Wikipedia:Style Haundbeuk

Frae Wikipedia, the free beuk o knawledge

In the licht o revelations on leid inaccuracies, pairts o thon Style Haundbeuk may be subject tae collogue on the Spellin Fettle page.

This Style Haundbeuk haes the simple job o makkin things aesie ti read bi follaein a conseistent layoot — it is a style guide. The follaeing rules dinna claim ti be the hindmaist word. Ae gate is aften as guid as anither, but gin aabodie daes it the ae gate, Wikipaedia will be aesier ti read an til uise, nae ti mention aesier ti screive an edit. Atweill the follaeing quote frae The Chicago Manual of Style deserves notice:

Rules and regulations such as these, in the nature of the case, cannot be endowed with the fixity of rock-ribbed law. They are meant for the average case, and must be applied with a certain degree of elasticity.

Clair, informative an unbiased screivin is aye mair important nor presentation an formattin. Screivers are nae required ti follae aa or onie o thir rules: the joy of wiki editin is that perfection isna required.

Airticle teitles[eedit soorce]

Gin ye can, mak the teitle the subject o the faremaist sentence in the airticle (as opposed ti pittin it in the predicate). In onie case, the teitle shuid kythe as suin as can be in the airticle — preferably in the first sentence.

The first time the teitle is mentioned in the airticle, pit it in bauld uisin three apostrophes. Here's an exemplar: '''airticle teitle''' gies airticle teitle. Ye shuidna pit airtins in the teitle.

Follae the ordinar rules for italics in walin gif ye put pairt or aa of the teitle in italics.

Heidins[eedit soorce]

Uise the == (heiding) mairkup for heidins, nae the ''' (bauld) mairkup. Exemplar:

==This is a heidin==

that gies

This is a heidin

Gin ye mairk heidins this wey, a table o contents is generate bi the wiki saftware frae the heidins in an airticle. Sections can be nummered automatic for uisers wi that preference set an wirds athin richt mairked heidins is gien greater wecht in rakins. Heidins holps readers forbye bi brakkin up the text an ootlinin the airticle.

  • Juist caipitalize the first letter o the first wird an o onie proper noons in a heidin, but lea'e aa the ither letters in lower case.
  • Evyte airtins inside heidins.
  • Evyte oweruiss o sub-heidins.

Caipital letters[eedit soorce]

Ranks an Teitles[eedit soorce]

Ranks or teitles sic as president, king, or emperor stairts wi a caipital letter whan uised as a teitle (follaed by a name): "President Nixon", nae "president Nixon". Whan uised generic, they shuid be in lawer case: "Napoleon wis the Frainch emperor". The richt formal name o an office is trait as a proper noon. Sae: "Hirohito wis Emperor o Japan". In a seimilar wey, "Louis XVI wis the French king" but "Louis XVI wis King o France", King o France bein a teitle in that context. Likewice, ryal teitles shuid be caipitalised: "Her Majesty" or "His Heichness". (Reference: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed., par. 7.16; The Guardian Manual of Style, "Titles" keyword.) Exceptions micht applee for speceific offices.

In the case o "prime meinister", aither baith wirds stairts wi a caipital letter or naither, sauf whan it stairts a sentence. Forbye, whan bein uised generic, nae caipital letter is uised: "There's monie prime meinisters athort the warld". Whan referrin til a speceific office, upper case is maistlins uised: "The Breitish Prime Meinister, Tony Blair, said the day..." (Houaniver ti complicate maiters, twa-three style guides, atho saying "The Breitish Prime Meinister", recommends "Breitish prime meinister". A guid rule o thoum is gif a definite airticle (the) or an indefinite airticle (a) is uised or no. Gin the is uised, uise "Prime Meinister". Gin a is uised, gang wi "prime meinister".)

Releigions, deities, philosophies, doctrines an thair adherents[eedit soorce]

Names o releigions, gif they're uised as a noon or as an adjective, an their members stairts wi a caipital letter. Mormonism requires special care — see Wikipedia:Namin conventions (Mormonism).

