Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Grammar

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Deleting the copy edit template?[edit]

I just have a quick question. When we are copyediting a page for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., are we supposed to delete the template at the top of the page when we are done? I know that it is supposed to be removed after a page is "Wikified," but I wasn't sure about general cleanup templates. Thanks! HusikaSN 17:44, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

If you are unsure about the job you did on the article, leave it in place and wait for a second opinion. If you are confident that the article is now properly edited and wikified, then remove the copyedit tag. Trusilver 04:26, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


There are many articles in Category:Wikipedia grammar check that are not listed on this page. For ease of maintenance, I would recommend dropping the listings on this page and just going by the category listings. If necessary, a bot could be used to distinguish the old from the new, but there's not that many on the list at any one time, and they can be added to Template:Opentask on a rotating alphabetical basis to make sure no individual articles stay in the category for too long. Beland 02:44, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, all of the articles listed have either been fixed or tagged and added to Template:Opentask. This WikiProject seems to be defunct, so I implemented my suggestion and moved the main collaboration point on listings to Category:Wikipedia articles needing copy edit. I also consolidated the project pages to be a little more useful and not quite as dusty. This project mostly only still exists as a place to ask grammar questions, though no one has done that yet. I did create a pointer from Wikipedia:How to copy-edit, so maybe traffic will pick up. It would also be a good place to propose a method for systematically identifying articles in need of copyediting, a task which I will leave to others. Beland 13:55, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Template merger?[edit]

Template:gcheck and Template:cleanup-copyedit seem largely redundant. The latter has a nice bounding box, the former has better instructions. Should they be merged? Beland 02:52, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I personally would like to see a merge. I'm actually surprised there's a template devoted specifically to grammar - most of the articles I've encountered that had grammar issues needed general copy-editing as well.
The one issue I see is that the templates automatically include the articles on the appropriate Category:Wikipedia articles needing copy edit or Category:Wikipedia grammar check pages. If we merge the two, we'll need to be sure the auto-generated pages don't end up broken. CKlunck 03:07, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
I was bold and merged the templates, taking the best from each...actually, I updated the help links to a new page specifically about copy editing. I also stopped making mention of this WikiProject, because the listings here appear to be defunct. Beland 13:20, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Display problems with this project page[edit]

When viewed in Mozilla 1.7.5, this project page is a little broken. Unless the page area is large enough, the horizontal yellow copyediting box overlaps with the vertical purple resources for maintenance and collaboration box. Internet Explorer gets around the problem by leaving a large gap so that the horizontal box is just below the vertical one. Is this a Mozilla bug, a wiki bug, or just a problem with the design of this page? Open4D 15:56, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Grammar desk[edit]

The Language and grammar desk is now open for questions on English grammar and usage, similar to the Wikipedia:Reference desk and Wikipedia:Help desk. Assitance in answering questions would be appreciated. Ground Zero 21:58, 22 August 2005 (UTC)


Hey, should I just put my name on the mainpage if I would like to join the Grammar Squad or do I have to do something else? Useless Fodder 23:40, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I have the same question. I do lots of small edits for grammar, spelling, punctuation and general readability (my mother was an English teacher; we got this stuff drilled into us when we were quite young), so I'd like to join the team.
Septegram 14:38, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
I have that question as well, but apparently, it hasn't been answered for several months. Can someone please give us an answer? VGF11 03:56, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
I believe you can just put your name on the list and then begin copy-editing. (late reply, I know, and I apologize) Best regards. Song 18:06, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Common Errors[edit]

I'm relatively new to Wikipedia, but I was wondering if it would be appropriate to have a section on common grammatical errors. I'm not talking about spelling so much as putting commas, periods, question marks, etc. before the closing quotation mark. We all have pet-peeves, and although it's not always right to correct styles because they bother you, many annoyances are also incorrect. I'm not going to correct someone who uses the British spelling of color; colour is technically correct. However, using the word "two" when "to" is needed is an error that should be corrected. So, should there be a page devoted to common errors? Also, if I am posting this in the wrong place, please let me know. Msmays 20:19, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

I believe that Wikipedia:How to copy-edit has that. If not, go ahead and put it in. (I apologize for the late reply.) Best regards. Song 18:09, 13 August 2007 (UTC)


We should have a userbox, the one below is an example, it's not a serious attempt at a userbox.

G grammar This user is a member of Wikiproject Grammar.

Richman271talk/con 23:49, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Interpreting a sentence[edit]

I have a problem with a sentence in a Wikipedia article. I'm not a native speaker so maybe I'm wrong. The sentence is as follows:

With a total of over 40 million speakers this is the most numerous of the 3 groups, as well as most spread globally and the only group that has members which are official, national and standard languages.

I interpret this to mean that the other two groups neither have one or more of: official, national or standard languages. Yet I know that in at least one of the other two groups there indeed is an official and national language (I'm no linguist so I won't even try to interpret the standard one which may or may not apply). The original author/editor of that article has already reverted my change (I simply dropped the and the only group that has members which are official, national and standard languages part). He says I am wrong and insists on the plural (I suggested he add multiple if that was his intent). If anything I feel his argument could be on the and at the end of the sentence.

Anyhow, how would you interpret this? Could someone suggest a rewrite, assuming one is needed? Lastly, the other editor is I believe also ESL like me. If needed I'll also post the internal link (if someone else wants to edit the sentence). Caranorn 16:18, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

With a total of over 40 million speakers, this is the most numerous of the three groups. Also, it is the most globally spread group and the only one containing members which speak the official, national and standard languages.
This rewrite is more clear; however, the underlined part sounds improper and the bolded section, which I don't fully understand without seeing its context, may be incorrect.VGF11 04:06, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


I've noticed that in many Wikipedia articles, instead of just putting past events in past tense, "would" is used. Here is an example from the Bryan Berard article:

During the next season, he would undergo seven eye operations, miraculously improving his vision in the eye to 20/600. He started working out again in April 2001 and would start skating again months thereafter. He would later be fitted with a contact lens that allowed him to meet the league's minimum vision requirement of 20/400.[1]
He would then enjoy successful one-year stints with both the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks before signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets before the 2005-06 season. As a result of his perseverance, Berard would be awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his dedication to hockey in 2004.

Basically, I think this is completely wrong to write like this. "Would" should be used for hypothetical past situations, like "I would have taken out the trash if it hadn't rained." But I don't know exactly what rule this violates, or what to call this mistake. I would like to be able to let editors know, on their talk pages, about this common error so they can fix it. Does anyone know exactly what is wrong with using "would" this way? Muéro(talk/c) 19:44, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the use of "would" here discusses an event in the future in reference to a point in the past, as the word "will" in reference to the present. Its use isn't necessarily "wrong" in all cases. Peter O. (Talk) 19:50, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't think I understand. Do you mean that, in this example, Berard, while injured (the past), intended to win the Masterton Trophy (the future)? "Would" is a modal auxiliary verb, which indicates the subject's attitude toward the action of the verb. The modal auxiliaries "will" and "would" involve the subject's intention to complete the action of the verb. Muéro(talk/c) 20:48, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
"Would" retains its original sense of "future-in-the-past" tense, as well as its commoner modern use as a conditional mood. See English modal auxiliary verb#Would. "Would" is not grammatically incorrect in the Bryan Berard example, but it is poor style. I'd find it acceptable in the following example (each sentence could introduce for a whole paragraph or section):
In 1780, he met Jane Smith, whom he would marry in 1790, and went into business with her father. In 1784, he sailed for Venezuela. In 1796, his son John was born.
It is correct because, immediately after mentioning the 1790 marriage, the discussion reverts to the earlier timeline. If he never sailed to Venezuela, the example might better read:
In 1780, he met Jane Smith, and went into business with her father. In 1790, he married Jane Smith. In 1796, his son John was born.
If, on the other hand, he never went into business with Jane Smith's father, the example might read:
In 1784, he sailed for Venezuela. In 1790, he married Jane Smith, whom he had met in 1780. In 1796, his son John was born.
The bottom line is, it's normally best to mention things chronologically, in which case you never need the "future-in-the-past" sense of would. However, it can sometimes aid exposition to describe something out of sequence (just as using "had met" in the third example is "past-in-the-past"). In the Bryan Berard article, the use of "would" is superfluous as the events are in sequence. To me it reads like a retrospective eulogy, where the effect is to frame later accomplishments against earlier adversities. Such a tone is inappropriate in Wikipedia. jnestorius(talk) 15:14, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
My suggestion is to replace 'would' where it is not in the proper context (future-in-the-past). When in doubt, replace it. So that passage would be written as:
During the next season, he underwent seven eye operations, miraculously improving his vision in the eye to 20/600. He started working out again in April 2001 and began skating months thereafter. He was later fitted with a contact lens that allowed him to meet the league's minimum vision requirement of 20/400.[1]
He then enjoyed successful one-year stints with both the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks before signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets before the 2005-06 season. As a result of his perseverance, Berard was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his dedication to hockey in 2004.
Of course, that's just me. And I know this is way late, so it probably dosen't matter any more. Best regards. Song 20:33, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Copy edit Indonesia[edit]

