I'm just wondering if this section should get a policy of it's own (if we think we need one?), as its not really to do with the "style" of the wiki. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 11:29, March 26, 2014 (UTC)

Actually, on this point, the section on spoilers probably needs to be separated from the manual of style for the same reason. Though that could maybe be a guideline rather than a policy - do we need a policy on how we treat spoilers? --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 11:33, March 26, 2014 (UTC)
Since there's been no replies to this I've moved the section on spoilers to Baker Street Wiki:Guidelines: Spoilers and deleted the section on Achievements - if we decide we need guidelines or a policy on achievements at a later date we can create a separate page for it. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 21:22, May 3, 2014 (UTC)

British English

I thought this had already been added, but I think we should add British English as our preferred style choice for the wiki. This is because Sherlock Holmes is of course English in origin and it gives a uniform style of spelling and grammar for the wiki. However, I would keep the convention of using the term "season" to refer to American tv shows, even though in British English we use the word "series". I think it would be too confusing otherwise. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 11:29, March 26, 2014 (UTC)

I agree. It makes most sense to use British English for this wiki. ~Obi (Talk)
I agree, however I also want to expand on this section of the talk page to discuss grammar conventions. To start, and I think this speaks for itself, but I feel as though we shouldn't use contractions on articles. This is a wiki—an encyclopaedia—and having a 'didn't' instead of a 'did not' looks a bit messy.
I also think that we only need one link per page to whatever page it links out to. We don't need to link every single instance of 'Sherlock Holmes', unless of course, it refers to the different versions of him.
The second is quoting. We seem to use a lot of quotes in-article, and that's fine. However, there seems to be a little bit of miscommunication when it comes to how that's actually done. We use quotation marks to indicate that it is something someone else has said—"Mrs. Hudson!"—however when the sentence carries on, it's currently unclear whether the quote has punctuation in the marks or after. Compare:
He leaves, having "received a better offer", letting Sherlock and John return to their flat at 221B Baker Street.
He leaves, having "received a better offer," letting Sherlock and John return to their flat at 221B Baker Street.
Personally, I think the first one is correct, as it's not a complete quote from the source.
Sentence case is another big one. Such as with Irene Adler's residence (Sherlock 2010), the 'residence' part of that article is not a proper noun, and thus should not be capitalised. The same occurs in-article with examples such as 'Unnamed Brother', or 'Estranged Husband'. This should be 'unnamed brother' and 'estranged husband', respectively (unless other rules of capitalisation apply).
I have two other things. The first is tense. Actually, Sherrinford brought this to my attention; we don't use present tense on articles. I think, from an in-universe perspective, we should. Even though the actors in the 1900 silent film version are now dead, you can still watch the movie and see them alive. Unless the character has a reason to be in past tense, I feel as though the articles should be in present tense. John Watson is a doctor, and he was in the army. This only applies to in-universe articles, though.
Finally, in regards to the IU ideas, I want to implement stable references, similar to how they are used in wikipedia. Well, exactly how, as wikipedia uses Chicago style. I have created a template—{{Cite Sherlock2010}}—for citing episodes of Sherlock (2010), however I can do the same for Elementary and other versions (I think I've done one for the Guy Ritchie films, so we can use it on character/item/place articles). This basically means that instead of breaking the fourth wall and saying 'in episode x, such and such occurs', we can just go straight to 'this happened <ref>' without a '"A Study in Pink"' popping up halfway through a sentence.
Thoughts? Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 09:17, April 30, 2014 (UTC)
Having in-universe articles be present tense makes most sense to me, because the correct practice in academic writing about literature is to refer to the characters as if they are still alive, unless they actually were dead in the book itself. ~Obi (Talk) 15:55, May 1, 2014 (UTC)

I support the arguments presented. --Sherrinford (talk) 22:18, May 1, 2014 (UTC)

Is that support for all of the proposed additions, or just relating to BE, tense, and IU articles? Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 23:22, May 1, 2014 (UTC)

Well, it seems like we're agreed on the use of British English and that certain articles should be in universe style, at least.

I don't think we should add minor grammar issues to the MoS as it could make it too long and put off new editors.

When it comes to links we already have it stated that we should only have one link per section of the page to the same thing. I think this works fine and it means long pages still have enough links so people can navigate the wiki effectively.

I agree that in universe pages shouldn't mention the episodes, but I do prefer a reference that appears at the end of a section/paragraph rather then as a reference that people have to jump to the end of the article to read. I think this has the advantage of letting people know as they're reading, where the piece of information comes from, without interrupting the flow of their reading. I've been using a reference in brackets, but we could maybe shorten references perhaps from (A Study in Pink) to (S: ASiP)? I'd still make other references using the ref tags though.

