Wikivoyage talk:Capitalization

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Capitalization of non-proper nouns

Swept in from the pub

I just came across this remark:

"[...]In most varieties of Commonwealth English that I am familiar with, there is a predilection for capitalised ordinal points of the compass[...]"

I see this all the time and consider it straightforwardly incorrect, but is it really standard in any variety of English? In other words, I think we all understand that proper names like North Korea, Southern Sudan, West Palm Beach and Southeast Asia should always be capitalized, but is it truly standard in any variety of English to capitalize the word "north" in "Go 3 km north"?

I would also mention that another category of words that I constantly see capitalized on this site and copy edit to lowercase if I have the energy are phrases like this:

The park, the state, the country, the hotel, the beach, the monument, the national park, the state highway, the museum — you get the idea.

I nearly always consider phrases like this not to have any proper nouns in them. On the other hand, the reverse happens a lot, too. It's "Hudson River", not "Hudson river"; it's "the Hilton Hotel", not "the Hilton hotel". Etc.

Does anyone disagree or believe that another standard of capitalization applies in your dialect of standard English? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:35, 23 December 2016 (UTC)Reply

On rereading the quoted passage, I realize that ordinal points of the compass would be "northern", "southern", etc. "The northern part of the state" doesn't get capitalized by me, either, because "the northern part" isn't a proper name. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:37, 23 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
Wikipedia's article on capitalisation describes it exactly like you suggest. I see this is also an issue in many of the article names as listed in Natural attractions. For example, Canadian National Parks and Icelandic Hot Springs should then not be capitalised. On the other hand, individual national parks (e.g. Yellowstone National Park) would still be capitalised, as this is part of the proper noun). --ErwinFCG (talk) 09:44, 23 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
Yes, that's right. I will have a look at those articles soon and probably change the capitalization as appropriate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:59, 23 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
I agree with you Ikan, it sounds like the way I always though capitalization was supposed to work in English. I think moving pages around should be treated with caution though. For example, the official name of Canada's National Park system is "National Parks of Canada", and its website capitalizes "National Park". Wikipedia has also had this debate in the past and decided to capitalize National Park (when referring to Canada)[1]. -Shaundd (talk) 04:45, 24 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the info. I won't take unilateral action on that one. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:00, 24 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
I've heard both asserted as the One True Way™ in the past, but Mr Google seems to find mostly advice against capitalizing directions and in favor of capitalizing regions (example). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:31, 25 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
In British English, I have heard of the points of the compass being capitalised, but I don't think that it is current practice. This source and others do say that regions like The North should be in capitals (The capital T in The is less clear). So "Manchester is in the North". AlasdairW (talk) 21:43, 25 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
The North, when it's a region name, should be capitalized. Same in the U.S.: The South, the Northeast, the Southwest, the West Coast, the Eastern Seaboard, the Mountain States, etc. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:55, 26 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
Your understanding seems correct to me. The one exception I might argue is this: when referring to a proper noun using just the noun part of the name, in a sense that represents some sort of official stance or speaking in the voice of the entity. For example, this would be incorrect:
We're going to Baker Park next week; it's a nice little Park.
But this alternative could be argued either way:
The University of Springfield is a non-profit institution. The University strongly believes in community service.
-- Powers (talk) 00:22, 28 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
I agree that that's not the most obvious choice, but I would still come down against capitalization, with one exception: If I were writing on official behalf of the university, such as in a brochure, I could feel totally free to capitalize at will, because it comes across as more authoritative. I'm not as militant about this as I am about "the Hotel", "the Park" or "the Museum", all of which should be lowercase, but the principle is really the same. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:48, 28 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
Where Wikivoyage doesn't take a stand, I go with the Wikipedia policy [2], which is not to capitalise "the university", "the hotel", but only "the University of Springfield" and "the Hotel Springfield". Ground Zero (talk) 13:58, 31 December 2016 (UTC)Reply
I agree with Ground Zero. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:34, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

Proposed new Manual of Style page on Capitalization


While sweeping the above discussion in from the pub I noticed that we do not have a Manual of Style page for Capitalization. We do have for Abbreviations, Spelling, Romanization, and so on. As the discussion above shows, there is room to provide clarity to editors on what we are looking for. As with any Manual of Style page, editors will ignore it if they want to, but it is always useful for settling disputes quickly.

So I have pulled together these points from the above discussion, and simplified some points from the lengthy Wikipedia Manual of Style on the subject. I think this covers it.

