Bulbapedia:Manual of style

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This is an instruction manual that addresses the conventions adopted by Bulbapedia in writing, titles, articles, and linking. Please read it before you contribute to the Bulbapedia project. Note, however, that this document is not updated frequently; survey prevailing conventions as well as reading these guidelines.

This manual attempts to address all issues of style in an objective manner, though there are inevitably cases where issues of style are subjective. If there are any unresolved disputes over what best adheres to the style of Bulbapedia, please contact the Leadership Board.

Keeping continuity with existing style

The manual of style attempts to provide general guidelines for Bulbapedia's preferred style. It cannot address every possible style dispute, and some styles or conventions may be established across Bulbapedia without being formally defined in the manual of style. When a style is established (e.g. used across multiple pages), it should not be changed without a good reason. If you want to discuss using an alternate style, please use an article's talk page.

General style guidance

This section deals with the general writing style across Bulbapedia. For guidance using wikicode, see Bulbapedia's Wikicode page.

Article titles and terminology

There are often several different viable ways to title the page for a specific topic. Terminology used within articles can also vary. In order to provide a consistent experience and expectation with its readers and contributors, Bulbapedia has the following guidelines in place to determine which title or term is preferred in a given circumstance.

Note that while these standards aim to provide comprehensive guidance, there may be unique cases where exceptions will apply. However, it is crucial to adhere to these guidelines whenever possible.

  • Language terms: English terms are preferred over equivalents in another language. For example, the English term "Pokémon animation" should be used to refer to official animated Pokémon media instead of the Japanese-based term "Pokémon anime", which may refer to Japanese animated Pokémon works only. Similarly, avoid specific industry terms that are not commonly understood by most English speakers. For example, use the term "voice actor" instead of the Japanese term "seiyū".
  • Official names: Use the most recent official name used in English-speaking territories, provided it has been used consistently. For example, use "Thunder Shock" instead of "ThunderShock", "Never-Melt Ice" instead of "NeverMeltIce", and "first partner Pokémon" instead of "starter Pokémon".
    • This mainly applies to franchise terms and products, and does not apply universally to out-of-franchise or real-world terms, which may use their common name in descriptive titles. For example, the article "Pokémon in Brazil" uses the common name Brazil instead of the country’s official name, the Federative Republic of Brazil.
  • Names of characters: The name of a character should be written as typically formatted in Pokémon media e.g. "Gary Oak", "Bill", and "Professor Oak". Other known names or abbreviations (such as "Prof. Oak" and "Samuel Oak") may be created as redirects, where applicable. (See the Names of people section for specifics on the names of real people.)
  • Capitalization: Page titles are written in sentence case, not title case. Proper nouns that appear in page titles (such as the names of most locations) should be capitalized in line with official media. (See the Capitalization section for specifics on franchise terms, which use their game capitalization.)
  • Singular vs. plural: In most cases, titles should be kept singular, such as "item" rather than "items". For comprehensive lists, consider a "List of" format e.g. "List of moves".
  • Consistent formatting: Where possible, maintain consistency in the format of titles between similar types of articles. For example, avoid inconsistencies like "List of items in Pokémon Conquest" and "List of items (Shuffle)". The second article is instead titled "List of items in Pokémon Shuffle" to match the first article and other such list pages.
  • Definite and indefinite articles: Do not use definite or indefinite articles such as the, a, or an at the beginning of titles unless they are part of the subject's proper name e.g. "The Teal Mask".
  • Disambiguation: Disambiguation tags (dabtags) should only be used for subjects with the same or similar official names. Otherwise, prioritize using sentence-style descriptors over dabtags. For example, use "Pokémon in the United States" instead of "Pokémon (United States)". Exceptions apply for certain types of pages that are formatted in a consistent manner, such as the pages for types and moves. (See the Disambiguation section for more details.)
  • Non-Latin characters: Do not use non-Latin characters such as Japanese, Chinese, or Korean characters. Instead, words in languages with a non-Latin alphabet should be romanized. (See the Opening line section and Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Romanization for more details.)
  • Abbreviated titles: Certain articles may use abbreviated or shortened titles.
    • Articles about a group of individually named subjects that do not have a group name may omit shared words, provided it does not impact identifiability. For example, use "Pokémon Red and Blue Versions" instead of "Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version", or "Chrom and Phossa Molybdenum" instead of "Chrom Molybdenum and Phossa Molybdenum".
    • Multiple articles whose names share a naming convention that cause searchability or understandability issues may use their own naming scheme. For example, the majority of TCG products are prefaced with "Pokémon TCG:", from expansions to card sleeves. This is abbreviated to a (TCG) at the end of the title.
    • For some serialized media, Bulbapedia may forgo having titles be subject names in lieu of a standardized epicode format (e.g. EP001) for ease of use.
  • Character limitations: Due to the MediaWiki software that Bulbapedia operates on, some characters cannot be used in article titles, such as {, [, and >. These must be omitted from titles, in which case the {{Wrongtitle}} template should be used at the top of the page. Additionally, while unicode characters that are not part of standard keyboard layouts such as the curly apostrophe or double-barred dollar sign may be used in a subject's official name, article titles should use the similar characters found on keyboards for ease of use (' and $).
    • Other technical limitations include mandatory capitalization of the first letter of titles and the identical treatment of spaces and underscores _ as spaces. Use {{Lowercase}} for titles that should begin with a lowercase letter. Also, note that formerly & was not an acceptable character, but now it is acceptable to use up to two ampersands in a title, though more than two ampersands in a row will cause problems. The plus sign + can also now be used. Special care must be taken with ?, though usually things will work as expected.
    • With regards to romanized Japanese titles, omit macrons ¯ and apostrophes ' in the title (but create redirects from the accurate romanization if appropriate).

