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Naming Convention

I was just reading Help:Names#Deeds, Skills, etc and I don't agree 100%. I would like to change that to say that if the name is short--one or two words--it should always have a specifier in parenthesis.

The reason is that I have seen way too many examples of where links go to the wrong page. That wouldn't be a problem is using specifiers and leave the unspecified word(s) unused.

Objections? Zimoon 23:12, 17 January 2022 (UTC)

There were no objections so the text change was applied in 1379051. — Zimoon 11:11, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

Location Names Starting with "The"

Background: Recently the Angle of Mitheithel was added to the game. A page and some categories were created in advance with that name, based on pre-release information. However, upon release its map reads "The Angle of Mitheithel" and now I start the eternal discussion again:

Could we please agree on location page names should not start with "The" even if the map reads "The ..."?

It would save editors quite a lot of editing troubles whenever one wants to write e.g. "the beautiful [[the Angle of Mitheithel]]" instead of having to type "the beautiful [[The Angle of Mitheithel|Angle of Mitheithel]]". It would also save some space on info boxes, not much but sometimes "The" is what causes a line-break. (See Functors for curio on "the" and other negligible words.)

PS. I have recently "renamed" some regions to non-The names because that is what their maps read (Lone-lands, North Downs, Trollshaws, Misty Mountains) and I am willing to do the same for yet more regions if we agree. DS. — Zimoon 12:47, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

I don't remember if I've given my opinion on the subject before. In general, I prefer using the same names as in-game, also if it starts with the. I understand your arguments (easier to write adjectives in front of the page name and place saving), but to me they're only minor.
I would be interested to know what other editors think though. Or what is the way to do it on other wikis. —RoyalKnight5 (talk) 13:02, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
Forgot to say that even if the page name is without leading "the" I suggest name with "the" in the description and in bold. E.g. "The Angle of Mitheithel is an area wi...". — Zimoon 13:08, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm also partial to keeping the names as they are in-game, including the leading THE. I do very much get the ease of editing argument, but I think keeping 'match the in-game name' as a hard rule avoids a good bit of confusion, especially when you're new. Thalion (talk) 20:43, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
Fair enough, no problems :-) — Zimoon 11:04, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
The page name should start with the filler words like "The", "A", etc, when you add it to a category, this is where it needs to be fix. For example: The Page, [[Category:Name|Sort] or [[Category:Name|Page, The]], or use {{DEFAULTSORT:X}} --Lotroadmin (talk) 01:38, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Thanks, yes, that is what Help:Names suggest, use {{DEFAULTSORT:X}} for names with special characters, and if starting with "the". Case closed ;-)   — Zimoon 10:29, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

Singular vs Plural

Current rules as stated on page:

Singular or Plural
A page name should be singular, while a category always is plural. A page is about one entity, or one kind of entities.
For an editor it is much easier to add an extra "s" to a link than it is to remove plural. Compare one [[Rangers|Ranger]] versus several [[Ranger]]s.
Sindarin Plural
If plural Sindarin is in the page name, see Help:Spelling and Punctuation for more detail.

These are the current standards that need to be followed as set by the wiki. - That being said there are some continuity issues that have been brought to the forefront on discord.

Discussion of current standard rules

The main issue pointed out: Some article names are singular while others are plural. The contention is which form to use.

As it stands, the standards we use are above. If anyone editing the wiki finds error in that these standards are not being followed, it is our job as editors to fix these errors and correct the non-standard articles to follow our standards. This should not be up for discussion as it is our duty to make sure our standards are being followed. If all articles followed the standard naming convention, would the arguments for or against the use of singular or plural have been in contention or addressed as needing changed? No. But because standards and guidelines are not being met it is drawing attention and therefore causing confusion.
For those who would like to discuss changes to the current standard, please do so below this line. Warning: Before any change to our standards are made, there will be further discussion after reviewing arguments below and voting will occur. In the meantime, current standards are set and need to be followed. Rogue (talk) 19:06, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
The issue is these 'current rules' were recently changed as Zimoon rewrote this page.
AND THIS IS EXACTLY THE ISSUE. Zimoon re-wrote the rules, without consulting anyone first. The exceptions WERE in place and SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEFT in place. I had not realized how much he effectively changed the rules. I AGREE with you 100% that there ARE exceptions. And that THIS WHOLE issue should not have been an issue to begin with. The creature summaries were mostly created by me so yes I am aware that they should be plural. The help pages themselves are a mix because they were also an exception. It made sense at the time of creation and EVERYONE not just me voted on this. Rogue (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