  • Initial capitals or all capitals should not be used for emphasis. Use boldface or italics instead. See Wikivoyage:Creating emphasis.
  • Use sentence case, not title case, capitalization in all section headings. See Wikivoyage:Section headers.
  • Proper names of specific places, persons, terms, etc., are capitalized in accordance with standard usage: Wales, Tel Aviv, Three Great Gardens of Japan, etc. Most adjectives derived from proper names should be capitalized, e.g. the English people, the Indonesian language.
  • The names of months, days, and holidays are capitalized: June, Monday, Fourth of July. Seasons are not capitalized (a hot summer, winter hours).
  • Points of the compass (north, southeast, etc.), and their derived forms (northern, etc.) are not generally capitalized: 9 km south of Lima. They are capitalized only when they form part of a proper name, such as Northwest Territories or South Korea. Where the name of a region has attained the status of proper names (as with the North of England, Southern California or Western Europe), then the direction word is capitalized. Otherwise it is not, as with eastern Spain or southwest Angola. If you are not sure whether a region has attained proper-name status, assume it has not.
  • Full names of institutions, organizations, companies, etc., are proper names and require capitals. Generic words for institutions, organizations, companies, etc., do not take capitals (University of Mumbai but the university).
  • Political or geographical units such as cities, towns, and countries follow the same rules: as proper names they require capitals; but as generic words they do not. (There is one exception: the "City of London" is referred to as "the City".)
Incorrect (generic): The City has a population of 670,000.
Correct (generic): The city has a population of 679,000.
Correct (title): The City of Durban has a population of 670,000.
  • Do not capitalize "the" in the middle of a sentence when referring to the Netherlands, the Gambia, or the Bronx, but do capitalize it for The Hague.
  • Further guidance on capitalization can be found at at the Wikipedia Manual of Style.

Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 02:40, 8 February 2017 (UTC) θReply

Full support from me. As I see it, this is merely an act of putting into black and white the de facto policy that has evolved organically already. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:50, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I greatly appreciate this highly developed draft, and I support it, with the following exception:
There is one exception: the "City of London" is referred to as "the City".
Nope. At a minimum, San Francisco and Manhattan are also referred to as "the city", and I don't know whether to capitalize that or not but could countenance capitalization. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:28, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I think that the point was that in the case of London, it is conventionally referred to as the City (capitalised), so comparison is valid only if the other cities referenced are also conventionally capitalised as the City. If you don't know, then they are not valid counterexamples. This is a matter of conventional usage, and could be difficult to prove either way. It should be treated on a case by case basis with onus on the claimant for proof that it should be capitalised. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:42, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
That's a sensible position. I would agree with you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:05, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I'd be surprised if not also some other cities were referred to as "the City". I'd express the "exception" in terms of a nickname, not a single exception: "When a general noun is widely used as a nickname of a place, the nickname should be told to the readers, and that nickname is a name that should be capitalized. One such is "the City" for City of London." (or some such, you get the idea). --LPfi (talk) 10:46, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I'd go with that, actually. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:56, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Or, we could just take out the exception and deal with it at the City of London article. It probably doesn't even warrant mention here since the only place it will really come upnis in that article. "The City" refers to the square mile of London (population 8,072) that serves as the financial centre of the UK, as Wall Street does for the U.S., and not to Greater London (population (8,547,000). Ground Zero (talk) 13:30, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Let's look at your wording: "Political or geographical units such as cities, towns, and countries follow the same rules: as proper names they require capitals; but as generic words they do not." That covers it: "The City" when referring to the City of London is not generic. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:18, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Quite right. Thanks. Ground Zero (talk) 22:13, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I have added one more point to cover the Netherlands, the Gambia, and The Hague, following practice that has been established at each of those articles. Ground Zero (talk) 23:02, 8 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Is there anything we want to do differently from the guidance at w:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters? Nurg (talk) 09:38, 9 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