When it comes to tense I'd rather we have one rule for the whole of the wiki than one rule for a certain type of page and different one for others. I want to encourage new editors, not have lots of complicated rules. I've been using past tense as it seems to give a uniform style and has the advantage of us not having to go back later and alter pages. Frankly I don't care what is done in academic writing or what style guides say - we can decide to do differently if we want. But if the majority of the community want us to use present tense for whatever reason, then that's what we'll do. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 11:31, May 4, 2014 (UTC)

Aye. I think the only out-of-universe articles that should be on the wiki are actual OOU articles; actors, directors, the shows themselves, etc.
In all honesty, I don't think a long MoS puts off new users. I think a Manual of Style should be clear and concise, and have all the relevant information in order to have a wiki that is consistent with its articles. This is the policy that someone refers to when making a style change, and I don't think many new users, nor many anonymous ones, actually read it unless they're serious about getting into the formatting. This doesn't really tell people how to write articles, it just lets them know certain styles we use, such as British English, etc. The minor grammar is still important.
One link per section, or one per page? I think that it should only be one per page, because it ends up looking messing (both on the webpage and in source mode) to have so many links. Many of the pages aren't all that long, and mention the same people multiple times (Stephen Bainbridge). Unless it's a list (e.g. 'People whom Sherlock has helped'), there is no need to link multiple times.
I stand by my own take on having different tenses depending on the article. It's not just character/place articles, either. Are we going to say that "Steven Moffat (born 18 November 1961) was a Scottish television writer and producer. He was one of the co-creators of Sherlock, with Mark Gatiss."? No, because he still *is* that person. Different articles and situation call for different tense. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 11:49, May 4, 2014 (UTC)


Just remembered I wanted to start a discussion on how we write dates.

I think that if we're using British English we should write dates as Day/Month/Year - as that is how we do it.

When it comes to writing it out I've been writing dates as 1st January, 2014, for example. That's how I've always done it and looks and reads better to me. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 11:51, May 4, 2014 (UTC)

Yeahhh.... Hmm. I'm on a fence about this issue. On the one hand, I think you're right in that, with BE format, it's DD/MM/YYYY, however on the other, I've become used to the extended form of MM/DD/YYYY and find it looks neater without the 'st/nd/rd/th' letters after the days. This doesn't occur when writing the date as January 1, 2014. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 11:58, May 4, 2014 (UTC)


Due to a conflict of sorts, I think it's important to specify how pages are sorted. To me, only the word 'the' should be sorted off articles. However, another user believes that other words should also be sorted off to prevent them all from being sorted under the one letter. The articles in question are the 'The Adventure of... ' pages. The other user believes that 'The Adventure of...' should also be sorted off, however I don't think so, due to the reasoning that those words are part of the title. It is standard wiki practise to sort off 'the' on articles. It is not standard to sort any other words. Thus, I think only that word should be sorted off. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 07:28, May 20, 2014 (UTC)

I think how we sorted them before was fine. Otherwise they'll all be categorized under a. A lot of times when the stories names are given, "The Adventure of" part is omitted, so it makes sense to me to sort them minus that. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 16:45, May 20, 2014 (UTC)
What sort of precedent does this set? That if a large number of articles start with the same word, we sort them differently? What about the different people who play Sherlock Holmes? Should we sort them based on actor? As in, Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch) is sorted under 'C'? Theis is discretionary, and thus I think it should be consistent with only the one word being sorted off all the time. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 16:49, May 20, 2014 (UTC)
Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch) should be sorted under C in Category: Versions of Sherlock Holmes and under H in Category: Characters: Sherlock (2010) --Tribble-Freund (talk) 18:02, May 20, 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that it really does, as this is a special case, but is it really important if it sets a precedent? What does it matter? In this case I think we should do as we had been doing previously - it doesn't have to reflect on how we sort anything else if we don't want it to. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 21:33, May 20, 2014 (UTC)


Okay, to start off, it would really be good to get some answers for the topics already discussed. Second, and the point of this; speculation.

We're a wiki. And encyclopeadia. Fanfiction is not allowed, and yet we don't have a stance on speculation, which really, can be considered headcanon.

Speculation is unneeded. Speculation calls into question the verifiability of this wiki, hence the need for references (an issue mentioned above but still not decided upon).

