Wikivoyage talk:Abbreviations

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Huh? This strikes me as being silly. Who's rule is this? Which language? -- (WT-en) Mark 21:49, 15 March 2006 (EST)


Suggesting U.S. (not US), but UK (not U.K.) seems counter-intuitive to me. I don't particularly prefer with/without periods, but if we're going to have a style guide for abbreviations, it'd make more sense – and be easier to remember – if it were consistent. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 09:02, 30 March 2006 (EST)

Its essentially failed policy, with over 2000 articles (according to google) referencing USA on wikivoyage. (Somewhat ironically, we also currently have redirects to the United States of America for USA, U.S.A., and US, but not U.S.) --(WT-en) Inas 21:12, 7 January 2009 (EST)
I shall now implement this long standing consensus on our article page --W. Franke-mailtalk 10:45, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
Whoa, I hadn't seen this! I don't at all think this is a good idea. The argument that policies haven't been followed in large amounts of articles, and that we should therefore discard one, is never one I've bought. Changing this would undo all the work that our too few contributors have done in the standardizing work that we do! I've done a ton of work standardizing U.S. punctuation per this policy, it's a lot harder than just a find/replace, and it's the formatting we see in every single star article. --Peter Talk 19:44, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
I've now changed the lede so it now reads:

"Using abbreviations for commonly known terms is encouraged. The abbreviations used should ideally be uniform and consistent (but be aware that many older contributors may be unaware of all our current policies and you may raise hackles by copy editing without prior discussion on the relevant article's discussion page)."

At the risk of pouring petrol (gasoline) on the flames, as I understand the way consensus works, this policy was overdue for a clarification in 2009 and I don't see that we necessarily need to suddenly change a whole load of articles if we keep the "should ideally" part.
However, Peter, it might be politer to hold off reverting any good faith edits until a new(er) consensus has been reached here. --W. Franke-mailtalk 20:05, 29 September 2012 (CEST)

Two things I have noticed about these discussions and reverts.

  1. It would help if logical reasons were to be given for what otherwise appear to be arbitrary rules and changes.
  2. A change of policy or a decision to accept and enforce a policy that has been ignored in the past does not have to be implemented immediately, but a clear policy allows (relatively) uncontroversial amendment to compliance with the preferred style.

Sometime someone is going to run a bot through to make these sort of changes. If there is a clear policy the changes will be what we want. Consistency, clarity and rational reasons will help. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:33, 30 September 2012 (CEST)

Hear, hear!
It's really going to piss off a lot of newbies if they diligently read our policies and are then slapped down by unexplained reverts by "Big Beasts" who can't be bothered to explain/discuss their proposed changes on the relevant policy article discussion pages.
This "I'm bigger and holier than thou" attitude by sundry IBodkins is what caused some of us to come here in the first place. </rant> --W. Franke-mailtalk 14:12, 30 September 2012 (CEST)

vfd discussion[edit]

  • Not sure if we need this new policy, so putting it up here for discussion. -- (WT-en) Ryan 22:26, 17 March 2006 (EST)
  • Keep. It hasn't committed any of the "crimes" punished with death penalty. Maybe we should discuss its utility on its own discussion page first. (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 12:56, 21 March 2006 (EST)
    • There was a comment posted on the article's discussion page to the effect of "why do we need this" immediately after the article was created, with no responses given. Policy articles aren't really covered by the deletion policy, and are normally created in response to some need for clarification. I'm not aware that anyone has ever decreed that "USA" never be written as "U.S.A.", so this strikes me as a policy without a purpose. -- (WT-en) Ryan 15:00, 21 March 2006 (EST)
      • On a second thought, I think you're right. Policy pages shouldn't be created out of the blue and maybe we should mention that on Project:How to start a new page (I'm raising that issue there next). I'm changing my vote here to delete then. (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 09:48, 23 March 2006 (EST)
        • Actually, I'd like to promote an atmosphere where policy pages can be created out of the blue, and that even inexperienced users can influence our policy. There may be some good ideas that experienced Wikivoyagers don't think of just because we're used to the "standard" way of doing things. I think that policies that don't meet with general approval will be removed, blanked, revised, or deleted, but I think it's a good idea to let people know that they can propose them. --(WT-en) Evan 10:40, 23 March 2006 (EST)
  • Keep. We probably do need a page like this to guide our friends who enjoy copy-editing. This said, I'm not into the content of the page as it stands, which seems to me to be totally arbitrary (I'm the one who left the original comment). I say we blank it, and make some kind of note to "watch this space". -- (WT-en) Mark 03:36, 24 March 2006 (EST)
  • Keep. I made a couple of changes and some adds. (feel free to change, if you disagree) --(WT-en) Tom Holland (xltel) 08:19, 30 March 2006 (EST)

Wi-Fi vs Wireless internet[edit]

In general whenever I see the expression "wireless internet" used, which actually means Wi-Fi, I change it. Wi-Fi is a specific technology, and it is widely understood. Wireless internet comes in many forms, most particularly as 3G wireless internet, these days. Within the Contact section of an article, wireless internet may be a heading, but beneath that heading would be 3G wireless, Wi-Fi, and some other less well known (iburst, etc) forms if necessary. --(WT-en) inas 19:14, 23 June 2009 (EDT)

Are these distinctions travel-relevant? If not, shouldn't we use the more general term: "wireless?" (Rather than the wordy "wireless internet.) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:45, 23 June 2009 (EDT)
I think they are travel relevant. I think travellers are pretty interested in the two main forms of wireless Internet available, namely UMTS/HSDPA (commonly called 3G wireless internet) and Wi-Fi, commonly called (Wi-Fi). Often you can tell which one is being referred to by context. If you have a hotel or coffee shop offering wireless internet, then it means Wi-Fi. If you are talking about city wide wireless internet coverage, then you would need to be specific about which one you are talking about. The question is, do we always want consistency within an article, or are we happy with the context dependent nature of the name.
I'd like to see us use 3G Internet, and Wi-Fi. These are both commonly understood terms, and adding consistency in terminology and abbreviations brings other advantages. You can search for one term in an article, like Wi-Fi, and find all places that offer/list it. At the moment, you would have to search for 17+ combinations to find what you were looking for. --(WT-en) inas 22:03, 23 June 2009 (EDT)
There must be a limit to how commonly understood they are—I use wireless around the city all the time, and I have no idea what the practical difference between these two terms is. Moreover, I wouldn't even recognize that 3G Internet signifies wireless. So, why exactly is this distinction travel-relevant? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 22:12, 23 June 2009 (EDT)
The difference is, that UMTS/HSDPA (aka 3G Wireless Internet) uses the mobile phone network. Internet anywhere there is a cellphone signal. Wi-Fi uses hotspots, and sometime municipal centre networks, and localised transmitters. I can tell you that there is high speed 3G Wireless Internet coverage in all the capital cities of Australia#Contact. You can use it if you have a 3G capable mobile or PDA, a 3G capable modem built into your netbook, or a 3G card or dongle for your laptop. If you bring your Wi-Fi enabled laptop, bad luck. You can use it in a coffee shop here or there, or in Maccas, or in a hotel if you pay way overpriced access fees.
The distinction is important, and many travellers use one or both. A few years ago it looked like many city centers were going to be covered by Wi-Fi. It is now not looking as popular. Over the next few years as 3G networks get rolled out and availability becomes widespread we may see Wi-Fi diminish as a requirement for travellers. I think when you say wireless, you probably mean Wi-Fi, but perhaps you have a 3G phone or card, and you are using that. It is hard to say.
It could be a bit of a regional thing. Free Wi-Fi is very common in the USA. When you have to start paying for it everywhere, a 3G service can look more attractive.
If you want to stay in the Westin in Sydney, expect to pay $30 per day for hotel Wi-Fi. Go downstairs to the phone store, get a 3G SIM for your iPhone or netbook for $39 a month (if you don't get a special) that you can use across the country, and even make free VOIP calls back home, and probably get better performance too. --(WT-en) inas 23:13, 23 June 2009 (EDT)


This policy is not particularly clear about where abbreviations should be used ("where" as in "which parts of articles", not "where" as in "which words"). Obviously, in listings, there is strong precedent to abbreviate as much as possible, particularly for addresses and operating hours. But in prose, I don't think abbreviations are always necessary. If you're reciting a long list of streets, then it's probably a good idea, but in isolation I think it often works better to spell things out. As such, I think we should clarify the scope of this policy, both in terms of how necessary it is to abbreviate, and in terms of where in the article abbreviations should be required. (WT-en) LtPowers 08:32, 13 July 2009 (EDT)

I agree — abbreviations should be mandated for listings, but there is no need to enforce them in text, where the full word may work better. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 08:50, 13 July 2009 (EDT)
The discussion behind street abbreviations policy is well buried: Wikivoyage_talk:Manual_of_style_for_the_US#Addresses. My thinking is that if it's an option to abbreviate, might as well to save space. But I don't think we need to make this mandatory, at least outside listings. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:09, 13 July 2009 (EDT)
I think the current text works well. Use of abbreviations is encouraged, and when used they should be standard. The situations where abbreviations should not be used is best left to the writer, rather than being prescriptive. --(WT-en) inas 22:49, 13 July 2009 (EDT)

Spacing before abbreviations[edit]

I notice some Wikivoyagers are updating articles to use spaces before abbreviations. Like "88 km", rather than "88km", and "22° C" rather than "22°C', and "5 l" rather than "5l". I've always been a no-spacer myself, but I'm open to be convinced. Any abbreviation typesetters know which way looks best? --(WT-en) inas 21:12, 16 January 2011 (EST)

Wikipedia uses spaces -- and in fact, they specifically use non-breaking spaces so you don't end up with "88" at the end of one line and "km" at the beginning of the next. I assume that recommendation is based on the consensus of professional style manuals, but I can't say for sure. (WT-en) LtPowers 22:02, 16 January 2011 (EST)
Swept from the pub.

While we are raking over matters like the wifi acronym perhaps we should also find some clear consensus on spacing before abbreviations. In reading Project:Abbreviations as prompted by inas I note the comments raised there regarding spaces before things like XX km, and X,XXX m, 30 mph and that sort of thing. I have been merrily using spaces as I understood that is the standard here, as on WP. Is this the case though or is this another chestnut looking for a frying pan. I am not even going to dare to express my own opinion on it, and I have plenty as an ex-art director and author of a number of corporate style guides. I just want to know what consensus we have in that regard to this, is there actually a policy or have we just loosely followed the WP style, if so what is it and can we agree here that it involves that use of a space as seems to be commonly practiced here? -- (WT-en) felix 22:45, 6 November 2011 (EST)

I'd observe there is no common practice. A quick scan over the WT database for km with a space and without, reveals tens of thousands of both forms of usage. Just as an aside, we do seem to have a mild consensus that there is no space between a number at the AM/PM in a listing. We overwhelmingly use 3AM, and not 3 AM. --(WT-en) inas 00:53, 7 November 2011 (EST)
Yes, that has always been my understanding, the times are a different thing, ie: 3AM, or now alternatively 03:00 as long as there is consistency within the article and preferably the article cluster. So there is no established consensus on things such as XX km, and X,XXX m, 30 mph and similar. Doesn't really matter much I guess as long as it is all at least treated the same way within an article. Personally I think it helps if all the articles are stylistically the same. The Wi-Fi, wifi, WiFi thing is a good example of why we should try and get things like that sorted out. I can see what was prompting globetrotter, he was doing an edit on a Thai article and had both WiFi and wifi there in the article. He has now changed them all to Wi-Fi, a visually clumsy solution in terms of typographic style but a great leap forward in the articles stylistic uniformity. I suspect globetrotter would like to see some certainty about such things, especially as he deals with an article set that has an occasional fractious challenge of one sort or another.
You are probably aware I edit and patrol a lot of the Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian articles and each of those is notorious for sometimes highly creative divergence from established or assumed WT guidelines, including general style, content, formatting, capitalisation, word spacing and spelling conventions. Globetrotter recently revised all of the Thai articles to BRIT English in an effort to achieve style conformity, that was prompted by an anon editor challenging his editing style and word use. It appears a similar thing is happening there again at the moment but it is more a writing style issue this time. I can empathise with the desire to have some sort of consensus on the wifi thing.
Although it is preferable to at least establish and maintain consistency in article formatting and style I would prefer my efforts were not wasted in establishing a pattern that is later challenged as inappropriate. The WiFi, wifi, Wi-Fi thing should have been established ages ago and I note that it is still unresolved. I hope this spacing thing is not going to be an issue as well. Line breaks appearing at the space before an abbreviation when text auto wraps is something that possibly should be given some consideration here in regard to the spacing before abbreviations. Some of the Indian articles I have tackled have been such a dogs breakfast that the introduction of any uniformity to the layout and style was an improvement but I do not want to be changing the mishmash of wifi alternatives to one variation, only to find out after doing a thousands of them that they really should have all been conformed to one used as a registered trademark. It may appear I am being argumentative however I am actually just trying to gain some certainty on these things.-- (WT-en) felix 02:04, 7 November 2011 (EST)
I don't think it is an issue. The only person who has expressed a contrary opinion to leaving a space is me, and I'm happy to concede the point. If you would like to please, update Project:Abbreviations accordingly. If anybody seriously objects they can revert/discuss. --(WT-en) inas 03:21, 7 November 2011 (EST)

I also would much prefer if we changed the phrase at Wikivoyage:Measurements#Avoid_orphaned_units of
Except for measurements of temperature and voltage, we have a mild preference for separating the number from its associated unit by a single space, but:


We have a mild preference for not separating the number from its associated unit, but:

This would not only conform to the recommendation of the only major international style guide currently available on-line without payment or subscription but also go a long way towards reconciling the advice given at wv:aou with the advice given at HTML.