Names o deities stairts wi a caipital letter: God, Allah, Freya, the Laird, the Supreme Bein, the Messiah. That's true forbye whan referrin ti Muhammad as the Prophet. Transcendent conceits in the Platonic sense stairts wi a caipital letter an aa: Guid and Truith. Pronoons referrin ti deities, or noons (ither nor names) referrin til onie material or abstract representation o onie deity, human or no, disna stairt wi a capital letter.

Meethical craiturs, sic as brounies, fairies, nymphs or genies shuidna be caipitalised sauf in some works o fantasie, sic as them in J.R.R. Tolkien, whaur the meethical craiturs isconseidered an ethnicity an sae shuid be written wi an ineetial caipital.

Philosophies, doctrines, an seistems o economic thocht disna begin wi a caipital letter, sauf the name is gotten frae a proper noon: lawercase republican refers til a seistem o poleitical thocht; uppercase Republican refers til a speceific Republican Pairty (ilka pairty name bein a richt noon).

Calendar items[eedit soorce]

The names o months, days, an halidays aye stairts wi a caipital letter: Juin, Monanday, Hogmanay.

Saesons stairts wi a caipital letter whan they are uised wi anither noon or are personifee'd. Here they act as richt noons Houaniver, they dinna stairt wi a caipital letter whan they are uised in general: "This simmer wis gey hait."

Beasts, plants, an ither organisms[eedit soorce]

Gin the common names o species shoud stairt wi a caipital letter or no haes been steively debatit in the bygane an is yet unresolved. Baith styles is acceptable (sauf richt names), but a redirect shoud be pitten up for the ither form.

Hievenly bodies[eedit soorce]

Names o ither planets an starns is richt noons an begins wi a caipital letter: "The planet Maurs can be seen the nicht in the constellation, Gemini, bi the starn Pollux".

The wirds sun, yird, an muin is richt noons whan uised in an astronomical context, but nae oniewey else: sae "The Sun is a main sequence starn, wi a spectral class o G2"; but "It wis a fine day an the sun wis wairm". Mind that thir terms is juist richt noons whan referrin til a speceific spectral body (oor Sun, Yird an Muin): sae "The Muin orbits the Yird"; but "Pluto's muin, Charon".

Airts an regions[eedit soorce]

Regions that's richt noons, includin weel kent expressions sic as Soothren California, stairts wi a caipital letter. Follae the same convention for sib forms: a bodie frae the Soothren Unitit States is a Soothrener.

Airts (north, soothwast, an sae furth) isna richt noons an disna stairt wi a caipital letter. The same is richt for thair sib forms: a road that leads north micht be cried a northren road, as opposed ti the Great North Road.

Gin ye arena shuir gif a region haes raxed richt-noon status or no, assume it haesna.

Institutions[eedit soorce]

Richt names o speceific institutions (for exemplar, Aiberdeen University, Ryal Infirmary, Trinity College, an sae furth) is rich noons an shoud be caipitalised.

Houaniver, the wirds for types of institutions (university, college, hospital, schuil, etc.) isna caipitalised if they arena kythin in a richt name:

Richt: The Varsity haes programs in airts an sciences.
Wrang: The varsity haes... or The University o Ottawa haes...

Italics[eedit soorce]

Uise the '' (italic) mairkup. Exemplar:

''This is italic.''

that's affcome is

This is italic.

Italics is maistlins uised for ti mak wirds staund oot. They are uised forbye in ither cases that's mentiont here.

