UESPWiki talk:Spelling

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Archive 1: Feb 2007 - Apr 2011
Archive 2: Apr 2011 - Apr 2013

A very specific capitalization question - To Thu'um or (not) to thu'um[edit]

At the risk of starting another marathon discussion, it seems like Thu'um should be capitalized. A quick search of the wiki shows a fairly even split between capped & non-capped. Thoughts? --Xyzzy Talk 05:29, 2 May 2013 (GMT)

How many of the capped ones are at the beginning of sentences? Jeancey (talk) 05:30, 2 May 2013 (GMT)
Many, but not all. The point is that we are not consistent with this. --Xyzzy Talk 05:36, 2 May 2013 (GMT)
Neither is the game though.... books are about 75-25 thu'um vs Thu'um, but Thu'um is the overwhelming choice for the spoken text. Jeancey (talk) 05:38, 2 May 2013 (GMT)
I just went through most of the LSCR records, and oddly enough, the word "Thu'um" wasn't mentioned in the ones I checked. However, both Voice and Shout, when referring to the Thu'um, were capitalized in every instance I found. --Xyzzy Talk 05:46, 2 May 2013 (GMT)
The texts, which we should try to emulate, are remarkably consistent at not capitalizing "thu'um": Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition/Cyrodiil, The Guardian and the Traitor, Nords Arise!, Five Songs of King Wulfharth, Varieties of Faith..., Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition/Skyrim.
The only hold-out is Songs of Skyrim: Revised. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 05:50, 2 May 2013 (GMT)
Excuse me, I meant we should try to emulate that spelling in the lorespace. In the gamespace, that's a different story. This might be a situation where a single site-wide standard is inappropriate. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 06:01, 2 May 2013 (GMT)

The Circle[edit]

Just a little pet peeve of mine. I noticed a few pages capitalising the article "The" in "The Circle". This is incorrect grammar, similarly with "The Pale", "The Ratway", "The Guardian Stones" and so on. This was discussed before (see archives). Also, this is to be consistent with the dialogue lines used by NPCs, where "the" is decapitalised (I can easily pull out around 20 examples); it is only capitalised when at the start of a sentence, like these two.

I think the problem is that editors leave the link label blank when adding links, such as [[Skyrim:The Circle|]] or [[Skyrim:The Rift|]], hence resulting in "The" being capitalised in the middle of a sentence. If anyone sees any "The" capitalised out there, feel free to correct it :) ~ Psylocke 07:13, 6 October 2013 (GMT)

Yet another capitalization question[edit]

There seems to be some uncertainty about whether or not to capitalize "moonstone" and "quicksilver" in the articles. Unlike all other ore types, they have generally been capitalized in the past, so I have been following this when editing, but others have not, which makes we question whether they should ever have been capitalized. Can anybody give a justification for these being capitalized? --Xyzzy Talk 13:36, 15 October 2013 (GMT)

I don't think they're proper nouns, so I would think they should only be capitalized at the start of a sentence. ThuumofReason (talk) 13:41, 15 October 2013 (GMT)
They're capitalised in the past probably because of the reason I gave in the above post - leaving link labels blank. We don't capitalise words like "elven", "orcish", or "dragonplate" anyway [1], and just like ThuumofReason said, "moonstone" and "quicksilver" aren't proper nouns. ~ Psylocke 13:50, 15 October 2013 (GMT)

Yet another capitalization question, part deux[edit]

This is somewhat related to the topic above, but expands on it. Based on a discussion on Skyrim_talk:Heavy Armor#Orcish, I propose the following addition to the Spelling Guide for consistency:

  • When referring to the main divisions of humanoids and their common alternatives, such as "man", "mer", and "elf", we do not capitalize them unless they occur at the beginning of a sentence, or in other instances where grammar dictates that they should be.
  • When referring to the races that are members of these divisions, they will always be capitalized. This includes the following:
    • All races of elf: Altmer/High Elf, Dunmer/Dark Elf, Orsimer/Orc, Dwemer/Dwarf, Falmer/Snow Elf, etc.
    • All races of man: Nord, Imperial, Redguard, etc.
    • Beast races: Argonian/Saxhleel, Khajiit.

The same standard would be applied to all of the currently-non-playable races, such Kothringi, Imga, and Tsaesci. The one race that I'm not sure how to handle would be dragons. Although Lore:Races lists them as a race, we have treated them more like a species of animal in the Skyrim articles and not capitalized them.

This change would also mean that we would capitalize all versions of items that include these racial descriptors, such as Dwarven armor, Orcish sword, and Falmer shield, but not elven dagger.

