Conservapedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive1

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Only for Americans?

I am a conservative christian, but being a conservative, bible-believing christian does NOT automatically make you an American, and vice versa. One of my only qualms regarding this website is the fact that is biased towards America/ns. I don't think it's fair that any articles that I write can be edited so that they use only American spelling, but I'm not allowed to change spelling anywhere in any entry. Maybe I'm nit-picking a bit here. Anyway, I just think that this project should be garnered towards christians all over the globe - not just in the US!--Catherine Morland 17:58, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Conservapedia was started by a group of patriotic Americans, so please forgive any pro american bias. We want spelling to be consistent throughout the site, so we ask that Aamerican spelling be used. you can fix spelling errors anywhere you want, as long as you are not britishizing or otherwise changing american spellings that you might disagree with. --TimSvendsen 18:06, 19 March 2007 (EDT)


I don't think everyone has an in-browser spell-checker. Internet Explorer does not offer it. To my knowledge, it is only equipped to Mozilla Firefox browsers. The same is the case with the Google tool bar. I think we should reword it. I have no suggestion on how to state it, but I'm sure we will come up with something. --<<-David R->> 00:25, 25 March 2007 (EDT)

it's the ABC/check on the Google toolbar.--Lohengrin 00:48, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
Too bad there is not a fact checker too, or maybe a translation from 3rd grade level writing to high school level writing. Tmtoulouse 00:27, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
That would certainly be helpful. Look into that :). --<<-David R->> 00:32, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
There are spell checkers for Explorer, Opera, and Firefox/Mozilla. I'm not sure how up-to-date they are (saved those links a good while ago), but it's a start. --Sid 3050 00:40, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
Firefox 2.0 comes with a built-in spelling checker and it should be changed to read that you should just update Firefox to the latest version to get a spelling checker. Ribbix 02:01, 15 April 2007 (EDT)
Done. Philip J. Rayment 02:36, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

There is a free spelling checker which is MediaWiki compatible. A friend of mine installed it on another wiki. (Till then, I use TextPad's spellcheck; the only problem with that, is markup like double brackets get flagged as errors.)

Another solution, used successfully in Wikipedia's early days, is to post a list of commonly misspelled words. Then users (wiki-gnomes) can search for articles containing the misspelled words. I was part of this spell-check project "back in the day". --Ed Poor 13:32, 28 March 2007 (EDT)

"Use correct spelling as often as possible." How about "always use correct spelling"? Here's a hint I use whenever I get my i's and e's mixed up - paste your text into whatever program you have handy (like Word) that has a spellchecker. See how it flies. Fix it. Copy and paste it back into the edit box. Voila! Oh, there's another way to go, too. Ask someone who is a better speller than you if you are in doubt. Human 02:24, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
Or use Firefox w/ its built in spellchecker! ColinRtalk 02:43, 16 April 2007 (EDT)

Wikis as sources

Does this rule also apply to "External Links" (and "Further Reading"), or only to inline references? --Sid 3050 09:06, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

I would hope it doesn't. As long as a primary source for inline references aren't wikis, that should increase credibility. Hengineer 07:23, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Always use AD and BC?

That reads as if all years are to an era designation. Are we supposed to use AD 2007 when referring to current events? Whenever I sign something...

Dpbsmith 15:06, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

am I expected to go back in and edit it to read

Dpbsmith 15:06, 30 March AD 2007 (EDT)?

I doubt it.

I think this needs some wordsmithing, and propose this substitute language:

In dates, if it is necessary for clarity to show the era of the year, use the designations BC and AD (not the substitutes BCE and CE).

Dpbsmith 15:12, 30 March AD 2007 (EDT)

How is it now? --CPAdmin1 15:15, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

Fine. Dpbsmith 15:16, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

Date format

Why do we have the preference for the date style "July 4, 1776", when the wiki software can automatically convert dates to the users' preferences? All it takes is for dates to be written in the form [[4 July]] [[1776]] ''OR'' [[July 4]] [[1776]] and the software should display them in the user's preferred format. The user preference page[1] Date and Time tab allows one to set the preferred format, but it seems as though the conversion ability has not been switched on in Conservapedia. Philip J. Rayment 19:33, 31 March 2007 (EDT) The preferences don't do that, I think. They change how we see the date and time in pages like this article's history. Go check it out, it works. --Sid 3050 19:40, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
Reading further into it, I see what you mean. Hm... --Sid 3050 19:43, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
Ah, after some checking, I assume you mean this config setting (linking it here so the webmaster doesn't have to look)? --Sid 3050 19:52, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
Yes, that's it. Perhaps I was wrong in thinking that the user's date preferences are only for this, however. Philip J. Rayment 20:04, 31 March 2007 (EDT)

Use correct spelling as often as possible.

