Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Titles/Archive 2

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Theme park attractions[edit]

What is the proper formatting for theme park attractions (especially scripted animatronic/live-action rides such as The Great Movie Ride, attractions featuring short films like Soarin' Over California and Mission: Space, and thrill rides with extensive show elements like The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest)? Powers T 18:01, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, they're proper nouns, so it's okay to capitalize them, but don't capitalize the T in the definite article that precedes. I don't suppose that they need quote marks or italics like play or book titles. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:50, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Where I've used "The", it's part of the title (especially in the case of The Twilight Zone; surely you don't suggest that the "The" should be uncapitalized there, too?). Anyway, what is the distinction, then, between (say) a short film called "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" and the attraction of the same name that houses the film and associated 3-D effects? Should the latter be unquoted while the former remains quoted? And what of the pavilion housing the attraction, Imagination!? Should that be italicized? Powers T 13:14, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
The Twilight Zone is italicized because it is a specific title separated from the rest of the text by its italics, which is done because it is the name of a television show. In the case of most proper nouns, even those that incorporate the definite article, it is best to not capitalize it mid-sentence. Here is the section of the WP: MoS that deals with this matter. Here is the page on trademarks: "When deciding how to format a trademark, editors should choose among styles already in use (not invent new ones) and choose the style that most closely resembles standard English, regardless of the preference of the trademark owner." Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:51, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
The section of the MOS you quote is quite explicit that if "The" is part of the name of something, it should be capitalized, thus "The Hague" and "The Lord of the Rings". Powers T 19:58, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
The solution that seems to be most consistent with WP principles would be to find an outside source that mentions theme park attractions. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:54, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I'll see what I can dig up. Powers T 19:55, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

RFC on italics in article titles[edit]

There's an RFC going on on whether or not article titles should be italicized. You can find it here. SharkD (talk) 20:40, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Italicize a media franchise?[edit]

If anybody could answer the question here, that would be great. Thanks, TheLeftorium 09:01, 30 June 2009 (UTC)


Should awards given to a work be italicized or placed within quotes? SharkD (talk) 02:09, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

No, awards are not a creative work. Powers T 12:30, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
So they should be left completely unformatted? I almost always see them added either in italics or quotes by editors. SharkD (talk) 04:23, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Almost always? Can you give specific examples? I'm pretty sure my assessment is correct. The featured article Casablanca (film), for instance, clearly says: "... Casablanca won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture." The phrase "Academy Awards" is just capitalized. Also take a look at the Academy Award article itself, which one would expect to format the phrase per convention. I don't know where you're seeing award names italicized or quoted, but they're mostly likely wrong. Powers T 13:09, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the original question, I second that. I see italics or quotes a lot when there are lists of awards (or sometimes people will write with all capital letters). I think that there is sometimes reasoning behind this, for example, in the article "Ismaila Sane", the poster wrote:
WORKING GRANT - MUSIC 2011 Arts Council of Pirkanmaa
If they had written in all lower case, as I assume would be correct, then one could confuse the name of the award with the organization who distributes this award. But as of now I am taking chances and removing the italics on awards because it isn't a work of art.Editfromwithout (talk) 23:16, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

MoS naming style[edit]

There is currently an ongoing discussion about the future of this and others MoS naming style. Please consider the issues raised in the discussion and vote if you wish GnevinAWB (talk) 20:58, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Capital Letters[edit]

I think we need some guidance here, about when to use initial caps:

  • In scientific names, the genus is capitalized, but the species is not (example: Cycas revoluta).
  • Do we capitalize every word of a book (etc.) title? That seems to be the practice in most Wikipedia articles. The Library of Congress catalogs capitalize only the first word of book titles (unless other words need capitalization for different reasons).

Also, I think this article would be better organized by different kinds of titles, rather than by kinds of markup. For example, instead of adding a new section about capital letters, and mentioning scientific names both there and in the section about italics, we should have a section about scientific names where we say that they should be in italics, with the generic name capitalized. Peter Chastain (talk) 20:40, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

WP:MOSCAPS#Animals, plants, and other organisms covers the scientific names, and WP:MOSCAPS#Composition titles covers which words in book titles to capitalize. -- JHunterJ (talk) 20:43, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, but WP:MOS points here, not to those other articles. Should remove discussion of scientific names from WP:MOSTITLE and have WP:MOS point directly to a MOS about scientific names? Likewise when I follow the WP:MOS pointer to WP:MOSTITLE for information about titles, I expect to find the information here, not in a MOS about capitalization (and presumably another one about italicization). Peter Chastain (talk) 20:56, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, the manual of style has several areas that are divided in unexpected ways. WP:MOS#Italics points here; WP:MOS#Animals, plants, and other organisms covers both italics and capitalization itself. I'm not sure why the style guide on formatting titles should cover genus & species, but we could add a link from here to the composition titles section of MOSCAPS (or move that section here and point it the other way). -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:05, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Ad Campaigns[edit]

It is not mentioned in the article, but ad campaigns should be italicized also. > Best O Fortuna (talk) 22:02, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

You should be bold and add it to the article yourself. :) --Devourer09 05:04, 20 August 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Devourer09 (talkcontribs)
Never going to happen.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:02, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

This is either contradicting or confusing[edit]

Policy (Wikipedia:Article titles#Special characters and formatting) says "Formatting, such as italics or bolding, is technically achievable in page titles but is used only in special cases, one example of which is taxonomic names of genera and species." Repeated in this guideling. Either this MoS guideline is refering to the title being the first instance of the article title in prose (likely, judging by the formatting instructions lower down) or it refers to the actual title at the very top and is therefore contradictory and the instructions are useless. I'll make a stab at clearing this up later, but I thought I'd give the chance for anyone to comment first. Rambo's Revenge (talk) 17:00, 7 August 2010

Book and video game series[edit]

This guideline is silent on the topic of whether book series (like The Chronicles of Amber) and video game series (like Dance Dance Revolution) titles should be italicized, like individual books and video games. Predominant practice seems to be to italicize both, but I haven't done an exhaustive survey, especially with regard to book series. Does anybody know of any strong indications that either italics or non-italics is correct for either, whether in print typography or what-have-you? Can we include these items in some form in the guideline? —chaos5023 (talk) 21:00, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Have done a bit of research on this, and this Chicago Manual of Style article seems to make a lot of sense, though it's slightly complex to apply. Still very interested in any opinions or resources. —chaos5023 (talk) 16:48, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, titles of works need to be italicized. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 08:02, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
The Chicago Manual of Style article argues that we should only italicize series titles when they're the official title of a collected work, though, or possibly if they're also the title of an individual work, meaning we should write The Chronicles of Amber and The Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter series and the Dragaera series. In video games, it looks like we should write the Dance Dance Revolution series, the Final Fantasy series, the Mana series and the Ys series. Though it can be hard to tell. Do you agree with that, or do you consider that we should write Harry Potter, Dragaera, Mana and Ys? —chaos5023 (talk) 18:16, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
In discussion elsewhere, it's been noted that Wikipedia generally uses APA style as opposed to Chicago style. Between this and the practice, as far as I surveyed, generally being italicization, and the whole idea of documenting consensus and best practice rather than prescribing it, I believe I'm going to just make an edit to that effect. I invite reversion and discussion in the event of disagreement. :) —chaos5023 (talk) 01:25, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Short films: italics or quotes?[edit]

I've raised the issue of whether italics or quotes should be used for the titles of short films over at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Short films: italics or quotes?. This issue was raised here twice before without replies, which is why I've now raised it there instead to attract more comments. You are invited to join the discussion there. --Mepolypse (talk) 23:05, 4 December 2010 (UTC)


Should the names of novels be italicized? -- Frap (talk) 10:21, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:40, 10 February 2011 (UTC)


I was looking at some pages, and I believe the titles of pages should all be moved to capitalize all important words, just like a book does. If nobody disagrees with me, I am going to start moving pages to capitalize the first and second words (or more, depending on the length). --Ryan Vesey (talk) 23:05, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

This has been an extremely hot debate in the WP:TOL. Bring it up there and you'll hear at least two very strongly-defended sides. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 08:04, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Is there a way to force a title not to be italicized?[edit]

OK so on the article Mary Kay, the article title is italicized but it shouldn't be. I believe the reason it is italicized is because down in the body or the article, there are infoboxes for court cases (whose titles are italicized). My question is, is there a way to force the article title to not be italicized and still use the court infoboxes in the article? Rreagan007 (talk) 22:32, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Yep; you can add italic title=no as a parameter to each infobox. This is documented in {{Infobox court case}}.--NapoliRoma (talk) 00:25, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
...and I went and did so.--NapoliRoma (talk) 00:31, 16 March 2011 (UTC)


I'm considering whether or not "Bocas LitFest: the Trinidad & Tobago Literary Festival" needs to be italicized in Jeremy Taylor (writer). Reviewing the archives, it looks like the question of festival titles was asked once about five years ago, but never answered. Lacking clear guidance in Wikipedia's MoS, I went to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., which says at ¶8.195, "Titles of world's fairs and other large-scale exhibitions and fairs are capitalized but not italicized. Smaller exhibitions (e.g., at museums) and the titles of exhibition catalogs... are italicized."

Assuming that the CMoS rule is agreeable, this particular case seems a bit borderline. I'm inclined to give Bocas LitFest the benefit of the doubt and consider it a "large-scale exhibition". Thoughts? // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 21:57, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, since no one seems to be offering a differing view on this one, and it's obviously a gap in the guideline, I propose to make the following edits to this part of the MoS:
  • Under "Italics", add "Exhibition catalog titles" and "Small-scale exhibitions, such as those hosted by a museum"
  • Under "Neither", add "World's fairs and other large-scale exhibitions, which are capitalized"
  • As a footnote to both of the above, "A small-scale exhibition is generally hosted by, or is part of, an existing institution such as a museum. Large-scale exhibitions are major events that typically have their own grounds (such as World's fairs), span more than one building, or have a significant history and widespread notability (such as the Cannes Film Festival)."
Any objections? // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 02:10, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Seeing no comment, applying WP:BOLD and making the edit... // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 01:13, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

RFC: restructuring of the Manual of Style[edit]

Editors may be interested in this RFC, along with the discussion of its implementation:

Should all subsidiary pages of the Manual of Style be made subpages of WP:MOS?