Hi guys how are you going? So we've got this article, which failed GA status. However, currently the issues have been fulfilled, except for grammar. I also know that prose is really important to reach FA status. That is why, I'd like to request you all to improve the article, because from the peer review, it is very close to GA and FA status. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers Imoeng 05:38, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

If it still needs copy-editing, you can ask for it to be worked on specifically here, in the correct section, and someone will get to it. Best regards. Song 21:29, 13 August 2007 (UTC)


  • Do all the cool copy-editors hang out here?  :-P I've been working on Sasha (DJ) and it needs an experienced set of eyes to get over a couple lingering concerns from its previous FAC regarding word redundancies and awkward phrasing. Do you folks help out with this kind of stuff or do you mainly work on articles more desperately in need of attention? Any help would be muchly appreciated. Thanks! Wickethewok 18:51, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
If it still needs copy-editing, you can ask for it to be worked on specifically here, in the correct section, and someone will get to it. Best regards. Song 21:30, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Project directory[edit]

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 13:45, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Proper Possessive Nouns[edit]

Which is more proper: " Selous' Mongoose " or " Selous's Mongoose ?" VGF11 03:01, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I've seen them both used very often, so it's most likely personal, or in this case Wikipedia's, preference. I don't know if Wikipedia has a specific preference, but if you decide to use it one way in an article, it is then generally considered proper to continue in the same style throughout the article. Foxjwill 23:40, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards[edit]

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 18:48, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

League of Copyeditors participation drive![edit]

Hello all,

The League of Copyeditors has started a participation drive for the remainder of February. If you would like to join or help, visit our project page for more information. Our participation drive aims to help clear the backlog by adopting the following goals each week:

Thanks for your help! BuddingJournalist 09:18, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Articles that need checking[edit]

I think there's some testing/vandalism happened on the project mainpage - in the "Articles that need checking" section. I'm loath to edit a project front page being an inexperienced editor, but it looks wrong to me ? Cricketgirl 16:23, 25 March 2007 (UTC)


I am having a little grammar dispute with User:TheTruth2. He keeps removing the word "the" from wrestling PPV articles where events were held at the Kemper Arena. He is making it so the articles say "event X took place on date Y at Kemper Arena". I tried giving him examples of why that is wrong (like you wouls say "this event took place at the White House" even though it's technically just "White House"). Could anyboy here help? TJ Spyke 05:26, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

The Kansas City Star calls it Kemper Arena. KPIX in San Francisco refers to Oracle Arena. The Iowa Stars play at Wells Fargo Arena. There’s no rule that says an arena will always take the definite article, but there’s no rule that says it never will, either. For instance, the Milwaukee Wave play at the U.S. Cellular Arena. Rob Kennedy 04:09, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

"Earth" or "the Earth"[edit]


We're having a discussion on the Earth article's talk page about whether it is more appropriate to say "the Earth" or just "Earth" on an article that is specifically about the planet. If possible, would some grammar experts be willing to clear up the confusion? The conversation is located at: Talk:Earth#.22Earth.22_vs_.22the_Earth.22.3F. Thank you! — RJH (talk) 16:05, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I've been requested to copy-edit a Good Article awaiting Featured Article status. Is there any special protocol that needs to be followed during/after editing an article of this type? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abernethyj (talkcontribs)

Not as far as I know, just moving the article down to the 'Final Proofread' section should be fine. Best regards. Song 19:56, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

This is my first post so forgive me if I should accidentally transgress into doing no faux pas, but it's my considered opinion that "Earth" is considerably less presumptuous than "the Earth". How are we to know for sure that in a possible purplexingly infinite "Multiverse" there would be no other Earths? Maybe the least presumptuous of all ways to say it might instead be "the earth", where the "earth" in "the earth" means the oh-so-thin soil on which we actually live?

Blagoblag out.

I felt that either form is acceptable as both refer to out planet, however when the form "the earth" is used, "earth" should not be capitalized. When using the word "Earth" alone without the "the" it should be capitalized. (talk) 22:45, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Without "the," the word "Earth" is a name, the name of our planet. "The earth" refers to the same thing, but sort of more by description and not by name. It has always been my feeling that saying "the earth" is more scientific, while saying "Earth" is almost religious.
Here's an interesting resource: (under the Proper Nouns section) — according to that, you do not capitalize "earth" unless mentioning other celestial bodies in the same context. Althepal (talk) 17:01, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

GA to FA[edit]

I've been requested to copy-edit a Good Article awaiting Featured Article status. Is there any special protocol that needs to be followed during/after editing an article of this type? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abernethyj (talkcontribs)

Not as far as I know, just moving the article down to the 'Final Proofread' section should be fine. Best regards. Song 19:56, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Urgent Help for Copy editing Kaziranga National Park in FAC[edit]

Kindly help in Copy editing Kaziranga National Park which is currently in FAC. I had put it up in WP:LOCE in April 2007, but still now no one have noticed. I need your urgent help in cpediting the article, as i am not so good in doing it. The article has no other issue but cpedit, i gurantee u that a fine refinement will help a lot. Amartyabag TALK2ME 06:47, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

You have my apologies for the late reply. I cannot copy-edit it at this time, but if you request copy-editing here I'm sure someone will get to it. Best regards. Song 21:33, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

OK to requestBold text copy-editing for you own articles/edits?[edit]

Here's a question I've been pondering for a while: I'm a non-native contributor to the English wikipedia. Although confident about the content I add, I often find myself wondering if the English I write might sound stylistically silly or unsophisticated to native readers. My question now is, is it OK to request a copy-edit of my own stuff by inserting the copyedit template or are authors barred from requesting such for their own work, like they're prohibited to remove AfDs from their own work? thanks Funkysapien 00:41, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

No, of course not. That'd be just silly! :) Asking for a copy-edit is perfectly reaonable. My only note is, there is a substantial amount of backlog (articles needing copy-edited) and your articles may not be edited for quite a while. We will eventually get to them, but if you want it done faster I suggest asking an editor in particular to edit them. Such requests can be made on the editor's talk page. Hope this helped. Best regards. Song 20:31, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Verb tense on old consumer products[edit]

Currently there is a civil—yet intense—discussion going on at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Video games, regarding the verb tense to use in the introductory sentence of Wikipedia articles on products that have been out of production for many years. Some say that the Wikipedia articles on old model cars or 25-year old cameras which begin with sentences like "The Nash Rambler was a North American automobile produced by the Nash Motors" are demonstrating perfectly acceptable usage for a mass-produced item, even though some of the cars may still exist. Others say that, because there are still some of these cars still in existence, such an introduction should be replaced with "The Nash Rambler is a North American automobile produced by the Nash Motors"; use of the past tense in such a case, it is asserted, would be grammatically incorrect. Others do not necessarily reject the use of the past tense in describing automobiles, but state that it is not germane to the subject of articles on videogame consoles.