Linking

Only link to an article once within a given portion of text. If you mention "Ash" more than once in a paragraph, only link it the first time. Instances further apart may be linked to more than once; it is up to you how far apart to place repeated links. For consistency, if most elements of a list are links, then link to an article as many times as needed in that list.

Also, use link templates for linking to articles that are commonly disambiguated, such as using {{p}} by typing {{p|Pikachu}} to link to the article "Pikachu (Pokémon)". Some common examples can be found in the Disambiguation section, or see the complete list of link templates.

Opening line

The full name of the subject of an article should appear within the first few words of the article itself. Alternate and popular names may be included anywhere afterwards. For song, episode, and movie titles, the "full name" that should appear first should be translated, not romanized if it is not English.

If the subject originates from a non-English language (Japanese, for the great majority of Pokémon subjects), then the subject's original name should be included immediately after the Anglicized name in parentheses. If the subject has not officially been given any name in English, then only the parenthesized original name should be included along with a romanization if necessary. For Pokémon names, the trademarked romanization should be used in the parenthetical. Names besides English and the original language should not be included in the opening line, but rather later in the article, preferably in a section titled In other languages near the bottom with only Related articles and External links following after.

Some examples of opening lines follow:

Archaic
Liam Pomfret, better known as Archaic, is the current head of Bulbagarden.
Hirokazu Tanaka
Hirokazu "Hip" Tanaka (Japanese: 田中宏和 but usually credited in hiragana only) is a Japanese composer and musician, born on December 13, 1957, best known for creating or co-creating various video games by Nintendo.
Hiromoto SIN-Ichi
Hiromoto SIN-Ichi (Japanese: ヒロモト森一 Hiromoto Shin'ichi) is a manga artist, born on January 4, 1966.
Professor Oak
Professor Samuel Oak (Japanese: オーキド・ユキナリ博士 Dr. Yukinari Ohkido) is a Pokémon Professor who lives and works at his research lab in Pallet Town of the Kanto region.
Blastoise
Blastoise (Japanese: カメックス Kamex) is a Water-type Pokémon introduced in Generation I.
Aim to Be a Pokémon Master
Aim to Be a Pokémon Master (Japanese: めざせポケモンマスター Mezase Pokémon Master) is the first Japanese opening theme of the original series, with a cover by Whiteberry being the fourth.
Inakano Town
(Japanese: イナカノタウン Inakano Town) is an anime-exclusive location in Unova.