It's big; and it promises huge improvements. Great if everyone can be involved. NoeticaTea? 00:49, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Italicizing media franchises[edit]

This came up on WT:MOSDAB. Should the names of media franchises be italicized? E.g., "Pokémon is a media franchise" vs. "Pokémon is a media franchise"; "in Batman media" vs. "in Batman media"; "the Lord of the Rings fandom" vs. "the Lord of the Rings fandom"; etc. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:45, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

They should be in quotation marks. When the franchise title coincides with the series name or the general name for the fandom associated with it, it should still be in quotation marks, since italicization implies the specific work, not the series. "Batman" is a character, not a discrete title, as it can refer to a TV series, a recent comic book (Batman's main comic is Detective Comics and always has been), etc. The Lord of the Rings is a book title (note "The" not "the", and part of the title); fandom around it is referred to as Tolkien fandom or Middle-earth fandom, since the 3-volume book is only part of the story. "Pokémon" fandom is "Pokémon" fandom, since the character string "Pokémon" can refer to a type of character, a manga series, TV shows, video games, card games, a trademark, etc., etc. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 21:08, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
When it is referred to as "the Lord of the Rings fandom", should it be italicized as well as quoted? If the article or seriesness is troublesome in that example, use "the Blade Runner fan base" or "the Dollhouse fan base" or "the Watership Down fan base". -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:15, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Book series[edit]

The titles of series of books were recently moved from having italics to having quotation marks. There are many articles with series titles in italics, including the article titles in some cases. Before changing lots of them, and since there hasn't been a lot of discussion, can we confirm that quotation marks should be added (except in article titles) and italics should be removed for the titles of series. Nurg (talk) 06:26, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Operations (military/law enforcement/undercover/etc)[edit]

Where do we come down on the titles of Operations?

Like Operation Overlord, Operation Barbarossa, Operation Cartwheel, Operation Julie, Operation Wide Receiver, Operation Fast and Furious.

Should the operation name be italicized (Operation XRAY) or in quotes (Operation "XRAY") or nothing? It should be put in the article. > Best O Fortuna (talk) 22:49, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Musicians' tours[edit]

For something like (Selena's) Amor Proibido tour, which of the following is preferred?

  1. Amor Proibido tour
  2. Amor Proibido tour
  3. Amor Proibido tour
  4. "Amor Proibido" tour

and should "tour" be capitalized? Thanks for any help. --Stfg (talk) 09:13, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

M2C: Neither quotes nor italics. As for capitalizing the word "tour": Many tours (especially by the really big acts) are either incorporated and/or copyrighted/trademarked, so they can sell stuff. The band will form a sub-corp, titled "The Band Album Tour" (& then LLC, Ltd., Inc., etc.), and base payouts off of the tour, for distribution of taxes and profits, etc. Also, a lot of material will have that specific tour on it (t-shirts, posters, programs, etc.), so they might copyright or trademark the material to protect distribution and profits. If the band/act does this, then the word tour should be capitalized. Check the artist and/or managements website and see what the scoop is. > Best O Fortuna (talk) 02:48, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Capitalization of titles of works[edit]

I just added a section for capitalization of titles of works in English here. After a discussion on Talk:To Diko Sou Asteri, I would also like to start a broader discussion about capitalization of titles of works in other languages. As far as I know most languages use "sentence-style capitalization" for titles of works, usually just capitalizing the first letter of a title and items that would otherwise be capitalized in running text. This as opposed to English which uses "title-style capitalization", capitalizing almost everything but pepositions and the article. I suggest capitalization of titles of works should generally follow the language of the title of the work. Thus a title in Greek should follow whatever rules applies for titles in Greek. Any thougts about this? --Bensin (talk) 07:42, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Anybody? --Bensin (talk) 19:26, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I think this is well covered at MOS:CT for English-language titles and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles should link to that section which is more comprehensive. Non-English titles have to follow their native rules (which are not always unambiguous, so WikiProjects like the Opera Project have written their own guidelines).
As for "To Diko Sou Asteri": the arguments in the discussion to move were wrong to neglect the title case rules of the original language and to apply English rules. This never happens where the original language needs no transcription (Italian, French, German), so why should it happen with Greek titles? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:25, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree. I updated here and here. --Bensin (talk) 04:13, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

TV channel names are not italicised, right?[edit]

Can anyone please clarify this query? TV channel names are not italicised, as far as I know. Is that correct? However,TV serials are italicised (as TV serials are "work" of the channels, the "publisher"). For example, Desperate Housewives is broadcast in ABC. Am I correct in my interpretation?--Dwaipayan (talk) 22:27, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes, you are correct. GoingBatty (talk) 02:16, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
What is the logic behind that? TV channels and newspapers are both offline media. I believe that is supposed to be a primary criterion. Why do they come under the "publisher" parameter? Secret of success 05:07, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I do not think being offline or online has anything to do with this. I am not much knowledgeable in this regard, and would await expert opinion. It would be really helpful if someone can also mention the MoS page/article that includes discussion on this particular MoS issue.--Dwaipayan (talk) 05:15, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Beatles RfC[edit]

You are invited to participate in an RfC at Wikipedia talk:Requests for mediation/The Beatles on the issue of capitalising the definite article when mentioning that band's name in running prose. This long-standing dispute is the subject of an open mediation case and we are requesting your help with determining the current community consensus. Thank you for your time. For the mediators. ~ GabeMc (talk|contribs) 21:38, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Book series[edit]

I see previously in 2010 it was agreed series should be either italicized or left as is (based on whether the series name is official or something like that). Yet, this edit in 2011 changes series to quotation marks (with exception for italicization), with the edit summary pointing to another section in which the answer was to quote series. On the other hand, most of the book series I have looked at on Wikipedia use italicized. I think there needs to be some sort of clarification/consensus. On what style guide does Wikipedia even base its MOS on, generally? Brambleclawx 19:48, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

I had a conversation on this topic with another editor some time ago. That conversation, like the one in Archive 1, and Editor Nurg's attempt died.
Trappist the monk (talk) 20:40, 28 December 2012 (UTC)


I've left a question about year ranges in titles (eg/ Latvian anti-Nazi resistance movement 1941–1945) at another MoS talkpage here. Comments appreciated. Andrew Gray (talk) 13:10, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

RfC at Talk:Wikipedia[edit]

There is an Rfc at Talk:Wikipedia#RfC: Wikipedia in italics? that may interest you. Please come and read the summary, then include your !vote if you would like to do so. Thank you in advance for your consideration. – PAINE ELLSWORTH CLIMAX! 19:41, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Media franchise titles[edit]

I’m noticing that a lot of articles about media franchises italicize the name rather than quoting it, counter to MOS:QUOTEMARK. Should these articles be corrected to use the prescribed style, or should this guideline be corrected to describe the style they use? —Frungi (talk) 23:35, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

This has just come to my attention, but MOS:QUOTEMARK stipulates that Franchises (including series of books, games, and other releases, other than serials releases such as comics and TV shows, which are italicized). I cannot speak to the validity of the entire line, but this is not a clear example. In most cases, it's not treated at all. I could in searching through articles referenced in articles on Halo (series), for example, things like [1] at best, where it is quoted in a general disregard for italics anyhow. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 23:40, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, MOS:QUOTEMARK does specifically say:

Examples of titles that are quoted: ...

  • Franchises (including series of books, games, and other releases, other than serials releases such as comics and TV shows, which are italicized)
whereas the Halo (series) article leads off with:

Halo is a multi-billion dollar science fiction video game franchise ...

In my experience, it is common practice for series of games and books e.g. the Twilight series, whether franchised or not, to appear in italics. In my opinion, it is neater and cleaner looking to use emphasis – whether italics or bold (but not both, as in the Halo example above) – for titles, and reserve quotation marks for, ahem, quotations! – that is, for reporting direct speech. Therefore I would prefer to see the bullet point quoted above changed to read, say:

Examples of titles that are quoted: ...

  • Not quoted: Series of books, games, comics and TV shows, and other serial releases, which are italicized
Just my two bobs' worth! ;-) yoyo (talk) 02:03, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
In that case, I’d say we just remove it from the list. It’s an exception without a rule. —Frungi (talk) 03:43, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Its much better to quote a franchise name. Rainbow Shifter (talk) 18:10, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree that we should, but we don’t. Harry Potter, Twilight (series), Myst (series), .hack, to name a few… There appears to be consensus to use italics rather than quotes. —Frungi (talk) 19:11, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Which leads me onto this: although we all think quotes may be better, its much less stressful to just go with what we already do. Rainbow Shifter (talk) 19:15, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
I think that the MOS is wrong about this one. General consensus and many classical manuals of style point to italics as a perfectly acceptable alternative to quotes. And having one policy with no special subdivisions and exceptions will make this less of an issue in the future. TheOneSean [ U | T | C ] 22:47, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
[citation needed], but if that is the case (which probably is), it is the MOS which should be changed. SYSS Mouse (talk) 22:43, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
I’m sorry, I forgot to post here when I changed it last week. I moved the “Franchises” line from quotes to italics when no one argued to the contrary. I’m leaving the RfC open just in case, though. —Frungi (talk) 02:24, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

When does a game become "traditional" ?[edit]

I note that one of the exceptions listed for italicizing works is "traditional" games ("hopscotch" would not be italicized, but "Monopoly" would, for example). What's the rule for whether or not a game is traditional?

The particular game I'm looking at is the table game at Labyrinth (game). It's a manufactured game dating back to the 1940s, but in the US at least, there are versions (usually pretty awful ones, unfortunately) under the same name from multiple manufacturers.

My inclination would be to italicize it, but I see counterexamples such as Battleship (game) that at least resemble the same situation.

Thoughts?--NapoliRoma (talk) 17:09, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Battleship needs some cleaning: even some of the video game implementations of it are not italicized, and if it's being used as a common noun, it shouldn't be capitalized mid-sentence either. My inclination would be: if you (or someone) can find reliable sources that use it as a common noun, then no italics, no mid-sentence capitalization. If not, it's a title. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:56, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
It's the other way around. If we already have sources that it's a published work with a known author/publisher, then it's still a title, even if some sources don't know that it is or pretend that it isn't. "Siding" with trademark genericizers is a strong exercise in POV-pushing. If the source is known, the game never "becomes" traditional, any more than "This Land is Your Land" ever becomes a piece of anonymous, traditional music, even if some people treat it like it is one. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 20:58, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
How is it POV-pushing to take Side A over Side B where both have reliable sourcing, but not POV-pushing to take Side B over Side A? If it's POV-pushing, it's neither way around. We don't continue to capitalize "aspirin", "zipper", or "escalator" just because there exist sources that recognized the trademarks. -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:04, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Here's a convincing argument that a game is a game, and not a major artistic work whose title should be italicized: “Game Over: On italicizing the titles of video games.” Worth a read. Michael Z. 2012-01-24 16:52 z

His argument wouldn't carry much weight here, as we actually do italicize board game titles such as Monopoly. Kaldari (talk) 23:07, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Why is that, exactly? I've searched the manual of style for specific guidelines on board games but don't see them. Not that I even necessarily disagree with italicising them, but it does contravene the commonly accepted style guides with which I'm familiar (for instance, Chicago, for a specific example). Binabik80 (talk) 14:58, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Apostrophe at the beginning of a song title... which itself is a number[edit]

I have gone over the MoS for music as well as this one for titles, and cannot determine an answer. My question is as to how to correctly present the title of the Queen song "'39" (that is how it is currently being written in the section on the song from the album A Night at the Opera. The problem is that it looks like three apostrophes exist at the beginning of the number 3 when in fact this is a set of double quotation marks followed by a single apostrophe. I understand there is already a convention to follow when a title contains a trailing apostrophe: the use of the   code to create a blank space. Should this convention not also be applied to the beginning of a song title, if such a title also has an apostrophe? Thus: " '39". KDS4444Talk 06:52, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

This is an unusual situation, but your solution seems very appropriate. It's not clear whether this needs to be addressed in the MOS, or is just a one-off issue. Reify-tech (talk) 14:55, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Quotations including song titles[edit]

Which is correct?

