louis Agassiz, or Benito Juárez. But are they? Or are we making titles that bear no relation to WP:COMMONNAME? According to the cited ref, that statue of Juárez is named "Benemérito de las Américas." Dicklyon (talk) 02:16, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't know if it is the common-name but Benemérito de las Américas is a geographical location. Bus stop (talk) 03:01, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
True; but if you search for that term you also find that it's an honorific name given to Benito Juárez, and is the name of that statue, as the cited ref in the article says. So something like Benemérito de las Américas (sculpture) would make sense. Dicklyon (talk) 06:33, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
By the same argument all three of our articles on sculptures of Benito Juárez could include "Benemérito de las Américas" in the title. We have Benito Juárez (Martinez), Benito Juárez (Orozco), and Benito Juárez (Tamariz). The image of the pictured plaque at Benito Juárez (Tamariz) doesn't include the language "Benemérito de las Américas". The article merely says In downtown San Diego, meanwhile, dozens of people gathered at Pantoja Park in front of the statue called "Benemérito de las Américas." I don't think that is enough for us to conclude that the title of the sculpture is "Benemérito de las Américas". Bus stop (talk) 07:36, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Make that four: Benito Juarez (Alciati). Bus stop (talk) 14:28, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Personally, I prefer the “Statue of...” formulation (with location in parenthetical disambiguation where needed) for most sculptures. I find it more precise, and thus clearer for the reader to distinguish between the statue and the subject. Blueboar (talk) 10:17, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I agree with Blueboar, the title should be "Statue of..." so that it is explicitly clear the article is about a statue and not a biography. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:57, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
  • While such an idea sound fine on paper, in all practicability it goes against WP:COMMONAME in cases like Nelson's Column. Agathoclea (talk) 12:12, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
    • Looking through the corresponding category i see a lot of x memorial used which is perfect in most cases. If that is not possible I prefer name (staue, location) as that brings the seachterm to the front the title and keeps the disambiguation at the end, where it usually is. Agathoclea (talk) 12:18, 13 October 2018 (UTC)

Comments. In the final analysis I don't think it matters as Wikipedia:Redirects are cheap. We are identifying this as a problematic area. Part of our solution should be a slew of WP:REDIRECTS to account for all possible titles, and in the case of related sculptures, such as the four we have on Benito Juárez, WP:HATNOTES linking to the Benito Juárez (disambiguation) page would seem to be important. (I've made some changes at that disambiguation page.) As for alphabetization within a WP:CATEGORY, I'd say all of the statues should be grouped together, therefore under "B" for "Benito Juárez". Bus stop (talk) 14:43, 13 October 2018 (UTC)

Or "J", as it would be for an article on the person? PamD 16:12, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, you are right—I stand corrected—"J". Bus stop (talk) 16:15, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Although redirects are cheap the name matters in categories (tail wagging the dog). -- PBS (talk) 10:12, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

I agree with both Blueboar's comment and Dicklyon's observation. In the case of a common name then it obviously goes under that name (although a column and a statue are two different things, to paraphrase an historian "They placed Nelson on a pedestal, the highest one in Britain in his case") -- Nelson's column is like Big Ben, it is the common name, but it is not strictly an accurate one. However for descriptive names, putting part of the title in brackets usually implies disambiguation and I do not think it appropriate to use sculpture/statue as a disambiguation unless the name of the thing is the same as something else. So I suggest that we use natural language for the name in the title if it is descriptive. The only reason to disambiguate in such cases is if there are two statues in which case it can be done using the location.

As to whether the description should include sculpture or statue it rather depends the reason for its creation. If it was intended as a commemoration or celebration of a person or thing then statue is probably more appropriate as its artistic merit is of secondary interest. If on, the other hand it was commissioned to decorate a place then it is likely that its artistic merit is more important, and in such cases I think sculpture would be more appropriate. There are other descriptive terms that may be better than statue depending on type eg column, monument, memorial and (possibly) steles.

Should "equestrian statue" be included in the name of such monuments?

-- PBS (talk) 10:12, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

If we go with the “Statue of X (location)” title formulation, I don’t think it is necessary for the title to specify the type of statue (that can be done in the article text)... an exception could be made if there are multiple statues of X in the same location (to further distinguish which statue we are talking about). Blueboar (talk) 13:49, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
There are various situations under discussion at once and I am partly at fault for that. As I understand it, Dicklyon was raising the understandable point that certain titles seem strange. The examples given were Louis Agassiz (sculpture) and Alexander von Humboldt (Stanford University). I agree they are strange. But I think those titles are acceptable although I think lengthier titles are another reasonable option. And I think that redirects should be used liberally. As concerns "statues" and "sculptures" I think "sculpture" is generally preferable. "Sculpture" is the more general term. "Sculpture" is more inclusive of "statue" than "statue" is of "sculpture". But redirects can account for these variations. A concern that arose in subsequent discussion were the 4 statues/sculptures of Benito Juarez. Article titles differentiating the 4 by location seems appropriate to me. But again, lengthier titles can include more terms. I find that acceptable. But I have to ask: is there a reason lengthier titles are frowned upon? Even the terms "statue/sculpture" can be included in a lengthier title. Bus stop (talk) 14:22, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
It may stem from misunderstanding our goal to have Concise titles ... people thinking that concise means “shortest”. Blueboar (talk) 14:48, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
In both those specific examples I think "statue of ..." is a better format as the article titles are as concise and they meet the requirements of natural word order. -- PBS (talk) 15:37, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
Just to point out that aside from the article Alexander von Humboldt (Stanford University) there is the article Statue of Alexander von Humboldt (Begas). Therefore perhaps the title change there would be to "Statue of Alexander von Humboldt at Stanford University". I would find such a title acceptable. But perhaps others would consider such a title too lengthy. Bus stop (talk) 19:15, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I would definitely go with "Statue of Foo (Fooville)" or "Statue of Foo, Fooville", with parenthetical or comma usage dependent on the usual usage on Wikipedia for the appropriate country. It's far less ambiguous. Obviously if there is another name in common usage (Foo Memorial, Nelson's Column, etc) then that should be used instead. But just the name of the person, even with a parenthetical disambiguator? Definitely not. -- Necrothesp (talk) 10:58, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • You say "But just the name of the person, even with a parenthetical disambiguator? Definitely not." Why not? Bus stop (talk) 13:42, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I also think the standard formulation should be "Statue of XXXX", since almost always that's how statues of people are referred to, by default. There may be times when they aren't, but those exceptions can be handled on a case-by-case basis. If there is more than one statue of that person, then we can add the place name too; I'm agnotstic on the comma-vs-parenthesis method, but it seems like "Statue of XXXX (Anytown)" or "Statue of XXXX, Anytown" is the best way to do it when disambiguation is needed. However, I do feel that our default naming convention (in lieu of any exceptions which are clearly in common usage) is "Statue of XXXX". --Jayron32 16:36, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

Comment - the issue here seems to be whether we should use a descriptive title for our articles on statues, or use the name of the work as our article title. There is no “right answer to that. Obviously, some statues are well known by their “name” (examples: “The Thinker” or the various “David”s)... and I have no problem with using this “name” for our article’s title. Others, however, are not well known by their “name”, and we can (and I think should) entitle our articles about them with a descriptive title (Statue of X). Blueboar (talk) 16:03, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

