Forums: Index > Watercooler > German people, People of Germany, People from Germany, Emigrants from Scotland - and so on

Categories and lists are easier to follow if all the entries of the same type have the same form. Not like this:

  • Emigrants from Switzerland
  • German people
  • Germans in Austria
  • People from Austria
  • People from Turkey
  • People of Sweden
  • Swiss people

Wikipedia has some consistency but not complete. I think Commons is better, though much less detailed. I hope we can combine the best of them to get a system that gives maximum standardisation without having page names that are too unnatural.

There are problems with the difference between nationality and race/descent. Discussion on Wikipedia has not settled this one! Am I right in "remembering" that the residents of parts of Czechoslovakia were Germans and were therefore the excuse for Hitler's "liberation" of them?

Robin Patterson 02:16, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

After some discussions between some admins, project leaders and very active contributors, at Commons we settled on the [Noun of placename] form. I proceeded to write up the guidelines ages ago By location category scheme, and it has since been nominated for a policy document. Folks here might find it of some interest. It discusses some of the pros and cons of adjectives, which I only dimly recall. Some of the rules may be far too detailed for our use. -Mak 05:28, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Great work, Mak! We can have our own cut-down version at project:By location category scheme. Robin Patterson 12:09, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Anyone spotting these can use the Template:Move to simultaneously notify folks of the change, and add it to a category so that the move may be automated. Examples of its use may be found in Category:Requested_moves. -Phlox- 01:03, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


Phlox (formerly Mak) has templated a dozen of the above sort. They need discussion because not all the proposed destinations correspond to the guideline, eg "People from Australia" (PEOPLE generally "from"). NO hurry, folks; the bot shouldn't mind if a few more pages are added to a queried category before we decide what to do! Robin Patterson 15:52, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Right. These bot runs could happen a year from now and it would be no more difficult then or now. And it is reversible- folks can decide that we old timers made the wrong call and have the freedom to revamp it. What does that mean? We should tailor it to what suits what novice users need- because face it folks and I can't say it lowdly enough- WE NEED CONTRIBUTORS. The last thing we need is for folks to get the impression that they are amongst a wierd group of politically correct taxonomy freaks.

Marine Corps of the United States??? That's what the guidelines say it should be- so I marked it as a violation of the proposed guidelines. But Sheesh! Look, I wrote the guidelines on Commons for placenames, but take it with a grain of salt. Commons's typical audience is for folks needing images for articles or collecting them and they need and they expect a rationalized category structure, so when they easily categorize or lookup names without having to research for example what proper name people use for their Navy.

That's not the same problem domain we have. We have an relative who all they know about their Uncle Bert was that he was dang proud that he was part of the United States Marine Corps, not "Marine Corps of the United States". So I want to be the first to say that this is our wiki and that simply because the other wikis call their cat Navy of the United Kingdom that we can't call our Cat the Royal Navy. Or, to be precise, "Royal Canadian Navy" if they served before 1968, or "Canadian Forces Maritime Command" if they participated after 1968. Usage is what matters. We don't have a real global search now, so the cat hierarchy is important- and it is effective if it makes sense to the majority of our users.

Using proper names may have some illogic to them, but if the predictable pattern creates a name that offends the majority of the users who employ those tags, then we should make exceptions for them. In the guidelines, I called this a "fossilized expression". Royal Navy and USMC are examples- but they are only fossilized for particular populations. I am sure most Yanks don't know what the proper name is for the Canadian Navy (either new or old name). But on the other hand, I'll bet a huge number of young Kiwis don't know what the proper name is for their air force either.... Not that they really have one anymore- no combat aircraft and all... ;-)
-Phlox- 16:53, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Birthplace category[]

In view of the growing popularity of this sort of category, I've added [[Category:People from ]] to the Standard Format people template. We'll see how it develops. Some contributors may be very specific, eg Ruislip, and some may be very general, eg England. Those of us who like that sort of thing can naturally give the specific ones suitable parent categories. Robin Patterson 15:40, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Moving on[]

Possibly without realising it, Phlox solved the above "from or of" question entirely to my satisfaction by creating the "Residents" category in the county navbox and incorporating the "Born in ..." (which is close in meaning to Wikipedia's "People from ..."). We now have categories called "Resided in ..." (and articles named the same way for simplicity despite an unnatural look). Well done, Phlox! Robin Patterson 17:03, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Following Wikipedia[]

Some time after most of the above was written, most of us agreed, and the guidance pages stated, that we should follow Wikipedia page names in almost all cases, for the massive timesaving involved. Regrettably, even the great Wikipedia changes its mind sometimes. Instead of Category:People from New Zealand we now have Category:New Zealand people. I wonder whether the clever guy who maintains and improves {{Bdm1}} has checked all possible variations like that! --- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:31, May 22, 2020 (UTC)