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Memory Alpha:Naming conventions

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Memory Alpha  AboutPolicies and guidelines → Naming conventions
Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines

Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

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

An article's name should be as precise and simple as possible. In general, the name should be the most complete, commonly used name for the subject. In the case of multiple names, it is expected that redirect pages be created for the alternate names.

The primary purpose of these policies is to simplify the process of choosing a name for a new article. When writing an article on any subject, the names, words, and phrases that you think should be linked to further information should be [[bracketed]], so that they form links to new articles.

Remember that like most of our rules, these conventions are not absolute. However, if there is a doubt about how a page should be named, it's best to follow the convention first.

General conventions Edit

  • Links are case-sensitive. [[Akira class]] and [[Akira Class]] link to different pages, an additional reason to make sure you are using the preferred capitalization.
    • Exception: The first letter of a link may be lowercase – [[Warp drive]] and [[warp drive]] link to the same page. Complicated constructs using pipe links are unnecessary in this case.
  • Lowercase second and subsequent words. Unless the title of the article is a proper noun, all words except the first should be lowercase, not capitalized. (Example: [[Photon torpedo]], not [[Photon Torpedo]])
  • Use singular nouns. Because the wiki engine will allow you to append suffixes after a link, it's best to use the singular form of all words, unless the subject is generally always in the plural form. (Examples: [[economics]], [[photon torpedo]], but not [[photon torpedoes]])
  • Use the most encyclopedic name. Generally, the most encyclopedic name for an article is the most complete and commonly used name.
  • Be precise. Ambiguously-named articles will likely create confusion for readers. (See also: Disambiguation)
  • Use spelled-out phrases, not acronyms. Well-known acronyms can use a redirect for easy linking, like NASA or LCARS.
  • Don't create subpages. Although the wiki engine accepts the slash ("/") character in article titles, refrain from using it to suggest a hierarchy of articles. A name like [[Federation/Starships]] would be an example to avoid.
  • Avoid special characters. There are a number of characters that are not accepted by the MediaWiki engine in article titles. The following characters should not be used:
" # $ * + < > = @ [ ] \ ^ ` { } | ~

Specific conventions Edit

  • Episode and novel titles. All episodes have "(episode)" at the end of their title, and if a novel has the same title as the subject it is about, you should disambiguate by adding "(novel)" to its title. (Example: "Day of Honor (novel)")
  • Languages. Languages often share their names with the culture or species that it is native to. In these cases, suffix the language name with the word "language" – but only when necessary. (Examples: Romulan language, but Klingonese)
  • Species names. Always use the name of an alien species in singular form (e.g. Andorian, not Andorians). For examples like Vulcan for which there are several definitions, use a disambiguation page.
  • Planet names. In all cases, use the most common version of a planet's proper name, (e.g. Earth instead of Terra or Sol III, and Qo'noS instead of Klingon homeworld). In cases where no other name is known, use the standard "name, Roman numeral" convention (e.g. Malcor III).
  • Ship names. Articles about ships that have standard prefixes should include them in the article title. (Examples: USS Voyager and IKS Bortas) Note that although in text the name but not the prefix is italicized, this is not indicated in the article name, so an inline template is used. The inline templates also take care of the rare cases where separate articles are needed for different ships, for example: USS Enterprise-D goes to the article about the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D).
  • Klingon names. In most circumstances, it is not necessary to specify a Klingon by their full family title. (Example: Worf, not Worf, son of Mogh) This applies to other alien cultures with similar practices.
  • Bajoran names. As in accordance with Bajoran tradition, the precedence should go first to the family name, and then the given name (e.g. Kira Nerys).
  • System names. Generally, use "XXX system" as the name of an article about a star system. Do not capitalize "system". (Example: Sol system, not Sol System)
  • Lists. Use the plural form of the subject. (Example: [[Federation starships]])

If you have another specific issue that should be added to this list, please bring it up on the talk page.

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