New naming convention

I've started to stub in a new naming convention at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (works of art). After we flesh it out a bit we can call an RFC on it. If we can mostly agree going in, this will be easier. Anyone want to help? Dicklyon (talk) 04:10, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Or anyone want to disagree with what I've said there so far? Dicklyon (talk) 02:48, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
I moved Louis Agassiz (sculpture) to Statue of Louis Agassiz and used it as an example. Any objections? Dicklyon (talk) 03:15, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Articles on statues, I would guess, are likely to proliferate amongst the new articles in the coming decade. Works of art are, in my opinion, under-represented in Wikipedia content. I think statues should not be terribly different from other works of work.
Ideally, Wikipedia titles would be recognisable for consistency and a logical structure of the encyclopedia. This should be desirable, although often in competition with COMMONNAME. That doesn't mean give up. A standard longform, flexibly shortenable would be good. I like:
[[Statue of [Name], [place] (sculptor)]]
"Statue of" will be frequently opposed by the title minimalists, but it has huge recognition benefits. Note that "statue" can be synonymously used with "bust", but other times "statue"/"bust" can be the relative disambiguation (consider Statue of Vibia Sabina[2] & Bust of Vibia Sabina [3]
"Comma, Place" is the very standard real world method for naming places.
Sculptor/author is sometimes done with comma, but this is very much shorthand. "by [author]" is very natural, but not particularly common already in Wikipedia. Disambiguating parenthetically by author would make an easily recognizable style.
Examples would be:
Statue of Alfred the Great, Pewsey
Statue of The Thinker by Auguste Rodin. "The Thinker" is a composition title, but it can be treated the same. --> Statue of The Thinker (Auguste Rodin)
George Washington (Houdon) --> Statue of George Washington (Houdon), Richmond, Virginia.
Buddhas of Bamiyan --> Statues of Buddas, Bamiyan
Bust of Winston Churchill (Epstein)
Oppose disambiguating by a parenthetical place.
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:17, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
It's not necessary to rename The Thinker (an incredibly famous piece of art that needs no further disambiguation and is the primary topic for that title) or the Buddhas of Bamiyan (the common name of the statues). -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:27, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree. The Thinker is a well-known actual name. Many (hopefully most) statue articles should not need to be moved when we formulate conventions, as the conventions will mostly encode what we already do, and just nudge us toward more consistency, and avoid the odd problems like the one that brought me here. Dicklyon (talk) 14:49, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
There is plenty of room for you to join PrimaryTopic arguments at Wikipedia_talk:Disambiguation#What_is_the_purpose_of_WP:PRIMARYTOPIC?. My point here should be read as how to disambiguate when disambiguation is wanted. Therefore I suggest the form of a maximally disambiguated case. "<art-type> of <Name>, Place (artist)". Here the thread specifies statues, but the same thing can be applied to other art, especially art that is not ported about much. George Washington (Houdon) would be titled Statue of George Washington, Richmond, Virginia (Houdon), if there were other GW statues in this and other places by this and different artists, and this artist Houdon also made statues of GW erected in different places, as well as other works such as busts. A wordier version would be: Statue of George Washington, at Richmond, Virginia, by Houdon. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:34, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! Dicklyon (talk) 14:44, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
I might prefer "Statue name ([artist] statue)". I'd generally oppose 'statue of' as not being part of the actual name of the item. Sticking a place name somewhere in there might be done Statue name ([artist] statue [in place]), but statues can move... --Izno (talk) 14:01, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
It's not part of the name, it's a descriptor of the object. Many statues do not have a formal, proper name, they are just a statue of something or someone. If a statue has a common name, or well-used name, we of course default to that, but many statues don't have one. They are just a statue of (whoever). They are not called "Whoever", they have no names. Because of that, we should not title the article as though it was a proper name. --Jayron32 10:53, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
But that's the point, Jayron32, and Izno beat me to making this point. "Statue of" is not part of the name, but making it part of the title implies it is part of the name. While we do have articles with descriptive titles, usually that's for articles about topics that don't have names. Like "List of ..." or "Murder of ...". To specify in a guideline a descriptive title for articles about topics that do have names is actually quite revolutionary for the WP world, and I really don't see good justification for it. While generally I do prefer natural disambiguation, if a statue's name is ambiguous (and it's not the primary topic for that name) then I do think parenthetic disambiguation is preferable, to keep clear what the name is. In addition, "Statue of xxx" might be the actual name of some statues - and we should reserve that format for those statues. So, I too prefer "Statue name ([artist] statue))", where disambiguation is required. --В²C 23:54, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
We've all agreed that when a statue has a name we use it. We're talking about statues that don't have a name. Dicklyon (talk) 23:59, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Many statues have names, non-uniquely. Many statues are called "Queen Victoria". An artist is very likely to title their work after the subject it represents. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:06, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
True, but the question is whether anyone else refers to a given statue by the name the artist gave it... or do they refer to it descriptively? That depends on the specific statue. Blueboar (talk) 00:22, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment. Note that the problem with adding the name of the sculptor is that the name of the sculptor of public statuary is very often not that well-known. With a few exceptions, we don't usually say, "oh, that's the statue of Lord Nelson by Joe Bloggs". We say "that's the statue of Lord Nelson in Fooville Square". There are exceptions, of course, but generally this is the case. And I would dispute the whole "statue" not being part of the actual name thing. "Lord Nelson" is no more the actual name of a statue than "Statue of Lord Nelson" is. And in actual fact, the latter is most often the common name and the one that's used in reliable sources. Like Historic England's Listed Building database, for example. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:13, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
    Okay, that's a good point. But that just suggests we should be flexible in deciding how to disambiguate. Really, it depends on the name, what the other uses of it are, and what is best known about the statue to distinguish it. If it's the artist we should use that. If it's where it's at it, then we should use the place. --В²C 23:59, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
    Modern statues in museums, the sort of topic for anticipated new articles, usually are strongly associated with the sculptor. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:09, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Comma place convention – is there any reaction to SmokeyJoe's suggestion that place-based disambiguation is best with comma instead of parens? Dicklyon (talk) 05:37, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
    • It feels awkward, but I think it best to consider how the method would go with the worst cases. I do think that Wikipedia is missing a lot of articles on art, including statues, and they are coming. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:34, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Alternatively,
Name statue (place, sculptor) ?
This puts the name first, which may be usually desirable.
Like Carl Nielsen Monument. (Copenhagen, Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen). Monument synonymous with statue.
Statue of Alfred the Great, Pewsey —> Alfred the Great statue (Pewsey) ( not known for sculptor)
NB. It is the yet-to-be written articles that will require more disambiguation. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:39, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
I like Izno's suggestion above: "Statue-name ([artist] statue)", where disambiguation is required, and the artist is required only if there are two statues with the same name. I think artist makes more sense to use for disambiguating pieces of art than where they are. Paintings and many statues do move... but the artist remains the same. --В²C 23:54, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
I like "Statue-name ([artist] statue)", but "Statue-name ([artist/location] statue)" allows for how many city-commissioned statues are better known for their location than for the sculpture. It is probably very rare to need to use both artist and location. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:12, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
It depends whether you're talking about artworks in museums or other buildings or statues on display in public places (squares, streets, parks, etc). While the latter are sometimes moved, it's not that common, and they are generally far better known by their location than their sculptor. As usual, we should go with common name as used in reliable sources. In many cases, that is clearly Statue of Person, Location. It is generally not Person (Sculptor statue) or even Person (Location statue). -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:51, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Alfred the Great statue (Pewsey)? Frankly, yuck! To me, Statue of Alfred the Great, Pewsey is vastly better. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:51, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Statue of Alfred the Great, Pewsey is better, the statue is located in Pewsey, rather than being a "Pewsey", however with companies that are based in a particular place, I think it is common to but the place name in brackets, but I'm not sure. Crouch, Swale (talk) 13:56, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

Ugh, I should have read the proposed guideline before commenting above. A lot of my concerns were addressed by Dick. I should have known better. My apologies. --В²C 00:04, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

No prob. I'm about to be traveling for a few weeks, so hoping that others will jump in and work on the stub of a convention that I started. Dicklyon (talk) 02:59, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Thoughts on the discussions above

As promised below, I am thinking about a draft amendment/addition to WP:VAMOS on this, & to help me, and set out some of my thinking, I'll put some points/reactions to the above discussions here.