The rules until than were not that strict and allowed exceptions:

Creature species sometimes have summary pages and they are in plural. Chiefly it is this way to avoid nasty naming conflicts. For examples, there is a wolf species in the Shire named Wolf, compare Warg with Wargs, compare Craban with Crebain, etc. Sometimes it is a judgement call whether a page is a summary page which possibly could be in plural or not, but if you are uncertain you'd better use singular to start with.
100% agree with you that it was a judgement call, and voted that these pages were named as it made sense to the English language and followed the standards of the language. Rogue (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
afaik there was no discussion about it.
No discussion about the naming of creature summaries being plural? Or? Rogue (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2022 (UTC)a
PS: according to the new 'current rules' this page should be 'Help:Name' --Drono (talk) 18:17, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Correct, somewhat stricter for "summary pages" but not that much. I remember well a long discussion from 7+ years ago from when I was quite fresh here but people of that century thought the problem with name clashes made for the exceptions. Already then they thought of plural-named pages as an exception even if they felt forced to use it (the Warg in the Shire was an example of course). Somewhat after that we faced the problem that lead to "name specifiers" and aligning conventions on how to use them. I do not remember who did the major work on that. So some time after this exception was allowed the very same team invented the resolution to 'same-name conflicts' but never thought that it also resolved the 'exception' ;-)
"... should be Help:Name" – Maybe, if we consider the name plural because of "names". Or if it is singular based on "help" as in this is one help page and its topic is "names". I saw something similar on Discord, should it be "List of Lone-lands Deeds" or not. I cannot tell, can it be considered one page that summarizes the deeds of the Lone-lands? Or not? I am not English native so I pass.
If you don't feel the need to pass when it comes to deciding what's right or wrong in English - then take a pass. Rogue (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
For simplicity it is better to avoid exceptions, when there is either this ... or that. Otherwise people tend to forget what's what. Plus, most commonly it is easier to go from singular to plural by tucking on a "s". The exceptions are rare, unless we think of Sindarin & Co.
Those exceptions have been in place for a long while and NO one was confused. Until this page changed the rules (your doing) and then confusion struck. Welcome to the English language where there's always an exception to the rules. Rogue (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
IMHO a bigger issue is in Help:Names#Conflicting Old Page Names. Historically when facing a same-name issue we have let the original page stay and have added name specifiers to the following pages. A bit lazy but that works well. For a short time. Time goes by and suddenly an editor links to that original name and loo and behold, preview does not show a red link "so this works". Or the Insert Link dialog states "page exists" so... And over time each such case gathers many erratic links. We should probably have a script that regularly checks that disambig-pages does not have more links to them than # out-links they have. Each time I happen to work with one there are many erratic links which proves there is some kind of laziness with us, we do not check that the links we insert actually go to the correct page.
Enough about this for now. From me at least. — Zimoon 19:50, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Both examples were from me and the point of them was to demonstrate that if there were no exceptions some other pages should be renamed too.
In the case of this page Help is namespace, the pagename is Names (as inserted by {{PAGENAME}})
For the Lone-lands example, the actual page name is 'Lone-Lands Deeds' which is plural, renaming all this pages to 'List of ...' would make them singular and remove the need of this type of exception.
According to Rogue's comment, there is supposed to be vote changing our current standards, my question is what is viewed as current standard, as it was changed stealthily without vote. --Drono (talk) 07:35, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
What it was before Zimoon changed it WITHOUT asking. When I said the rules stand as they are now and leave it alone. But I will review the history of the page and quote it here.. Rogue (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
PS: I don't have issues if we decide the policy is all pages should be singular, but changing it without discussion and than referring to it as guidelines is against my skin. If the policy is no plural names, period, than it needs to be thought trough which pages we have that does have plural name and how to rename them. Otherwise applying such policy makes even more mess as some pages will adhere to it, some not. Without a discussion how to apply it different people can resolve conflicting page name differently. In my opinion, if policy like this is changed we should make sure to fix all pages breaking it as soon as possible. And definitely before changing another policy. Otherwise we have lot of pages breaking a lot of policies and it is giant mess. --Drono (talk) 07:54, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
It gets under my skin too and was never my intention Rogue (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Not sure which examples you refer to but I added the Warg example on October 12, 2012. It was discussed either on some user Talk page or the chat we had at the time.
I absolutely agree that we should rename plural named pages, unless there is some unison acceptance for an exception. (As this reads "Those older pages are slowly being renamed to singular; and each such fix reveals numerous links in error.") Depending on how many links there are to such a page the task is anything from simple to quite a task, certainly if each link must be checked for correctness. But I am on it, though not every day. — Zimoon 10:46, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
I do not absolutely agree. And believe you are undermining what has been said. Rogue (talk) 22:50, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
I was talking about the examples of pages that are in conflict with the page must be singular policy. --Drono (talk) 11:07, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
I will fix Craban, was there anyone else? — Zimoon 11:53, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