I'm not going to mince words. In short, I suggest a 'cite needed' stance. If there is no reference, there is no fact, and thus, has no place on a page. We have a 'cite needed' template, and the addition of that is fine as it states the information is unverified. There is, of course, a limit to that, but I'm not debating that. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 02:10, May 22, 2014 (UTC)

There is a line in the MoS (Just moved it to Basics) that states that the wiki is encyclopaedic in style and should be factual and avoid speculation. I think this should be enough.
I'm not really in favour of being too strict on this issue as I think we can trust our editors to be able to accurately write about TV shows/films/books etc, without always having to cite references. However, for yet to be release material references are always a good idea I think. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 13:27, June 14, 2014 (UTC)

Non-enforced policies

Okay, there are a few things that I think we should encourage on the wiki, and state that it is encouraged, but not actively enforce. We've discussed a few of these above, but I thought an actual section would be best.

I feel like, when an edit is made, a summary should be given. This helps other users see what the change was about, and perhaps provides justification for it.

The second reason is when undoing edits. I feel like a justification really should be given in those cases in order to explain why it was undone. Otherwise, the other person might not understand and it results in pointless edit-warring, or a lengthy discussion that might have been avoided (because the longer an issue goes on, the more adamant people are about their viewpoints, I've notice—myself included). Thoughts? Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 04:44, May 24, 2014 (UTC)

This discussion doesn't belong on the MoS talk page - please continue it elsewhere if you wish to do so. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 13:22, June 14, 2014 (UTC)


I keep getting into debates, so input for this would be awesome.

So, basan lly, any <br> tags should be changed to <br />, and then they should start on a new line so it's easier to read in source mode (the only exception being if it screws up something on the actual aesthetics of the page). For instance:

|family = [[Mr Holmes]] (father)<br /> [[Mrs Holmes]] (mother)<br /> [[Mycroft Holmes (Gatiss)|Mycroft Holmes]] (brother)

should be changed to

|family = [[Mr Holmes]] (father)<br />
[[Mrs Holmes]] (mother)<br />
[[Mycroft Holmes (Gatiss)|Mycroft Holmes]] (brother)

The other one is spacing underneath infoboxes. I like spacing (obviously ^^^^), however there are times that it's unneeded. For instance, we already have the }} tags moved so they're on a new line. Starting the content of an article even further under that just adds unnecessary spaces. I propose all instances of:

|appearances = something or other
'''NAME''' ...

be changed to

|appearances = something or other
}}'''NAME''' ...

As I said, just having those spaces in unnecessary, and doesn't make the page any better in source mode. I've already changed a lot of them until they started being undone, so this is also just to say that I won't change any more if no one changes them back until this issue is resolved. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 06:05, June 4, 2014 (UTC)

I can't support this format because in the actual infobox the spacing will be different. --Sherrinford (talk) 06:19, June 4, 2014 (UTC)
After having looked at both versions I think it should stay how it was before. Fruipit's suggestion leaves unnecessary spaces in the info box. However, I don't think this is something that needs to be in the MoS. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 06:58, June 4, 2014 (UTC)
The first I can agree to because, while it's not immediately evident, I can sort of see a difference that wasn't pointed out earlier. However, the spaces on the second one is completely unnecessary. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 07:01, June 4, 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot to comment on the second issue. I agree that there shouldn't be an extra space after the end of an info box, it can leave unnecessary space at the top of a page. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 07:11, June 4, 2014 (UTC)
That's okay ^^" I do know that it doesn't do it all the time, but for the sake of consistency, I do think it's best to just have everything the same. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 07:12, June 4, 2014 (UTC)

Where we are right now

I thought it might help to start discussion under a fresh header, trying to sum up where we are now with this.

We appear to be agreed that this wiki should use:

  • British English - including date style which should be for example: 1 January, 2014
  • In-universe style on: character articles, location articles, any articles on props or costumes, plot sections of episode/book/film articles?, (I'm sure there's more here that I'm forgetting)
    • The feeling seems to be that people would prefer that in universe articles be in present tense
  • Real world or out of universe style on: actors, directors, writers, other crew, the shows/films/books themselves and individual episodes - apart from plot sections?, filming locations, anything I'm forgetting?

Things we don't appear to be agreed on:

  • Links - I think we should just limit links to once per section on an article and not limit it any further than that
  • References - do we want to use the <ref> method of references on articles or perhaps have references to source material (books, films, tv shows etc) be placed in articles in brackets like for example: ("A Study in Pink") or ("ASiP") if we wanted to shorten it. This means people can clearly and quickly see where information comes from without breaking the flow of what they're reading, other references would still use the usual ref format.
  • I think real world/OOU style articles should be in past tense but I don't think this has been agreed on. In my opinion this gives a more uniform style and saves having to go a change these things to past tense later on.