Sweet thought. This protected article seems to be warm and fuzzy about illiteracy.--Lohengrin 02:21, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

On plurals in titles

There seem to be a large number of articles where the text of the article is in the plural form of the word. Arteries, Bills of credit, Biofuels, Catholics, etc... The wiki software makes it easy to work with singular form biofuels is written as [[biofuel]]s (do realize that at the time of this writing, there is no biofuel article). Shouldn't this be rectified and part of the manual of style to write the article about the singular form rather than the plural form? It would simplify many redirects. --Mtur 18:19, 5 April 2007 (EDT)

You mean the title of the article, but yes, I agree entirely. Philip J. Rayment 05:25, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Capitalisation of titles

In line with the comments above about plurals in titles, I believe that we should have titles in lowercase (except for proper nouns, of course). At the moment, if we want to link to an article about biblical parables, we have to include the link as [[Biblical Parables|biblical parables]], where we should be able to just link to [[biblical parables]]. Philip J. Rayment 05:25, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

What about punctuation?

Should we be using "American" punctuation? For example, usually a comma or period goes within quotes in American usage, and outside of quotes in British usage. Albeit, people's grammar in on-line contexts is often deplorable, and Conservapedia is no exception. Sterile 14:28, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

  • One would suppose either is correct, depending on where the contributor is from. Since we have dropped the restriction about using only American-English, how would enforcing American punctuation work? --~ TK MyTalk 14:32, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Article subjects

I noticed that throughout the website on shorter articles, the subject of the article is not written in bold text upon first mention. I suggest adding this to the Manual of Style as this makes the article slightly easier to understand. Scriabin 01:22, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

Thats probably laziness on the author's(my) part. I'll stand behind it though.--Elamdri 01:24, 13 April 2007 (EDT)

Citation Style

Is there a preferred style for writing citations that are more substantial than URLs? I could write up a quick guide on Turabian or APA, if anyone wants. Or it could be incorporated into the MoS. Using an established style for reference lists and bibliographies will help researchers and make the site look better, improving the appearance of reliability. (I make no promises about reliability in fact!)--All Fish Welcome 04:50, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

Here you go, AllFishWelcome, have a look around, and the the style project page and the one about footnotes.

Citing Sources and Using Footnotes Always cite and give credit to your sources, even if in the public domain. Please do not cite wikis as sources, except when specifically talking about that wiki.

Please also see: Conservapedia: footnotes - technical help --~ TK MyTalk 05:06, 15 April 2007 (EDT)

The technical help page only addresses the wiki markup used to make footnotes. It says nothing about the style to be used. I've seen everything from unadorned URLs to ornate (and incorrect) academic-style citations.--All Fish Welcome 00:40, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Well then, perhaps you could be specific, and suggest how it be done. I am not adverse to learning, Fish. --~ TK MyTalk 00:48, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
I wrote a little bit about citation styles here. I'm about 70% content with my recommendations. I'd still like a better way to separate content notes from reference notes. I've been thinking about it and haven't come up with a satisfactory solution yet.--All Fish Welcome 03:11, 17 April 2007 (EDT)

Can I edit this article?

I have some great suggestions, for instance, on how to create an article, that make the "web" of CP better, rather than a series of isolated stubs. I guess I could hash them out here, but it's easier to just put them in the article itself. Anyone seriously object? Human 01:05, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Firefox link

What about altering the links to the direct download pages? I think "[2]" would be the more appropriate page for that download. Hengineer 05:35, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Thanks. I've added the Firefox link. Philip J. Rayment 06:23, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Comprehension level?

What is the target comprehension level for this site? Is there a template to use for when articles are completely filled with jargon that is otherwise unreadable? Who is responsible for rewriting the material (in particular technical articles - personally, I don't have the background to be able to understand the jargon of economics and I know others lack the deep computer jargon that I am familiar with) --Mtur 23:20, 15 May 2007 (EDT)

According to Conservapedia:Locks and Blocks:
Sysop's and Bureaucrats are the Administrators of Conservapedia. Their instructions, as to Conservapedia policy and/or the appropriateness or inappropriateness of user actions, are to be followed. Failure to do so will result in the user being blocked.
From that one can only conclude that since Ed Poor is a sysop his demands are now policy. Please don't delete Comprehension. See here.
Auld Nick 07:40, 16 May 2007 (EDT)


