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I think I may have asked this somewhere two years ago, but I don't remember the answer. How do we resolve the difference between TARDIS:Manual of Style#Capital letters#Italics#Series and episode names and TARDIS:Manual of Style#Citation#In-universe articles? One tells us "An Unearthly Child" is correct; the other, An Unearthly Child. It seems to me like serial names are far more commonly italicized, so should we make a move to delete that part of the MOS that says differently? I've got other thoughts about this subject, but let's get past the serial names first. CzechOut | 09:04, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Ah...yes. This has been on my to fix list for some time. (It just comes from how this wiki started and how it developed and the changing styles as it all grew, bits of the manual of style based on various things here and there). I'll now fix it to state that story names are italicised. --Tangerineduel 13:25, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'd hasten to point out that it's not, strictly speaking, grammatically proper to italicize names of episodes or short fiction (like short stories and most comic stories). The solution given by the DW group at Wikipedia is that episode names — as dominates the new series, and is occasionally found in various AUDIOs) is to italicize serials, books, multi-episodic BFAs — and put everything else in quotes. This is a stylistic choice that confirms the general Wikipedia edict on text formatting, which is in turn a confirmation of standard English rules. I know we're not Wikipedia, and that we're at liberty to set our own conventions. But we do use the English language. I admit It'd be a pain to go back and convert everything, but it's "good English". CzechOut | 02:32, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
While not grammatically accurate (and while I would prefer to have everything mostly grammatically correct) it does follow continuously, through in and out of universe referencing. Anything in in-universe articles that is referenced is (prefix italics title /italics) out of universe mostly doesn't use the prefix. (We could do the reverse of the wikipedia MOS and put "Doctor Who" like this and have the story titles italicisd, or would that be going even further outside the grammatical shark net?)
Just to clarify you're not suggesting we go back through all 13,000 pages in and out of universe and change, for example<script type="text/javascript" src="/index.php?title=MediaWiki:Functions.js&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript"></script> TV: An Unearthly Child to TV: "An Unearthly Child" (someone I'd be totally opposed to) or are you suggesting just changing out-of-universe styling? --Tangerineduel 15:36, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Well "An Unearthly Child" would be episode 1 of An Unearthly Child, in strict grammatical terms. This in-universe/out-of-universe thing is a distinction I must say I don't really understand. All references are out-of-universe in an in-universe article, because the Doctor obviously wouldn't know what the BBC names of his adventures are. I suppose I am indeed suggesting that grammar demands we change the format of short fiction. That's a pain. i know. So I guess it won't happen. But the manual of style at least needs to address the fact that we've stepped across the lines of good grammar for reasons of convenience (at least until someone can write a bot to change it all automically). Josiah Rowe might be someone useful to bring into this discussion, because I know there was a time at the Wikipedia DW Project where suddenly all new series episodes went from being italicized to being in quotes. So somehow they solved the problem ex post facto, like we're going to have to do.
In the meantime, might I suggest this compromise:
        • All classic serials and movies are italicized
        • All multi-episode BFAs are italicized.
        • All books, magazines and newspapers are italicized.
        • All programme names are italicized
        • All BBC Wales programmes' episodes are italicized (with a note explaining how this is grammatically incorrect, but practical). Given this stance, it's consistent to also put "A Girl's Best Friend" in italics, even though I just didn't.
        • All upcoming K9 titles are italicized, on the basis that, like SJA stories, they appear to be two-part serials.
        • All Hartnell episodes are put in quotes, to allow for ease of distinction between episode names and serial names. This is vital, given examples like "The Daleks", which isn't from The Daleks at all, but from The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
        • All short stories, comic titles and single episode BFAs are put in quotes (in truth, these haven't really been referenced widely enough to make this changeover difficult)
To put all this simply, I think it's defensible on the grounds of consistency to keep most of the italicization already present. But I do think it worth changing a small portion of it so that we at least blow a kiss in the direction of proper English formatting. CzechOut | 04:28, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm all for blowing kisses to English grammar (and spelling), hell I'd take it out to dinner if something elements could be fixed (their, there and they're are three different things...but I digress, I won't rant about that 'small' issue here, I'll save that for my misuse of the apostrophe rant).
I don't think so about your last point. The comic titles are stories in their own right so they should be treated in the same manner as TV stories or novels or whatever else.
Would single episodes of BFAs be if you were referencing a particular episode of say The Time of the Daleks "Part 2" or something along those lines? If you mean the one parters like Urban Myths, then I think they should also be treated the same way as other stories, they're a story in their own right even if they're released along with other titles.
The same again goes for the short stories. They're still stories in their own right.
Why do we need to change the style for short fiction? Is it just because it exists as part of a larger work? (I don't suppose we could just...add insult to injury of the grammar rule and reverse it?) so it would be (PROSE: "Short Trips: Zodiac" Growing Higher), though really that doesn't need to be cited like that it should just be (PROSE: Growing Higher) as the Short story page has links to the book it's from.