I haven't been able to find anything that we are doing differently. In reviewing the Wikipedia guide, I found that there were a lot of situations that we don't encounter often in Wikivoyage. What I like about the WV Manual of Style is that it is short and focussed on situations most commonly faced in writing a travel guide. For example, while the titles of books, songs, magazines, etc., may appear in WV, they don't appear often enough to get stressed about. If the occasional published work is misformatted, it won't affect the overall appearance of the guide. Place names, compass directions, languages, dates, subheadings, on the other hand, appear frequently, so standardization makes the guide easier to read. Have you noticed anything we are doing differently or that you think we should be doing differently? Ground Zero (talk) 14:09, 9 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Simple is good if it is possible. Start simple, get complicated only when forced by circumstances. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:42, 9 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Looks okay to me. Wikivoyage:Naming conventions contains some capitalization advice and I don't think it contradicts. Powers (talk) 01:54, 10 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
If we don't do anything differently, why reinvent the wheel by creating our own page? Nurg (talk) 07:19, 10 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Are you suggesting copying the whole Wikipedia guide in? What would be the advantage in that? It's really long, and covers a wide range of scenarios that occur so rarely in WV that consistency doesnt really matter here. I think the short version above allows WV editors to find the key information they need without wading through pages of other stuff. And it's already done, above, so no reinvention needed. It's kind of like using a wheel with metal rims, rubber tires and spokes for a bicycle instead of using the original design of a slab of rock with a hole in the middle. Ground Zero (talk) 11:34, 10 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Better to keep our own compact policies, and refer to WP with a link for first approximation guidance for obscure cases, just in case they occur. We can specify that any guidance based on WP does not overrule WV policy. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:59, 10 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I wasn't suggesting (definitely not) that we copy the WP guide in, but that we might link to it. On reflection though, I think that creating such a page is ok, but I think it should be briefer than proposed at the start of this thread – let's keep it fairly simple. Firstly, I don't think we need any guidance on unvarying English usage. For example, we don't need to say to capitalize proper nouns as in the 3rd bullet point, any more than we need to explain normal English grammar or to say to spell travel as travel. Doing so would be the same as offering advice from Captain Obvious in our articles. We only need guidance when there are different capitalization styles in the English-speaking world or areas of common confusion. So the proposed item about compass points is ok, though I would probably drop the last sentence, and add a suggestion that if further guidance is needed, to follow that at w:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Compass points. So, I suggest dropping the 3rd bullet, the first sentence of the 4th bullet, and the 6th, 7th and 8th bullets, with any specific unusual names that are mentioned in the last two bullets being covered in their respective head articles, e.g. The Hague. Nurg (talk) 08:00, 11 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Are you aware that there is loads of irregular capitalization on this site? A lot of editors obviously have no knowledge of standards on what to capitalize, making it clearly non-obvious for them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:13, 11 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
There is irregular capitalization on WP too, despite ample advice. It is not always that editors don't know – some don't care, and are happy to leave it to the fastidious to fix. There is irregular grammar and spelling too, but we don't need to explain standard, unvarying grammar and spelling. There is more irregular capitalization because editors often care less about it than about grammar and spelling. Nurg (talk) 01:24, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I don't think dropping all of those points makes the guide more useful. Wikivoyage, perhaps more so than Wikipedia, attracts non-English speakers because the other language versions of WV are not as well developed. Rules on capitalization of these things vary, even within the European languages.
With eight bullet points, what is proposed above isn't too long. Having a guide that has 3½ bullet points, and then directing other questions to the juggernaut that is the Wikipedia guide seems not to be helpful. I think the eight points above address the key issues I've faced in copyediting Wikivoyage, without trying to be comprehensive. Ground Zero (talk) 01:58, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
(1) I think it is useful to have our own capitalization guide, focused on the kind of content we deal with and omitting the rest; (2) I think it should include a "see also" link to the analogous Wikipedia article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:56, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Nurg's suggestion of a link to Wikipedia is a good one. I've now added it above. Ground Zero (talk) 12:49, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

[unindent] On your last bullet point, what about The Bronx? I actually don't know whether there's any standard for whether to capitalize "The" in the middle of sentences, but I do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:00, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for pointing that one out. The Bronx article uses both, with, I think, with a slight preference for "the". w: Wikipedia:The Bronx uses "the", and suggests that "The" is used when referring to the government body for the borough as opposed to the geographic entity. I don't think there is enough basis to support creating another exception, and would add it to the Gambia and Netherlands list. And I'm glad that Yukon and Ukraine have dropped "the" so we have fewer cases to deal with. Ground Zero (talk) 16:00, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
Government body for the borough? No, that makes no sense to this New Yorker. The Bronx is The Bronx - that's what we all call the place. No native New Yorker would say "I'm going to Bronx today". It's always "The Bronx". I won't fight for an exception on capitalization, though, because as I said, I don't know if there's a standard. But I would say that Wikipedia is clearly wrong about local usage. And the only problem is that my source is my own usage and the usage of every other native New Yorker, not some unoriginal research I know about and could cite for the purposes of Wikipedia. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:45, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
I wasn't clear: Wikipedia suggests "the Bronx" for the area, "The Bronx" for its government, and "Bronx" never. So we don't have to wage war on Wikipedia on this one, although it does have a lot of explaining to do on other things, but that's for another day. ;-) Ground Zero (talk) 19:03, 12 February 2017 (UTC)Reply



