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In my time here, we have always used the "title case" rule for capitalisation of titles and headings: "first and last words capitalized, as well as all nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives", which can alternatively be roughly read as "capitalization of all words, except for articles, prepositions, and conjunctions". This rule has come under discussion a long time ago, and back then, I was in favour of continuing to uphold that rule, as it is just as legitimate as other styles of title capitalisation, is the most common style in American English formal writing (excluding newspaper publishers), and can often look neater. However, I have come to view this particular point of our Manual of Style as being too hard to follow. Confusion in this matter is rife (more so in the matter of headings than titles), defeating the entire idea of neatness behind our past consensus on the matter.
Therefore, as other styles of title capitalisation are just as legitimate as "title case", I'm suggesting a move to "sentence case", which is "capitalization of only the first word, proper nouns and as dictated by other specific English rules". You may recognise it from Wikipedia, most of the largest wikis on the Internet, newspaper publishers and British/International English publishing. This is much easier for all editors to follow as the rules for capitalisation are essentially the same as capitalisation within sentences (hence the name). Sentence case is also the direction International English is heading. It is unquestionably the dominant style on the Internet, and there is no doubt that print publishing is moving towards this standard. And it might stop the confusion and complaints from users who edited on other wikis first. :P
Such a move would require renaming of some articles and edits to a large number of articles and project pages, but I would leave items such as blog posts and forums alone if such a policy shift is agreed upon. (If anything, it would give people something to do, as article editing really is at a rock bottom low.) I understand that such a move will obviously require a lot of work, but I'm confident this move would be better in the long term for ease of editing and for finally achieving perfect consistency in all corners of the wiki. More Manual of Style change suggestions to come. The 888th Avatar (talk) 12:29, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
- I could agree with that, as it would be simpler to follow. Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem 12:30, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
- I agree with that. @888, can you give a small example of how a name of a page will change with the sentence case. – 13:53, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
- Sure. "Aang's Relationships" would become "Aang's relationships". "Avatar Wiki:Administrator Noticeboard" would become "Avatar Wiki:Administrator noticeboard". "Naming Articles" would become "Naming articles". But things like "The Boy in the Iceberg" and "Misty Palms Oasis" would stay the same. The 888th Avatar (talk) 14:18, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
- In my point of view, Aang's Relationships sounds better than Aang's relationships. But as Havoc said, it would also be simpler to follow. I can't choose between the two. – 14:56, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
- Despite it being proper... I think "Aang's relationships" looks less professional than "Aang's Relationships" as a page title. It looks like, as stated, it's part of a sentence and not a title. I've never named things like that, myself. But eh; I'm not advocating either way atm, just tossing in my two cents. Whichever way this goes is okay with me. Vulmen (talk • contribs) 02:24, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
- I do agree that "Aang's Relationships" looks better than "Aang's relationships" in terms of titles, but the problem at the moment is that the rules for capitalisation seem to be badly followed or not at all, especially in things like blog posts or forum threads, because everyone has different personal standards. In that regard, sentence case is a lot easier to agree upon; the idea is that sentence case will look better overall while some specific titles may suffer. I expected Americans to be a lot less familiar with it, so no surprises there. :) However, even within the United States, there has been an increasing shift towards sentence case in line with international influence. And it's always good to be in line with all the major wikis by reducing the amount of relearning required. The 888th Avatar (talk) 08:55, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
- I understand what you mean, 888. I have been to Asia more than anyone can imagine and I often find the sentence case in many places. Besides, the reason that the title case sounds better than sentence case is because I am not used to it. I am up for sentence case. :) – 09:07, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
- @Rass, I don't think it will be applied to fanons. Fanons are a users's imagination and it can be as whatever he/she wants it to be. – 13:32, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
- I do support and agree, but I think that we should take a vote on it just in case. Also, I think that we should have exceptions, such as the relationships pages. TAD, theavatardemotivator - talk 19:39, May 28, 2011 (UTC)
- Hmm... I don't like the idea of exceptions. It's just too confusing, and may result in uninformed page moves for people who come along and see what seems to be an obvious capitalisation errors. We have to remember that when a page move is performed, only 150 comments are kept, and no likes. For pages with a lot of comments, a rename can be very disruptive. The 888th Avatar (talk) 01:10, May 29, 2011 (UTC)
So, whats going to happen? –17:52, May 30, 2011 (UTC)
- There seems to be a weak consensus in favour of this. We probably won't need a vote — I regard votes as a last-ditch option because it wastes so much time — but the thread should stay open for several more days in case there are further suggestions and comments. The 888th Avatar (talk) 23:55, May 30, 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we should switch to sentence case. I understand that it would be easier for some users to understand, Avatar Wiki being a community site, however I think it causes just as much confusion for those used to title case. I strongly think that title case is a more professional and appealing style at which to look. I think it is in the best interest of the wiki to keep title case, as sentence case would give a sloppy and not as respectable appearance.