I think many of us would be very grateful for the advice of persons who not only have no personal interest in these articles, but who also are persons who take really know English grammar and take it seriously. I am a party to this debate, and have strong feelings about what is correct, but I also know that I don't know everything about writing. I submit our dispute to your greater wisdom. Unschool 04:33, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi, anyone have anything to say on this? We'd like some help. Thanks. — KieferSkunk (talk) — 18:57, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
You can change tense in this sentence, with the separator "that": The Nash Rambler is a North American automobile that was produced by Nash Motors (not "the Nash Motors", unless you say, "the Nash Motor Corporation) from 1957-1961 etc." Later in the article, there should probably be something like, "Car Collector Magazine estimates that there are still approximately 3,000 Ramblers in use or in collections." -- to justify the present tense "is". As for video game consoles, I have no knowledge of the topic, but if the topic is "Pong is/was a video game produced by Atari, with 2k RAM", well, are there really any still around and operating? Regards, Unimaginative Username (talk) 06:43, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. We came to a consensus on use of verb tense over at Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Article guidelines, where in a general sense any subject that was released is spoken of in present tense when describing it in the abstract, past tense for discussing an event in the subject's history, and past tense when describing a subject that was not released. (Examples: "The NES is a video game console, which was released by Nintendo in 1985.", "Star Fox 2 was a game produced for the Super NES. It was never released.", "The PS3 is being sold worldwide.", etc.) — KieferSkunk (talk) — 05:35, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
That's a brilliant idea! ... hey, wait a minute, that's exactly what I suggested... no wonder it looked so good! </kidding> Unimaginative Username (talk) 07:58, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Pretty much. :) I was just pointing out that we came to that conclusion separately. :) Thank you for the kind response, though. — KieferSkunk (talk) — 23:52, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, then it must be correct! :) Cheers, Unimaginative Username (talk) 00:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


In the following sentence, should it be "compared with" or "compared to": "Unemployment in London is at 2.2%, compared with/to 3.4% nationally"? Epbr123 (talk) 20:24, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

"—Usage note The traditional rule about which preposition to use after compare states that compare should be followed by to when it points out likenesses or similarities between two apparently dissimilar persons or things: She compared his handwriting to knotted string. Compare should be followed by with, the rule says, when it points out similarities or differences between two entities of the same general class: The critic compared the paintings in the exhibit with magazine photographs. This rule is by no means always observed, however, even in formal speech and writing. The usual practice is to employ to for likenesses between members of different classes: A language may be compared to a living organism. But when the comparison is between members of the same category, both to and with are used: The article compares the Chicago of today with (or to) the Chicago of the 1890s. Following the past participle compared, either to or with is used regardless of whether differences or similarities are stressed or whether the things compared belong to the same or different classes: Compared with (or to) the streets of 18th-century London, New York's streets are models of cleanliness and order." Unimaginative Username (talk) 07:54, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

"The" before arena names[edit]

Occasionally I will have to put up with an editor removing the word "the" from before arena names. The most recent case is Survivor Series (1991) where an editor changed it from "from the Joe Louis Arena" to "from Joe Louis Arena". To me that is grammatically wrong and doesn't sound right. The last editor to do this tried to justify their actions by saying we shouldn't use it just because the arena name is "Joe Louis Arena" (although that would be like saying we should use "at White House" rather than "as the White House" since "the" isn't part of the name). Am I correct? Maybe this would finally settle matters. TJ Spyke 05:33, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

The same user has started up again. Can someone please confirm which one is grammatically correct? TJ Spyke 20:01, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Massive backlog of articles needing copy edit[edit]

Hi friends! I've been working on the backlog of articles needing copy edit for the past couple of weeks, and there are far too few of us working on it to catch up with the increasing number of articles tagged for copy-edit. At my last count there were 4,243 articles needing copy-edit, representing a backlog stretching as far back as January 2007, with around 400 articles being tagged per month.

So if any of you are free and feel like helping out, head over to the category page! :) -Samuel Tan (talk) 11:06, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikiproject or taskforce to deal with the copy edit backlog[edit]

Hey all! I've been trying to gauge interest in a taskforce or even a wikiproject dedicated to maintaining and working on the category of articles needing copy edit, which has backlog reaching to January 2007. Already there are a few people interested in the idea; if you're interested or want to help, drop a note at my talk page! When there are enough of us interested, we can put up a proposal for the wikiproject and start working out the details. :) Samuel Tan 01:38, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Degree of comparison question[edit]

Over at Albert Pujols, I have recently been butting heads over grammar with a new user, User:Cardinals10WS (who may be using sockpuppets), and I would like other opinions from established users on what should be a simple matter.

Here's the frustrating background: The issue is which word, better or best, to use in the phrase "[Albert Pujols] is widely regarded as one of the [better/best] players in the game today." I have laid out my concerns and reasoning several times: at Talk:Albert Pujols, at Cardinals10WS's talk page (only to be met with page blankings), on my talk page and on the talk page of one of the new single-purpose accounts. What I have gotten is largely a silly edit war in which the new user(/users?) changes the long-established wording in the article from "best" to "better" by claiming in an edit summary to be making "grammatical corrections". My attempts at discussion have not met with much reasoning: just [1] and [2].

A form of this question has been asked at Talk:Degree_of_comparison#Question, and "one of the best" was supported. So, to the question: Which degree of comparison should be used for one of the top current hitters in baseball? Is Albert Pujols "one of the best players" or merely "one of the better players"? Thanks in advance. I can clarify anything further if necessary. -Phoenixrod (talk) 05:20, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Without even looking at the discussion, the "better/best" contrast is most pronounced in direct comparisons: If you are comparing two persons, things, ideas, etc., "better" is appropriate. "Between Pujols and Smith, Pujols is regarded as the better". If you are comparing three or more, "best" is used. "Of all the players in the game today, Pujols is unquestionably the best".
However, your example is not a direct comparison, but rather merely placing Pujols in a set or class of persons (good players). Therefore, saying that he is "one of the better players" or "one of the best players" are both *grammatically* correct. However, the latter carries a stronger connotation: "One of the better..." puts him in the upper levels of the game (top 20%? 15%? 30%?), while "one of the best" puts him in the elite; as being among the very best. (Top five or ten percent? All arbitrary numbers, just trying to illustrate the point.) If this isn't enough information to settle the issue, I could actually go *read* the article and discussion. Regards, Unimaginative Username (talk) 06:18, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Unimaginative Username. That's rather what I thought, but I wanted to have a discussion to point to so this silly edit war can stop. -Phoenixrod (talk) 16:49, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
You're very welcome. I just read the edits you pointed to. It was this distinction that was missed by your critics -- the distinction between an individual and a class. They are right that there can be only one "best player", but I'm sure they'd agree that there also can be only one "best team". *But* -- a "team" is a certain group or class of players, just as the set "the best players in baseball" is a group or class of players. So it is perfectly proper to refer to AP as being in that class, i. e., that he is "one of (the group defined as) the best players in baseball". (For what it's worth, the adjectives that do not have superlatives include "perfect" and "unique" -- "Pujols is one of the most unique or perfect players..." You're either perfect or you're not; you're either unique or you're not. However, you can be "nearly perfect/unique", and "more nearly perfect" than someone else... Just a bonus point.) Regards, Unimaginative Username (talk) 21:29, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, "most unique" really grates on my ears. Some permissive dictionaries say it's an acceptable use now, likening "unique" to "unusual", but it's certainly clearer to use more vivid language. -Phoenixrod (talk) 04:32, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

"Most populated"[edit]

I was rather alarmed to discover that (using the search string "most populated" -User -talk) over 1,000 articles have this hideous creation. (The -User -talk eliminates talk pages and user pages.) I've gone through about 100 articles and templates, changing "most populated" to "most populous" and moving the page if needed), but there's still a lot of work to be done. Anybody willing to help stamp out this specific ugliness? Horologium (talk) 23:49, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

2 people with the same name in the same pragraph[edit]

I am wondering if there is a way to clean up a paragraph dealing with 2 people of the same name (first name is the only name ever given) that doesn't force me to reuse a addative information within commas every time, thus inflating the size of the paragraph a whole lot. Here is the paragraph I'm trying to reduce:

The girls return to the same city Konami once lived in, forty years later. Just after they arrive, Mai, the middle sister, mistakes Konami's daughter, Mai, for Konami herself. Mai, Konami's daughter, hates that she was named after Konami's friend, Mai, the middle sister. Mai, Konami's daughter, is acts as an introverted loner because she watched late her mother wait for Mai, the middle sister, whom she considered a friend to return. When Mai, the middle sister, meets Mai, Konami's daughter, Mai, the middle sister, tries to become friends with Mai, Konami's daughter, but Mai, Konami's daughter, brushes her off at first until some fellow classmates hide her sketchbook and she finds Mai, the middle sister, searching through rubbage for it. After that, Mai, Konami's daughter, opens up to Mai, the middle sister, and some other classmates who return the sketchbook. Mai, Konami's sister, tells Mai, the middle sister about her mother how she waited for Mai's, the middle sister, return. This ironically, this has the opposite effect on Mai, the middle sister, as it reopens her wounds about the impact their journey has on those who are left behind.