Shall we get back to the main point, ladies and gentlemen? A motion has been raised to insert a short section on capitalization. Are we ready to vote on it? I know some of you hate votes, but in the event of sufficient participation, they can go some way toward showing whether there is or is not a consensus, and we don't consider 55%-45% (11-9, e.g.) a clear consensus here. So shall we go to the ayes and nays? I vote to support this motion, though reserving the right, as usual, to tweak words and punctuation without substantively changing anything. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:47, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

  • I'll support it. Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:52, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply
  • As the proposer, I support it too. I actually think that there is general consensus to do this, with one person not in favour of the proposal as it stands, but favouring a chopped-down version of it. I was planning to implement it today since the discussion had been open for a week without anyone opposed to creating a new page, but I'll wait for further comments since you've started a "decision" discussion. Ground Zero (talk) 12:17, 14 February 2017 (UTC)Reply

Seeing no objections, I will implement this change and move the discussion to the new page's talk page. Ground Zero (talk) 02:59, 16 February 2017 (UTC)Reply


Swept in from the pub

So a recent edit to Germany introduced a list of places that have free WiFi. I removed the CORPORATE SHOUTING (i.e. companies that spell themselves in ALL CAPS) but it was reinstated in part with the reasoning that those are the "correct" spellings. What say ye? I don't want this to be a whole big argument, but if policy isn't clear on that yet, let's make it clear. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:28, 12 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

Wikivoyage: Capitalization doesn't cover it, but it should. We should follow ordinary English capitalization/capitalisation instead of corporate ("official") vanity styles. We're not here to promote Ikea, rewe, or **Meg@Corp!**. Ground Zero (talk) 21:18, 12 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
Which ordinary English rules do you want to follow? We write that "HIV causes Aids" in British English, but "HIV causes AIDS" in American English. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:24, 13 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
IKEA is spelt Ikea on Swedish Wikipedia because we do not allow corporate shouting: it is pronounced as a word, not as a sequence of letters, and should thus be spelt as a word. If a name follows the common rules of its language, then I suppose we have no need to change it, but rewe or **Meg@Corp!** hardly follow any. --LPfi (talk) 16:48, 13 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
So I was the one who made the entry and used the capitalisation that are on the shop signs. I however see the argument of using lowercase if the word is said and not the letters read. So Ikea and Rewe but H&M. I will not undo again if someone changes them. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:44, 13 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
Whatamidoing's question about acronyms is something separate from corporate vanity capitalization. Acronyms should follow national treatment - British style in the UK article, US style elsewhere, generally. Corporate preferences belong on corporations' websites, but not in a not-for-profit travel guide. We've been down the road of catering to corporate interests before, and I don't think it worked out all that well. Ground Zero (talk) 01:53, 14 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
I don't think this is hugely important either way, but all else being equal, my slight preference is for conforming the content of our guides to what would be seen on signage. I also think it's quite a logical leap to equate playing along with a company's capitalization preferences with "catering to corporate interests". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:12, 14 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
I'd say AndreCarrotflower has this exactly right. Pashley (talk) 11:45, 14 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
IKEA is spelt w:en:IKEA at the English Wikipedia, because – although they do not allow "corporate shouting" – the name is an initialism, and the article is written in American English, which retains capitalizations for initialisms. In British English, you would write Ikea. This really has nothing to do with corporate preferences: as I indicated above, the system is the same for "AIDS" and "Aids". It is just how the languages work. If you are writing in American English, then you should capitalize initialisms such as IKEA. If you are writing in British English, then you should not. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:07, 15 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
Many corporations use non-standard capitalization to draw attention to their names in text. For example, VISA card, or PRESTO card (the transit card in Ontario, Canada). These are not acronyms, they are capitalized to draw the reader's eye to the name. Writing in all-caps makes it more difficult for the reader, especially for people with visual impairments. Some companies use no capital letters for stylistic reasons, which makes it more difficult for readers to identify that these are brand names and not ordinary words. Yet other companies replace some letters with symbols on their signage. Let's make things simpler for readers by using standard capitalization. Ground Zero (talk) 11:48, 16 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
The rule for initialisms is much more complex than just British vs. American English. I think in any dialect words like radar (radio detection and ranging) or laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) are lowercase, and things like DDT or VPN uppercase. Part of it is whether they are pronounceable as words, but I (Canadian) would still use uppercase for HIV, AIDS or QED or JET. I'd write "SQL" & pronounce it as three letters in many contexts, but as "sequel" in others. Pashley (talk) 13:29, 16 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
The rule is that British English converts pronounceable initialisms into title case (Aids, but IBM – also QED, because the names of the individual letters are named separately: "kyoo ee dee", not "kwed") and that American English doesn't (AIDS and IBM). Canadian English may well have succumbed to the influence of its southern neighbor in this regard.
Any pronounceable acroynm could, in theory, become a word in its own right after enough time. Base jumping and captcha are two of the newest ones to make that uncommon transition. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:07, 18 July 2017 (UTC)Reply
Whatever is most useful (intelligible) to the reader. Corporate preferences are not our problem. If they don't like it we can either ignore them completely, or if they get annoying just refrain from mentioning them at all. I would say go with sentence case whenever it is unlikely to cause confusion. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:49, 11 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
So what of "iPad" or (if one were back in the Oregon Trail era) "Apple ]["? Manufacturers use some odd spelling and typography at times, but would we "correct" Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, or business names like SportChek to properly use the Queen's English instead of butchering it? K7L (talk) 16:44, 12 September 2017 (UTC)Reply
When something becomes part of the common usage, we follow that, and that covers the examples given by K7L. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:04, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

