Forum:British English spelling and format

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This thread was archived on 5 March 2010 by Degenret01.

I find the policy of correcting American spelling and date format distasteful. Why can't we just follow the Wikipedia policy, which is simply to keep an article that has already been done in either American or British English consistent? The systematic application of British spelling and convention is actually possibly confusing, as well, since floors in England start with the ground floor and floors in America start with the first floor, and sometimes people will forget to mention both conventions in articles.

In my opinion, the argument that "we must spell in British English and use all British conventions because Jagex is based in England" is possibly ridiculous, because perhaps 90% of the players are actually Americans! Good writers should aim to write for the audience, not in some arbitrary fashion. --Agamemnus 22:12, February 28, 2010 (UTC)


Support see below - I find it annoying to have to constantly talk in British English, especially when a majority (I doubt it's over 90%, though) of the users here use American English. --LiquidTalk 22:13, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - we should put a pole on the main page, asking if you speak american or british english. whichever side wins gets the entire wiki converted to their style. i dont think we should have inconsistencies.  —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 3rd age farcaster (talk).

We don't have a poll to decide something... --Iiii I I I 22:24, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose It's a British game, and British English and conventions are used throughout. The policy on this wiki has always been to be consistent with the game and Jagex's documentation of it. Find it annoying or confusing that other people use different conventions? Tough. Now you now how Brits feel when playing American games. You get used to it. It is not necessary to mention both conventions (e.g. floor numbering) in an article, since the wiki convention is ground floor, first floor, etc. (as per UK convention). It would be crazy to have some articles use American convention and others using British. It's great that so many Americans play RuneScape and want to help with the wiki (we are very glad to have you here), but guess what? You can't have things your own way all the time. Sorry if I seem rude here, I'm just writing my natural reaction, and it's not as tactful as I normally am.  :-$ Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 22:34, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

Your argument is silly!--Agamemnus 23:55, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
If you think any point I have raised is invalid, or have a counter-argument, please detail it here. Saying "your argument is silly" is not a terribly constructive or cohesive argument. Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 00:03, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
I know. Well, I'll just say then that "tough cookies, you stupid Americans" is probably not a great argument against, if it was one. Some notion of "fairness" or equality is insufficient to force us to use British English. Standardization isn't necessary (non-standardization is "crazy", right?) when it is directed towards details that are not confusing, like spelling and dates. In the case of floors, since most players ARE American (according to the law of large numbers in relation to the sheer number of Runescape players) my position is that both should be put, but American first to ally confusion. --Agamemnus 00:23, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
You want a counter-argument? OK. 1) You say that Wikipedia's policy is "simply to keep an article that has already been done in either American or British English consistent". This is untrue. Wikipedia's policy is to have each article use the form of English that is most appropriate for the subject matter, so an article about an American city will use US English, and an article about a British author will use British English. Since every article here is about a British game, every article should use British English according to that policy. 2) Regardless of Wikipedia's policies, this wiki is not Wikipedia, and our policies are our own. 3) I never called Americans stupid, that is a totally irrelevant comment to make based on my argument above. 4) Standardisation (or standardization  :-p) about dates is not necessary, you are right about that, but it is wholly appropriate. Whether I write "24 April 2010" or "April 24, 2010", people are going to know what I mean. But inconsistent style from one page to another makes the wiki look disjointed - after all, it's supposed to be an encyclopaedia, and therefore the text should have an in-house style. That's what the style guide is for. My intention here is not to be anti-American, but sometimes British English and conventions are more appropriate, even in an international setting where Americans may me in the majority. This is one of those times. Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 19:58, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
1. That is true, but an article about apples is not necessarily in American-English or British English-- it will be in whichever spelling variation came first.
2. I know...
3. I know you didn't; I was referring to: "Now you now how Brits feel when playing American games. You get used to it."
4. I don't agree. I think it is perfectly reasonable to use both styles and not to make the usage of American style a reason for editing an article to British style. In fact, I don't believe that in either British or American English both of these styles are universal.--Agamemnus 20:08, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Neutral - Hmm, Lee has a good point... I guess demanding American conventions isn't too fair... --LiquidTalk 22:36, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Lee. Dragon longsword.png Venichen2 T C E Dragon scimitar old.png 22:48, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - According to Azliq's (out of date) sitemeter, only 23% of users that edit here are from the United States. --Iiii I I I 22:54, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

