Tolkien Gateway

Tolkien Gateway talk:Manual of Style


[edit] Fair Use

It would certainly be helpful if Template:fairuse[former link] actually existed. We do need it. --Theoden1 16:30, 13 July 2008 (EDT)

I certainly agree. It's kind of nagging me that certain things (like the "fact" template) "must" be inserted while they don't even exist. All images need a good going over anyway - copyrights, correct names, descriptions, categories. That'll take ages, but it can be done. -- Ederchil 16:42, 13 July 2008 (EDT)

[edit] Rename

To be consistent with other wiki's, shouldn't this be renamed (and remolded if necessary) to "Tolkien Gateway: Manual of Style"? -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 11:57, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I figured I should put my question here: With Melkor do we go for consistency in articles or do we separate Melkor (being prior to the theft of the Silmarils) and Morgoth (being after the theft)? ~denDAY 17:56, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Plagiarism?

Sorry . . . I'm new. What are the rules here about duplicating text from other sites? Does the wiki have authorization from some site owners (Encyclopedia of Arda, for example) to use their material word for word? ElfMaven 21:33, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Better not copy anything. There still are a lot of articles in the database that are partial or complete rips from EoA or Wikipedia from way back when the site just started. These should be changed (but I'll admit, it's not something actively pursued). -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 21:43, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. Much of your uncommon or unusual words list is still word for word from EoA, only with some significant additions. Also some of the articles, e.g., "Evrard Took" are the same with only minor differences, not enough to avoid copyright infringement.
(I have read EoA extensively, and I was just re-reading the "Old & Rare Words" section last week. I started trying to research the phrase "stock and stone" and found this site.) ElfMaven 14:27, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

[edit] Dates

Is it fair to say that we've settled on using the templates ({{FA|, etc.) for the vast majority of in-universe years? If so the latter two bullet points in the Dates section should be removed.

In their place, I think there should be a mention of real-world years. Also, especially, how to handle full dates (15 March vs. March 15; 15 March 2001 vs. 15 March 2001; and so many other permutations). —Aulë the Smith (Tk·Cb) 09:13, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

[edit] alterations

I see that the article is not locked to be edited by administrators only. I wonder if it is proper to make some small corrections-clarifications. I would like to rewrite some points which might seem unclear to a newcomer, add some examples, and point out some common mistakes not covered in the article. Sage 07:20, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Fine by me. I don't think a lock is necessary at this point.--Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 07:38, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

[edit] Additional stylistic suggestions

If we could add guidance on the case structure of section headings - i.e. First letter of the first word capitalized the rest not, e.g. "See also" rather than "See Also" - I believe that would be useful. Additionally, if we could note that the first occurrence of a relevant subject should be wikilinked and subsequent mentions need not that, too, would help. Pallando 19:51, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. Everybody agree on "first word capitalized" in article headings? Same for categories? --Morgan 20:40, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't mind. --Amroth 21:04, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Hello, could you clarify it - if a name of a character/person/place/other appears several times in a text it should be linked only in the first sentence where it appears? (Apart infobox.) I just linked numerous times people and fictional characters on a journal page with editors, authors and artists list, which took a long time and now I see it was wrong. More, should I wikilink people/names in artworks and articles titles or not?--Sirielle 19:02, 1 September 2016 (UTC)
I use my judgement on links. One link can be annoying for the reader (e.g. only one link to the One Ring in the Frodo article would be a pain) but linking every mention would be overkill. Every few paragraphs should suffice. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 10:27, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
That's what I decided to do - linking people again in a different sections of an article. In huge text it could be hard to find a link, also someone could be reading only some paragraphs/sections of articles while they are looking for a specific information.--Sirielle 17:31, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

[edit] How to render titles

For books it's nothing to discuss, we follow the standard italic form used in English. For articles, and chapters in books, our old standard is to use quotation marks, "X". However, what do we do with titles of poems? I'm always a little uncertain about this when editing.--Morgan 22:45, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Only relevant links?

I commented out the guideline mentioning that only words relevant to the context should be linked. Even if there is a justification behind it, I don't see anyone following it.

Does this guideline means that if we mention that Gandalf once walked among roses, we should not put a link to the roses article, because otherwise Gandalf has no relation to roses?

I understand that this derives from Wikipedia, which contains all kind of information, both from the real world, art or fiction, and that would make overly complicated the whole link-web of its database. But I don't think this rule serves any purpose here. Sage 19:43, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree with you, this guideline does not appear to be relevant here.--Morgan 20:21, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Canon

There seems to be some confusion as to what is to be regarded as canon. According to the Manual of Style, anything written by someone else than Tolkien is not canon – implying that everything Tolkien wrote is. But this is contradicted by the Canon article, which makes the question justifiably more complex. However, neither of the definitions explain why, for instance, would not be canon. (It is of course easy to say that anything mentioned only in The Book of Lost Tales is not canon, but this is nowhere stated.) Elros 08:36, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Welcome to TG, Elros (and it's always nice to see another fellow countryman)! This is the background (in short) behind the current situation, from my perspective: a couple of years ago we were trying to create a "canon scale" on TG, so we could grade the "canonical" status of certain concepts. We had much debate concerning how to create this scale, and made a temporary decision to use a simple non-canon template for articles about concepts not appearing in the works published during J.R.R. Tolkien's lifetime. However, we also abandoned this strategy, since we now have the goal to include references for every article (and thus readers can decide the "canonicity" themselves). The non-canon template which appears on the article you mention ("Square of the Palace") is an artifact from the interim period before we decided to leave the question of canon to the readers. That is not to say, though, that sometimes it can be complex to determine Tolkien's intention for a certain concept (e.g., like the well-known Celeborn case), which is why we try to include the section "Other versions of the legendarium" where appropriate. --Morgan 11:06, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the welcome, it's good to be here! Then I assume the { { Noncanon } } template can be removed whenever it is found, since it is an "artifact"? --Elros 12:10, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
My recommendation would be to remove the template in those cases where the article clearly states the origin of the concept (either with a reference and/or in the text itself). --Morgan 12:13, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Now that the matter has been brought up, I have also observed (and followed) that "non-canon" articles are usually written in an out-of-universe manner. See for example the first paragraph of Luthany written by myself, whereas canonical articles are written in a historical style. I perceived this as asubtle and unofficial way to indicate non-canonicity. Sage 13:00, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

