Linguifex:Style policy

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Policy
Any suggestions or additions to this page's content shall be discussed on the page's discussion page.
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See also: Linguifex:Policy

This is the Style policy, or Manual of Style, of Linguifex. This policy is a style guide for editing and creating articles, guides and languages on our wiki.

The Style policy presents the Wiki's own style, to help editors produce articles with consistent, clear, and precise language, layout, and formatting. The goal is to make the wiki easier and more intuitive to use. Consistency in language, style, and formatting promotes clarity and understandability; this is especially important within an article.

Where more than one style is acceptable, editors should not change an article from one of those styles to another without a substantial reason. Revert-warring over optional styles is unacceptable. If discussion cannot determine which style to use in an article, defer to the style used by the first major contributor.

Any issues relating to style guidance can be discussed on the policy's talk page.

Language

The standard and official language of Linguifex is English.

  • English is the language used in all articles on constructed languages, linguistics, guides et cetera. We prefer no major national variety of the language over any other. These varieties (e.g. British English, U.S. English) differ in vocabulary (tap vs faucet), spelling (centre vs center), and occasionally grammar.
  • There is no official dialect or accent of the English language explicitly established, thus any dialect may be used on all articles.
It is therefore desireable if the editors by common sense restrict the usage of words that might be unintelligible for other users.
Please note, however, that the currently prevalent dialect on this wiki is the British Received Pronunciation.
  • English is also elementary in coding templates, as well as making template documentation.

Exceptions

Being a fundamentally multilingual wiki, prohibition of using languages other than English would be ignorant. Using other languages other than English ought however to be limited to user talk pages, and subpages of constructed languages - as long as there is an English prevalent page.

  • Official documents and pages of the Conlang wiki may be translated into natural languages after a petition to the administrators.
  • Articles, guides, natural languages end FAQs may not be translated.

In accordance with conduct, a respectful and fair language is demanded.

Style

Articles

One of the most important parts of wiki editing is how to structure an article. The structure is a powerful thing: it dictates what information the reader reads and when he or she reads it. It can influence what people contribute, where it goes, and how it might be written. Structure has the power to inform or confuse the same way good or bad writing does. Keep a well structured article, and you're more likely to have a high quality one.

Organize sections in an article in a hierarchical structure like you would an outline. Keep it logical, but feel free to forsake strict logic for readability. Wherever possible, try to have an introduction for each section. Just like the article as a whole, the section should start with an introduction and then have its subsections below it. Try using a shallow structure rather than a deep one. Too many nested sections usually leads to a confusing or unreadable article.

Above all, keep your layout consistent. Don't throw your reader a curve ball too often. The following sections will offer some good advice on keeping your articles clean, consistent, and clear.

Initial section

No articles, no matter length, should start with an introductory lead section, before the first subheading. The lead should preferrably be explicitly entitled == Introduction == or any equivalent header. The table of contents, if displayed, appears before the initial section.

The lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article, establishing context, and explaining why the subject is interesting or notable. It should be between one or two paragraphs long, and should be written in a clear and accessible style so that the reader is encouraged to read the rest of the article.

If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article. For example, write:

Dahalo is an endangered South Cushitic language.

The first time the article mentions the title, put it in bold using three apostrophes — '''article title''' produces article title. Avoid other uses of bold in the first sentence, except for alternative titles of an article; for example:

Taa, also known as !Xoon or ǃXóõ, is a Khoisan language

Do not put links in the bold reiteration of the title in the article's lead sentence. For example,
"The English [[language]] is a West-Germanic..." versus The English language is a West-Germanic..."

Table of contents

A table of contents will automatically appear in articles with a minimum of four headings (unless forced by the below options). By default this will be left-aligned above the first section heading.

  • To the force a TOC position (left-aligned): __TOC__
  • To completely remove the TOC from a page: __NOTOC__

The table of contents can be right-aligned - but only if it is very long (over 15 entries) and an information box is not occupying the top-right corner of the article (rare exceptions exist).


Section headings

Use the == (two equal signs) style markup for main headings, equivalent to <h2>. Do not use a single =. This is because a single = creates an <h1> heading which is already used by the page header and would be bad coding. Also, do not use wikilinks in subject headings. When edited, these sections become confusing in the edit history because of the link code. Consider instead putting the word in the first or second sentence of the section and linking it there.

