Lore policy discussion

See WoWWiki talk:Writing policy/Lore

Concise Articles and Source Text

This ratified proposal was moved to WoWWiki talk:Writing policy/Lore and implemented. --Mikk 05:29, 7 June 2006 (EDT)

Filling in this policy

Although Aeleas (17:12, 18 March 2006) bypassed the proper policy process, it can be considered policy unless someone decides to vote to recall it. --Fandyllic 3:12 PM PST 19 Mar 2006

It had received tenative approval prior to the coming-into-force of the new system, despite having never been moved to the main policy page. I thought it would qualify for grandfathering, given the absence of any other policy in this area. --Aeleas 23:18, 19 March 2006 (EST)


What's required to unstubbify this policy? (And, on a related note, how much can really be added/changed before it actually requires a new vote? Policy stubs can only be "fixed" to clarify and explain the already-established rules, imo.)) --Mikk 17:45, 7 June 2006 (EDT)

Race name case

Initial discussion from WoWWiki talk:Naming policy#Capitalization of Races

A Google search of (for night elves, for example, even draenei) proves inconclusive in deciding whether we should capitalize or not the racial names. I lean towards keeping them lowercase simply for ease in typing. It also makes a little bit more sense to me, since we don't capitalize animal types (rabbit, even snowshoe rabbit; duck-bill platypus; kingfisher, goose, swan, albatross), and we never capitalize human. In judging which way we should go should not include concern for links and having to relink everything. Redirects work. Granted, there would be double redirects, and they would have to be corrected, but what we should strive for above all is consistency to lore. Beyond my findings here, I have heard said that the newer lore doesn't capitalize racial names. Anyone else have any other thoughts? Schmidt 16:56, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

I would agree, new lore has it all lowercase. Hmm, perhaps there's some way to ask for an official declaration on this? -- Kirkburn 18:45, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

In terms of page names, we shouldn't worry- according to the rules of Standard Written English, any word that is normally lower-case is capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or in a title. The race names are unusual in that they're capitalized everywhere except in the new lore (eg, the manuals or in-game for Reign of Chaos or The Frozen Throne). I think that in terms of capitalization, we're used to it because we think of the names as proper nouns, whereas in English human is used like an adjective. Yes, I;m aware that I haven't posed a solution to the issue. --Ragestorm 07:50, 27 June 2006 (EDT)
I happen to be fond of the way that Wikipedia – *gasp* – has all words are lowercased in titles except for proper nouns. Why do they have it, and why do I like it? Because it's easier to link, and if you are going to link to, say, Raid Group (assuming no redirects) but wanted to have it appear in lowercase you would have to at least capitalize group: raid Group or else pipe the link: raid group. But realistically, you would never see it capitalized in text. And it's hardly a title where it should be capitalized. That said, we can always use redirects. No problem. But it would be better if we would limit the redirect usage.
For instance, if you would never see "Raid Group" in any text – and therefore have no links to it – and instead had only "raid group", then there's no need for even the "Raid Group" at all, because no one would link to it, and it could be deleted. (Notwithstanding the fact that there may be outside links to that precise location, although if someone did, they'd have other issues to deal with.) Does anyone else have my mentality here? Or maybe someone else can shed some light. Schmidt 08:52, 27 June 2006 (EDT)
I noticed that wowwiki uses capitalization in page titles extensively (inconvenient for the above reasons) but also often inconsistently. E.g.
Paladin Attributes vs. Paladin abilities.
-- Nyenyec 09:11, 27 June 2006 (EDT)
That's just plain against naming policy. Old as well as new. It should be "Paladin attributes". Don't hesistate to doink  move  if you see articles with plain English words capitalized like that. (We're mostly capitalizing categories though so don't move those =))   --Mikk 11:19, 27 June 2006 (EDT)
I went to a perfetionist, a linguist with vast knowledge of languages, and someone I knew used race names. Tolkien. Surely the perfectionist of fantasy will lead us to the answer. Well The Hobbit does not capitalize race names, it doesn't capitalize any that I could find. Lets be sure and look at the Trilogy. Hobbit is lowercase, but Elf, Dwarf, Orc, etc seem to be capitalized except when used as an adjective (and even then that doesn't seem consistent). The Unfished Tales now everything seems capitalized, even Men and Hobbit. The Silmarillion again all capitalized. What about The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, now it looks like in his letters he doesn't seem to capitalize race names at all, but wait I was only looking as his first letters. By the end of his letters almost all the races are capitalized includen Men/Man, however, hobbit still seems to change back and forth. Alright what about a modern author, perhaps Tolkien decided the race names should be capitalized over time. This could make sense. Tom Shippey, J.R.R. Tolkien, Author of the Century, however, doesn't capitalize any race names, except when he is quoting Tolkien and Tolkien capitalized it. Tolkien's inconsistency seems apparent here as Shippey never capitalizes the race names, but sometimes his quotes are capitalized and other times (like when quoting The Hobbit) they are not capitalized. So what does this say? Tolkien was a perfections and a linguist and it doesn't seem like he could decide, so in my humble opinion it doesn't matter one bit at all as long as we are consistent. Although it does appear that it seems to be going to lowercase. If Shippey isn't capitalizing the names and seems consistent with it no matter the context, it sounds like his publishers/editors decided to go that way, if 'newer lore' is consistently lowercase then they probably decided that that is the proper way, so I would vote lowercase. --Ralthor 10:15, 27 June 2006 (EDT)
I don't have anything against lowercase in general, it's just that I automatically capitalize when typing, even when using "human" in non-fantasy terms. I also feel a bit weird about the two-word species (Night Elves and Blood Elves) not being capitalized. Regardless, I feel that ALL page names regarding race should be capitalized. Whatever the descision, just remember that "Kaldorei" is always capitalized. --Ragestorm 15:12, 27 June 2006 (EDT)

