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I started a discussion recently on the Emerald Graves article regarding how to name it, but looking at it, I think we should adress it on a broader scale, and consider putting some kind of guideline in place as DA:NAME doesn't cover this.

Basically it boils down to when or if the word "The" should be used in location article titles. My feeling is that if the word "The" is used in the location name on maps of Thedas, that we should include it in the name of the article. Such as The Free Marches and The Hinterlands. We're hitting a bit of a wall with Inquisition because the in-game journal listing quests does not always follow this convention. In the example that started this, the quest journal calls the location "Emerald Graves", but on the in-game map it is labeled "The Emerald Graves". Thus my opinion that we should always go with how the name appears on the maps of Thedas we have available (in games, World of Thedas, etc). This may lead to discrepancies, though, if maps don't agree with each other (I haven't compared all the maps to each other), so I'm open to other ideas--one suggestion was to use wikipedia's guidelines--I'd just like to see there be some sort of convention that we can follow in the future.

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Here's the aforementioned discussion for your reading pleasure:

In the quest journal the area is named simply Emerald Graves. However, when you're in the area, the map calls it The Emerald Graves. Which one shall we use? --Kelcat Talk 21:32, December 12, 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this would work, if there'll ever be an article or a section on a quest page for the Emerald Graves quests, then that could be Emerald Graves, while the location's article could be The Emerald Graves. Or would that be possibly too confusing or bad because of inconsistency? --Margerard 12:39, January 3, 2015 (UTC)

I'd prefer if we treat these articles as pages about geographic regions, not locations in the game, and always omit "The". – mostlyautumntalkcontribs • 12:48, January 3, 2015 (UTC)

I would've thought they'd use the geographically accurate name for the in-game map, hence the suggestion, but if that's not the case, then obviously let's go with whatever is the actual name of the region. --Margerard 13:08, January 3, 2015 (UTC)
But if a geographic region has the word "the" in it, why would we not include that? We have defaultsort, so the articles can be sorted properly. Is it a grammar convention? --Kelcat Talk 16:57, January 3, 2015 (UTC)
I'm used to wikipedia conventions – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(definite_or_indefinite_article_at_beginning_of_name) "The" is usually omitted on the maps too. – mostlyautumntalkcontribs • 17:46, January 3, 2015 (UTC)
Seems it's not possible to know the intended name, as there are different versions. Storm Coast has the opposite case to Emerald Graves for example. So you can't trust neither the map nor journal. It makes sense to add "the" to the places like Hinterlands and Emerald Graves, but what about Crestwood, Emprise du Lion, Exalted Plains, Forbidden Oasis? Looking at old maps and entries, it seems Bioware happily mixes the names, so perhaps it is best to use previous naming policies, if you had any? It seems that using "the" is being practiced at least in some cases, so this could support using the article (however, not always as a default?). <-Kewpies (talk) 18:57, January 3, 2015 (UTC)

For what it's worth, looking at the map of Thedas, I have noticed a pattern with naming of areas. It seems that areas with "common" names, so to speak, all have 'The'. For example, 'THE Western Approach', 'THE Coastlands', 'THE Sea of Ash', etc. Whereas areas that have more unusual names like 'Deauvin Flats', Korcari Wilds' and 'Malcelin Geysers' do not have 'The'. The pattern is not perfect but it stood out to me as worth considering.--Wsowen02 (talk) 19:56, January 3, 2015 (UTC)

Hm, after taking a second look at these two conditions that Wikipedia points out as a reference, following these guidelines would just create a mess for DA Wiki. We cannot use the second condition (because geographic DA names do not have "The" with a big "T"). We can't use the first condition either, as there are no "emerald graves", "western approaches" or "storm coasts" in DA games, which would have created the need to distinguish these. So it's only possible to use the article for a region, when we reach a consensus that this is how it should be. Notice that per Wikipedia guidelines, most geographical area articles here then have a wrong naming. As none of geographical names use big "T", but only "the". Kewpies (talk) 20:42, January 3, 2015 (UTC)
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Input is appreciated! --Kelcat Talk 22:19, January 3, 2015 (UTC)

  • Based on what I observed on Wowwiki, Elder Scrolls and FF pages, Wikipedia + the guidelines, using "the" is avoided in geographical location page names. There are some few exceptions to this, not always for clear reasons. Seeing that, I wonder whether there's any particular reason as to why DA Wiki should adapt a different standpoint?
  • Free Marches is actually named just Free Marches on the Thedas map. <- Kewpies (talk) 01:34, January 4, 2015 (UTC)
Huh, I thought it was labeled The Free Marches. Certainly that's what everyone in Thedas seems to call it. So if we were to go by what the maps call them, then it should indeed be "Free Marches". That was a bad on my part. Smiley Also, while it's good to look to other wikias and the wikipedia for guidelines, being in line with them shouldn't be the sole reason for making a decision. Wookiepedia and the Disney wikia both use "The" in their location articles. Whether we decide to use "The" or not, the main goal is consistency, which we haven't ever really had when it comes to this subject. --Kelcat Talk 02:05, January 4, 2015 (UTC)