[[Linguifex:Style Policy#Punctuation and capitalisation|Capitalise the first letter only of the first word and of any proper nouns in a heading and leave all of the other letters in lowercase. Use "Founding and history", not "Founding and History". This is not an

Avoid special characters in headings, such as an ampersand (&), a plus sign (+), curly brackets ({}), or square brackets ([]). In place of the ampersand, use the word "and" unless the ampersand is part of a formal name.

Always keep headings short and simple. Headings are guidelines to your page's structure and should inform the reader rather than confuse. To keep it short, avoid unnecessary words or redundancy in headings, i.e. avoid a, an, and the, pronouns, repeating the article title, and so on. Also, try to avoid giving identical titles to different sections.

Images

Caption

Images make an article memorable and pretty. They can speak where words fail. At the same time, misplaced or untidy images can detract from an article. When choosing images, keep in mind placement, size, and the appropriateness of the image to the section. Let images flow with the text instead of break it up.

Large images such as screenshots should use the "thumb" (example:[[Image:CoolImage.png|thumb]]) option which displays large images as thumbnails. Images should generally be right aligned to enhance readability by allowing a smooth flow of text down the left margin - the "thumb" option does this by default. If an infobox is not being used in an article, a right aligned picture in the lead section is encouraged.

For more information, see Images on Wikipedia.

Galleries

When an article has many images, or can be improved by having more, and having inline images be detract from the readbility of an articles, the use of a <gallery> section is encouraged.

Tables

Tables should use a "class" design when possible, and should include as little 'fancy' formatting as possible. Tables can also be made sortable by adding a "sortable" class.

For long tables, it is recommended to create an "alt" class to alternate row colours to enhance readability. The below examples use "toccolours" as a class, but this is only for the purposes of demonstration, and isn't generally recommended.

With row headings, table caption, sortable

I am a caption
Heading one Heading two Heading three
Row heading 1 Row data 2b Row data 3c
Row heading 2 Row data 2b Row data 3a
Row heading 3 Row data 2c Row data 3b

{| class="toccolours sortable"
|+ I am a caption
|-
! Heading one || Heading two || Heading three
|-
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|-
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|-
| class="title" | Row heading
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|}

Without row headings, with alt rows

Heading one Heading two Heading three
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3
Row data 1 Row data 2 Row data 3

{| class="toccolours"
|-
! Heading one || Heading two || Heading three
|-
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|-
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|- class="alt"
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|-
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|- class="alt"
| Row data 1
| Row data 2
| Row data 3
|}

Article message boxes

Add me! You may want to look at Article message boxes on Wikipedia.

See also, references, external links, and navigational tables

The last sections, if they exist, should always be "See also", followed by "References", followed by "External links". In the case of "See also", use bullets to list the internal links. Under the references section should be placed <references/>. Finally, in the external links should be all external links.

Categories

Categories should be added to the end of an article - a full list can be found on Special:Categories.

Please note that no articles should go without categorisation, in which case they are found at Special:UncategorizedPages.

Disambiguation

A disambiguation line is sometimes put at the beginning of an article to link to another article with the same or similar title. The line should be italicized and indented once. Most usually contain the phrase, "Were you looking for X?" For example:

Were you looking for "[[Linguistics:List of cases]]", a list of grammatical cases??

Quotations

Format a long quote (over four lines) as an italicized block quotation, which will be indented from both margins. Do not enclose the block quote in quotation marks. To format a block quotation, do not use the wiki indentation mark ":" — instead, use the HTML <blockquote> element.

Conlangs

Guides

Punctuation and capitalisation

Articles

The principal criteria for article, constructed languages, contionary entries and guides are that a title should be recognizable (as a name or description of the topic), natural, precise, concise, and consistent with the titles of related articles. If these criteria are in conflict, they need to be balanced against one another.

  • The following points are critical:
  • The initial letter of an article's title should always be capitalised, whilst the rest of the words are written in minuscule. e.g. Kihā́mmic. Any titles following a separating colon, as in a subpage or namespace, should be capitalised as usual, e.g. Literature:Ishtar spoke to her father. Exceptionally, the Contionary applies its own capitalisation policy, as seen in e.g. Contionary:ethnema.
  • Do not use A, An, or The as the first word: Metaphony not The Metaphony.
  • Titles should normally be nouns or noun phrases: Phonotactics not About phonotactics.
  • The final or initial visible character should not be a punctuation mark unless it is part of a name, e.g. !Xóõ.
  • Avoid using nouns in the plural in page titles, hence: Verb not Verbs

The Style policy applies to all parts of an article, headers, sections and titles alike.

This page is solely administered by Waahlis and the remaining administrators are asked to limit their editing to the discussion page and correcting typographical errors.