I do however agree about the Hartnell episode titles.
Just one other thing I thought I'd mention concerning episode vs Part. After Invasion of the Dinosaurs they were no longer identified as 'Episode X' and were then 'Part X' (through to Survival), all the BFAs are also 'Part X'. --Tangerineduel 15:55, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, single episode BFAs are like "Mission of the Viyrans". In no instance would you put "Part 2" or "Episode 7" in quotes. Again, the standard formatting for all short fiction — and it's not a "choice" that Wikipedians have made, but an observation of well-accepted rules —is that titles of such work goes in quotes. If you're not going to observe this on the wiki, then you need to say so quite explicitly in the MOS. It's absolutely counterintuitive to anyone who's written a fully-cited paper.
In other words, we would be making up our own rules, so editors need to be given a full explanation, along with an acknowledgement that we are breaking standard conventions.
But I would again argue strongly against saying "all stories of all kinds get italicized". I think we're sacrificing a useful bit of easy recognition for readers. The vast majority of short fiction in DW is stuff that's comparatively obscure. If there's a conflict between something that's in a comic story and stuff that's on TV, using quotes lets people instantly see which part of the article they may want to "believe" over the other. Note, we wouldn't be telling readers to believe what comes from TV over what comes from, say, a comic story, but we would be making it easier for them to tell the two apart. Beyond DW, that's sort of the reason the rule is what it is. Short fiction gets less credence, generally, than long-form stuff. Short stories are, in effect, junior to books.
Moreover, just like Hartnell-era episode titles, short fiction can be a part of larger collections, which may also have the same name. "The Flood" is a part of The Flood. "Oblivion" is a part of Oblivion. And so on. Without a formatting difference between short and long fiction, you do run into unnecessary problems of identification, as well as the appearance of giving equal weight to works that are vastly different in their size or importance. For instance, if one wanted to quote something about RTD's influence over the last days of the Eighth Doctor's comic run, one would likely turn to the special features of The Flood. If we've set the rule that both the story and the graphic novel are italicized, readers might think that the info comes from the DWM run of "The Flood", when in fact it comes from The Flood. CzechOut | 03:13, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I would have to disagree, I hold the books, and short stories in equal regard to the TV stories, and I'm probably not the only one.

We wouldn't be telling anyone anything, but there is a level of implication that we are favouring one medium over another because of the two different rules.

Obscurity is a matter of perspective I would have thought, half the stuff on this wiki is obscure in some way, evident by the fact there is often only one or two editors for the information plentiful articles.
I still don't understand why short fiction should get less credence, we certainly don't make the distinction between what info comes from short stories and what comes from say a novel or whatever it's all contributing to the same universe.
I understand it's the accepted rule, but a 'short story published as part of a larger work' sort of implies that the larger work carries more credence than the single story, which often in collected works of Doctor Who short fiction (may) carry a theme (such as the BF Short Trips series and the Decalogs) but the stories are very wildly different and therefore we can't cite the whole work to be specific to one article/sentence.
When citing something like The Flood special features, which for the most part is just like citing a DVD vs a TV story. You would most likely just leave in the (graphic novel) portion so it would read; The Flood (graphic novel). And if it was in an out-of universe article (which it would be if you're citing something RTD said) you'd be adding in all the other referencing for a print document (author, year of publication, publisher, place of publication and pages used) as well as the title being wikilinked to this wiki's article page of it.
In the other comic strip cases, the comics are unchanged from comic strip to graphic novel the articles for Oblivion and The Flood should note that they were originally published in DWM and then later republished in graphic novel form (just as the TV stories note that they've been released in numerous formats).
I would be fine with re-writing the manual of style and stating that we're "making up our own rules" as you say in big bold letters even...and give a full explanation of the reasoning behind it.
I'm not saying no (well I am), but I understand the reasoning behind your arguments, however perhaps there should be more discussion on this with other editors and admins before we shut this away (preferably in a locked filing cabinet, with a leopard guarding it). --Tangerineduel 16:27, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Discussion renewed

A large part of the reason this discussion ended was that there was no way to effectively implement a switch at the time the discussion started. Any change of policy would have required a massive manual effort of changing every single instance of, say, The Time of Angels to "The Time of Angels". With the presence of a bot, this changeover can now be done with far less pain. Since it's been basically agreed, above, that proper grammar demands short fiction be placed in quotes, while longer fiction gets italicized, can we change the MOS and start making changes per those revisions? CzechOut | 21:45, June 21, 2010 (UTC)

Actually this conversation ended because there were two of us and I thought we needed more than 2 editors to make a major change to how the wiki is run.
Just to summarise what's above you want to change it so short fiction is cited thusly: PROSE: Decalog: "The Golden Door".
Correct? --Tangerineduel 12:31, June 22, 2010 (UTC)
Well, sorta. I don't think I'd throw the Decalog in there though. If I were citing that story, I'd just go, PROSE: "The Golden Door". The page itself then establishes that it's in Decalog. It might be simpler just to think of this thing in terms of a chart. So here's the idea in detail.