It would also make for greater consistency and fewer exceptions - always a good thing in a MoS where it does not compromise comprehension.

Inas, you're certainly not in a minority of one - it's just that many can not be bothered to express an opinion on such matters. For newbies, that code for non-breaking spaces can be really puzzling and off-putting and for experienced editors, it's an extra 6 characters. --118.93nzp (talk) 07:17, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

My preference is to follow SI, the world's main standard, which requires a space (see w:International System of Units#General rules). So I would stay with our existing "mild preference". Nurg (talk) 08:44, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
One difficulty with SI standards is that they are not available to consult on-line without paying a hefty fee.
Another difficulty is that they tend to be concerned more with technical and scientific literature. If we were all professional writers, I'd have no difficulty with very complicated style rules with lots of exceptions.
As a wiki, I always have a preference for keeping things as simple as possible without sacrificing intelligibility or creating ugliness.
I've often used the "random page" option in the left hand gutter to do some quick copy editing. When I do, I often see the no space style. To me, the clincher is that the no space style does away with the need to educate newbies about wv:aou and copy editors don't have to go around adding the HTML of a non breaking space character "&nbsp;" to replace the simple space that will typically have been used.
We haven't wholly adopted the SI's recommendation on the international display format for telephone numbers (since we wanted to be able to use a hyphen to indicate the part or parts of a number that can be dialled locally using abbreviated dialling) and I consider the issue of non breaking space characters to be sufficiently important to tip the decision here. To me, there is no difference in intelligibility, providing non breaking space characters are consistently used; the problem is both that they are not and that there are exceptions for temperature and electrical units. --118.93nzp (talk) 03:57, 24 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There is no need to consult SI – we know it says to use a space. I understand your view, but I think a non-breaking space gives the best readability, which is why I favour the SI's prescription. I know the non-breaking space is a clumsy thing to use and looks ugly in editing mode, but I consider it the most readable and beautiful option for our readers. While I want to make editing as easy as practical, where there is a conflict, benefits to the reader should come ahead of ease of editing. Unfortunately there is no perfect solution, which is why the policy does not express a strong preference, let alone a rule. Nurg (talk) 07:55, 24 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

17th century vs seventeenth century, minutes vs min[edit]

Swept in from the pub

When looking over Staraya Russa I noted that "seventeenth century" is being used rather than 17th century. I am curious to know if we have a clear WT policy on this? As it (is/was) a pending Star article I am assuming that aspect was applied to due scrutiny. Same query applies to 2nd floor vs second floor, or second bus service of the day.. vs 2nd bus service and similar. I also noted that minutes is being used rather than min. ie "with the trip taking about 90 minutes", rather than the shorter 'with the trip taking about 90 min'. Of course to economise on space the abbreviations make sense but do we actually have a clear policy on this. As the Staraya Russa article has been subjected to some rather close scrutiny in regard to other issues I am curious as to the min, hr, Xth, km, mi and other abbreviations that I understand are a common guideline or to-policy in regard to usage in WT articles. Is it a shorten in listings, run with full word in prose guideline, possibly similar to Jl (in listings) and Jalan (in prose) in the Indonesian articles (as kindly explained to me by Burmesedays some time back when I needed some guidance on that matter), or is it a universal application of the shortenings. Or is it not really defined as a hard and fast rule with a Mos guideline. I note that Project:Abbreviations gives no information on this, nor does Project:Time and date formats. I have been using min. hr 2nd floor and similar in many article edits and I would like to know that I am doing the correct thing here regarding the MoS, most especially as no doubt I am sometimes changing other established editors work when doing this. I have been assuming that most of us often just use the full word without regard to the potential shortening, certainly I often do myself and sometimes find I am going back and 'correcting' my own edits. I guess whilst considering the 12/24 hr question at Project:Time and date formats it would not hurt to visit the other abbreviations and standardisation policies/guidelines as well. Thanks -- (WT-en) felix 11:30, 23 June 2011 (EDT)

As you note, we do not have a policy requiring shorter versions of certain words, with the exception of "Road", "Street", "Avenue" (etc.); months; days of the week; and the like within listings. Outside of listings, I see no reason to abbreviate most of the time. (WT-en) LtPowers 14:28, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
I was surprised when I saw Peter 'spelling out' seventeenth century in the Staraya Russa article, not that I have a problem with it, I was just surprised and that was the primary motivation in my comments above. Knowing that Peter has a well tuned concept of WT policy and guidelines it stirred up a few lingering concerns with my own interpretation of abbreviation policies for prose content. I imagined that abbreviations were possibly more appropriate especially in listings such as Do, See, Sleep Drink and Eat but possibly less so in the intros to those sections. As the Understand and similar sections are more likely to include prose and broader descriptive content then possibly abbreviations are less appropriate as it can sometimes 'chop' things up a bit. I will continue with my current assumptions however I wanted to ensure I was not missing out on something that I should be aware of. Thanks for your comments. -- (WT-en) felix 11:29, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
I think outside of listings this is really something that should be up to the editor's discretion. The way I look at it, listings are something we want to have consistent formats, because they're throwing a lot of info at you in a very short space (This is a Restaurant, 83 Wherever Ln, +00 000-000. Su-Th 9-9. Exceedingly generic. $5-$10.). But outside of the listings, we're establishing a more informal tone with our reader, a conversational tone. When reading it, I imagine it as a friend telling me why I should go to this town, in which case I want him/her to talk to me in plain speech. I'm not against using abbreviations outside of listings, but requiring them just seems silly. (WT-en) PerryPlanet Talk 12:09, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
Probably a good idea to keep it that way, especially in light of the recent events with the Staraya Russa article. So I am hoping that no one has a problem with things being abbreviated sometimes, and not at other times within the prose. I would suggest that an article should have some reasonable internal consistency though and that abbreviations should be applied appropriately in the individual listings, most especially for clarity and to assist in reducing clutter. -- (WT-en) felix 13:16, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
FWIW, I thought I had been roughly following the Chicago Manual of Style guidance for abbreviations, by writing out numerals one–twenty (after which the hyphenated numbers get cumbersome: twenty-one, twenty-two). Turns out the CMoS actually recommends writing out numerals one–one hundred [1]. Go figure. I don't like the looks of single digit numerals in general prose at all, but they look fine in listings details. A basic level of consistency within an article, or even within, say, a huge-city collection of articles, is best. But I wouldn't be excited to try to come up with a site-wide policy on this one ;) --(WT-en) Peter Talk 19:51, 27 June 2011 (EDT)


Swept in from the pub

How do we spell Wi-Fi on Wikivoyage? Is it Wi-Fi or WiFi? --(WT-en) Globe-trotter 10:06, 6 November 2011 (EST)

Or is it just wifi? I have been using wifi as the endless variations are just a bit too messy. Wi-Fi® and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ is the officiall version used by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the holders of the trademark. In my understanding to use Wi-Fi the user needs to register and agree that they are only using Wi-Fi certified products. This is the driving reason I have been using wifi, as it is a more generic term that describes wireless internet distribution without specifically defining it as a Wi-Fi® service that is offered.
The Wi-Fi Alliance list all of the following as their (registered) trademarks" -- (WT-en) felix 10:29, 6 November 2011 (EST)
  • Wi-Fi®
  • Wi-Fi Alliance®
  • WMM®
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access®
  • Wi-Fi ZONE™
  • Wi-Fi Multimedia™
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup™
  • WPA™, WPA2™
  • Wi-Fi Direct™
I prefer "Wi-Fi"; it's more recognizable as a brand name for people who may not be as well-versed in computing terms as we are. (WT-en) LtPowers 14:54, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Agreed. Wi-Fi is best.
I don't think that wifi describes something as generic in general usage. In most cases it is just a lazy misspelling of Wi-Fi. You certainly don't need to register to use the word. --(WT-en) inas 17:08, 6 November 2011 (EST)
I also think Wi-Fi is best. Wikipedia also uses Wi-Fi. --(WT-en) Globe-trotter 17:38, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Well Inas that is not actually the case. To use Wi-Fi a provider of the network is required to register and the use of that registered trademark term is meant to define that network as complying with the standards defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance® that owns the registered trademark Wi-Fi®. Globe-trotter, Wikipedia describe Wi-Fi, they do not "use" it. If you have a look at the article there you will note the article outlines essentially what I am saying here ... "Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance and the brand name for products using the IEEE 802.11 family of standards". It is not a complex registration process and is available with an online form from the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Each Wi-Fi provider is meant to register and describe their network specific Wi-Fi Alliance recognised and certified devices. So if we use Wi-Fi we should only be describing those networks that are using Wi-Fi Alliance® certified equipment and have registered as a Wi-Fi® provider. More generic terms that would be inclusive of any wifi network are: WIFI, WiFi, wifi, wireless internet network, WLAN, Wireless LAN, wireless local area network, or IEEE 802.11 wireless network. For us here I think we are logically limited to either WIFI, WiFi or wifi as many providers do not use Wi-Fi Alliance® certified equipment, or it is not registered, or is a mix of certified and non-certified equipment. -- (WT-en) felix 18:09, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Perhaps have a look here as it describes the use of the trademark Wi-Fi in association with IEEE 802.11-compliant devices. The IEEE 802.11 equipment and managing software in many restaurants, cafes and hotels is not actually Wi-Fi equipment, rather it is IEEE 802.11-compliant wireless LAN equipment. It is a bit like calling a vacuum cleaner a Hoover or an Electolux, or referring to all jet powered airliners as Boeings. Sorry if it seems pedantic, but it is true. -- (WT-en) felix 18:32, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Read the article again. It doesn't say that. --(WT-en) inas 18:57, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Read which article again Inas, I think you are misunderstanding the use of the term Wi-Fi, it is a brand name used to describe IEEE 802.11-compliant devices, not a broad descriptive term suitable for describing Wireless LANs. Have a look at the suppliers of equipment and software for hotels, restaurants, cafes and similar businesses, you can examine the entire website for some of them and never even find a mention of Wi-Fi, or any near version of it. This is because Wi-Fi is a specific trademark, the equipment will be described as "IEEE 802.11 compliant" or similar. Have a read of the article link you inadvertently deleted in your previous edit. -- (WT-en) felix 19:18, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Oh for crying out loud. Since when is it our job to be pedantic about not genericizing trademarks? Go to the UK, and the word "hoover" is perfectly unremarkable as a generic term for "vacuum cleaner"; whether the Wi-Fi Alliance likes it or not, "Wi-Fi" is the most common generic term for wireless networking. (WT-en) LtPowers 19:47, 6 November 2011 (EST)
@(WT-en) felix. Apologies for removing the link. No idea what happened there. The Wi-Fi alliance have specific trademarks for their certified or registered equipment. The word Wi-Fi is not one they have sought to protect against unregistered but standards compliant equipment. The word has been in use since way before they even came into existence. They have no chance of successfully protecting what is surely genericised term by now, and they aren't trying to. That's why they have their Wi-Fi certified, and their little logo thingy - that is what they are interested in. And even if they did successfully protect Wi-Fi, you wouldn't escape a passing off or trademark suit by omitting a hyphen, or making it lower case - it means the same thing. Do a search for "Wi-Fi" on expedia, to see why to persuing any such strategy would be futile.
As far as WT policy goes, we use the most common names. If you'd like to explore this trademark thing a little more, have a look at the discussion at Talk:Perisher, and see what you think. --(WT-en) inas 20:08, 6 November 2011 (EST)
There is no need for any "crying out loud" or any other sort of crying here. It is just what it is, no more and no less, Wi-Fi is a registered trademark describing a certification issued to describe compliance to the Wi-Fi Alliance interpretation of the IEEE 802.11 standard. That it has been adopted as a generic term in common vernacular is a given. If we wish to use the term here as a potentially inaccurate description of some establishments IEEE 802.11 standard wireless LAN I don't really give much of a toss about it. However I do not appreciate being told that I am wrong about something when I am not, or that a reference I have supplied that describes the issue says the opposite to what I am outlining. If in doubt just look at the little ® following the registered name and trademark. Wi-Fi® describes the brand ascribed to the certification process available to manufacturers of IEEE 802.11 standard wireless LAN products and to the use of those products when providing a IEEE 802.11 certified wireless LAN services, such as you may come across in a hotel. What we should be more interested about here is working out a way to avoid having a wide range of descriptions used in the articles, including; wifi, wi-fi, WAN, WLAN, WIFI, WiFi, Wifi, Wifi internet, wireless internet and Wi-Fi, all of which I encounter mixed up throughout articles. If we do pick one of these as a standard to use in WT articles we should probably not actually seek out one that involves a technical name® or trademark™ breach if it is used when describing a non- Wi-Fi certified WLAN installed at a hotel or other business. I assure you many of these networks are not actually Wi-Fi networks at all, they are actually IEEE 802.11 standard wireless LANs. I strongly doubt that the Wi-Fi Alliance will come after IB or WT for incorrect use of the name Wi-Fi, and if they do it will not be my problem. I am happy to go along with any consensus here on a naming protocol, I have already clearly made my suggestions regarding name use and that is either wifi, or WiFi, and not the use of Wi-Fi, as it is a specific trademark with a defined meaning, even if it that is apparently not clear to many people. I wonder LtPowers, if you came across a description that mentioned "hoovering" a hotel room everyday, would you edit that, or would you leave it as "hoovering". At the airport do people board "Boeings", or do they board jet aircraft. The use of Wi-Fi as a descriptive term is actually the same as doing that. (WT-en) felix 20:44, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Sorry inas, I overlapped your comments as my connection kept on timing out, I will go and have a look at that link you provided. -- (WT-en) felix 20:44, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Yes, I understand what you are relating to Perisher being used as a generic naming description of a place or destination. This is a little different though Wi-Fi describes the compliance of a product as being certified to a particular standard. Often what we describe as Wi-Fi is not standards compliant, and sometimes that may offer an explanation to why it does not work properly. Some of the IEEE 802.11 equipment used in WLAN systems is just unstable rubbish. I also agree that taking out the hyphen is a pretty lame way of trying to avoid a TM issue. I am merely suggesting that we should not knowingly select an actual TM and use it. I suspect the only people who even give a hoot about this are 4-5 WT editors and I really don't think the Wi-Fi Alliance is going to come after us. We need to decide on one term to avoid wifi, wi-fi, WAN, WLAN, WIFI, WiFi, Wifi, Wifi internet, wireless internet and Wi-Fi all being mixed into the articles. Should we call it the rather 'wordy' wireless internet or WLAN, as some people quite accurately do in the listings, or should we adopt one of the commonly used acronyms. -- (WT-en) felix 21:00, 6 November 2011 (EST)
I'll choose Wi-Fi too, for consistency's sake. And the trademark stuff is irrelevant. The vast majority of people use "Wi-Fi" in a totally generic sense, and that is the most common way to refer to it, not "wireless internet" and certainly not WLAN. (WT-en) texugo 21:17, 6 November 2011 (EST)