Progressive past tense[edit]

The tense in a sentence in the Jehovah's Witnesses article has been changed, with the editor making the change helpfully explaining his reason. I think he's wrong. I can't find any support for his stance in a Google search of grammar websites, or a copy of Fowlers English Usage, but then again I can't find anything that directly supports my preference either.

Here's the sentence as it reads now: "As their interpretations of Scripture continued to develop, Witnesses were told that saluting the flag or standing for the national anthem are forms of idolatry."

I think that because the tense is initially established as past (continued to develop, were told) the following phrase should read "Witnesses were told that saluting the flag or standing for the national anthem were forms of idolatry." It seems awkward and downright wrong for the tense to change mid-sentence.

The editor who altered the tense claimed it was a progressive aspect verb and gave this explanation: "When something (considered to be) absolute (ongoing) is determined in the past, it is still correct to use a present verb, because the subject is always in the present. e.g. Scientists discovered that the universe is big, rather than was. In the specific instance, they decided that anthems and saluting are (always) idolatry, not just that it was idolatry at the time."

Is he right or wrong? Any thoughts would be appreciated! LTSally (talk) 02:11, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

My (far too late to be useful) opinion is that the editor who corrected you is partly correct. When the event spoken of is no longer true in present, real, time, then the verb is always backshifted, as: "I like my work: - George Washington said that he liked his work. When the event is still true in present, real time, then the verb may or may not be backshifted. Both forms are correct as: "I like my work" -I spoke to my daughter yesterday and she told me that she liked/likes her work. Incidentally, there is no progressive aspect of a verb in your quotation gramorak (talk) 16:23, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Centralized discussion regarding requested move of London Underground lines[edit]

Discussion turns on a point of grammar. Talk:Victoria line#Requested move Ed Fitzgerald t / c 10:35, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

"regarded as"[edit]

In reference to this:

Is Hinduism regarded as one of the world's oldest religions?

Or is it simply regarded one of the world's oldest religions?

I was confident when I edited that sentence but now I'm not so sure. EnviroboyTalkCs 12:37, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Regarded as... no question. wadester16 03:21, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


Does one refer to it as the town of Brunswick or the Town of Brunswick? wadester16 03:20, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

PerfectIt (computer program for easier copyediting)[edit]

I have just discovered a computer program for easier copyediting. See Intelligent Editing - Cleaner, Smarter, Better Documents.
Wavelength (talk) 03:01, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Narrative present and other verb tense issues[edit]

I have some questions and would like input on the use of the narrative present verb tense in Wikipedia article text. Please comment at WT:MOSBETTER. — AjaxSmack 01:08, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Acronyms ending in S[edit]

Hey there. When an acronym ends in S (e.g. SAS), would it be SAS's in possessive form or SAS'. Cheers. Ashnard Talk Contribs 20:21, 8 August 2009 (UTC)



There is a minor friendly debate to reach consensus about the correct way to capitalize certain terms; as there are few people working on the article, it would really help if a few others could add their opinions, in Talk:Pentecostalism#Proper_names. Thanks,  Chzz  ►  09:39, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Data are plural[edit]

I find myself being accused of edit waring for correcting "data is ..." to "data are ..." Please join the discussion in the Hard Disk Drive Talk page; perhaps some folks interested in grammar can help Tom94022 (talk) 21:22, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

It's called a "fluid term," an abstract word that compares to amounts of liquid quantitatively. "Water is" would not be "water are." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:31, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

hypenation and Magical girl articles[edit]

People: I've summarized at Talk:Magical girl#hyphenation: "magical girl" and "magical-girl": summarizing discussion for convenience an issue concerning common names, compound adjectives and accepted usage in the articles dealing with a recognized concept in manga/anime. Perhaps we've just talked past each other, but User:Malkinann and I would appreciate comments. Thanks. HoundsOfSpring (talk) 06:42, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Hebe Camargo article[edit]

{{helpme}} You could make spelling proofreading in the section "Awards and honors" of the article "Hebe Camargo"? The verbal placements which I suspect are wrong are all below in bold:

  • 1990 — "The face of São Paulo"
  • 1994 — “Citizen Paulistanafrom the Câmara Municipal
  • 2002 — "Tribute in Portugal"
  • 2007 — "Special Award", for Prêmio Contigo!
  • 2009 — “Title of Professor Honoris Causaof the Universidade FIAM-FAAM
  • 2010 — "Award LIDE 2010" of the Comitê Executivo do Grupo de Líderes Empresariais
  • "Best Interview" of the Associação Paulista dos Críticos de Artes
  • Best auditorium program presenterof the Brazilian Academy of Letters

These verbal placements are correct? Otherwise, could correct? Gustavo1997 (talk) 00:58, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

See WP:GCE. fetch·comms 01:00, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Potential taskforce or related WikiProject[edit]

WikiProject English dialects? I've been thinking about creating a group of Wikipedians to more-or-less enforce WP:ENGVAR—the standards of allowing different national varieties of English on the English Wikipedia. Responsibilities might include:

User:Radiopathy is also interested and generally focuses on checking pages for conformance to British English. Would anyone else be interested in assisting with English dialect issues like this? Are there any Australian, Canadian, or South Asian Wikipedians who would also be interested in making conformity for their own national English variations as well? Please respond here with any feedback you have about the plausibility of this proposal or your interest in it. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 17:56, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Editors with consistently terrible grammar[edit]

Is there any relevant WP policy for editors who clearly are not native English speakers and write terrible prose? I'm not trying to be a dick, but I'm in the midst of a content dispute with an editor at International child abduction in Japan and, on top of his POV pushing, I can't always understand what he says on Talk and, adding insult to injury, I am conflicted as to whether I should copyedit his factually POV edits for grammar for the sake of a readable article (so he has something to revert me to) and then rewrite them to be NPOV and accurate (and still readable.) Cybermud (talk) 04:13, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Commas inside/outside quotes[edit]

I have noticed, just about everywhere on Wikipedia, that periods and commas only show up after a quote mark. For example: Jack said, "I ate eggs for dinner". However, proper convention is to place periods and commas inside the final quote mark. (See rule #5). Thus, proper English would be: Jack said, "I ate eggs for dinner." Sometimes I see punctuation outside of the quote marks on Wikipedia and feel the urge to correct it, but then I remember that it's like that everywhere and my edits will only lead to a lack of consistency. So, why is it almost like an unspoken rule to have improper period and comma placement on Wikipedia? Althepal (talk) 16:54, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

The reference you gave states that it is describing US English and that other forms differ. describes the difference between US English and the English of UK, Canada and others about this. Let's say: periods go inside but full stops go outside :) I think the right thing to do is stick to the form of English in which the article was first written. Stfg (talk) 13:41, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I gave wrong advice. See Wikipedia:MOS#Punctuation_inside_or_outside. Stfg (talk) 13:17, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Adverbs and auxiliaries[edit]

All the grammar references I've been able to find say that an adverb should go after an auxiliary verb but before the main verb, as in "On Sunday morning he would usually read a newspaper". But I often see things like "On Sunday morning he usually would read a newspaper", including in books by scholarly authors. Please can anyone tell me if this a difference of regional variants, or what? Stfg (talk) 13:51, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

I've moved this to Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Language Stfg (talk) 23:07, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Has the Singular Possesive Pronoun Gone the Way of the Dinosaur?[edit]