I eagerly await everbody's input. --Xyzzy Talk 18:36, 2 November 2013 (GMT)

Creatures are not capitalised, but I'll leave the dragon/Dragon debate for now, but Orcs were simply creatures in Arena and Daggerfall, so an exception would need to be placed there. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 19:00, 2 November 2013 (GMT)
Xyzzy, regarding the capitalisation on dragons, I think it was already resolved some time ago. If we are referring to dragons in general, it is decapitalised, but if referring to a particular type of dragon, it is capitalised (e.g. "Dragon" or "Frost Dragon"). Alphabetface explained it here quite well (you need to scroll down a bit) and I agree with her reasoning. True, Lore:Races lists them as a race, but Lore:Dragons and Skyrim:Dragons follow this capitalisation convention. ~ Psylocke 15:57, 4 November 2013 (GMT)
That seems reasonable to me. If I don't see any more input on this in the next few days, I'll go ahead and add it to the Spelling Guide. --Xyzzy Talk 00:44, 27 December 2013‎ (GMT)
I've picked this up from the Nightingale Sentinel page and fully support these changes as making complete sense to me. I've never had much success keeping up with the changes for these whether caps or decaps, so in the past I've always followed what's causing the least work for others on pages I write, I seem to catch up once a couple of pages get changed, then try and change my style to reflect what is working without changes. I missed the original conversation during my latest bout of illness sidelined me for a few weeks. However I take it this has now been implemented to reflect the above and individual races are to be capitalised, but species such as man, elf, mer are not? I'll ensure my pages reflect this in the future and try to find some time soon to look back over previous pages I've worked on recently to check for consistency. I think I've been getting Dwemer/Dwarven/Nord/Nordic correct, but not 100% sure whether I'm getting most of the others, and that implies nor are many other people otherwise I'm sure I'd have been picked up on these by now as well. I'll check and revise if necessary. Biffa (talk) 02:21, 27 March 2014 (GMT)

Spelling of Heartfire/Hearthfire[edit]

It seems like there are a bunch of different spellings for this one month. In Arena, it's "Heart Fire". Daggerfall has "Hearth Fire". Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim seem to use "Heartfire" for the most part; other spellings in Skyrim seem to be exclusive to the game calendar and/or books. This should probably be noted on the page, but my question is, which spelling do we use for Lore space? Common sense would dictate that we use the most prevalent form, so would that be "Heartfire"? Zul se onikaanLaan tinvaak 15:56, 25 June 2014 (GMT)

We currently use "Hearthfire". —Legoless (talk) 16:42, 25 June 2014 (GMT)
So we just default to "Hearthfire" in lorespace except when directly quoting? It seems like the months don't play enough of an in-game role to justify being mentioned in gamespace articles, so is there any point to specifying in the note how it should be spelled outside of lorespace? Zul se onikaanLaan tinvaak 14:19, 26 June 2014 (GMT)

Proposed advice change on dialog/dialogue[edit]

A de facto convention I've observed evolving (not consistently but noticeable) over the last several decades is the use of "dialog" to refer to interface elements ("a dialog bog", "close the dialog", often found even in British computer-related publications) but "dialogue" to refer to content ("the show's dialogue is stilted", increasingly common in American entertainment publications). This is similar to always using "analog" to refer to the digital-versus-analog distinction, but often preferring "analogue" (especially in academic writing), to refer to "that which is analogous", a trend I've noticed in journals. A similar shift is rapid abandonment in British/Commonwealth English of "programme" to refer to computer code, but retention of it to refer to television shows and other non-computer contexts (without any adoption of the -mme spelling by Americans). The rule of thumb has become to use the short form of all these words for "computer stuff" in all cases, and longer forms being used or not, as context seems to warrant. [Aside: A similar though computer-unrelated trend is the gradual return of theatre to American English to specifically refer to live-production venues and to theatre as a performing art, to distinguish them from movie cinemas and from figurative usage ("theater of war"); the trend can be observed increasingly in the names of American venues and in arts course listings at university campuses.]

I propose that the dialog-versus-dialogue distinction (which is also a count-noun versus mass-noun distinction – "close the annoying pop-up dialogs" vs. "the scripted dialogue of NPCs") be adopted as a convention in this style guide subpage, as it is clearly an aid to clarity in our particular context. The current advice (more like "let chaos reign" non-advice) is:

  • dialogue, dialog: "Dialog" is primarily a US spelling, but is also acceptable in international English. Either spelling is acceptable on the site. There should be no need to correct either spelling of this word, except to provide consistency within a single article.

Enforcing one-page consistency for its own sake in that manner is, in this unusual case, sacrificing utility in favor of style, a habit the UESPWiki style guide specifically deprecates.

A new rule might read:

  • dialogue, dialog: "Dialog" is always used in reference to user-interface elements ("dialog boxes", "the Persuasion and Barter dialogs"). Use "dialogue" in reference to the content of communication with NPCs ("the item's location is revealed in dialogue with Caius Cosades", "this NPC's Latest Rumors dialogue varies according to the PC's Reputation").

— Darklocq  ¢ 17:58, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

One thing we do have an adverse reaction to is getting overly technical, such as trying to decide where and when one of two perfectly acceptable spellings should be used, that is why it is currently 'one or the other'. This is technically a Canadian website, with its source material being an American based game using American English, with a noticeable trend in using Old English meanings. That basically means we end up using American spellings with mainly British grammar, which is not a recipe for easy integration for new users. However, this is our way, and changing it now would mean a whole lot of work which no-one is in favour of. If anything I'd favour dialogue completely over dialog, as even our Amercian users seem to trend towards it now (if I may make such an assumptive claim). Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 18:21, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree with regard to general usage of the word, but the technical-writing sense of "dialog box" is pretty much universally spelled (or spelt) "dialog". That's precisely why I'm suggesting the change. The real world is evolving a distinction in usage, and it's one that unusually meaningful on this site. PS: I live in the US, sound American, but learned to read and write in the UK, and have also lived in Canada, so I'm entirely sympathetic to the concerns and their effects. — Darklocq  ¢ 00:46, 23 February 2017 (UTC)