  • Some disam is needed - I think we pretty much all agree on this, where the statue has an individual's name as its title.
  • Statues best described as statues, not sculptures - Style of Louis Agassiz (sculpture) etc. As far as I can see, all examples like this are created by User:Another Believer, who uses it as standard on his many stubs. In the case of the conventional statue (as opposed to some more complicated composition), I can see no benefit to this form as opposed to Louis Agassiz (statue) (or .....) and would propose to deprecate this style.
  • If there's a Memorial, monument, column etc in the name, that should normally be enough disam.
  • Starting the article title "Statue of ....". I don't think this should be a default, but it has a place. I think it especially suits prominent outdoor locations where the statue functions as a location, and people naturally use it when arranging meetings etc. Then it can actually meet WP:COMMONNAME. I don't like it for works in museums etc.
  • Generally, I prefer disam after the subject's name, and following the normal VAMOS principles: " If the title is not very specific, or refers to a common subject, add the surname of the artist in parentheses afterwards, e.g. Reading the Letter (Picasso). It is generally better to disambiguate by the artist's name than by medium, as there may be other paintings or sculptures of the same name by other artists. If the artist painted several works with the same, or very similar, titles, add the location of the work if it is in a public collection. For example, Annunciation (van Eyck, Washington), as van Eyck painted several Annunciations. A title such as Madonna and Child (Raphael) is of little use (see Category:Raphael Madonnas), and Battle of Orsha (unknown) is clearly unhelpful. The names of less well-known artists may not be suitable disambiguation terms."
Maybe more later

Johnbod (talk) 19:40, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

@Johnbod: I don't mind you calling me out here, but I should note, I did not make up this naming convention. I just used this because I saw some other articles using the same title format (but, yes, I create many sculpture stubs, so there will be many attributed to me). I'm also not opposed to using the "Statue of XXX" naming convention, if that's what consensus determines is best. I'm really just waiting to see what happens here. ---Another Believer (Talk) 18:05, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
Ok, fair enough - I just looked at several, & all were yours. Johnbod (talk) 18:19, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

RFC on works of art naming convention

Should the new proposed convention at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (works of art) be adopted? 17:16, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Support We can tweak a few words along the way as needed, but what's there now looks like a good way to handle things. --Jayron32 18:04, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose This is already covered at WP:VAMOS, part of the MOS, as far as the visual arts are concerned - it seems from the wording that that is the only area intended to be covered, and in fact just statues. Any changes should be raised there, but I don't think there should be any. This is a User:Dicklyon special which has not been raised on any project page or at WP:VAMOS. It is not very coherently expressed, and shows very little awareness of how works of art get their names, a rather complex subject for older works. It contradicts itself between the first and second sections, and also contradicts the existing MOS, which says: "Avoid "Portrait of Fred Foo" titles, if the individual is named – just use "Fred Foo", with disambiguation as necessary, even if the museum uses "Portrait". But titles such "Portrait of a Man" are all right to use. There are exceptions, especially modern works where the title is given by the artist, and others such as the Arnolfini Portrait." One might add that the artist's name should be the normal disam term, and that one is needed, to avoid the article being mistaken for the biography of the subject. Presumably some tiff somewhere has lead to this. WikiProject Visual arts is one of our more active projects, and relevant disputes (let alone new proposed "conventions") should be raised there. Three editors have contributed to the draft, none of whom have afaik significant experience editing in the area, which shows. I actually agree that "Statue of ...." names are often appropriate, especially for large ones that are a local landmark, & this might be added to WP:VAMOS. Johnbod (talk) 02:40, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
    Yes, I see you added that in 2008. Was it discussed (other than the brief recent discussion above?). I admit to being pretty unaware of this area. Dicklyon (talk) 12:51, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
That was when VAMOS was being pulled together. A later version was approved by the community, after various amendments arising from discussion; I can't remember if that area was affected. That should all be on the talk page. As you have noted, the present text has been around for ten years. Johnbod (talk)
  • Comment What works under WP:VAMOS for gallery items (typically paintings, though including photos, sculptures, etc) is not necessarily appropriate for Public Art, statues etc which stand outside and are usually seen in isolation. A proposal to amend VAMOS for titles of public art representations of named individuals (statues, possibly other works such as a mural?) might be our best way forward. And I wonder if there are any extra links or mentions of that policy needed, as its section on article titles hadn't been noticed by those contributing here? And does MOS rule over article titles? PamD 07:39, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
There is generally no useful distinction to be made between "Public Art" (why the caps?) and other sorts. I think VAMOS is sufficiently well-known by those who often edit in that area, but like other specialized policies, won't be by those who don't. More links and references are always welcome though. Johnbod (talk) 15:10, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Looking further, a naming convention should be accessible from WP:Article title and listed in Category:Naming conventions, so a paragraph in the middle of WP:VAMOS really isn't sufficient. Bring the VA WikiProject members here to the discussion, and the Public Art folk too, and we can make progress. PamD 08:03, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Category:Naming conventions, a new discovery for me, lists Wikipedia articles of the normal type that record general real-world naming conventions for some subject or other. The proposed draft makes no claim to be that sort of thing, but is an internal WP policy draft, and even if passed would not belong in articlespace or that category at all. If VAMOS is not linked from WP:Article title, it certainly should be, as this issue is only a small part of what it covers regarding titles. Actually, I see the VAMOS article title section is linked exactly where you would expect it to be, piped as "Visual arts" in the sidebar template "Topic-specific naming conventions for article titles", 3rd section "Arts · Entertainment · Media" Johnbod (talk) 16:31, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Ah, sorry about that, I meant Category:Wikipedia naming conventions.I was working on my phone where it's almost impossible to see contents of categories and templates. Yes, I see that sidebar link (now I'm on the laptop): there should probably also be something in the category, if only a note at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (visual arts) saying "See WP:VAMOS". PamD 23:40, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I've done a redirect to the section (Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Visual_arts#Article_titles) there, which I hope all are ok with. Johnbod (talk) 00:44, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose For most notable works of art the existing conventions at WP:VAMOS lead to the best result; e.g., David is the common name of two well-known sculptures, not Statue of David. The work that is the subject of the article that prompted this proposal, Statue of Louis Agassiz, may be an exception—I suspect it has been the subject of relatively little scholarly writing, and neither the article nor the sources it cites say that it even has a title. Cases like this one shouldn't set the standard for naming all articles about works of art. Ewulp (talk) 08:36, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
    Did you not read the proposal? Certainly it does not suggest changing the title of David or anything else that's known by a name. Dicklyon (talk) 12:51, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
I did read it, several times; as others have noted, it is not a model of clarity. If the intended meaning is that in the case of a painting or sculpture that depicts "X" but has no known title, it is inappropriate for Wikipedia to title the article as "X (sculpture)", "X (painting)", and such, then I've already agreed with that. But if reliable sources can provide a title, we should use it. Ewulp (talk) 05:25, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above comments. For example, statues of named and known individuals will usually come in under the name of the person, even if not named so by the sculptor (See the articles on the statues at {{National Statuary Hall Collection}}, which would be unnecessarily upended by the proposed language). Randy Kryn (talk) 14:33, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose per WP:CREEP we certainly don't need a new policy page to say things like Use common name when feasible; this should be a proposal to change WP:VAMOS. I also oppose the specific change (discussed above); I believe the intent is to use Statue of John Doe instead of John Doe (statue). This proposal is so convolutedly phrased I'm not confident that's the actual impact. power~enwiki (π, ν) 22:36, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I think the best thing is to let this run a while, but if it keeps going the way it has been, I will suggest a draft addition to VAMOS to cover the "unnamed" portrait statue issue, and put a link to the proposal here. I think my draft would be less prescriptive than the proposal here, but set out options that might be best in particlar cases. Johnbod (talk) 05:43, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
    Yes, we should close as failed proposal, drop back, and try again. Thanks. Dicklyon (talk) 11:27, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The page has three points all of which are already covered elsewhere: 1 is covered by WP:UCRN; 2 is covered by MOS:VA; 3 is covered by a combination of WP:AT#DAB and WP:DAB and just general practice at WP:RM. If there's a problem to resolve (like a frequent pattern of "I just don't understand the policies and guidelines" !voting against consensus, or several categories of misnamed articles), we should probably tweak the wording of the existing pages to address it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  15:21, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
    It's still not clear to me what should be our convention for statues such as those that Randy Kryn brought up, e.g. Samuel Adams (Whitney), that are named as if people. Do any of the prior pages you linked address that? What is your opinion? Is Samuel Adams (Whitney) better than, for example, Statue of Samuel Adams (Whitney)? Dicklyon (talk) 17:57, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Is PRECISE self-referential?

Without mentioning any names, like SmokeyJoe, I've encountered the claim that WP:PRECISE is self-referential several times now, usually as a rationalization to ignore it or dismiss its importance, and I wish to address it. I presume this is the best place to do that. Let's look at the wording (my bold emphasis):

Usually, titles should be precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but no more precise than that. For instance, Saint Teresa of Calcutta is too precise, as Mother Teresa is precise enough to indicate exactly the same topic. On the other hand, Horowitz would not be precise enough to identify unambiguously the famous classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz.

It's important to not conflate the ordinary dictionary sense of the word "precise" with the WP meaning of the specialized term PRECISE, and to recognize that the latter is defined in terms of the former. Note that for specialized terminology, like in specialized fields like law, math, science, engineering, medicine, etc., it is not unusual to define more specific connotations of a term in terms of the more general dictionary definition of the corresponding word. For a common example, consider the common and scientific meanings of "theory". Or how "impeding" is used more narrowly in traffic law to mean impeding that is in violation of the law, but not impeding that is lawful (when stopped at a red light you're impeding those behind you in a broad sense, but you're not impeding in the narrow sense of a legal violation).