Type Quotes or italics Example
Short story Quotation marks "The Gift"
Novella Quotation marks "Time and Relative"
Novel, book Italics World Game, The Writer's Tale
Song Quotation marks "Song for Ten"
Album Italics 30 Years at the Radiophonic Workshop
Poetry Quotation marks (epic length poems italicized) "All Things Will Die", The Odyssey
TV episode Quotation marks "Bell of Doom", "The Big Bang"
TV serial Italics The Ribos Operation, Dreamland, The End of Time
Plays Italics Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure
Individual comic strip Quotation marks "The Iron Legion"
Individual story in an ongoing title Quotation marks "Tesseract"
Ongoing comic book Italics Doctor Who (2009)
One-shot comic book Italics The Time Machination
Graphic novel/TPB Italics The Iron Legion
One-part audio episode Quotation marks "Mission of the Viyrans", "Orbis"
Audio serial Italics The Raincloud Man, Human Resources
Games Italics City of Death, Destiny of the Doctors
Non-English words Italics deus ex machina, Allons-y!
Works of art Italics The Pandorica Opens
Most major religious texts Neither The Bible
Commercial products Neither iPod
Legal documents Neither Declaration of Independence
Collected work Italics Decalog
Periodical Italics TV Action, The New York Record
Vehicle name Italicize only the name HMS Teazer
You may be wondering about the practicalities of making these changes, especially considering such things as DW. Well, changing the instances as they exist right now is fairly easy. You just build a file which contains all the names of all the various stories by type, including markup. So, the file will contain, ''[[The Gift (ST short story)]]'', et al, and you set to replace '' with ". That's pretty straightforward, though there is some time involved in creating the master list, of course. Then you have to consider future use and change the templates accordingly. With most of these templates, it's no big deal, because you simply go to the ones relating to shorter fiction, like ST and TN, and switch the single quotes for double quotes. What's slightly harder are BFA and DW. There, you have to build a switch thing so that it looks for individual titles identified as being single episodes. Then you tell it that if it finds, say, Tooth and Claw, that it should put double quotes instead of two single quotes. This will require occasional but easy maintenance as new titles are added. CzechOut | 20:12, June 22, 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable solely making a ruling on this as it's still a massive and somewhat confusing change to the wiki.
It has nothing to do with the massive editing challenge, it's got more to do with the editor's experience.
I'm sure we'll get people asking why Time and Relative (sorry "Time and Relative") has quotation marks whilst a novel is italicised.
I also totally disagree with having two rules for TV episodes, The Big Bang or The Family of Blood are treated as separate entities and they should be cited as such.
While it's a nice table it's...somewhat too complicated. I'm not going to make a ruling on this based on our conversations without the involvement of at least one other admin and other regular editors on this wiki as I feel this is something of a major and complicated change that regular editors and admins will need to police. --Tangerineduel 07:21, June 23, 2010 (UTC)
While I can appreciate your need to have more involvement by others, I'd disagree that it's confusing. The entire table can be summarized in a very simple way. If it's a short piece of fiction, it's in quotes. If it's longer, it's italicized. Nothing hard about that. And, again, this isn't just an arbitrary thing: these are the actual English rules, no matter what flavour of English you speak. CzechOut | 14:12, June 23, 2010 (UTC)
How short is short, where is the point of determination between short fiction, novella and longer fiction? (I know I'll get questions like that from users should this go ahead)
Are there any instances of users getting confused and defaulting to the system you've suggested, does that outweigh the useful edits contributed to users following our current system, is following our current system having a detrimental effect on the wiki?
I still have a preference for writing out our current system of citation and explaining how everything is run (or to use your parlance "writing our own rules").
Your proposal would effect all users of this wiki, that's why I want involvement from regular users and other admins on this wiki. This is a discussion and should involve more than two people on this wiki as it is a massive change, implementing the change is not the issue, it's dealing with the upkeep and the after affects that is. --Tangerineduel 15:24, June 23, 2010 (UTC)
Well obviously I wanted discussion on the issue else I wouldn't have brought it to the forum. But it has been 18 months. And I don't think something so basic as good rules of grammar — now that there's actually a practical way to do it — should be left to languish simply because no one's interested in the discussion. Silence on the issue can well suggest that it's not something people actually care about that much. If no-one cares, as they evidently do not, then one possible conclusion is that we should come down on the side of standard English. I mean, as far as I know, we've never had a discussion around here about whether to accept Br. Eng. spelling as the standard, but we do it. Any discussions have, so far as I've seen, been along the lines of "Since we use Br. Eng. here, shouldn't [insert word here] be consistently spelled this way across the site?" This is along those same lines. There are all sorts of grammatical minutiae like this that we don't bother to discuss, because it's boring. I mean we've chosen to spell Tardis "TARDIS" without real discussion, even though there's a decent argument for it being "Tardis", especially according to Br. Eng. rules of engagement. And that's a sort of thing that affects every user. I dunno. I mean, I hear you on getting more involvement on this issue, but at the same time, I feel that a year-and-a-half is pretty well full time on what is well-documented, widely-accepted rule of standard English.