If using Wi-Fi is a passing off, or breach of trademark laws, then so are the variously capitalised and hyphenated variants. You can't open up a hamburger shop called mcdonalds, or mc-donalds. Using one of those terms is the same, except they look like spelling mistakes. The link I gave you shows how we do deliberately select and use a TM if it is an the most appropriate and well used term. The only way to work around the any trademark issue (if there actually was one) would be to use a completely different term, and using WLAN would just confuse the people, and make WT look stupid. As to wireless internet vs Wi-Fi, you may care to review the discussion (and my opinion) at Wikivoyage_talk:Abbreviations#Wi-Fi_vs_Wireless_internet, although time has certainly moved on since then. --(WT-en) inas 21:18, 6 November 2011 (EST)

Yes, inas, I agree completely, wireless internet is far to broad as it covers IEEE 802.11 WLANs, 3G, CDMA, EDGE and GPRS accessable wireless internet. I never suggested that we should use either WLAN or wireless internet, ages ago I adopted wifi as it appeared to have no particular conflicts and described IEEE 802.11 WLANs as most people would understand them. To be honest I am only interested in seeing one descriptive term for IEEE 802.11 WLANs here. I did not suggest using "the rather 'wordy' wireless internet or WLAN", in my opinion it would be silly. That is why I have been using wifi. Lest I appear to be argumentative here I am going to withdraw from this discussion and when others make a determination as to what we follow here I will just adopt it. I do think it is relevant to consider the actual facts though, rather than assumptions concerning the Wi-Fi term. If there is genuine consensus to use Wi-Fi then it is merely potentially inaccurate, and that is not particularly problematic as most people are completely unaware of it. -- (WT-en) felix 21:33, 6 November 2011 (EST)
So, is there some consensus here, which are we going to use now. Wi-Fi, or something else like WiFi or wifi? -- (WT-en) felix 12:03, 8 November 2011 (EST)
Just did a quick set of searches: Wi-Fi is used on 850 pages (various capitalisation), "wireless internet" on 748, wireless on 1120 (mostly in an internet context, but there was wireless jewellery, and you could stay at Wireless Cottage), and wifi on 1161 (various capitalisation). So I would suggest WiFi, as it seems to be the most popular, is short, and it avoids the hyphen introducing line breaks. (WT-en) AlasdairW 16:58, 8 November 2011 (EST)
It is always seems to be the trivial which generates the most discussion around here! I think the cause of simplifying formatting and avoiding line breaks is admirable, however we can't both argue for a space between unit abbreviations and their associated numbers, and argue against a hyphen in Wi-Fi. The former is likely to cause thousands of more inadvertent and ugly line breaks than the latter. The Oxford dictionary, wiktionary, wikipedia, all use Wi-Fi. I think we would need a stronger case to diverge from that kind of authority. --(WT-en) inas 17:15, 8 November 2011 (EST)
Sorry inis, I still disagree with this commentary that WP "use" Wi-Fi, what they do is describe the use of the term Wi-Fi® in the article on the name, rather than using it to describe the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard. WP do describe IEEE 802.11 in a separate article. WP clearly describe Wi-Fi as a TM of the Wireless alliance used as a trademarked certification and marketing name defining the certification of many products using the IEEE 802.11 standard.
Wi-Fi does not describe all appliances or software that is built to IEEE 802.11, indeed a lot of products are not Wi-Fi certified.
What WP 'use' to describe that (entire) form of wireless network connectivity is "IEEE 802.11" and that describes the standard rather the trademark.
Wi-Fi is a name of a proprietary certification and marketing agreement.
From WP; "IEEE 802.11 is a set of standards ...that...provide the basis for wireless network products using the Wi-Fi brand name" [2]. WI-Fi® is really a sub-set of IEEE 802.11 wireless, and one that is covered by the provision of a proprietary trademarked name. If you have a look on the WP talk page for Wi-Fi you might notice there is a small discussion there at this time concerning that article and how it is is meant to be describing the "brand name". If you care to look at Official IEEE 802.11 working group project timelines-2011-09-28, [3], guess what, not even a single mention of Wi-Fi, that is because it is a brand name. I am not for a moment suggesting that we should start using IEEE 802.11, but do please understand that, as I mentioned earlier, it is like calling all vacuum cleaners "Hoovers".
Inas, you suggested a "stronger case" was required to diverge from the "authority of the Oxford dictionary and various Wiki publications.
Well how about referring to the official website of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) [4]. They are the people who control and define the IEEE 802.11 standard that is Wi-Fi. They use WiFi except where they are talking about "The Wi-Fi Alliance". Perhaps we should be doing the same here in the WT articles. However I will just go with the consensus as I mentioned above, I note globetrotter has already incorporated Wi-Fi into Project:Abbreviations. -- (WT-en) felix 12:00, 9 November 2011 (EST)
Sorry, I meant the OED, Wikitionary etc have articles describing Wi-Fi, and none on wifi. In fun - I'd suggest you try to create an article on WP called wifi, making the case there that it describes something that is kind of the same as Wi-Fi, but a little bit different in the way you have tried to describe - and good luck with that :-) --(WT-en) Inas 15:41, 9 November 2011 (EST)
There is no need for for an article such as that as it is already reasonably well defined in the correct article at WP:IEEE_802.11. There is not really any such thing as either wifi or WiFi, they are just colloquial acronyms for IEEE_802.11 and the term is also reasonably inclusive of Wi-Fi® Alliance certified wireless LAN networks. It is the colloquial nature of the acronyms wifi, or WiFi that makes them a more suitable generic term to use here. Have a look here at this google search note the way that things that are actually describing associations with the Wi-Fi® Alliance branding are described using Wi-Fi® and those that are not, like Google WiFi are using WiFi, just like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) do. A WP discussion page User:WiFi has attempted to clarify this in the WP context. A google search for WiFi provides "About 571,000,000 results", a google search for Wi-Fi provides "About 434,000,000 results". howstuffworks also describes WiFi. Also I must re-iterate that although many domestic IEEE_802.11 wireless routers are branded with the Wi-Fi® certification and marketing name, many professional and more complex IEEE_802.11 networks rely on IEEE_802.11 equipment that has no need for specific need for the branding or is technically non-compliant. Airports, hotels, cafes and restaurants often have wireless networks that are not Wi-Fi® certified, or using Wi-Fi® certified equipment, better maybe to follow the lead of many like the airport wifi guide and just use WiFi, many also just use wifi, without capitalisation, or Wifi. As the Wi-Fi® Alliance state at their website, if it is "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ then it is Wi-Fi®". When it is certified it has certification that looks like this.
Inis, much as I really do entirely respect your opinions on all things here and would readily turn to you for advice on WT policy matters in this instance I really do think you have the horse backwards in the carriage harness. I hope you will forgive me for persevering with this, but it really is a little odd to use the brand name. -- (WT-en) felix 04:03, 10 November 2011 (EST)
Felix, I suggest giving it a rest. You've written an awful lot of words on this subject, and have yet to convince anyone of your position. (WT-en) LtPowers 11:46, 10 November 2011 (EST)

Yes, I agree, seems like a waste of time. However I do think it is all a bit like saying a Buick is a car, therefore all cars are Buicks. If no one gets that then I am certainly just wasting my time and let's just go ahead and use the brand name. It will certainly not be my fault if people think it was the wrong decision later. -- (WT-en) felix 08:28, 11 November 2011 (EST)

We had a discussion about this years ago, and my take-away was that Wi-Fi was the preferred way of writing this, per Inas. Alas, I somehow became confused, and thought that the discussion had favored WiFi, and have written numerous articles using that abbreviation... --(WT-en) Peter Talk 10:55, 14 November 2011 (EST)


What (consistent) abbreviation should we use? --W. Franke-mailtalk 10:54, 29 September 2012 (CEST)

I assume there are only two candidates:
a lower case letter "l"


an upper case letter "L"
I think this is a no-brainer, since if the lower case L is used as the symbol, we would have to render it as a cursive ℓ to help distinguish it from the capital "I" or the figure "1" so I will now add the upper case letter "L" to our article. --W. Franke-mailtalk 12:23, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
Yes, the standard is L as far as I'm aware, along with mL, etc. JamesA >talk 12:56, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
mL looks odd and is very rare in Commonwealth English (except in Canada and some Australian occurrences).
Because there is the prepended "m", there is no risk of confusion with a figure 1 or an upper case letter I(ndia) so I would prefer (the almost universally found on packaging) ml --W. Franke-mailtalk 13:34, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
In Australia, mL is fairly universal, but we're not the world. If ml is what most of Europe and America use, then go with that. JamesA >talk 14:25, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
I believe the Canadian government has mandated "mL" but most of my drinking can collection still shows "ml" [5], [6]. I suppose my proposal is also swayed by the ugliness (to my eyes) of "mL" -however, it certainly is distinctive. Oddly, all of my NZ cans show "330ml" and I thought you guys had a common food labelling and customs union? --W. Franke-mailtalk 15:04, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
Not sure if Australia and NZ have a common authority, but I just checked 5 cans/bottles and they all said mL. But don't worry; ml doesn't really look that awkward/ugly to me as mL probably looks to you. I'd be okay with either. JamesA >talk 15:16, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
I thought capital "L" was the only appropriate way to abbreviate litre. According to Wikipedia, it appears the US/Canada/Australia use "Litre (L)", while the UK, Ireland, & most of Europe uses "litre (l)". The original abbreviation per international convention was lowercase. However, in 1979, the uppercase was concurrently adopted to avoid confusion with 1/l (see?). If litre were to follow the SI convention, only units named for people are capitalized. The other standard would be ISO (the International Organization for Standards) which pretty much sets the standards for industry. The appropriate standard would be ISO 80000-3 (Units of space & time). However, it costs about $150 to download the PDF! Why they'd create world standards, then charge a ridiculous fee is beyond me.
Personally, I don't think I've ever (consciously) noticed "ml", only ever "mL". This would apply to beverages (quick check around me & everything uses mL) as well as all science courses I've taken. That said, I thought the answer would be simple (SI is standardized...a quick glance at Wikipedia would prove mL is right), but apparently liters are not an SI unit. Plus, being in the US, mL is the standard here (yes, metric units are used in science, most industry, and packaging here...politicians have no motivation and the public responds to change like this by screaming and whining...kind of like the way we can't get rid of the dollar bill for the dollar coin). That said, this conversation should be moved to Wikivoyage talk:Measurements, since Wikivoyage:Measurements#Fluid_Volume lists "L" and "mL" as the appropriate abbreviations. AHeneen (talk) 09:59, 13 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Minutes and hours?[edit]

min and hr or spell them out in full? --W. Franke-mailtalk 12:29, 29 September 2012 (CEST)

