Help:Naming conventions

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Naming conventions is a list of guidelines on how to appropriately create and name pages.

It is important to note that these are conventions, not rules written in stone. As Cacheopedia grows and changes, some conventions that once made sense may become outdated, and there may be cases where a particular convention is "obviously" inappropriate. But when in doubt, follow convention.

Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.

In addition to following the naming conventions it is also important to follow the linking conventions. Following consistent conventions in both naming and linking makes it more likely that links will lead to the right place.


General conventions

Lowercase second and subsequent words

Convention: Do not capitalize second and subsequent words unless the title is a proper noun (such as a name) or is otherwise almost always capitalized (for example: John Wayne, but Computer game).

Due to technical limitations inherent to the MediaWiki software, the first letter in an article title always needs to be a capital letter. Ordinarily this isn't a problem, but it poses an issue when a proper noun's first letter is lowercase (for example, eBay). The first letter of an internal wikilink need not be capitalized and will direct the reader to the same page (for example, computer game or Computer game can be used interchangeably as needed).

Rationale and specifics: See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization) and Wikipedia:Canonicalization.

Prefer singular nouns

Convention: In general only create page titles that are in the singular, unless that noun is always in a plural form in English (such as scissors or trousers).
Rationale and specifics: See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (pluralization)

Note that for the purpose of Cacheopedia, this is currently an ambiguous rule, and we haven't yet decided to use it. It's best to lean towards using the singular, and then creating a redirect for the plural form.

Use gerund of verbs

Convention: Use the gerund of verbs (the -ing form in English) unless there is a more common form for a certain verb. Or create a redirect from one form of the article title to the other.

Use common names of persons and things

Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.

Redirect alternate article names as you think of them.

Rationale and specifics: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)

Be precise when necessary

Convention: Please, do not write or put an article on a page with an ambiguously-named title as though that title had no other meanings.
Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision) and Help:Disambiguation

Prefer spelled-out phrases to acronyms

Convention: Avoid the use of acronyms in page naming unless the term you are naming is almost exclusively known only by its acronym and is widely known and used in that form (laser, radar, and scuba are good examples).

Again, use redirects on acronyms.

Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (acronyms)

Avoid the definite article ("the") and the indefinite article ("a"/"an") at the beginning of the page name

Convention: Except in titles of works (The Old Man and the Sea, A Clockwork Orange) or in official names (The Hague), avoid the definite ("the") and indefinite ("a"/"an") articles at the beginning of a page name. This applies even if the subject of the page is usually preceded by the definite article "the" in speech or writing: Thus, for example, White House is preferred over The White House.

Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite and indefinite articles at beginning of name)

Do not use an article name that suggests a hierarchy of articles

Since Transportation in Azerbaijan could just as well be considered a subdivision of Transport as of Azerbaijan, do not use a name like Azerbaijan/Transportation.

Be careful with special characters

Some special characters either cannot be used or can but cause problems. For example you should not use a piping character (|), an asterisk (*), an ampersand (&), a plus sign (+), curly braces ({}), or square braces ([]) in a name.

Also, for naming pages the restriction to ISO-8859-1 is strict, no characters that are not ISO-8859-1 may be used. See Wikipedia:Special characters for a list of non-ASCII characters that are allowed.

Other specific conventions

Animals, plants, and other organisms

The capitalization on the common names of species has been hotly debated in the past and has remained unresolved. As a matter of truce both capitalized and non-capitalized (except for proper names) are acceptable, but a redirect should be created from the alternative form. Scientific names are always written in italics. The first name (genus) is capitalized, the second (species) is not. Examples: Homo sapiens, Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor.
See: Capitalization

City names

Convention: In general, there are no special naming conventions for cities, unless multiple cities with the same name exist. Discussion, rationale, and specifics: See: Naming conventions

Historical names and titles

Convention: In general, use the most common form of the name used in English (not necessarily the name translated into English) and disambiguate the names of monarchs of modern countries in the format [[{Monarch's first name and ordinal} of {Country}]] (example: Edward I of England).
Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) and Wikipedia:History standards


Convention: Put a list of Xs as list of Xs, rather than Xs, famous Xs, listing of important Xs, list of noted Xs, list of all Xs, etc. See wikipedia:list. Consider making a category instead of a list: categories are easier to maintain.


Articles about numbers and related meanings are at N (number), for example 142 (number), not One hundred forty-two nor One hundred and forty-two nor Number 142. 142 is for the year (see above). See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers).

External links

Should external links of non-html type files (such as doc, pdf, and xls) be in the following format?


Initials in people's names, or companies named after them, should be written with full stops (periods) after them, with a space between the initials and the name, and between initials. Thus, W. E. B. Du Bois, I. F. Stone, T. E. Lawrence, and F. W. de Klerk. (See Oxford Style Manual 3.2, Chicago Manual of Style 8.6). (This convention is under discussion; see Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions.) An exception is a reference to someone using only initials, such as is occasionally done in informal discourse in reference certain U.S. presidents: FDR, LBJ, or JFK.

Acronyms and initialisms such as IBM, NATO, and WYSIWYG are likewise written without periods (see: Naming conventions (acronyms)).

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