Legalize all caps!


[copied from the pub]

I don't know about you, but don't you want to be able to use ALL CAPS without being BANNED for life (or 3 days)? Well now you can! At least, you'll be able to if you support this proposal.Nothing gets people's attention like ALL CAPS!!!!. If you want to convince someone NOT to visit Burundi, for example, lowercase might get people to reconsider, like the US State Department advises you to do (Burundi is only moderately dangerous). But if you REALLY want to scare the pants off of people, tell them, ALL TRAVEL TO DARRA ADAM KHEL SHOULD BE CONSIDERED VERY DANGEROUS AT THIS TIME!! Libertarianmoderate (talk) 00:45, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

what you're proposing, libertarianmoderate, is a change to Wikivoyage:capitalization, so the discussion should take place at wikivoyage talk:capitalization. i can't say that i am keen about the idea, but let's see what other editors say. regards, ground zero. 01:30, 1 august 2018.
Oppose. Pashley (talk) 01:48, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
I don't recall anyone ever getting banned for using all caps, but I think it's easier to ban them than to argue about what is a suitable exception. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:38, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
Oppose. If you really want to draw the attention to specific threats or dangerous situations, you already have the warning box and caution box at your disposal for that purpose. There should be no need to write in all caps if these tools are used correctly. ArticCynda (talk) 07:21, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
Oppose. No-one has been banned for life for occasional use of all caps. We do however, consider it generally impolite. Persistent impoliteness may get you blocked for 3 days. (note use of bolding for emphasis, not all caps). The use of multiple exclamation marks is also often seen as bordering on the unhinged unless used in parody. We have a style guide for good reasons. If there is a case for use of all caps, I suggest that it should be restricted to inside of specific templated warning notices, and that those warning notices may only be created after getting consensus from the community. Plunging forward on this point without consensus may be seen as disruptive editing. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:41, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

I actually think that's a good proposal, if we keep it limited to warning boxes. It definitely does get attention in such a circumstance, but if overused it could potentially drown out the rest of the text. But when we are talking about extremely dangerous cities (for example, actual war zones — I don't mean Molenbeek), I support the proposal. This may seem a surprise, and I wouldn't be surprised if some editors disagree, but still I think that when the traveler comes first this could be a help.