My suggestion is to require these abbreviations in listings, but leave use optional in our articles' body text. --W. Franke-mailtalk 12:41, 29 September 2012 (CEST)

I would agree that the abbreviations should be used in the listings, but not the body text, which usually reads more like a story. JamesA >talk 12:56, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
I would also agree a requirement to use these abbreviations in listings, but leave their use optional in our articles' body text. However, I do think that h instead of hr for hour or hours is just as clear and 50% shorter. --118.93nzp (talk) 07:25, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think it's a good idea to require abbreviations in the "content" tab of listings, where prose is generally used. Your opinions? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:37, 15 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think we should try to be consistent where at all possible. If we are chopping Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the one letter of M,W,F to save a single character because the print version is important and we don't want it to get too bulky when there are many listings in a print out, then we should require Juche tower is 112m high rather than Juche tower is 112 metres high or Juche tower is 112 meters high or Juche tower is 112 m high.
It's for similar reasons that I prefer Juche tower has 2h long laser displays rather than Juche tower has 2 hour long laser displays or Juche tower has 2 hr long laser displays or Juche tower is open 24/7 rather than Juche tower is open daily 24 hours... --118.93nzp (talk) 06:43, 15 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I see your point. Do the rest of you agree? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:47, 15 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
No. Prose is prose; it's the non-prose portion of listings we're trying to keep compact. LtPowers (talk) 15:19, 15 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I vehemently disagree that we should change our current advice that "Editors are encouraged to use commonly known abbreviations in listings. These abbreviations should ideally be uniform and consistent and generally should not include full stops or periods."
"Editors may want to choose the appropriate abbreviation from those below which are both widely understood and unambiguous."
I really don't think we need to expand commercial puffery in restaurant, accommodation, bar and shopping listings so that editors are advised to expand 6 sgl air-con rooms with shared WC & shower, 2 en suite 22m² family units in N wing to six air conditioned bedrooms for single occupation with shared water closet and shower, two en suite twenty two square metre family units in the north wing. --118.93nzp (talk) 23:25, 15 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There is a simple compromise: Allow either abbreviations or full words like "single rooms" or "4 hours" in "content" tabs. There are many other things that arguably need your editing attention more. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:30, 16 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]


The compromise is already contained in the current wording of this policy article. We "encourage" editors to use abbreviations in listings - that means if I shorten the "prose" in a hotel listing (so as to save the printout getting too bulky) it should be deprecated that another editor wastes time (and trees) by lengthening it.

I still think we should try to be consistent in our aims where at all possible. If we are chopping Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the one letter of M,W,F to save a single character because the print version is important and we don't want it to get too bulky when there are many listings in a printout, then we should stick with the current advice - 4h is not unintelligible to most of our readers if we consistently use it in all our listings - but it is less than one third the number of characters of "4 hours"! --118.93nzp (talk) 00:48, 16 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I don't like any interpretation of policy that says "You can do whatever you like, but if I come in and change it, you can't change it back." LtPowers (talk) 00:57, 16 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
In User talk: in prose, User:118.93nzp directed me to Wikivoyage:Measurements#Examples, which surely seems to advocate using abbreviations in prose. Should we change the language in Wikivoyage:Measurements#Examples? Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:02, 20 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
'Twas Alice who changed one of the examples from "meters" to "m", but other than that, they've been in place since the very first revision by Evan long ago. And Evan did use the abbreviations. However, I've never read that section as applying to when to use abbreviations but rather how to use them if you're going to. I don't think we've ever had a preference for using abbreviations in prose, but if we did, we don't any more. That said, I can't imagine anyone spelling out "kilometers" all the time, and conversions in parentheses should probably always use abbreviations. Powers (talk) 19:53, 20 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Edit warring?[edit]

I thought a clear consensus was visible here that "abbreviations should be used in the listings, but not the body text".

That was why I weakened the previous blanket statement of "Using abbreviations for commonly known terms is encouraged." to read "Using abbreviations for commonly known terms is encouraged in listings."

All the English speaking postal administrations I have been able to check (including the US Postal Service or [7], Canada Post, the British Ordnance Survey, the Royal Mail, Australia Post and New Zealand Post (page 79 for standard abbreviations)) agree that "Crescent" may be abbreviated to various upper and lower case permutations of "Cres" so I am perturbed (but not surprised) to be accused of "edit warring" when I re-instate this commonly known abbreviation and others such as "Building: Bldg" (which has been listed on this policy page for more than one year).

Please speak up those who think that the abbreviations that were removed are NOT commonly known abbreviations? -- Alice 07:51, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

While I appreciate your enthusiasm in things regarding abbreviation and punctuation, I think recommending abbreviations for things like orchards and valleys is going a bit too far. --Peter Talk 08:11, 30 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Why, Peter?
Genuine question; either we mean what we say when we write "Using abbreviations for commonly known terms is encouraged..." or we don't - and this misleading (according to you?) advice should be changed.
Remember that our advice was even more categoric before I weakened it. I really think you need to restore my edits and then carefully read the rest of this article discussion page (about saving space in listings in Chicago for example) and gather consensus to see if your deletes of other editors carefully researched (as to whether the abbreviations are commonly used or not, standardised or not, common throughout the various English language varieties, etc) abbreviations are both appropriate and not a minority opinion.
Also, you seem to have misunderstood that both "Orchard" and "Valley" are common ingredients of addresses in many parts of the world - I am certainly not suggesting that in article prose we write "In the Okanagan Vly there are many apple Orch that need seasonal labour" - merely that for listings we do use widely understood and common abbreviations. If my logic is wrong, you really need to go back and chop out Fwy which is both rather US-centric and not recognised by other address authorities outside of N America. Either we are serious about saving space in listings or we're not. I really don't care as long as we have a consistent MoS I can refer to, to conclude edit warring when I attempt to bring some article up to Star status... -- Alice 08:42, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Because I don't believe there are universal standards for English-language abbreviations for "Orchard" or "Valley." I would also like to note that "Mt." is the common abbreviation for "Mountain" in the US, and "Mount" is itself merely short for "Mountain." In addition, the abbreviation for "Route" in the US is "Rt.," not "Rte," which I've literally never seen. Try doing a Google search for "Rt. 17" and "Rte 17" if you'd like to see clear evidence, yourself. My feeling is, it is not at all important for abbreviations to be consistent from one country to the next, as long as they are clear and consistent within each article. Let the British, Americans, Singaporeans, and South Africans use their own abbreviations. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:46, 30 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I agree there are not universally accepted standards. The question is whether we can produce a list for use in listings on the English language version of Wikivoyage that will be commonly understood by travellers.
If you admit the possibility of such an endeavour, then one wonders why both the US Postal Service and Canada Post both recommend RTE, then. Could it be that it is less ambiguous than RT? Do you think that many American travellers are not going to understand one of our listings in Quebec if they see Rte leclerc rather than "Rt leclerc".
Again I really don't personally mind whether we spell things out in full, abbreviate in weird ways or whatever. It's not going to ruin my day. What does ruin my day is spending several hours reading all the policy discussions going back years and years, reading that folks really want to trim things down to make the print versions smaller where listings are concerned, read how concerned others are about having a consistent house style, reading that we should as a matter of policy use widely understood abbreviations, going through the truly enormous lists of abbreviations in use in various countries, winnowing all these down to a tiny subset that can be understood by all English speaking peoples, reading very recently - and agreeing - that country specific standards are generally a bad idea on Wikivoyage, making a carefully considered choice, explaining that choice (albeit very succinctly) in my edit summary that restores Bldg and then being accused of "edit warring". The main thing is that we have sparkling, accurate and up-to-date writing. Since I'm not really capable of achieving that, I do wiki-tinker around making sure that boring details such as being able to use your mobile phone to book a room work. If I'm going to be reverted every time I make a researched and carefully considered edit then one wonders why we bother with having a MoS at all?
The decision tree goes like this: Should we have a MoS? If Yes, should it suggest to save space in listings by abbreviating? If Yes, should there be a list of commonly understood and used abbreviations valid and universal for all regions - where possible? If Yes, is there anyone with a reasonable facility in any variety of English anywhere on earth where the abbreviation Bldg for Building in a listing is not going to understand? If No, why am I being reverted without prior discussion to change the policy on which my edits were based?
Since I like to think I'm a widely travelled and tolerant person who has been exposed to a wide variety of Englishes flying around the world in the course of my professional life, I do sympathise with a laissez faire approach to each article. However, we are shortly going to have an influx of new and casual editors and I don't want to be referring them to different manuals of style for different abbreviations for different countries for very common abbreviations. They'll wonder what kind of flip-flops we are. -- Alice 19:19, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Less common abbreviations like Orch, Ctr, Vly, etc. are likely to confuse people, especially non-native English speakers, which is why I reverted. I'm concerned that too much time and text is being devoted to this. --Peter Talk 19:32, 30 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Both good and valid points, Peter.
Any problems with the list and advice as it stands?
(Ikan Kekek has done a good job on honing the lead)
Please may I encourage you not to use your admin revert tools too often with frequent editors? I doubt you really meant to excise Bldg from the list of abbreviations and the use of a revert (together with the rude and peremptory "don't edit war" summary when I was doing nothing of the sort) rather than you taking the time and care to make an actual edit or using this page to make your (presumed) point that the USPS or Canada Post is not an authoritative source really upset me. It's probably the wrong time of the month, but I'm really not some sort of muppet (or puppet!) to be slapped down like that. -- Alice 19:59, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
"Should we have an MoS or not" is not a question. We recognize the existence and use of different varieties of English on this site, so why not also recognize the use of different abbreviations in articles about the countries where they are standard? I don't see site-wide standardization as an issue of vital importance, and it might not even be desirable. As long as the abbreviations we use are commonly recognized in the countries or regions covered by the articles in question, and are used consistently within particular articles, I'm fine with them. And in this article, we can simply provide a legend for commonly-used abbreviations, rather than a requirement to use only one abbreviation for words like "Route" throughout the world. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:33, 30 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Taking your different varieties of English analogy is a good starting point. We encourage the consistent use of the same variety within the same article - and I hope we are all agreed that we should do the same to encourage the use of the same abbreviations within listings within the same article.
I do think it is possible to standardise on a (relatively short) common set of abbreviations within listings and that is really one of the purposes of this talk page. Getting back to concrete proposals, are there any abbreviations in the current list (and bearing in mind the advice of the various national postal administrations) that are so confusing for some countries as to require a similar dichotomy? Is your proposal really to remove "Rte" on the grounds that if editors consistently use "Rte" in US listings (and despite the sage advice of the USPS that "RTE" is their preferred abbreviation) it will be misunderstood? What are Americans likely to confuse "Rte" with exactly? -- Alice 23:51, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I doubt Americans would be confused by "Rte," but neither would anyone be likely to be confused by "Av," a common abbreviation for avenue, along with "Ave" in the US - and I think we've wasted time "correcting" this abbreviation. I don't want to see "Rt" "corrected" to "Rte" all over the place. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:58, 31 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Mmmm, so is the solution to relax the Star article criteria so that there does not have to be either consistent use of abbreviations at all in Star article candidate listings nor do they have to be consistent within the same article and nor do they have to conform to the common denominator list here to qualify for promotion?
In your example I really can't see that having a standard here increases the labour required (if an editor chooses to engage in that self-imposed task) of changing all the Avenue, Ave, Av or avenue or even A. or Ave. or Av. in listings. All it means is that if I do change "Constitution avenue" to "Constitution Ave" I can succinctly use "Abbrev." if I need to explain why I'm bothering to do it. I need to train my spell checker what to highlight as less than perfect and what to ignore. I also can't see the advantage in moving this sort of angels-dancing-on-pins wrangling sidewards onto multiple article talk pages. It's surely the lesser of two evils to have this sort of discussion in one central place.
Unless you tell me plainly otherwise, I will take it that there is nothing truly objectionable about the current list - except possibly the two surplus full stops in "U.S." (irritating grimace). -- Alice 01:23, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I never suggested that consistency within an article is not desirable; I think it is and stated as much above: "As long as the abbreviations we use are commonly recognized in the countries or regions covered by the articles in question, and are used consistently within particular articles, I'm fine with them." I just don't see the point in wasting lots of time changing perfectly fine abbreviations to meet some kind of arbitrary site-wide standard, and if what that means is relaxing the criteria for a "star" article, that would be fine with me, though I suspect this would be a minority view. Please do not put words in my mouth (keyboard, whatever) that are at variance with what I posted, because that also wastes time. To once again reiterate: Consistency within articles is a good and worthwhile thing; what I object to is some kind of enforcement of a strained site-wide conformity with abbreviations that are not the most common ones in a particular country (e.g., the US, but any other country would do just as well as an example in this discussion). Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:59, 31 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I have finally realised that you (wrongly) believe that I (or others) intend "the list" to be enforceable.

