Talk:Title Regularization

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Languages and editors

Just as a reminder, this page contains the list of editors that had indicated they can help with a language. If you had not added yourself and are willing to assist in case of questions, add yourself. Instructions are on the page Annie 02:54, 15 November 2018 (EST)


Sentence Case, capitalization for proper names plus all forms of pronouns that refer to the polite you. One way to solve this will be to add all the possible forms and if a non-language speaking editor sees one of those, it can either be added to a cleanup report for a check (that will be for all that contain one of those) or add it to a list or just ping someone that speaks the language. Any other options?Annie 01:43, 2 November 2018 (EDT)

I bet you've already checked all the existing titles, right? If so, then modarators will know to leave new submissions to you. But maybe we should create a cleanup report to store things that need to be checked if you're not around. A custom cleanup report for each language to flag things that need checking? With the ability for non-moderators to ignore? --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 09:46, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
I would rather not have non moderators ignoring - it is not a reversible action and new members can be enthusiastic when they do not understand what they are doing. :) Annie 10:25, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
Well OK, but what if the only person who knows the language at all is a non-moderator? --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 11:03, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
Post in the moderators board what to be ignored - or tag a friendly moderator that is around (the way you do for author names). Pretty much the process we have now. Otherwise it is enough for someone to misunderstand the report to make it irrelevant by ignoring too quick for someone to notice them. :) Annie 11:41, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
I agree that letting non-moderators "ignore" records would be chancy. At one point we even had a problem with a moderator "ignoring" records in error. Ahasuerus 11:58, 2 November 2018 (EDT)


Is Dutch as regular as "all small letters besides proper nouns? Annie 01:43, 2 November 2018 (EDT)

Yes, it is. This page states (translated):
  • The first word of a title of a novel or novella, of a poem, story, song, music album, film or play or the like, gets a capital letter: De avonden, Het bittere kruid, Awater, Hoe sterk is de eenzame fietser et cetera..
  • This applies not only to Dutch-language titles, but also to foreign language titles used in Dutch texts/contexts: Les jeux sont faits, La sombra del viento, A clockwork orange, The sound of music.
  • The other words in the title are only capitalized when required by other spelling rules, for example if they are geographic names or personal names (is that proper nouns in English??): In Babylon, Wachten op Godot, Het verdriet van België, De Afrikaanse weg et cetera. MagicUnk 06:17, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
What about the titles of magazines and newspapers? --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 09:40, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
I did some further digging, checked some newspapers and magazines too, and came up with nothing but confirmation of the above. MagicUnk 05:04, 3 November 2018 (EDT)
After re-reading your question I realized my answer may not have addressed your actual question. Names of magazines and newspapers are written exactly as spelled on the magazines and newspapers. MagicUnk 17:39, 15 November 2018 (EST)

Dutch text subtitles

Two references found so far (taaladvies, and Helder rapporteren) that confirm a subtitle ('ondertitel') is separated from the title by a colon, and have only the first word capitalized. From (translated):

  • Keep punctuation marks in the title. If there is no punctuation between the title and the subtitle, use a colon.
  • Use only a capital letter for the first word of the title and for proper names. The subtitle also gets a capital letter.


There exist two different usages in French titles, and this data base uses the simpler (sentence case) : capital on the first word and on proper names; thus, Vingt mille lieues sous les mers; De la Terre à la Lune, etc. The more common French usage, discarded here, is quite complex, and not always followed to the letter by some publishers (thus, one should write La Guerre des étoiles but La guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu; Le Grand Meaulnes but Un grand amour; Le Temps démantelé but Le Petit Assassin…). For those who didn't flunk French at school (or worse, at college), these two usages are detailed here. Linguist 05:19, 18 January 2020 (EST).

Punctuation has a space before :, !, ?, ;, %, currency, « and ». These are the so-called double punctuation marks. They consist of (at least) two unconnected parts. The period (.) and comma (,) do not have the leading space.


  • Title : Subtitle (when ou is not used to separate the two titles)
  • Title : ou Subtitle (when Title and Subtitle are written on two lines)
  • Title ou Subtitle (when Title and Subtitle are written on one line)

Capitalization of the Subtitle follows the same rules as Title.

Per this Talk conversation. ../Doug H 21:30, 8 May 2020 (EDT)


See Bulgarian. Same situation with the polite you. Annie 01:43, 2 November 2018 (EDT)

The capitalization rules for the Russian version of "vy/Vy" ("polite/formal you") are similar to the current German rules for "du/Du", which were discussed on the Rules and Standards page the other day. It's a bit messy, but the short version is that capitalization is optional and mostly used in documents and letters -- see the bottom half of for details. "Ty" ("informal you") is only capitalized when addressing God. Ahasuerus 11:26, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
It is a bit more than the German du/Du I think - the Germans have both Du and Sie to use for the same cases where the Russians have just the вы (although it get capitalized less predictable than Sie) - not by much though. And the capital one will be rare in titles. I think that we can just list the complete set of words to look for and ask editors to just check with a speaker of the language when they are not sure. Annie 11:37, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
Re: rarity, we already have a number of Russian titles which raise this issue:
The big problem here is that the way our software works, searches are case-sensitive for anything that is not a part of Latin-1. Once we upgrade the software, it will become less important. Ahasuerus 11:52, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
Which is why we need to be predictable. Now... FantLab does not capitalize вы in either of those. Neither do any Russian bibliography or bookstore as far as I know. So if someone is coming from there, they would not expect it to be capitalized. So if we decide to capitalize here, someone searching for one of them after a copy/paste won't find them. Annie 12:00, 2 November 2018 (EDT)