Hello All,

I made what I thought to be a simple, obvious grammatical correction here. My edit was reverted, and I am now told that "they" can be used as a singular pronoun in today's politically-correct linguistic landscape. While such a suggestion sounds like poppycock to an old fuddy-duddy like myself, I suppose I should check with the experts. Who is correct? Is the "singular they" a commonly-accepted element of our evolving language? Many thanks, Ebikeguy (talk) 15:53, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

"Now"? "Today's"? Singular they has been around for centuries. Angr (talk) 16:23, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
In the colloquial, sure, but every English teacher I've ever had taught me that using the "singular they" in writing was grammatically incorrect. Of course, that was waaaaaay back in the 1980s. Things might have changed since folks stopped writing with feather quills and ink. Ebikeguy (talk) 16:34, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
See recency illusion. The article mentions singular they as its first example. It appears that your teachers were simply wrong. This is not at all uncommon for matters of grammar and style. Hans Adler 16:42, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I also note that "The Canterbury Tales" contain many instances of grammar that would not be accepted by today's standards. Holding Shakespeare and Austen up as support for a debate on contemporary grammar seems a bit sketchy to me. Ebikeguy (talk) 16:49, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, to be fair, Chaucer was writing in Middle English, which is a different language than Modern English and which was used before language standardization happened; the language was still changing rather rapidly then and there weren't explicit rules to follow. Shakespeare and Austen were also writing at different periods of English than he was (Early Modern English in Shakespeare's case, and Modern in Austen's case), so it's also expected that their usage would differ substantially from Chaucer's and from each other's. rʨanaɢ (talk) 16:58, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
(ec) That would make a bit more sense if there had been a time in between in which the best English writers stopped using that construction, before it got fashionable again. But if there was a period between the 1611 edition of the King James Bible [3] (or the early 16th century sources to which Webster's Dictionary of English Usage tracked this usage) and the 21st century in which singular they fell out of use in good style, then I have at least never heard of it. According to Webster's, the rule that the male pronouns must be used as supposedly gender neutral was invented by 18th century grammarians, presumably because they felt this made English more similar to Latin. But there are no significant temporal gaps in the primary sources quoted by Webster's. (Swift 1738, Goldsmith 1771, Austen 1815, Thackeray 1848, Spencer 1904, Wharton 1920, Time 1948, Bates 1951) Hans Adler 17:10, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Angr; there's not much I can say about that issue that you can't already find in our article on Singular they. rʨanaɢ (talk) 16:35, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but the existence of a Wikipedia article on a disputed subject certainly does not establish it as an accepted grammatical rule. Ebikeguy (talk) 16:43, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
We weren't showing you that article to prove it's accepted, we were showing you the article so you could read it. It has over 50 references discussing whether or not this construction is accepted. rʨanaɢ (talk) 16:48, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the question was is there a WP:MOS guideline on this? I don't think so. I'm always ready to follow a standard if that's what's agreed.
Singular "theys" are worth avoiding, but they're far better than the ugly he/she s/he alternatives. And for better or worse, gender specific "his" or "her" either sound like your writing a 1940s instructional manual, or are making a deliberately point. Escape Orbit (Talk) 17:43, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree with your suggestion that these are worth avoiding. My research suggests that there is no WP:MOS consensus on this issue. The most recent discussion I could find on the matter confirms the lack of consensus. Ebikeguy (talk) 17:51, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
When it can be done without too much hassle, it's often a good idea to avoid the issue. But 'gender-inclusive' he can be extremely awkward. Websters's Dictionary of English Usage has some good examples: "... everyone will be able to decide for himself whether or not to have an abortion." "She and Louis had a game – who could find the ugliest photograph of himself." "... the ideal that every boy and girl should be so equipped that he shall not be handicapped in his struggle for social progress." Hans Adler 19:00, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree 100% with your points about the 'gender-inclusive' he, which I stopped using back in the 80s. I still prefer the clunky-but-correct "she/he" alternative to the inaccurate (IMHO) singular they. Ebikeguy (talk) 19:08, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I often find it easier to skirt the issue by using plurals. In the article in question, instead of "On each player's turn, he/she has to play a higher ranking combination", you could write "On players' turns, they have to play a higher ranking combination". Of course there are occasions where this doesn't work, but it's not usually going to raise eyebrows. -Phoenixrod (talk) 02:32, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Affect or Effect[edit]

There is currently a debate at Talk:A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 film)#Production: Development regarding whether a quote is incorrectly using "effect".

Here is the quote:"It's definitely not a standard slasher film. This is a movie that you can mention to people and their jaws drop [...] because of that franchise, that character, had a profound effect on their childhood. [...] I hear things like, 'Freddy scared the hell out of me.' [...] What everyone involved wants to do is re-invent the character for a new generation."

The question is whether "effect" is being used as a verb (to influence) or as a noun. One side is arguing that the word should be "affect", because the statement is implying an influence on childhood. The other side is arguing that the statement is correct already, because it is speaking about causing a change.

I've looked at various websites (1, 2, and 3), and it seems to always come down to whether the word is being used as a verb or as a noun. I'd really like to get some more opinions on which is appropriate in this statement so that the article can reflect that.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 18:51, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Definitely "effect". It's certainly not being used as a verb in that sentence; "profound" is an adjective. An example using "affect" would be "...that character profoundly affected their childhood." (In rare cases "effect" can be a verb, and "affect" can be a noun, but this isn't one of those.)Tdslk (talk) 19:15, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Let me second what Tdslk said. -Phoenixrod (talk) 00:40, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Tense in discontinued video game article[edit]

So, I'm in the middle of copy editing Exteel, a game that was discontinued a while ago. Following the convention of using the present tense for fiction, it seems better to write "The Mechanaughts are ..." than "The Mechanaughts were ...". But "Players can ..." instead of "Players could ..." just sounds weird, knowing that there aren't any players anymore. Any advice? Thanks. Leonxlin (talk) 22:18, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Governor general[edit]

A question has come up pertaining to the whole series of biographies of Canadian governors general: what is the best way to apply the noun suffix "-ship" to the term "governor general"? Is it "governorship general" or "governor generalship"?

The answer, by extention, affects whether it's best to pluralise "governor general" as "governors general" or "governor generals". Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:04, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

As "Attorneys General" is technically correct, so would be "Governors General." It follows the the correct application of "-ship" would be "Governorship General." However, that does look and sound clunky. Do you really need to use that term? Ebikeguy (talk) 17:28, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
No. When used as a section heading "Governor-General" is fine, and is already common usage. This is in line with similar articles on Prime Ministers, where section headings read "Prime Minister" rather than "Prime Ministership". Pete (talk) 21:49, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Commas for more than two subjects.[edit]

I've noticed a recent phenomenon on Wikipedia: Using incorrect placement of commas on multiple subjects. For example:

Mix milk, eggs and cheese.

That should be:

Mix milk, eggs, and cheese.

When the former is written, it would be read as such,

Mix milk...Eggs & cheese.

That implies that instead of mixing milk, eggs, and cheese, one would combine 1. Milk, and 2. A mixture of eggs and cheese.

"And" is sufficient to separate two subjects. Otherwise, each subject should have a comma separating it from its neighbor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Some newspapers and magazines have a local style guide mandating the serial comma -- so leaving it out would, as you suggested, be incorrect when writing an article for them. You may be surprised to learn that other newspapers and magazines have a local style guide forbidding the serial comma -- so the "correction" you suggest would make it incorrect when writing an article for them. See our serial comma article for more details.

While I personally agree that always using a serial comma makes a lot of sense, the Wikipedia style guide MOS:SERIAL specifically says either way is acceptable in Wikipedia articles. Neither way is always "incorrect". DavidCary (talk) 15:23, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Still extant[edit]

In the infobox at Matsudaira clan, in the dissolution line, is the phrase "still extant". Isn't this redundant (and a good example of tautology)? Wiktionary, Merriam-Webster's, Compact OED, and Webster's New World all use the word "still" in their definitions. Can I remove "still" from the infobox? – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 18:58, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Elizabeth II[edit]

Is the desk still alive? See Talk:Elizabeth_II#Rewriting_some_lines. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spelling Style (talkcontribs) 20:53, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Villyan Bijev[edit]

"In 2012 he declined an invitation to play for Bulgaria U-21,but in the next year he is part of the team."

