Wikivoyage:Use of pronouns
|This page in a nutshell: You can address the reader, but do not refer to yourself in an article.|
Wikivoyage guides will usually have many authors so it's best not to use first-person pronouns, as no one is going to know who the "I" or "we" is referring to.
As the guides should engage the reader, it's OK to use "you".
First person pronouns
Avoid first-person pronouns ("I", "we", "me", "us") and adjectives ("my", "our"). Don't refer to yourself as an author ("the author of this article thinks").
You don't need to qualify your opinions with phrases like "I think", "I found", "I enjoyed", "seemed to me", "in my opinion", etc. If you actually think or feel something, plunge forward and just say it. If you're wrong, someone else will correct or modify your statement. See Project:Be fair for more details on stating opinions.
First-person pronouns may also be a red flag that text has been copy-pasted from a destination or venue's own marketing materials. We don't want to know what the innkeeper thinks of their own hotel, we want to know how other voyagers see the establishment.
Some exceptions to this rule should be obvious, but are listed here for completeness.
- When speaking of Wikivoyagers as a whole, especially on pages in the Wikivoyage: namespace. "Welcome to Wikivoyage; we hope you enjoy it" is perfectly OK.
- On talk pages, it of course makes sense to use "I", "my", etc.
- On your own user page, it's perfectly OK to use first-person pronouns to introduce yourself.
Second person pronouns
Don't make your writing go through complicated gymnastics just to avoid the second person pronoun "you". Wikivoyage is intended to be written in a casual, informal style, so "you" is perfectly acceptable as a universal pronoun and in addressing the reader.
- "When travelling to Thailand, one should pack clothes and a flashlight."
can be replaced with:
- "Travellers to Thailand should pack clothes and a flashlight."
- "If you're travelling to Thailand, you should pack clothes and a flashlight."
Mixing second-person and third-person pronouns ("the voyager will need a certain degree of self-sufficiency while travelling on your own") is awkward and best avoided.
In other languages
Using second person pronouns works fine on Wikivoyage in English. Other languages may, for various reasons, use other grammatical forms of addressing the reader.
Each Wikivoyage language version is a separate community with their own respective guidelines, which may differ to accommodate differences in language.