Forums: Index > The Wizengamot archive > Naming policy

I have noticed that we do not have a set uniform naming policy for the naming of characters with the same name. I know we generally have unwritten ways, but they are not uniform to one standard, that I think needs to be written and all articles should follow it according to the policy.

There are many different ways I have seen that we follow.

In some cases, like in the case of James Potter, James Potter is a disambuigition(sp? lol) page, that gives James Potter I and II. Then in cases of Sirius Black, Sirius Black is the page of Sirius Black III, with a youmay to the Disambuigition page. Then in cases like Cygnus Black and Arturus Black, which are characters who have no major role in the series, are Disambuigition pages.

I think the stand policy should be as follows:

When there are two people named the same, as in James Potter, James Potter (Harry's dad) should be named James Potter I and James Potter (harry's son) should be named James Potter II. James Potter would be redirected to James Potter I with an youmay tag to James Potter II.

When there are three or more people with the same name, and one of these are seen majorly in the series, like in the case of Sirius Black, They should be named Sirius Black I, II, and III accordingly, with Sirius Black redirecting to Sirius Black III (As he is more common than I and II) with a youmay tag to the Sirius Black disambuigition page.

When there is two or more people named the same, and none of these people are more common than the other, like in the case of Cygnus Black, a Disambiguition page will be placed at Cygnus Black, and the article should be named Cygnus Black I, II, and III accordingly.

When there are three or more people named the same, and two of them are more common than the third, but not than eachother, a Disambuigition page will be placed at the name page.

Now, as for the naming policy for the use of Maiden and married names, I suggest this:

If a woman is married before the time period of the series has taken place, the husbands name should be taken, unless she had been addressed by her maiden name during the series. As in the case of Lily Evans, she was married and made a potter before the series, but during the series is addressed as an evans, although she died a potter. Also with Molly Weasley, she was married before the series, and was never addressed by Mrs. Prewett, therefore should be named Mrs. Weasley.

If a woman was married after a series, they should go by their maiden name, as they were refered to their maiden during the series.

In the Case of Lily Potter (harry's mom) (Harry's daughter) I think it should follow this:

Since Lily Potter (daughter) is only known as a potter, and not as anything else, she should be Lily Potter. As Lily Potter (mother) is also known as Lily Evans, she should be Lily Evans, as she is the one of the two that can change. ] This policy should work for all people in this situation.

No matter what the actual policy is, I would just like it to be uniform to the whole wiki, and to be written. -- Ratneer Owl Me! 20:45, December 19, 2009 (UTC)

Please see Harry Potter Wiki:Policy#Naming of articles. :) It is written in fact. There is a very lengthy discussion in the past about what to do with naming of articles, not sure where it is at the moment... -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 00:51, December 20, 2009 (UTC)
Oops, found it: Forum:Middle names. -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 00:53, December 20, 2009 (UTC)
I have read that. It says nothing about articles with Disambuigtion. or the use of Ordianal naming. and thats what I am mainly suggesting -- Ratneer Owl Me! 00:55, December 20, 2009 (UTC)
Ah, you're right. Sorry about that. I think this one: Forum:Nott/Goyle_Naming_-_Mr_and_Mrs,_etc or possible Forum:Family_disambig includes more of what our idea about it is, though not as officially. Overall really should just be if 9/10 times someone is searching for "x (a)" when they search for "x", then "x" should be the real page with a Youmay tag up top, if its closer to 50-50 then "x" should be disambig page. -- DarkJedi613 (Talk) 01:02, December 20, 2009 (UTC)
Yea, thats what I was talking about. The only thing now, is that if they can be officially voted in as policy. Just so it is an official standard, To conform to the whole wiki. -- Ratneer Owl Me! 01:14, December 20, 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict) I think it would be impossible for us to formulate a single title disambiguation convention that could be applied universally. We'd need to have complete information on all characters for that to work, and since we don't, I propose a tiered system, sort of like our canon policy:

  • Middle initial: If two characters have the same name, and the middle initial of one or both characters is known, then the middle initial(s) should be included in the article title(s) in order to disambiguate the characters. For example, "James Potter" for Harry's father and "James S. Potter" for Harry's son, and "Lily Potter" for Harry's mom and "Lily L. Potter" for Harry's daughter.
  • Year of birth: Years of birth should be used to disambiguate articles on characters with the same name if no middle name is known. For example, the articles on the three Cygnus Blacks would be titled "Cygnus Black (1829)", "Cygnus Black (1889)", and "Cygnus Black (1929)".
    • Era: Era names can be used instead if the exact birth years of the characters are unknown. For example, "Avery (Riddle-era)" and "Avery (Marauder-era)," and "Mopsus (antiquity)" and "Mopsus (Potter-era)."
  • Relationship: A character's relationship to another character of the same name can be used when a year of birth or era is not known. For example, "Fred Weasley" and "Fred Weasley (George Weasley's son)", and "Molly Weasley" and "Molly Weasley (Percy Weasley's daughter)."