That doesn't make sense to me. – Michael (talk) 21:52, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

It looks like it was translated poorly from another language (I'm guessing Bulgarian). I took a stab at fixing it. Guy1890 (talk) 03:47, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
It looks like there's too many commas. – Michael (talk) 04:30, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

"Which" vs. "that"[edit]

Someone just changed this sentence: "This was a suborbital flight which lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds." to "This was a suborbital flight that lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds." I don't think there was anything wrong with the way it was. This seems to be a usage (style) issue; is there any grammatical preference for one over the other? Is which as used here in any way unclear? JustinTime55 (talk) 20:27, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

@JustinTime55: Yes. In this situation, where "Which" and "That" seem interchangeable, you need to consider these 2 general rules:
  1. "Which" should (in this situation) always be followed preceded by a comma.
  2. If it doesn’t make sense to put a comma there (just like the situation you presented), then it should be "That".

There are complicated grammar reasons for this, but that’s all you need to know. IWI (chat) 12:59, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

Very late reply lol. IWI (chat) 13:00, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

A or An[edit]

Hi, I've been editing articles on U.S. Senators and congressmen and I was wondering which was correct. _________ was a U.S. senator. or __________ was an U.S. senator. The first one sounds better but I'm not sure. Thanks in advanced. Jamo58 (talk) 23:21, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that it's "was a U.S. Senator". Guy1890 (talk) 00:31, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Definitely. The rule is not: use an before vowels; the rule is: use an before vowel sounds. The U in U.S., and the u in ukeulele, makes the "you" sound, which is not a vowel sound. So, we also use "a ukulele", not "an ukulele".

But we use "an hour", not "a hour", because "hour" starts with the OW sound, which is a vowel sound. B2C 20:38, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

"On Mr. X's account,"[edit]

An editor keeps using this phrase over and over for journalists, professors, etc. Some hypothetical examples: "On Einstein's account, E=MC2." "On Jay Leno's account, he's sad to have to leave his show." "On Professor's Jones account, all the lions in Africa will be extinct in 40 years." This just seems like clumsy and confusing grammar to me and there are far more grammatical ways to express the thought which editors use all the time. Thoughts? User:Carolmooredc surprisedtalk 06:20, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

active voice[edit]

Why does wp: active voice redirect to this page?

To comply with WP:R#PLA, wp: active voice should point to some page that at least mentions the phrase "active voice". Did this page once mention active voice, but that section was accidentally deleted and needs to be restored? Is there some other Wikipedia guideline that mentions active voice, and wp: active voice should point at that page instead of this one? DavidCary (talk) 16:20, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

was or is?[edit]

Which is correct?

  1. "We will bury you!" was a phrase famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev ...
    • It was used by him, but is no longer.
  2. "We will bury you!" is a phrase famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev ...
    • It still is a phrase famously used by him. The statement really is : "... is a phrase [that was] famously used by [him]". The that was is implied.

Reference: [4]

B2C 20:26, 9 February 2014 (UTC) updated B2C 20:31, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Ykraps (talk · contribs) has reverted back to "was" twice now. Please discuss here.

Yes, I know it says "was used by". But the core part of the sentence is ""We will bury you!" was/is a phrase." That needs to make sense independent of the "famously used by ..." clause, and for that to make sense, it needs to be is. As I noted above, the real sentence is this:

"We will bury you!" is a phrase that was famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev ...
B2C 20:43, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Is it not, "..which was used"? Ykraps (talk) 21:20, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
"We will bury you!"' is a phrase which was famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev ...
is even better, but the which was is still superfluous, and
"We will bury you!"' is a phrase famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev ...
is equally grammatically correct. B2C 01:21, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Why are you asking questions here and then answering them yourself? Are you hoping that I will think you are a third party and be satisfied? Or are you hoping that shouting loudly, "I'm right! I'm right!" will somehow influence the decision of the person who eventually answers your query? Furthermore your smokescreen of edits and comments are not helpful. You initially changed the sentence from:
"We will bury you!" (Russian: "Мы вас похороним!", transliterated as My vas pokhoronim!) was a phrase famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956.
"We will bury you!" (Russian: "Мы вас похороним!", transliterated as My vas pokhoronim!) is a phrase famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956.
Presumably because you believe the subject of the sentence to be the phrase, whereas I believe the subject of the sentence (and indeed the article) to be its usage. Now can we wait patiently for an answer because I would like to learn even if you don't. Ykraps (talk) 17:32, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Are you reading the sentence as if there were a comma between phrase and famously? "We will bury you is a phrase, (comma) famously used by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev...." Because that would make sense. Ykraps (talk) 17:20, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Delexical verb[edit]

Hello, Grammarians! Is this old Afc submission of any use, or should it be left to be deleted as a stale draft? —Anne Delong (talk) 06:05, 11 February 2014 (UTC)


I've been using LanguageTool to correct some common mistakes in the Spanish and English Wikipedia. You should take a look at it. Macofe (talk) 22:14, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Leaflet for Wikiproject Grammar at Wikimania 2014[edit]

Project Leaflet WikiProject Medicine back and front v1.png

Hi all,

My name is Adi Khajuria and I am helping out with Wikimania 2014 in London.

One of our initiatives is to create leaflets to increase the discoverability of various wikimedia projects, and showcase the breadth of activity within wikimedia. Any kind of project can have a physical paper leaflet designed - for free - as a tool to help recruit new contributors. These leaflets will be printed at Wikimania 2014, and the designs can be re-used in the future at other events and locations.

This is particularly aimed at highlighting less discoverable but successful projects, e.g:

• Active Wikiprojects: Wikiproject Medicine, WikiProject Video Games, Wikiproject Film

• Tech projects/Tools, which may be looking for either users or developers.

• Less known major projects: Wikinews, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, etc.

• Wiki Loves Parliaments, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves ____

• Wikimedia thematic organisations, Wikiwomen’s Collaborative, The Signpost

The deadline for submissions is 1st July 2014

For more information or to sign up for one for your project, go to:

Project leaflets
Adikhajuria (talk) 17:47, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Members of this project...[edit]

...might be interested in this discussoion. BMK (talk) 07:20, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Quick question[edit]