Shouldn't {{DEFAULTSORT: Sirname, Given Middle}} be {{DEFAULTSORT: Surname, Christian Middle}} in a pro-Christian encyclopedia? Auld Nick 10:26, 20 May 2007 (EDT)

Perhaps, but the manual is describing how to sort more than just individuals who have been baptized into the Christian faith. Even so, you're welcome to bring this to the attention of sysops in good faith. HeartOfGoldtalk 12:19, 20 May 2007 (EDT)
Isn't that just another example of the liberal bias we'd expect from Wikipedia? Being a Christian project we should use Christian terminology. Auld Nick 12:25, 20 May 2007 (EDT)
You're welcome to bring this to the attention of sysops who may agree with you. However, as I pointed out, not all of the individuals who have articles on CP have been baptized into the Christian faith. HeartOfGoldtalk 12:33, 20 May 2007 (EDT)


According to this, DEFAULTSORT is a new feature of the Wiki software from version 1.10, whereas Conservapedia is currently using version 1.9.3. Or am I missing something? Philip J. Rayment 22:19, 20 May 2007 (EDT)

I don't understand this either. It is working here on conservapedia, and also {{DEFAULTSORT: biography}} is also working (RobS has been using this alternative method). HGHeartOfGold talk 10:08, 22 May 2007 (EDT)

Spelling checker

A "spell checker" would be something that checks a spell, like those cast by Harry Potter.

Something that checks whether words are spelled correctly is a spelling checker.

Similarly, a spelling checker is used to "check spelling," not to perform "spell-checking."

I can't be bothered to look any of this up, so if you're pretty sure being pedantic or just plain wrong, just revert my changes or do whatever you wish.

(And don't get me started on "taxpayer dollars" or "fry pans" or "driver licenses.") Dpbsmith 10:08, 30 May 2007 (EDT)

You've changed the page accordingly, and I don't see anybody disagreeing. Thank you for the improvement. I'm sure that I've often seen or heard people refer to the thing as a "spell checker", but I'll concede that it is probably not a proper use, even if a common one.
Philip J. Rayment 11:37, 30 May 2007 (EDT)

capital letters

Should the planet we live on be called "earth" or "Earth"? Should it be "christian" or "Christian"? Where should the capital letters in "young earth creationist" be? My preference is "Earth", "Christian" and "young Earth creationist" respectively, but I seek more input before adding it to the manual. What about elements of the periodic table? --Scott 09:31, 3 June 2007 (EDT)

I would think that the ones you give as your preferences are probably the correct ones. Philip J. Rayment 09:49, 3 June 2007 (EDT)


We currently have editors including quotes in articles in at least four different ways:

* Indenting:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

* Using HTML <blockquote> tags.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

* Using the {{QuoteBox}} template:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

* Using the {{Cquote}} template:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

(The {{Cquote}} template was copied from Wikipedia, and includes various optional parameters that have, so far, not been used on Conservapedia.)

Problems with {{Cquote}} include the following:

  • It adds considerable bulk to pages it is used in, and causes (or caused?) problems for accessibility, such as the use of screen readers.
  • Related to the previous point, it uses a table structure rather than the HTML <blockquote> markup, so is semantically inappropriate.
  • It is designed as a "call-out quote", which is for highlighting something that is said within the page that it's used in. It is not designed for quoting from other places, yet that is probably mostly how it is used.
  • On the Wikipedia talk page for this template, it is pointed out that "in professional typography, block quotations don't have quotation marks".

I propose that we dump {{Cquote}} (unless there is a need to keep it for special cases), and include in this Manual of Style to exclusively use {{QuoteBox}} (which has <blockquote> at it's core).