- Either way, there's going to confusion for some people. However, the fact that most wikis, including all Wikimedia projects, use sentence case suggests that the likelihood of confusion due to title case is much higher. Don't get me wrong; title case does look better. However, the consistent way in which it is incorrectly used due to people not knowing which words to capitalise looks even more unprofessional than having all titles in the less confusing sentence case. The 888th Avatar (talk) 01:33, June 1, 2011 (UTC)
- I see your point, but I'm just not sure switching to sentence case is the best way to deal with the problem. Maybe we could just try making things a little more clear on the Manual of Style. I'm not sure if it would work, but I feel that it would be better to just do the best we can to correct mistakes as we see them. Sentence case just seems to sloppy to me. Also, wouldn't switching mean changing all of the articles that are correct right now? That seems like just as much work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Avatar Kuruk 1 (wall • contribs) This note was added on ~~~~~.
- I really don't see how I could make things any clearer on the Manual of Style. The line about capitalisation has been there for more than two years, and is almost literally the definition of title case. The problem remains that the rules of title case itself are difficult to follow, especially for the huge number of people on this wiki who haven't finished high school yet.
- Not that many articles need to be renamed, as most of our article titles are proper nouns anyway. It's just titles like "Aang's relationships" that need to be changed. "Ba Sing Se" or "Southern Air Temple" would still be exactly the same. As I said further above, it can't be that hard for a large community who doesn't have that much to do on canon content, but desperately wants something to do. The idea is to resolve the problem once and for all. The 888th Avatar (talk) 04:15, June 1, 2011 (UTC)
- I'm still confused how it's hard to follow. o.o' It's very straightforward. Lots of capitalization, really. I mean if there were a vast amount of exceptions then I could see it possibly becoming difficult (such as some of which is introduced with sentence case). But; I really don't see how it's hard, and our pages...I think they all stand by it.
- As for referencing Blog Posts and Forum posts as a targeted reason for this 'confusion', I really don't think that should count. That's about the same as an author's decision for their fanon title...it's user-content, user created, free to do as they please. Its title could be in whatever case the user decided upon; be it sentence or otherwise regardless of whatever policy is in effect. Are we going to start deleting blogs or telling users to follow naming conventions when making blog titles / forum posts? I don't think it should even be a factor. The way I see it; this discussion only applies to canon articles. And in which case; I still find myself scratching my head like Avatar Kuruk. :S
- I understand that many other wiki's do this. But does that mean we should play bandwagon? We certainly didn't with the 'comments' idea, being one of few wiki's that use it... Vulmen (talk • contribs) 04:25, June 1, 2011 (UTC)
I think sentence case is better than title case. Title case sure looks professional but creates confusions. Which one will you choose, the professional one or the one that is clear and does not create confusions? I would choose the sentence case. –04:26, June 1, 2011 (UTC)
- Vulmen: I find it straightforward too, but the problem is that I'm not confident that we all do. Sentence case is "logical" and only requires that people understand the difference between proper nouns and everything else, as opposed to title case, which requires that people understand which words are articles, prepositions and conjunctions. So as long as you know things like "John" and "New York City" begin with capital letters, and you know that capital letters begin a sentence, you're good to go.
- Forum posts are not really "authored" and should go one way or another as it is something that belongs to the whole community, which of course doesn't happen at the moment. In fact, with a quick glance down, I break the rules myself out of habit. Yes, blog posts are single-user-generated content, but I think you would agree that we should at least have standard editorial guidelines for our news blog posts, and that doesn't happen either. "Good and Bad News for Korra!" is just above "New merchandise!", for instance.
- Switching to sentence case is not really a matter of bandwagoning; it's about making things easier. We don't follow others just for the sake of it, but neither do we differ from others just because we can. Title and heading capitalisation is one area in which differing from everyone else on something so minor just doesn't make sense — differing from others just because we can. It's like teaching different spellings in different schools around the country...
- There is one more thing. Title case headings are terrible for bot maintenance. All the usual programs to use were written for other wikis, and they keep trying to correct headings to sentence case, making my job very time-consuming. As I'm obviously not going to create a whole new version of AWB just to accommodate title case (I couldn't anyway), this is one of those things to do that just makes sense. The 888th Avatar (talk) 04:53, June 1, 2011 (UTC)
- Support — Per my comments. The 888th Avatar (talk) 10:35, June 8, 2011 (UTC)
- Support — No need to explain. – 10:47, June 8, 2011 (UTC)
- Support — Per 888. Dcasawang1 (talk) 19:24, June 8, 2011 (UTC)
- Support — Per KFAJ. TAD, theavatardemotivator - talk 13:08, June 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Support — Per my comments above. A couple minor adjustments may need to be made, but otherwise it's a solid proposal. Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem 13:11, June 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Oppose — Sentence case just doesn't look as professional, so I'm against the change. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Avatar Kuruk 1 (wall • contribs) This note was added on ~~~~~.
- Oppose — Per Kuruk. Lady Lostris 23:50, June 13, 2011 (UTC)
- Oppose — I have to agree with Kuruk on this. The Ultimate Waterbender 00:17, June 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Oppose — It just looks better like this. 1stAvatar 00:33, June 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Oppose — To me, sentence case just looks half-ass to be blunt about it. Nav Bar links should be title case. I'm a little confused on if I support or oppose, this discussion is very hard to follow. So to be clear, I think it should be "Aang's Relationships". *~~Ian Bernard~~* 00:36, June 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Oppose — Per everyone.-- 01:08, June 20, 2011 (UTC)