A rather coarse one, but another editor and I are at an impasse: Are "cocksucker" and "dicksucker" synonyms for "fellatio"? The discussion is here: Talk:Dicksucker. Thanks. Lightbreather (talk) 06:26, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, that's got to be one of the oddest questions I've ever seen asked on Wikipedia, but when one is sucking a cock or a dick, then one is engaging in fellatio. Hope that helps? Guy1890 (talk) 06:47, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
It is odd, but there you have it. Synonyms (slang) for fellatio would be cocksucking or dicksucking. Synonyms for cocksucker or dicksucker would be fellator or fellatrix. At least applying any English 101 class, plus what one can find in dictionaries, to the question. Lightbreather (talk) 06:56, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
You make it sound like Guy1890 has agreed with you on this dispute; I don't see where he has. I've pointed out, with WP:Reliable sources, on the Dicksucker talk page that partial and full synonyms exist and that you are therefore being needlessly strict with how you are defining the term synonym in this case. Flyer22 (talk) 07:24, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I read what you sourced, and I think you're misapplying those examples to these words' relationship. Also, I don't think I made it sound like Guy1980 agrees with me. First, I acknowledged that it's an odd conversation. Then, since he didn't really say "yes, those are synonyms," or "no, they aren't," I replied to his statement with one of my own (rather than put him on the spot by saying, "hey, you didn't answer my question.) But I am extremely tired now and I'm going to bed. I'm content to wait and see if anyone else weighs in on this question. Lightbreather (talk) 07:35, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
So, it looks like you two are arguing over whether or not the Dicksucker Wikipedia re-direct page should go to fellatio or the dicksucker Wiktionary page? Really?? Guy1890 (talk) 07:44, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Lightbreather, I don't think that I'm "misapplying those examples to these words' relationship"; you stated that I am wrong on this matter, and your argument seems to hinge on the rationale that "[s]ynonyms can be interchanged." I pointed out, with WP:Reliable sources, that "[s]ynonyms are not always fully interchangeable," and, in fact, that full synonyms (as noted by the 1997 Exploring the French Language source and the 2000 Handbook of Multimodal and Spoken Dialogue Systems: Resources, Terminology and Product Evaluation source) are rare. My contention is that you are being needlessly strict when it comes to the terms cocksucker and dicksucker and their relation to fellatio, and I don't see how you can make me think otherwise on that. As for Guy1980's answer, your "but there you have it" commentary, in addition to the rest of your "06:56, 20 September 2014 (UTC)" commentary, made it sound like you think that he has agreed with you, or that you want to portray it that way. Whatever the case, other than wanting to prove that you are right, I fail to see why you have pursued this matter, since I have not challenged your redirects or your "send to Wiktionary" argument on these two cases. As noted at the Dicksucker talk page, I did not challenge them since these two terms are highly pejorative. I did not mind when you redirected the Cocksucker and Dicksucker pages to the Pejorative article, other than that these terms should be covered there if they are to be redirected there. Also, it would better if this discussion continue at one talk page (this one or the other one), per WP:TALKCENT, instead of being disjointed.
Guy1890, again, I have not challenged Lightbreather's redirects or her "send to Wiktionary" argument on these two cases. And yet she has pursued this discussion. A waste of time is what this is. Flyer22 (talk) 08:02, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I gave the link to the discussion in my original post. Nonetheless, a reply was posted here and I responded. I don't think Guy or I did an thing wrong. You've given your reasoning for why you think "cocksucker" and "dicksucker" are synonyms for "fellatio." i'm looking for other opinions, if others are willing to comment. If you're satisfied with your input and further input is wasting your time, by all means - move along. I'm not demanding that you stick around. Lightbreather (talk) 14:55, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I certainly was not implying that Guy1890 did anything wrong. Flyer22 (talk) 20:02, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Walter Freud deceased[edit]

Paraphrased, the last line state "He is the father of Lord Freud". I was about to change to "he was".... but I'm not sure if that is right either? Stacie Croquet (talk) 16:39, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject X is live![edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg

Hello everyone!

You may have received a message from me earlier asking you to comment on my WikiProject X proposal. The good news is that WikiProject X is now live! In our first phase, we are focusing on research. At this time, we are looking for people to share their experiences with WikiProjects: good, bad, or neutral. We are also looking for WikiProjects that may be interested in trying out new tools and layouts that will make participating easier and projects easier to maintain. If you or your WikiProject are interested, check us out! Note that this is an opt-in program; no WikiProject will be required to change anything against its wishes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Note: To receive additional notifications about WikiProject X on this talk page, please add this page to Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Newsletter. Otherwise, this will be the last notification sent about WikiProject X.

Harej (talk) 16:57, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Is Material Design a proper noun?[edit]

Could some experts please weight in on Talk:Material_design#Title_capitalization about whether Material Design is a proper noun? Thanks in advance. Thue (talk) 14:43, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

"as well as"[edit]

Several yesterday changes by User:Michael Demiurgos (redlink User:talk:Michael Demiurgos) carry edit summary "Grammar" and evidently comprise little or nothing but multiple replacement of "and" by "as well as". Extremely so at Earthsea (universe) diff; cannot be undone. Here is another one week earlier diff; cannot be undone.

P64 (talk) 18:21, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

What is the problem with what I did?
Michael Demiurgos (talk) 02:23, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Routinely "and" is correct here, and "as well as" is not. Not 'as well as "as well as" is not.'
I daresay but I have posted notice to this audience, previously unknown to me, which proclaims expertise and interest. --P64 (talk) 14:13, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
It appears that some people like to use 'as well as' at the end of a list that includes 'X and Y' in the actual list. So that it goes - The list is; A and B, X and Y, as well as Z. That reads OK. But then we have this bright spark who thinks that means every use of 'and' should be replaced with 'as well as' which is completely wrong. That's the problem. Its completely wrong.Mdw0 (talk) 03:19, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Use of commas at the Cougar (slang) article[edit]

Opinions are needed on the following matter: Talk:Cougar (slang)#Incorrect and/or improper usage of commas. A WP:Permalink for it is here. Flyer22 (talk) 10:02, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Grammar guidelines?[edit]

Hi team, do we have any grammar guidelines anywhere? There doesn't seem to be anything in the MOS unless I've missed it. Thanks.Bermicourt (talk) 19:46, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

WP:MOS#Grammar and usage. Thinker78 (talk) 17:34, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Help me for the correct title[edit]

I recently created a new article album equivalent unit. But I'm actually still confused with its title, as I'm not a native speaker. Google Seach results "equivalent album unit", "album equivalent unit", and "album-equivalent unit". Which one is gramatically correct? Thanks in advance :) Bluesatellite (talk) 21:04, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Merge with the GOCE[edit]

I propose merging this wikiproject into the GOCE, because this page is mostly inactive and has a similar scope to the GOCE. If you merge you will get the activity of the GOCE and add your content to the GOCE, and avoid redundancies. Thanks, Jjjjjjdddddd (talk) 05:25, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

A couple of thoughts: It seems like it would be better to redirect editors to Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language, which is active and serves the purpose that this WikiProject was intended to serve. The GOCE's purview, copy editing, is different from helping editors with questions. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:08, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Jonesey. All the best, Miniapolis 14:01, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
I think we need to have both, as people might be looking for any of the two. I'll go ahead and tag this project as inactive for now. Kranix (talk | contribs) 00:02, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Uses of the semicolon[edit]

At the Wikipedia article on semicolons, one of the uses listed is "when a comma replaces a period (full stop) in a quotation, or when a quotation otherwise links two independent sentences", followed by the example: "I have no use for this," he said; "you are welcome to it." There's no source cited verifying this use, so I'm hoping someone more knowledgeable about this can offer advice or cite a reference. I've often structured quotations this way, but using a period instead where the semicolon is in the example above. Is this more or less correct? Thoughts? @Plantsurfer: @SecretName101: Dan56 (talk) 22:39, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

There is a serious proposal to use "plural they" to described a transgender person[edit]

I can't believe I even have to report this, but some editors are seriously proposing using "they" instead of she/her for Alexis Arquette at Talk:Alexis Arquette#Detransitioned?. So if this is done, we will have sentences such as "Arquette is noted for their roles in films, and they were nominated for several awards" scattered throughout Alexis Arquette. MOS:GENDERID is very clear about this: we use the pronoun appropriate for the person's latest self-designated gender. Sundayclose (talk) 01:15, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Bellevue murders[edit]

I don't know where to start on this! Any bored grammar police can have a field day fixing it up. Equinox 09:05, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Commas in Dates[edit]

As per Wikipedia:Basic_copyediting, when using the "Month Day, Year" format you need a comma after the year. But it seems like it would be a lot of commas to do that in a sentence like the following: "I went camping from April 1, 2017, to April 3, 2017, in the Artic." When you are doing a date range like that do you still use commas after the years? Or is there a better way to format that sentence. (Also, can I just say that asking a written question to a bunch of grammar experts is very intimidating. I've written and re-written this question at least ten times...) VoodooEconomics (talk) 15:12, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Requesting grammar check at Jackbox Games[edit]

Recently, Jackbox announced a new gamemode in their upcoming game, The Jackbox Party Pack 4, and an IP decided to add details about the new gamemode. To assist them, I have added a source to the new gamemode and performed a partial grammar check, as I do not have the time to perform a full check. Would it be possible for someone to check the grammar in the section? Thanks! jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) 01:43, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:Avel Enukidze#Requested move 1 November 2018[edit]

 You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Avel Enukidze#Requested move 1 November 2018. Wizlon, Don has requested that the article be renamed to "Avel Yenukidze". This discussion regards possible inconsistencies in the way Wikipedia transliterates names beginning with the Cyrillic letter 'e'. - Radiphus (talk) 07:31, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Perfect tense[edit]

  • Fred lives in Franistan since 1999, after earlier years divided between Zimbabwe and the U.S.
  • Fred has lived in Franistan since 1999, after earlier years divided between Zimbabwe and the U.S.
  • Fred has been living in Franistan since 1999, after earlier years divided between Zimbabwe and the U.S.