I know you're speaking casually, but I mildly object to you calling it "the system I've suggested". It's nothing of the kind. It's absolutely the way English works — no matter what your flavour. It's the way wikipedia operates in general, the way the DW group on wikipedia works, the way The New York Times works, the way The Guardian works, the way academia works, the way everyone works. I didn't make up the rules; they're in every standard English language textbook.
As for your question about "how short is short", well, that's the reason for the chart. It spells it out. But it's pretty easy to keep in your head, I think. If it's shorter than a novel, book, or periodical then it's in quotes. If it is a novel, periodical, or book, then it's in italics. If it's a serial, it's in italics. And if it's an episode it's in quotes. The rest of the cases are fairly specific, and most people won't encounter them too often.
Your question of "who's been getting confused" is a bit of a spurious one. This isn't a change to help people who are confused. This is change to correct a problem that should never have been allowed to exist in the first place. The side effect is that it will help anyone coming from a situation where genuine English punctuation is valued.
In general, though, this whole thing is a bit like your firm stance on Br. Eng. spelling. No amount of discussion would really change your mind on that, I don't think. Even if we had 20 people here arguing for American English, you'd never allow that. Because it's just instinctual: it must be British English. It must be organisation, even though there every category that used that word had been created with a "-ization", and had been happily unmolested for years, indicating the vast majority of users were fine with that. This is a British subject, so British English predominates. Period. And I've got no problem with that, because it's picking a known, quantifiable rule set and sticking to it.
But by the same token, I'd say, well, this is an English language wiki, so English rules of punctuation should be employed. Not some freaky thing we've pulled out of thing air that makes us seem uneducated or lazy or both. We look like amateurs when we can't get even basic English down. Ask yourself this. If we were starting this wiki anew today, would you want to do things according to standard English or not? If the answer's yes, even a mild or indifferent yes, then we should make the change. To me, the current practice is often untenable. It forces lengthy parenthetical explanations of terms, particularly on comic pages. It would be so much easier just to type The Iron Legion, and for people to know you were talking about the graphic novel, and to type "The Iron Legion" to indicate the single comic strip. It's also deeply illogical in the current system that we're allowed to put some episodes in quotes, like "An Unearthly Child", but not others, like "Gridlock". The rule, "all episodes go in quotes" is much simpler than "episodes of the new series are italicized, but episodes in the Hartnell era are in quotes". CzechOut | 03:49, June 24, 2010 (UTC)
I feel that all episode names should be in italics, not quotation marks. To me, it separates the episode name and makes it stand out. I have always used italics over quotation marks and it looks better in my opinion. I feel that every episode name should be italics instead of quotation marks. ☆The Solar Dragon (Talk - Contribs.)☆ 06:25, June 24, 2010 (UTC)

I'm for simple rules. Simple like, "Titles are italicised." However, there is a need to separate titles in things like Hartnell-era stories and chapter titles (which, really, are the same thing). So I'd set out the rules like this:

  • Titles are italicised.
  • Chapter or episode titles of a larger work with its own title will be in quotation marks.

Thus, the two episodes The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone are italicised because, even though they are one story, that story doesn't have a unique title. Conversely, "The Dead Planet" is in quotation marks because it's a part of The Daleks. As for the issues raised by collections like Short Trips... I'd say, since those stories are all standalone (even if unified by a theme), they are individual titles, not chapters of Short Trips. I can understand Czech's desire to reconcile us with the WP manual of style, but the problem is that it would lead to an apparently inconsistent system in the rather unique case of Doctor Who story titles; for example, following the rules tightly, we'd have "The Waters of Mars" followed by The End of Time (TV story). Since Doctor Who stories are our focus, and not the much more general realm of Wikipedia, I have no issue with developing our own, internally consistent, manual of style. Monkey with a Gun 07:52, June 24, 2010 (UTC)

Simplicity ought to be the key here - episode names should be always italicised (sp?), so they stand out and can be easily identified. Same goes for comics, prose, audio stories etc. Book titles, company names, artworks and anything else brought up on that list should just have the quotation marks, keep them seperate from the episodes and whatnot. I haven't got much else to say on the subject, so I've kept my thoughts brief. The evil dude. 08:22, June 24, 2010 (UTC)
Title of episodes, books, comics, audio dramas, stage plays etc should be in italics. Anything else that does not fall into that category should be put in quotation marks Mini-mitch 17:27, June 24, 2010 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I'm not arguing merely for the English language standard, or the lesser Wikipedia standard, but also for what has been adopted at the very narrow level of the DW Wiki project on Wikipedia. Here's their Manual of style. I don't think we have the right to just "make up our own English", and I think there is a practical standard out there of how it can be specifically applied to Doctor Who. People who come to us via editing on Wikipedia, as I certainly did, and many others have in the past (like, just to take one example, the currently inactive Josiah Rowe) will not readily understand why we should be doing things differently than the WP DW group. I know that we are not the WP DW group, and we are at liberty to make our own path. But we should be judicious about that freedom. There's no reason to throw out a perfectly good standard just to be different. Some of you have said it "looks good" to italicize things that shouldn't be. I say it looks like we've never picked up a high school English grammar text. These are standard English rules of punctuation, that far predate Wikipedia and indeed the internet itself. Some things are simply right, while other are just wrong. Plural subjects require plural verbs. The first word of any sentence must be capitalized. And short works of fiction do go in quotation marks, while longer works are italicized. That's just the way English works. Here are just a few random samples of non-Wikipedia sources for this viewpoint:
This really isn't as hard as some of you may be thinking. It's a simple, straightforward rule of English punctuation. I'd be completely happy with writing it up along lines of the simple rule above: if you can buy it, alone, by itself, then you italicize it. Otherwise you put it in quotes. Surely that's not so hard a rule to follow? CzechOut | 19:22, June 24, 2010 (UTC)
Why do we need to bow to the DW Project or Wikipedia in general's guide. We have always maintained that we're an independent, unique wiki. (They do their thing, we do our thing.)