Writing style and opinion

Bulbapedia is an encyclopedia, and as such should use a clear, easily understood literary style. Writing should be informative and brief, and avoid flowery language or unusual sentence structures. A second-person perspective should be avoided. Instead of "You can get the Reaper Cloth in Turnback Cave", an article should say "The Reaper Cloth can be obtained in Turnback Cave."

Check for spelling and grammatical errors before saving changes to a page; if you notice factual or spelling errors on a page other than the ones you have created, please correct the problems, as Bulbapedia is an open project.

Overall, as a wiki, Bulbapedia's content should focus on being informative and avoid opinions. As a rule, random opinions from the fandom, even if fairly widespread (such as, say, Charmander is the worst of the original starters), are not notable. If there's no "point" to mentioning an opinion—if it's only mentioned "because" and it illuminates nothing else—then it doesn't belong.

Names of people

The title of a page about a real person should usually be the name they are most commonly known by in English in the Pokémon franchise.

All modern persons should have their names given in Western order: first name first, last name second. Since the definition of "modern" may vary from culture to culture, for the Japanese, all names from the Taishō period onward should be given in Western order. Names from the Meiji restoration may be given in Western or Eastern order—use prevailing convention on a person-by-person basis. Names prior to the Meiji restoration should be given in Eastern order.

When a person has a specific preference for the way their name is rendered, or where convention differs, use that instead. For example, use Hiromoto SIN-Ichi, Ikue Otani, and Rica Matsumoto, instead of Shin'ichi Hiromoto, Ikue Ōtani, and Rika Matsumoto.

If a person has indicated they no longer wish to be known by the name most commonly used in the Pokémon franchise—such as if the subject is a transgender/non-binary person who changed their name, or if the subject has explicitly expressed desire to be represented by a different name—their chosen name should be used for the title. In all prose, their chosen name should also be used. In credits where an old name was used, their credit should be documented as a footnote (such as Chosen Name<ref group="note">Credited as "Credited Name"</ref>), or another format if specified by a project's manual of style.

Disambiguation

When two subjects would have the same article title, a disambiguating term is added to the end of the title for at least one of the pages. A single short word is preferred for these terms. The term should also be in sentence case (i.e. lowercase unless it would be capitalized in a sentence).

In some cases, a disambiguating term is used for all pages of the same type, such as Pokémon and moves. Common disambiguations have templates to make linking them easier. A sample of these follows:

Pokémon
An article for a general species of Pokémon, for example, Bulbasaur (Pokémon). Short link: {{p}}
move
An article for a move, for example, Tackle (move). Short link: {{m}}
Ability
An article for an Ability, for example, Pressure (Ability). Short link: {{a}}
type
An article for a type, for example, Normal (type). Short link: {{t}} {{type}}
game
An article for a game, or a character from a game, for example, Silver (game). Short link: {{game}}
anime
An article for an anime, or a character from an anime, for example, Brock (anime). Short link: {{an}}
Adventures
An article for Pokémon Adventures characters, for example, Silver (Adventures). Short link: {{Adv}}.
TCG
An article for a product, set, or other aspects of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, for example, Base Set (TCG). Short link: {{TCG}}
Specific cards within the TCG are identified using the TCG ID format, for example, Alakazam (Base Set 1). Short link: {{TCG ID}}
TFG
An article for a product, set, or other aspect of the Pokémon Trading Figure Game, for example, Next Quest (TFG). Short link: {{TFG}}
Specific figures within the TFG are identified using the TFG ID format, for example, Charizard (Next Quest 1). Short link: {{TFG ID}}

For a list of all link templates, please see this page.

General formatting guidance

  • For backgrounds and templates, obtrusively bright colors should be avoided. Generally, Bulbapedia's style favors pastels, particularly green, blue, or gray, depending on the content.
  • Smaller tables are generally considered better, assuming they still have adequate information. Even little details can matter: a thin, 1px border is preferred over a large border.
  • When listing a TM or HM as an item, make use of the {{TM}} or {{HM}} templates, written as {{TM|50|Overheat}} for TM50 (Overheat) and {{HM|08|Dive}} for HM08 (Dive).
  • Navigation templates should aspire to be as useful as possible, not as large as possible. Navigation templates do not need to be exhaustive to be useful.
  • Unless there is a specific reason to order them otherwise, lists of Pokémon should be sorted according to their National Pokédex number.