I believe that the two English rules Tolkien was alternating between was treating orc, dwarf, and the like as species, which are not capitalized (human, dog, cow), and ethnic groups, which are capitalized (Caucasian, Latino...). Earlier Warcraft games and manuals capitalized everything, and there is still some inconsistency with the website, but the novels and the in-game text of WoW uniformly do not capitalize race names:

  • "I trusted a blood elf."
  • "The undead threat must be thwarted!"
  • "The ilk of Cenarius and the kaldorei druids."

Specific groups within a race, such as the Bloodscalp trolls or the Forsaken, are capitalized. I think this is the standard we should adopt. Some form of consistency is needed, otherwise we end up with pointless back-and-forth edits, and inconsistent articles that look terrible.--Aeleas 10:26, 20 August 2006 (EDT)

Race name capitalization

Race names in WoWWiki will not be capitalized, as per the predominant modern Blizzard standard. This includes, among others, blood elf, draenei, dwarf, eredar, gnome, high elf, human, kaldorei, naaru, night elf, orc, tauren, troll, and undead.

Specific groups or organizations within each race, such as the Forsaken or Wildhammer dwarves, are capitalized.


There are two competing English rules within the fantasy genre regarding the capitalization of race names. They can either be treated as species names in standard English, and not capitalized in normal text, or treated as ethnic groups, and capitalized.

Blizzard itself is far from consistent on this issue. In earlier games, all race names were capitalized. On the current website, race names are sometimes capitalized. However, in the novels, and in the in-game text, they are uniformly not capitalized.

"I trusted a blood elf." "The undead threat must be thwarted!" "The ilk of Cenarius and the kaldorei druids."

Specific groups within a race, such as the Bloodscalp trolls or the Forsaken, are capitalized. I think this is the standard we should adopt. Despite Blizzard's lack of a clear standard, some form of consistency is needed, otherwise we end up with pointless back-and-forth edits, and inconsistent articles that look terrible. -Aeleas 20:30, 20 August 2006 (EDT)

Policy ratification vote

  1. Yes Dsaraujo 10:15, 29 August 2006 (EDT) - (Makes sense)
  2. Yes Aeleas 20:39, 20 August 2006 (EDT) - ()
  3. Yes Mikk 05:37, 21 August 2006 (EDT) - ()
  4. Yes Pzychotix 01:17, 23 August 2006 (EDT) - ()
  5. Yes Emerez 16:27, 23 August 2006 (EDT) - ()
  6. Yes Kirkburn 08:13, 26 August 2006 (EDT) - (How did I miss this? How? It's like my main aim!)

  1. No Sabelaide 14:10, 1 September 2006 (EDT) - (Hm, 6 to 0 when I enter the fray. Oh well, here goes. English grammar doesn't change simply because it's fantasy. When a race name is used as a proper noun, it's capitalized. When used as a noun, it's not, unless it's derived from a proper noun. For example, consider these JRR quotes: (Frodo) "To the harbor, Bilbo. The elves have accorded you a high honor; a place on the last ship to leave Middle Earth." versus (Gimli) "Well, this is a thing unheard of. An Elf would go underground, where a Dwarf dare not. Oh, I'd never hear the end of it.")