Why was this completely removed from the article. Without any discussion? Or mentioned multiple times that a change to the page wanted to be made that would drastically change how Naming articles works?
Creature species sometimes have summary pages and they are in plural. Chiefly it is this way to avoid nasty naming conflicts. For examples, there is a wolf species in the Shire named Wolf, compare Warg with Wargs, compare Craban with Crebain, etc. Sometimes it is a judgement call whether a page is a summary page which possibly could be in plural or not, but if you are uncertain you'd better use singular to start with.
Plural or Possessive
When creating an article, be certain to correctly specify the English possessive spelling vs the plural spelling for words ending in "s".
Sindarin Plurals
Many names in the game are in Sindarin, which has its own plural form. See the Tolkien Gateway for a chart of how to pluralize in Sindarin. Some examples:
Morroval -> Merrevail
Grodbog -> Gredbyg
Dúnadan -> Dúnedain
Orch -> Yrch
Make sure it's actually Sindarin. 'Urug' is, and its plural is 'yryg'. 'Uruk', its Black Speech equivalent, is commonly given the Common Speech plural 'Uruks'. 'Yryk' is not a proper plural. Also, a few English plurals have come into common use, such as 'Balrogs' instead of 'Belryg'.

I VOTE to put this back into place and keep the rules as they were intended. These exceptions are necessary and make logical sense in the case of English and Sindarin language. Rogue (talk) 23:10, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