Philip J. Rayment 06:43, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

I agree with should aim for a CP standard, and {{QuoteBox}} is the one I'd plum for. File:User Fox.png Fox (talk|contribs) 07:11, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Personally, I like the box quote better. While there may be a need of the Cquote occassionally for dramatic effect, I can live without it. RobS 10:56, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
Wasn't there a recent new addition in the quote-box sector? I think I saw one in the works... *checks* (Guys, it's REALLY hindering that you disabled tons of Special Pages...) Ah, there. {{QuoteBox2}}
I'd say keep them all (for the moment at least), but promote QuoteBox or QuoteBox2 to "recommended standard" level via MoS while mentioning for example Cquote for the call-out use. --Sid 3050 14:33, 12 July 2007 (EDT)
Yes, {{QuoteBox2}} was created after I posted the questions above. {{QuoteBox}} could be altered to provide the output of QuoteBox2, which was designed as a "call-out" quote, like {{Cquote}}. Philip J. Rayment 05:48, 13 July 2007 (EDT)
I dislike the standard quote box it is too intrusive and used far too often. My own preference is italic blockquote for large pieces of quoted text. I created Template:Tc as a callout for highlighting a particular short quote as a piece of page furniture where a graphics may not be available. BrianCo 13:04, 16 July 2007 (EDT)
I was invited here by Philip J. Rayment. I prefer the cquote, but I could go with the QuoteBox if the template color were adjusted (perhaps to a shade of blue distinct from the normal light blue background). PheasantHunter 23:54, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
I was thinking that the colour of {{QuoteBox}} could be changed to make it less intrusive, but I have little colour sense, so would leave the suggestions for that to others (consider this an invitation to make suggestions). However, we should keep in mind, even if we choose to ignore this fact, that the blue background of pages is only in the default "Conserv" skin, not in the other skins, such as Monobook which a number of people (including me) use. Philip J. Rayment 00:00, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Maybe make it the same as the background then, no matter what it is? Let the box delimit the quote from the article, and not the color? (I am not sure what a monobook is). PheasantHunter 00:20, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
Yes, having no background to the box (i.e. the default background) may be the best way to go. If you look in your user preferences ("my preferences" at the top of any page when you are logged in), one of the tabs is "skin", and there you can choose which 'skin' to use. Monobook is the default one on Wikipedia. (NB: There are 'preview' links there so that you can preview the different skins, but it doesn't work as well as it could because it previews the Main Page, which has a fixed background colour anyway. The skins affect more than just the background, though.) Philip J. Rayment 00:29, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Changes I've just made

I've again removed the instruction to capitalise all words of article titles, because there has been no agreement on this, and it was reinstated without explanation.

I've reworded the instruction about country names as it was ambiguous. It could have been read as saying to use "United Kingdom" instead of using "England", "Ireland", or "Whales" (sic) (what happened to "Scotland"?).

I've also improved the headings.

Philip J. Rayment 22:04, 12 August 2007 (EDT)

  • I emailed you about this. Andy left the decision up to me, and I made it, after reading your remarks, and soliciting others. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 22:42, 12 August 2007 (EDT)
Your e-mails were merely soliciting opinions; nothing more. But okay, I'll take it up with Andy. However, that doesn't explain the other changes you reverted. And the added bit about how pages are to be moved doesn't change the fact that only administrators can move pages. Philip J. Rayment 22:59, 12 August 2007 (EDT)
  • are allowed, but a decision was needed, and Andy told me to make it. As for the page "moving" however, most newer users think moving a page is re-directing it, and are not quite to technical in their differentiation. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 23:04, 12 August 2007 (EDT)
It is still pointless telling users that they must check before renaming a page, when they can't rename a page.
And your reply still doesn't explain the other changes you reverted.
Philip J. Rayment 23:25, 12 August 2007 (EDT)
  • No matter what you think Philip, some users believe they can change a pages name by simply redirecting it to another, differently named page. Please stop changing the page.--şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 08:31, 13 August 2007 (EDT)
I am not continuing to change the page. The last change I made was nearly eleven hours ago. As for your answer to the renaming, you have a point, but it doesn't fully address the concern. How about I propose alternative wording? Philip J. Rayment 08:45, 13 August 2007 (EDT)
  • If you do so by email, and not here, fine. Otherwise please email Andy directly and explain. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 08:48, 13 August 2007 (EDT)


I think the section concerning moves/redirects should be clarified; I think the message we want to get across is that you can create redirect pages, but not if the pages already exist. For example, if the page Burma existed, but Myanmar did not, then it would be OK to create the page "Myanmar" with the content "#REDIRECT [[Burma]]". But if somebody wanted to redirect "Burma" to "Myanmar", then they would have to ask an admin; since "Burma" already existed, we would want to move it's page history and what not. What do you think? --Ħøĵímαζĥŏήğθαλκ 13:07, 13 August 2007 (EDT)

  • I thought saying: "before re-directing articles or changing their names. We prefer, if an Administrator agrees, to move pages, that keeps their edit and talk history intact, and with the article." made it pretty clear we were talking only about existing articles, Hoji, since I included the bit about changing their names and keeping the history. If it was a new article, there wouldn't be any history, I was thinking. If that is unclear, in your mind, or anyone else's, please substitute whatever language you wish that makes it easier to understand. The whole intent was to give notice to editors it cannot be their decision alone to re-name or consolidate articles by blanking/redirecting, something that has happened too much lately. Thanks for your help here. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 14:57, 13 August 2007 (EDT)