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Wikipedia:Naming conventions

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This page is a list of guidelines on how to name pages.

Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. Beyond this general statement, the most important sections to read are the first few sections: Simplicity, Precision, Capitalization, and Pluralization.

The purpose of these policies is to make creating new pages with appropriate links easier. When writing Wiki pages on any subject, names, words, or phrases that you think should be linked to further information should be [[bracketed]] so that they will appear as links. Following consistent conventions in both naming and linking makes it more likely that these links will lead to the right place.

It is important to note that these are conventions, not rules written in stone. As the Wikipedia grows and changes, some conventions that once made sense may become outdated. But when in doubt, follow convention.

Table of contents

General conventions

Lowercase second and subsequent words

Convention: Unless the term you wish to create a page for is a proper noun or is otherwise almost always capitalized, do not capitalize second and subsequent words.
Rationale and specifics: See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization) and wikipedia:Canonization.

Prefer singular nouns

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

Use English words

Convention: Name your pages in English and place the native transliteration on the first line of the article unless the native form is more commonly used in English than the English form.
Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)

Use common names of persons and things

Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.
Rationale and specifics: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)

Be precise when necessary

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

Prefer spelled-out phrases to acronyms

Convention: Avoid the use of acronyms in page naming unless the term you are naming is almost exclusively known only by its acronym and is widely known and used in that form (NASA and radar are good examples) .
Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (acronyms)

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

Since Transportation in Azerbaijan could just as well be considered a subdivision of Transportation as of Azerbaijan, do not use a name like Azerbaijan/Transportation (a so-called subpage, formerly used to indicate that the page is a subdivision of the topic Azerbaijan). For an exception, see Wikipedia:Subpages in the user and talk namespaces.

Be careful with special characters

Some special characters can not be used, or can, but give problems. For example you should not use a piping character (|), an asterisk (*), an ampersand (&), or curly braces ({}) or square braces ([]) in a name. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (technical restrictions).

Other specific conventions

Historical names and titles

Convention: In general, use the most common form of the name used in English and disambiguate the names of monarchs of modern countries in the format [[{Monarch's first name and ordinal} of {Country}]] (example: Edward I of England).
Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles) and Wikipedia:History standards

Use plain numbers only for years

Convention: In general the use of number-only page names should only be used for Year in Review entries. So call it Form 1040, not 1040, and Intel 386, not 386. That way, if we ever want to add a page about what happened in the year 1040 or the year 386, we won't have a collision with the other uses of numbers. -- Simon J Kissane

Movie titles

Convention: Oftentimes movies share the same name as other movies, books or terms. When disambiguating a movie from something else use (movie) in the title when only one movie had that name and (YEAR movie) in the title when there are more than one movies by that name (example: Titanic (1997 movie)).
Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (movies)

Languages, both spoken and programming

Convention: Languages which share their names with some other thing should be suffixed with "programming language" in the case of programming languages, or "language" in the case of spoken languages. If the language's name is unique, there is no need for any suffix. For example, Python programming language and English language, but VBScript and Sanskrit.
Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (languages)

Ship names

Convention: Articles about ships that have standard prefixes should include them in the article title; for example, HMS Ark Royal, USS Enterprise. Note that although in text the name but not the prefix is italicized, this is not indicated in the article name, so pipe links are used, e.g. for the above [[HMS Ark Royal|HMS ''Ark Royal'']], [[USS Enterprise|USS ''Enterprise'']]. Articles about ships that do not have standard prefixes should be titled as (Nationality) (type) (Name); for example, Soviet aircraft carrier Kuznetsov ([[Soviet aircraft carrier Kuznetsov|Soviet aircraft carrier ''Kuznetsov'']].
Rationale and specifics: See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ships)

Conventions under consideration

Pieces of music

Convention: Name the article in its most common form, adding the composer's surname in parentheses after it if more than one piece has that title. For example, War Requiem, Violin Concerto (Berg), Symphony No. 6 (Mahler), Piano Sonata, K. 331 (Mozart). See: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (pieces of music)

City names

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

Years in titles

Convention: In general, there are no special naming conventions for articles on recurring events, such as elections or the olympics. See: wikipedia:Naming conventions (years in titles)

There are many other specific issues still being discussed on the talk page.

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