That is not the way this article is currently written.

It merely states that "Editors are encouraged to use commonly known abbreviations in listings." I have italicised "encouraged" in this quote to emphasise that the wording does not say should.

A (universally understood across all varieties of English) list of abbreviations is being provided for the convenience of editors - but nowhere does our current article mandate its use to the exclusion of other (more locally appropriate) alternatives if individual editors decide not to use the common list.

The only abbreviation that is almost mandated in the current article is the (inconsistent and prolix) abbreviation of U.S. (rather than the shorter and more consistent with our house-style) abbreviation of "US". Now that's not to my personal taste, but I'm certainly not going to open a new can of worms this year by suggesting we change the intolerant language there.

Now, at the risk of being very boring indeed, can I repeat my question: are there any truly objectionable entries in the current list of widely understood abbreviations (apart from U.S.)? -- Alice 11:14, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

In practice, if there is only one single site-wide abbreviation (such as "Rte," to the exclusion of "Rt") that is "recommended," pedants will waste time editing all "non-conforming" abbreviations to conform to that one abbreviation (as they have done with "Ave" vs. "Av"), instead of doing more appropriate and important things.
I'm a bit too easygoing to find abbreviations truly objectionable, within reason; rather, I would want more tolerance of variations in abbreviations. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:54, 31 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Please see the section below, Sir... -- Alice 00:07, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Air conditioning[edit]

AC or A/C or air con or air-con or air or air conditioning or air-conditioning in listings - especially for accommodation in tropical countries?

My suggestion is A/C since this is short and doesn't conflict with the "AC" recognised abbreviation for alternating current. Any better suggestions? -- Alice 09:38, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Does it really matter? All the time I get users changing dialects on the articles on Bangkok, and also implementing their ideas on which abbreviations should be used. I really think setting these in stone, and changing them among a well-written article, should be discouraged. --Globe-trotter (talk) 12:01, 31 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
For a Tibetan Buddhist, all is transitory and nothing really matters - including making a well written travel guide.
However, we currently do have the advice: "Editors are encouraged to use commonly known abbreviations in listings. These abbreviations should be uniform and consistent..." and it will be helpful to pick one since there are so many permutations in use. A bit like the Wi-Fi scenario really.
If you're not interested in the minutiae of whether we use U.S. or US, mi or mls, then this is probably not the best place for you to hang out. If you do think that having a MoS is a waste of good editor's otherwise productive time, then why don't we just have a free for all (which we already have in practice for casual editors - we don't chastise them for writing "its 12345 mls too tipperary", we just quietly get on with copy-editing it to "it's 12,345 mls to Tipperary")? Please direct me to the discussion (when you start it) about abolishing our MoS so that I can chip in with my silly opinions...
Looking on the bright side, it's nice to know that nobody objects to A/C or has a better proposal so far. I'll wait a week and implement that if no better proposal shows up meanwhile.
Finally, in case you missed my comments above, my suggestion is precisely different from mandating the use of any abbreviation at all or any particular variant in listings. Personally I prefer no abbreviations at all in our Guide's prose (as opposed to listings). My personal preference, for example, would be to expand "expat" to expatriate. However, I do think we can achieve a consensus along the lines of: Editors are encouraged to use commonly known abbreviations in listings. These abbreviations should ideally be uniform and consistent and editors may want to choose the appropriate abbreviation from those below which are both widely understood and unambiguous. However don't knock yourself out "correcting" Rt to Rte - there is more important work to be done in plunging forward and writing the World's most complete and accurate free Travel Guide!-- Alice 23:48, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I've thought further about this and now my suggestion is air-con; it's longer but less ambiguous (posssible confusion with AC for alternating current). -- Alice 23:45, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Since 3 weeks should be long enough for anyone to raise an objection, I'll make the appropriate change.-- Alice 07:12, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I was against the change, and still am. People should be encouraged to write in prose, not to use abbreviations for everything. The abbreviations are mostly for the standard sections in listings items. Globe-trotter (talk) 11:13, 31 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed; an abbreviation for air conditioning is unnecessary. I'm curious, though, why you also removed several street-type abbreviations (Crescent, Square, Junction)? LtPowers (talk) 13:59, 31 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Because this list is getting out of hand. Edits like these [8] are making a huge list of abbreviations no one will ever use or understand. I do agree I made a bit of an arbitrary cut in the abbreviations, so you can place back those that might be useful. Globe-trotter (talk) 14:04, 31 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with the removal of many of those "address" type abbreviations, except for Cres, Sq and Mt which I find are very commonly used and should be reinstated. I also believe turnpike should be removed. We don't have them in Australia, so I'd be very confused seeing that abbreviation overseas. Hell, I don't even know what a turnpike is! JamesA >talk 11:32, 1 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

This policy already says, right at the very start: "Editors are encouraged to use commonly known abbreviations in listings." I don't think anyone would complain if you made clear that abbreviations are not expected to be used in prose.

You are very wrong if you think that air-conditioning is not a very common facility mentioned in very many accommodation listings in tropical countries like Thailand. Please be consistent; either we are concerned about brevity and exactitude and consistency in listings or we are not. At the moment, there are more mentions of air-con than Wi-Fi in our tropical destinations (that will probably change, of course).-- Alice 20:32, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

My take is that we use abbreviations to shorten the listings of the guide and make the guide more concise and in line with current practice. Also, they should be unambiguous and in wide use. Using Rd for Road in addresses is in daily use. The same goes for St, Ave, for days of the week when listing hours, etc. However, in prose, we should not use abbreviations, because they are terrible to read. The description part of listings also falls under "prose" to me. If we're going to use abbreviations for everything, a hotel description will like this: "Amenities include lckr, lug. strg., int. term., A/C, big-scr. TV, h shwr., and cbl TV." Abbreviations are a chore to read, and should only be used as a convenience for the reader, not be a goal in itself. Wi-Fi is a pretty bad example, as it's an abbreviation basically used as a word (no one would write "Amenities include free Wireless Fidelity"). That's why we needed a guideline on how to write this "word". Globe-trotter (talk) 04:16, 1 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
You seem to be trying to win a battle that nobody wishes to fight.
I say again: 'This policy already says, right at the very start: "Editors are encouraged to use commonly known abbreviations in listings." I don't think anyone would complain if you made clear that abbreviations are not expected to be used in prose and I can not see where I (or anyone else) has opposed this.
The rest of your argument above seems to tend towards a reductio ad absurdum. Our listings already contain all the permutations of AC or A/C or air con or air-con or air or air conditioning or air-conditioning in listings, all of which are probably pretty intelligible to most people - in the same way that wifi, WIFI, WiFi, Wi-Fi, wi-fi and WI-FI are probably intelligible to most of our readers. However please remember what is currently written in the lead of our policy page here: "Editors may want to choose the appropriate abbreviation from those below which are both widely understood and unambiguous. However, don't knock yourself out...". It really does seem that you are just trying to oppose for opposition's sake. Are you going to suggest next that we shouldn't use the abbreviation "TV" in listings but write out in full "television" - I see you just recently removed "Sq" as a widely understood and unambiguous abbreviation for "Square"? Are you seriously trying to advance the proposition that neither "Sq" nor "air-con" are not both widely understood and unambiguous? I say again that this policy page does not say (as you falsely assert above is the next step) that "we're going to use abbreviations for everything." -- Alice 11:22, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
You also proposed using AC for "alternating current", making it even more difficult to understand. We don't need a policy for everything. I think people should be free to write the way they want. Listing tags also contain prose, except for fields like "address", "hours", "price", etc, for which I believe this section is meant (or should be meant). Air-conditioning is a term which will always be used in prose, so we can just leave it up to the writer. Globe-trotter (talk) 11:35, 1 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • New comment - Would anyone object if I simply added "Mt" for mountain and "Cres" for crescent? I think they are widely used enough and non-ambiguous in terms of any other abbreviations. I'd be bold and do it myself, but these sort of changes seem to attract a lot of attention. JamesA >talk 04:06, 27 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    • Mt is fine. Cres is not an abbreviation I've seen. It's fine as long as it isn't enforceable as a required abbreviation in listings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:40, 27 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Getting back on topic and in summary, then:

Our article already makes clear that abbreviations are not required in prose but, historically and because brevity in the print version at least is important, it's a good idea to have an agreed abbreviation for use in listings for a term that is used so many million times as "air conditioning" or "air-conditioned". The best compromise between brevity and unambiguity is air-con. --118.93nzp (talk) 23:42, 30 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Taking over for Alice, 118? Surely you know by now that the reason you don't see much progress on these sorts of fronts is that most of us don't really care all that much whether or not we have a single sitewide standard abbreviation for air conditioning. The pushback against "air-con" is likely coming from the fact that it's a neologism to many of us. I can figure out what it means, but I've never heard or seen it before this discussion. Powers (talk) 02:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Judging by some of her e-mails, I think she's pretty pissed off that some of those people who continually express no interest (both explicitly and implicitly) in abbreviations, nevertheless try and block any progress towards making our policy pages consistent, easy to understand and (therefore) easier to remember. I presume she added the hyphen by way of parallel to that other "neologism": Wi-Fi, so the only question in my mind is whether it should be air-con or Air-Con... Since I'm a poor typist, rather than have to use the shift key twice, I'd marginally prefer the former - especially as I've already been using that for a few years. --118.93nzp (talk) 02:34, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Adding new abbreviations to our list does nothing to make anything policy more consistent, nor easier to remember. It makes it harder to remember, because now there's a standard that everyone is expected to follow, when really standardizing it serves no useful purpose. Powers (talk) 16:33, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I'm rather shocked that you should seem not to understand the whole purpose of abbrevation in our listings. Presumably the decision to abbreviate a day range to M-F rather than Mo-Fr was taken to save space - not to make things consistent, or clearer or harder to remember. The useful purpose is to have a consistent abbreviation that saves space. As has been pointed out already, shorter abbreviations such as A/C risk ambiguity. Have a look at the lengthy discussion about Wi-Fi for other minor reasons. I thought you understood more than most people the need for listings in the printed version to be concise... --118.93nzp (talk) 16:48, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
By all means, abbreviate. But since we have disagreement over A/C vs air-con vs whatever, it's better to just leave it up to an individual editor's judgment than to argue incessantly about it. Powers (talk) 15:13, 1 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Well I must have missed that dispute in the discussion above. I don't see anyone opposing Alice's suggestion of air-con after she changed her original suggestion of A/C because of the similarity to Alternating Current. I do see the long absent @Globe-trotter: suggesting, like you, that nobody should care about having standard abbreviations at all - but that's a different matter entirely. By the way does anyone know what happened to Globe-trotter?
One of the reasons to develop and maintain this particular policy page is to avoid arguing incessantly about abbreviations - a good example is the great #Wi-Fi debate, which brings us back to where we started: air-con is a very frequently used facility in listings and it would be better if we could agree on a suggested abbreviation. Unless you wish to propose an alternative, then the current suggested abbreviation is air-con. --118.93nzp (talk) 23:13, 1 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
When used as a noun phrase, "air conditioning" should be unhyphenated. When used as an adjective phrase, there may be a reason to hyphenate, eg, "air-conditioning unit", but in our context it would usually be used as a noun phrase, so no hyphen. Therefore "air-con" is wrong. So is "Air Con" and "Air-Con", since it is not a proper noun. That leaves "air con" as a possibility. As to whether "air con" is well recognised or too much of a neologism, I'm not sure. Nurg (talk) 02:22, 2 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Nurg, I think the point LtPowers and Globe-trotter are making above is that it isn't terribly important whether we use air conditioning, air-conditioning, air-con, A/C, or whatever, so long as it's understandable in context. I agree with that sentiment - let's set up standard abbreviations for important things like addresses, but not endlessly debate every word that someone might abbreviate. For what it's worth the short list of abbreviations in w:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Abbreviations would seem to indicate that Wikipedia has adopted that position as well. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:11, 2 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Irregular country abbreviations[edit]

(copied from discussion initiated at Wikivoyage talk:Manual of style)

1) Would anyone object if the current Abbreviations#Countries section was deleted in its entirety?

