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Proposal for Infobox Guidelines policy

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There has been some discussion recently about infoboxes. Specifically whether to include names such as Perkins and Parry 'Otter that were attributed to Harry even though he did not use them himself. What do you all think? --Hcoknhoj 07:31, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

Specifically, there has been a lot of dispute as to whether the "Alias" section of a character's infobox should include names the character was called by others, or just names they used themselves. For example, should Severus Snape's aliases include "Snivellus" as well as "the Half-Blood Prince"? Should "Hermy" be listed for Hermione? There are three options:

  1. The "Alias" section should be restricted to names used by the respective characters themselves.
  2. The "Alias" section should include all names which were used to refer to the character, by themselves and by others.
  3. A new section, "A.K.A." could be added to the infobox template below "Alias", in which names used by others would be listed.

This change would be incorporated into the existing Character infobox family guidelines policy, which would be renamed as simply Character infobox guidelines. - Nick O'Demus 08:12, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

While I prefer choice 2, I would not object to option 3. --Hcoknhoj 08:51, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
Let me give you a taste of what the infoboxes will look like if we go for option 2 or 3. Let's take Snape for example.
  • Snape
  • Proffessor Snape
  • Sev
  • Snivellus
  • Snivelly
  • Idiot
  • Git
  • Freak
  • The Half-Blood Prince
  • Greasy Git
  • YOU COWARD
  • The bravest man I ever knew
  • His favourite, most trusted advisor
  • Ugly Git
  • Slimeball
  • Overgrown bat
  • Greasy haired kid
  • That awful boy
  • That Snape boy

If you really think this is an acceptable standard for this wiki, then you could make a case for adding just about anything to the infoboxes. The alias field is for alias and nothing else. Jayce DarkmarkAvada KedavraCrucioImperio 10:19, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

That's a good point, but a lot of those could be taken out with a few simple restrictions:
    • Snape - his name, not a nickname or alias
    • Professor Snape - his title, ditto
    • Idiot, Git, Freak, Slimeball, Coward, etc. - generic insults, could be used on anyone, neither nickname nor alias
    • Bravest man, Awful boy, Overgrown bat - more descriptors than aliases or nicknames, he was never directly addressed as such
    • Sev, Snivillus, Half-Blood Prince - unique to this character, referred to or directly addressed as such, would be valid under Proposal 2 or 3
    • Greasy Git - debatable
After all, Alastor Moody is known as Mad-Eye, and called this by others, but when does he ever directly refer to himself as such? The closest I can recall is when he (or rather Crouch while impersonating him) says "and they say I'm mad". By that reasoning, we couldn't consider "Mad-Eye Moody" as an alias either.
In short, a valid alias/nickname/AKA/whatever would be:
  1. Singular to that character (with a possible exception for Barny Weasley). "Mudblood" would not be a valid alias, but "Scarhead" or "Loony Lovegood" could be.
  2. Something the character either referred to themself as or was directly addressed as.

Nick O'Demus 11:21, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

Im sorry but that's like saying people can add stupid things to the infobox if they want, but only to a certain degree. And what about mispronounciations, such as "Hermy" by Grawp, "Parry Otter" by Slughorn, and "Dunderbore" and "Dumberton" by Mrs Cole? Are they alias as well? Jayce DarkmarkAvada KedavraCrucioImperio 15:38, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

That still doesn't address the issue with Moody. Also, by that logic we can't use "The Boy Who Lived" as an alias for Harry Potter, unless you can show when he directly used the term himself. And when did Voldemort ever call himself "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named"? We'd have to exclude several prominent characters' well-known aliases if we went that way.

So let's look at Voldemort's permissible aliases under option 1:

  • Lord Voldemort
  • Heir of Slytherin
  • The Dark Lord
  • The greatest sorcerer in the world

What could not be permitted, and would have to be removed:

  • You-Know-Who
  • He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
  • Chief Death Eater

Nick O'Demus 19:01, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

I'm with Jayce Carver on this one. It's already been adressed by the Admin, and they agreed not to include nicknames in the infobox. I'd say Mad-Eye is acceptable as it's used instead of his real name, and he clearly has no problem being called that. Jayden Matthews 19:16, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
But wouldn't Sev be acceptable by that reasoning then? It was used by Lily instead of his real name, and he clearly had no problem being called that. - Nick O'Demus 19:31, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
I guess there could be a case for it. We don't really know how often the name was used though, we only have one occassion of her using it. Jayden Matthews 19:35, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
I would deem aliases to be unique alternate names by which the character is known. Therefore, aliases would only be terms that can be only applied to that particular character (i.e. "Mudblood" might be an alias for a bunch of different characters, while "The Amazing Bouncing Ferret" would only apply to one person). --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 20:14, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
Here are some definitions.
  • Wikipedia:An alias is usually used nowadays to describe a name which hides someone's true identity
  • The Free Dictionary:An assumed name
  • Word Reference:assumed name, false name, a name that has been assumed temporarily
  • Your Dictionary: an assumed name; another name