Too late for me to go into detail here but honestly, the only thing that was "changed" here was nullifying the "exception" which I personally wrote years ago. All the rest is just restructured or moved to the "spelling and punctuation" page, which is linked to a few times. Similar information at many pages always leads to confusion, don't you agree? Better to have it at one master-page that many other pages can link to. And if I wasn't too sloppy it should read in the history. I will get back here tomorrow. I am confident that we together can find a way to follow rules without exceptions if we agree to drop prestige. Good night! Zimoon 23:42, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
I wrote the following on Discord on this subject:
"Help:Names: There seems to be a misunderstanding about this page and the edits I made to it. Sure, when there are many edits on top of each other it is harder to see what happened. In summary:
"The only real change I made to that page was to nullify the "exception" which I personally wrote many years ago. (And that was to cover up for the many exceptions I saw at the time as I didn't have the urge to "change that too".)
"Everything else done to that page is 1) remove redundant text, 2) make the initial bullet list short and crisp by moving and consolidating explanations and examples in sections further down, and 3) moving some duplicated text to "Help:Spelling and Punctuation".
"Spreading a misunderstanding many times does not make it true in the end. Before doing so again, please verify your statements carefully. Which is tiresome ofc, but I implore you to not repeat it until you know for certain."
Because of the excessive in-lining of comments yesterday I will not go into detail unless asked to do that. But I stand with my comment made on Discord and now here too. — Zimoon 10:36, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
My pint of view - It started when i asked Zimoon why changing Titles to Title, response was pages must be singular. To which i said i strongly disagree. Looked back in discord history and seems Rogue agreed with me at that time. However later she posted here comment about the current rules as stated on the Help page, and that there should be vote. Since i did not remember the rules beeing like that i looked in the history and saw they were changed a bit, so i again disagreed and asked which rules are viewed as current rules.
For the actual change to the Help page - it is actually quite easy to summarize it trough history - you can compare latest revision with the last revision before your changes. If i say the rules were rewritten it is because they were - you can see the diff software have quite difficult time to find matches. Maybe the ideas stayed same, but it was rewritten, and clearly some ideas changed.
According to history the page was changed on 17-18-19 of january, than 5-6-7-8-9-10 february each day couple times plus couple more changes for total of 30 changes. I do not have time to re-read the help page after every single change and think about the impact of the change each time. This is exactly why for changes like these, we should make draft page, work on the draft page - suggest the draft page as a change, get it proofread and approved by other editors. Saves the history clutter too.
As i stated, i (strongly) disagree that pages must be singular (no exceptions), but if that is the consensus - i am ok with it. I pointed out some pages that would break that rule, and thus if that was in the end the consensus they would have to be renamed. --Drono (talk) 12:14, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Comparison 2021 vs. Now
I went back to Dec 18, 2021 and compared with today's version:
Singular page names: "When creating a new page its name should always be singular" ⇒ "Page names should be in singular"
It reads almost the same both in the bullet list and the explanation section. No change at all.
The infamous Exception: "Creature species sometimes have summary pages and they are in plural. Chiefly it is this way to avoid nasty naming conflicts." ⇒ "A historical note about a discontinued exception: Once we used to name so called 'summary pages' in plural, to avoid naming conflicts. But such conflicts are avoided by using name specifiers (see about disambiguation below)"
The old text was written by myself here, on Oct 12, 2012.
For the remainder: See my previous comments. Nothing has been removed, relaxed, or tightened up. Wordings have changed, a quickly read bullet list added, and a little duplicated text moved to another page.
Historical notes: Ten years back I had found so many linking errors and page name flaws so Magill and I decided to do something about that. Updating the page started on Oct. 23 2011 by me, but Magill, Ravanel, RingTailCat, RoyalKnight5, and Sethladan either worked on the page or monitored in the background. In June next year we run into the delicate problem of same-name creatures with significant differences. And RingTailCat and I extended the "name specifier" concept to include also creatures. At that time we also knew that the "linking problems" for same-name pages (editors did not ensure links referenced the intended page) were more gross than we had feared for, and we tried to steer up the guidelines on that. Until...
The infamous exception was added simply because I was overwhelmed with things to fix and I did not have the drive to ask for and add yet another item on my todo-list. I saw the problems, we chatted about it and I added some "leeway" thinking it was a minor addition to the help page. An exception to cover for "the current messy state" instead of fixing it right away. I think all of us back then never considered the "exception" to be a rule as such but rather an excuse for how reality looked like.
Nevertheless, it was the very same day "When creating a new page its name should always be singular" was born, together with the "exception". All active editors of the time chatted, using the media we had those days and others chimed often in when seeing something that caught their interest. And we actively kept an eye on "recent changes" so we knew when whoever updated a help or guideline page, whether small or big.
With this background info and the reason why the exception was thrown in, hopefully you understand why I did not consider plugging that loophole was a big deal. We do have the means to work around naming conflicts. We do know that a page is about one entity or subject. We do know that a category is a container of many things and not about one subject. And with that knowledge we can make informed decisions and adjustments.
Summary: This whole debacle seems to be based on a misunderstanding, sourced in lack of research (no blame intended). A 'feather and hen story', so to say. The only real change was nullifying the "exception" I added soon 10 years ago to cover for deficiencies I now hope to fix, a decade later. The rest was just sorting the cards of the deck, and moving a joker to another deck. — Zimoon 14:28, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
A comment on this "This is exactly why for changes like these, we should make draft page, work on the draft page - suggest the draft page as a change, get it proofread and approved":
We are in agreement on that one, that is our usual approach when we want to change something, meaning real changes. But I knew I would not change anything but just move things around while retaining contents and meaning. Polishing and cleaning, in other words. And that is also why I did not ask on any Talk page or such about it. And I have explained why I considered plugging that 10 year old loophole a lesser thing, never imagining it would burst off the roof as a result. — Zimoon 14:39, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Doing a much closer inspection I found a note about pages beginning with "the" should have a redirect had gone missing. I will continue my close inspection just to make sure nothing else has been lost. Removing anything was never the plan so let me make certain that never happen. — Zimoon 21:44, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

Side by Side Comparison

Today I have gone through Help:Names from Dec 18, 2011 versus today and noted differences here, differences beyond what has been mentioned in earlier comments:

  1. Added: "Febr. 2022 news: Note especially Conflicting Old Page Names."
  2. Added: "Be careful when naming a page!!! — While fixing a typo within a page is simple, renaming (moving) a page requires quite some work. All links to the page must be updated, etc. Avoid the unnecessary, please."
  3. Added bullet: "For page names with leading "the" or special characters, add {{DEFAULTSORT:X}} to the page, where X is the page name in common letters, and without leading "the""
  4. Replaced: "Unless stated otherwise in the subsections below, the oldest page can generally keep the unspecified title (without the parenthetical) and newly added pages are relegated to separate pages." —— In particular: This change applies throughout all sections and is intended to resolve the numerous erratic links we suffer from, explained on Discord as well as on Talk pages. See bullet 1 and 5.
  5. New section: Conflicting Old Page Names —— In practice, the difference is to also give the old page a name specifier. See bullet 4. (I thought and still think this is uncontroversial.)

Comments are welcomed! — Zimoon 11:03, 11 March 2022 (UTC)