2) Would anyone object if I then made a consequent and subsidiary change of removing completely the recent subsection heading of "U.S. routes" and subsequent text of "Numbered highways in the U.S. are abbreviated as follows:" and then amalgamating, in alphabetical order, the three abbreviations listed in the sub-section of "Interstates: I-80", "National highways: US-395" and "State highways: CA-49" ? -- Alice 04:27, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

1) Yes, I would object. It's better to change it by consensus than to delete it now. 2) Please explain your reasoning on this. It seems fine as it is. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:00, 14 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

U.S. routes[edit]

Could the alternative of "U.S.", "S.R." (for State Road), and "C.R." (for "County Road") be added as an alternative, provided usage is consistent on a page or for a region? There's some regional variation in usage and I think the important thing is that the correct type of highway is identified (ie. not simply "Route" or "Hwy"). Where I live, the term "state road #" is used and in cases where it is written, it's spelled "SR #"'s never "Florida #" or "Florida highway #". In listings, I've used "U.S. Hwy #" and "S.R. #" for addresses. The important thing to note should be to never use the term "Route" or "Highway" alone, but specify the type of road. The proposed content would be:

Numbered highways in the U.S. should always be identified by type (Interstate, U.S. highway, state road, etc) and never just "Route 19" or "Highway 154". If not hyphenated, always use   in lieu of the space, which inserts a non-breaking space to keep the number from being placed on a different line than the prefix. The following abbreviations should be used:

  • For interstate highways: "I-#" (ex. I-80)
  • For national highways: "US-#", "U.S. #", or "U.S. Hwy #" (ex. U.S. 89 which is typed as U.S. 89)
  • For state roads/highways: "S.R. #" or used the two-letter postal abbreviation for the state followed by a hyphen & route number (ex. S.R. 60 which is typed as S.R.&nbsp60 or CA-49 for California route 49)
  • For county roads or smaller: "C.R. #" (for "County road") or spell out the name completely.

When using a route abbreviation, always ensure that the same style is used on each page. AHeneen (talk) 05:19, 27 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I am admittedly a non-driver and spend most of my time living in a city where there are some numbered routes but no-one really cares, instead calling them names like Broadway (which is NY State Route 9A) and the West Side Highway (beats me what number that is). That said, I am observant as a passenger and have not seen the abbreviations "S.R." or "C.R." in the Northeast, to my recollection. I think the abbreviation for state routes in New York State is NY-9, and I'm very uncertain whether there is a usual abbreviation for county roads. And Route 17, which is a state route and an important limited-access highway for most of its length, is just called Route 17. (It helps that it's also Route 17 in New Jersey.) Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:00, 27 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As an Upstate New Yorker, the form "NY-9" is only popular among roadgeeks and not the general public. It's usually just "Route xx" around here. County Routes are almost never referred to, and the state is careful not to assign state route numbers that would conflict with a U.S. Route within the state (in fact, the only number conflict within the state that I'm aware of is NY-15 and U.S. 15, where the former was formerly part of the latter). That said, "State Route" would be recognized, if as a bit stilted, but "SR" might be confusing. I think the important thing is to point out that the usage should be unambiguous but recognizable to locals. LtPowers (talk) 16:08, 27 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As noted in the OP, terms vary regionally. Here in Florida, the terms "S.R." & "C.R." are common. Some examples:
When the road has a commonly used name, that name should be listed, especially in the case of major freeways/expressways/parkways. For lesser roads, it is important that the roads are identified by number (at least in parentheses) since the same numbered route has different names in different towns (or even multiple names in a single town/city). In a small town, S.R. 1 might be known as "State Street" and locals know this fairly well, but for a visitor, they might know the major road they came in on is "S.R. 1" and that's easier to identify with. So in a listing, an address along the road could be "100 State St N (S.R. 1)". Wikipedia's naming conventions do not specify abbreviations. However, there is a discussion here about short forms with a table that shows which abbreviation is most commonly used in each state. This Wikipedia page shows which states use "state route", "state highway", or "state road". The important thing in all this is not to create a huge list of different terms to be used in each state, but rather to recognize and allow local variation in usage provided the abbreviations are clear and used consistently on each page. "S.R." or "S.H." can reasonably be deduced as meaning "State road/highway", IMO. The cases where an abbreviation might not be clear is in Texas, where there are "state highways" (S.H. #) and also Farm-to-market roads (F.M. #), Recreation Roads (RE #, used in parks), and Park roads (PR #). AHeneen (talk) 19:21, 27 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There was a very long and lengthy and contentious discussion regarding the naming and abbreviation of state highways on the English Wikipedia that eventually resulted in WP:USSH. Overall, we tried to take into account what the Department of Transportation uses to refer to the roads, and abbreviations usually follow from the shorter form of the name in that table. The nomenclature generally is different between states. --Rschen7754 20:21, 27 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I wouldn't have a clue what SH-15 meant without having read this discussion. I'd understand FL-15, though, in the context of describing a route. --Peter Talk 02:51, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It depends on the context of the page, really - on enwiki we say State Road 15 (SR 15) and then say SR 15 through the rest of the article. Tampa is in Florida so there would be no ambiguity in between states. I do think that whatever is decided, that the abbreviations should be defined in the article for clarity. --Rschen7754 03:00, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That's not always practical, since roads may often appear in an article just once in a listing. Also, we do try to save space, and typing out State Road 15 (SR 15) is kind of a waste of space (and looks overly formal in a travel guide). I'd rather use SH-15 and try to decipher it from context, really. --Peter Talk 04:57, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Not exactly - the abbreviation is defined only once in the article, regardless of how many times it is used or what numbers it is used with. --Rschen7754 04:59, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I understand, but think of this from the point of view of a traditional guide. At most, this one type of abbreviation would be spelled out once in the whole guide. So if there are multiple SR-X roads, the very first one might be spelled out, or it might be spelled out in a glossary. The equivalent here would be Wikivoyage:Abbreviations—I don't think we should be defining common terms on every page. --Peter Talk 05:35, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

1) This policy article is primarily concerned with abbreviations in listings - not in prose.

  • ("Editors are encouraged to use commonly known abbreviations in listings."

2) The advice given, even for listings is not mandatory.

  • (see quote at (1) above and also "Editors may want to choose the appropriate abbreviation from those below which are both widely understood and unambiguous.")

3) That means that the answer to AHeneen's initial question must be a resounding, Yes, at least as far as listings are concerned.

4) However, I would go further and wish to clarify on a policy page that in prose we should always leave the decision to abbreviate or not, and how, to the individual editors and to the normal processes of discussion and adjustment on each article, but also give advice that, in prose the first occurrence of an abbreviation per article should always be written in full with the abbreviation{s) (to be consistently used thereafter) in parentheses at first mention, but that an exception should be made to this spell-out-in-full-at-first-occurrence advice for abbreviations appearing in our MoS at Wikivoyage:Currency, Wikivoyage:Time and date formats and Wikivoyage:Measurements. -- Alice 07:13, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Is 7-11 acceptable?[edit]

7-Eleven shops are ubiquitous here in Thailand. I shorten the name to "7-11". Another contributor has undertaken a crusade to change every "7-11" to "7-Eleven" in every article I have touched. I see this as unnecessary pedantry. What is the view of WV at large? Seligne (talk) 01:37, 25 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I'd never even imagined it as "7-Eleven"—change it back ;) --Peter Talk 03:05, 25 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Although the pedant may be technically correct, it seems like a waste of your talents to worry about this, Seligne. If they want to do this and are not doing any other harm I think we should just regard it as a bonus. See if you can get them hooked on wv:aou - that should keep them busy for the next 200 years...
Personally, I wouldn't be in favour of introducing "7-11" as a standard abbreviation on this guideline page. -- Alice 03:13, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the inputs, guys! I'll just charge along and ignore it. But I will do a little research at the 7-Eleven site first. Seligne (talk) 05:55, 25 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

FYI, "7-11" is a registered TM for 7-Eleven in Thailand: คำที่ถูกค้นหามากที่สุด : ซีพี ออลล์ , CP ALL , เซเว่น , อีเลฟเว่น , 7-11 , 7Eleven , 7-Eleven , แฟรนไชส์เซเว่น , Franchise , ร้านสะดวกซื้อ , อิ่มสะดวก. Seligne (talk) 06:07, 25 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

For the record, I feel "7-11" is ambiguous; even in context, I think I'd have to stop and think about it for a half-second, interrupting the flow of a sentence. That said, Alice is absolutely correct. LtPowers (talk) 14:01, 25 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
7-11 is a little ambiguous and 7-Eleven is the correct name used both in store and as the web addresses (e.g., so may as well go with it.Travelpleb (talk) 19:39, 25 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I vote that 7-11 is completely acceptable, but also, why should anyone care? 7-11, 7-Eleven, same difference! Sorry, Travelpleb, I disagree with your preoccupation this time. I'd much rather you'd put your talents into editing some more overlong articles. But do what you like on this, and I won't interfere. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:57, 30 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The abbreviation saves only few characters but renders a distinctive brand name ambiguous and not immediately obvious. Given that these stores are often used in directions in listings (e.g. opposite the 7-Eleven) and that listings are prone to be strewn with a jumble of various number-hyphen-number pairs, I thought this usage was unhelpful. I thought it would be a simple, uncontroversial service to clarity if I substituted the ambiguous name with the distinctive and correct one. I was, alas, wrong. Travelpleb (talk) 20:08, 1 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]


While I catch you here, Ikan Kekek, you might like to note (at wv:$) that US$ is currently our recognised abbreviation for the US dollar where an editor does not choose to spell it out in full. -- Alice 02:53, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with "US$." It's downright ungrammatical. The "$" symbol always precedes amounts and never follows them. Can we un-recognize that abbreviation and substitute "$US"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:21, 31 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My vote goes with $ only for articles on U.S. destinations, and USD elsewhere. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:03, 31 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
USD doesn't bother me. I'm fine with that abbreviation. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:09, 31 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
US$ is incorrect. The correct monetary term is USD. JamesA >talk 05:59, 31 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Are you proposing that we junk wv:$ and adopt 3 letter ISO 4217 currency codes instead ? If you are, please propose it at Wikivoyage_talk:Currency. --W. Franke-mailtalk 17:34, 3 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Now that our policy has been finally amended to use 3 letter ISO 4217 currency codes for the majority of countries (but with important exceptions to maintain the status quo notations for currencies such as €, Kč, £, ₱, $, ₩, ¥, ₪, and ₹ used in probably more than half our actual destination articles) rather than have the three notations of $ (in US articles) and US$ or USD (in international contexts or where there might be confusion between AUD, CAD, HKD, NZD, USD, etc) and following the consensus achieved above and at Wikivoyage_talk:Currency the opportunity has been taken to simplify. Please see Wikivoyage:Currency#Special cases --W. Frankemailtalk 13:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Sq   sgl   dbl[edit]

We use commonly recognised abbreviations that are not ambiguous in listings so that our listings are more compact.

Does anyone object to adding "Sq" (as in Eaton Square), "sgl" and "dbl" (as in en suite: £65 sgl, £85 dbl) since all three are both widely understood and unambiguous in listings? --W. Frankemailtalk 13:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

"Sq" is fine, and "dbl" is probably okay, but I've never seen "sgl" before. LtPowers (talk) 14:30, 4 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Remember that these are optional abbreviations for use in listings. Are you saying that, when seen in the context of a list of hotels or B&B's, (en suite: £65 sgl, £85 dbl), would not be understood? I realise that in the US the room price is often independent of whether it is for single or double occupancy, but in many countries that is not the case and this abbreviation is used on official government websites and in printed brochures. Are your really saying that they are less understandable in the English speaking world as a whole than the Av. and Est. (both with convention busting full stops) that were recently introduced without prior discussion (for Avenida, Avenue in Portuguese and Spanish) and (Estrada, Road in Portuguese and Spanish)? --W. Frankemailtalk 14:45, 4 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm saying exactly what I said: That I've never seen "sgl" before. In conjuntion with "dbl" its meaning would probably be obvious, but in isolation it wouldn't be, to me. "Av." is probably fine, but "Est." means "established" or "estimated" to English-speakers, not "Estrada". LtPowers (talk) 13:06, 5 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm surprised you haven't noticed sgl as an abbreviation for single before - where do you reside? Personally I don't see need to muddy our usual practice of not using a full stop or period in abbreviations nor using "Av" for Avenida, (Avenue in Portuguese and Spanish) when the abbreviation that we already have of "Ave" should suffice adequately for English, Portuguese and Spanish speakers. --W. Frankemailtalk 13:44, 5 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I strongly object to the addition of "Est." as an abbreviation for the Spanish/Portuguese term of Estrada since, not only does it break our simple "no full stops in abbreviations" guideline it also can be confused with both "Established" and "Estimated" - especially in the context where the universally known abbreviation of "Sq" for "Square" was removed some months back. --W. Frankemailtalk 22:33, 14 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with your objection to the abbreviation "Est.," on the same bases you lay out. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:02, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I also have the same experience at LtPowers with "sgl" — I don't know if I've seen the abbreviation before, have no trouble understanding it in context with "dbl," but might find it confusing by itself.

