WikiProject iconManual of Style
WikiProject iconThis page falls within the scope of the Wikipedia:Manual of Style, a collaborative effort focused on enhancing clarity, consistency, and cohesiveness across the Manual of Style (MoS) guidelines by addressing inconsistencies, refining language, and integrating guidance effectively.
Note icon
This page falls under the contentious topics procedure and is given additional attention, as it closely associated to the English Wikipedia Manual of Style, and the article titles policy. Both areas are subjects of debate.
Contributors are urged to review the awareness criteria carefully and exercise caution when editing.
Note icon
For information on Wikipedia's approach to the establishment of new policies and guidelines, refer to WP:PROPOSAL. Additionally, guidance on how to contribute to the development and revision of Wikipedia policies of Wikipedia's policy and guideline documents is available, offering valuable insights and recommendations.
WikiProject iconDisambiguation
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Disambiguation, an attempt to structure and organize all disambiguation pages on Wikipedia. If you wish to help, you can edit the page attached to this talk page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project or contribute to the discussion.

Remove the "in" in every category and subcategory?[edit]

Anyone object if I remove all the "in" placements in this essay? Using "in" before most categories and subcategories seems to be an uncommon practice. I'm just wanting to avoid confusion and ensure consistency in the future. There was a brief discussion about it here:

Wikipedia_talk:Disambiguation#Feedback_requested_for_disambiguation_page._Also_is_.22IN.22_required_for_most_headings.2Fsubheadings.3F

@JHunterJ:
@Swpb:

ThanksDig Deeper (talk) 17:19, 21 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I'd keep them under "People" (as in "People in [Field X]"), otherwise without is fine. —swpbT 20:15, 21 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@Swpb: OK. Done as you suggested. Thanks for making this btw, it's been helpful.Dig Deeper (talk) 22:23, 21 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Absolutely, and thanks for the thanks! Knowing it's helped is a great feeling. —swpbT 14:14, 22 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, remove all the "In" as redundant per MOS:DABGROUPING "Section headings should be as simple as possible". I've commented on this here User talk:Swpb#Old edits. Widefox; talk 14:16, 16 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Given names or surnames[edit]

I see there's no mention of the People with the surname/given name sections that MOS:DABNAME allows for. Is that intentional? -- Fyrael (talk) 19:15, 13 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Why crate a subject area and title if there is only one entry under it?[edit]

There should be a "don't" added in the dos and dont's: a minimum of 2 entries in an individual section (not counting remnant sections like "other" and "see also"). It's kinda pointless to create a subject area and put only one thing in there. This should be self evident but it isn't. There are plenty disambiguation pages with only one item. So I suggest a stronger effort to discourage it by explicitly prescribing it in the rules or recommendations --Loginnigol (talk) 18:53, 28 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]

It's addressed in this supplement, in principal 2, and I've strengthened it there. I would hesitate to put it in WP:DDD, because that info page is meant to cover all dab pages, of which sectioned ones are a minority. There's a bullet there addressing sectioning, which links back to this supplement. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 16:08, 3 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]

There's a lot of "get consensus to remove" comments in the edit history on stuff that never had consensus to include[edit]

This essay has some WP:OWNership problems from Swpb. They formulated it as they saw fit (without demonstrating consensus) and revert anything they disagree with with instructions for the objector to "get consensus" or "get strong consensus" (whatever the difference between those things are). Where was the consensus for this version? -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:34, 4 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Fictional characters[edit]

JHunterJ, the guideline to never include characters under People looked correct to me. When do you think it would be appropriate to mix those two? -- Fyrael (talk) 13:58, 4 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

On an otherwise human name disambiguation pages when there are a handful of non-person entries (ships, biopics) the fictional characters are better in a "fictional" subsection of the people than with those "other uses". When there isn't a film/video game/literature section otherwise. Regardless, "never" is strong enough to require explicit consensus, which I haven't seen. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:28, 4 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with JHunterJ here, and would probably go a bit farther and say that to many readers it may be counterintuitive to have fictional people in a completely different section to non-fictional people. This is especially the case when there isn't a dedicated "Fictional characters" section (that is easily visible in the table of contents) and readers may not always suss out that the fictional people will be found under "Art and entertainment". Also, I don't think we can take it for granted that readers will always know whether the person they're looking for is real or fictional. – Uanfala (talk) 17:42, 4 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

"MOS:LONGDAB" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

An editor has identified a potential problem with the redirect MOS:LONGDAB and has thus listed it for discussion. This discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2022 October 25#MOS:LONGDAB until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. —Bagumba (talk) 09:31, 25 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

RfC: make this page a guideline[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The proposal is successful. This was moved to the MoS and tagged as a MoS guideline, but was never closed. Clyde!Franklin! 02:19, 11 December 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Make this page a guideline rather than an explanatory essay. Shhhnotsoloud (talk) 14:41, 4 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Alphabetical order of sections[edit]

The page currently gives the following advice:

Order sections alphabetically unless there is a clear reason not to. (This is the easiest order to recognize – importance, for example, is usually too subjective.)

Of course, alphabetical order is a good default, but there are too many situations where different orders would be more appropriate and I don't think it's a good idea to advise against them. For example, thematically similar sections should usually be next to each other: say, if there are separate sections for maths and for science, it's best to keep them one after the other (rather than have "Organisations", "Places" and "People" in-between), or if there are two separate sections for films and for TV series, you don't want them to be separated by everything else in the dab. Another factor is popularity of entries (as judged from clickthroughs [1]): I often find it that a majority of visitors of a dab would come for a small number of entries, and in that case it makes sense to shorten the most common navigational paths by arranging the sections in such a way that those entries will be near the top (rather than buried at the bottom).