  1. John said, "I think "All You Need Is Love" is the best Beatles song".
  2. John said, "I think 'All You Need Is Love' is the best Beatles song".
  3. John said, "I think All You Need Is Love is the best Beatles song".

I can't find this anywhere in the MOS. Thanks is advance. --Stfg (talk) 15:40, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

IMO, MOS:QUOTES#Quotations within quotations applies, so I think 2. is correct – and, to me, least confusing. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 08:35, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks very much. Michael. I checked a couple of Featured Articles which do this, and they agree with you. --Stfg (talk) 13:33, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
For what it is worth, I concur. KDS4444Talk 06:35, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Of course, it depends on whether the original quotation uses quote marks in the first place. If it does, 2 is correct, else 3. The original style of quotations is generally preserved – our MOS guidelines should not be forced on them. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 12:28, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
According to MOS:QUOTE, dashes, curly apostrophes, all caps and other formatting elements are made to conform with Wikipedia house rules. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:44, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
But that regards only the form of the quote marks (which I already admitted is indeed to be done in the case of converting double to single quote marks), not their absence or presence. Adding punctuation marks where none were present in the original constitutes impermissible doctoring. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:07, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I missed the following: "It is also permissible to add appropriate non-emphatic italics or quotation marks, for example to mark the title of a book or poem within a quotation." You could have quoted that because it is somewhat hidden. Note, however, that it only says permissible, not standard. Similarly, double quote marks may, not must be converted to single quote marks. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:15, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Is Magnificat a song?[edit]

There is a discussion at Talk:Magnificat#Italics about whether or not the Magnificat is a song as described in the Manual of Style, and as such should be in quote marks. The same question seems to apply to Benedictus, Nunc dimittis, Te Deum, and probably others. Opinions would be appreciated. Thank you. SchreiberBike talk 19:40, 18 January 2014 (UTC)


Confusion abounds!

Very important to remember which is which! I suggest that:

regardless of whether the WP or MOS prefix is used (since they are all part of MOS); and
  • Insert hatnotes at each destination linking to the other, e.g.:

sroc 💬 12:00, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

  • RFD would be a good place to discuss this. Such inconsistencies have been pointed out there before and usually rectified. --BDD (talk) 19:03, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
It is a very tricky thing to try figuring out which is which but making the distinction whether or not there is an "S" I don't think goes far enough to solve the problem. I would suggest that they all be redirected to Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Quotation marks and a new short cut for the other be created. This would mean changing all three of those currently going to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles#Quotation marks but it's not a bad as it might seem since there's hardly any incoming traffic. Jimp 19:12, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
In the meantime, I have added hatnotes in both locations linking to the other, but these can easily be updated if/when this proposed change is made. That way, anyone who follows a link WP:QUOTEMARK expecting to find Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles#Quotation marks will have a link pointing them in the right direction. sroc 💬 12:14, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Made some progress in this drection. Added new shortcuts here and stopped "adverting" any old one going here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:33, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Centralizing MOS material on titles of works[edit]

I've begun centralizing MOS material on titles of works, at WP:Manual of Style/Titles. Having it scattered throughout at least 5 differnet MOS pages has been intolerably confusing and resulted in a lot of conflicts, inconsistencies, and even MOS pages contradicting each other. I've started by cross-referencing all of the affected MOS sections to one another, and by merging in the material at MOS:TEXT that really belongs here, and clarifying it, then reducing the relevant material at MOS:TEXT to a summary and a cross-reference to the combined material here at MOS:TITLES This has already been done. Maybe someone else can give me a rest and do something similar with another of the general pages, like MOS:CAPS, pushing some of its more detailed title-specific material to MOS:TITLES.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:18, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Oh dear! Am I the only one whose heart sank on reading this? The brief mentions of visual arts were over-simplistic, and should certainly not be considered as a replacement for Wikipedia:VAMOS#Article_titles. I expect other specialist editors have similar concerns. I'm far from sure this a good idea at all. Johnbod (talk) 00:54, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Then let's work to integrate that. Just the fact that one has to go to a barely-known MOS subpage to ever even find a mention of such matters is precisely the problem I'm hoping we address here! MOS:TITLE needs to be a "one-stop shop" for the basics and for clear pointers to where the details are.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:24, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
A very worthwhile project. It's sometimes been dismaying to go looking for guidance on an unfamiliar topic, only to be unable to find anything, while suspecting that it's hidden somewhere obscure. Still worse is finding directly conflicting advice in several different places, each claiming to be authoritative. Just a note of appreciation! Reify-tech (talk) 11:58, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Italics for names of spacecraft[edit]

I've started a discussion here on whether italics should be used for names of spacecraft (cf/ those for ships), and if so whether this should be explicitly mentioned in the MoS - any input there would be appreciated. Thanks, Shimgray | talk | 21:06, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

M2C: A ship is a ship is a ship. A spaceship is still a ship, and if it has been officially christened there is no difference between sailing on air or atmosphere or sailing on water. > Best O Fortuna (talk) 23:18, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, but what exactly is the name of a spaceship? Some are obvious, such as John Glenn's Friendship 7, even though the mission was officially designated Mercury-Atlas 6. But what of the Gemini flights, most of which (except Gemini 3, a/k/a Molly Brown) had no ship name; or the Apollo missions, which which used the mission name as a call sign when the modules were joined, and individual CSM and LM names (e.g. Columbia and Eagle) when flying separately. — Michael J 12:37, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

As a tangent to this topic (and I realize this is an old discussion), it seems like ground vehicles are the only type that do not use italics, whereas water, air and space vehicles all use this convention. Why not Mach Five and Further? Ibadibam (talk) 22:37, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Latin incipits[edit]

See discussion here: WT:AT#Italicization of Latin incipits --Francis Schonken (talk) 02:25, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

When is an app a video game?[edit]

The MOS says we should italicise "computer and video games (but not other software)". Consider the app Polyfauna, which is an "experimental collaboration" between the band Radiohead and the digital arts studio Universal Everything:

My gut instinct is that the name Polyfauna should be italicised, as I think it's pitched as art rather than a bit of practical software like a dating app or a map tool or whatever. But it might not formally count as a video game and therefore come under "other software", I guess. Thoughts? Popcornduff (talk) 19:12, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

To avoid waxing philosophical territory, I'd follow the lead of the reliable sources. Is it reviewed by video game journalists? Do sources call it a work of art or a video game? If it's a "creative work", e.g., Björk's Biophilia app, I'd err on the side of italics. If it does your taxes, not so much. czar  20:15, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Good advice, thank you. Based on this, looks like italics are the right choice. Biophilia is a good point of reference. Might the MoS be updated to reflect this,, considering "not other software" suggests a stronger rule than we actually have, apparently? Popcornduff (talk) 20:43, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
My opinion is that it's fine as is, or else it would create a slippery slope and arguments of interpretation ("Do not apply italics to other categories or instances because you feel they are creative or artful"). Apps created by visual artists would be considered works of art. The software distinction is useful for those that would argue say an artful news aggregator app as a work of art when it hasn't been discussed as such. czar  21:38, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
  • @Popcornduff: We should italicize it, but not as a videogame, which it doesn't seem to be. It's a collaborative digital art piece, and titles of artworks are italicized. If I created a digital "painting" in Gimp called I Ate My Dog's Tail, that would be italicized, just like I Ate My Cat's Tail, a similar oil painting I might have done. The medium is irrelevant. Utilitarian software products are not italicized, because they are tools, not creative works in the sense of novels, films, paintings, and games, even if some creativity went into their design, just as it did when designing the pattern of the grip on the hammer I'm using to drive nails. The lesson here is: Don't try to distort the definition of a category (e.g. "video game") to make something fit; find what category it actually fits in.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:57, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

No links to archives[edit]

The archive box at the #top of this page does not list any archives; they appear to be accessible only by a search. Is this intentional? — (talk) 20:44, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

I’m fixing this with this very edit. If anyone knows of a reason why {{talkheader}} (which includes links) was removed years ago, or a reason why direct links to archives are undesirable, please advise. — (talk) 00:47, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Let's use {{Archives}}. The {{Talkheader}} template is a heavy-handed, in-your-face tag, intended for talk pages of highly contentious pages, like Talk:Barack Obama. It's obnoxious on everyday talk pages. :-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  13:51, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Short stories published as books[edit]

Should the titles of short stories published as books use quotation marks or italics? Input at Talk:Graham Downs#Quotes or Italics for book titles? would be appreciated. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 17:11, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

@GoingBatty: Depends on context. If it's being addressed as a short story, quotes; if as a book, italics. E.g. in a list of the writer's short stories, don't italicize one just because there's an edition of it somewhere in one-story book form; in a list of the author's books, don't change one to quotation marks because it only contains a short story. In a general bibliography (i.e. publications), treat it as a book. In a timeline paragraph covering what the person wrote and when (i.e., content), that mixes short stories and novels, probably treat it as a short story.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:09, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Fairy tales, myths, folktales[edit]

This hasn't been addressed in a while and seeing as there's little consistency to how these titles are treated, it looks like it's time to revisit. There are three styles in play:

While newer stories (including retellings and adaptations of older material) have published, canonical names, traditional tales usually do not. This seems analogous to the relationship between Chess and Stratego or the Book of Genesis and the First Book of Nephi: when a work is sufficiently well-known or ancient, and especially if its original publication is not recorded in history, the normal style is dropped. The author(s) of the MoS guideline points out that "such titles are generally traditional rather than original ones". So should myths and folktales not be marked by italics or quotation marks, since their titles are similarly informal? Should they be treated as short stories with quotation marks, as was suggested in the archived discussion linked above? Ibadibam (talk) 22:42, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