Teitles[eedit soorce]

Italics shuid be uised for teitles o the follaeing:

  • Bacteria, whan named as genus-species. For exemplar: Bacillus subtilis an Escherichia coli
  • Beuks
  • Computer an video gemmes
  • Coort cases
  • Films
  • Lang poems/epic poems
  • Muisical albums
  • Named passenger trains
  • Orchestral warks
  • Periodicals (newspapers, jurnals, an magazines)
  • Plays
  • Ships
  • Televeesion series
  • Warks o veesual airt

Italics is maistlins uised for teitles o langer warks. Teitles o shorter warks, sic as the follaein, shuid be enclosed in twafauld quotation mairks:

  • Airticles, essays or papers
  • Chaipters o a langer wark
  • Episodes o a televeesion series
  • Short poems
  • Short stories
  • Sangs

There's a few cases whaur the teitle shuid be in naither italics nor quotation marks:

  • Screiptur
  • Legal or constitutional documents

Wirds as wirds[eedit soorce]

Use italics when scrievin anent wirds as wirds or letters as letters (for ti shaw the uiss-mention disteenction). For exemplar:

  • The wird pannin comes frae panorama, a wird first cleckit in 1787.
  • The maist common letter in English is e.

Lend wirds[eedit soorce]

Italics is preferred for phrases in ither leids an for single fremmit wirds that haesna yet been taen intil Scots. Scottifee'd spellins can be uised for sic wirds, or the native spellins can be uised gin they uise the Laitin ABC (wi or athoot diacreetics). For exemplar: Readin an writin in Japanese requires fameiliarity wi hiragana, katakana, kanji, an whiles rōmaji. Fremmit wirds or phrases that haes passed intil Scots, houaniver—praetor, Gestapo, samurai, esprit de corps—shuidna be italicised. Gin ye're rakin for a guid rule o thoum, dinna italicise wirds that kythes in a Scots dictionar. As per the guide tae scrievin better Wikipaedia airticles, fremmit wirds shuid be uised sparingly, an native spellins in non-Laitin scripts micht be includit in parentheses.

Quotations[eedit soorce]

There is for ordinar nae need ti pit quotations in italics unless the material wad itherwice caa for italics (emphasis, uiss o non-Scots wirds, etc.). It is necessar ti shaw gif the italics is uised in the oreiginal text or wis eikit aifter. For exemplar:

"Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!" (emphasis added).

See an aw quotation mairks.

Punctuation[eedit soorce]

In maist cases, juist follae the ordinar rules o English punctuation. A puckle pynts whaur Wikipaedia micht differ frae ordinar uiss follaes.

Quotation mairks[eedit soorce]

Wi quotation mairks we follae Breetish uiss. Atho it's nae a strict rule, we uise the "twafauld quotes" for maist quotations—they are aesier ti read on the screen—an uise 'aefauld quotes' for "quotations 'athin' quotations".

Mind: gin a wird or phrase kythes in an airticle wi aefauld quotes, sic as 'abcd', the Wikipedia:Rakin saftware conseiders the aefauld quotes ti be pairt o the word an will juist finnd that wird or phrase gin the rakin string is athin aefauld quotes an aa. (Whan tryin this wi the exemplar mentioned mind that this airticle is in the Wikipedia namespace.) Evitin this complication is an addeitional raeson til uise twafauld quotes, sin for them the deifficulty daesna arise. It micht e'en be a raeson til uise twafauld quotes for quotations athin quotations.

Whan punctuatin quoted passages pit the mairk o punctuation inside the quotation merks juist gin the sense o the mairk o punctuation is pairt o the quotation. This is the style uised in Australia, New Zealand, and Breetain, for exemplar. (A fuller traitment o the recommends gien here can be funnd in Fowler's Modern English Usage an ither style guides for thir kintras, some o them varyin in the smaa prent.) "Stop!", for exemplar, haes the punctuation inside the quotation marks acause the wird "stop" is said wi emphasis. Whan uisin "scare quotes", howaniver, the comma gangs ootside.

Ither exemplars:

Arthur said the situation wis "deplorable". (The full stop (.) isna pairt o the quotation.)
Arthur said, "The situation is deplorable." (The full sentence is quotit; the full stop is pairt o the quotation.)
Arthur said that the situation "was the maist deplorable that he haed seen in years." (Atho the full sentence isna quotit, the sense o finality pitten ower bi the full stop is pairt o the quotation.)

