Pensapedia:Naming conventions

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When naming articles, certain conventions should be taken into consideration, for purposes of standardization and usability.


When naming articles about persons, the most generally accepted convention is to use the person's full name as the article title, e.g. Francis Celestino Brent. If the full name is not known, as much as possible should be supplied, e.g. Alexander V. Clubbs or C. C. Goodman. However, a number of exceptions do apply, and are detailed below.

After naming a given article, you want to be sure to create redirects to the article using alternate forms of the name, especially in the case of historical figures, who were and are commonly referred to by initialisms. For example, after creating Francis Celestino Brent, one would want to create redirects to the articles at F. C. Brent and Francis C. Brent.

Living/recent persons[edit]

For those persons who are still living or have only recently deceased, articles are more commonly named with what that person would most commonly go by on a day-to-day basis, i.e. Hugh King. Middle names, initialisms, and suffixes are less common among these persons' article titles.

Much more common usage[edit]

Furthermore, exceptions are made if the article's namesake is much more commonly referred to by another name, usually one with initials or diminutive names, e.g. T. T. Wentworth or Buzz Ritchie. In the first example, T. T. Wentworth is almost universally referred to by those initials, rather than his given name. The museum named in his honour uses the initials form. In the second example, Buzz Ritchie is almost universally referred to by the diminutive/nickname "Buzz" rather than his full name.

Avoiding very long article names[edit]

Sometimes, in order to avoid very long article names, it is best to omit a middle name in favour of an initial, e.g. James C. Van Pelt, instead of James Cornelius Van Pelt. These cases are judgement calls and can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

Specific events[edit]

When naming specific events, the most generally accepted convention is to use the name or description of the event, followed by a comma, and the year in which the event took place, e.g. Municipal elections, 1908 or Streetcar operators' strike, 1908. If the event is so well-known or unique that it would not be confused with any other event, it may be acceptable to omit the year, e.g. Halloween Night Fire.

Roads, streets and other thoroughfares[edit]

When naming an article about a road, street, or other thoroughfare, one should choose the most commonly used name as the name of the article. For instance, Interstate 110 is also Florida State Road 8A — but it is much more commonly referred to by the former. Also, one should use the full form of a road's name as the article title, in lieu of any nicknames or short forms. For example: Interstate 10 would be correct; I-10 would not. Airport Boulevard would be correct; Airport Blvd would not. However, it is a good idea to create redirects to the main article using short forms or nicknames.

Article titles beginning with a lowercase letter[edit]

By default, the MediaWiki software used by Pensapedia will capitalise the initial letter of any article title. This is undesirable in some cases, for aesthetic reasons. In order to overcome this software problem, a workaround has been developed which uses JavaScript to alter the initial letter to lowercase.

In order to use the workaround, simply include by inserting {{lowercase}} at the top of the article text. See Template:lowercase for details.

Example: You create an article about et Café. By default, the MediaWiki software will display the initial letter "e" as a capital "E". However, if you include {{lowercase}} at the top of the article, the initial letter will be correctly displayed as lowercase.

Abbreviations and acronyms[edit]

Abbreviations and acronyms are generally discouraged in article titles. For instance, one would title an article Fort Pickens rather than Ft. Pickens. However, it is appropriate to create redirects at abbreviated forms to redirect to the proper title.

Similarly, business names that include frequently shortened words ("Co." for "Company," "Bros." for "Brothers," etc.) should be restored to their full, non-abbreviated forms for the article title. It is acceptable and recommended, however, to substitute an ampersand (&) for the word "and" in company names. Legal suffixes that describe the type of corporation (Inc., LLC, etc.) should be omitted in article titles, unless it is normally included in the company's trademark (e.g. Roads, Inc.).

Exceptions are made to this guideline in the interest of avoiding long article titles. For instance, the article L&N Passenger Depot and Express Office contains an acronym, L&N, in its title. The acronym stands for "Louisville & Nashville," but is shortened in that example to avoid a very long title.