In this definition of PRECISE, WPians have used the word precise multiple times to explain what PRECISE means. There's nothing wrong with that, it's not self-referential since it's not using the specialized term PRECISE to define itself, and is certainly no reason to dismiss its importance. --В²C 16:48, 25 October 2018 (UTC)

Would I be correct in surmising that you've recently been WP:WIKILAWYERed?
To me, WP:PRECISE is clearly-written, good, practical advice with examples. Use the WP:COMMONNAME, and don't overcomplicate. (Thus, for example, Microsoft not Microsoft Corporation.) "Article titles should be recognizable, concise, natural, precise, and consistent" (quoted from the lead note in WP:TITLE, of which WP:PRECISE is a subsection).
Why are we here? (1) to enforce a set of rules, or, (2) to help readers find what they're looking for?
This discussion overlaps with efforts by some editors in WP:RM discussions to define a WP:PTOPIC. I recently participated in such a discussion in which the proposed PTOPIC got less than 37% of all views to the articles on the DAB page. For Heaven's sake! way to accumulate bad links to the pseudo-PTOPIC which will never be found and fixed, and to annoy a large proportion of readers. Narky Blert (talk) 21:42, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
You’ve never had to do graduate level writing? Even high school? You should not define or explain a term by repeating the term. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:11, 25 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, of course, but defining PRECISE in terms of "precise" is not explaining a term by repeating a term. They're different. That's why I said It's important to not conflate the ordinary dictionary sense of the word "precise" with the WP meaning of the specialized term PRECISE, which you can't see to avoid doing. You have the same problem at with CONSENSUS/consensus, CONCISE/concise, etc.. As far as I know, you're the only who has trouble making the necessary distinctions. And, yes, it's confusing, because people use "precise" when they mean PRECISE, but you should be able to tell which meaning is intended from the context. --В²C 00:34, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Disagree that it is OK, let alone desirable, to use in policy words that are needlessly different to standard dictionary meanings as understood by newcomer editors. There is no need for Wikipedia-precise to be a different meaning to "precise". It isn't different. B2C has exactly the same problem with CONSENSUS/consensus, CONCISE/concise, in his mind, alone, he thinks these ALLCAPS shortcuts are different words that mean something different to the encultured Wikipedian, and who knows what he thinks the newcomer editor is meant to make of it. No, barriers to newcomers should be minimised, and there is no worthwhile purpose in making "precise" and "consensus" and "concise" establish Wikipedian terms-of-art. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:30, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Oh please. “Consensus” means unanimous agreement, normally. Not on WP. Don’t shoot the messenger. —В²C 03:20, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
No it doesn't. Do you have a reliable source? includes the word, but you need disingenuous paraphrasing to come up with what you said. "General agreement" is usually stated. More importantly, finding consensus usually involves compromise and modification of the question being asked, you can't force a consensus on a defined question. "Unanimous agreement" is an extreme example of consensus, nor a normal example of consensus. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:56, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Disingenuous paraphrasing? Because I paraphrased "general agreement: UNANIMITY" as "unanimous agreement"? Definition of consensus 1a : general agreement : UNANIMITY [4]. You're holding me to standards that no one can meet. --В²C 17:53, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
See my comment below, and particularly the second wikilink. Andrewa (talk) 18:12, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Not at all. Consensus is a difficult process to understand but far harder to explain, but someone once said it's a process rather than a destination and I can't do much better. My attempts are here and here. Whenever we cite consensus to support our own POV or are even tempted to so so (and I do it too) we just display a lack o understanding of what it really means. Andrewa (talk) 18:12, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the issue is here. WP:PRECISE is not in itself the policy in question, it's a convenience shortcut. The policy is the wording itself that you reach when you click on that shortcut. So talk of it being self referential is irrelevant. "Precise" as used in the policy text follows its usual English meaning.  — Amakuru (talk) 21:52, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Amakuru, the issue here, perhaps in its entirety, are the words "be precise enough to". They are superfluous wordiness and I want to remove them. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:39, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
That's part of the discussion in the section below. Here the issue is whether use of the word "precise" in this policy that is shortcutted with WP:PRECISE is self-referential and therefore problematic and need to be removed. --В²C 00:05, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
Right, and it does seem to be the case that PRECISE ventures into the territory ideally covered by CONCISE, with its mandate to only be as precise as necessary. I will have a think about whether we need to address that tomorrow. In this instance I was observing that the question of whether PRECISE is self-referential is iny view irrelevant since WP: shortcuts are not intended as dictionary terms in need of a definition, but as convenience links to policy which is described in prose form.  — Amakuru (talk) 00:28, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
The shortcut gets used as a one word summary, so it’s not just a convenient shortcut, and anyway, it’s about “Precision”. “Precision” and “precise” are forms of the same word. “Precision. Usually, titles should be precise enough to ...”. It’s bad writing. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:51, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
It seems this comes down to the question: Is the purpose of WP:Precise to define the term, or to expand on the definition already given at the top of the page (in the list of goals). Blueboar (talk) 11:04, 27 October 2018 (UTC)
It's neither. The purpose is to help editors understand how to title articles to the correct level of precision. --Jayron32 18:06, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
This segment was written in a self-referential manner to be amusing. Its a kind of geeky humor that dates from the era when the early WP was invaded by a horde of people from SlashDot and other nerdy forums, who became the beating heart of the editorial corps for many years. Our editorship is much broader today, and this kind humor may not go over as well. Thus, it would not hurt to reword this, without changing the actual meaning. Start at and just give it a try. E.g., "titles should be particular enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but no more explicit than that. Saint Teresa of Calcutta is too detailed ... Mother Teresa is circumscribed enough ... Horowitz would not be specific enough ..." I picked these substitutions almost at random (not random in that I threw out any selection that clearly couldn't work in the context, like "actual" or "correct", and accepted the first choice that did fit). Actually thinking about it could probably produce a more perfect version.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:53, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Are you being deliberately facetious? Obscure synonyms? Already some think these are terms of art, not readable at face value. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:22, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Slightly. I'll repeat: "I picked these substitutions almost at random.... Actually thinking about it could probably produce a more perfect version." I.e., it would be easy to propose and actual rewording that would probably be accepted, if anyone cared. The only obscurity in my randomized version was "circumscribed".  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:59, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

Improve WP:PRECISE language

I propose a rewrite of Wikipedia:Article_titles#Precision [5]. User:Blueboar wants to be persuaded[6].

The proposed re-word is not intended to change any intended meaning. Usually, titles should be precise. To explain what precise means, assume the reader doesn't know, therefore you must not use the word "precise" or any variation of it. The only exception is PrimaryTopic. "Over-precise" or "too precise" is still precise, and where it happens it happens for reasons not derived from PRECISE. Anyway, compare the versions, what is agreeable, what is disagreeable? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:20, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

It might be helpful to see the two wordings here:
Current wording:
Usually, titles should be precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but no more precise than that. For instance, Saint Teresa of Calcutta is too precise, as Mother Teresa is precise enough to indicate exactly the same topic. On the other hand, Horowitz would not be precise enough to identify unambiguously the famous classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz.
Exceptions to the precision criterion may sometimes result from the application of some other naming criteria. Most of these exceptions are described in specific Wikipedia guidelines or by Wikipedia projects, such as Primary topic, Geographic names, or Names of royals and nobles. For instance: ...
SmokeyJoe's proposed rewrite:
Usually, titles should unambiguously define the topical scope of the article. The exception is where the title is the primary topic for the term.
My initial take is the rewrite is, ironically, too ambiguous. There's no upper bound like there is in the current wording ("but no more precise than that"). That said, I think the overall layout is better. We could probably improve the current with this. How about this:
Usually, titles should be precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but no more precise than that. For example:
  • Saint Teresa of Calcutta is over-precise, as Mother Teresa indicates uniquely exactly the topic.
  • Horowitz is not precise enough because it does not uniquely identify the famous classical pianist from amongst many others known by the same name.
Exceptions to the precision criterion may sometimes result from the application of some other naming criteria. Most of these exceptions are described in specific Wikipedia guidelines or by Wikipedia projects, such as
For instance: ...
--В²C 00:54, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the presentation, very nice.
"be precise enough to" is wordiness, contains no information, and breaks the standard advice to not use the term being defined, i.e. is self-referential.
", but no more precise than that" is superfluous. It is not the job of PRECISE to repeat what belongs in CONCISE. It doesn't belong in the defining statement, which should be rigorous. It is enough to have it very soon mentioned examples, with"over-precise".
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:23, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Disagree that Geographic names or Names of royals and nobles. are, or should be read as, exceptions to PRECISE. They may advocate for titles that are more precise than required, but the titles do not "fail" the PRECISE criterion. In considering PRECISE, Primary topic uniquely needs to be mentioned immediately as an exception. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:35, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
You can’t have it both ways. Currently PRECISE limits how precise titles are to be. US cities and royalty are exceptions to that. You propose changing PRECISE to not have that limiting connotation. That’s changing the meaning of PRECISE which you claim your rewrite doesn’t do. It does. —В²C 03:37, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Your logic of what passes or fails a criterion is faulty. Those two guidelines don't advocate for titles that fail precise. Instead, they bump against CONCISE, with the backing of COMMONNAME (NB NCROY has serious problems there). Going back to newcomer barriers, telling someone that a title has a "precise" issue, when it squarely is a "concise" issue, it not helpful. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:00, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I think the following statement

