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Home Wiki:Style guide

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There are different styles of writing. In many cases, there is more than one "correct" way to write or format something. Over time each wiki develops its own norms or style. This article describes some of the style norms or standards used here. If enough people want, we can change them. It's ok if new writers don't know or use these norms. Usually it's better to have a contribution that uses a different style than to lose that contribution. However, that article may be changed to fit. It is not wrong to violate these standards; it's just better to follow them.

Note: While this Style guide is recommended, and the norms adopted by different wiki can vary, the Terms of Use for Wikia apply to all the wiki like this one, which are hosted by Wikia. Those terms are required.

Originality, licensing, credit, etc. Edit

  • Original work is preferred.
    • All contributions to Home Wiki are considered to be released under the CC-BY-SA (see Wikia:Licensing for details).
    • If you copy from another site that permits copying, for instance Wikipedia or pictures from Flicker with appropriate licensing, give credit to the original source.
  • You may not use copyrighted work without permission.

Play nicely Edit

As with many wiki, you are asked to "assume good faith". When someone does not follow these standard, you can explain them or point someone to this article. But do not assume that the person is intentionally messing things up. (They may be doing something that could become an even better standard.)

No bad name calling.

Also, many things about our homes are emotional for us. Do not say someone's preferences are wrong or stupid. Just because you don't like green walls in the bathroom doesn't mean someone else shouldn't like them. It's fine to say what you like or don't like -- especially on your user page or blog -- but don't say or imply that everyone else should like only what you like.

Formatting Edit

  • The page name or article topic should be in bold the first time it appears in a page's intro.
  • If the page is substantially incomplete, the stub template should follow the initial paragraph.
  • Images are recommended for pages where images are applicable. (Don't forget to make sure we have the right to use the image. Did the copyright owner give permission? Please try to remember to add some information to all images you add about where they came from and how we got permission to use them.)
  • There are many stylistic differences in spacing. Most of these are flexible. The majority of the articles here follow the spacing the founder (CocoaZen) prefers, but it's not necessary. Some examples are
    • spaces after the * for a bullet or # for a numbered list
    • links to pictures are on their own line
    • blank lines before (and sometimes after) a section header (This isn't necessary to make the formatting work correctly, but it makes the text easier to read and sections easier to find in the edit view.)

Common page sections Edit

While it is not required, a common structure for most of the pages begins with a definition of the concept, followed by some of the options (such as materials) and considerations that would help someone decide between them. Please consider whether safety should be included as a topic. Then depending on the topic, include more details, cleaning tips, suggestions for the best use. Most of the articles here have a "related" section linking to other articles on the wiki which may be relevant. If the crosslink to the related article is already incorporated into the text, it doesn't have to be reiterated as related, but it can be to make it more prominent. The last section is often a "references" section to other relevant wikia, Web sites or other sources for more information. In general, non-commercial sites are preferred. Manufacturers and vendors may be listed, but should be identified as commercial sites, and their potential bias should be taken into account. If one vendor is listed, others may be too.

Naming Edit

  • Article names should be singular in most cases, unless there is a pressing reason to make it plural. Pluralized versions of names should be made to redirect to the singular. (Example: room rather than rooms)
  • Category names should be plural in most cases, unless there is a pressing reason to make it singular.

Spelling Edit

Many English words have different correct spellings. For instance, "color" (U.S. spelling) and "colour" (British spelling) are both correct. Either may be used here. But after one or the other is used on an article, please be consistent.

Try to stay away from "slang" spellings. So, use "light" rather than "lite". Over time some slang spelling become accepted.

Capitalization Edit

In English, proper nouns are capitalized. Names and adjectives based on names are capitalized. So France, the name of a country, and French, the adjective referring to things from France, are both capitalized. By the way, the Internet and Web (which is short for World Wide Web) are both proper nouns. (That norm may change over time.)

Because a wiki turns the first letter of any page to a capital, some people think that they need to capitalize all links. That is not the case. A link to room or a link to Room will both connect to the same article named "Room". When creating the link, use the capitalization that fits where it is located. So in a sentence starting "Room to grow", room is capitalized, but in "my favorite room" it is not capitalized.

Capitalization for titles has many different styles that are correct in different contexts. In the U.S. students are taught "Title Case". That is, the first word in a title is always capitalized, and every word that is not a preposition (in, of, by etc.) or article (a, an, the) is capitalized. But in some parts of the world, that is not the way things are capitalized, and it doesn't work well for linking to articles in a wiki. So over time it's become the norm in many wiki that in page names only the first word and the other words that are always capitalized, like proper nouns are capitalized in a page title.