Pokémon franchise terminology

Franchise topics should be described based on the specific piece of media they appear in, rather than merely the medium they appear in. For example, instead of simply saying that a character appears in the games or in the anime, they should be described as appearing in a particular game, such as Pokémon Red and Blue, or in a particular series, such as Pokémon the Series: XY. Additionally, instead of linking to "animation", "games", or "manga" directly, the {{pkmn}} link template should be used.

The e-acute (é) is always used where appropriate; always use "Pokémon", not "Pokemon".

Naming conventions

Naming conventions in Bulbapedia have been determined to go by English names of characters unless a character does not currently have an English name. Redirects from Japanese names should be created in order to alleviate confusion. For instance, the page Kasumi redirects to Misty.

An article titled with a Pokémon name with a very well known instance in any form of canon should have a disambiguation page. For example, due to Meowth (Team Rocket) being extremely well-known, a disambiguation page exists at Meowth (disambiguation).

Some specific naming conventions include:

  • Evolutionary levels should be designated as "unevolved," "first evolution," and "second evolution" for Pokémon that have undergone zero, one, and two evolutions respectively during their development. The TCG terminology of "basic Pokémon," "stage 1 Pokémon", and "stage 2 Pokémon" are not used outside of the TCG pages.
    • For example, in the TCG, Pikachu and several other Pokémon are considered Basic Pokémon, but have a pre-evolved form, making them first-evolution Pokémon. This discrepancy typically applies to evolutionary families that include a baby Pokémon.
  • When writing episode or chapter names, write them as ''[[Episode code|Episode name]]''; for example, the fifth episode of the original series is Showdown in Pewter City.
    • Note only English titles are used in this way, otherwise the episode or chapter code is used, such as in XYS06.
    • Due to special circumstances, certain episodes may lack an episode code (epicode), such as Holiday Hi-Jynx.
  • When multiple numbered routes are to be listed, they should be listed in numerical order, and only the first should have any prefix to it; for example, "Jigglypuff appears on Routes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 34, 35, and 115, depending on the version played" is preferred to "Jigglypuff appears on Route 3, Route 4, Route 5, Route 6, Route 7, Route 8, Route 34, Route 35, and Route 115 depending on the version played". The link template {{rtn}} can be used for handily linking route numbers.

Types

Types are always capitalized.

  • As adjectives, types are "<typename>-type."
  • As nouns referring to a Pokémon of that type, they are "<typename> type"
  • As nouns referring to the types themselves, they are "<typename>" or "the <typename> type."
    • Example: Fire is super effective against Grass-type Pokémon.
    • Example: The Steel type was introduced in Generation II.

Types rendered with a hyphen are adjectives, so should never be pluralized. For example, "Water-types" is never correct. (Anime episode titles may go against the standard, such as The Grass-Type Is Always Greener!.)

Hyphenation

  • "Super effective" is never hyphenated. It is formatted with a space when used as the object of a conjugation of the verb "to be" ("The attack was super effective"), but is formatted as one word when used adjectivally in front of a noun ("A supereffective attack").
  • "Day-Care Couple," "Day-Care Man," "Day-Care Lady," and "Day-Care Checker" are all hyphenated as "Day-Care" is used as an adjective in these phrases. "Pokémon Day Care" and "Day Care," when used as nouns, are not hyphenated.

Plurals

  • The plural of "Pokémon" is "Pokémon" and the plural of every Pokémon species is the same as the singular, much like moose or sheep. For example, Those Pikachu are Electric-type Pokémon.
  • Note the following special plurals for item names:

Capitalization

  • The word Pokémon is always capitalized, as are all nouns starting with "Poké" (such as Pokégear, PokéNav and Poké Flute).
  • The names of Pokémon, moves, Abilities, items, and locations are always written in title case (every first letter of a new word capitalized).

Uncapitalized

The following are not capitalized:

The names of all people, Pokémon, moves, Abilities, items, Trainer classes, stats (except accuracy and evasion), and villainous teams are also always capitalized, as are officially named locations (places like "Kurt's house" do not count).