I was actually discussing this with Wsowen02 previously, and in that I said that it seems to me the logic would be, if it's a more average name (simple adjective + noun) it usually has a "The" included on the maps, while if it's places with very specific names then "The" is omitted. While the quest journal is different regarding names and it's interesting to note that The Fallow Mire is the only one in the journal to include "The". On the other hand, a journal can be considered a personal thing of sorts, where (if we consider this part of the roleplaying aspect of the game) the character keeps track of their progress, so I'd imagine a journal has more leeway to be less accurate. I also think that maps may have a better chance to remain consistent than quest journals regarding names, as well as covering more of the region names than the journals, so it'd be probably best to rely on maps rather than journals. Additionally, if we are to follow Wikipedia guidelines, I don't think personally this would be too far a stretch; if we decide to look at the maps and that "The" is included in some of the region names - then this point would apply: "If the definite or indefinite article would be capitalized in running text, then include it at the beginning of the page name." That said, the example set for this brings up a book title rather than a region. However, as I said if we decide to think of "The" in those region names on the map as capitalized (I would think they could be capitalized based on my points above), then that guideline can be applied just fine I think. --Margerard 04:20, January 4, 2015 (UTC)

I truly hope I'm not angering or disrespecting anyone or acting as a troll, but -
  • Kelcat, I agree it is a little bit weird, but since I think I'm starting to understand the naming policies, different examples of names also start to make sense for me. The definite article does not seem to be a part of geographical names in such a manner that they should be used in the titles/page names. "Free Marches" is still referred to as "the Free Marches" inside the text body, but this is done because of how we use definite articles in the running text.
  • So what we see on a map or in the running text cannot really define how we should name an article/page, and it might be better to look at what kind of practice is used when creating and naming pages. This is, after all, a discussion about what the page should be called, not what the region should be called or how it should be referred to in the text.
  • Wookiepedia and Disney do not use "the" in the location page names as a common practice. There are exceptions found in all of these.
  • Margerard, unfortunately we cannot use the rule "If the definite or indefinite article would be capitalized in running text", because those definite/indefinite articles that we are talking about are not capitalized in the running text. You can see that in running texts, there are zero "The Western Approach", but you will find plenty of "the Western Approach".
  • On the Wikipedia article we can read that "The definite article is sometimes also used with proper names, which are already specified by definition (there is just one of them). For example: the Amazon, the Hebrides. In these cases, the definite article may be considered superfluous." That might perhaps be an explanation as to why pages have been named without including definite articles? <-Kewpies (talk) 16:55, January 4, 2015 (UTC)
I'm okay with you listing your reasons, nothing rude or disrespectful has been said in my opinion so no worries. Anyhow, true enough I did not think that point through well enough about running text. I see your point. I'm still not sure however, if we should entirely disregard maps when naming an article - maybe I'm not grasping the point of maps but wouldn't maps have the geographically accurate names of the regions? As far as I know the places where "The" is omitted for an article page, there's no "The" on the maps, either. This may be my main point I suppose, other than this I'd have no objection against leaving definite articles behind. --Margerard 17:23, January 4, 2015 (UTC)
Well, I also understand your arguments, but at this point I will support Mostlyautumn's proposal to leave out the indefinite articles as it would make creating a guideline much easier, and skipping articles does not make the name incorrect in my eyes. Maybe it was also stupid of me not to pay attention to it firsthand, but it seems we more or less already follow this practice anyway. There are not many location pages that use "the" in their name in this wiki.
This is how the naming would work, if I understand everything right:
  • The name of the page: "Emerald Graves"
  • The first sentence of that page: "The Emerald Graves is a location in..."
  • The correct capitalization in running text: "The sixth codex entry can be found in the Emerald Graves..."
  • The incorrect capitalization in running text: "The sixth codex entry can be found in The Emerald Graves..."
  • The preferred linking: "This weapon can be looted in the Emerald Graves..."
  • The less-preferred linking: "This weapon can be looted in the Emerald Graves..." <-Kewpies (talk) 20:17, January 4, 2015 (UTC)
You make some good points, and I'm definitely not angered :D My thinking, though, is: If we call it "the Emerald Graves" everywhere on the wiki as your examples propose (or The Hinterlands, or whatever), than why wouldn't we also use that in the title of the article? That's just what doesn't make sense to me. If the name of the location is "The Emerald Graves" then that seems to me what we should title the article. That to me would be the easiest and least confusing option--and we'd find that info by using recorded maps. If not, what would keep people from using the grammatically incorrect "you can find this thing in Hinterlands." If we don't include "the" in the title of the article, then future editors may not realize they're supposed to use it when referring to that location elsewhere. --Kelcat Talk 20:48, January 4, 2015 (UTC)
The reason not to use definite article everywhere is because it's rarely a part of the name. Saying "born in Redcliffe, Hinterlands" and "location: Hinterlands" seems grammatically correct to me, just like "born in Missouri, United States" and "location: United States". – mostlyautumntalkcontribs • 21:05, January 4, 2015 (UTC)