Geographical and address abbreviations[edit]

Is there any consensus that the list of abbreviations on this page are the only acceptable ones? "Ter" for "Terrace" and "Cir" for "Circle" and "Sq" for "Square" and "Rt" for "Route" seem like fairly straightforward abbreviations, but do they really need to be listed here before they can be used? (Meanwhile, the presence of "Jl" for "Jalan" seems odd on an English-language site.) LtPowers (talk) 16:01, 15 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I support Sq and Rt, but Ter and Cir are by no means obvious to me. Jl is an extremely widely used abbreviation in Malaysia, and I don't think it would be that helpful to travelers to require that it be spelled out every time, but I guess that argument is really inconsistent with my points about Ter and Cir. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:12, 15 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
You're saying that when you see an address that says "54 Harbough Cir" it's not obvious that that's "Harbough Circle"? Do you find it more or less obvious than "Pl" for "Place"? LtPowers (talk) 01:54, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Less obvious. This may be a regional or even local thing. I don't remember seeing any abbreviations for "Columbus Circle." I think my feeling is that if you'd like to approve these addition abbreviations, I'm OK with that, but I would not like for MoS enforcers to be given license to abbreviate them uniformly across the site, including in guides for places where they are not used (as in my Columbus Circle example). Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:30, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Columbus Circle is a bit of an odd duck. It's a traffic circle, making it more like a traffic control device and less of an addressable street; what makes it odd is that it's named, even though most traffic circles aren't named. Most streets named "Circle" are long enough to have several driveways, and aren't actual circles, but rather simply curving roads that usually begin and end at the same cross street. LtPowers (talk) 02:45, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think Ter, Cir, Sq, and Rt are all fine and easy to get in context. However, if we are going to use things like Jl, we should probably go ahead and put other foreign language ones in there too: "Th" for thanon in Thailand, "R" for rua/rue in French/Portuguese, "C" for calle in Spanish, etc. etc. I don't have a strong opinion on it, but I do think it looks weird to have a list of all English with one lonely random Indonesian word. Texugo (talk) 02:56, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
You're absolutely right. And I've concluded that, in the interest of the majority of English-speaking travelers who won't be familiar with any of these abbreviations, we should eliminate Jl. for Jalan. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:57, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

It's possible that this page has a dual use: obviously for editors, but also it should be used as a glossary for readers who may not understand abbreviations that English-as-a-first-language readers find obvious and intuitive.

I think that we should also not lost sight of the fact that these abbreviations are only mandated in listings and that editors have an absolutely free choice in body text.

I agree there are no universally accepted standards. To quote another: "The question is whether we can produce a list for use in listings on the English language version of Wikivoyage that will be commonly understood by travellers."

I believe that the answer is clearly yes, but also think that there should be a fairly high bar for the test of widespread comprehension.

In my view,

  • North: N
  • East: E
  • South: S
  • West: W
  • Square: Sq
  • Corner: Cnr
  • Crescent: Cres
  • Junction: Jct
  • Route: Rte (both the US Postal Service and Canada Post both recommend RTE, but I think we will probably prefer a mixture of upper and lower case)

all clear the bar, but neither Ln (lane), Ter(rrace) or Cir(cle) vault over.

When it comes to non-English abbreviations, I think we have an easy bright line test: is the abbreviation widely used and understood in a version of English? (This will usually mean that a version of English is widely used and understood in that country or countries using the abbreviation).

Using this test, Jalan: Jl (Road in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) vaults well clear of the bar, but "Th" for thanon in Thailand, "R" for rua/rue in French/Portuguese, "C" for calle in Spanish, all fail dismally. --118.93nzp (talk) 07:56, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

"Ter" may be the standard abbrev for "Terrace" in the US but in countries such as Australia and New Zealand the standard abbrev is Tce. If I saw "Ter" I would probably have to stop and think about it, before concluding that it was probably Terrace. If I saw Cir in a US context I might figure out it stood for Circle, but if I saw it in a UK context I would wonder whether it stood for Circus, as in Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Ludgate Circus etc. "Circus" means a road junction, rather than a road, but the meaning is close enough that "Cir" may be confusing in that context. Nurg (talk) 08:11, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
[Edit conflict] As a former resident of Malaysia who speaks Malay, I don't agree with you on your test that "Jl" passes. Yes, Singapore is a widely English-speaking country that understands the word "jalan" in all its aspects (just as they understand the word "makan" - eat - and use it frequently). But English-speakers in the rest of the world don't. So I think it should be spelled out every time in listings.
I do think a list of road abbreviations a traveller is likely to see throughout the world, categorized by language or/and country, could be a useful article or a useful section of an article on Driving (which I notice is currently just a list of links to driving-related articles, but might be a lot more useful as a general driving article). But I don't think we should use abbreviations that aren't even for English-language words, and as much as "jalan" is used all the time in Manglish (Malaysian English) and Singlish (Singaporean English), it is most definitely not an English word. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:16, 16 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Okay, so let's remove Jl, and add Sq and Rt/Rte (we can allow both). I can understand possible confusion for Cir and Ter, though, so I'm okay leaving them off. But all this wasn't really the original point of my post. To reiterate my original question: "Is there any consensus that the list of abbreviations on this page are the only acceptable ones?" LtPowers (talk) 00:43, 17 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry for missing that point. No, I don't think that we should treat this list as the complete list of acceptable abbreviations. Anything that is clear is fine. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:50, 17 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Second World War[edit]

Suggestions, please.

I see WW2, WWII both being used. --118.93nzp (talk) 01:47, 31 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think it's very important, but I have usually seen the Roman numeral in more scholarly contexts, for whatever that's worth. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:11, 31 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The most amazing and rancorous edit wars and disputes seem to arise over stuff which the protagonists originally claim to be "unimportant". I've just seen 3 varieties in use in the same section in an East European article and I don't wish to standardise on a variation that others may get irrationally upset by.
Because our standard typeface is without serifs, my preference is not to use the Roman numerals for two because they resemble an Arabic numeral eleven, on the same lines as preferring an upper case L for litres. This is even more pertinent in respect of using WWI for the First World War. --118.93nzp (talk) 05:52, 31 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I suppose that might conceivably be an issue if anyone ever thought there was a "World War 11," but surely, no-one would ever think that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:28, 31 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

US Highways[edit]

Well, since I've been reverted with reference to this policy, we'd better discuss it.

The entire Wikivoyage:Abbreviations#U.S. routes section never had any consensus behind it. It was imported by Peter from a policy page that never got beyond the proposal stage.

And, I hasten to point out, even if these abbreviations do have consensus, there's absolutely no rule that says we have to use them in prose. There is nothing wrong with the "U.S. xx" construction I used and changing it to "US-xx" makes no sense.

-- Powers (talk) 23:47, 20 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Taking your points in order, Powers:
  1. Peter's edit summary for his "import" was "+U.S. routes from soon-to-be defunct Wikivoyage:Manual of style for the US". Are you really saying that the defunct manual had no discussion about its contents? Even if it didn't, I'm perpetually told that we have a status quo bias here when my own edits are reverted and folks have had more than a year to object to this.
  2. I agree that folks have a right to use what they think best serves the traveller in each individual article. However, it's also best to be consistent and brief and that's why I favour UK, US, UN and EU over U.K., U.S., U.N. and E.U. for all articles.
  3. I don't agree that my change made no sense. I'm complying with our current MoS and we'll have to wait to see if there is now a consensus to change something that is more than a year old.
I think we could do a lot worse than to follow the Economist's style guide:
This style guide has at least three advantages:
1) it's available on-line without payment or subscription
2) it's well written and reasonably comprehensive
3) although the Economist began in Britain, it is widely sold and read in North America and by the educated elite in many other parts of the world and tends to be quite modern and up-to-date in its outlook...
--118.93nzp (talk) 00:00, 21 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I don't buy consensus-by-lack-of-objection, and even if one does, the section in question doesn't apply to prose. Powers (talk) 18:09, 21 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Not even en.wikipedia has a consistent usage of "U.S." versus "US" versus "US-". --Rschen7754 18:44, 21 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
The discussion page remains at Wikivoyage talk:Manual of style for the US. Personally, I've never seen any highways in the US use the hyphenated syntax except for interstate highways, which are almost always written as I-#. The common usage may vary between regions. Typically, I see: I-1, US 1, SR 1, and CR 1 (for county roads). When used in an address, I don't use abbreviations, eg. 2875 State Road 1 and 2875 U.S. Highway 10. But again, nomenclature may vary among U.S. regions. AHeneen (talk) 06:26, 25 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Usages inconsistent[edit]

please see the pub anout the problem of the usage of 4WD and 4x4 sats (talk) 06:11, 27 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]

What is (was?) the problem? 4x4 is universally understood and it's only very rarely that we'd need 6x6 or 8x8 and then most would understand that too. 4x6 or 6x8 is bordering on pedantry isn't it? -- 02:24, 13 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that it's better to standardize and the advantage of 4x4 is that it is not a formula that is exclusive to the English language. BushelCandle (talk) 17:12, 8 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Internet or internet? Capitalization[edit]

I think there is a general feeling that we should try and be consistent with our spellings and other style choices.

It's also more productive to have discussions in one central place rather than have different conversations (with possibly different conclusions) on different destination discussion pages.

As a result of these comments, I've changed "Wi-Fi is used for wireless internet using access points" so that it now reads "Wi-Fi is used for wireless Internet using access points" and added before that existing rule this recommendation: "Internet has an initial capital letter (rather than "internet")" BushelCandle (talk) 17:12, 8 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

But this is a page about abbreviations, not a page about capitalization. Nurg (talk) 09:01, 9 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think it's necessary yet to have a separate policy page about capitalization - do you? BushelCandle (talk) 11:15, 9 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps we add a section to Wikivoyage:Spelling? Ravikiran (talk) 13:54, 9 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I have a suspicion that Nurg may have his tongue in his cheek rather than being annoyingly pedantic - after all, one of the headings on this project page contains a link to Wikivoyage:Currency and on that page you will find notations such as birr and baht that are not abbreviations at all.
I really do think that having Internet here, alongside Wi-Fi, is the lesser of the two evils of
  1. starting a new page with (currently) a sole capitalization rule or
  2. having it as an orphaned stylistic rule on the spelling page (where, of course, it is just as inappropriate if one is a pedant).
BushelCandle (talk) 16:14, 9 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I think that this could be a matter that varies with the variety of English. w:Capitalization of "Internet" gives several US and one Indian usage example of Internet and several UK and one Australian example of internet. I would also suggest waiting a couple of weeks before any changes of existing use here. AlasdairW (talk) 21:50, 9 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Oh gosh, I really do hope not. I was really hoping we could agree on a simple all-encompassing house style for once. I really don't care what that is as long as I don't have to think about language flavors before I copy edit. If it was up to me I would always go for the simplest, least effort choice - that would be internet because it doesn't need the shift key. Shades of wifi! BushelCandle (talk) 22:29, 9 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
WV has been going for 12 years (starting in its earlier form) without a separate policy page about capitalization, or indeed any policy about capitalization, AFAIK. So the first question is whether we need any policy about capitalization, given we seem to have gotten along fine without one so far. ("Wi-Fi" is here presumably because someone thought it an abbreviation or pseudo-abbreviation.) Wikipedia has a section on capitalization in its MOS, but it needs it because it has a more formal tone and style. With WV's more casual tone, I'm not sure we need one. But if a consensus forms that the need for such a policy has arrived, then we probably would need a separate policy page. Otherwise, how will editors looking for the capitalization policy find it? Nurg (talk) 10:01, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Somewhere, there were discussions that came to a consensus to use "Wi-Fi" (which is not an option for my spellchecker) and "Internet". I don't know where the discussions are, but I do think that when forms of words are consistently used on this site, as opposed to other forms, there should be a page that mentions them, and it should be part of our Manual of Style. I'm not suggesting it should be a long, overly complex manual, but since there are people who care about these kinds of issues of consistency, how about if they write up a draft? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:15, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
The definitive conversation about Wi-Fi is preserved on this page above at Wikivoyage talk:Abbreviations#Wi-Fi, Ikan. Felix doggedly guided things to an actual conclusion for once and I'm grateful for that small mercy. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a Monty Python sketch. BushelCandle (talk) 12:01, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Ah yes, the People's Front of Judea. But what's your view on silly walks? Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:21, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Don't know about policies concerning this, but "Internet" (capital "I") and "Wi-Fi" is what I've mostly encountered in English (here and elsewhere) and therefore these are the forms I've been using when editing WV. Just my two cents. ϒpsilon (talk) 10:38, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agree with Nurg - no traveler is going to see "internet", "wi-fi", "air-conditioning", or any other term that has been proposed for standardization and be confused by what it means. I understand that there is a small but passionate minority of copyeditors that want everything standardized down to the tiniest detail and they deserve some accommodation, but I'm concerned that ongoing efforts to enshrine these sorts of trivialities into site policy are then used to "correct" editors who didn't do anything wrong in the first place. Wikivoyage:Welcome, copyeditors was written explicitly to deal with this situation - copyeditors are welcome to edit here, but we need to strike a balance between having recommendations for things like spelling and capitalization while still being clear that writing "internet" is absolutely fine and not something that an editor needs to correct. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:16, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

