DoveArchives:Manual of Style
This page collates and codifies conventions on elements of style used on DoveArchives. DoveArchives standardises some elements of style because:
- DoveArchives, as an English-language collaborative micronational encyclopædia, should look formal and professional. While it is not expected that our contributors are professional writers, or have even finished secondary education, consistency greatly improves the impression given by writing therein.
- DoveArchives is intended to be accessible and easy to read. Many DoveArchives contributors and readers are not native speakers of English. It is easier for all English speakers to read DoveArchives if obscure and incorrect language is avoided.
Policy on styles is created by administrators, who formulate policy after discussion among themselves and with the broader community, observing existing trends in article style, and considering style policies used elsewhere that editors may be familiar with.
It's not mandatory
The manual of style is merely just a tool to provide conformity to all if not most articles on DoveArchives. The manual of style helps articles on this site to be more concise and tidy. However, if you want to create your articles with your own style or method, it's up to you. Just don't impose your way of editing and style on to others, assuming it's the "correct" way to go about editing. On this wiki, the articles you made belong to you. Imagine working a long time on something you put your hard work in to just to have someone come along and ruin everything and remake your creation as they see fit?
Regional varieties of English
DoveArchives had a British domain name, and is operated chiefly by people who don't use American English. Site information and most pages on the wiki use British English, but it is acceptable to use American English in articles concerning micronations based in the USA. However:
- Don't add American English syntax when a page already uses British English. If an existing page mixes British and American language, standardise it to American English if the article is about a micronation based in the USA and British English if not.
- For international organi(z/s)ations, use the syntax of where it is headquartered.
- Avoid American terms uncommon elsewhere, such as faucet, bodega, and burglarize.
Do not capitalise:
- Any parts of headings, except the first word and any proper nouns therein. For example:
- Ideologies, except Nazism and ideologies named after a person. For example:
- The names of currencies. For example:
- Generic academic subjects. For example:
- Seasons. For example:
Ensure DoveArchives is written in the manner used by official site materials, with a capital ‘D’ and ‘A’, and no space or hyphen between ‘Micro’ and ‘Wiki’. For example:
DoveArchives attracts an international audience, and content may not be updated for long periods. Therefore, write out dates in the following style:
It is important that the year always be specified in articlespace for the sake of clarity, but it is unnecessary to repeat the year later on in the same paragraph (e.g., "Mr. Jones announced his candidacy on 1 March 2014 and was elected on 5 April 2014").
In some venues, such as newsfeeds, content will almost certainly be removed before a year has elapsed. In these places only (although their use in tables in articles is also permitted should it aid formatting), a shorter style is preferred:
Remember to always place the day before the month. Never represent the year in two digits, or use ordinal suffixes such as 1st, 3rd, 19th. Only ever represent the month in numerical form in a chart or list of dates of some form, never within paragraphs or infoboxes.
Do not ever refer to an event as having happened in a particular season. Roughly 50% of the world by volume would have been experiencing a different season to the one you mention. Exceptions exist when an event has a season in its name, such as the Winter of Discontent and the Arab Spring, as well as if an event is universally seasonal, such as deciduous trees shedding their leaves in autumn.
An article title is the large heading displayed above the article's content. The title indicates what the article is about and distinguishes it from other articles. The title may simply be the name (or a name) of the subject of the article, or it may be a description of the topic. Since no two articles can have the same title, it is sometimes necessary to add distinguishing information, often in the form of a description in parentheses after the name. The ideal article title resembles titles for similar articles, precisely identifies the subject, is no longer than necessary to distinguish the article from others, and is recognisable to those familiar with the subject. Titles should be neutral (i.e., not use loaded terms) where possible, but if a person or event is almost always known by a certain name (e.g. the Liberation of Orly), that name may be used even if it contains non-neutral words. Names not originally in a Latin alphabet, such as Greek, Chinese, or Russian names, must be transliterated. The following is a list of naming conventions for common subjects of article published on DoveArchives.
- Use the full official name of the country, e.g. Republic of The Sohnland rather than "The Sohnland". Only deviate from this rule should the official name of the country be so long that it is rarely used outside of official contexts, in which case the name by which it is most commonly known should be used rather than "Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Council of the Diarchal Crowns of the Disciples".
- Do not use acronyms unless the full name of the country is simply not used, and the acronym itself holds official or de facto official status (an example would be POMHB, which at time of writing no longer has its own article). Even if the use of an acronym is very common, use the full name unless the above applies.
Departments, agencies and officials
- Use official names in article titles, unless an agency is almost always known by an acronym or different title, e.g. DARPA.
- When creating an article with a common title, be sure to disambiguate it properly, e.g. Sohnlandic ministry of foreign affairs. Disambiguation is unnecessary if the country or other jurisdiction is a natural part of the subject's name or if a common method of disambiguating in common speech exists.
- If there is an established, universally agreed-upon common name for an event, use that name.
- If there is no established name for the event, create a name using these guidelines. In most cases, the title of the article should contain at least where and what happened - if these descriptors are not sufficient to identify the event unambiguously, also add when.
- If there is a particular common name for the event, it should be used even if it implies a possibly controversial or one-sided point of view. However, language which may seem biased should otherwise be avoided where possible.
Avoid constructions such as his/her. They is perfectly acceptable to refer to a person of unknown gender, and one can also be used when in the second person.
The use of they may also refer to a group of people. Remember to define who "they" are.
When referring to a person, use the set of personal pronouns they use to refer to themselves, except where this would result in nonsensical or confusing text.
As a formal venue, DoveArchives never uses the second-person you in articlespace, except in quotations. Substitute one.
Indeed, it is far preferable to use the third person or the passive voice.
DoveArchives typically uses formal language. Though some linguistic constructions may be acceptable in casual conversation, they are not on DoveArchives:
Avoid words like don't, won't, it's, and she's. Write them out in their full forms: do not, will not, it is, she is, etc.
Could of, would of, should of
These are always wrong. Use could have, would have, and should have in all written communication.
Profanity and other offensive language may only ever be used in one context, and that is when their inclusion within a quote or title is necessary for historical accuracy. If included, either they are to be "starred out" (e.g., "f**k") or the "Obscene" template is to be added to the top of the article or respective section.
DoveArchives articles ought to be written in straightforward, factual, encyclopædic language. Eschew verbosity; plain English is the most elegant writing style. Particularly, avoid poetic devices such as personifying countries. Plain English does not, however, preclude complex sentences, sophisticated vocabulary, and the like, so long as they are only used because they add something to an article. Complex writing is fine, just not for its own sake.
Ignore this guide
If making a contribution follow this guide would clearly reduce its comprehensibility, ignore the parts of this guide which would make it do so. Raise the issue with administrators or on the forums.