The issue with disambiguation by Roman numerals is that generational suffixes are typically used to distinguish fathers and sons who have the same name. The title "Fred Weasley II" implies that George and Angelina's son is the actually the son of George's twin. Thus, to avoid implying a father-son relationship where one doesn't exist (or at least isn't conclusively known to exist), I think we shouldn't disambiguate articles on same-named characters with Roman numerals as a general rule. Generational suffixes should ideally only be included in article titles if they are used in canon (ex., Barty Crouch Sr. and Barty Crouch Jr.).

The issue I see with using character relationships for disambiguation is that there's a certain amount of subjectivity involved in selecting which relationship to use. For example, is James Potter more notable as Harry's father, Lily's husband, or Sirius's friend? This is part of the reason I feel we should revisit our current policy of not including honorifics (Mr., Mrs., etc.) in article titles. I find "Mrs. Lovegood" to be a less cumbersome and less subjective than "Luna Lovegood's mother."

I agree that, as characters who figure prominently in the plot, Lily Potter (Harry's mom), James Potter (Harry's dad), Molly Weasley (Arthur's wife), Fred Weasley (George's twin), Sirius Black (Harry's godfather), and Regulus Black (Sirius's brother) warrant un-disambiguated article titles. Only the articles on the less prominent namesakes of these characters should feature some form of disambiguation in the title. Dumbledore realized this, and so in the scene after Lily's death, he's trying to convince

I agree with your suggestion regarding married vs. maiden names, although I think that, for consistency, the standard should be applied across the board. So, if a woman married before the start of the series, I think we should use her married name, even if she's referred to by her maiden name on occasion (like Lily Potter and Eileen Snape). Starstuff (Owl me!) 04:00, December 20, 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Some of your suggestions. Though, I dont really like the idea of James Potter (Harry's dad). To me, that just sounds weird, and unproffesional. Even though, It could be taken as father and son, I still belive the using the I and II would be better, for if you have read the books, you most likely know who is who, and that they are not father and son. I dont know why, but I have always though of Lily Potter as Lily Evans, maybe it is because of that she was called by evans in most of the DH, so that is what I take as most recent. as for with the black family, using years after the name, I dont agree with, as It is given on the family tree as I, II and III, as in Cygnus Black. As for middle Initials, I dont really see necesary if we use the ordinal naming, but, if the ordinal numbers were voted down, then the next best thing would be the middle initials. I still stand on my disambiguation policy though, with the most important character being listed under the Main name, with you may to a disam for the others. Also, i dont see the ordinal naming as father and son, as I only see Sr. and Jr. as father and son. -- Ratneer Owl Me! 18:33, December 20, 2009 (UTC)
I didn't suggest that the title of the article should be "James Potter (Harry's dad)." I added the "Harry's dad" bit as a parenthetical note to clarify which James Potter I was referring to when I said that important characters should get un-disambigated titles.
Under the tiered article disambiguation policy I've proposed, the article on Harry's dad would be titled simply "James Potter," and the title of the article on Harry's son would be "James S. Potter." Sirius Black, Harry's godfather, would stay at the article title "Sirius Black," but "Sirius Black I" would move to "Sirius Black (1845)" and "Sirius Black II" to "Sirius Black (1877)", because we don't know any of their middle names, and can't disambiguate them that way.
The problem with using roman numerals is that they're inaccurate. They imply that a person has the same name as one of their parents, which isn't always the case — James II is the grandson of James I, Molly II is the granddaughter of Molly I, Regulus II was the great-nephew of Regulus I, and Fred II is the nephew of Fred I, etc.
As for Lily, I only remember her being referred to as "Lily Evans" after her marriage to James in DH33, once by Snape when he asked Dumbledore to protect Lily, and twice by Dumbledore when he is trying to convince Snape to protect Harry following Lily's death. I think that Snape, at the point he asked Dumbledore to protect Lily, was still bitter and in denial about Lily's marriage, and thus he preferred to still think of her as Lily Evans, as he'd known her when they were friends. Dumbledore realized this, I think, and thus when he asked Snape to help protect Harry, he deliberately referred to Lily by her maiden name, cutting James out of the picture and emphasizing Harry's relation to Lily. However, in the scene where Dumbledore tells Snape that Harry must die for Voldemort to be destroyed, Snape refers to Harry as "Lily Potter's son." So I think that JKR used these references in DH33 illustrate how Snape eventually came to terms with Lily's marriage, and, by extension, her son. Starstuff (Owl me!) 04:53, December 23, 2009 (UTC)
Ive been reading up on the Ordinal naming system, and no matter what I find, I still really dont agree that they imply the father-son relationship. I dont know, ive just always thought it was for people with the same name, leaving Sr, and Jr for father and son. As for the Lily part, I get what your saying, Technically she should be called Lily Potter. I guess it is just my feelings that make me want to call her Lily Evans, It just sounds better to me. -- Ratneer Owl Me! 19:44, December 23, 2009 (UTC)