    Usually, titles should unambiguously define the topical scope of the article. The exception is where the title is the primary topic for the term.

    covers what is critically important to communicate, and should be the entirety of the first paragraph. The "precise" versus "primary topic" balance is critical to communicate.
The notion that "precise" means precisely precise, not under-precise, not over-precise, is not unreasonable. I don't think it is critical, and think it doesn't belong in the lede paragraph. Similarly, the interplay between USPLACE and NCROY guidelines (and I expect many others) and the PRECISE policy is nowhere near as important to communicate upfront than the interplay between primary topic and WP:PRECISE. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:48, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
The fact that the current wording puts a limit on precision is exactly its biggest problem, in my opinion. A definition of "precise" without that limit is certainly an improvement. Concise covers that other end already. Dicklyon (talk) 05:09, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
You make my point. For better or worse, the rewrite changes the meaning of that section, contrary to the claimed intent.
Anyway, I recall the limit was included because without it some people were interpreting this section to favor overly precise titles and it created conflict. —В²C 07:42, 26 October 2018 (UTC)
Created conflict? If that was true, it was at least six years ago. I don’t object to mention and discouragement of over-precise, but it is not the main point. The lede of PRECISE should define precise, consistent with the dictionary meaning, without repeating “precise”, and point straight to the sole black and white exception, which is PrimaryTopic. The only person I’ve seen obsess over the slippery slope fallacy of endlessly more precise is you. Just like concise is good, without going overboard, precise is good, without going overboard. I think my rewrite is still better than yours, and definitely so on the points that you have ignored. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:31, 26 October 2018 (UTC)

I'd just say "Article titles should clearly define the topic of the article, and should be as concise as possible while avoiding ambiguity". That all seems pure commonsense to me, but this is a radical view I know! Primary Topic was useful in the days when we were creating many articles that were strongly primary (I copied that term from SmokeyJoe but the argument is mine). But those articles (on topics such as Mathematics and London) are now overwhelmingly in existence. Andrewa (talk) 03:19, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

The first !vote in this discussion at Toyonaka → Toyonaka, Osaka exemplifies how PRECISE is commonly used to argue against overly precise titles. Such an argument depends on the wording in PRECISE ("but not more precise than that") that SmokeyJoe's proposal seeks to remove, showing again that this proposal does change the meaning of the current wording at PRECISE, whether that's the intent or not. --В²C 17:35, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

  • Agree it is a good example. It is a good example of how some editors blindly repeat bad policy statements and take it to convoluted nonsense.
Toyonaka, Osaka does not fail any logical definition of “precise”.
Toyonaka does fail “precise” becuase there are both Toyonaka, Osaka and Toyonaka, Kagawa.
The discussion should be couched in terms of WP:PRECISE vs WP:PT, with WP:UCRN needing more attention.
The discussion is a good example for why WP:PRECISE needs improvement. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:29, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: You linked WP:PT, but that's an internal DAB. My guess is you mean WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, though the DAB lists two matches for titles-related stuff. (Feel free to just delete this comment as no longer relevant if you change the link.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:25, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • See my comment toward the bottom of the main/previous thread. Short version: Just use a thesaurus to pick other words, and avoid saying "precise" over and over again, and the problem just goes away. I have no particular opposition to restructuring this as a little bullet list, but I don't see that it's particularly helpful or necessary. Also not opposed to copyediting in other ways as long as the meaning isn't substantively changed at all, but this is more difficult to do than you think it is, and requires running through a whole bunch of potential wikilawyering scenarios in your head, including from outside any topics you normally edit, and from agenda angles you would never hold personally. Imagine the worst. PS: Utterly opposed to even suggesting that wikiprojects create exceptions to policy. That's patently wrong, per WP:CONLEVEL policy. What happens in reality is that consensus sometimes creates exceptions, and sometimes these evolve into a pattern, then wikiprojects to whose scope the exception in question most often applies write them down in their WP:PROJPAGE essays. In other cases, people from a wikiproject may propose a variance they feel necessary/helpful (either via a discussion or a PROJPAGE), and it may get integrated, with broader consensus, into AT or into a guideline like MOS or an NC page. The cause and effect up there have been completely reversed, suggesting that wikiprojects invent policy out of their asses.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:57, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

There is not currently an article at Weierstrass p

The page says "For example, the article on Weierstrass p carries that title rather than the symbol itself, ..." However, there is currently no article at Weierstrass p. Someone converted that to a redirect at 00:01, 18 September 2018‎ (UTC), saying "See the talk page." —BarrelProof (talk) 20:57, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

So just replace it with a similar example.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:59, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Done [7]. But the entire line-item is redundant with the one immediately above it, and serves no purpose, so it should simply be deleted. A rule to not give an article a symbol name if the symbol is rare is never activated if we already have a rule to not give an article a symbol name.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:15, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

Enacted discussions

There is discussion on if enacted RMs can be reversed pending further discussion even if closed correctly, see Wikipedia talk:Consensus#Enacted discussions. Crouch, Swale (talk) 18:15, 8 November 2018 (UTC)

Clarifying that UCRN is not a style policy

We really need to succinctly clarify that WP:UCRN (WP:COMMONNAME) is not a style policy.

AT and the naming conventions guidelines regularly defer with big links to WP:Manual of Style and subpages thereof on style matters. We have literally thousands of RM decisions that reject the idea that we should use a capital letter (or whatever the "style fight" is about) just because a numeric majority of sources are doing so. We have very clear line-items in the main MoS, in MOS:CAPS, and in MOS:TM to apply a stylization of some kind (capitalization being the most common kind of dispute) only when the reliable sources use it consistently (which is an intentionally and well-accepted higher standard than UCRN's "a significant majority" of sources for choosing between, say, David Johansen and Buster Poindexter). The MoS style standards are applied at RM every single day, and are why we have an article at Sony instead of SONY. We also obviously do not want titles and article text to use divergent rendering of the same name.

Nevertheless, a handful of individuals simply will not accept this and have spent years pressuring at RM to mimic stylization they see in a bare majority of sources – many of them not independent of the subject, and frequently highly concentrated in writing markets that follow English-usage house styles very different from our own (entertainment magazines, governmentese documents, video-gaming websites, herpetology journal articles, or whatever).

This unnecessary continual rehash at RM is a drain on editorial time and productivity. It is caused simply by the UCRN section, when read in isolation, not saying anything about style matters, and could be resolved simply by adding something like this at the end:

Using the most common name in reliable sources does not necessarily equate to adopting stylization of that name. See WP:Manual of Style for when and when not to apply particular stylization such as capital letters, hyphens, diacritics, symbol-for-letter substitutions, collapsed spacing, etc.