[edit] The Oxford comma and micro-edits

I have lately noticed a trend of micro-edits on punctuation. A focus of some of these brief edits is simply to remove the Oxford comma as per the editor's personal preference, but it is also erroneously done, just to remove commas that appear before and when and is acting as a coordinating conjunction between independent clauses or to remove commas around transitions. Although I think it is fair to fix the latter examples, as to the former, what is the style preference on TG for the Oxford (or serial) comma? Use it in general, use it only when clarity requires it, or do not use it at all?

Also, what is the opinion on series of style-based micro-edits? We all have to go in and fix little typos sometimes, but habitually, is it frowned upon or considered fine as needed? --Elf-esteem 17:47, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong with the Oxford comma. I'd say a combination of the first two options is best. As for micro-edits, edits of only what Wikipedia calls "ENGVAR" (Regional variations in English") is generally not appreciated and I think the Oxford comma falls under that. --Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 19:06, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Dates

It would be nice to point out that characters or real-people articles do not need to include the years of birth and death right after the name when those dates are already included in the infobox. --LorenzoCB 12:46, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

[edit] Capital letter

The manual here has "Other versions of the legendarium" without capital letter (that was how Tolkien used it, because he always spoke about "my legendarium, my mythology"), but we as readers always talk about "the Legendarium" (for example, the essential Tolkien's Legendarium). Also, the wiki already uses it capitalized most of the times. Can it be changed, please?--LorenzoCB 21:42, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

My view is no. We did debate this some years ago - I think it was in a meeting - about capitalisations in titles and we decided to prefer lowercase, and as you say that was Tolkien's usage. In fact if you search you will find it is pretty 50/50 for lowercase "l". --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 09:38, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Just to add, you can see this was a deliberate policy decision 7 years ago where we changed all capitalisations in this regard. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits)
I noticed that, and I always remove unnecessary capitalization in titles when I see it. What I ask is about the word "Legendarium": ("Other Versions of the Legendarium" "Other versions of the Legendarium"), having it always capitalized (either in titles or in body text) like a proper noun, instead of 50/50. --LorenzoCB 10:04, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
OK, but the policy agreed was "legendarium" and I continue to support and implement that policy. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 10:24, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Proposal: Have "Legendarium" always capitalized, both in titles and body text. --LorenzoCB 10:38, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Disagree: because Tolkien used "legendarium" (without capital), as does John D. Rateliff in The History of The Hobbit, HarperCollins, John Garth, Dimitra Fimi, Tom Shippey, and Hammond and Scull. Where it appears with a capital, it is often in proper titles (such as the book Tolkien's Legendarium). But it is clear that Tolkien's own usage, and that of his publisher and other scholars, is without a capital L. I hope you will consider withdrawing this proposal. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 11:10, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Mmmm, still disagree with having an inconsistent use of the un/capitalization, as in the wiki I always see it capitalized in the body texts. Capitalization does not show lack of professionalism, but an inconsist use does. I checked those references and I was wrong indeed with Tolkien's Legendarium book. But still in that book the word is always used with italics, obviously to point out that it is a name. In the other hand, having it capitalized can be useful for the OVOTL sections as a way to point out our posture towards the corpus, and I don't think we are going to have the word in italics. Also, it looks better. Sorry for my obstinacy, but it's not like I'm gonna have the last word. --LorenzoCB 15:51, 15 June 2020 (UTC)
Fine but this isn't about all uses of "legendarium", only OVOTL. If you're now arguing that OVOTL should be consistent with legendarium in body, I would support both being lowercase, but I don't support capitalisation because "it looks better". That's not the rule in English! --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 20:15, 15 June 2020 (UTC)
Well, I'm sorry then, because since I began editing last year I've always used and corrected the capitalization. I'd wish to hear another opinion before writing in a manner inconsistent with what I've done til now. I still see more reasons for this policy than the opposite, so my proposal is still on. --LorenzoCB 21:38, 16 June 2020 (UTC)
It's fine. My bot has corrected all headings (and did "See also" and "Portrayal in adaptations"). --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 08:53, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
Can your magic bot also change the in-text words so we have legendarium always uncapitalized and with italics? (Although I guess it is problematic to apply italics with a bot...? No idea.) I say to use italics to point out somehow that this is a personal name (I guess that's why they are used by some authors mentioned above and also Christopher Tolkien along HoMe). It is not unprofessional that TG decide its own policy of having it capitalized, but if we choose one way, at least we must be consistent. Btw, I noticed that Tolkien used "Legendarium" in Myths Transformed, p. 373, if that can add something to the matter. --LorenzoCB 15:07, 8 July 2020 (UTC)