Dispatches 2

Dispatches: Style guide and policy changes, August

Manual of Style (main)

Added to the Animals, plants, and other organisms:

In articles that cover two or more taxonomic groups, a consistent style of capitalisation should be used for species names. This could involve the use of:
  • scientific names throughout (often appropriate for specialist articles);
  • title case for common names of species throughout (per WP:BIRDS) and lower case for non-specific names such as eagle or bilberry, which may work well for articles with a broad coverage of natural history; or
  • lower-case initial letters for common names, which may work well for non-specialist articles that happen to refer to different taxonomic groups.

In quotations, the phrase between the commas was added:

If there is an error in the original statement, use [sic], or {{sic}} (which produces [sic]), to show that it is not a transcription error.

The advice for where a quotation within a quotation results in jostling single and double quotation marks was changed:

use the {{" '}}, {{' "}} and {{" ' "}} templates for this purpose: ...your right to say it.{{" ' "}} Do not use plain or non-breaking space ( ) characters, as this corrupts the semantic integrity of the article by mixing content and presentation.

In slash, this was added:

Use / when representing mathematical division, except in the context of elementary arithmetic.

The guideline on spaced slashes was changed to this:

A spaced slash may be used to separate items of which one or both have an internal space (the NY 31 east / NY 370 exit with the NY 31 east/NY 370 exit), or where it otherwise makes the reading easier.

A new section was added on Punctuation after formulas:

A sentence that ends with a formula must have a period after the formula. If the conventional punctuation rules would require a question mark, comma, semicolon, or other punctuation at that place, the formula must be followed by that punctuation.

Chronological items

Units of measurement

A new subsection, Ampersand, was added:

The ampersand (&) is a symbol representing the word and. In running prose, use it instead of and only if there is a good reason to do so. The ampersand may be used in tables and infoboxes where space is restricted. Retain it in the titles of business and works, and in quotations.

A new subsection, Scrolling lists, was added:

Scrolling lists and boxes that toggle text display between hide and show are acceptable in infoboxes and navigation boxes, but should never be used in the article prose or references, because of issues with readability, accessibility, printing, and site mirroring. Additionally, such lists and boxes may not display properly in all web browsers.

This was added to Bulleted and numbered lists:

Do not leave blank lines between items in a bulleted or numbered list unless there is a reason to do so, since this causes the Wiki software to interpret each list item as an individual list.

WP:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)

  • Dates in article body text should all have the same format.
  • Dates in article references should all have the same format.

The exception for dates within quotations and titles remains.

In the main body text, the first instances of units of measurements should be spelled out at least once, and perhaps several times for less familiar units before unit symbols are employed. For instance, one should write “…the typical batch is 250 kilograms…” before one later writes “…and then 15 kg of emulsifier is added.” For less common units of measure, editors should not employ unit symbols without first showing the unit symbol parenthetically after the first use of the full unit name. [Note: there's a little more in the last sentence that I don't quote; I'm following the AP Stylebook convention here of not using an ellipsis; the fact that the period is outside the quotes means that I'm not making any representation whether there was a period there or not.] "For reasons of legibility, the preferred symbol for the unprefixed liter is upper-case L."
"For reasons of legibility, the preferred symbol for the unprefixed liter is upper-case L [not lower-case as permitted until now]."

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links)

  • in places where compact presentation is important (some tables, infoboxes and lists); and
  • in the main prose of articles in which such links are used heavily, as is often the case with sports biographies that link to numerous season articles.

Wikipedia:Only make links that are relevant to the context

Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria

Previous publication. Non-free content must have been published or publicly displayed outside Wikipedia.
Significance.' Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding.

WP:Naming conventions

The nutshell text:

Generally, article naming should indicate what the greatest number 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.

was changed to this:

Article naming should reflect what English speakers easily recognize.

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (text formatting)

Avoid peacock terms

Excellent, important, outstanding, world-famous have been added to the list of words that should ring alarm bells.

Lead section

This is a new section that lists optional elements that may be included in a lead, in addition to introductory information, and the order in which they should occur.


In Lead section, the order of the elements was clarified, providing a code that is readable by both graphic browser and screen reader. In particular, the positioning of caption text for an image in the lead was clarified.

Words to avoid

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    The advice to use templates for multiple quotation marks was toned down within a day: it now reads.

    When a quotation includes another quotation (and so on), start with double-quotes outermost and working inward, alternate single-quotes with double-quotes. For example, the following three-level quotation: "She disputed his statement that 'Voltaire never said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."'" Adjacent quote marks, as at the end of this example, can be difficult to read (e.g.: "'") unless kerned apart slightly with CSS; the {{" '}}, {{' "}} and {{" ' "}} templates will accomplish this; the example above is output by ...your right to say it.{{" ' "}} in edit space. Extraneous normal or non-breaking space ( ) characters between the quotation marks should not be used; Wikipedia presents quotations, character for character, exactly as in the original.

    Please emend. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:26, 17 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]


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