Forums: Index > The Wizengamot > "Unknown" categories

Something that has been bothering me lately (although they aren't exactly new or recent) is the categories grouping articles together by virtue of having some characteristic which is, as of yet, unknown to us. If I wasn't able to make myself plain, I am referring to categories such as Category:Individuals with unknown blood status, Category:Individuals of unknown nationality, Category:Unknown deaths, Category:Hogwarts students of unknown House. My reasons are these:

  1. They are redundant and pointless. Using the first category I cited, "Individuals with unknown blood status", as an example: if an individual is not categorised under "Muggle-borns", "Pure-bloods", "Half-bloods", "Squibs", or "Muggles", then it springs to mind that that probably is so because we don't have enough information to support the claim that they are of one of those blood statuses. In other words, that would mean that that particular character's blood status is unknown. What I am trying to say is that, basically, whenever we are in a similar situation, in which knowledge of some characteristic implies that the article should be categorised under that characteristic, lack of category is enough to ascertain our lack of knowledge.
  2. They are out-of-universe. We tend to keep our article categories as in-universe as possible (with the exception, of course, of maintenance categories, and even those are sometimes made to remain hidden). When we say that something is "unknown" we are not saying that, in-universe, that particular piece of information is unknown; what we're saying is that we, in an out-of-universe perspective, do not know enough about it. Categories should be about the subject of the article, not about how we view the subject of the article.
  3. They add little to our understanding of the subject, and have little meaning as categories. Categories are intended to group together pages on similar subjects. By grouping all these articles about which we don't know something, we may end up grouping articles with literally no information in common: we are potentially grouping together Muggle-borns and Pure-bloods, Ravenclaws and Gryffindors, Americans and Brits, and so on, and so on.
  4. They are, on the whole, difficult to keep neat and complete. For instance, I find it hard to believe that the category for "Individuals with unknown blood status" has only 53 pages in it, when in the whole canon there must be literally hundreds (thousands?) of characters whose blood status is not known for sure.
  5. They constitute an awful precedent. It holds the door open for many other ridiculous categories. I don't see how more legitimate it is to have a category for "Individuals of unknown nationality" than it is to have categories on "Individuals of unknown underwear preference" or "Individuals of unknown favourite holiday". --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 15:50, December 4, 2013 (UTC)
There is little to say other than I agree that they should be deleted. -- 1337star (Drop me a line!) 22:47, December 4, 2013 (UTC)
Anyone else? --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 00:59, December 8, 2013 (UTC)
Naturally, I would concur. --Hunnie Bunn (talk) 01:01, December 8, 2013 (UTC)
Bumping. As of now, there seem to be three people for deletion, and no one against. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 01:05, December 23, 2013 (UTC)
Also in favour of deletion.--The-Boy 16:12, December 23, 2013 (UTC)
I would agree. We should probably keep the canon ones though, like unknown spells that were in the books. The unknown Death Eaters however could maybe just have a spot with their pictures on the main Death Eater page. You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! (talk) 18:05, December 30, 2013 (UTC)

I think you misunderstand, General. We're only talking about deleting these categories, not any of the pages in them. We already have a policy for dealing with minor, unnamed articles. -- 1337star (Drop me a line!) 18:16, December 30, 2013 (UTC)

Ah yes I did misunderstand, okay that makes much more sense. I still agree. You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! (talk) 18:51, December 30, 2013 (UTC)

As I take it, there are 5 for deletion, 0 against, which constitutes a majority under HPW:VP. Shall I make the necessary changes? --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 21:19, January 21, 2014 (UTC)
Motion carried. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 15:06, January 29, 2014 (UTC)
I know this is extremely late, but I support this proposal, with the exception of Category:Students of unknown house. This category, unlike the others, is actually useful, as it allows us to quickly see whose houses remain unknown for reference or maintenance purposes. Starstuff (Owl me!) 01:55, December 20, 2015 (UTC)