We cannot go around saying that the "Amazing Bouncing Ferret" is an alias of Draco Malfoy etc, because it's simply not true. Jayden Matthews 20:35, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

How about this... If a person has been called a certain name more than once (to make sure it wasn't a mistake) then it is an alias. This would exclude derogatory terms like Mudblood though. -- Ratneer Owl Me! 22:09, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

After more consideration, I think a lot of this could be simplified with these three restrictions:

  1. The name must be singular to the character. "Mudblood" or generic insults would not be a valid alias, but "Scarhead" or "Loony Lovegood" would be. An exception could be made for "Barny Weasley".
  2. No descriptors. To qualify as an alias/nickname, it must be capitalized. "Dark Lord", "Half-Blood Prince", "Scarhead", "Snivellus", etc. would qualify. "That awful boy", "greatest sorcerer in the world", "bravest man I ever knew", "amazing bouncing ferret", etc. would not. Likewise for insults and such. If Snape is called "a greasy git", that would not qualify, but if he was called "the Greasy Git", it would.
  3. No mispronunciations. No drunken "Parry Otter", no calling Ron "Rupert" by mistake, and no Binns' mixing up names. It must be deliberate. "Hermy" would qualify as an alias, as that was how Grawp was taught to say her name. Hagrid even asked her if it was alright for him to call her that.

Nick O'Demus 00:27, January 26, 2010 (UTC)

That is perfect Nick. Now we should just vote on it... -- Ratneer Owl Me! 02:58, January 26, 2010 (UTC)
I second that. --Hcoknhoj 03:04, January 26, 2010 (UTC)
There's still something else that needs to be settled first: should the "Alias" section be retitled to "A.K.A." for accuracy, or should we just agree that we'll be a little loose with the definition? - Nick O'Demus 11:29, January 26, 2010 (UTC)

Of course, we could end the issue once and for all by eliminating the alias field. Radical proposal, possibly, but one that would eliminate the need for such a guideline. There will never be agreement on this issue. When it comes to an alias, I believe that only certain names would apply. In the case of Snape, then Half-Blood Prince would be the only acceptable one. Snivellus is an insult aimed at him by the Marauders. It's not an alias at all. Likewise, Scarhead is an insult, and shouldn't be in the infobox either. Descriptors such as "Chosen One", "Greatest Wizard", etc also should not be in the infobox. Shortened names - such as Bill, Ced, etc - shouldn't be there either, but are acceptable in the main article. - Cavalier OneGryffindorcrest(Wizarding Wireless Network) 18:47, January 26, 2010 (UTC)

Wouldn't that be kind of like throwing out the baby with the bathwater? And if we did, how long would it be before some started adding "List of So-And-So's aliases" sections to the character articles?
I don't see this proposal as much different from the restrictions on the "Family" section of the infobox. People still disagree about who should or shouldn't go in that field, but standards were set on who does and doesn't qualify, and if someone adds a name outside of those restrictions, there is a set policy that any user can look to and enforce.
Nick O'Demus 13:36, January 27, 2010 (UTC)
I agree that restrictions would be better than eliminating the field completely. However, as I've pointed out the word alias already has an official dictionary definition, which is what we as an encyclopedia should use. Renaming the field "AKA" will only lower the standard of the infobox. Jayden Matthews 08:09, January 28, 2010 (UTC)
But that still doesn't address the issue of "Mad-Eye Moody", You-Know-Who", "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named", or "The Boy Who Lived". If we only use the strict definition of "alias" as an identity the respective characters actually used themselves, they'd be non-applicable and would have to be removed, despite the fact that they're highly relevant to those characters.
As it stands, when this is called to a vote, the only proposals anyone's put forth so far are:
  1. The three restriction I listed above: singular to the character, no descriptors, no mispronunciations; with either retitiling the "Alias" field to "A.K.A." or "Also Known As", or creating "A.K.A." as a separate section from "Alias" to address those identities not directly used by the characters.
  2. Apply the strict definition of "Alias". Which means that "Mad-Eye Moody", You-Know-Who", "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named", and "The Boy Who Lived" will have to go.
  3. Eliminate the "Alias" field completely.
Keep in mind, people will be voting only for the proposal they support, so one of those will be going through. If anyone has any better ideas before that happens, I'd love to hear them.
Nick O'Demus 09:07, January 28, 2010 (UTC)
Yes they would, and should go. Also, no offense Nick, but can we word option 2 differently. The way you have done it is quite biased, and could possibly disuade users from voting for it. Jayce DarkmarkAvada KedavraCrucioImperio 09:17, January 28, 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's not how the proposal would be formally worded, I was just trying to make a point. I suppose formally it would go something like: "An alias is defined as an identity assumed directly by the individual themselves." - Nick O'Demus 09:20, January 28, 2010 (UTC)

