An Everything2 Help Document

When you pick a title for a node, your main goal should be to make it easy for other users to find that node when they search for it. Much of the time it is best to use a pre-existing title, and you should almost always search around for headings that would match what you want to submit before making one of your own.

Caveats

The following guidelines have exceptions. If you think you can make a convincing case to the Content Editors, do it your way instead, but be prepared for the editors to change the title or challenge your choice.

There are many existing nodes which break these rules. Some of these have good reason - see the previous note - but most of them are simply wrong and should be corrected. You may request this at Edit these E2 titles.

Any hard link you create should either be the title of a node or a potential title for a node. Therefore, create hard links carefully too!

Technical limitations

  • You cannot use the characters <, >, [, | or ] in node titles. These characters will be stripped out automatically. A node created with the title "<b>Important news!</b>" will come out as bImportant news!/b.

  • Do not use HTML entities (e.g. &lt; or &#93;) to try to work around the above limitation. HTML entities are put into the database verbatim, and escaped when they are retrieved, so creating a node titled "<b>Important news!</b>" will come out as &lt;b&gt;Important news!&lt;/b&gt;.

  • Likewise, do not use HTML entities (e.g. &egrave; or &trade;) to add other special characters (è or ™) to a node title. Instead, enter those characters directly, using a character map, cutting and pasting from an existing instance, or by holding down 'Alt' and typing the code on your numeric keypad.

General conventions

  • Rules for correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization and grammar apply to node titles just as much as body text.

  • Do not namespace. Namespacing is the practice of adding common words to multiple node titles:

    • Instead of "Murder Most Foul by Agatha Christie", use Murder Most Foul.
    • Instead of "The Beatles - Help!" use Help!.
    • Instead of "HOWTO: Paint a shed" or "How to paint a shed" use Painting a shed.

    Exception: If you are noding an entire literary work you may have to break it into several parts. Be consistent in how you divide it, and be reasonable as to the number of parts you make. For books, chapters work best. For plays, individual scenes. Then, title each part with the title of the work followed by the name of the division. Moby Dick - Chapter 82.

  • If you're noding on a subject, put the writeup under that subject.

    • Instead of "Stuff I know about the Big Apple" use New York City.
    • Instead of "Uses of the word interesting" use Interesting.
  • Don't let your writeup creep into your title.

    • Instead of "Rope - it's really great", use Rope.
    • Instead of "Dying young isn't all it's cracked up to be", use Dying young.
  • Don't phrase your node title in the form of a question.

    • Instead of "Where is the coolest stuff in New York?" use New York City.
  • If a title has multiple variations, pick the most commonly used form. Create nodeshells for the other variations, and request firm links from the variants to the most common form.

    • Singular forms are preferable to plural forms.

    • Uninflected forms of nouns or verbs are preferable to inflected forms.

    • American English spellings are preferred, though company names, literary works, etc. whose names and titles use the UK spelling should retain that spelling.

    • For people, use the name by which the person is best known. This may include a middle name or middle initial in some cases. For writers, this may be the person's pen name:

    • Acronyms should be fully expanded:

    • For languages normally represented in some other alphabet than the Latin alphabet, use a romanized variation.

      • For Chinese titles, use the Pinyin romanization, unless it's embedded in the title of a literary work by a Western author who used something else.
      • For Japanese titles, refer to the bakufu usergroup and their guidlines at e2bakufu.
      • If a specific romanization policy hasn't been worked out for a particular language, use the most common representation. If it isn't clear which one is more "common", use the shortest one.
  • Do not use the word "metanode" in a title.

  • In general, short titles are preferable to long titles.

    Yes, long titles stand out more in New Writeups and soft links, but ask yourself this: are you compensating for a weak writeup by tying a fancy title around it? Or would people rave over your writeup even if it was titled "Story 37a"?

Specific types of node

  • URLs are never acceptable node titles.

    • Instead of "http://www.priceline.com" use Priceline.
    • Instead of "google.com" use Google.
  • Literary work, movies, albums, etc. should be titled as is. If a title begins with "the" or another very common word, begin the node title with "the" as well. As always, be sensible:

    • Instead of "TRAVELS INTO SEVERAL Remote NATIONS OF THE W O R L D. In FOUR PARTS. By LEMUEL GULLIVER. Firſt a SURGEON, and then a CAPTAIN of ſeveral SHIPS.", use Gulliver's Travels.
  • VideoGames should use the title from the game's English-version title screen. Marketing taglines on the box do not belong in the node title.

  • Historical battles have no definite article.

    This does not apply if your node specifically refers to the title of a work of literature or art.

  • Taxonomy writeups are described better in Taxonomy node guidelines.

  • E2 Gatherings are largely exempt from these rules; they usually have scintillatingly imaginative, full-of-breathtaking-adjectives-designed-to-make-people-excited-about-going, extremely long and sometimes obfuscated titles.

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