As others have said above, being able to look through an article and see the italicised text which are the sources.
We aren't wikipedia or DW WikiProject, we've never claimed to be like them. We can be internally consistent, we are with such things as past-tensification of in-universe articles, which some people find is different from Wikipedia and indeed other Wikis. We aren't just dealing with real world issues, with in-universe sources with have a wide range of sources that are on equal footing.
The use of quotation marks for some over italics for others implies a different standard to those stories, as we hold all stories at the same level this is something of an issue. It may be just a visual style issue but it makes a difference on the page when reading an article.
We're not "throwing out" a system "just to be different", we're following a system that we've established here that makes sense for the wide scope of the things we cover.
I don't suppose a compromise can be made? Where we take on board some things, whilst still establishing our own system. (I know it's something CzechOut will likely be vehemently against, but this wiki is somewhat unique and comprise is the nature of a community.)
It is our regular contributors that make and create this wiki, how they perceive and use the wiki must factor into the structures that support the wiki. I would be happy to re-write the Manual of style in big letters explaining the hows and whys of this system.
So the rule would go something like this; 'all singularly published or broadcast works are in italics' anything included as part of a work has quotation marks with italics.
Short Trips for example, when citing them go for the whole thing; (PROSE: Decalog: "The Golden Door"), we maintain the italics and you get your quotation marks.
The same would go for any others that are portions of a larger work, comic strips would be (DWM: Doctor Who Weekly: "The Iron Legion") or (COMIC: Doctor Who Ongoing: "Tesseract"), or alternatively (DWM: The Flood (graphic novel): "The Power of Thoueris!"). The same with audio stories (AUDIO: Survival of the Fittest: "Klein's Story") and annuals (DWAN: Doctor Who Annual 1967: "The Cloud Exiles") --Tangerineduel 16:00, June 25, 2010 (UTC)
Well, you're completely twisting what I said, TD. You're making it out like I said, "We need to follow wikipedia's rules", which has never been my argument. I am now, and have always been, talking about the standard rules of the English language, and I really can't let you focus on the "we're not WP, we can do what we want" argument that I already mooted in my earlier remarks. I only brought up the WP DW project because an earlier poster seemed to be suggesting that DW fiction couldn't be made to fit the standard rules of English punctuation. I was merely pointing out WPDW as an example to the contrary. The question we're facing here is whether we want to use good English or bad English, not Tardis wikia rules vs. Wikipedia rules. Any time you create rules that deviate from standard English you're going to throw people who have been trained in the proper rules, so you're making it more complicated. If a person has to go to a separate page to learn how to use the language they speak and write natively, that's a bit of a worry.
Still, I'm surprised you suggested that I'd be vehemently opposed to the compromise you suggest. You're moving more in the direction of proper English, so I'll take it. Of course discussion is about compromise. You seem to be basically taking my points on board, with the proviso that "all DW televised stories are italicized". Fine. That's cool. I'll 'ave it.
There's only two issues that're still throwing me:
  1. The extremely wordy way you're citing shorter works. I see no need to include the work from which a short story or comic is drawn. That's just making things cumbersome, and will render less useful our newly implemented templates like DWM. Short stories and comics should be — for ease of use with templates and for reasons of sheer brevity — along the lines of DWAN: "The Cloud Exiles". The reader has all they need to know with that, inasmuch as a simple citation is concerned. They see it's a short story that comes from an annual. If they really want to know which annual, they can click on The Cloud Exiles. The precise location of "The Cloud Exiles" is unimportant to the point being made. We do not now cite in such the long-winded way you suggest; there's no reason we should do so just because we switch from italics to quotes.