  • @Ibadibam: They're basically manuscripts or oral stories, not published works. A published work would collect, translate, retell, and/or analyze them, e.g. Tales of the Seal People: Scottish Folk Tales by Willamson Duncan. Folk tales/lore, myths, legends, etc., can be put in quotation marks if they come down to us in written or song form as specific pre-publishing works, e.g. "The Song of Roland", "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", etc., but I'm not sure how conventional this really is. Sometimes you see that, but not everyone does it that way. Tales, myths, legends, and religious cycles to which later people have assigned names (Sleeping Beauty, the Matter of Britain, Apollo and Daphne, the Book of Genesis), and ancient collections thereof (the Prose Edda, the Bible, the Koran, etc.), themselves manuscripts, are not marked up in any way other than capitalization. Same goes for manuscripts that are not named for their content but something else, e.g. geography or authorship: the Book of Kells, the Gnostic Gospels. Tales with no conventional titles are not even capitalized ("the urban legend of alligators in Manhattan's sewer system"). PS: I think a case can be made for italicizing major works when we give their non-English titles (Volsungasaga, Q'ran, Tao Te Ching), simply because they're foreign phrases, but people might disagree on that, on the same basis as not italicizing non-English geographical names like München for Munich.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:39, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

A book title in two parts, should we use . or : ?[edit]

I created the article The Art of Heraldry. An Encyclopædia of Armory but find that many references to this book gives the name as The Art of Heraldry: An Encyclopædia of Armory. On the cover of the book and on the top of every page is only the first part of the title, The Art of Heraldry. The second part of the title is only used on one page in the beginning of the book, set below and in a smaller case than the first part of the title. There is no comma, colon or dot there. How should this kind of title be written? Another solution is perhaps to use a dash? Arms Jones (talk) 13:32, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't see anyplace in our manual of style where it is spelled out, but Chicago Manual of Style says "If title and subtitle on a title page are distinguished by typeface alone, a colon must be added when referring to the full title." What I think is standard usage in Wikipedia agrees with that, so I'd go with The Art of Heraldry: An Encyclopædia of Armory. Keep up the good work. SchreiberBike talk 17:41, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
@Arms Jones: A colon is almost universally used, and when it's not, a dash (spaced en, or unspaced em) is used.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:43, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Translation of non-English titles[edit]

Following a long (but not ridiculously long) discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Translation of foreign titles, consensus has gathered around a proposal to add a section to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles. Based on that consensus, I propose adding the boxed text below to a new section Translations to follow the Capitalization section.

For works originally named in languages other than English, use WP:COMMONNAME to determine whether the original title or an English language version should be used as the article title. For works best known by their title in a language other than English, an English translation of that title may be helpful. If the work is also well known by an English title, give the English translation in parentheses following normal formatting for titles: Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons). Where the work is not known by an English title, give the translation in parentheses without special formatting in sentence case: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (Weeping, lamenting, worrying, fearing). In references, square brackets are used: Il Giornale dell'Architettura [The journal of architecture].

How does that sound? Improvements are welcome. SchreiberBike talk 07:14, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Text above added as described. Thank you. SchreiberBike talk 23:51, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I support this in concept... but I do have a few comments and concerns... First, I assume all this is referring to mentioning the work's title within the running text of an article. It would not apply to article titles. When using the title of a work as the title of a Wikipedia article, adding a parenthetical translation is, in fact, discouraged by the principle of Conciseness (per WP:AT). Examples:
As for including a parenthetical translation in the running text... that is often helpful, whether the translation takes the form of "English (non-English)" or "Non-English (English)" ... at least the first time the work is mentioned in the text. However, there are times when providing a translation is not helpful (for example when discussing the french language movie La Cage aux Folles, we probably should not include a parenthetical translation "La Cage aux Folles (The Bird Cage)", because people might think the translation is a reference to the English language movie of that name). Blueboar (talk) 14:15, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
You might need a better example. La Cage aux Folles actually means something like "The cage of crazy women" and has nothing to do with birds. Reify-tech (talk) 03:15, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support (belatedly) —Reify-tech (talk) 03:15, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support as well. I'm surprised we didn't already cover this (though maybe it's been added by now).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:45, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Typographic effects[edit]

Added a new section. I think I covered everything that needs to be covered, with good examples.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  13:49, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm confused when the new section you added, Typographic effects, warns against italics and quotation marks. Isn't it established practice to italicise article names for works which are so written? Isn't the headword for works which are written with quotation marks also written that way? I'm referring to articles like Strange Fruit (1944 novel) and "Strange Fruit" (1939 song). -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 14:29, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
@Michael Bednarek: I'm confused about what you're confused about. Nothing in that section addresses such matters. If the novel in question were routinely enough styled as (I'm making this up) sTr@nge Fruit that people might actually look for it under that spelling, the article should begin Strange Fruit (stylized sTr@nge Fruit) is .... If the single had an iconic cover with a stylization known far and wide, that looked like STRДИGE FЯЦIT, our article on it should begin "Strange Fruit" (stylized STRДИGE FЯЦIT) is ... (or something to this effect; there's no need to put the stylization immediately after the proper title, and it's often done at the end of the lead, and sometimes even in a lower section; I clarified that).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:00, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I obviously misunderstood When giving the stylization of a title, it is not italicized or placed in quotation marks as a title. Never mind. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 15:06, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I think I can word it better. BRB. :-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:27, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

[[Foo (film)]] or [[Foo (movie)]][edit]

Both disambiguations are in use. Is there any reason to prefer one over the other? I wonder how many duplicate articles exist on account of this. — FREAK OF NURxTURE (TALK) 04:48, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

To avoid confusion I'll just note that now, five years later, (film) is preferred by the guidelines (see WP:NC-FILM) and most common in practice, so that's what should be used. --Mepolypse (talk) 21:17, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
(film) is in use. Of course, it's probably a good idea to create redirects for (movie) to (film). Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 00:11, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Almost ten years after the OP, "film" is still the dominant usage here, especially as a disambiguator in titles. "Film" is also preferred usage off-WP in formal writing (reviews in higher-end publications, academic film studies journals, etc., vs. reviews in tabloids and local papers. It will shift to "movie" (or some other word we can't predict perhaps), eventually, as actual photographic film becomes more obsolete, but that may be a generation or three. I know people in their 20s who still say "tin foil" despite never having seen foil made of tin in their lives. Heh. Agreed on making redirects. For in-text usage, I try to stagger "film" and "movie" usage to make the prose less repetitive. E.g., diff my rewrite of List of Top Cat characters yesterday.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:49, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Names of academic courses[edit]

What would be the proper way to name academic courses?

  1. The department offers courses such as issues in medieval criticism, science and the world, and introductory basket weaving.
  2. The department offers courses such as Issues in Medieval Criticism, Science and the World, and Introductory Basket Weaving.
  3. The department offers courses such as "Issues in Medieval Criticism", "Science and the World", and "Introductory Basket Weaving".
  4. The department offers courses such as Issues in Medieval Criticism, Science and the World, and Introductory Basket Weaving.

I know lecture titles usually get "quotation marks", and an academic course is a series of lectures, in a sense. So I could see a case being made for italics. But it looks wrong to me.

Second issue: what about more generic classes at the preparatory level? Same standard?

  1. Her schedule included humanities, honors chemistry, and beginning Greek.
  2. Her schedule included Humanities, Honors Chemistry, and Beginning Greek.
  3. Her schedule included "Humanities", "Honors Chemistry", and "Beginning Greek".
  4. Her schedule included Humanities, Honors Chemistry, and Beginning Greek.

Ibadibam (talk) 23:05, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

  • My free advice: if you're using the actual course title in quotes, capitalize the title as it is given in the catalog. If you are paraphrasing the course title, even one word, then follow the Wikipedia standard capitalization per MOS:CAPS. Following what I was taught many years ago, I generally reserve italics for publication names (books, newspapers, academic journals, magazines, etc.) and their on-line analogs. Dirtlawyer1 (talk) 23:40, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
    • So to clarify, that would be

      I'm taking a class called "Issues in Radical Criticism". My friend is taking radical criticism, too.

      Is that the idea? Ibadibam (talk) 23:56, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
      • I'd go with #2 in the first example and #1 in the second example. The full name of the course is a proper noun and should be capitalized. In the second example, you're describing the classes and not using the courses' specific names. For a named speech ("I Have a Dream"), I'd put it in quotes and I suppose that could be extended to a named lecture. Hope that helps. SchreiberBike talk 00:54, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd pick #3 in the first case. Quote marks should be used to indicate the actual wording of the course titles, which should be capitalized as in the original source. Alternative #4 (italics) has the additional disadvantage of being ambiguous without added quote marks (e.g. Medieval Criticism, Science and the World vs. Medieval Criticism, Science and the World).
    • But the quotation marks in the first case would be superfluous if we're capitalizing, and they aren't creative works, but multi-party events/activities. Capitalization, alone, for such things is both sufficient and conventional, on and off Wikipedia. When I play in the BCA Pool League I'm not playing in the "BCA Pool League". When I go to San Diego Comicon, I'm not going to "San Diego Comicon". When a teenager goes to the 2015 Carver High School Senior Prom, they aren't going to the "2015 Carver High School Senior Prom". Grandpa was in World War II, not "World War II". As for the italicized case, we don't use quotation marks and italics at the same time; "failing" to also use quotation marks with the (incorrectly) italicized #4 examples doesn't create any ambiguity, and adding them doesn't make the example any clearer, just twice as wrong.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:07, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd pick #1 in the second case. If course descriptions are generic, then no special formatting is needed. Reify-tech (talk) 16:07, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Good comments, folks! What if, as is the case in many secondary education systems (at least back when I was in high school), the name of the course really is just "Biology" or "Physical Education", and is indistinguishable from the generic name of the subject? Ibadibam (talk) 18:49, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
    • If it's helpful to the reader to know the name of the course, and the full name of the course is Biology, I guess you'd refer to it as Biology, but that should be in the context of the name of the high school and the year so that a person would know exactly what biology course was taken. I'm interested to see what others say. SchreiberBike talk 19:57, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
  • @Ibadibam: #2 and #1, respectively. #2 because the quotation marks are superfluous, the classes are not works, and it's not done that way off-wiki. E.g., on the title sheet for a university paper, it would read something like "Spinal Conditions of Manx Cats", Jan Smith, 12 June 2016, Mammal Anatomy 435, Prof. Pat Garcia (some or all on successive lines); you wouldn't quotation-mark both the paper's title and the course name. In the second case, #1 because those are just areas of study, not class names. A few of them might incidentally coincide with some class names, but that's irrelevant. PS: Yes, named lectures, speeches, and presentations go in quotation marks. All academic style guides and citation manuals say so consistently.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:22, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Italics for series titles[edit]

Some clarity may be needed for Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles § Italics §§ Major works, which lists various types of works whose titles should be italicised, including:


  • Books, multi-volume works (e.g. encyclopedias), and booklets


  • Films (including short films) and documentaries


This also applies where those titles appear within the titles of Wikipedia articles—Wikipedia:Article titles § Italics and other formatting (WP:ITALICTITLE) says:

Use italics when italics would be used in running text; for example, ... the titles of books, films, and other creative works ... are italicized both in ordinary text and in article titles.