{{vote|NoNurizeko Same as above, the English language doesn't change to suit the capitalization whims of an author.


  • Once this is implemented, I'll have a field day sorting all the articles out :P PC Gamer has already annoyed me today by referring to the 'Draenei' as demons ... grrr -- Kirkburn 08:25, 26 August 2006 (EDT)
  • You raise a good point, Sabelaide. The question is whether the race names are treated as proper nouns or not, which, as I stated above, depends on whether they follow the pattern of ethnic groups or species. Tolkien capitzalied when referring to an entire race, but not when referring to individuals or small groups. This assumes that the races, when taken as a whole, are treated like a nation or ethnic group (French, Anglicans, Libertarians). If they are treated like a species name, they wouldn't be capitalized. We would use "humanity" or "arctic foxes", even when discussing the collective whole.--Aeleas 17:40, 1 September 2006 (EDT)
    • My point still stands that Blizzard have adopted non-capitalised naming, of course, and I do still think we should follow that. We can;t start deciding that they are wrong and we're right ... -- Kirkburn (talk) 20:22, 1 September 2006 (EDT)
      • But what's your source that this is official Blizzard policy? Just because some author writes a novel under some sort of merchandize agreement and who doesn't know his English, doesn't make it Blizzard policy. --Sabelaide 20:42, 3 September 2006 (EDT)
        • I'll let Kirkburn answer the source statement, but I'd like to point out that species and races are uncapitalized in English - when we talk about humans and trolls and elves in other contexts, we don't say Humans, Trolls and Elves. We do however say "American" just like we've left "Forsaken" capitalized.   --Mikk (T) 07:07, 4 September 2006 (EDT)
          • Source? (yes, this is late to come back to, I know) The fact that nearly every single piece of recent information released by Blizzard has the names as we have written should be source enough :) Anyways, as Mikk points out, we say we're human, not Human. The elf naming does sound a bit odd at first, but when you realise these are species and not factions we're talking about, it should help. The Forsaken are not a species themselves, they are a faction of another species (undead), and so are capitalised. Blood elves can, to all intents and purposes, also be described as a new species. Certainly I doubt whatever high elves are left would wish to think of them as being 'like them' these days (in fact since most high elves are now blood elves, it's basically just a change of name for their entire species) -- Kirkburn (talk) 20:15, 24 October 2006 (EDT)
          • Further thoughts - yes strict grammar might disagree with how this works - but it's better than months of squabbling over whether it's a noun or a pronoun in line 136 :) -- Kirkburn (talk) 20:18, 24 October 2006 (EDT)
  • Well actually in the current game, any refrences to races in the character select screen, are left uncapitalized. Its nothing new with expansion, unless something changed in a patch that I hadn't noticed.Baggins 16:28, 3 September 2006 (EDT)

Implementation checklist

  • [√] Add appropriate text to WoWWiki:Writing policy
  • [√] Add appropriate text to WoWWiki:Naming policy (i.e., "according to writing policy, ...."; writing policy is governing, naming simply follows)
  • [√] Find and correct names of all articles including race names (remember templates!)
  • [√] Find and correct links to these articles
  • and obviously change everything else throughout the wiki, but that's beyond the policy implementation scope
  • Policy texts implemented. Have fun with the rest :-)   --Mikk (T) 07:38, 3 September 2006 (EDT)
  • Race pages (including all the troll races, ack) and race trait template pages fixed, including links to them. I think we'll call that enough to consider the policy implemented? The rest will have to be a continual process.   --Mikk (T) 12:08, 3 September 2006 (EDT)

Six to two based on 'ease of typing', that's pathetic.

As per a conversation between myself and user 'Ragestorm': -

Icon-information-22x22As per the recent race names vote at WoWWiki talk:Writing policy#Race name case, the correct race name spelling is "draenei" and not "Draenei"