  2. What to do about televised non-fictional episodes. I can deal with all fictional televised stories being italicized, but what if it's an episode of Doctor Who Confidential? Should the rule be, "If it's televised, it's italicized (unless it's a single ep of Hartnell)", or "If it's televised and fictional, it's italicized (save Hartnell eps)"? You may not think this a big deal (and it's not that big a deal, yet), but I regularly cite Confidential eps, and have recently put in place the tools to begin making pages for the eps. CzechOut | 18:26, June 25, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to jump in late on this discussion. I have to say, though, that I don't believe any of this to be necessary. The consistent visual style of the citations is far more pleasing to my eyes and brain than italicising some things and quoting others. We give episodes, short stories, and other works the same canonical weight when citing things to them, and I don't see why our citation style should change from one format to the next. Doing so looks subtly wrong to my eyes and causes an extra twinge of cognitive dissonance when reading an article. I do appreciate what CzechOut is saying about the standards of written English (wonderful language, all of them!) and were we writing about the stories in a plain sentence, such as a mention in the body of a real-world article (Joe Actor played Character in Episode, Bob Author was the writer of "Short Story," etc.,) the rules would prevail. In the case of our citations, however, we are not doing so. Instead we are following an original style guide which this wiki's community came up with at the start where none existed in standard English, and which has made this wiki a pleasantly consistent thing to read, build, and use. Rob T Firefly 01:05, June 27, 2010 (UTC)
Rob T Firefly pretty much sums up what I've always felt (my suggestions above are...what I often do, throwing ideas into the water to see if they sink or swim, they're often spur of the moment).
As to CzechOut's question of non-fiction things being cited, that is perhaps a different discussion.
For now, I'm inclined to stick with what we're using at the moment, I have maintained that I understand CzechOut's points about this, but there is something to having a consistent visual style to the layout of a wiki that over-rules it somewhat. --Tangerineduel 06:40, June 28, 2010 (UTC)
Wait a minute. We were this close to a reasonable compromise, and now you're pulling back entirely, based on the words of RTF, who, frankly, has come out of total left field to totally scupper a conversation that was moving towards conclusion. He wouldn't know, as a user who just came here last year, exactly what the "founding fathers" of the wiki did. In fact, if you read back to the very beginning of this thread, this issue, when I tackled it 18 months ago, was one of total inconsistency in the MOS. The "founding fathers" didn't have a clue what they wanted to do, when I first started talking about this. It has not "always been" one way or the other. And what's he suggesting anyway? That within the context of a sentence, we use ordinary English rules, but within a citation we italicize everything? As I divine his completely made up rules which have nothing to do with what has ever been set out here or in the English language, Rob would have us do this:
  • This book contained "This Short Story" and "That Short Story" but if we were making a citation, it would be like this: The Doctor was fond of chocolate (PROSE: This Short Story)
That's clearly nonsensical. You don't change the way you use the English language just because you're citing. And I honestly don't know where this thought is that because something is in quotation marks it's of "less value" than something in italics. That's seriously adding unfounded emotion to an argument. If you honestly believe that quotation marks impart "less canonical weight" to something, there's seriously something wrong with the way you view the world. They're just a form of punctuation. This "quotations mean a lower form of canon" argument is about as silly as saying, "I don't like the way the comma looks, so I won't use it," or "I don't like how that big capital letter looks, so I refuse to put it at the start of my sentence." I mean, if you're a poet, fine. e. e. cumming it up. But we're an encyclopedia. We can't decide things on the basis of whether it "looks" right or wrong. It's gotta be on the basis of whether it is right or wrong. We were so close to brokering a deal and having this discussion achieve something. It's very disappointing to see the discussion move away on the basis of what is, in my eyes, the most subjective, "touchy feely" argument that has yet been introduced to this thread. CzechOut | 18:54, June 29, 2010 (UTC)
CzechOut, not that it it has any relevance at all to the issue at hand, but I've been a lurker, admirer and user of this wiki and others for far longer than I've had an active presence here. Please don't use the age of my account to gauge what I "wouldn't know," or whether I might have something of value to contribute to this project. As for coming "out of left field," I am certainly not out to scupper anything. In this case I was politely asked for my input on the matter, and I gave it honestly. You have obviously put a lot of thought into your point of view, and I don't mind being disagreed with at all. I very much appreciate the value of reasonable debate and honest group consensus on community-based projects. I do not, however, appreciate having my head bitten off, my opinions given childish belittling labels, and the entire value of my presence here called into question in lieu of that. Surely, CzechOut, in however many years, months, and days you've been part of this wiki, other communities, the Internet, and humanity in general, you've been taught at some point that this is not how reasonable people bring others round to their point of view? Rob T Firefly 23:34, June 29, 2010 (UTC)
I've been having a long think about this and it in part comes down to how we separate most articles on this wiki between in-universe where we predominately follow one set of rules and out of universe where we follow a slightly different set of rules.
I'm not asking to compromise the out of universe articles/Real world articles, they can follow the rules, but the in-universe articles will remain as they are.