A discussion regarding a particular article title has raised the following questions which may deserve clarification within the guidelines:

  1. Does this apply to a title for a series of books or films?
  2. If the answer to 1 is yes, how do we determine what the title is or even whether the series has a title?

In my view, the answers should be:

  1. The above-quoted lists are not exhaustive and italics should be applied to the title of a series of books or films. This seems to be generally understood but not universally acknowledged in the underlying discussion.
  2. Often the series title will be obvious and derived from the title of one of the books/films (e.g., Twilight based on the Twilight novel, The Hunger Games based on The Hunger Games novel, Star Trek based on the original Star Trek TV series, Star Wars based on the Star Wars film and various other films in the series) or from a common part of the titles (e.g., The Three Colors trilogy based on Three Colors: Blue, Three Colors: White and Three Colors: Red). Other times the series title will not be obvious but will be deliberately determined by the author or marketed by the publisher (e.g., His Dark Materials, The Chronicles of Narnia, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Vampire Chronicles), perhaps only after several books/films in the series have been released. In these cases, the series title should be italicised.
Sometimes, however, a series may be identified by using a suitable label to ascribe to the series that serves as a convenient descriptor, often based on the central character, rather than being a universal title, and therefore should not be italicised (e.g., James Bond, Sherlock Holmes). However, it can be contentious whether a particular label is a proper title for the series or just a convenient label.

In some cases, the presence or absence of italics makes a specific distinction, e.g.:

Sometimes, however, there are anomalies arising from apparent confusion, e.g.:

Does this warrant clarification in the MOS to reflect consensus on how to handle these cases where it is less clear whether a particular label given to a series of books/films is a title that should be italicised? sroc 💬 19:36, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Italics for series titles: comments[edit]

  • The MoS is already very clear that we italicise the "actual title of the cycle of novels". See WP:Manual of Style/Titles#Neither: "Descriptive titles also applies to media franchises and fictional universes (including trilogies and other series of novels or films), e.g. Tolkien's Middle-earth writings, the Marvel and DC universes in comics, but Les Rougon-Macquart (actual title of the cycle of novels) — also partially italicized when the description contains the name of an italicized individual work: The Star Wars franchise because Star Wars is the work for which the franchise is named." This extant use of italics for a series title should be made much, much clearer to ensure editors don't claim otherwise, even when it's been pointed out to them. - SchroCat (talk) 19:53, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
@SchroCat: But this is the point I was making: it makes sense to say The Star Wars franchise "because Star Wars is the work for which the franchise is named"; but not The James Bond novels because there is no work in the series titled James Bond. You pointed to various sources in which, you claimed, "the series title 'James Bond' is explicitly referred to as such", but my research found that they don't format "James Bond" as a title and actually use a variety of labels to refer to the series, and Pburka found various other sources that don't format "James Bond" as a title either. Some clarity is needed, no? sroc 💬 21:23, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
FFS drop the James Bond stick and wonder away from it for goodness sake - that fecking thread is too tedious for words and I thought this was about the MoS, not the Bond name: look at other things if it makes thing clearer for you because the MoS is entirely clear. The "actual title of the cycle of novels" is italicised. It may well be the case that it is italicised under other circumstances (such as if it is "because Star Wars is the work for which the franchise is named"), but it's also the case that if there is an "actual title of the cycle of novels" that should also be italicised. - SchroCat (talk) 21:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing this section out, BTW; I'm not sure why you didn't cite it (instead of WP:COMMONNAME) in the Bond discussion. You understand that the bullet point says not to italicise descriptive titles of media franchises unless they are actual titles, right? The point is that we cannot agree whether "James Bond" is an "actual title of the cycle of novels"—and there's inconsistency between the articles for "Harry Potter" and disagreement below over "Sherlock Holmes"—so some clarification is needed. sroc 💬 22:02, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
My first comment in this thread makes my opinion clear that clarification needs to be made. As it is clear we should italicise the actual title of a novel or book series, this should probably be covered clearly by an addition on this page and in WP:ITALICS stating this. The question on Bond is on the ongoing thread, not for this one. - SchroCat (talk) 22:08, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I think it should be the Harry Potter series of novels, Sherlock Holmes novel series, etc. -- Ssilvers (talk) 20:42, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I can't see why you might think that, and I think that the MoS is perfectly clear on the matter. Eric Corbett 20:54, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
@Eric Corbett: Could you clarify, do you mean you can't see why I might think that it's unclear or that you can't see why Ssilvers might think that Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes should be italicised? sroc 💬 21:25, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The latter. Eric Corbett 21:30, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I can understand Harry Potter, but not Sherlock Holmes. sroc 💬 22:06, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • There seems to be a contradiction by omission between MOS:TITLES#Italics and MOS:TITLES#Neither. The former doesn't include series and cycles in its list of things which constitute "major works" which should be italicized, but the latter explicitly mentions them as an exception to things which should not be italicized. This suggests that series of novels are major works, and should be italicized if they have an "actual title." This seems to be consistent with other publications, although it opens a bit of a can of worms about what constitutes an "actual title." But we can't simply amend MOS:TITLES#Italics to include named series of books in the list of things which constitute major works, because then we'd be defining the component books as "minor works," which can't possibly be right. I suggest, therefore, that we add a note in the "Similar cases" section. Pburka (talk) 00:38, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • "we can't simply amend MOS:TITLES#Italics to include named series of books in the list of things which constitute major works, because then we'd be defining the component books as 'minor works'". Not necessarily the case. No-one is doubting a book is a major work, but having it as part of an overarching series does not automatically move it to a minor role: there can be two major roles in play here. - SchroCat (talk) 06:52, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree. It is perfectly consistent to refer to the Star Wars film and the Star Wars franchise without demoting one to a "minor work". It would, however, be ideal to have better cross-referencing between § Italics and § Neither for clarity. sroc 💬 12:29, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
If we define a series as a major work, then the following clause will apply to books which are part of the James Bond canon or Star Wars canon: "Minor works (any specifically-titled subdivisions of italicized major works) are given in quotation marks." Surely that's not our intention. That's why I'm suggesting that we avoid using the term "major work" to describe a series. Pburka (talk) 16:03, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • “Does this warrant clarification in the MOS … ?” Absolutely. Only proper names of works should be italicized; if a title is not a proper name, or does not contain the proper name of a work (as in “[Main Character] series/trilogy/whatever”), no part of that should be italicized. — (talk) 07:14, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
    Agreed, but how do we determine whether a label given to a series is a "title"? How do we resolve whether cases such as James Bond, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter should be italicised? sroc 💬 12:32, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
    Same way we determine whether anything else is a proper name for a thing, I suppose: by seeing whether reliable sources consistently treat it as one. See also discussions on the names of the Cuban Missile Crisis, various riots, et al. — (talk) 14:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
    Not every series has a title. Sources will use whatever term they find convenient to refer to the series if there is no "official" title. The guideline currently says not to italicise "[d]escriptive titles" (e.g., Tolkien's Middle-earth writings) but to italicise titles if they are based on the title of an individual work (e.g., The Star Wars franchise). How do we distinguish between these cases, for example, to decide whether "Harry Potter" is a descriptive title (i.e., Harry Potter books) or a series title (i.e., Harry Potter books? sroc 💬 17:16, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
    By seeing whether or not reliable sources consistently treat “Harry Potter” (as a label for the series) the same way they routinely treat titles like “The Lord of the Rings.” If they italicize it (or underline it or quote it or whatever a given source does with work titles), then I’d say we should, too, regardless of whether I consider it an actual title or not. If they don’t, we shouldn’t. I’m not sure if there’s any other way we could go about it. If there’s a better alternative, I’d be all for that. — (talk) 17:27, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
    I don't think that actually addresses the question asked at all. We already have a rule (see the Three Colors example) that a series title derived from part of the title of all the works in the series should be italicized as a title, and that's why we italicize in "the Harry Potter novel series" and "the Harry Potter film series". We didn't arrive at this result by doing a head-count of how many people off-WP italicize. We can't trust usage in random ostensibly reliable sources that happen to mention Harry Potter / Harry Potter media to actually get this right, because we're asking a highly specific factual question about the titles of the individual works in the series, not just observing usage. If the titles themselves did not have this feature (e.g. if they were simply The Philosopher's Stone, The Prisoner of Azkaban, etc., without Harry Potter and ..., we'd still have another analysis to do, before just resorting to statistics. The question we'd be asking in such a case would be "Has the author or publisher clearly indicated that Harry Potter or some other phrase (The Harry Potter Chronicles, whatever) is a formal, overarching title for the books (or other media) in the series?" This is not asking a generalized style question, like "what is most common?" MOS is not bound to ape the most popular style, nor to accept the style practices or advice of external sources. MOS is not an article, with sources cited for each thing in it. It's a consensus determination among editors about what works best for this encyclopedia and its audience when it comes style and related matters. This is important from an MOS perspective, in our modern days of regurgitative repackaging and marketing. If a box set of all the Police Squad episodes and the Naked Gun films is collected and released as a Blu-ray box set called The Frank Drummond Files, that doesn't somehow become an overarching title for the works in these two related series, for WP purposes; it's just the title of a Blu-ray anthology. Aside from anthologies, the fact that works in a series or franchise have something in common (a main character, a setting, whatever) doesn't permit us to make up a name for the series and label it a "title". Firefly and Serenity and the related comics do not form a "'Verse franchise" or a "Chronicles of Malcolm Reynolds series". We can reliably source that they're commonly referred to collectively as "the Firefly franchise", "the Serenity stories", and even "the Firefly/Serenity media"; we can use WP:CRITERIA to arrive at an article title like Firefly (franchise) for our article, and we italicize the actual titles in all those phrases. But something like The Serenity Series is a bogus pseudo-title.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:32, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: I strongly concur that 'it makes sense to say the Star Wars franchise "because Star Wars is the work for which the franchise is named"; but not the James Bond novels because there is no work in the series titled James Bond.' Formal titles of franchises are proper names, but not italicized unless they coincide with the name of a work in the franchise that would itself be italicized. We would italicize this for the same reason we would italicize in this statement: "It was an elaborate Great Gatsby theme party costume", but not in this one: "It was an elaborate Middle-earth theme party costume". When we use the italicized title of a work in an adjectival way, it remains italicized, but we do not italicize conventional or off-the-cuff names of franchises (even if they are proper names, even if they are trademarks, whatever).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  13:40, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