Crosslinking, and making it easier Edit

A "crosslink" is what we call a link within the wiki (or some people may use it to mean links within a set of wiki like to related wikia). Some of the standards here on the Home wiki were developed the way they are because it makes it easier to enter links to that content later.

So for instance as described in the "naming" section on this page, we use the singular rather than plural for most article names. If a page is named "bed", we can link to it by just adding square brackets like [[bed]]. So I can write "any [[bed]] with a headboard" or "for homes with many [[bed]]s" and the links with both work. That's much easier than having to write "any [[beds|bed]] with a headboard" each time. And, did you know that a the wiki engine is designed so a suffix that's not part of the page title will still look like part of the link? So in the [[bed]]s example, the link will still underline the "s". It will look like beds.

Similarly by using "wiki case" instead of "title case" for capitalizing page names or titles, it can be easier to link to those pages. If the name of an article is "Kitchen Table", then every time we write about a kitchen table and want to link to that article, we have to create lots of extra redirect pages or pipes like [[Kitchen Table|kitchen table]]. But, if we use wiki case, we can link to the article with [[kitchen table]], which becomes kitchen table and links to the article "Kitchen table".

Category names are plural for two reasons. First when you're writing about a category, you are usually writing about more than one example, so plural is appropriate. Also, it's a practical thing. As explained above, article links are singular to make it easier to link to those articles. Links to categories already need special treatment, so using a pipe each time isn't as difficult to remember. Furthermore it provides an extra way to distinguish between the article, for example hobby, and the category, hobbies.

Linking to non-existant pages or articles that do not exist yet Edit

It is ok to put a link to a page or article that does not exist yet, but which would belong on this wiki. It will show up on the wanted pages list and that may help get it written. So if the article for "floor" didn't already exist, you could still write something like "a rug on the floor will add color". Eventually we hope someone will write the "floor" article. (If you'd like to start an article, but aren't sure where to begin, looking at those wanted pages may help.)

On the other hand, please do not add links to articles that don't really belong here or are unlikely to be written. So a link to "mall food courts" probably doesn't belong on the Home wiki, so unless you want to create it as a link to another wiki where the article belongs, don't make it a link.

Another exception is that on major pages or prominent places, like the main page, it may not look good to have many links to non-existant pages. Only add links to future topics there when you plan to create them very soon.

Lists Edit

Some people like to capitalize the first word of every item in a bulleted or numbered list. For instance,

other people prefer to capitalize only the words that would be capitalized anyway

and still other people like to put punctuation at the end of every item

Some people will make all the list items parallel grammatically (all nouns or all prepositional phrases), while other people are ok with a mix. This wiki does not really have a norm for this yet. The founder does not capitalize the beginning of each list item or worry too much about all the items in a list having a parallel grammatical structure. So, if you want to spend your time changing that, it's ok.

One word, two or hyphenated? Edit

Sometimes a phrase becomes so common that it eventually becomes a single, commonly accepted word. Usually it begins as two words used together frequently, for example, dish washer. Often the two words are then joined with a hyphen, like water-bed. Over time the words may eventually join to become a compound word like dishwasher. Sometimes words go the other way too, and what was a compound or hyphenated word becomes separate. On this wiki, the recommended practice is to do a Web search or two. See which way you find the most or best search results. In general, if there's a tie, use the single word in preference to the hyphenated or two word version. [1][2]


Please help integrate the articles in this wiki. Each article should have a link to at least one other article in this wiki. So when you create a new page, think about what other pages a reader might be interested in. Link to them in the text or in a "Related" section. To help make sure people see your articles, you can go into other articles and add a link to it in their "Related" section.

Proposing new norms or style guidelines Edit

Most of the guidelines described here were developed in other wiki or over time here. This article covers the existing style or norms -- mostly what's already accepted here. But, we can change or add items. If you want to describe a norm that already exists here, please feel free to add that to this page. But if you are proposing a new or additional guideline, please start a discussion in the watercooler forum first. If people agree (or don't disagree) after about a week, you can add it here.

References Edit

  1. The Grammar Curmudgeon on Hyphenated Words: A Guide
  2. Get It Write on Compound Words: When to Hyphenate

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