I doubt that's accurate. Many times, IPs cannot be accurately pinpointed... --LiquidTalk 22:56, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
A recent poll on the wiki homepage showed that 47 percent of respondents said they were from North America. That includes the US, Canada and Mexico. Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 23:07, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
People could have lied, and that is a straw poll... Unless the sample is completely random (and this was not, since the respondents chose themselves) we can't use it to back up policy in either direction. --LiquidTalk 23:09, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not saying it should, I was only quoting it as part of the discussion. It's fairly irrelevant either way, as policy should not pander to demographics. Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 23:55, February 28, 2010 (UTC)
The sitemeter is fairly accurate and is based on page edits AND visits, and scary as it sounds, IPs can be pinpointed up to the town they're from. BTW, the current Sitemeter stats: 37% North America, 34.4% US. Also, see Google Trends.   az talk   09:01, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
... the stats are the opposite of what you claim. Take a look at site visits for the last 30 days. For USA (not North America), daily visitors is about 60K, and US visitors is over 30K. That doesn't include Canada, which has about 75% of the views of everyone from England. And, by the way, Canadians have their own spelling conventions that aren't exactly American or British English.--Agamemnus 18:17, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
I am not claiming anything, the stats are taken directly from sitemeter which collects data from this site. I would rather believe the statistics taken from this site, than to rely on Google Trends:   az talk   21:30, March 4, 2010 (UTC)
My website's information in Trends for Websites doesn't match my own data. Why?

It's important to keep in mind that all results from Trends for Websites are estimated. Moreover, the data is updated periodically, so recent changes in traffic data may not be reflected. Finally, keep in mind that Trends for Websites is a Google Labs product, so it's still in its early stages of development and may therefore contain some inaccuracies. In the future, we may consider ways to improve the accuracy of Trends for Websites by allowing owners to contribute additional data from their sites.

Well, I have used the wiki for months now and I never saw that poll! But then again.... --Agamemnus 00:26, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
I've seen it... I remember voting in it... --LiquidTalk 02:24, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

we will never reach consensus on this issue. Third age robe top.png 3rd age farcaster Third age druidic robe top.png 23:32, February 28, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - If consensus was to pass, to allow American English into our articles, there'll be hundreds of formatting inconsistencies, not just because of British English already existing in articles, but also due to the fact that a user will use their preferred style of the English language. The following will mean that we might have to use one language as a norm to avoid them, I don't know about you, but the thought of going against what I grew up with frankly irritates me to the highest degree. Also, the fact you are using "Most players are American" doesn't take away from the fact, that Jagex is a British company that uses British English in the game itself, we are a Wiki about that game, so it seems logical we should British Language in our articles, also, as Max pointed out, English users of the internet get used to reading other variants of the English language in other Games/Wikis that predominately use American English as a general style, So I don't see any reason why American users cannot get used to a British English style site. Ruud (talk)(Suggest me naems) 02:46, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Jake and Lee. ~ Fire Surge icon.png Sentry Telos Talk  05:05, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - per Lee and that British spelling is also used by the Canadian, Australian, South African, Irish, Singaporean and up-and-coming Indian audience. --  Nequillim  T C E   06:28, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - per Telos. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 06:37, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - per Oli. Construction-icon.png Matt is Me / Harmonising / Lvl 3 skils3 Talk Cooking cape (t).png 06:38, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - British English, FTW, simply because Jagex is British. In the future, if the "audience" or players were found to be mostly Australians, should we start using Australian English? The audience and player base shifts as time passes...   az talk   09:01, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