I imagine it can be argued that the situations I'm enumerating simply exemplify the clear reasons for occasionally departing from alphabetical order, but in my experience these are so common that it will be counterproductive to have even weak recommendations against them. – Uanfala (talk) 18:41, 14 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The approach for a few entries that dominate the click-throughs comes from MOS:DABORDER: list them up top, outside the subject area scheme altogether. If a whole section is full of much more common targets, but none stand out from the rest, that might be a good reason to pull that section to the top, and we could add language to say that that's reasonable. I haven't studied click-through data enough to now how common that situation is. As for "thematically similar sections", I like to see them not just next to each other, but grouped under a parent section: "Arts and media", with "Film" and "Literature" inside it. That lets alpha order be preserved at each level, and makes for more commonality from one dab to the next. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 19:44, 14 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, you can create an "Art and entertainment" section, but then chances are that an alphabetical order for the subsections will result in the film and the TV entries split apart by the subsections on games, music and literature. As for the other issue: ordering by popularity, singling out the most sought after articles right at the top can work if there's just two or three of them, but most of the time there would be more. If you think about the mathematics of it, for any dab page with more than two sections, the arrangement of sections that minimises the aggregate length of all the reader navigational paths will, much more often than not, result in an order that's not alphabetical. – Uanfala (talk) 20:21, 14 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think we could expend a lot of energy defining "clear reasons" which wouldn't get us very far. The status quo is fine. What is important is consistency, so that readers are used to seeing familiar headings, in familiar places. Shhhnotsoloud (talk) 21:31, 14 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Format of the ToC[edit]

This page ends up with a rather convoluted-looking table of contents for the example scheme. There are several things that we can do to simplify it, but the most obvious first step is to get the warnings, like [Avoid words like "(popular) culture" and "society"; they are too vague.], out of the section headings and into the body of the given section. Any thoughts? – Uanfala (talk) 19:00, 14 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]

That's reasonable, I'll do it I did it. —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 19:45, 14 November 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Mac organization dispute[edit]

User:Swpb and I strongly disagree on the organization of Mac and have been reverting each other over the past few days.

I say that Swpb has overly complicated the section structure, which contravenes the purpose of LONGDAB, to simplify things for readers. IMO:

  1. The Places section is redundant. That section is overwhelmingly used for communities and geographical features. There are none named Mac. While "Museums and art centers" is a valid grouping, Swpb has contrived an "Other places" subsection to justify Places' existence. Other places consists of two codes already listed in the Codes section, which leaves one entry. Museums and art centers should be promoted to a section and the sole other entry should be moved to Other uses. There is a hatnote for schools, but (a) who looks for schools under Places?, and (b) that section is directly beneath Places anyway.
  2. The subsections in the People section are unnecessary. Swpb first endorsed "Names" and "People with the nickname or professional name"; when I pointed out that nicknames and professional names are still names, Swpb changed the latter to "Individuals". This is still problematic, since Mac (nickname) and Mạc contain lists of individuals.
  3. I'm prefer to delete the blanket Organizations section and let the three subsections stand on their own, but it's not a major issue. Clarityfiend (talk) 21:27, 25 April 2023 (UTC)[reply]
A shorter summary for everyone, re Mac:
  1. Should places go in a "Places" section?
  2. Should articles about names be kept separate from individuals?
  3. Is it appropriate to put all organizations under "Organizations"?

In each case, the status quo on Mac is yes, and I contend that's in line with this guide, both as it was promoted and as it currently stands - particularly the bit about copying the scheme of similar dabs for reader familiarity. I don't feel I need to "justify" a Places or Organizations section; both are standard. It should go without saying that consensus on each of these questions should be decided by someone other than Clarity or myself. Re the "overly complicated" and "redundant" complaints, I consider the questions of whether nested section levels and appropriate repetition of entries are good ways to allow for less reading to have been settled by the promotion of the guideline. —swpbT • beyond • mutual 22:48, 25 April 2023 (UTC)[reply]

A matter of possible interest[edit]

See: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Disambiguation pages#Table of Contents behavior in Vector 2022. —swpbT • beyond • mutual 15:23, 16 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]

wp:own[edit]

There seems to be some ownership of this page from the primary author. It is grammatically correct to use "pursuant" but that was reverted with the rationale that it is a lateral change at best. I'm not sure what that even means. Iterresise (talk) 03:46, 24 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Accusing people of WP:OWN is quite serious, and utterly uncalled for when someone reverts you making undiscussed changes to a guideline page (where such alterations by anyone are routinely reverted until a consensus is established for them). And your preferred wording has absolutely nothing to do with grammar, a term you do not seem to properly understand. It's simply more legalistic in its wording and harder for more readers to understand, so it is objectively not an improvement. There could be other wording that would be better, but "pursuant to" is not it, because it's obtuse (kind of like "obtuse", which we shouldn't use in a guideline, either). PS: If you don't understand what lateral change means, you may not be in the best position to be "policing" the language usage in our guidelines. (FYI, in this sense it means 'a sideways move', i.e. neither an improvement nor regressive, though I argue that it's actually regressive for being less intelligible to the average reader).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:50, 24 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]