Help:Naming Conventions

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This page aims to help new Fanlore editors format page names consistently and covers some general rules and guidelines to do so. If after reading this page you are still unsure or have questions about naming pages, please add them to the Talk page, and other editors will help you find a solution.

How do I get started?

When you create a new page, the first thing you'll have to do is define its title.

The best way to get the title right is to type it exactly as you want it into the search box and hit "Go". This includes the correct capitalization and punctuation. So, for example, to create a page entitled An Archive of Our Own, type "An Archive of Our Own" in the search box, not "an archive of our own". Providing there is no existing page or redirect page with this name, a message will appear at the top of the search results reading, "Create the page "An Archive of Our Own" on this wiki"!. Selecting the page name will take you to a new, blank page where you can contribute to fannish history!

If you're not sure what would be the "right" name for a page according to Fanlore's conventions, below are some points to bear in mind.


Fanlore has a strong preference for singular terms over plural, unless the term is never or hardly ever used in the singular, because it is simpler to link to the singular by writing [[Title]]s than to the plural, i.e., [[Titles|Title]].


In general, Fanlore follows the "title case" convention [1] for article titles, meaning prepositions and conjunctions are not capitalized. For example, see Letter of Comment and Jeeves and Wooster. There are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. Names (of persons, organizations, or works) with an established pattern of capitalization, such as bell hooks or due South.
  2. Disambiguation phrases. Some page titles are disambiguated with parenthetical phrases, such as Alexander (film) or The Horse-Tamer's Daughter (filk zine), that should not be capitalized unless they are proper nouns (e.g. Sherlock (BBC)).

Lowercase Titles

The first letter of your title will be automatically transformed to uppercase. It is possible to override this where necessary (for example, due South); to do so, use the following magic word:


Put the above anywhere on the page (we recommend at the end, after the categories), and replace xyz with the title exactly how you want it. For example:

{{DISPLAYTITLE:due South}}

Will ensure the title of the page is due South instead of Due South.

Page Titles and Sorting Order within Categories

When you add pages to a category, the category will display the pages in a list sorted alphabetically by the first letter of the page name. However, some page names will need to be sorted differently -- such as people pages and pages for characters with Western name order (first name last name) and fanworks and other pages where the page name starts with an article ("A" or "An" or "The").

For example, the David Hewlett page should show up under "H" for Hewlett instead of "D" for David in Category:People, and the The Last of the Wine page should show up under "L" for Last, not under "T" under Category:Books & Literature.

So after you create the David Hewlett or The Last of the Wine page, how do you change the sorting order? Here's how:

To change the way an article sorts in every category it appears in, add this text to the page:


So to sort The Last of the Wine under L instead of T, add {{DEFAULTSORT:Last of the Wine}}. To sort David Hewlett under H instead of D, add {{DEFAULTSORT:Hewlett, David}}

To change the way an article sorts in one category, add this text:


(Note: Do not change the sort order for pages in Category: Fans.)

Foreign Language Terms

When a page name for an English-language article includes accent marks, please create a redirect to that page using the anglicized version of the name (e.g. Eowyn redirecting to Éowyn).

Abbreviations & Acronyms

Generally the full term (e.g. Little Black Dress) should be the page title, and the acronym (e.g. LBD) should be a redirect. In a few cases, the acronym is selected for the page title because the letters stand for more than one phrase: for example, PWP can mean either Plot? What Plot? or Porn Without Plot.

For acronyms that can stand for multiple distinct things, see Help:Disambiguation Pages for help setting up a disambiguation page that links to two or more pages with names that can be abbreviated as the same acronym.

Please add {{AbbrevAcronym}} to acronym redirects so that they will appear in the Abbreviations & Acronyms category.

Fanwork Pages

Articles about individual fanworks should include only the work's title in the page name. The capitalization of the page name should follow the fanwork's capitalization.

See Help:Disambiguation Naming Conventions for what to do when more than one fanwork has the same title. See also Help:Fanworks.

Character and Pairing Pages

Character page titles generally consist of the full name of the character. Examples: Martha Jones, Severus Snape.

Because the naming conventions for pairings vary from fandom to fandom, there is no hard-and-fast rule about how to represent the name of the pairing. Contrast Fraser/Kowalski with ItachixSasuke.

See Help:Character pages and Help:Relationship pages for more information.


Every page must have a unique title. Where there are several pages with the same title, you need to differentiate between them. A page can be disambiguated by adding a parenthetical description to its title. For example, see Maya (fan writer). However, it is not necessary to do this unless there are other, similarly-named pages - a disambiguation can always be added later.

When several pages have similar titles, a disambiguation page should also be created.

See Help:Disambiguation Naming Conventions for guidelines on how to format parentheticals for different types of articles.

Other formatting issues

  • Use ampersands (&) instead of 'and' (unless the and is part of a proper noun).
  • Virgules (/) should be avoided except where necessary, as they define subpages. (Said with the understanding that it is a core part of pairings and fannish terms, and shouldn't be avoided in those cases.)

What if I'm still not sure what to name the page?

But what if, even after reading the rules above, you're still not sure how to name a particular page? Don't worry! We are here to help! The Fanlore community is all here to help you out, you just need to ask.

Just use the Talk page of the Page you created or the Talk page of this article to ask your questions so that any editors or Gardeners who come across your page can help answer them.

Don't be scared to ask for help; even if you messed up, a Gardener can always fix it later.

Changing a Page's Name

There is no way to change a page's title as such. Instead, Gardeners and Admins can use the "Move" function to move the page content to a new name. Regular editors are unable to move articles as only Gardeners, Fanlore Admins, and Advanced Editors have the ability to do so. Regular editors can request a page move by adding the Attention Gardeners Template to the article they want renamed, and a Gardener or an Admin will see to it that the move is made.

Pages are typically moved when there is a typo or a capitalization error in the page name, if new information has come to light regarding the page's name, or if there have been previous discussions regarding renaming the page on the Talk page.

If you are an Advanced Editor who needs to move a page or are just curious about how it's done, check out Help:Moving a Page.

Moving an article will automatically set up a redirect from the article's previous title so that there will be no broken links — anywhere the former page title was linked will send the user to the new page.

For any other questions, you can use the Talk page or contact the Fanlore Committee.