In the lede of a BLP article, which one should be used, and why? The purpose is to convey where Fred lives now, how long he's been living there, and where he's lived before. It's been about a century or so since school Face-smile.svg. After reading the article about perfect tenses, I'm less sure than I was previously. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 00:15, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

Second one. Kranix (talk | contribs) 23:58, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

Title question[edit]

Hey, would appreciate some insight to the correct usage.

What is the correct (or more correct) way of writing this title:

  • List of minor <TV series name> characters
  • List of <TV series name> minor characters

The "minor" can be basically any other word - "main", "supporting", "recurring", etc. --Gonnym (talk) 10:35, 22 January 2019 (UTC)

I don't know the answer, but maybe this will lead to one:
1a. List of minor This is a big, long, ugly, ridiculous, coming-soon-to-a-small-screen-near-you name characters
1b. List of This is a big, long, ugly, ridiculous, coming-soon-to-a-small-screen-near-you name minor characters
1c. List of This is a big, long, ugly, ridiculous, coming-soon-to-a-small-screen-near-you name's minor characters
2a. List of on-air CNBC personalities
2b. List of CNBC on-air personalities
2c. List of CNBC's on-air personalities
3a. List of delicious Claim Jumper soups
3b. List of Claim Jumper delicious soups
3c. List of Claim Jumper's delicious soups
—[AlanM1(talk)]— 03:45, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

Answers in Genesis grammar help[edit]

Hello. There is currently a disagreement about a potential grammatical error in the Answers in Genesis article. The current wording of the opening two sentences of the lead section is,

Answers in Genesis (AiG) is a fundamentalist Christian apologetics parachurch organization. It advocates a literal or historical-grammatical interpretation of the Book of Genesis, with a particular focus on a pseudoscientific promotion of young Earth creationism, which rejects those results of scientific investigation that do not conform to their literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative.

However, if we study the pronoun 'which', we see that it refers to young Earth creationism, and hence the meaning of the sentence becomes:

young Earth creationism rejects those results of scientific investigation that do not conform to their literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative.

The problem with this statement is that even if that is the intended meaning, 'their' in 'their literal interpretation' refers to young Earth creationism, while in my understanding it should 'its'. There are other obvious issues with this statement, such as that adherents of young Earth creationism still have different interpretations of the Genesis creation narrative (some believe the Earth is flat; others don't), but what I want to establish is that there is at least one grammatical error in the sentence. Can anyone help?OlJa 14:29, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

A new newsletter directory is out![edit]

A new Newsletter directory has been created to replace the old, out-of-date one. If your WikiProject and its taskforces have newsletters (even inactive ones), or if you know of a missing newsletter (including from sister projects like WikiSpecies), please include it in the directory! The template can be a bit tricky, so if you need help, just post the newsletter on the template's talk page and someone will add it for you.

– Sent on behalf of Headbomb. 03:11, 11 April 2019 (UTC)

Episode table template grammar issue[edit]

The {{Episode table}} template has a country field that adds the title "(field value) Viewers." This appears to be incorrect as Nationality would seem to be more inline with the word Viewers than the country. So, should the templates docs be corrected to fix this oversight? (talk) 05:34, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

I was thinking about how {{Episode table}} used nation rather than nationality in the template and suspect that it could be because we can only state that it is viewers in the nation, not of that nationality, watched the show. And when I suggested that you get the template changed I thought that you would discuss it at the template because that's where the decision was made. Walter Görlitz (talk) 11:30, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
@Walter Görlitz: It's a grammar issue and original creator of the template would not be open to correct the oversight. Anyway the alternative to using nationality would be to correct Viewers to read as "Viewing in ". (talk) 21:43, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Stubborn to the last. Again, even if it were a grammar issue, it should have been raised at the template. Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:11, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Stubborn, that would apply to the creator of the template. (talk) 23:33, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Have you looked into it? Do you know it was one person and not a WP:CONSENSUS decision. Much of the discussion happened at Template talk:Episode list, but that parameter has not been discussed there. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:56, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Could you explain what word(s) you want to be changed with what? I couldn't understand. --Gonnym (talk) 23:13, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
@Gonnym: Simple if you want to keep country, then the field should be prefixed with "Viewing in " instead of the incorrect suffix of " viewers." (talk) 23:33, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
What makes you think I want anything in relation to that template? Once again, bad assumptions.
@Gonnym: the anon from Te Awamutu would like to see the country= parameter in {{Episode table}} to change from the nation where the viewing statistics have been gathered to the nationality of the viewers. In other words, the editor is suggesting that the heading should read American viewers (millions) rather than U.S. viewers (millions) as the template's documentation suggests. I offered an alternate rationale: that the viewers were in the country and not necessarily citizens of that country. I'll also offer that viewers of that nationality may watch it outside of the country (so a Canadian watching in the United States, or an Australian while on vacation in New Zealand). The anon has opened a discussion at Template talk:Episode table doubleing-down on the idea that this is the correct place to discuss the issue. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:56, 2 June 2019 (UTC) This (WikiProject Grammar) is a relatively inactive project, with posts separated by a month or two. Your particular issue, as I understand it, is about one particular template. The discussion, therefore, belongs at that template's talk page: Template talk:Episode table. If more opinions are needed, a short post pointing to it on other related talk pages (like this one) is appropriate, but the discussion should remain at the specific template's talk page. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 22:24, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Quick question Ned Flanders' lead[edit]

The lead sentence for Ned Flanders says, "Nedward Flanders Jr. is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons, voiced by Harry Shearer and first appearing in the series premiere episode 'Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire'". I'm conflicted about the phrase "series premiere episode" in this sentence. Must it be "series' premiere episode" with a possessive shown to be correct? Jason Quinn (talk) 15:57, 3 June 2020 (UTC)

Two of my recent articles need some copyediting[edit]

Hi there! I posted this two recent articles of mine (Puelches, La Pampa and San Martín de los Andes) in the Teahouse, so somebody could take a look at them and do some basic copyediting. I know it's not the right place, but I really don't want to overload the Guild of Copyeditors, which does a really great job in my opinion. All I got is a few corrections by experienced users, which I feel it's not enough.

I'd certainly appreciate if somebody here could read them and make some corrections. It doesn't need to be perfect, since I'm not nominating or so, which would make it a case for the Guild. I just want to make these two articles a little better. I think it's not terrible, but English is not my native language, so that's the thing.

If this is not the proper place to get this kind of help, I'd be thankful if you could tell me where to go besides the Guild. Most likely, I'll have this problem in the future, so I'd like to know Thanks in advance--Gunt50 (talk) 21:02, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Why should insert we, our and us?[edit]

Per WP:Pronouns and WP:MOS, article should be written in NPOV and the writer must be invisible to reader. However, this does not implied to the most important articles, especially scientific topics and explicitly use our, us and we. I saw it in articles Universe, Problematic smartphone use and Human evolution. There should be grammar checking administrator to eliminate this issue. The Supermind (talk) 20:17, 18 June 2021 (UTC)

@The Supermind: What would you call "our universe" in the sentence "in which our universe might be one among many universes that likewise exist." (from Universe)? Christian75 (talk) 17:59, 22 July 2021 (UTC)

@Christian75: Sorry I'm too urged to say Our Universe is inappropriate, but I noticed most scientific topics utilizing these pronouns to denote we the reader on behalf of humans. Such sounded outside the scope of "objectivity", which is the basic tool for WP:MOS. Yes, Wikipedia permits the use of these pronouns if it is inserted in contextual sense. For example:

  • Climate change is an unavoidable to human species. The question to most metrologists is how can we foresee these phenomenon in the future. — Now this is acceptable to the term objectivity.

Another example to the coronary of objectivity is:

  • Smartphone addiction is very harmful to us, and leads decreasing social interaction. — Now this is moving out of objectivity, like guide books or journals which Wikipedia is not. So this is the main concern to me in relation to MOS. Nevertheless, I'm willingly campaign to detect and avoid such insertion for once. The Supermind (talk) 21:18, 22 July 2021 (UTC)