Alright then, the new formalized proposals:

  • Proposal #1: The "Alias" field of the Individual Infobox will be restricted to those identities assumed directly by the individual themselves. A new field, "A.K.A.", will be created below the "Alias" field for those identities relevant to the character while not employed by them directly. The following restrictions will apply to both fields:
    • A. The identity must be singular to the character. No generic insults such as "Mudblood".
    • B. No descriptors. The identity must be capitalised as though addressed as a proper name or title.
    • C. No mispronunciations or mix-ups. The identity must be deliberately and knowingly applied to the character.
  • Proposal #2: The "Alias" field of the Individual Infobox will be restricted to those identities assumed directly by the individual themselves. Unless the character directly refers to themselves in such a manner in canon, the identity will be removed from the field. There will be no "A.K.A." section.
  • Proposal #3: Eliminate the "Alias" field entirely. No "A.K.A." section will be added.

The official vote will begin in 24 hours. If anyone has anything else to add or recommend, do so. - Nick O'Demus 10:02, January 28, 2010 (UTC)

I'd recommend adopting #1, but with a single "A.K.A." field, so as to avoid redundancy. Yes, an alias that a person adopts in order to conceal their true identity (Lord Voldemort, Barny Weasley, etc.) is different than a nickname, insult, or title (Bill, Ron, Loony, Snivellus, etc.) that is used in full awareness of the subject's identity. However, this difference is largely semantic, and doesn't warrant having two separate fields in character infoboxes that serve exactly the same function. "A.K.A." ("also known as") is a broad enough term to encompass both identity-concealing aliases and non-identity-concealing nicknames/titles/etc..
My other recommendation is that, in addition to the name being singular to the character, it should be used more than once. This would exclude one-off names like "Barny Weasley" or "Saint Potter" and include multiple-use names like "Snivellus" or "Loony." Starstuff (Owl me!) 17:49, January 28, 2010 (UTC)


New Individual Infobox policy proposal

Due to disagreements over what does and does not qualify as an "Alias" for the in-universe character infoboxes, the following proposals have been brought forth in order to establish a set policy for the wiki. Normal Voting Policy applies. Users will only vote in favor of those policies they support. Users may support more than one policy, but may only vote once for each option. The vote will remain open for one week, closing at 10:00 wiki time on Feb. 5th. If no option has a clear +3 majority over all others at that time, all proposals but the two with the most support will be removed and voting on those two will be extended by another week. At the conclusion of the vote, the winning proposal will be integrated into the existing Character infobox family guidelines policy, which will be renamed as "Character infobox guidelines".

Proposal #1 (failed)

The "Alias" field of the Individual Infobox will be restricted to those identities assumed directly by the individual themselves. A new field, "A.K.A.", will be created below the "Alias" field for those identities relevant to the character while not employed by them directly. The following three restrictions will apply to both fields:

  1. The identity must be singular to the character. No generic insults such as "Mudblood".
  2. No descriptors. The identity must be capitalised as though addressed as a proper name or title.
  3. No mispronunciations or mix-ups. The identity must be deliberately and knowingly applied to the character.

Proposal #2

The "Alias" field of the Individual Infobox will be renamed as "A.K.A." or "Also Known As". Both identites used directly by the character and identites used by others to refer to that character will be applicable to this field. The following four restrictions will apply to this field:

  1. The identity must be singular to the character. No generic insults such as "Mudblood".
  2. No descriptors. The identity must be capitalised as though addressed as a proper name or title.
  3. No mispronunciations or mix-ups. The identity must be deliberately and knowingly applied to the character.
  4. The identity must be used in reference to the character more than once.

Proposal #3

The "Alias" field of the Individual Infobox will be restricted to those identities assumed directly by the individual themselves. Unless the character directly refers to themselves in such a manner in canon, the identity will be removed from the field. There will be no "A.K.A." section.

Proposal #4 (failed)

Eliminate the "Alias" field entirely. No "A.K.A." section will be added.

Voting

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