All unofficial terms are lowercase by default, with the exception of the names of generations. While the term "generation" is uncapitalized, specific generation names (e.g. Generation II) are.

Definite article

It is not always immediately obvious whether a particular location or concept should use the definite article "the." The below is a list of such cases according to whether the indefinite article should be used.

In the Generation VIII core series games, the summary location makes clear which locations should use "the" and which should not, so they are not listed here.

Sectional style guidance

For detailed style guidance applicable to various projects on Bulbapedia, please review the subpages below.

Anime

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Anime

Core Games

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Core Games

Manga

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Manga

Side Games

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Side Games

TCG

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/TCG

Language

American English should be used rather than Commonwealth English in Bulbapedia articles. This is consistent with most English language Pokémon games, as well as much of Pokémon media as a whole. In general, Bulbapedia follows standard American English style conventions, not all of which are listed within the manual of style.

  • Exceptions to the preference for American English are made if the spelling is officially the Commonwealth one, such as "Catalogue."
  • 's should be included at the end of singular possessives ending in s. While it is correct to either omit or include the s after the apostrophe in these cases, Bulbapedia follows the games' convention (for a multitude of reasons, including the games' usage) and appends the s. For example, Iris's should be used, not Iris'.
  • The serial comma should be used where applicable (matching the syntax of the Pokémon games).
  • In an article, the title of an album should be italicized. When writing the titles of individual songs, including anime opening and ending themes, italics should not be used.
  • In an article, the names of series, games, or generations are not italicized.

Japanese

Kanji

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Kanji

Romanization

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Romanization

Multimedia and external content

Addressing images, videos, and content from other websites and sources.

Images

For further details, please see the Archives manual of style

Images are often a helpful visual addition to the content of articles. These are some brief guidelines about what kinds of images should be used.

  • If there is official artwork, such as the Sugimori stock artwork or video game sprites, this is always the preferred primary image.
  • If there is no official artwork, images captured by contributors should be used—images should never be taken from non-official sites. There will inevitably be disputes about which user-captured image is best; while there's no exact set of rules to resolve such conflicts, the main considerations should be using the highest quality and most informative image.
  • Animated images should be avoided proportionately with how large and distracting the animation is. Small uses, such as a blinking dot on a world map to indicate location, are non-obtrusive and acceptable.
  • Overwriting existing images is acceptable, since Bulbapedia favors the image with the higher quality, not the greater seniority. However, please try to avoid disputes by discussing the change with the user who uploaded the former image before uploading the new image.

Videos (including YouTube)

Like images, videos are often helpful visual additions to the content of certain articles. Videos that are hosted on YouTube can be either be embedded directly into a article using the {{YouTubeEmbed}} template or linked to using the {{YouTubeVid}} template. Due to loading size and other server strain, please note the usage policy regarding embedded video:

Mainspace pages which may have embedded video:

  • Glitch pages. Note that this is specifically pages about glitches, and not sections on an otherwise non-glitch page.
  • Pokémon commercial
  • Song articles, including anime openings and endings

Mainspace pages which must NEVER have embedded video:

For all other instances not mentioned above, or if unsure about a certain instance, please check with a member of staff.

Integration of content from other websites

It is against Bulbapedia's policy, and may be a violation of copyright, to directly copy text from other websites without permission. If other sources consent to allowing their text to appear on Bulbapedia and be subsequently edited and expanded upon to better fit Bulbapedia's style and standards, then and only then editors can directly copy their text into Bulbapedia. In this case, the source must be credited and the text on Bulbapedia will be covered by Bulbapedia's licensing terms.

If Bulbapedia already has information addressing a topic, users should seek to edit and expand that text rather than replace it with another source's words, even if the other source has allowed their text to be used and has more information. Bulbapedia's preferred style prefers original content directly provided from its contributors over content taken from another website.

An important note about Wikipedia content

No matter how similar the two may be, Bulbapedia and Wikipedia do not have compatible licenses. Therefore, for legal reasons as well as those of style, Bulbapedia does not allow articles to be copied directly from Wikipedia. Note that while in the past articles were started with Wikipedia content, this approach is not allowed under current policy.


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