It would take a long time for this to really happen unless incredibly drastic demographic shifts occur. This game is known worldwide now. Its proportion of various countries (at least for developed countries where age ratio does not vary) is based squarely on their population,.--Agamemnus 09:33, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - We don't actually enforce that rule, instead some users edit the mistakes page by page. We spell things the same way that RuneScape does for professional reasons, so I don't see why we shouldn't here. Choosing to using the player spelling instead of Jagex's definitive spelling would be choosing to move "Fremennik" to the incorrect spelling of "Fremmenik" because that is how most players spell it. Unicorn horn dust.png Evil Yanks talk 09:13, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect spelling is not the same as American spelling. *smile* --Agamemnus 09:31, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
Also: I see many users editing American spelling and date format constantly, and they are not mistakes, so the idea of "enforcement" or not is purely academic at this point.--Agamemnus 09:31, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
In the context of a wiki mainspace page where they are meant to use British spelling, it is incorrect no matter how you look at it. Unicorn horn dust.png Evil Yanks talk 09:35, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
You're just repeating what the current style guide is saying, and my argument against it is what you just read in the first few paragraphs... address that. --Agamemnus 18:11, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Comment To all above opposed per original comment of Leevclarke. Please read my argument there. I believe you have been refuted with no response against as yet...--Agamemnus 09:31, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Just because I have not yet attempted a counter-argument to your spurious discssion above, that does not mean that the argument you offer is valid. I am only one person, and I do not want to dominate this discussion. I am always interested to listen to other opinions, and that is what I am doing right now. Can you honestly say the same? Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 19:39, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Comment Yes I know a majority of players are American but the rest of the world uses British English. We are targeting an international audience not audience from a single country. Its like saying we should only let people play RuneScape that are aged 10 to 18 as a majority of players (and potential players) are within that age range. Dragon longsword.png Venichen2 T C E Dragon scimitar old.png 11:50, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Exactly. No offence to American players, but it would sheer arrogance to insist that American is used simply because US players play more RS... It is like asking BBC to start speaking American because they found out (in a survey) that Americans watch more BBC than the Brits. OMG!   az talk   12:13, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
Er, but I'm not. I'm asking that article writers use what they want.--Agamemnus 18:07, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
actually, arrogance is asking to do what a minority wants, against the wishes of the majority. if there was a room of 500 people, and 1 of them wanted to play a certain kind of music but the other 499 did not want to, it would simply be wrong to do what the 1 person wanted. Third age robe top.png 3rd age farcaster Third age druidic robe top.png 15:58, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Lee. I do not care why you think we should use American diction, customs, or any other things that make you think that we shouldn't keep changing American formalities to British formalities. It's not just because Jagex is based in the UK, but it's how the game is structured, based off of British English, not an American style written game. That's where I stand. Ryan PM 17:20, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Er, again, so what is the functional reasoning here?--Agamemnus 18:07, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Neutral: I can understand wanting all pages to be consistent, but sometimes it goes to far. Its fine to change stuff like floor numbering and things such as this, but what is wrong with one or two articles with "armor" instead of "armour", "color" instead of "colour", and so on.

I say if the difference can confuse some people (like instructions that say go the first story of a building), that can be edited to the accepted English. But all the difference is a "u" or something, just leave it be. All you're doing is removing the person from the top of the edit history list=P. Phasmatys flag.png Rebel Ry Construction cape.png

That's exactly what I am saying, so you shouldn't be neutral on this!--Agamemnus 18:08, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
I'm neutral because I support changing it sometimes and not changing it others, its just a matter of context really=P Phasmatys flag.png Rebel Ry Bonesack(e).png 18:10, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
Again, the only place where I would like consistency in favor of American convention is floor numbering. I would like the official style to be like Wikipedia -- "only change the spelling of an article to a certain English dialect to make it consistent within an article", instead of RS wiki: "change everything to British English and consider everything else as incorrect spelling or formatting". --Agamemnus 18:21, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose with provision:

  • Spelling -- I think spellings should be British to match the Runescape site itself. For example, searching the Grand Exchange for "armor" will show nothing, but "armour" will list what is desired. It's best for people to get used to Runescape's (aka British) spelling.
  • Dates -- I think date formats should not matter providing the month is shown in word form and not numeric. The runescape site itself also displays dates with the months in words to avoid ambiguity.
  • Floor numbering -- This is more problematic. By default the floor numbers should match the convention used within Runescape, but some American's may not be used to British floor numbering, and unlike spelling, they may not spot the correct meaning. Maybe wherever we refer to floors we could use a template to display the string, and the template could display the string appropriate for British but makes sure the American floor number is also shown in brackets (or visa versa) for Americans. The template could output according to the user's language setting.

Amaurice talk 18:41, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Update: My thought on using a template to address the floor numbering problem might be overkill as most articles that refer to floors do include the [[Template:Floor]] explanation:
Amaurice talk 21:04, March 1, 2010 (UTC)
That is reasonable.--Agamemnus 20:02, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - There are at least three reasons why I'm opposing the conversion of the RuneScape Wiki's spelling from British English to American English (even though I live in the southern United States and would probably benefit from this conversion...): 1) Jagex is based in Cambridge, which is in Britain; 2) RuneScape is Jagex foremost project, or at least it has been since 2001 when RuneScape Classic first appeared...; and 3) RuneScape uses British version of the English language throughout the entire game. Now, 1) and 2) probably aren't good enough reasons, I'll admit, but 3) is definitely important in regards to this discussion. Also, why would/should a wiki about a British online RPG use American spelling on its articles? Logically, the only sense this makes is that American players benefit more from the conversion being implemented, but since there are plenty of players from other nationalities, why should they be denied a conversion of this wiki into their own language? Also, if we were to convert the Wiki into American English, there would be plenty of British players who would be upset at the conversion. Do we thumb our noses at them and say "Too bad, we're changing the spelling to American English, and there's nothing you can do about it"? Even if we didn't do such a thing, the British players would probably assume something of the sort and start ranting about it. The last problem with this proposal is the immense workload of converting all the articles and other namespaces from British English to American English, which would likely detract from other more vital tasks for improving the Wiki. No, I believe British English is best for this wiki, even though I am an American and would likely benefit from this change. The cons outweigh any possible pros in regards to this proposal. [1] N7 Elite (Ready to talk now?) 19:59, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - I like British English. --Iiii I I I 20:34, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Everything about Jagex is British English, so it would be appropriate to have the wiki based upon British English as well (and mind you, I'm (Asian) American myself). That's a perfectly sound argument, more so than "90% of the people who play are American!" in my opinion. Should we change the title of our "Familiarisation" article to "Familiarization" because more people spell it that way, and completely ignore Jagex's spelling of it in their website and in the game?  Tien  22:21, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Comment:If we were to make it so the spelling is the British way, could we at least make it so its not the only reason to edit a page? Its fine if you're adding something and happen to notice "armor" without a u, or if you're tidying up the page, but if the only reason you edit is because of one "typo", it just seems overkill. Of course the exception to this rule is probably titles, but those are obvious.