We've really needed to deal with this for several years now. By my reckoning, the actual majority of style-relating pissing matches, and disruption caused by them, are due directly to confusion that UCRN is a style policy as well as a name-selection policy. It's what causes people to try to move articles to titles like "Method Acting", "Gangsta Rap", "Do It Like A Dude", "M16 Rifle", etc., etc., etc. Anyone who sees something capitalized in the kind of specialized, insider stuff they read is apt to argue for it on Wikipedia if they think all that's required is that a bunch of topical sources use that style. This disproportionately affects obscure topics (the less something is covered in mainstream newspapers, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and general-audience books, the higher the proportion of "specialist caps" that will be encountered). And while easily 99% of our editors "get it", the tiny fraction who do not cause a disproportionate amount of strife (which never stops, because new editors arrive all the time and this section's missing cross-reference to MoS easily misleads them into embarking on style-it-my-way-or-else campaigns).
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:15, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

At risk of receiving your insults (an accepted and traditional part of questioning your viewpoints) UCRN appropriately says "However, some topics have multiple names, and some names have multiple topics: this can lead to disagreement about which name should be used for a given article's title. Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it generally prefers the name that is most commonly used (as determined by its prevalence in a significant majority of independent, reliable English-language sources) as such names will usually best fit the five criteria listed above." I think the only discussion is the meaning of 'significant majority'. There is an ongoing discussion of World Heritage Site in that 75% of the n-gram sources use the upper-case and 25% lower-case, and you and some other editors imply that the 25% usage is the one we should go with while others think 75% is a 'significant majority'. 3-1 does seem to carry any topic over that bar. Randy Kryn (talk) 14:42, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
@Randy Kryn: sorry, but you aren't responding to SMcCandlish's central argument, which is that style differences don't change names, so that "World Heritage Site" and "world heritage site" are the same names, merely styled differently. If you accept this argument, then the n-grams you refer to show nothing about names, only styles, which Wikipedia is free to vary in accordance with its own MoS. Although I've never totally accepted the argument, discussions on a variety of topics (most famously on the English names of birds) have shown that it has consensus support. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:37, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
The idea that style differences don't change names is, of course, balderdash and rubbish. If it didn't then English wouldn't have a general rule about capitalizing proper nouns. So no general statement of the sort can be made and any decisions must be on a case-by-case basis. Yet another attempt to change the rules to game the system because someone doesn't like the look of something or is uncomfortable with actually having to use judgement instead of mindlessly following some rubric all formula. oknazevad (talk) 21:48, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
That just doesn't track. We have a rule to capitalize proper nouns because it's how English is written. That's like saying "If I don't get my way, we should just not cite sources". What was that about "balderdash and rubbish"? Decision are made on a case by case basis. That's the entire point. But a tiny handful of editors don't like that. They want everything to be determined by a flat majority approach, which is just an obviously unworkable one-size-fits-all. No "change the rules" proposal of any kind from me is on the table, simply a cross-reference to the rules (or whatever you want to call WP:P&G material) that we actually do apply, consistently, at RM. [However, someone did proposal a policy change, covered below. It is also unworkable.]  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:02, 16 November 2018 (UTC); updated: 10:53, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Randy, two RMs in a row (i.e. two consensus discussions in a row) "failed" to give you the answer you want, and the MR is clearly headed that direction, too. You're just making a "consensus is simply wrong, no matter what" argument when it doesn't match your preferences. Trying to spin this as "[SMcCandlish] and some other editors" doing something awful is just silly. It's everyone but you and a handful of holdouts agreeing that the case for capital "S" on that one just isn't really there. (And I was not even involved in the RMs at all – I was on wikibreak the entire time. In fact, I have never posted to Talk:World Heritage site in my life. I see you show up in 12 posts in those RMs though. It's not like you didn't get your say.) PS: Your opposition are not making a percentile argument of any kind, since the standard is consistent treatment in the independent RS.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:19, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposal simply doesn't reflect the consensus of the community, as demonstrated at countless RMs through the years, which use reliable sources to determine the correct way to spell and style the titles. Which, if you think about it, is the way Wikipedia always operates - see WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS etc. The idea that "we need to deal with this" is the OP's personal opinion. A better idea would be to do what we've always done and treat each case on its merits, as Oknazevad suggests. That leads to better outcomes which reflect the real world and not our navel-gazing view of the world.  — Amakuru (talk) 22:26, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Except that's completely backward from reality. We use the MoS rules every single day at RM. The only time we don't seem to (to some people's eyes) is when we actually still are: when it gets shown that RS consistency on something that doesn't match MoS's default is so near-universal that we'd be nuts not to go along with it. Only about half a dozen active editors refuse to acknowledge this, and their proposals at RM get rejected over and over and over again. But they just don't stop. Being tendentious until topic-banned or whatever isn't evidence of any lack of consensus, just of refusal to get the point. Anyway, we already do treat each case on its merits; that's what MoS says to do. Adding a cross-ref to from AT to what we actually do use at RM for style question cannot possibly change that.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:02, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
      My comment here is not at all backward from reality. Rather, it is this proposal that is backward from reality because it attempts to impose a rule on the community that just doesn't correspond to the way actual RMs are conducted day in and day out. I'm on the same page as you, SMcCandlish and Dicklyon, I don't like over-capitalisation either and I've argued against it in several notable RMs such as Syrian Civil War and Civil Rights Movement. But ultimately, when even the most basic and straightforward MOS-based RMs fail to gain consensus, there comes a point where you just have to accept that the community's view isn't the same as ours. And imposing this new restriction on UCRN isn't actually going to change anything on the ground. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 12:37, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
      Sorry, but you're just making up weird stuff out of thin air. A cross-reference to a page that we use every day at RM and an observation of the undeniable fact that COMMONNAME is not taken at RM to force adoption of stylization, does not "impose a rule on the community", it observes actual practice. Denying that it is our actual practice is just a fantasy. When the sun rises in the east and you keep claiming it rises in the west just to be contrarian, you are not making an actual argument.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:41, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
      If you actually listened to what I'm saying instead of just accusing it of being weird and made-up, you might actually understand what I'm talking about. The actual practice doesn't match what you say it does, however much you keep saying it does. I just linked to one example there, but there are countless others. The task for us is to summarise the community's views in a form that works for everyone, not just keep beating a dead horse as you are doing. Sorry to be blunt, but we need to get out of our ivory towers sometimes.  — Amakuru (talk) 12:52, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
      Please. You can always find some RM somewhere that ignores policies and guidelines. Just because someone robs a store doesn't mean that we shouldn't have laws against theft or that no one accepts them. Bad RMs get overturned later. The one you highlight above is farcical and will be undone for policy reasons (WP:CONSISTENCY) since it flies in the face of years of RMs about "like" as a preposition, including quite recent ones. What happened there is that commenters at that RM recycled the same invalid arguments (WP:ILIKEIT, "because Youtube", WP:IDONTKNOWIT) they've used to no avail at previous RMs. This constitutes WP:IDHT, WP:FORUMSHOP, and WP:GAMING. They got blindly lucky that no one else happened along and that the non-admin closer obviously erred (in suggesting that a guideline doesn't have consensus on the "basis" of nothing but four people regurgitating invalid arguments that have been consistently rejected at RM). The closer's pagemover bit should be revoked if something like that happens again. On "like" as a preposition, I've been saying for years that if people actually want the MOS:5LETTER rule to change, they can propose that it change. What we don't do is apply it to this article then not that one then to one then not that one. One RM shart like that one is meaningless; an accidental embarrassment, not permanent incontinence.

