Forum:Style guide additions

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This thread was archived on 5 June 2011 by Tienjt0.

1.1 I propose that a section about lead sections (lede, introduction) be added to RuneScape:Style guide. This is to try and make the lead sections in articles more consistent.

1.2 I think that it should basically say that lead sections should summarize the most important points of the topic, and that they should not be too long (like 4, 5 paragraphs). The whole point of the lead is to give people an introduction to the topic, and it should invite and create interest in the article/topic. So look at it this way, would a lead be better if it just includes information that is not in the rest of the article at all and is too long, or an article that has a lead that summarizes the rest of the article and is not too long?

2. In addition, I propose that the style guide also adds that the word "you" should not be used in articles except in the case of quotations. "You" is pretty informal and not encyclopedic, and articles would be more formal if words such as "players," "one," "he or she," etc. were used instead, and they're both saying the same thing.

Keep in mind the style guide is a guideline, not a policy.

Discuss, Smithing 18:22, May 21, 2011 (UTC)

Discussion

Strong support 2 - Too many articles use the informal second person instead of the more encyclopedic third person. --LiquidTalk 18:31, May 21, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - You will eventually realise that the word you can make articles very weird for you. Real Mad 18:44, May 21, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - Per above, "you" is informal. bad_fetustalk 18:46, May 21, 2011 (UTC)

Support both - But don't encourage or make it compulsory for people to use "he or she". I think he or she sounds awful, and "they" is a perfectly acceptable alternative. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 19:28, May 21, 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely not. The singular "they" is grammatically incorrect. Eschew the use of pronouns or use the male version in that case (it's not like there are girls on the internet anyways). --LiquidTalk 00:11, May 22, 2011 (UTC)
... sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 03:22, May 22, 2011 (UTC)
Dude, I will wreck you. Seriously. Come at me. I dare you. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 08:31, May 22, 2011 (UTC)
umadbro? Matt (t) 09:53, May 22, 2011 (UTC)
Certainly, Psycho. I will be waiting in my POH. It's in Yanille. Come and catch me if you dare! --LiquidTalk 15:39, May 22, 2011 (UTC)

Support both - Per all. The lead on Abyssal demon is an example of one that is far too long.  Tien  20:32, May 21, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - There should not be things like "the player should now go to ...", because "Now go to ..." also sounds a lot better. And for articles that are not guides, "This monster can be killed ..." should be used instead of "The player can kill this monster ...". You should not be replaced mindlessly, but the use should be corrected to look more encyclopedic. If that happens, I support #2. If it is just mindlessly changed to "the player" I don't think it's good to have it. "You should now go to Lumbridge" does actually sound better than "The player should now go to Lumbridge". The second way just looks disturbing in guides, and usually on articles too. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 22:50, May 21, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - A shorter lead wouldn't really help with articles such as this one... User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 06:22, May 22, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - Per all. Matt (t) 06:40, May 22, 2011 (UTC)

Support Both - I agree that leads should not be too long (Note that I didn't say "I agree that leads should be shorter"). In too many cases, good information is just slapped on the end of the intro paragraph instead of placed under the relevant heading. If we add something to the style guide on this point, it should simply mention that only basic and important info should be given to prevent excessive length to the intro. The contents should not be mandated, because there are just too many variations. Maybe examples could be given instead. Nothing too heavy though. About the use of informal second person, I agree that "you" should be used as little as possible. However, like Joeytje50 said above, many writers have a hard time making things sound good when avoiding the word "you." I think guides and tips/advice sections have many instances where "you" is appropriate. I could have sworn that this was mentioned in some guideline/policy, because I remember reading it when I first joined the wiki, but now I can't find it. Either way, I support that both have a section added to the style guide. ~J22f~TGC 17:12, May 23, 2011 (UTC)

I recall it recommending the use of 'you' when i first started out too. It's paticularly memorable because I actually would have preferred third person and felt it would be more appropriate but the policy stated in disagreement. Confuzzling. Henneyj 02:27, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - I thought that that was already in there Lol I also agree that a lead should be short and to-the-point, but I don't think I've seen many egregiously bad ones. Most of them (if I remember correctly) do a good job as a lead. ɳex undique 02:19, May 24, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - "You" is too informal. Dragon 2h sword old.pngCallofduty4 Talk 17:16, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

Command imperative - Fourth time for this discussion? Anyhow, using the command imperative (go here, do this) has a better flow and avoids the he/she/you entirely. It is what we usually agree on, but then new people come and are not made aware of it.--Degenret01 05:02, May 26, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - I like Degen's comment, but I think a command imperative should be used sparingly, as it is You understood, and because I don't think it would sound nice in all possible situations. Perhaps it could be used for guides/quests? (: "The player" or "players" sound more formal and educated, which I believe is a step in the right direction for most other articles aside from guides/quests. About #1 - Like other people have stated, there isn't much you can say about some things. If there's a lot to say about an article, we have a lot to say in the lead - it already works well like that. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 12:45, May 26, 2011 (UTC)

