Wikivoyage talk:Use of pronouns

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Merge to Tone or First person pronouns?[edit]

Should this be merged into Project:Tone or Project:First person pronouns (→ Project:Pronouns)? (WT-en) Jpatokal 11:20, 23 June 2007 (EDT)

Not always a good thing...[edit]

So, I do have a bit of a problem with this guideline. In swedish, using a second person pronoun in a travel guide sounds ridiculous, too personal and (in a travel guide sense) unprofessional. Therefor, I would like to add a text about the disadvantage of using a second person pronoun in some languages. (WT-en) Riggwelter 15:47, 26 April 2011 (EDT)

This is English-language Wikivoyage. Your point is relevant for Swedish-language Wikivoyage, not for this site. Perhaps you could mention your point in the Swedish phrasebook. (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 15:56, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
All language versions need to have at least somewhat corresponding guidelines if we want Wikivoyage to be consistent, regardless of language. All language versions translate the guidelines from english to form such consistency since english is the first and biggest language version. In swedish, using second person pronoun is perfectly acceptable when you talk to or adress people, but not in (for example) a travel guide. None of the major guidebooks (in swedish) use "you" and I sincerely doubt Wikivoyage (or written guidebooks) in french or german does it. So, it has nothing to do with phrasebook issues. (WT-en) Riggwelter 16:12, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
I think Ikan's point is that any policy that deals with language specifics, such as this one or Project:Tone, are likely to require language or culture-specific clarifications. Would it be sufficient to add a note to this guideline that states it is specific to English Wikivoyage, and that other language versions may have their own specific rules? -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 16:18, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
That was exactly what I was intending to do, Ryan - simply adding a text regarding the possibilites that using second person pronouns in some languages might be less of a good idea. (WT-en) Riggwelter 16:19, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
We are all in agreement then. (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 16:22, 26 April 2011 (EDT)
Excellent. I have added a text - feel free to modify it. (WT-en) Riggwelter 16:31, 26 April 2011 (EDT)

"I recommend"[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I've done a lot of work on eliminating "and much more" from Wikivoyage articles. There are 25 search results for "I recommend". Of course that's a phrase that should never be used in articlespace per Wikivoyage:Pronouns. Your mission, if you choose to take it on, is to delete these phrases and any associated 1st-person language you see when you open the articles. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:24, 19 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mission accomplished, captain. I hereby pass on the baton to another Wikivoyager to eliminate the 20 "we recommend"s still clinging on for survival in the darkest recesses of the wiki. Forth now, and fear no darkness! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:51, 19 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agent DethDestroyerOfWords reporting mission success! All "we recommend"s have been removed. DethDestroyerOfWords (talk) 16:53, 19 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yay! Thanks, guys! Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:22, 19 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let's not forget the conditional "(I / we) would recommend". 25 results for that too. Anymore variations we can think of? Do not / would not recommend? :S --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:21, 19 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I went through a search of "would recommend" and removed the I's and we's. I left some they's and he's. If I have time, I'll go through the "I/We suggest", etc. DethDestroyerOfWords (talk) 18:55, 20 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other phrases I can think of - "I suggest", "We suggest", "We would suggest" and "We believe". Most sentences containing "I" or "We". Gizza (roam) 21:34, 19 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah. Some of these ones I've been removing are ancient though, been around since the early days of Wikitravel. So it does seem to be a winnable battle, because we can get rid of the wordings and they're not being reproduced elsewhere. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:51, 19 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A few months ago, I went on a personal campaign to remove as many misspellings and grammatical errors on Wikivoyage as possible, using Wikivoyage:List of common misspellings and the Wikipedia version which is longer and more sophisticated. Many (as a rough guess I'd say around 50%) of the errors were from the pre-fork days. Gizza (roam) 01:10, 20 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On a related point, I'd love to see User:Giraffedata look over the "comprised of" grammar problem here. It looks like we've got a couple hundred. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:48, 20 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Comprised of" is perfectly OK. Please don't mess with that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:53, 21 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd be happy to address the "comprised of" grammar problem, the problem being that many people who will read Wikivoyage consider it poor usage. The fact that it doesn't bother other people, or even that it's perfectly OK, shouldn't be an issue, since there are perfectly OK alternatives that satisfy more readers and I'm willing to do the work. But if the edits would cause some kind of offense, and especially if someone would just end up undoing them, I don't want to get involved. I know when this is discussed on Wikipedia, the consensus is always that there's no reason to keep the phrase, but I don't know anything about Wikivoyage. Giraffedata (talk) 20:11, 24 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Count me as firmly in the anti-anti-"comprised of" crowd, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say I have a ton of respect for Giraffedata's above-demonstrated regard for cross-wiki cultural differences. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:02, 24 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Andre in all respects. There are so many actual problems on Wikivoyage; no reason to spend time changing something that's OK. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:43, 24 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed there are several types of grammatical errors present in our articles that are not controversial at all. As a matter of priority, we should focus on fixing them rather than phrases which at least some people consider to be correct usage. Gizza (roam) 22:00, 26 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This comedy sketch show clip just reminded me (oops, I mean it reminded this wikivoyager. Or rather, he means it reminded this wikivoyager...) of our recent endeavour to eliminate the first person from as many articles as possible. Had me in stitches. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:39, 22 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Funny stuff! Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:00, 23 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, we shouldn't be forcing use of "you" pronouns just for the sake of doing so[edit]

The example given is:

Bad: "When travelling to Thailand, one should pack clothes and a flashlight."
Better: "Travellers to Thailand should pack clothes and a flashlight."
Best: "If you're travelling to Thailand, you should pack clothes and a flashlight."

I disagree. "Travellers to Thailand should pack clothes and a flashlight" is short, sweet and to the point. While the use of second-person "you" is legitimate and valid in Wikivoyage articles, there's no reason to add it just for the sake of doing so – especially when the result is only wordier and less succinct, with no added benefit to the voyager. K7L (talk) 19:00, 11 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with you. Brevity is the soul of wit, etc. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:04, 11 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course I agree that brevity is the soul of wit. But nowhere do we force writers to use "you". Nowhere. Ground Zero (talk) 19:31, 11 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think all three sentences are okay and I don't think we should call any of them "bad". --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 00:50, 12 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In this particular example, the second is the clearest and best option though I agree with SelfieCity and believe that none of the sentences are incorrect. If somebody spoke English as a second language and you were testing what they said, if they said any of those three sentences you would not say "That's wrong. The correct way of saying what you want to say is this...". But if one of those sentences was in an actual article, I would question why we need to suggest the reader to pack clothes since that's obvious :P. Gizza (roam) 08:29, 12 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is not about grammar it something being wrong, it's about what style Wikivoyage wants to encourage. Wikivoyage is meant to be informal, so the formal-but-grammatical-correct "one" is discouraged, while the informal-and-friendly "you" is encouraged. But no-one will be horse-whipped in a public square, or even blocked from editing, if they use any of these constructions. But this helps resolve disputes between editors who want to use "one", those who want to use "you" and those who want the middle option. We can point to this page, and resolve the dispute easily. Ground Zero (talk) 10:33, 12 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikivoyage:City guide status says that, in a star article, "prose is not only near-perfect grammatically but also tight, effective, and enjoyable." In this example, adding the extra words just for the sake of adding them doesn't meet that objective, the same way "is located in" vs. "is in" adds nothing of use. K7L (talk) 13:49, 12 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikivoyage:Tone says "Be conversational and informal when writing articles." That's what helps make an article enjoyable. Ground Zero (talk) 14:01, 12 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]