Langer quotations micht be better pitten intil an indentit style bi stairtin the first line wi a colon or bi uisin <blockquote> </blockquote> notation, that indents baith left an richt mairgins. Indentit quotations disna hae ti be mairkit bi quotation merks. Twafauld quotation merks belangs at the beginnin o ilka paragraph in a quotation o monie paragraphs nae uisin indentit style, tho at the end o juist the last paragraph.

Uise quotation merks or indentations for ti disteenguish quotations frae ither text. There's for ordinar nae need ti pit quotations in italics unless the text wad itherwice caw for italics (emphasis, uiss o non-Scots wirds, an sae furth).

Uise stracht quotation mairks an apostrophes[eedit soorce]

For uniformity an for tae evite complications uise stracht quotation merks an apostrophes (' ") nae the typographically richt curved anes (“ ” ‘ ’) in airticle teitles. Nivver uise acute an grave accents or backticks (´ `) for quotation mairks.

This applees ti baith teitles an til airticle text, but byordinar chairacters is richt orra in teitles, acause Wikipaedia uises exact marraes for airtins text an defaut rakes.

Chairacters that leuks like a left aefauld quotation mairk or a richt aefauld quotation mairk is uised for letters in some Laitin-letter transleiteration seistems an in some leids, for exemplar for ti shaw the ‘okina chairacter in Hawaiian. The chairacters micht be uised forbye in collogues anent the quotation mairks themsels. Whan uisin thir chairacters, pit them in direct insteid o uisin HTML entity references or numeric chairacter references.

Uiss o punctuation wi brackets[eedit soorce]

Punctuation gangs whaur it belangs. (A sentence haily inside brackets will hae its full stop athin thae brackets.) This means that bracketit clauses at the end o sentences disna conteen a full stop (like shawn here).

Serial commas[eedit soorce]

The Oxford or serial comma is the optional last comma in a leet in phrases sic as "ham, egg(,) an chips". Whiles leavin the comma oot can lead til an ambeeguous sentence, as in the exemplar "The author wad like ti thank her paurents, Sinéad O'Connor an President Bush." In thir cases, there's three options for evitin ambeeguity:

  • A final serial comma can be uised til evite ambiguity.
  • The sentence can be daen ower til evite leetin the items.
  • The items in the leet can be presentit uisin a wiki leet (like this ane).

In maist cases, houaniver, the presence o the final serial comma daesna affect ambeeguity o the sentence, an in thir cases there's nae Wikipedia consensus gif it shoud be uised or no.

Some style authorities uphauds the mandator final serial comma, sic as Fowler's Modern English Usage, the Chicago Manual of Style, and Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, atho ither style authorities recommends evitin the comma whaur possible, sic as that uised bi The Times an The Economist.

Bi common convention, an bi consensus o the Trains wikiproject, the serial comma shoud nivver be uised whan specifeein the name o a railway. For exemplar, the "Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago an St. Louis Railwey", nae the "Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, an St. Louis Railwey".

Spaces aifter the end o a sentence[eedit soorce]

There's nae guidelines gif ane or twa spaces shoud be uised aifter the end o a sentence but it isna important sith the differ juist shaws up in the edit kistie.

Cutty forms[eedit soorce]

In general, formal writin is preferred. Therefore, evite excessive uiss o cutty forms — sic as don't, can't, won't, would've, they'd, an sae on — unless they occur in a quotation.

Scienteefic style[eedit soorce]

Sections[eedit soorce]

Innin[eedit soorce]

The teetle or subject can awmaist aye be made pairt o the first sentence, but some airticles juist haes names.