The people who use British English can probably figure out that if its "missing" a U or something, that its just a different way of spelling it.

I say this because I don't want the recent changes to only feature "ZOMG! Changed "Armor" to Armour because armor is WRONG!". Its like grammar police brutality if that's the only reason you edited an article Phasmatys flag.png Rebel Ry Bonesack(e).png 23:54, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

On the contrary, most new editors start off by making minor corrections to articles, such as spelling and grammar fixes. If we actually prohibit this kind of correction, it would actually be harmful, given the nature of a wiki. Edits like this should be marked as minor, but it's not like we have a quota on the number of edits we can make. Like I said above, spellings etc. should be consistent with the in-house style, as given in the style guide. I think consistency here is a perfectly reasonable expectation, and if any editor notices an inconsistency, they should be free to correct it. I'm going to shut up now, because I really don't want to dominate this debate.  :-p Leevclarke talk Max_logo_mini.png bulldog_puppy.png 00:02, March 2, 2010 (UTC)
Comment: Very good point, I can see how that could benefit the first time users. They might not know the British English rules though, so it might be unlikely we see them editing. Anyway, I'm still neutral about the whole thing, but I can see why consistency and minor edits to fix minor "typos" can help the Wiki.

Phasmatys flag.png Rebel Ry Bonesack(e).png 01:38, March 2, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - British game = British spelling. I don't see any flaws in the logic. As an American, Per all. Magic-icon.pngStelercusIlluminated Book of Balance.png 01:42, March 2, 2010 (UTC) (P.S. - Why am I not shocked I got an edit conflict seeing as how I waited an hour between writing this and saving the page)

Oppose - Following the spelling and floor conventions that Jagex uses just help us with consistency. Just like with pretty much everything else in the wiki, we follow the in-game name for something. That means calling it armour instead of armor. It's not going to kill us Americans to realize that we aren't the only culture out there. Plus, it's called English for a reason, not United Statesish, lol Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 02:24, March 2, 2010 (UTC)

Request for closure - I think we'll never reach a consensus here. Please close this as a majority opposed. Dragon longsword.png Venichen2 T C E Dragon scimitar old.png 02:20, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Comment' How is oppose not a consensus? Slayer Timwac talk Fire cape.png 19:20, March 2, 2010 (UTC)
Comment - LOL ok. Dragon longsword.png Venichen2 T C E Dragon scimitar old.png 02:20, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose British English is what the game is written in and would be confusing to players when wanting to buy a "ring of dueling" as stated on the wiki and then cannot find it in game. Its illogical to start changing everything when the game is written otherwise. Slayer Timwac talk Fire cape.png 19:20, March 2, 2010 (UTC)

Request for closure - There is a clear consensus for keeping British English, and I think RS:SNOW applies here. I think there was only ever one support vote (mine), which I changed to neutral like five minutes after it was cast. --LiquidTalk 22:19, March 2, 2010 (UTC)

No. I don't think the majority of editors understand what I am asking here. They are not opposing what I am asking but only their pre-conceived notion of after skimming through it.--Agamemnus 19:59, March 3, 2010 (UTC)
Support closure - per RS:SNOW and per my believe that British English should be used regardless of the audience or the player base.   az talk   21:30, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - As any reference to ingame things must use British English (as searching for something in the Grand Exchange using incorrect spelling would produce no results, for example), therefore all other text must use British Spelling for consistency. Having two different variations is just sloppy. Damnads 03:00, March 4, 2010 (UTC)

Closing per RS:SNOW. No one is forced to make any correction to articles that they do not wish to but we will stay with the conventions we have always used. If I missed a point that Agamemnus feels we have overlooked he is encouraged to contact any sysop.--Degenret01 10:04, March 5, 2010 (UTC)