So what's wrong with having a document that states that "x, y, and z are the recommended versions of these terms on Wikivoyage"? I mean, I don't care greatly about this, but if we're going to try for consistency, it's good to be clear on which version is preferred. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:55, 10 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Do we need to try for consistency of capitalization of "Internet" (and the like)? There are 3 main usages in the English-speaking world: capitalized "Internet" as noun and adjective; uncapitalized "internet" as noun and adjective; capitalized "Internet" as noun and uncapitalized "internet" as adjective. All 3 are followed by one or more reputable organisations, so none are incorrect, even though linguistic prescriptivists may argue that one usage is formally more correct than others. The welcome to copyeditors says "We don't mind some differences in article expression, so we don't set out to change things that are not wrong, but just different. We'd rather celebrate our diversity!" Nurg (talk) 10:24, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
If that's really our policy, I'll stop editing wifi, WIFI and other versions and won't change internet to Internet. Fewer keystrokes. My pet peeve, actually, is that most editors here seem not to use hyphens in hyphenated adjectives like a 5-hour drive or the 3rd-largest city. I consider "a 5 hour drive" grammatically incorrect, though I stand to be corrected if someone can demonstrate that I'm wrong. But that's another discussion... Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:31, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
If our established policy is really not to give a damn about how messy, inconsistent and downright ugly and amateurish our pages look, then I'll probably stop editing - period.
(I'd better go and tell @Seligne: that all the hard and careful work he's done in making our Thailand articles look like someone has actually written them carefully, is not valued and no respected editor here really cares whether they end up looking like most of our Indian articles. Let a thousand stylistic flowers bloom!)
By the way, it's not all bad news.
This exciting new policy means that we can immediately promote thousands of articles to STAR status! BushelCandle (talk) 12:57, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
This is not a policy of "anything goes". In this case the New York Times prefers "Internet" but the Times prefers "internet". So two respected publishers of English newspapers don't agree. I don't think that we have many articles that use "internet" in several places. If an article does use both "internet" and "Internet" then it should be changed to be internally consistent. Otherwise it really doesn't matter and I agree with Ryan and Nurg that we don't need a policy on this. (This is a little different from the case with Wi-Fi because a search for Wi-Fi won't find WIFI, wlan or wireless - so standardisation has value for the reader.) AlasdairW (talk) 13:19, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
All of that sounds very reasonable, Alasdair. However, having expended this effort discussing this (and having been corrected in the first place for using "internet" rather than "Internet") I would still like a concrete recommendation to arise - if only to avoid any further argumentation - as it inevitably will. BushelCandle (talk) 13:39, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
You're the one who changed the capital to a lowercase int he first place. If you don't do that, then I don't see what's inevitable about further argumentation. Powers (talk) 17:10, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
That is precisely why guidance would be helpful. In my ignorance, I did not think that "Internet" was a proper noun. Had there been clear guidance as to our "house style" I would not have made the change and this discussion might not have ensued. BushelCandle (talk) 17:15, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
The reason I use a capital "I" for "Internet" on this site is that at a certain point, someone who had been an admin for years before me told me this was the form used on this site. I don't know where the discussion is, but I rather agree with BushelCandle that if we prefer one form over another, there should be an easily accessible recommendation to use that form. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:14, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
'BushelCandle' knows full well that we prefer not to change capitalizations and spellings without very good reasons. And so should you. Powers (talk) 23:28, 11 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
@Ikan - if we had a "house style" for "Internet" then yes, it should be documented. To the best of my knowledge we do not have one, and I don't think we should be mandating a "house style" for things that provide virtually no benefit to readers and are likely to be an annoyance for editors to deal with. For terms where there's a legitimate reason to cite one value over another (such as an SEO benefit, or terminology that may not be well understood in certain parts of the world) then there may be some value in putting those things into a list. However, if the sole reason for creating such a list is so that all of our articles use exactly the same set of "approved" terms then I think we need to make it clear that such a list should be mostly ignored, except perhaps in cases of edit wars. An editor should be able to write "internet" without being corrected. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:23, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
In that case, pray explain why there was all the kerfuffle with writing 9am (rather than 9AM) or 9:30pm (rather than 9:30PM). BushelCandle (talk) 00:34, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Powers, I don't know "full well" that "Internet" isn't the preferred style here; I have been under the impression for some years that it was. I think I get why you think an apparently new user like BushelCandle knows this, but I prefer to assume good faith, at least for now. I also think BushelCandle makes a good point in that we do have a preferred time and date format and also preferred formats for opening hours, depending on the country where the point of interest is. I've never greatly cared about these things, but I think that it's a good idea to set the bounds of preferred forms on this site, and this thread may be well on the way to doing that, simply by clearly demonstrating that in certain instances, several different forms are fine. So I take it, wifi, WIFI, WiFi, Wi-Fi, wi-fi and Wifi are all perfectly acceptable? Is it also fine for several different forms to be used in the same article? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:17, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Not that it should be material to the proximate discussion, but I have never said that I'm a new editor. And despite editing at Wikitravel for many years, I did NOT know that we should not try and make our articles as good looking as we can. And, before those who should know better go off on another tangent, No, I am not going to tell you the user name I use at Wikitravel unless you can point me to a Wikivoyage policy that says I need to lose my anonymity and be exposed to IBobi's wrath.

I don't think I have anything to add or subtract from what I posted as my first post in this section. BushelCandle (talk) 02:27, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

BushelCandle and Ikan Kekek - raising straw man arguments hardly helps promote your views. No-one has suggested that we abandon existing guides on abbreviations, date/time format, spelling, currency format etc. Nor that we should stop trying to be "stylistically consistent within the article" (per Welcome, copyeditors). Some of us are suggesting that perhaps we don't need a guide on capitalization. Dictionaries and similar provide guidance on capitalization (including the trademarked "Wi-Fi"). Nurg (talk) 03:03, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not raising straw man arguments. I don't care greatly about this and just want to know what I should and shouldn't edit beyond the obvious. That's all. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:52, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I just reread Wikivoyage:Welcome, copyeditors. I had forgotten some of its contents. It explains a lot. There are certain marginal things that might be worth talking about on that talk page, but seeing as we are having this discussion....When there's enough content to subdivide "Get in" and "Get around", it tends to be given subtitles of "By bicycle", "By plane", "By bus", "By train", etc. If I see headings of "Air", "Sea", "Land", should I leave well enough alone? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:59, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Ikan Kekek, maybe the wording on that page could be tweaked. For the subsection headings you mention, by all means change them to the standard subsection headings, for which we have guidance at places like Big city article template#Get in. The Wikivoyage:Welcome, copyeditors page applies, I think, to relatively minor aspects of general text that are not specifically covered by the Manual of style. Nurg (talk) 11:19, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. I had forgotten about those guidelines. It's funny how while doing recent changes patrolling, I sometimes forget where I saw the basis for some of the things I do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:08, 12 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

"Ste" for "Suite": Yea or Nay?[edit]

Thoughts? Powers (talk) 19:56, 23 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

I vote "Nay". I hadn't seen that abbreviation until yesterday and didn't recognize it, though I was able to figure it out by context, given the fact that "Suite" was spelled out in other consulate listings on that page. I don't know where that listing might be standard, but I don't think it is in New York. "Ste" is "Sainte", as in many names in France and Sault Ste Marie. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:08, 23 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Yea (If used judiciously) otherwise the full form Suite is fine (both forms appear throughout)-- STE is standard for Suite in US mailing addresses. - Ste. is common abbreviation for Sainte. It is used as an acronym (STE) for other entities as well. (Standard Telephone Equipment, Star Trek Enterprise etc.) - Matroc (talk) 20:43, 23 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]
When I see "Ste", I think "Sainte". I'm not familiar with it standing for Suite. Nurg (talk) 06:47, 24 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Address Formatting & Elements Capitalisation[edit]

I wonder what address formatting capitalisation should be used. For example, where a government administration publishes it's address using a given capitalisation, should WikiVoyage decide that e.g. the government are "wrong" and that WikiVoyage practice is "right"? Or should authors follow the formatting and capitalisation used by the e.g. government body or operation (hotel, museum, etc.) on the assumption that they know how to format and capitalise their own address.PsamatheM (talk) 22:19, 22 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Normally, the latter. Can you give an example, though? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:03, 23 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Mairie gives address as "rue du val de loir" which is then edited by somebody else to be "Rue du Val de Loir". Might sound persnickety but what convention should one adopt e.g. that from the local Mairie (who lives and works for the government in the place) or from somebody else who has opinions about who they think it should be written (or WikiVoyage "best practice") ?PsamatheM (talk) 13:28, 24 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
That's a rough one. Do they capitalize any street names? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:46, 24 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I don't know. I'd not consider myself an authoritative source and I suspect different people have personal preferences. So my suggestion is that where somebody has published using a particular capitalisation, others accept that capitalisation on the basis that the author has probably chosen that capitalisation for good reason and that their own personal preference (or WikiVoyage "best practice") is probably less authoritative than the author. In my own case, I authored using the capitalisation used by a particularly careful Mairie - yet somebody else quickly descended on the text and changed it to be different - and I'd consider the Mairie more "authoritative" than an author who has probably never been to the place. Or at least question the author about the capitalisation before just assuming the author is wrong and they are right.PsamatheM (talk) 12:11, 29 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
My vague understanding of the language is that French uses « 123, rue Principale » where English would use "123 High Street" and American "123 Main Street". Terms like "rue", "boulevard", "avenue" aren't capitalised... and hopefully no one other than Ottawa City Hall actually tries both at once, "123, rue Bank Street" style. Bits like "of" or "the" likely aren't capitalised in either language, so "AT&T Building, 32 Avenue of the Americas, New York City". So «12345, rue du Val de Loir» en français? K7L (talk) 12:53, 29 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
That was my understanding as well. Powers (talk) 17:11, 29 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

U.S. postal abbreviations[edit]

Americans have become very comfortable with the two-towered abbreviations prescribed for each state by the U.S. Mail, but should we expect our international readers to know the difference between MA, MD, MN, MI, MS and MO? Perhaps we could add a section under "Addresses, etc." like this:

U.S states: Because many of our readers aren't familiar with U.S. state abbreviations, generally it is preferred to spell out the names of the state, i.e., use "Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota" instead of "MA, MD, MN".

Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 01:41, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Not to mention the fact that these two-letter abbreviations can sometimes be confusingly ambiguous: for example, WA could mean Washington state or Western Australia. This proposal seems like simple common sense to me. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:13, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I agree and support the proposal. Even Americans sometimes mix up things like MS, MI, and MO. The only one that I think generally makes sense to use on Wikivoyage is "DC". —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:25, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Even though regularly in the US I cannot claim to know all of these abbreviations, and only confident with the few states I am often travelling in. We cannot expect international readers to know what they mean. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:03, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I support this proposal but would extend it to such abbreviations anywhere in the world, with Australia having been also mentioned. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:48, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Per Ikan's suggestion:

States and provinces: Because many of our readers aren't familiar with state and provincial abbreviations, generally it is preferred to spell out their names: for example, use "Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota" instead of "MA, MD, MN"; "Western Australia, Queensland", instead of "WA, QLD"; and "New Brunswick, Alberta", instead of "NB, AB".

Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 19:27, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Yes indeed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:29, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:37, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Good idea. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:51, 16 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
German states are thankfully abbreviated less often with two letter codes, but NRW is a quite common abbreviation that - despite being the biggest state - might leave foreigners stumped. And that's not even getting into using number plates as shorthand for cities ("Yeah, I'm back in DD now, got out of HH yesterday, will head to B later") Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:08, 17 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
What happens if the name of a province or sub-national entity is mentioned repeatedly in the article (which happens often if a small place is on a boundary)? Can we just spell it out once in the intro ("Sioux City extends west from Iowa into South Dakota and Nebraska"), then use the abbreviations later in the article without anyone randomly assuming NE to be New England? K7L (talk) 17:19, 22 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Seeing no objection, I've implemented this change. Ground Zero (talk) 22:24, 21 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Abbreviation of "lane"[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There are many ways "Lane" could be abbreviated. Would Ln. or La. be more better. Or would it vary by country. In Australia, La. is more common but I don't know whats it like in other countries. Is there a manual of style for this? SHB2000 (talk) 11:22, 6 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Wikivoyage:Abbreviations says "Ln", with no period. --Nelson Ricardo (talk) 11:47, 6 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]


I just added PNG to the countries list to be abbreviated as PNG and not P.N.G.. Any objections? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 03:58, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]