    PS: It's "list of Superman comics" not "list of Superman comics", even though there is a comic book titled Superman, because the list refers to the character, not that publication, the character pre-dates that publication, and the publication is named for the character, not vice versa.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:52, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

    PPS: The main series of James Bond films (not including those produced by other studios, e.g. Never Say Never Again) is actually the 007 franchise. But 007 is simply used as a trademark; I've never seen any evidence that its producers have explicitly titled the series 007 as a unitary but serialized work. The collected Blu-ray box sex of the films in the 007 series is labelled "Bond 50: Celebrating Five Decades of Bond [007]", where "[007]" is a graphical 007 logo with a registered trademark symbol. In actual word order, the "Bond 50" part comes last, but it's HUGE and obviously meant to be taken as the main label. The spine inconsistently says "[007] Celebrating Five Decades of James Bond". So even that release arguably doesn't have an official title, and I see it for sale under conflicting designations. If I were to mention it in an article, I'd probably call it the Bond 50 James Bond Blu-ray box set, or something like that, italicizing it like I would an anthology book or a compilation album. If I wanted to use a longer name, I'd merge the two and call it Bond 50: Celebrating Five Decades of James Bond and probably still clarify that it's a Blu-ray box set. If you have this set, and watch the behind-the-scenes and making-of material, you'll note that various people involved in the productions don't consistently refer to the films collectively by any particular name, often calling them "the James Bond movies", "the Bond series", etc.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:27, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Italics for series titles: proposal[edit]

What if we move the bullet point regarding media franchises to a separate sub-section where we can go into it in a little more detail, like this:

Series titles

Descriptive titles for media franchises and fictional universes (including trilogies and other series of novels or films) should not be placed in italics or quotation marks, even when based on a character or feature of the works (Tolkien's Middle-earth writings, the Marvel and DC universes in comics, Sherlock Holmes mysteries). However, the following should be included in italics:

  • Actual titles of a series declared by the author or publisher (Les Rougon-Macquart, The Chronicles of Narnia)
  • The name of an individual work within the series name (The Star Wars franchise named for the Star Wars film, The Three Colors trilogy named for films with the prefix Three Colors)

This section can then be linked to from both § Italics:

For series of books, films, etc., see § Series titles below.

and § Neither:

Descriptive titles: a reference to or description of a work or part of a work when not using its actual or conventional title: 137th graduation address, conference keynote speech, an introductory aria, Satie's furniture music, State of the Union address, Nixon's Checkers speech,[clarification needed]; also: the season finale of Game of Thrones, not the "Season Finale" of Game of Thrones (For media franchises such as series of books, films, etc., see § Series titles below.)

sroc 💬 12:52, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Support. I have no doubt there will be some disagreement over the details, but the idea of addressing it in its own subsection is sound. Also, I have to wonder if we really have enough people using “Season Finale” in place of actual episode titles that we need that line. (talk) 14:17, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. This brings much needed clarity. Pburka (talk) 16:06, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, for reasons I've given above (and previously). As to cases like "Season Finale", yes, it is common enough to keep it. People even capitalize "Season" by itself all the time. I encounter this sort of nonsense almost every time I look over some TV articles here for more than a few minutes.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  13:43, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

 Done Since this was supported without objections for two weeks (while I was on hiatus), I have now made the change. sroc 💬 18:50, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Since the new section describes a case where italics should be used, I think it belongs in the "Italics" section rather than the "Neither" section (which describes things which use neither italics nor quotation marks). Pburka (talk) 21:22, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
It’s more a case of where italics and quotes should not be used, and exceptions to that general rule. It ought to include some minor work (quoted) titles too, really. I can’t think of any suitable series of minor works off the top of my head, but the same logic would apply as for italics. — (talk) 00:21, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
The problem is that a reader likely looks under 'Italics' to find out where italics should be used. She is unlikely to read the 'Neither' section to learn where she should use italics. That section shouldn't introduce additional uses of italics. Besides, the rule is that formal names for series should be italicized and the exception is that descriptive titles shouldn't be. Pburka (talk) 01:37, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
I do think italics is the exception here rather than the rule (and it's easier to follow that way). Nonetheless, I have no major objections to moving the section provided the "below" is revised to "above" as appropriate. sroc 💬 10:26, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
How about this? It lists italics as the rule under “Italics,” and the section under “Neither” still lists them as the exception. Also, can anyone think of any untitled series of minor works? — (talk) 02:05, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
The advice does not apply to series of "minor" works; they would not be italicised for the same reason that the titles of minor works are themselves not italicised. I can't think of any examples, but if, for instance, there were a series of poems such as "Mr. Gilbert Arrives", "Mr. Gilbert Learns a Valuable Lesson" and "Mr. Gilbert's Final Warning", the series might be called the "Mr. Gilbert" series (or simply the "Mr. Gilbert" poems) using quotation marks (as with the titles of the individual minor works), not italics. Likewise, you would refer to the "What's My Line" episodes (with quotation marks, not italics) collectively referring to "What's My Line (Part 1)" and "What's My Line (Part 2)" in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. sroc 💬 16:14, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
@Sroc: I disagree. The title of a book of poems is italicized. The title of a TV series is italicized (and your Buffy example is flawed). Yes, if they don’t have a title, the “Mr. Gilbert” poems would be appropriate (and in keeping with the guidance on series titles). But if the poet/publisher/etc. gave the “Mr. Gilbert” poems an official series title like The Misadventures of Mr. Gilbert, wouldn’t that be a major work title? Or would this only be the case if they were published in their own volume? — (talk) 18:29, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
If The Misadventures of Mr. Gilbert is published as a separate book, then the book title would be italicised as a major work; but I don't think this can be said of the "Mr. Gilbert" poems as a loose group of minor works not collected in a separate anthology. Why is the Buffy example flawed? sroc 💬 01:41, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Because a TV series doesn’t have smaller major-work series within it, at least not that I’ve ever heard of (unless it’s a franchise spanning multiple series like Power Rangers). Let’s see… I’m reaching here, but if a TV series ended at season 5 and spun off into a new series for one season, and then that new series was retroactively called season 6 of the original show which was then resumed, that would be more debatable whether this subset of episodes constituted a major work of its own or not.
About Mr. Gilbert: Fair enough. — (talk) 03:36, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Interesting case of the "Vice" episodes in the fifth series of Archer. The first episode was titled as Archer but the rest of the series were shown as Archer Vice on the title card (and that season's DVD cover, I believe). I suppose it's fair to use italics in that case because it was captioned as such, but if the series were simply branded as Archer but episodes 2 through 13 of that series were colloquially called the "Vice" episodes then I would use quotation marks instead. sroc 💬 03:56, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh yeah, I forgot about Archer Vice. I always took it for the name of the season, and I’ve never been sure whether that should be italicized or quoted or mixed. But sources seem to treat it as a major work title, so we should probably follow suit. — (talk) 05:08, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
This comes up semi-routinely, especially when a TV series (British English: programme) has a single plotline for a season (Br.Eng.: series). Similarly with movie franchises. The usual solution (both on WP and off) is to give the series title, then a colon, then the season title, and italicize the entire thing: Torchwood: Miracle Day, American Horror Story: Freak Show (film example: Star Trek: The Voyage Home). There are cases where no colon is used, generally only when the producers title it this way and reliable secondary sources treat it that way (Star Trek Into Darkness, or maybe it's "into", I got tired of that flamewar the day it started). This is pretty frequent with "specials", e.g. Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special (not Kung Fu Panda: Holiday Special). In the Archer case, Archer (season 5) is fine, since they weren't even consistent about the title anyway, and even if they had been, it's still a correctly descriptive WP article title consistent with the rest in the article series. If we need to refer to the season title, in that case I think the preference would be for Archer Vice (the way they published it on the title card), and Vice for short (also Miracle Day for short, for the Torchwood arc). Named, multi-episode story arcs in a series are basically major works, and everywhere I look I see them italicized more often than quotation-marked, except where the arc and the episodes have the same name, with episode number on the latter (e.g. "The Last Hurrah", spanning "The Last Hurrah, Pt. 1" and "The Last Hurrah, Pt 2". Some people might even italicize The Last Hurrah as the story arc title even then, though. Is two episode a major work? Do we care to try to split hairs that fine?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:25, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Possible ambiguity[edit]

In the "Quotation marks" section, there is a paragraph that concerns me:

Whether to italicize or quotation-mark a pamphlet – something on the divide between a booklet or short book on the one hand, and a leaflet or brochure on the other – is left to editorial discretion at the article in question. Anything that has been assigned an ISBN or ISSN should be italicized. Another rule of thumb is that if the work is intended to stand alone and to be kept for later reference, or has content likely to be seen as having merit as a stand-alone work, italicize it. Use quotation marks if the item is entirely ephemeral, trivial, or simply promotional of some other work or product. (emphasis mine)

On Template:Did you know nominations/Seventh Victim, an editor has taken "the work" to mean any work in general. Although I doubt that's a common reading of the above paragraph, I think if we change "the work" to "the pamphlet", the paragraph (and, thus, the MOS) will be less ambiguous. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 13:30, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Novellas and novelettes[edit]

I notice there's no mention on this page about how to format the titles of novellas and novelettes. So how 'bout? Italics or quotation marks? Bobnorwal (talk) 13:46, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Unusually, the Chicago Manual of Style wasn't much help here either. I think I'd apply this logic: If the novella or novelette was first published as a book in its own right, containing just the one work, I would treat it as a novel and italicize the title. If it was first published as one part of a book or magazine, I would treat it as a chapter and quote the title—unless I was specifically referring to a particular later edition that was published as a standalone book. If the book is stapled instead of perfect-bound, I might even question if it meets the criteria of "longer work" for italicization. // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 01:20, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
That sounds like pretty sound advice. Thank you. Is there anyway to get it "codified" and up there on the main articlespace? Bobnorwal (talk) 02:14, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
I realize I'm late to this party, but I second Bobnorwal's motion. Sources: MLA: 1 and 2; APA says "probably".—DocWatson42 (talk) 02:50, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

Notice of proposal regarding unusual prepositions in titles (re: clarification request in RM closure)[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Proposal regarding unusual prepositions in titles (re: clarification request in RM closure).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:52, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

"The" Hague Institute for Global Justice[edit]

Why is it The Hague Institute for Global Justice rather than just Hague Institute for Global Justice? AccountsPayable (talk) 19:51, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Might want to check WP:THE and determine whether that article is in common usage for describing the group. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 20:13, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
It is based in The Hague, so the definite article may well refer to the city, rather than to the institute. Pburka (talk) 20:43, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Ooh, good point. I guess a better example would've been The Stimson Center. AccountsPayable (talk) 14:12, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Should be the Stimson Center, but The Hague Institute for Global Justice because the capitalized "The Hague" is a pretty much universally accepted exception. If it were coincidence, e.g. an org. named after someone surnamed Hague, it'd be the Hague Institute for Global Justice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:53, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Car models[edit]