All racenames are lowercase unless part of a title or the beginning of a sentence.--Ragestorm (talk · contr) 12:52, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I have syndicated this to your talk page for ease of reference. As a post-graduate double law student and beta-origin Wikipedia administrator I find it amazingly disturbing that we're categorising races as species rather than races. Just as someone who is African deserves a capital as much as someone of Germanic origin, taking grammar into the fantasy realm doesn't differentuate the appropriate means of using capitals.
I noted that the vote was 6:2 and the main reason was as cited, 'for ease of typing'. That's beyond a pathetic reasoning for using incorrect capitalisation, and citing Blizzards use of poor English is no grounds either. It's not hard to use proper English, however if Wowwiki's editors choose to opt out of such normalities, so be it. I have also syndicated this to the policy page as a show of irritation at the mass stupid being illustrated on the subject.  :) Alexandar 20:35, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Ok, let me phrase it this way. In all novels, off the top of my head, night elf is not capitalized, nor orc, nor human. Even the most recent novels, ie, RotH. Blizzard has decided to move toward that side, rather than toward capitalization. --Sky (t · c · w) 20:57, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
That's a complete misrepresentation of the facts - "ease of typing" certainly wasn't the main reason, nor is it even true. They are only races by Blizzard's terminology. If this was the real world we would call them species. You don't capitalise a species' name. Don't come here showing off your qualifications (note how no-one else needs do that), whilst not understanding the issue itself. Needless to say, as Sky points out, even Blizzard names them as if they were species these days. Kirkburn  talk  contr 00:49, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Adding to what I originally said, come to think of it, do you every capitalize the word human in the real world, except as general English rules dictate? Nope. Didn't think so. Nor do you capitalize the word "troll", in any usage, I think. Nor undead, in its rare usage. No, the way we've set it down is fine, regardless of number. You could add me to that number of 6-2 (7-2) if you feel like. :) --Sky (t · c · w) 01:00, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
As an Anthropologist, I must underline Kirkburn's point that we are dealing with different species here, not races of one species (except the elves, who are still not capitalized). Never mind if a species name is or isn't capitalized, the fact that Blizzard has consistently used lowercase letters across the point in written materials indicates a concious descision by their lore or editing department, and we made the choice to be in line with the source material.--Ragestorm (talk · contr) 14:38, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
If all race names are lowercase unless part of a title shouldn't all the race articles' titles be Night Elf, High Elf, Bllod Elf, etc? Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 02:55, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Also taking into account all the official sources I have read, I have seen the following spellings just for one race: Night elf, Night Elf, night elf, and Elf. It is confusing. Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 03:00, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Er, no. In this case, title is not referring to page title, which I think you may have confused?...
As for all the official sources, that's why we said "we're only going to use lower case". It's just a matter of consistency in this case. --Sky (t · c · w) 03:22, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Okay so the page title we create is spelled as if we were writing the word in a sentence and not as if we were making it a title of a chapter or heading? Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 03:28, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Generally, that's exactly it. There are a couple exemptions to that, for which you should see the other page naming policy pages. --Sky (t · c · w) 03:34, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
I put a question on the talk page for Deadmines as that is another confusing one. The correct name is The Deadmines but the article is called Deadmines. On the other hand, items with "the" in the title are part of the article's name on WoWWiki. Rolandius Paladin (talk - contr) 03:37, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The "the" is removed from location articles because it is possible to use the 'the' in lower case, like the Deadmines. Items (and NPCs?) are the only ones with "the" in the name because we should use exact naming because of the templates associated with them. These things are explained on a few of the naming policy pages. Go read them silly! --Sky (t · c · w) 03:40, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

New discussions

Talk pages

→ moved to WoWWiki talk:Guidelines 05:42, 23 August 2006 (EDT)

A change in capitalization for Forsaken

I just picked up Rise of the Horde and Christie Golden refers to all races -- as well as the forsaken -- with lower case letters. Does this warrant enough of a movement to spur up another vote on the matter? Or should we stay the course for now?--Grid 10:23, 22 December 2006 (EST)

Well i would have supported a no vote, for the reasons described by Sabelaide, but the point here, is Forsaken is not a nationality, it's a faction made up of an offshoot race of Undead and their minions, just like the the Scourge is not solely full of Undead. --Zeal (talk - contr - web) 12:31, 23 December 2006 (EST)
An interesting find! Does anyone have a screenshot of how it is written in WoW? In this case, I would say WoW takes precedence, unless other recent Blizzard material has also made the change. -- Kirkburn (talk) 12:53, 23 December 2006 (EST)

Server naming policy

Do we have a naming convention/policy for server pages? I thinks that if we don't we should do them in the same fashion as the guild pages. Something alongs the lines of:
Server: Sargeras US
I think most server pages are like this alerady, but I've seen a few that are in lower case or spell out Eurpoean (as opposed to EU). In short: If there isn't one, we need a server naming policy. --IconSmall Orc Male1336 14:52, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
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