Sentence case. Do we have special cases besides proper nouns? Annie 01:43, 2 November 2018 (EDT)

Actually, titles of books and stories use sentence case, BUT titles of magazines and newspapers capitalize all "principal words" (plus the first and last words) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Vasha77 (talkcontribs) . 04:21, November 2, 2018
Re cleanup report: I am trying to estimate how many titles have proper names in them to see if it would be practical to bung everything into a cleanup report and mark all proper names "ignored" instead of creating a more targeted search --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 12:08, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
Don't forget that what we have now is miniscule compared to what we may have. If we want to do it properly, we will need to basically flag everything that has a capital in a later position and just do a bulk ignore on the ones that are fine. This way problems can be caught later on without touching the report. Annie 12:10, 2 November 2018 (EDT)

Source of authority

The reference for all matters orthographic (including punctuation) in Spanish is the Ortografía de la lengua española, a joint publication of the Royal Spanish Academy and academies in 22 other Spanish-speaking countries, last updated in 2010. It can be consulted online in the form of the 2005 Diccionario panhispánico de dudas and its 2010 orthographic update. I suggest that since this source is authoritative, international, and easily consulted, we should use it; and furthermore we should follow it in every detail, including where it conflicts with English practices--when the title language is Spanish, the answer to all questions is in the OLE. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 19:09, 15 November 2018 (EST)

Sentence case

Capitalize the first word and proper names only. This means that some words capitalized in English, like days of the week and names of religions for example, are not capitalized in Spanish.

Exceptions and quirks:

  • titles for people -- señor, señora, profesora, etc -- are not capitalized; however their abbreviations are. So, the translation of Robert Louis Stevensons's novella is written either El extraño caso del doctor Jekyll y el señor Hyde or El extraño caso del Dr. Jekyll y el Sr. Hyde.
  • in names of places a preceding word like río (river) or calle (street) is only capitalized if it is thought of as being part of the name. So, "El río Amazonas" because the name of the river is "the Amazon" but "el Río Grande" and "el Río de la Plata." "Calle" (example: La estación de la calle Perdido) is practically never capitalized.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Vasha77 (talkcontribs) .

Capitalization of Magazine Titles

Capitalize the first and last words and all "principal words." These are all words EXCEPT articles (el, la, las, lo, los, un, una), the conjunctions y and o, and prepositions of four letters or less (the commonest ones are: a, al, con, de, del, en, para, por, sin).

When the magazine title is followed by something like an issue or volume number, the words for "issue" and "volume" are not capitalized. E.g. El Melocotón Mecánico número 4 (The Clockwork Peach Issue 4). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Vasha77 (talkcontribs) .


According to the rules of style published by the RAE (Spain's language academy) in 2010, the subtitle which follows the colon : does NOT begin with a capital letter. This has also been a widespread but not completely universal practice before 2010. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 13:22, 2 November 2018 (EDT)

That is a policy question though - do we make that language-related or do we make it ISFDB standard. So let's start with that before we go down into the separate languages rules? The more language-specific rules we have, the harder it becomes for people to help with languages they do not at least read and that is not necessarily a good thing - it will reduce the number of international titles... So we need to thread carefully I think -- treating subtitles as full titles (which is the current rule) does have some sense even if some languages do something different. We need to find a middle ground - there is such a thing as being too correct thus becoming impractical. :) Annie 15:49, 2 November 2018 (EDT)
Copied to R&S discussion --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 16:12, 2 November 2018 (EDT)

Some notes on punctuation

Guidelines to follow if we decide to use Spanish punctuation (R&S discussion not yet finished). This is all taken from the DPD. By and large, punctuation is the same as English. Omitting some uncommon details and some matters that are probably not relevant to this database (such as the use of the period or how to punctuate dialogue), here is a list of differences from English:

  • Question marks and exclamation points are paired, one upside-down at the start of the exclamation or question, the other right-side-up at the end. Sometimes the question or exclamation is only part of a sentence, so that one or both marks are within the sentence. Example: Mi primer Celsius ¿o era Sidrius? [My first Celsius, or was it Sidrius?]
  • Quotation marks are angle quotes «». They are directly against the quoted content without a space between. When writing quotes within quotes, use "English" quotation marks “” and then, for a further level of nesting, single quotes ‘’. When a phrase in quotation marks is separated from another phrase by a comma, the comma is placed outside the quotation marks (the same is true for a colon or semicolon).
  • The ellipsis is three periods. It follows the preceding word with no space between. There is a space between the ellipis and a following word but no space before a following punctuation mark. When a sentence (or title) starts with an ellipsis, there is a space between the ellipsis and the first word.
  • When a list of items ends with the last item preceded by "and" (y or e) or "or" (o or u), there is no comma before the "and" or "or". However, if a list ends with etcétera or etc., there is a comma before it.
  • When a pair of em-dashes is used to separate out an interruption in a sentence, the dashes are placed directly against the interrupting phrase but with spaces before and after. Example: La angustia —y no bromeo— de Dios ["The Angst, I Kid You Not, of God," by Michael Bishop].
  • The DPD says nothing about dashes used as separators in titles, but apparently some magazines use them (more investigation is needed). For now, I suggest following the practice of the magazine SuperSonic and the AEFCFT website, namely an en-dash with spaces on either side. Example from SuperSonic: Entrevista – Sinécdoque: un nuevo sistema de suministro de literatura colaborativa.
  • Titles are separated from subtitles by a colon (however, if the title ends with a question mark or exclamation point, there is no colon). The start of the subtitle is not capitalized.
  • The order of dates is day-month-year. When abbreviating a year to two digits, do not put an apostrophe in front of it (e.g. a 1994 convention could be referred to as "Barcelona 94").