Should car models be italicized as with List of The Fast and the Furious characters, or is this over-styling? AngusWOOF (barksniff) 17:36, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

It's over-styling. Cars are not published works. There's a tendency among some editors to italicize brand names, but this isn't supported by MOS:ITAL nor by major style guides. Pburka (talk) 20:46, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Definitely overstyling.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:54, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Clarification on websites[edit]

We actually need to revisit italicization of websites in one way: When they are being mentioned as published works in source citations or in running prose, they are italicized: "He is a writer for Slate", because Slate (or if they go back to using the domain name as the title, as I'm pretty sure they did back in the '90s) is an online-only magazine). But not in any other sense ("She is a web developer at Slate", a business entity; "They DDoS-attacked", a server) More examples: "I like using Facebook", an online service; "I like using IMDb", an online service; "an inaccurate entry in IMDb", an online publication; etc. This can be generalized a few other cases, e.g. The New York Times (newspaper) vs. The New York Times Company (business). Shouldn't be hard to work in, and would add a clarification to our presently overly vague advice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:59, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Note also that all our citation templates already italicize the names of websites when cited as works.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  23:55, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Sinhalese language title[edit]

I wasn't able to find any indication in the various style suggestions' pages about capitalization of Sinhalese titles. This Italian album (Elio samaga hukapan kariyana turu) is in Sinhalese, so I was wondering if it should be moved to Elio Samaga Hukapan Kariyana Turu like it happens with English titles. --Tanonero (msg) 14:28, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Board games[edit]

Should board game titles be italicized? I've read that they're not in Chicago, but we currently italicize Monopoly (game), etc. I'd like our position to be clarified. czar  17:02, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

@Czar: Good question. We should probably see what a majority of style guides do. Chicago recommends many things MOS rejects, and frequently advises logically inconsistent things. As an interim default, I'd say italicize them, because we italicize video games (broadly defined), and games that come in book form, etc., so not italicizing Risk or Monopoly will be inconsistent for no clear reason, just seeming snobbery against the packaging format and medium. This is especially problematic given that most such published board games also exist in software versions today, which would definitely be italicized. "Games" in the sporty sense, like eight-ball and dodgeball are not italicized, nor are dice and card games and the like, nor are historic, public-domain board games like chess, nor are folk pastimes like rock-paper-scissors, telephone (game), etc.; they're not published works.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:16, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
PS: WP:MOSTITLE#Major works: "Actual medium of publication or presentation is not a factor".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:39, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish and Czar: Hello guys. I came upon this topic because I just bought 300 board games, including Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game. But Template:infobox game doesn't italicize general games. This one is a particularly amusing piece, because it's both a board game and a movie. The one point I'd drop in here is that I'd read that the defining reason we italicize some titles is that the work is based on chapters, acts, movements, or whatever segmented storyline. At the moment, I'm not finding where on Wikipedia I had read that. I don't know if it can be said that some board games are based on any storyline at all, or chapters, but many are. They all have instructions, and the instructions themselves are based on a beginning and an end, whether or not they're based on an exact storyline or piece of literature. It seems to me that the board game medium is based upon the concept of story structure, where the player largely fills in the details of the storyline via each gameplay. Sometimes that may be a more philosophical distinction, like with chess, where checkmate logically implies the fall of an archetypal kingdom although there is no exact canonical story because the game has evolved logically and culturally. "Chess" might be non-italicized anyway because it's an ancient and "revered work" like the Bible. ;) I don't know if that's too contrived or what, lol. Candy Land has a board game and a video game, but the medium isn't supposed to matter. Many movies don't have acts or chapters, either. Maybe it'd help to talk through some more examples, and find out why they're not chapters. My soft vote (maybe because I lack confidence in myself on this) would be to italicize them in part because of the logical distinction of "beginning and end" chapters, and in part because some are ambiguous like Candy Land. Thank you. — Smuckola(talk) 11:14, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Somewhere sometime I picked up - perhaps erroneously - that board game names sporting active (US Patent Office) trademarks are italicized (e.g. Hasbro's Monopoly), otherwise not (e.g. Tony Paletta's Parachess). (Likewise, for nearly the same games, Othello [Mattel], and Reversi [origin/inventor unclear].) Do you know if that's correct? Thx. IHTS (talk) 11:56, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
@Ihardlythinkso: Elsewhere on this page, this comment is made: "...the relationship between Chess and Stratego or the Book of Genesis and the First Book of Nephi: when a work is sufficiently well-known or ancient, and especially if its original publication is not recorded in history, the normal style is dropped. The author(s) of the MoS guideline points out that 'such titles are generally traditional rather than original ones'". That might be what you're thinking of. It wouldn't be literally the USPTO's current trademark but rather more generally whether the origin is known at all vs. whether it's an ancient and revered work. That's my understanding. — Smuckola(talk) 11:33, 7 October 2015 (UTC)


I was looking at the information in the section Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles#Italics, and below the bulleted list in "Major works", I saw "Minor works" in italics. I was wondering why it was in italics. Corinne (talk) 23:45, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Abbreviation of long titles[edit]

I've added a short MOS:TITLES#Abbreviation of long titles section, describing current actual practice in such regards. It is cross-referenced from MOS:ABBR#Use sourceable abbreviations.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  19:59, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

MOSCAPS → MOSTITLES section merge[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters#Composition titles detailia for proposed section merge and related cleanup.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:47, 19 February 2016 (UTC)


I doubt that the use of unspaced ellipsis to begin the title of a work is covered by typographic effects. We have numerous pagenames that begin with unspaced ellipsis (usually three dots and a capital letter) and some that begin with a spaced ellipsis. Most of them are articles about works. (I don't know how to search for the two kinds of initial ellipsis effectively. Someone who does may be able to describe the situation better; even to quantify it.)

1. ...And Now Miguel The US Library of Congress catalogs this book with a title that begins "... and" ([2], but see the Spanish audiocassette –y ahora Miguel [3]). Some other libraries use "... And" or "–And" or "And"; also "–and" (see Author Joseph Krumgold at WorldCat [4]).

Others: ...And Justice for All (album), ...And Justice for All (film)

2. ... And Then There Was X

3. ...a nastal chaos

4. ... and the Beat Goes On!

--P64 (talk) 20:01, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
(add one and re-sequence) --P64 (talk) 20:02, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

"I doubt that the use of unspaced ellipsis to begin the title of a work is covered by typographic effects." That is, I don't know whether such unspaced ellipses should be considered Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles#Typographic effects to be avoided in our titles of works (MOS:TITLE, this page) and pagenames of articles (WP:TITLE).
By policy the first word of a work title or article name begins with a capital letter. Whether that pertains to A/a in the examples given depends on whether 'and' is considered the first word or the initial ellipsis is considered the first word or part of it.
Shortcuts to some guidelines that perhaps might but actually do not explicitly cover initial ellipses or dashes: WP:TITLESPECIALCHARACTERS, WP:BANDNAME, WP:ELLIPSIS, MOS:DASH, MOS:TM (trademark). --P64 (talk) 18:43, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Kind of an open question. From a strict textual analysis perspective, it's part of the name, not a stylization, but we did not come to this conclusion as a "Wikipedia stance" on the matter in an RfC about what is presently at the title Gangsta (manga) (formerly Gangsta. with a dot; the actual cover the work gives it as "GANGSTA."). The problem in this case as well as that one is that the extraneous punctuation makes it difficult to understand in the context of juxtaposed material. It looks like WP's own content is incomplete/truncated. The problem is less severe when the "..."-bearing title is in quotation marks; when it's in italics, in most if not all fonts there is no difference between italicized and non-italicized periods/stops/points/dots/whatever-you-call-them. I think this is another good case to use a "(stylzized as ...And Theren There Was X)" parenthetical. People can make as many philosophical arguments as they like about the perfect integrity of proper names as literal strings, blah blah blah, but if we confuse our readers' ability to even understand our sentences, we are making a mistake. Artistic integrity (which may not even exist in many of these cases; we're more often looking at markting department gimmicks) takes a back seat to the ability to communicate effectively.

But, it is possible to write carefully and avoid confusion much of the time, so I don't feel a strongly about this as it might seem. If we're presently using the ellipsis consistently in these cases, and people's heads aren't exploding, that's probably stable enough to just leave alone.

Regardless, the first word, as in using letters, would be capitalized; there's no such thing as a "capital ellipsis", so the "capitalize the first word of titles" bit cannot apply to an ellipsis.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  18:08, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

When should edition names be treated as names?[edit]

There is an RFC concerning the formatting of names like “special editions” and “remasters” of major works at WT:MOS#Are editions of major works also major works?. Please contribute. — (talk) 23:58, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Classical Music: Minor/Major Works[edit]

Hi all, please can you take a look at Talk:Wedding Day at Troldhaugen#Major Work? and give your thoughts if you get a chance. Thanks. :) ‑‑YodinT 15:59, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Request for comment: What is the correct capitalization for the article about ARM "big.LITTLE"?[edit]

There is no consensus in this RfC to rename ARM big.LITTLE to ARM Big.Little. I recommend opening a Wikipedia:Requested moves discussion at Talk:ARM big.LITTLE if any editors want to further discuss the name further. Cunard (talk) 05:31, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Hi there,

The article about the computer processor architecture "big.LITTLE" is currently named as I've written it here ("LITTLE" is not an acronym"). Should the Wikipedia article page be called:



ARM Big.Little

Thanks in advance for any help!