  • The Pythagorean theorem is named efter an attreebute tae the 6t century BC Greek philosopher an mathemateecian Pythagoras
The '''Pythagorean theorem''' is named efter an attribute tae the [[6t century BC]] Greek philosopher an mathemateecian [[Pythagoras]]
  • Tom an Jerry — Pairin o names frae Pierce Egan's Life in London
'''Tom an Jerry'''&nbsp;&mdash; Pairin o names frae [[Pierce Egan]]'s ''Life in London''

If the subject o the airticle haes mair nor ae name, ilka new form o the name shoud be in bauld whaur first written.

  • Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), kent as caustic sodae or lye an aw...
'''Sodium hydroxide''' ([[sodium|Na]][[oxygen|O]][[hydrogen|H]]), kent as '''caustic sodae''' or '''lye''' an aw

Mak the context clear in the first few wirds.

In [[quantum pheesics]], the '''Heisenberg uncertainty preenciple'''

Evite airtins in the teetle an circular defineetions. Houaniver, maist wirds in teetles shoud be airtit at.

  • Buddhist meditation, meditation uised in the practice o Buddhism, "includes ony kin o meditation that haes Enlichtenment as its ultimate ettle." (Kamalashila 1996)
'''Buddhist meditation''', [[meditation]] uised in the practice o [[Buddhism]], "includes ony kin o meditation that has Enlichtenment as its ultimate ettle." (Kamalashila 1996)

Lead section[eedit soorce]

The lead section is the section afore the first heidline. It is shown abuin the table o contents (for pages wi mair tnor three heidlines). The richt lead lenth lippens on the lenth o the airticle, but shoudna be langer nor three paragraphs at aw.

"See an aw" and "Relatit topics" sections[eedit soorce]

For ordinar, topics sib tae an airticle shoud be includit athin the text o the airticle as free links.

If the airticle is sindert intae sections an See an aw refers tae a parteecular section alane, references tae sib airticles that haesna been airtit at frae free links in the text micht be pitten at the tap o the section:

''See an aw:'' [[Internet trowe]], [[flamin]]

That gies:

See an aw: Internet trowe, flamin.

The form abuin micht be uised in cutty airticles athout sections an aw.

Whan the See an aw refers tae the hail airticle an no juist a section, it shoud be a level 2 heidin sae that it kythes in the table o contents. Pit it at the hintend o the airticle, afore Fremmit airtins. For example:

==See also==
* [[Internet trowe]]
* [[flamin]]

The heidin Sib topics micht be uised insteid o See an aw.

If you remuive a redundant airtin frae the See an aw section o an airticle, it micht be an expleecit cross reference (see ablo), sae conseeder makkin the airtin in the main text bauld insteid.

Whiles it is uissfu tae hae an expleecit cross-reference in the text, for example, whan a lang section o text haes been muived ither gates, or there's a major airticle on a subtopic. In thir cases, mak the airtin bauld. For example:

The legal status o circumceesion differs frae kintra tae kintra.

Ither sections[eedit soorce]

Ither common sections (in prefered order) is:

Semple tabulation[eedit soorce]

Ony line that stairts wi a blank space becomes a fixed font width an can be uised for semple tabulation.

foo     bar     baz
alphae   betae  gammae

A line that stairts wi a blank space wi nae ither thing on it forms a blank line.

Spellin an grammar[eedit soorce]

See Spellin an grammar.

Picturs[eedit soorce]

Airticles wi the ae pictur is encouraged tae hae that pictur at the tap o the airticle, aligned tae the richt-haund side, but this isna a stieve rule. Portraits wi the heid leukin tae the richt shoud be aligned tae the left-haund side (leukin intae the airticle).

The current eemage merkup langage is mair or less this:

[[File:picture.jpg|120px|left|thumb|A bit blether for the caiption]]

Caiptions[eedit soorce]

Photaes an ither graphics shoud hae caiptions unless they are "sel-caiptionin" as in reproductions o albums or the batters o a beuk, or whan the graphic is an unambeeguous depeection o the subject o the airticle. For example, in a biography airticle, a caiption isna necessar for a portrait o the subject theirlane.