Also, I think there should also be a limit to number of words formatted this way so it's not overwhelming — all caps could reasonably be done to individual words like NOT but not whole sentences like ALL TRAVEL TO DARRA ADAM KHEL SHOULD BE CONSIDERED VERY DANGEROUS AT THIS TIME!! Selfie City (talk) 14:22, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

I agree with Peter (Southwood)'s statement that "[i]f there is a case for use of all caps, I suggest that it should be restricted to inside of specific templated warning notices, and that those warning notices may only be created after getting consensus from the community." Selfie City (talk) 14:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • For clarity, I oppose the use of all-caps in any of the circumstances being discussed. All-caps is harder for some people to read, which defeats the purpose for adding emphasis. All-caps will just add to the clutter and obscure the message. The Warning box provides the appropriate emphasis. Key words can be boldgaced for added emphasis. We should not scream at reafets, and we don't need to. Ground Zero (talk) 14:55, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose. All caps does draw attention to the text, but artlessly. There are so many better ways to do so - bold, italics, bold italics, cautionboxes, or just plain old emphatic language (how about "Darra Adem Khel is a violent, lawless anarchy where assault weapons are traded like baseball cards, and travel there is discouraged in the strongest possible terms"?) that there's no need to change policy. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:21, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose. I find them ugly and visually crude,unappealing. Andre said it all. Ibaman (talk) 15:34, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Whole sentences in all caps is really overkill, let alone with multiple exclamation marks. Like SelfieCity, I'd at most be OK with individual words, and only in warning boxes. --ϒpsilon (talk) 16:59, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Capitalising a word or two at most in a warning box sometimes works though not often, and all caps in prose looks bad. As others have said, bold and/or italics is the way to go most of the time. Gizza (roam) 22:00, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

Legalize all caps- revised proposal


Same reasoning as before, but with some massive limitations.

  • Oppose I can imagine situations where I might use all-caps for extra emphasis but have not found it necessary in over 10 years of editing here. I have more than once done copy edits fixing what I thought was misuse. See Shopping or Working abroad for examples of what I think is good use of bold text, all we need in most cases. Pashley (talk) 14:22, 2 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
If we did allow it, I think the one word restriction is silly; emphasize the whole phrase, e.g. Somalia is not a tourist destination. I think this is easier to read & makes the point better. Pashley (talk) 14:34, 2 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose The warning box itself is already indication that whatever is inside has been deemed highly important information. The box IS a form of emphasis. Beyond that, I agree that bold or italics are better and more visually pleasing ways to emphasize a word or phrase. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:31, 2 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Oppose - caps are actually less readable at a glance, because lower case letters have risers & descenders that identify the word. Consider how instantly you understood my vote on this, compared with if I'd typed OPPOSE. Grahamsands (talk) 21:21, 2 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • This is a tough one. I read AndreCarrotflower and Ground Zero's comments earlier and I have to say they are quite convincing. Yes, it's true there are other ways to get the message across that don't look so much like shouting. But I also agree with Libertarianmoderate; there's nothing quite like all caps (with bold/strong as well, of course) to really get the message across. So I'm going to say weak support for this one.
Also, responding to Grahamsands, I think Libertarianmoderate had actually been using both bold and all caps when the edits were made that brought this whole issue up. Selfie City (talk) 02:52, 3 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
So I think there should actually be one more limitation to the use of caps — it must be used with bold/strong as well. That way, the words in all caps can serve its full purpose and get the attention they need. Selfie City (talk) 02:54, 3 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
I should have started by acknowledging that the shouty caps in Libertarianmoderate's proposal certainly grabbed my attention, and made me want to weigh in. So, result! The aim of all these text devices is to draw the reader's attention - I have preferences over which device is & isn't used, but the intent is spot on. But having drawn that attention, IMO it's best to pause and leave the reader to actually read what's there, and digest its implications. Bold caps, adding italics, exclamation marks or (heaven forbid) animations jumping up and down, kinda detract from that. It's as if we're not convinced the reader is paying attention: we shout, our voice becomes a bit shrieky and high-pitched, and - put down that godamm phone when I'm talking to you - the anxiety becomes the message. Is there also an issue here about hierarchy of warnings? For me it's okay if the same bold l/c is used to say Blogsville castle is closed for repairs, and Blogsville town is infested by killer budgerigars. If these don't sufficiently stand out, it's because the page is already cluttered with too many less important bold sections, which ought to be edited down. Grahamsands (talk) 13:26, 3 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • After thinking about it a bit more, I will oppose. The only time I think caps would be the best option is when quoting a person who shouted some of the words in a sentence. And that is very rare. If person quoted only emphasised a word by tone, italics or bold would highlight that better. Wikivoyage itself should never come across as shouting to the reader. Gizza (roam) 08:09, 4 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
  • Consensus is clearly oppose for both proposals. Selfie City (talk) 23:12, 5 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