I think we just copy it as written on maps, whether in-game or in The World of Thedas or even marketing materials, with in-game taking precedence if there is a conflict.--Wsowen02 (talk) 20:27, January 4, 2015 (UTC)

I say drop definite articles from titles 100%. Having to remember if a location has "The" or not in the article title is very frustrating when placing links in articles. It's easier to remember that the rule of thumb is "location article titles don't have 'The' in them" when linking than to go out of my way and consult map images or some list of conditions on an obsucre policy page to make sure I'm using the correct title. Bioware hardly keeps wikis in mind when it makes up this stuff. Why bother adhering to an obviously arbitrary and confusing system?184.57.236.69 (talk) 23:29, January 4, 2015 (UTC)
As much as I have been arguing for keeping the definite articles, I admit simplicity may just be a lot more practical. --Margerard 12:37, January 5, 2015 (UTC)

Yes :) By the way, we possibly seem to have a different view of what is an "official name". If the name of the location was "The Emerald Graves", it would be capitalized in the running text. Geographical locations very rarely include "the" in their proper names, and usually these are quite famous for that (The Hague). The definite articles are used *together* with names in many texts, maps, whatever things, because of the descriptive style or grammar rules. It's not the same thing as being a part of its proper name though.

So I actually can't see what purpose would it serve, if we adapted a different style than other online wiki-sites (that follow Wikipedia conventions)? Kewpies (talk) 18:02, January 5, 2015 (UTC)

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So we seem to at least be leaning towards an "all-or-nothing" guideline, if I'm understanding everyone right. Either always include the "The" if it's on the maps, or never use "The" at all, for any location articles. I am actually amenable to the second one, so long as we're in agreement that the same guideline would be used for all of these articles. Not really my favorite choice, but a few have made the good argument that it is the simplest way to go, and saves us having a lot of redirects that could cause confusion. Does this work? Are there other suggestions? --Kelcat Talk 22:41, January 7, 2015 (UTC) the

Hmm I'm one of those people who finds it strange to have an article called Fade, instead of The Fade. But I think the arguments for consistency and never using it are actually quite strong, so I would support that for the sake of convenience. Friendship smallLoleil Talk 02:55, January 10, 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps The Fade could be excepted since it isn't really a location per se? It's more of a state of being . . . man. Sort of. Kind of.--Wsowen02 (talk) 04:04, January 10, 2015 (UTC)
I'd be fine with making the Fade an exception since it's not really a traditional "location". --Kelcat Talk 00:40, January 11, 2015 (UTC)
I'd have to agree, because "Fade" itself as a stand alone word might sound like some article about "fade" (whatever that is!). Guidelines do support using "the" if there is a risk that we would not understand that this article is about a specific unique place/concept etc. This exception could be added as a small note to guidelines. Kewpies (talk) 23:16, January 18, 2015 (UTC)

So can we reach the consensus about this topic? I've seen several people both referring and linking in the wrong way now (grammatically also, not only style-wise), so yeah would like this to be handled soon, and not confuse people anymore :) Kewpies (talk) 01:43, January 18, 2015 (UTC)

Don't worry, I'm still keeping an eye on this ;) I was planning on updating the guidelines tonight if no one else chimed in, then I'll get the articles changed and see if one of our bots can do the updates. --Kelcat Talk 01:58, January 18, 2015 (UTC)

Finally getting around to updating this, and I do have one question. For buildings such as The Hanged Man and The Crown and Lion, would they fall under the same guidelines, where "The" should be removed? --Kelcat Talk 22:19, January 18, 2015 (UTC)

That's a good question.. my first thought is that we could leave the definite articles for inn names. "Hanged Man" by itself might appear as less clear - is it about some hanged man? Even more so with "Blooming Rose" etc. So I'd support leaving the articles for these places, and use the same argument as for the Fade. We could say it in guidelines that for the sake of clarity, the inn names will have articles. Kewpies (talk) 23:16, January 18, 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think buildings are in the same category as geographical areas.--Wsowen02 (talk) 23:20, January 18, 2015 (UTC)
I agree, and as an example I also want to give "The Fat Duck", which does have a definite article on Wikipedia title. Kewpies (talk) 23:23, January 18, 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good. That's what I was figuring, but wanted to double-check. As far as the Fade. We currently have it as "Fade" and have for awhile. Do we want to rename it "The Fade", though? --Kelcat Talk 23:26, January 18, 2015 (UTC)
Wouldn't that just be a lot of extra work? "The Fade" sounds better to me but it doesn't seem to have been a problem before now so why mess with it?--Wsowen02 (talk) 23:32, January 18, 2015 (UTC)
I can always use my bot to update the links making it not very much work at all. Smiley Friendship smallLoleil Talk 05:28, January 19, 2015 (UTC)
It's "the Hanged Man", "Lowtown's Hanged Man", "the Blooming Rose", "Hightown's Blooming Rose". Same story with "the Fade", "the" is not part of the name. I also don't think that leaving "the" out is that confusing, most languages don't even have articles. – mostlyautumntalkcontribs • 11:36, January 19, 2015 (UTC)
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