InternetMeme (talk) 18:17, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't think it should ever be "ARM Big.Little", as the period is just as stylized as the capitalization. If we're going to use a non-stylized name, it would be "ARM Big Little". Pburka (talk) 15:00, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
@InternetMeme: I agree with Pburka that if there's consensus to use a non-stylized name, it would be Arm Big Little. However, typically, we use article titles that are easily recognizable, so that's something we need to take into consideration. Recruited by the feedback request service -- I dream of horses  If you reply here, please ping me by adding {{U|I dream of horses}} to your message  (talk to me) (My edits) @ 04:39, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
talk:ARM big.LITTLE has quite a lot of discussion about this (though it seems to have petered out by the end of 2013. The consensus there at that time was that ARM big.LITTLE was correct as that was what all reliable sources were calling the architecture. Unless this has changed, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't retain that consensus. After all, article titles do use non-standard/stylised orthography and capitalisation when reliable sources consistently use that orthography, as at iPod, eBay, Deadmau5, PlayStation, LaTeX (NB: we do not use "Latex", as nobody uses that – and it would have to be disambiguated – but nor do we use "LaTeX" as the article title.) On the other hand, if a more standard orthography is used in reliable sources, then we tend to use that: e.g. Pink (singer) rather than P!nk or P!NK. Caeciliusinhorto (talk) 11:21, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Consolidating advice on titles of works[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Composition titles advice consolidation for discussion of merging composition-titles-related material from the MOS:CAPS and MOS:ITALICS sub-guidelines into this, the main WP:Manual of Style/Titles (MOS:TITLES) sub-guideline, which already has the rest of that material, then just summarizing the key relevant points at those pages and cross-referencing MOS:TITLES from them, as we're already doing elsewhere (e.g. at the main WP:MOS page).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:50, 8 August 2016 (UTC)


The lead says, "This part of the Manual of Style covers title formats and style for works of art or artifice, such as capitalization and italics versus quotation marks." I tried to remove "or artifice", because its use here struck me as odd, but Chaos5023 reverted saying the usage is fine. What are we using "artifice" to mean? I looked it up to see if there was a definition I wasn't familiar with, but I'm not seeing anything that might makes sense here:

  • Oxford Dictionaries: "Clever or cunning devices or expedients, especially as used to trick or deceive others"
  • Cambridge Dictionary: "(the use of) a clever trick or something intended to deceive"
  • Merriam-Webster:
    1 a : clever or artful skill : ingenuity "believing that characters had to be created from within rather than with artifice" —Garson Kanin; b : an ingenious device or expedient
    2 a : an artful stratagem : trick; b : false or insincere behavior "social artifice"
    The difference between art and artifice...Artifice stresses creative skill or intelligence, but also implies a sense of falseness and trickery. Art generally rises above such falseness, suggesting instead an unanalyzable creative force. Actors may rely on some of each, but the personae they display in their roles are usually artificial creations. Therein lies a lexical connection between art and artifice. Artifice derives from artificium, Latin for artifice (that root also gave English artificial). Artificium in turn developed from ars, the Latin root underlying the word art (and related terms such as artist and artisan)

None of this fits to me. As far as I can tell, "artifice" isn't something that would be given a title. What am I missing? PermStrump(talk) 12:43, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

I agree that the wording is a bit... arcane? I'd assumed it meant things that weren't works of art, like Dictionaries, Journals, etc. but which still had titles. OED meaning 3 is:
  • "Technical skill; artistry, ingenuity."
Which applies to these "non-works-of-art", that are still the product of skill. That said, I'd prefer a better and more down to earth form of words than "works of art or artifice". ‑‑YodinT 13:48, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I just googled the full phrase "art or artifice" and it's used to mean something along the line of, "Is this really artwork or does it just seem like it at surface level?" or "Is this art or fraud?", but not as an umbrella term for things other than artwork that might have a title. Here are some other suggestions...
  • works of art or other major works
  • works of art, music, writing, film, and other major works
I think I like the 2nd one best, "This part of the Manual of Style covers title formats and style for works of art, music, writing, film, and other major works, such as capitalization and italics versus quotation marks.", but I'm also open to other suggestions. It's hard to think of one precise term! PermStrump(talk) 19:32, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I think "art, music, writing, film, and other major works" leaves out the very things that might be termed "artifice". I think the first definition in the Merriam-Webster entry (linked above), "clever or artful skill; ingenuity", is the one meant here, and remember, it's not a "clever or artful skill", it's a work that demonstrates clever or artful skill or ingenuity" ("a work of...artifice"). If you look at the bulleted list at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles#Major works, you will see several items that are not generally thought of as art such as:
  • Comic books, comic strips, graphic novels and manga
  • Computer and video games (but not other software)
  • Television and radio programs, specials, shows, series and serials.
If you look at the bulleted list at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles#Minor works, you will see several similar items such as:
  • Single episodes or plot arcs of a television series or other serial audio-visual program
  • Segments of a play, film, television show, etc., including named acts, skits, scenes, and the like
  • Speeches, lectures, and conference presentations (only if given a specific title).
All of these can have a title. I think "art and artifice" neatly sums up the two general categories of creative work. It can be a matter of discussion and opinion whether a particular work is a work of art or a work of artifice, but all creative works can be included in the phrase.  – Corinne (talk) 20:41, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
How about using "creative work" instead then, like this: "This part of the Manual of Style covers title formats and style for creative works, such as capitalization, and italics versus quotation marks."? This would be much more plain, everyday use of language. ‑‑YodinT 23:28, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm for keeping the phrase that is there. It is simply an introduction to the page, a very clear and well organized page. Any editor who seeks out this page for guidance will not find it an obstacle.  – Corinne (talk) 23:50, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
In the context it means "works of art and also things that it would be painful to call works of art but still have relevant titles, like the Manual of Technical Writing, 3rd Edition". It's fine the way it is. If we spoke classical Greek we could say "art and artifice" by saying "techne", but we don't so we can't. —chaos5023 (talk) 17:14, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Agree with the sentiment, in a perfect world, but the wording is too arcane for the encyclopedia anyone can edit, including people who don't have as many dictionaries as you and I do, or time to tease out which meaning was intended. I support the more explanatory wording "works of art, music, writing, film, and other major works" or something like that.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:57, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Is the current wording of the lead supposed to say (paraphrased): "This page outlines the formatting guidelines for titles of works of art or non-art"? It always takes me a good minute to figure out if I'm on the right page when I get here, which is why I tried tweaking the wording the other day. The first part of the problem is that the hatnote is so freakin long. After you make it through the hatnote, there's an ambiguously worded description that doesn't mention the majority of types of works people are probably coming to this page to look up. I think it's good to list a few of the most common examples, so people know right off the bat that this page is about all types of titles and not just art and artifice ("whatever that is", they will think). Here are some options that kind of combine ideas people have mentioned here (including the current version):
  • This part of the Manual of Style covers title formats and style for...
  1. works of art or artifice (current)
  2. works of art, music, writing, film, television, and other major or minor works (proposed)
  3. works of art, music, writing, film, television, and other creative or professional works (proposed)
  4. works of art, music, writing, film, television, and other forms of media (proposed)
Should we do an RFC? PermStrump(talk) 11:03, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

How to refer to the article topic's title throughout the article?[edit]

Should the article topic be referred to by the stylized title, of say a creative work, or by the article title's typography? (eg. channel ORANGE rather than Channel Orange) Dan56 (talk) 20:01, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Concert tours[edit]

We have many articles about concert tours headlined by specific artists; they are not specifically mentioned here, and the current practice I've found is that they are generally not italicised, but what is the precise reasoning for that? After all, they could be seen as "longer works" consisting of a series of individual "shorter works", like a TV programme or an exhibition. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:28, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Because other events are not italicized. They're not published or otherwise non-ephemeral works. A video or audio recording release of such a show or material from a series of shows in a tour will have an italicized title, as a publication. Compare: The Super Bowl is not italicized, but a book about the Super Bowl, itself titled The Super Bowl, gets italics. World War II is not italicized; if you create a TV show about it called World War II, that gets italicized. "My birthday party" is not italicized; if I write a novel fictionalizing the hijinks at my birthday party, and title it My Birthday Party, that's italicized. Another answer from a different direction: Off-WP style guides and other reliable sources on English usage and style do not italicize names of concerts and concert tours either, so WP doesn't. Italicizing concerts is a "non-style", an idiosyncrasy you're only likely to find in scattered, self-published blogs and marketing materials. A partial exception will be when an album name is integrated into a tour or concert name; the work title within the concert/tour title should properly be italicized. E.g., the tour to support U2's The Joshua Tree is properly call The Joshua Tree Tour. PS: Things like plays, musicals, and operas may seem at first to be in some kind of grey area, but they're not really; they have a written and usually published and publicly available "book", libretto, script, etc. There's a non-ephemeral work to which to attach the title. The only real grey area is likely to be one-off performance art pieces, which are conceptually akin to sculptures and paintings (which get italics) but which have been made of ephemeral materials like ice. Few of these things are ever notable enough for articles here, so we have no reason to pull our hair out about style questions that could theoretically come up.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:46, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

RfC: music singles may consist of multiple tracks (songs), so shouldn't they be considered "major works" like albums and EPs?[edit]

Please add comments here: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs#More about singles versus songs versus albums ("major" versus "minor" works). --Ilovetopaint (talk) 22:27, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Discussion was renamed: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs#Can it be appropriate sometimes to italicize singles?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:04, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Some italicisation issues[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Text formatting#RfC: some italicisation questions regarding catalogues, sets, collections and types of creative works. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:09, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

Discussion closed (with consensus on a few points, and lack of it on others). Permalink here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:05, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Excessive punctuation in show titles[edit]

Need your opinions on having 3 or more exclamation points in a title as with: Talk:Yuri_on_Ice#Title_Change_Request:_Yuri_On_Ice_to_Yuri.21.21.21_on_Ice and in the case of Keijo!!!!!!!! which has 7. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 17:50, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

Direct (and more legible) links to the Requested Move discussions:
 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:27, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Parenthetic capitalization[edit]

We need to incorporate the reasoning brought to bear in this RM:

I brought up something like this a long time ago, but it didn't gain traction. Years later, RMs are being closed in favor of some distinctions here, namely to capitalize the first letter in a parenthetical in a title only when the parenthesized phrase would stand alone as a subtitle (which probably translates to "is an independent clause"). The guideline has fallen behind actual practice.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  08:12, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

Discussion on title versus sentence case for article/chapter titles[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Wikipedia talk:Citing sources#Title case?.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  17:52, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Should not apply to citations[edit]

This guideline should not apply to citations, because of "Variation in citation methods". That guideline allows any consistent citation method, for example, APA style. These citation method typically specify how titles are to be capitalized, so for this guideline to specify anything about the format of titles within citations would bring it into conflict with "Variation in citation methods". This guideline should not say anything about citations. Jc3s5h (talk) 19:28, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

As already covered at WT:CITE, the community accepts that it apply to citations and always has. It's standard operating procedure to normalize titles of books, journals, and other major works to title case, and to leave sub-works (chapters, articles) in title case or in sentence case (as originally published), because few of us want to waste our volunteer time fiddling with their capitalization other than to fix SCREAMING ALL-CAPS. You seem to be up in arms about the idea that MOS:TITLES is going to be used to force title case on journal articles' titles in citations styles (APA, etc.) that demand them in lower case, but this isn't actually happening, and if someone tries that, you can just cite WP:CITEVAR at them. There is no actual problem of any kind to resolve here. Most especially not by further perpetuation of old-time WP:FACTION bickering between WT:CITE and WT:MOS regulars, who in this narrowed-editorial-pool era are mostly the same people anyway. See WP:SPITE.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  19:41, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

PS: This simple clarification should resolve any doubts or potential squabbling.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  19:54, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

I agree with the clarification. I don't agree that WT:CITE expresses any consensus that any particular capitalization rules apply to citations. Jc3s5h (talk) 20:08, 15 November 2017 (UTC)