Capitalization of "President"


In the English I know, the word "President", when referring to the President of the United States, is capitalized. AndreCarrotflower disagrees. What do others think? This is in reference to Presidents of the United States. I'm not sure about how other countries do this, which makes it more complicated: I can imagine that each country capitalizes "President" only for their own national leader and no others, etc. Since "President" is a specific person, I think in all instances where they are leading a country, the word should be capitalized. Selfie City (talk) 16:44, 10 August 2018 (UTC)Reply

To be clear, my position is that capitalizing "President" is merely optional, rather than being disallowed outright. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:50, 10 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
Oh, yes, I understand what you mean. It's definitely a difficult decision for reasons I described above, but of consistency is what we would want, so I think it makes sense to choose one particular stance on this and make it part of policy. Selfie City (talk) 16:54, 10 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
Capitalize when it's used as a title before a person's name, such as President Lincoln, but not when it is used as a common noun, as in "Lincoln was an American president". Nurg (talk) 09:02, 11 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
What about the phrase "as President"? I would tend to capitalize that (similarly, "as Governor", "as Mayor", "as Senator", "as Justice [of the Supreme Court]", but not "as professor"). Not sure why. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:19, 11 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
I think political leaders have their "titles" capitalized out of respect, but I think the above comments show that a particular policy would be useful so there are no disagreements over capitalization. Selfie City (talk) 14:34, 11 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
We should just go back to German noun capitalization, but unfortunately nobody besides Germans and linguistics nerds seems to see the clear advantages of that system... Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:28, 11 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
I sure do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:33, 11 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
Rather than reinventing the wheel, let's just follow our sister project's style at w:Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biography#Titles of people. Wikipedians have usually discussed style questions thoroughly and come to a good consensus. Nurg (talk) 23:55, 11 August 2018 (UTC)Reply
Bad link. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:48, 12 August 2018 (UTC)Reply



I think we agree that "century" is not a proper noun, regardless of what's practice (or should I write "practise"?) is, but let's discuss it and make it explicit if there is no objection. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:30, 7 September 2018 (UTC)Reply

  • I thought it already was part of our style guide, but I can't find it. I may be thinking of Wikipedia. By all means, "century" is most commonly used here. It would be ridiculous to change it to "Century" now. Lets make it explicit. Ground Zero (talk) 06:34, 7 September 2018 (UTC)Reply
Any objections? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:02, 8 September 2018 (UTC)Reply
No objection from me. Nurg (talk) 03:50, 8 September 2018 (UTC)Reply
I'll input relevant language within 24 hours or so (probably) if there's no objection. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:07, 8 September 2018 (UTC)Reply
Added. Tweak as you wish. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:05, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply



Should these adjectives always be capitalized or not? I capitalize them, but in the phrase "arctic convoys" in the Murmansk guide, I don't see any wavy line below it in my Firefox browser, so is the lowercase a mistake or OK? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:21, 30 November 2018 (UTC)Reply

I always capitalize as they are adjectives based on a place, like European, or Saharan. But Merrian-Webster says they are "often capitalized", so you can be free to let your spirit guide you here. (I don't use M-W IRL, but it is freely available online, and we have adopted American English as the default standard here.) Ground Zero (talk) 17:57, 30 November 2018 (UTC)Reply
I stumbled across this discussion just then. From my understanding, this isn't a case of which variety, because they should always be as they are proper nouns. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:31, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
In this case, "Arctic" is an adjective. How about "trans-Atlantic"? I usually see that lowercase as "transatlantic". Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:39, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
Interesting. I always see them capitalised as "trans-Atlantic". SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:43, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
That's the form I'd prefer. I also tend to capitalize "Roman alphabet" and "Arabic numerals", and also "Romanization" and "Romanize", but I usually see the last two in lowercase when referring to transliterations in the Roman alphabet. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:57, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
Makes sense, because "Roman" and "Arabic" are the adjective form of a noun. However, "romanization" or "romanize" aren't similar to why "capitalization" is not "Capitalization" in the middle of a sentence except when using Title Case. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:06, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
Wouldn't you put "Americanize" in initial caps? So then why not "Romanize"? I also tend to capitalize "Westernize", but I've seen Western and western, when referring to "the West". These things can be confusing on the margins. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:11, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
I would capitalize "Americanize" because "American" is the adjective form of a proper noun. To "westernize", I've rarely used that (or "westernise") so I wouldn't usually capitalize it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:53, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply



From what I know, indigenous is not usually capitalised in Australia, but it is in Canada (learned it off @Ground Zero: a few days back). Should this be added in the page for some clarity? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:15, 30 September 2021 (UTC)Reply

I've added it to the page in invisible text. Feel free to copyedit it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 06:31, 1 October 2021 (UTC)Reply

National parks – capitalised or not?