I have always maintained my point of view, I've on occasion thrown other ideas out there, and I have kept an open mind and have always been willing to be swayed by others who shared CzechOut's point of how we should cite articles. I have also said that I understood CzechOut's points. My view however, has always been on the larger experience that is; reading, editing and interacting with this wiki and how I've gauged that is from other's experiences and my own. It is little things like "all stories in italics" that makes this an easy fun wiki to edit on and read. --Tangerineduel 06:32, June 30, 2010 (UTC)
Now, Rob, be fair. Please re-read my comments. At no point did I attack you personally, so please don't mis-characterise me as some sort of anti-social "monster" just because I vigorously disagreed with what I believe to be obviously flawed arguments. I agree personal attacks are out of bounds, but I'm afraid that your arguments in this case would be laughed out of any 10th grade English class on the planet. I rather suspect you know that; implicitly, you do seem to be saying, "I understand them's the rules, but I don't care, let's do it this other way." To counter this point of view vigorously does not in any way attack you as a person. And I'm on quite solid ground, from a purely didactic viewpoint, to mention that your relative youth on the active editing side of things here has blinded you to the fact that, historically, there has not been the kind of agreement on this issue that you suggest. For as long as you've been actively editing here, maybe. But it's certainly not been the case that the MOS has been consistent on this point. Tangerineduel changed the MOS at the beginning of this whole thread, 18 months ago, without discussion of exactly how it should be changed. I pointed out an inconsistency, he unilaterally changed it the way he wanted to and when I pointed out that such a change wasn't actually in keeping with English rules, he then, in a very neat bit of illogic, claimed that my suggestions couldn't be implemented without further discussion. Funny how his initial change was possible unilaterally, and over the objection of a user (me), but mine couldn't possibly be considered without additional voices. Thus the whole discussion was put on an 18 month hold, during which time his change to the MOS was allowed to actually become the standard, allowing newer editors like you to believe, "Hey, this is what it's always been like." Prior to TD's move, titles were being handled both in quotes and in italics, depending on the editor. After all, it wasn't that I was just reading the MOS and thought, "That's odd." It's that I noticed the varying usage, went to the MOS, found no clarity there, and therefore brought it up here. (Re-read the first three posts on this thread, where TD does admit that things, at one point, were different than they are today.) Personally, I think the whole 18-month gap was instructive. To me, the fact that no one else joined in this discussion legitimately said, "People aren't really interested in this topic, so therefore it should be decided by the people who are." But when I then tried to point out that silence was a way to judge community interest, TD would have none of it. The problem with the way in which we hold discussions on this wiki is that ultimately they are generally closed by TD, who is also an active participant in the discussion. Such a thing wouldn't be allowed on Wikipedia, but we don't have the admin staff of Wikipedia. I'm not blaming him — he's in a tough spot — but it does make it rather harder to oppose him than to support him. Fortunately, most of the time he and I are in basic agreement. But when we're opposed, the only thing I can do is argue fiercely and argue precisely. So while I'm sorry that you feel that I attacked you personally, I don't think a careful read of my statements will back that up. I do think your arguments are flawed, and I'm obviously willing to point that out. They aren't logical arguments that you're providing; they're exactly what I said they are: "touchy-feely" ones. They're based on what you feel is right, what you think "looks" right. I bear you, personally, no ill will at all, but in this matter I don't think your opinion has any basis in any objective ruleset whatsoever. If this whole matter weren't such a cut and dried issue in English punctuation, I would've given up long ago. I just can't for the life of me understand how people can legitimately argue against it, any more than they can argue against the need to capitalize the first word of sentences, to end sentences with periods, or any of the other basic rules of punctuation. Fundamentally, you two — for TD has said your arguments are his —are arguing that the sky is red, because red is a pretty colour. CzechOut | 15:44, June 30, 2010 (UTC)
I changed the MOS to clarify what was there to what is currently used on the wiki, it essentially changed nothing except made it more clear about how titles were handled currently, I didn't mean to impose how I wanted things, all I intended to do was write into the MOS how the sourcing was used in a majority of in-universe articles for clarity.
Red is a pretty colour, and on occasion the sky is red, not very often I'll grant you, often it's more pink than red.
All that said the sky can be both blue and red, depending on the perspective (I'm going to abandon the sky metaphor now).
The in-universe articles run to their own rules, they're past tense, they use a quirky "wrong" form of sourcing their titles. CzechOut is agreed on this (the wrong part anyway), the community more or less agrees and wants it to stay this way, I'm inclined to agree.
The Real world/out-of-universe articles also run to their own rules, those rules are somewhat less defined, but they are different from the in-universe articles, I am not opposed to them having the full blown rules applied to them.
CzechOut, I know you think that having all the sources in the in-universe articles makes us look a little 'out of touch', but these are in-universe articles, there is a degree of silliness in being able to read a History of the Daleks or an article about Alcohol or whatever, there is an inherent level of silliness that comes from writing an in-universe article also. The real world articles though are a different beast, which I think deserves a different set of rules, the whole bucket load of the "proper rules".