Any other issues we should still discuss that I'm forgetting? --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 23:10, June 7, 2014 (UTC)

There are still ongoing discussions on the image policy talk page. I think that we should have a dedicated page that lists all open discussions – perhaps a category that is added automatically when the 'open discussion' template is added?
Now, I believe that we should only link once per page. Many of our pages aren't very long, and it's impractical. It's also kind of ugly, imo.
References – okay, I disagree with you on that, too. We have the outside references as coming up like '[2]', but not episodic ones? This leads to inconsistency, and the references don't always reflect what part of the paragraph we're talking about if they're placed at the end. If they're placed in the middle, that definitely breaks the flow.
I really don't think there's an issue with changing things later on. If someone is the writer for a show, then they are. If they were a writer, then they used to be. If we don't reflect what is accurate in the writing, there's honestly no point in even bothering. If I read the sentence 'Steven Moffat was a writer for Sherlock', I'm going to automatically assume that he isn't anymore.
One more thing is the lack of details on how articles are formatted. Do we use en dashes or em dashes? What about parenthesis, and logical formatting? Are we to use a serial comma when making lists? These details may seem minor, but they are important when we want all our articles to be neat and consistent across the entire wiki. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 00:32, June 8, 2014 (UTC)
That's how the template already works. See the category on this page.
I think on the Image policy, perhaps no one is interested in those proposed changes.
I'm not interested in putting every tiny detail in this, as I've said before, perhaps we can have article templates/guidelines. People might find that helpful. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 08:18, June 8, 2014 (UTC)
Oh. I didn't notice. That's fine, then. What I was proposing was a page that we put all the proposed changed onto (except for deletion notices) so that way, anyone following the page will be updated whenever something else is proposed. We don't have to have the entire conversation on there—perhaps just a link and a sentence explaining what it is about so people can easily participate or ignore it if they don't care so much about a particular issue.
Well, the fact is that it has been proposed as a change, and thus needs to be sorted out at some point, whether people being 'for' or 'against' such proposals. It's fine if they aren't really interested, but this is for the sake of the wiki. Unless we come up with a time limit whereby if no one argues against the changes, after a week it is assumed that people agree or don't care, and they go through.
All I'm truly interested is in formatting consistencies. I don't care if we come up with guidelines along the way, but that does mean that, for the time being at least, I will edit and format the way I see necessary, and other users will do the same. And I don't mind templates or guidelines (actually, I love templates that make things easier), but I know that they aren't always effective—if we have a clear-cut policy saying that we use en dashes, it doesn't mean anything bad for anyone—they can use em dashes or hyphens if they want or if they don't know how to use en dashes. All it means is that if we change it to fit into the rest of the wiki, we have a policy we can point to and say, "well hey, look. This is how we do it on this wiki". Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 08:29, June 8, 2014 (UTC)

Discussion concluded: Issues discussed and put into the policy as per this thread: Thread:10250. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 13:12, June 14, 2014 (UTC)

Finalising this policy

I think that we've come to a point where we can remove the "Under Construction" header from this policy and put it in place as official wiki policy.

Following on from our recent community discussion (Thread:10250) I've reworded and reordered the policy slightly and feel it's now in a good state to be considered "finished".

Of course, this doesn't mean that anyone can't start a new discussion on this page in the future with any issues they feel need to be added or changed - it just means that as the policy stands now it would be applied to the wiki.

Opinions? --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 13:32, June 14, 2014 (UTC)

I think that it is still under construction, but not to the degree that it needs the header. Will the Elemetary cite templates be created in the same way as the {{Cite Sherlock2010}} and {{Cite RitchieFilms}}? Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 00:12, June 17, 2014 (UTC)
If you want to start discussion about using templates for citations please do so elsewhere. This is just for stating if you think the MoS can be put in place as policy as it is. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 22:22, June 19, 2014 (UTC)
I was just asking if they should be the same as the others :/ No one else has created another solution, or argued the one in place, and so I was just going to keep using the same format. I just thought it was nice to bring it up here before I did that. Fruipit (talkcontribseditcount) 22:30, June 19, 2014 (UTC)

Discussion closed: No more input on this for some time so have implemented as official wiki policy. --Amateur Obsessive (talk) 14:06, July 3, 2014 (UTC)

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