Identity[eedit soorce]

This is aiblins the ae bit whaur Wikipaedians' flexibeelity an plurality is an asset, an whaur a body wadna wiss that aw pages leuks exact the same. Wikipaedia's neutral pynt o view an nae oreeginal resairch policies aye taks precedence. Houaniver, here's some lowse guidelines that micht help:

  • Whan kent, uise terminology that the subjects uises for themsels (sel identification). This can mean cryin an indiveedual the term they uise, or cryin a group the term that's uised the maist aften by that group.
  • Uise speceefic terminology: Fowk frae Ethiopia (a kintra in Africae) shoud be descrieved as Ethiopian, no African.
  • Tho aften a mair general name will pruive tae be mair neutral or mair accurate. For example, a List o African-American componers is acceptable, tho a List o componers of African springheid micht be mair uissfu.
  • If possible, terms uised for tae descrieve fowk shoud be gien in sicna wey that they qualifee ither noons. That is, black fowk, no blacks; gay fowk, no gays; an sae on.
  • Dinna assume that ony term its lane is the maist inclusive or accurate.
  • The term Arab refers tae fowk an things o ethnic Arab oreegin. The term Arabic refers tae the Arabic langage or writin seestem (an sib concepts). For example: No aw Arab fowk writes or converses in Arabic, but near-haund aw is acquent wi Arabic numerals.

Sindry Jottins[eedit soorce]

Whan awthing gangs agley[eedit soorce]

Juist tak a keek at an airticle that ye like an open it for editin for tae see hou the writers an editors haes pitten it thegither. Ye can syne close the windae athout hainin ony chynges if ye will, but leuk aboot while ye're there. Maist ilka airticle can be bettered.

Dinna be fantoush[eedit soorce]

It's mair easy for ye an thaim that follaes if ye dinna ettle tae be ower fantoush wi yer merkup. Dinna tak it that ony merkup that ye pit in is guarantee'd tae hae a certain appearance whan it is displayed. Dinna make the merkup mair complex nor necessar for tae display the information in a uissfu an comprehensible wey. Caw canny wi HTML an CSS merkup an juist uise it wi guid raison. A uissfu encyclopaedia is the foremaist ettle, but ease o editin an mainteenin that encyclopaedia comes a fast seicont.

In parteecular, dinna uise the CSS float or line-height properties acause they brak renderin on some brousers whan lairge fonts is uised.

Formattin issues[eedit soorce]

Formattin issues sic as font size, blank space an colour is issues for the Wikipedia site-wide style sheet an shoudna be dealt wi in airticles cept in speecial cases. If ye maun specifee a font size, uise a relative size i.e. font-size: 80%; no an absolute size, for example, font-size: 4pt. Colour codin o information shoudna be duin, but if necessar, ettle tae wale colours that's unambeeguous when seen bi a body that's colour blind. For ordinar, this means that baith reid an green shoudna be uised thegither. Haein a keek at the page wi Vischeck ( can gie a haund whan decidin if the colours needs cyngin.

Mak hidden comments[eedit soorce]

Evite hielichtin the airticle as incomplete an in need o mair wark.

Seemilar, there's little benefit tae the reader in seein heiding an tables athoot content.

If ye want tae communicate wi ither potential editors, mak comments inveesible tae the ordinar readers o the article . For tae dae this, hap the text that's mynt for editors athin <!-- an -->.

For example, the follaein:

hallo <!-- This is a comment. --> warld

is displayed as:

hallo warld

Sae that the comment can be seen whan viewing the HTML or wiki soorce.

Evyte self-referential pronoons[eedit soorce]

Wikipaedia airticles maunna be based on ae bodie's opeinions or experiences. Sae, 'I' or 'we' maun niver be uised, sauf, o coorse, whan they kythe in a quotation. For seimlar raesons, evyte the uiss o "a bodie", as in: "A bodie shoud mynd that some creetics haes argied for the propone", sith it soonds mair personal nor encyclopaedic.