This isn't Wikipedia, this isn't the outcome you want, but it's probably the best way to solve this issue (or half of it). --Tangerineduel 13:48, July 1, 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think you're mis-remembering what happened 18 months ago. It wasn't just changing the MOS; the site was riddled with inconsistent punctuation because of the MOS. Your change to the MOS was unilateral and done clearly over objections in an active forum discussion. It has had a far ranging impact upon the wiki, in that it's brought much greater uniformity than what existed at that time. If the rule had been changed at that time along the lines of good grammar and punctuation, that would now be the standard. My point is it could have gone either way at that time, and you pushed it the other way, because that's what you wanted, that's what you "felt" was right.
But this is where we are. And I'm struggling to understand your latest "offer", or whether it's any more "real" than the one you proposed and withdrew a few days ago. So lemme go through it. As I read it, your current idea of "simple" is, we do it the right way in out-of-universe articles, but the "Tardis Wikia way" in in-universe articles?
To which I can only ask, "How the hell are you gonna write that one up?" If I understand you correctly, that means on articles about stories which are — by earlier ruling and categorization — real world articles, we'll be using proper punctuation. So, for instance, in the infoboxen on episodes, we'll be using quotation marks for BBC Wales episodes. But if we make a reference to "The Family of Blood" in an article about Scarecrows, it's TV: The Family of Blood. Or, on the comic page for "The Iron Legion", we'll be using quotation marks in the infobox, but italics in the articles about the characters in "The Iron Legion". I honestly don't see how that's at all simple, nor indeed how it's simpler than the real rules of punctuation. CzechOut | 18:23, July 1, 2010 (UTC)
Maybe I am misremembering. My intention was just to clarify the manual of style, to make it consistent with the majority of what was in-use on the site at the time.
The rule would go something like this; Anything with a {{real world}} tag follows your proper standard rules, the story pages wouldn't (while they are "real world" articles they bridge a variety of fields with in-universe elements in them) as well as real world elements. So anything that doesn't have a real world tag follows our conventional rules. --Tangerineduel 13:35, July 5, 2010 (UTC)
Alrighty, here's the new and Slightly improved MOS - Citation section I've drawn up roughly. This section would replace what is currently on the Manual of Style, the page states that we've got two systems. I'll work on making it a little more clearer before it goes up on the Manual of Style but I thought I'd put it out here just so everyone can have a look. --Tangerineduel 13:47, July 13, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to have been away a bit; I've injured my hand and typing is a bit uncomfortable. In any event, this is the most convoluted mess I've ever seen. You've gone from a stance of "it all has to be italics, because that's simpler", to something that actually requires a scorecard to understand. "Story pages are a mix"? That is a position that is out of line with your own arguments elsewhere in this forum. Story pages are out of universe, period. They aren't in any way a mix. They are written from the viewer's perspective.
This rule that you are making up now is unilateral, and you do not have consensus from this discussion to make it. No one but you has suggested a) there's one set of rules in-universe and another out-of-universe, and b) story pages are some weird hybrid of out of universe and DWU. Discussing what happens in a story doesn't mean that there are "in-universe" elements in an an article. You can write about the narrative contents of something without being in-universe about it. That's, in fact, the normal way to write about fiction. I'm really surprised to find you believe in this "duality", because you've never seemed to hold that opinion before. More to the point, if you show me a story page that is in any way in-universe, and I'll show you a story page that's badly written. CzechOut | 16:16, July 17, 2010 (UTC)
It's an idea written out based on the community's wishes and an attempt to balance what you wished for, I'm sorry if I didn't make that clearer. It being on a test page and me saying it's "something I've drawn up roughly" obviously wasn't clear enough, I'll work on that in the future. I thought as you'd gone quiet and were the only dissenting voice that this issue had flatlined and was attempting to move forward from this impasse.
Those who've participated in this discussion have said that all italics is better, which is noted, the real world tagged stuff was an attempt to incorporate what you've wished to be integrated. It was an attempt to work through the impasse that we are at at the moment.
The altered MOS could have been worded as the story articles being a mix of styles, with stuff like the Reference and Continuity sections having different styles in how they portray information, the references section being from an in-universe POV whilst the Continuity refers to stories etc. As I said it was something of a rough draft.
My reasoning for the story articles was to keep things consistent on those pages within the continuity sections, as readers would follow the sources from in-universe articles to the story articles which do read like a mix of in and out of universe articles.
Everything with a real world tag tends to be written in a different style to the the story articles and the in-universe articles.
What's on the altered MOS is more or less what is already occurring throughout the wiki, I didn't see it as imposing a rule, at the moment it's a rough draft on a test page, just attempting, at least in the in-universe case to make what is already occurring clearer with regards to the citation system used. --Tangerineduel 05:48, July 18, 2010 (UTC)
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