No, it works well if people actually know how they should be writing lead sections. Most articles in my opinion have major or obvious problems in the lead, and this will definitely help solve the problem. Smithing (talk | contribs) 19:04, May 27, 2011 (UTC)
Could you come up with an example to back up that claim? How about for Flippers McGraw, as Fswe suggested? (: sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 22:55, May 31, 2011 (UTC)
That article doesn't need a lead, the trivia simply should simply be merged along with the definition. And two, it needs to add something about the actual location of the penguins, and its release date etc. Not all articles need a lead, just the ones of sufficient length. Smithing (talk | contribs) 00:38, June 1, 2011 (UTC)
You should put that in your introduction then, several people have opposed 1 because they think you mean all articles should have a 4-paragraph lead. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 07:06, June 1, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - First, Psycho's link states that "they" only replaces "he" or "she" when the thing it's describing is plural, so there's no reason to wreck anyone, and I think I read somewhere that it's generally acceptable to use "he" when describing a person or many people of unspecified gender in the same way that it's "you guys" when addressing a group of evenly distributed gender and not "you girls" unless there are no males in the group. Call it gender preference, but it's our language.

That said, imperative is the obvious choice for guides as exemplified in the above examples, but I'd like to point out that, if "you," "he," or "she" seems necessary because the wording sounds choppy or otherwise bad when completely using imperative phrasing, you should try using prepositional or participial phrases. Instead of "Go to Lumbridge and speak with the Duke," "You should go to Lumbridge to speak with the Duke," or "The player should go to Lumbridge to speak with the Duke," try "In order to speak with the Duke, go to Lumbridge." Attaching a phrase to a clause allows you to use several unaccompanied clauses afterward without making the writing sound choppy.

In regards to leads, it's been mentioned that some articles have nothing to write for a lead. If such is the case, I doubt there would be any protest in not having much of a lead. See Raw_chicken for an example of a lead that doesn't necessarily need award-winning rhetoric or a fancy topic to provide useful information on a subject in a concise manner. Leftiness 02:19, May 27, 2011 (UTC)

Where is the "like" button? Well said. ~J22f~TGC 16:19, May 27, 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Although I think that "In order to speak with the Duke, players must go to Lumbridge" works better. Smithing (talk | contribs) 19:04, May 27, 2011 (UTC)
Where is the "wreck this nerd" button? The link I posted responds to the question "There are no personal pronouns that can refer to someone (as opposed to something) without identifying whether that person is male or female. So, what should you do in sentences such as these?" with the option "You can use the plural pronouns ‘they’, ‘them’, ‘their’ etc., despite the fact that, technically, they are referring back to a singular noun". In fact, it doesn't even refer to the plurality of "they" except in the quote which I posted. YOU LOSE NERD GET WRECKED THIS IS JUST LIKE NAZI GERMANY I'M SO PERSECUTED FOR MY BELIEFS WHY DON'T YOU MAKE ME GO HIDE IN AN ATTIC OR SOMETHING HITLER. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 20:17, May 27, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - "A child should eat because they need nourishment" is wrong. "They need" is plural, and "a child" is singular. Without regarding gender, it's wrong because its parallelism is off. "A child should eat because he needs nourishment" is correct. Both "a child" and "he needs" are singular, so their parallelism is on. If you don't want to address gender, try "A child should eat because nourishment is necessary," "A child should eat because death awaits those who ignore their basic needs," or any other sentence structure which changes the second subject in the sentence to something other than the first subject, for which you can use the second subject's actual name instead of a pronoun without being repetitive.

While I don't understand your aversion to addressing gender, lowering yourself to improper grammar in order to avoid a repetitive diction instead of performing the required work to tweak your sentence structure is lazy and unprofessional. The problem was solved for lazy people like yourself when it became acceptable to use "he" when addressing males and females as is described in my first paragraph.

Honestly, Psycho, I thought I was defending you from a baseless, Grammar Nazi invasion because I only read your source through to a point where I thought it solved the problem. I blame this on the fact that I'm normally supplied much more extensive links with lengths in the tens to hundreds of pages, and my habits followed through even given the short length of the current reference. I apologize for this, but such was the case.

In short: [email protected]@@@@ Leftiness 03:52, May 30, 2011 (UTC)

Support 2 - I thought this was placed under common sense anyways. --クールネシトーク 20:20, May 31, 2011 (UTC)

Closed - Both proposals will be implemented and the style guide will be updated. As a side note, the first proposal will only apply to articles that are long enough to incorporate a lead section.  Tien  02:17, June 5, 2011 (UTC)