      To the extent you're trying to make a broader claim, I've already addressed it [8] in response to Blueboar's comparable assertions (he's mistaking RMs that are consistent with MoS rules about when to make an exception to MoS/NC defaults as having been made on UCRN grounds just because someone cited UCRN as their rationale. Our closers are usually much smarter than this, as are most RM respondents. They know that a rationale not actually found in policy is not valid, but that a rationale cited as being at one page but actually found in another is valid. The fact that some editors wrongly cite UCRN as if it's a style policy doesn't mean it is one, and the pages will still move if it's consistent with WP:NCCAPS, MOS:CAP, MOS:TM, etc., and their "make an exception when ..." clauses.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:42, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Support “clarification”, which is not to say that I support making any hard rule. On Wikipedia, “follow the sources” is a rule enshrined in core content policies, WP:V, WP:NPOV, WP:NPOV, but that applies to information. Is styling information? It can be. Allcaps titling is a common style that doesn’t convey information. Star Trek Into Darkness was a contentious case where style, i vs I, conveyed information. Even if there is no consensus, policy can document the lack of consensus. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:22, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Right. No "hard rule" is proposed, just a cross-reference, to the guidelines we actually employ. The purpose of our policies and guidelines is to codify actual practice, not try to change or deny it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:02, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
    • The comments made after mine (23:22, 15 November 2018) I read as broadly agreeable, but not actionable, or moving the discussion forward. In the original post,  User:SMcCandlish proposes modifying the UCRN (Use Commonly Recognizable Names) section by adding something ...
I propose amending his suggestion to:
Using the most common name in reliable sources does not necessarily equate to adopting stylization of that name, if that stylization does not contribute meaning to words that may be read ambiguously, or is not present in the vast majority of quality sources. See WP:Manual of Style for when and when not to apply particular stylization such as capital letters, hyphens, diacritics, symbol-for-letter substitutions, collapsed spacing, etc.
"if that stylization does not contribute meaning to words that may be read ambiguously" "Star Trek Into Darkness" comes to mind, and there are other occasional examples. Note that many composition titles, like STID, may be deliberately ambiguous, and the styling integral to the ambiguity. My word choice "contribute meaning to words" is deliberately vague, as it must be up to editors to consider whether there is a styling-meaning interplay.
"in the vast majority of quality sources". My feeling from the extensive WP:MR discussion and preceding RMs on World Heritage s/Sites is that "follow the sources" implies a vast majority, at least 75%, with some unhappy with 75%. I think all would be happy with 95%. For a subtle styling-meaning interplay, intelligent commentators may miss or ignore the syntactic ambiguity. I use "quality" as an adjective for sources, to avoid "reliable", because "reliable" is not sufficient. Primary and non independent sources tend to be the most "reliable", and they shouldn't dominate anyone's source counting, and neither should they be ignored. Reputable secondary sources are the best quality sources, with some tolerance for non-independence, and some interpretation as to whether the secondary source author cared about the a possible subtle syntactic ambiguity.
I am not sure about "such as capital letters, hyphens, diacritics, symbol-for-letter substitutions, collapsed spacing", not sure whether it is necessary or desirable to raise these specific examples from guideline to policy. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:04, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
That would actually be a major policy change of a kind the community has never come close to accepting (making a style quibble into a policy instead of a guideline); I've addressed this in a separate post below. Here, I'll focus on something else: This talk of percentages is a red herring. It varies on a case-by-case basis, and requires examination of sources across fields, media, and genres. As just one (very common) example, most recent pop-culture topics have nearly zero coverage outside of entertainment journalism, which almost universally uses the four-letter rule for whether to capitalize a preposition in the middle of a title of a work, while WP, most book publishers, and journals do not. So, news cannot be used to "prove" that a title "must" have a capitalized With in it. (In the Star Trek Into Darkness case, we didn't come to keeping Into on that basis, but because the title is a play on words, with Into being used simultaneously as a mid-sentence preposition and the start-word of a subtitle, the latter of which is always capitalized. It's a weird outlier.) Five minutes of looking at non-journalism RS about older works demonstrates that the titles of the exact same works are given with a With in most journalism but a with in most other sources (which are often actually more reliable about both the topic and about how to write formal English than news material is). The idea that a song released this month must always be written With is a silly illusion we must not fall for. As another example, any highly specialized or obscure topic may mostly or even only be found in specialist material following unusual insider-to-insider writing conventions that don't match normal English. You can't use surfing or ballroom dance magazines to "prove" that WP "must" capitalize the names of surf moves like roundhouse cutback or dance steps like back corté (except where they contain a proper name: reverse Fleckeryll).

We'd be cutting of off our own noses if we tried to inject a percentile into our rules (policy or guideline) and this is why we have studiously avoided doing so for 17+ years. Furthermore, the MoS guidelines on when to accept a stylization are for near-uniformity in RS, far beyond 75%. It's intentional (you know – you were there), and even your "vast majority of quality sources" would not be reasonably interpreted as anything in the range of 75%; that's not always even good enough for picking the base name (stylization aside), and we need style matters to be more stringent (thus WP:CONSISTENCY policy). When the whole English-speaking world, across all writing, tells us that our default style doesn't apply to a particular case, then it doesn't apply. This is also an anti-WP:GAMING mechanism. If given a specific target number to hit, it would be trivially easy for someone with time on their hands and access to paywalled source databases to build a bogus and cherry-picked "proof" that their pet style was dominant. It's important to remember that AT was made a policy because moving articles around on a whim was considered disruptive and was a continual problem. We mustn't inject a change that inspires any form of renewed whim-moving.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:53, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

  • UCRN is only part of the issue - The real issue is with Recognizability. Some words are significantly more recognizable with a specific styling (such as capitalization)... to the point that not presenting that way is jarring to our readers. Blueboar (talk) 00:03, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
    • Which is why MoS says to use a "non-MoS" style when the real world consistently does it. Thus iPod not "Ipod". There will always be edge cases, where someone is sure something is less recognizable and someone else will disagree. Adding the cross-reference I proposed will have no effect on that other than a positive one. We actually use MoS to settle these matters and always have – nothing is changing about that – whether this page bothers to say so or not. By not saying so, it perpetuates an enormous amount of dispute and churn (almost all of it with a foregone conclusion). If it did say so, that time-sucking waste of energy that would slow to a trickle, and make fewer editors run away screaming from RM. If we had better and calmer participation at RM, edge cases would get settled quicker, more consistently, and with more consensus on any case-by-case basis.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:02, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
It’s only a time-suck if you insist that things have to be styled a particular way. Blueboar (talk) 01:57, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
Well, of course, but that's never going to stop. We having incoming new editors insisting all the time that WP article titles are "wrong" because they don't match their preferred, insider way of writing/typing (and longer-term editors who campaign for typographic change to suit their senses of traditionalism or nationalism – a different kind of problem and a much less innocent one, since none of them have the noobs' unawareness of our policies and guidelines).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:54, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as a common, practical measure in publishing. SMcCandlish and Peter Coxhead make sensible points. I think Blueboar's argument would crumple in a reliable psychological test of the reading process. Tony (talk) 03:58, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support clarification. There seem to be still a few who think that titles are somehow in a space where the MOS does not apply. I'm frankly surprised at Amakuru's comments, as he's often on the right side in RM discussions about such things, but his inference about "countless RMs through the years" seems rather off. Of course we look to how things are styled in sources when we consider how to style titles for WP, but we don't just pick what's most common. Rather, we pick what's most compatible with our MOS usually, from among styles in use in sources. This is spelled out best probably at MOS:TM and MOS:CAPS. We don't make up proper names, we don't cap unncessarily as judged by whether sources find it necessary, we don't make up styles not in use, but we don't just go with the random styling conventions of our favorite or most common sources, either. The MOS guides us in title styling as in every part of WP text styling. Dicklyon (talk) 04:29, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
Except we quite frequently DO stylize article titles based on how they are styled in sources... applying UCRN. About a third of capitalization RMs are closed that way, and there are other examples. This is a debate that has been argued for years (at least since the great “Deadmou5” debate) and we still don’t have a broad community consensus. I doubt we ever will. Blueboar (talk) 06:54, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
Deadmau5 is exactly the kind of exception that MoS already expects and blesses because nearly zero RS use "Deadmaus". Just for you, I went and "codified" that example into MOS:TM [9], since that segment (unlike the one on camelcase) lacked such examples, and this seems to have much to do with the grandstanding going on here. Anyway, you're erecting some kind of false-dichotomy fantasy, based on a misunderstanding. Yes, some individuals who do not (or pretend not to) understand our P&G will sometimes go to RM and say "per UCRN" on a style matter. Those of us who do understand the P&G – hopefully including all of the regular RM closers – just re-interpret this on the fly as the actually applicable comparable argument, e.g. "per MOS:TM" or "per WP:NCCAPS" or whatever page the real rule can actually be found in (and we sometimes even post the correction directly). The articles that move in such cases do so because MoS's own follow-the-sources points agree with the move, not because of the literal (mistaken) wording of someone's !vote. To suppose otherwise is to imagine that our P&G are all just meaningless and that closers do no analysis at all but count votes.