Swept in from the pub

Sounds like a stupid question, but should "national parks" be capitalised in article names (for topics), or not? We have articles such as Finnish national parks or African national parks where "national parks" is not capitalised, and then there's United States National Parks, New South Wales National Parks, Canadian National Parks, Israeli National Parks, Japanese National Parks etc. In short, are we meant to capitalise "national parks" or not? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 06:02, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply

It's not at all a stupid question, and the answer is that the full name is capitalized only when it is officially. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:27, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
So basically, would that mean that those five articles would need to be renamed? (I'm pretty sure that both the US and the NSW ones are used officially, but not sure about the last three) SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 06:29, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
I don't know which ones. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:34, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
Was mentioning about those five that I mentioned (United States National Parks, New South Wales National Parks, Canadian National Parks, Israeli National Parks, Japanese National Parks) SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 06:38, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
This visit Finland webpage I found doesn’t capitalise national park though I believe it looks better capitalized, also thanks for this discussion as I was curious about this when I made the Japanese page move. Tai123.123 (talk) 06:39, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
In Finland that's using a common noun with qualifier, not a name. The capitalised version might look better when you are accustomed to title case, but on Wikivoyage we use sentence case for the titles. –LPfi (talk) 07:17, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
  • "African National Parks" definitely looks better than "African national parks" as a title. The Finland National Parks article uses lower case in the title but uppercase in the article. I never really understood why we use "sentence case" for titles rather than "title case". Sentence case in titles looks sloppy, like a child or ESL learner wrote it and is needlessly counterintuitive. Using Title Case for titles seems like such an obvious way to write titles. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 08:35, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
    The Finnish article had it capitalised in two places, including the lead. Several contributors, I'd assume. For what looks better, I'll defer to native speakers; as an ESL learner I'm used to sentence case. Just noting that also Wikipedia uses sentence case, there is probably some discussion to be found. –LPfi (talk) 10:44, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
The question of sentence case vs title case should be addressed at Wikivoyage talk:Naming conventions. Here, let's stick to the question that has been asked. Under our manual of style, these five articles should be renamed. The US National Parks Service, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Parks Canada, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and National Parks of Japan do not use "United States National Parks", "New South Wales National Parks", "Canadian National Parks", "Israeli National Parks", or "Japanese National Parks" in ordinary text. Some use sentence case in headings while others use title case, but that has no bearing on Wikivoyage style. Ground Zero (talk) 12:49, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
If the capitalization isn't official for any of them, let's junk it. I always thought it was questionable to follow official style on this kind of thing, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:21, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
I think title case is much better amoung all articles. Tai123.123 (talk) 15:17, 31 October 2021 (UTC)Reply
@Ikan Kekek, Tai123.123, Ground Zero, LPfi, ChubbyWimbus: So... renaming these five articles? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:53, 2 November 2021 (UTC)Reply
To be consistent with current policy, yes. A change in that policy would need a proposal, discussion and consensus at Wikivoyage talk:Naming conventions. Ground Zero (talk) 11:19, 2 November 2021 (UTC)Reply
Yes, decapitalise, as they are not proper names. Nurg (talk) 22:05, 2 November 2021 (UTC)Reply
Yes Done + the UK one as well. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 05:16, 3 November 2021 (UTC)Reply
I started the discussion about title case vs sentence case as suggested above. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:49, 3 November 2021 (UTC)Reply

Corporate shouting


On Wikivoyage:Spelling, there is a section on CORPORATE SHOUTING, but I'm quite surprised there's none on this page. Should that be copied over from there to here, or is that something more that suits to Wikivoyage:Don't tout? --SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:33, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

Go ahead, but maybe use a briefer version, such as:

Wikivoyage does not use "corporate shouting", i.e. the practice to write the name of the company in ALL CAPS, which is considered touting. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:41, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply