Throughout the times, we've been consistently inconsistent with the use of capitalization, in article title and content. Moreover, we do not seem to have a strong foundation about capitalization in our manual of style. A minor example is Loves to Swim trait. In the game, the proper style is "Loves To Swim," but the acceptable title naming convention would be "Loves to Swim." But, why do we always have to capitalize trait names? Another more apparent example is some articles have careers and skills written in lowercase, while some others are capitalized. Neither is incorrect as it seems, because we don't enforce capitalization of these terms because we have no reason to, and on the other hand, we capitalize them because we're used to doing this. Sometimes we write "Scuba Diving" to refer to the skill, but sometimes we write "scuba diving" or "scuba dive" to refer to the activity. Writing "Scuba Dive" would be wrong because that's not the name of the skill.
Long ago, we used to capitalize every single term used in the series, but then (without written agreement) we stopped doing this and tried to write the content in encyclopedic style. That is, we do not capitalize terms that have no reason to be capitalized, like "Watch Clouds" becomes "watch clouds" and "Goth Family" becomes "Goth family." But even then, a lot of terms still remain being capitalized while some are not.
I'd like to propose that we make a consistent convention of what should be capitalized and what should not. I'd like to propose that the following should be enforced to be capitalized:
- Proper names (Sim names, title of a thing like books, location names like city and address, and other things that are normally capitalized in standard English)
- Other names, like names of opportunities, moodlets, and objects
- Game titles and their short titles
On the other hand, several things that we have capitalized should not be capitalized now:
- Traits (Animal Lover becomes animal lover)
- Skills (Nectar Making becomes nectar making)
- Talent badges (Toy Making becomes toy making)
- Hobbies (Arts and Crafts becomes arts and crafts)
- Careers and career titles (Architectural Designer becomes architectural designer, Test Subject becomes test subject)
- Emotions (Energized becomes energized)
- NPC titles (Witch Doctor becomes witch doctor, Father Time becomes father time)
- Social classes and social groups (Jock becomes jock)
- Life states (Plumbot becomes plumbot)
- Life stages (Children becomes children)
- Interactions (Rally Forth becomes rally forth, Plan Outfit becomes plan outfit, Try for Baby becomes try for baby)
- Game modes (Edit Town becomes edit town, Buy mode becomes buy mode)
- Rabbit holes and lot types (these are generally in lowercase now)
- Names that are not proper names:
- Plants (Crystal Plant, Money Tree, Flame Fruit, Forbidden Fruit, Life Fruit, Kona Bean, Ginseng, etc.)
- Food (Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, Lobster Thermidor, Crepes Suzette)
- Fish (Robot Fish, Deathfish, Red Herring)
- TS1 NPC names (Nancy the Paper Girl to Nancy the paper girl)
There are some terms that are very commonly capitalized. I don't know which category they'd fall on; either they should change or they remain as they are:
- Terms using the word "Sim," such as plantSim, Simology, Simbot, etc.
- The Grim Reaper
I agree that there is a lot of inconsistency and confusion about capitalization. With the exception of page titles and section headers, and the word "Sim" which we seem to always capitalize, we don't have any real rules or guidelines for when something should or shouldn't be capitalized. I think that your list of do's and don'ts is a pretty good starting point. In a lot of cases, it's hard to generalize and you have to almost take it on an individual basis. But we should definitely adopt some sort of standard, at least broadly speaking.
Regarding the questionable terms... I would say that Grim Reaper should continue to be capitalized, since that is a proper noun. You could argue that if we continue to insist that 'Sim' is capitalized, then it should remain capitalized wherever it's used, but you could also make the argument that Sim shouldn't be capitalized, in which case the ambiguity over terms like plantSim and Simbot are resolved. And I don't think that woohoo necessarily needs to be capitalized.
Really, any terms that we're currently capitalizing might appear "correct" to us in that form simply because they are familiar in that form, not necessarily because it is correct. When was it decided that we should capitalize sim, for instance? Why is it incorrect to leave the term 'sim' in lower case? I don't know, but for whatever reason we do choose (currently) to capitalize it, and when I look at the term in lower case it just looks wrong for that reason, not because it is actually incorrect in any way. -- LostInRiverview talk • blog • contribs 05:02, August 4, 2015 (UTC)
- General guidelines for capitalization would be a good thing to create. Personally, I believe that we should have things capitalized as they appear in-game, i.e. leave it as Nancy the Paper Girl, for two reasons - firstly, its just a personal preference, and secondly, capitalizing everything the same way as it appears in-game would save a lot of time thinking up specifics and would just create a general catch-all. It would still take a bit of effort, I've got no idea how various terms are treated in-game when they're in the middle of a sentence so somebody might have to look into that. ―ฬђ talk 08:17, August 4, 2015 (UTC)