The same "correct policy translation" process happens when people argue in an RfC to remove something trivial from an article because that something "isn't notable" (WP:N only applies to whether it can have it's own article); what they really meant to cite was WP:NOT#INDISCRIMINATE and we all understand that. Similarly, if someone at AfD argues "Keep, because it's important and popular, world-famous, and won major national awards in the US and France" we also know this translates into GNG policy-speak: non-trivial coverage in multiple, independent RS (the assertions are meaningless noise if they don't appear in the RS.) If your view were actually correct, then any time an RM involved a stylization that had more than a very slight majority showing in RS, WP would use it – yet this is the opposite of how RM goes. We don't diverge from what the MoS and NC guidelines recommend unless the sourcing for it shows that the MoS/NC style default turns out to be downright aberrant for this particular case's treatment in the real world (i.e., would pose an actual WP:RECOGNIZABLE problem). You seem to be wishing for an "escape valve" that we already have but which you deny exists because it's in a page you like less than this one.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  14:19, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Support clarification; seems reasonable, it saves us from having to explain the difference between standard English grammar and a logo over and over again. We should default to standard English grammar lacking any particularly specific reason not to, and "They do it this way in this logo" is not a particularly good reason. --Jayron32 12:41, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
    Actually this has nothing to do with logos. Those are governed by MOS:TM and that matter is uncontroversial and almost universally observed. Nobody would ever support a move to SONY or Macy*s or any of that stuff. What this proposal is seeking to do is to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS by using a local view of style even when actual real reliable sources do something else in 75% of the examples found. If it gets to the point where our article looks different from every other result in a Google search, then something has gone wrong.  — Amakuru (talk) 13:02, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
    There's no such bright line in actual RM debates i.e., in how the relevant P&G are applied. They do not draw a distinction between logo stylization and other forms of name stylization in many, many cases (see dumb example at end). This is why so many of the pop-music-related ones have been total shitshows. E.g. the very tooth-gnashy attempts to have "Do It like a Dude" be at "Do It Like A Dude" were specifically motivated by an urge to mimic the typography on the CD cover (the logo) as "official". People were quite explicit about it. This mimicry idea comes up over and over and over again, always in the same terms, from a mixture of noob editors who don't know we have a style guide, and inveterate "down with MoS" rabble rousers. And they get nowhere with it. (Not on pop songs, not on military jargon, not on species vernacular names, not on anything.) At some point it just has to be wound down as a waste of all of our time. I'm saying we arrived at that point a long time ago and need to act on it with a simple cross-reference for clarity in our internal documentation. PS: If you don't think anyone would fight for SONY type, you'd be very wrong. One of the most common types of RMs I do is decapitalizing ALLCAPS logo/trademark stuff that isn't actually an acronym, and almost every single time at least one person votes to keep it capitalized because it's "official". This crosses all topic lines; see for example the ongoing RM at Talk:AMBER Alert#Requested move 10 November 2018 for more "WP must capitalize because its official" nonsense. It's not an outlying case, it nearly every day that people do this, and they do it because we lack at AT->MoS cross ref in the one place we need one most, despite having other such cross-references elsewhere between the two pages.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:35, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support – The separation of naming and styling is sensible, logical, and the common practice. Different authors, and indeed, different publications, will use different stylings of the same name. Wikipedia has its own style guide, which is based on the usage of the major English style guides with the Wikipedia-specific context taken into consideration. This is, again, no different from any other publication. There is no inherent conflict between AT and the MoS. The AT policy as written already defers to the MoS on points of style...this is just a clarification of that reality. I find Jayron's argument very convincing, and I would remind Amakuru that AT does not always urge us to use the most common name. Because of Wikipedia-specific considerations, we sometimes use less common names for WP:NATURAL disambiguation, and indeed, because of WP:TITLEVAR, we sometimes use names that, in real terms, are much less common, so as to facilitate the coexisting of different varieties of English on Wikipedia. Whilst that doesn't specifically have anything to do with the style versus naming debate, it does make clear that there is no 'COMMONNAME' absolute rule that forces us to use what Wikipedia refers to as the 'most common name' in all circumstances, and that for Wikipedia-specific reasons, we have the leeway to deviate when it is in the interest of the project to do so. RGloucester 14:17, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - It's a completely reasonable clarification that would help to avoid endless and pointless debate - styling isn't naming. If I recall correctly, I was actually on the "wrong" side of a few discussions about naming capitalization in the past on song/album titles, and this kind of clarification would have probably avoided that. --tronvillain (talk) 23:33, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per the language of the proposal that upper or lower-casing is a style feature and not a part of a title. Of course upper or lower casing is a title decision, and to change the long time language on this policy page to point to a guideline page distorts the concept of what a title is. And if this is going be a formal discussion and decision please start anew with a succinctly worded RfC and not a proposal which isn't spelled out until five paragraphs in. Upper-case or lower-case is not styling, it is a key part of the title, a key component of the title, and this policy page clarifies that. If something is upper-cased in a substantial percentage of sources, and certainly 75% is substantial, the change suggested here that something has to be "consistently" upper-case or it's automatically lower-cased (remember, consistency means 100%, no deviation), so if a handful of sources get it wrong those handful then take precedence over every other source. The proposed language (and notice the "etc." tossed in at the end) solidifies that, and will result in thousands of incorrectly named articles (there is an ongoing attempt now to remove upper-casing from the names of lighthouses, for example). I will stop now so as not to enter the wall-of-text zone which seems to typify these type of discussions. Randy Kryn (talk) 02:20, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
    Randy, are you suggesting that styling in a title might differ from styling of the same name or phrase in article text (other than possible difference of initial cap when it doesn't start a sentence)? I don't think we've ever done anything like that. These are clearly style issues that are independent of whether it's in a title or not. Dicklyon (talk) 03:15, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
    Aye; we have guidelines saying not to make the title and text style differ.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:52, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Addressing an actual attempt to change policy: The idea above, to shoe-horn in something like the confusing and gameable "if that stylization does not contribute meaning to words that may be read ambiguously, or is not present in the vast majority of quality sources" would be an actual major policy change. Every single attempt to date to put style-related nitpicks into policy (not guidelines) has been met with strong community rejection. This might be a reasonable addition to MoS's language (or might not – see below), and it's already consistent with what MoS says, so it would actually be redundant. When a proposal is made to update this page with a cross-reference to match actual practice, the answer isn't to propose subverting this page's purpose to turn it into a style policy. (cf. WP:WINNING). The originally proposed wording is entirely sufficient: "does not necessarily equate to adopting stylization" already means that sometimes stylization is adopted, and the whole point of the cross-reference is to get people to the actual rules by which this is done (which match the clear part of what Blueboar proposed to inject into AT: "in the vast majority of quality sources"). The intent might have been to do a micro-WP:SUMMARY of MoS's general take on it in AT itself, but we don't do that with non-policy material in policies; people would interpret it is as incorporated by reference into policy and thus become policy itself.

    The unclear portion, "does not contribute meaning to words that may be read ambiguously" is vague and ambiguous, does not reflect any actual rule WP has, and appears to have been written with the sole purpose of enshrining one particular movie title, an outlying edge case, as if it's generally meaningful and applicable. It isn't, and it has its own consensus record in article talk. Our P&G pages only contain cases which can be broadly extrapolated to other cases, or they would be about 1000% longer and no one would read or understand them. If there's some actual broad class of article titles to which something like this could pertain, that wording isn't how to get at them. Doing so would require a sharp eye to unintended readings and consequences, which is really going to take some "how could this be gamed?" thinking. Nor would it be limited "to words that may be read ambiguously", since the other most fought-over case of this sort was the album "Heroes" (and song "'Heroes'") by David Bowie, a case involving punctuation, not a word (and also snug in its cocoon of extensive consensus record of prior discussion). If adding even a very carefully crafted rule about this were proposed at WT:MOS it would almost certainly be rejected as unnecessary. The policy that "sometimes exceptions may apply" to guidelines already has all of that covered.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  09:52, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

It is, if I remember correctly, a good case of overwhelming use of styling by sources.
Your original proposal is "entirely sufficient". Does that mean that nothing more or nothing less will do, and all who disagree are wrong? I do not normally find you so bombastic. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:03, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
Hah! I just meant that the version proposed (its wording and the cross-reference it provides) already encompasses all of this – even if it were copyedited a bit in some way. On the example: As I recall from the Bowie discussion, it was sourced that the quotation marks were irony/sarcasm and that Bowie definitely intended them to be treated as part of the title. They're serving a semantic purpose (recognized by the average person, not just some field-specific specialist) and aren't simply styling (album/single cover logo stylization, or a record label that doesn't know how use English well).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:53, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
That’s what I’m trying to say. “styling” that serves a semantic process is not simply styling, and is an example of where source styling can/should be followed. I would agree that if the styling does serve a semantic purpose, Wikipedia does not follow source styling. Pretty much, this is what always happens.
There’s still the 75% - 95% quality source use point. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:27, 17 November 2018 (UTC)