Forum:The Case for Capitalisation

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Forums: Redwood Grove > The Case for Capitalisation

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to all.

It's your friendly resident avian here to bring you a forum post discussing the state of capitalisation on the wiki. Note that this primarily concerns prose (article body) and has nothing to do with canonical item names. Wasting no time, here are the current guidelines per RS:STYLE:


  • All item names, and most monster names, are normal nouns – that is, always lowercase (except at the beginning of a sentence etc): helm of neitiznot is the example, despite it containing the place name Neitiznot, it's still lowercase (may or may not have anything to do with the system Jagex uses to store names). This is the primary point of concern.
  • All place names, NPC names, quest names, task names, (etc) and skills are proper nouns – always uppercase, per ingame (also certain monsters, like Sigmund, Nomad, King Black Dragon ("the King Black Dragon is a black dragon")).
  • Care is to be taken in certain cases, in places where the name is a verb, like mining, smithing, fletching, etc. "The queen can be smooshed by mining the pillar, requiring level 10 Mining."
  • Other things should have common sense applied on a case by case basis. Normally, it should be easy to work out what to do.
  • (included from another section): In a heading, capitalise only the first letter of the first word and the first letter of any proper nouns, and leave all of the other letters in lowercase. Quest titles, skills, names, cities, and so on should all have the first letter capitalised. For example, "Fishing equipment", not "Fishing Equipment".

Regarding this list, the point of contention is the first one. To me it is quite clear as it is now, however there are some edge cases that would be nice to formally address. I will use Helm of neitiznot for my example as it is also used in RS:STYLE. We know the "true" name of the item is Helm of neitiznot. With this in mind, consider the following clauses:

Case A
  1. X mark.svg Equip a helm of neitiznot.
  2. Yes check.svg Equip a helm of Neitiznot.
  3. X mark.svg Equip a Helm of neitiznot. [1]
  4. X mark.svg Equip a Helm of Neitiznot

  1. ^ (as the name appears in-game)

As the guidelines stand right now, the proper version of the above clause should be #1, as it represents the item most accurately to its in-game name: using lowercase for a common noun "helm" and maintaining lowercase for proper noun "neitiznot" because that's how it is presented in game. This is the subject of the discussion. In clause #2, an alternate example is provided with this — let's call it an oversight — dealt with. In this case we use the lowercase common noun while capitalising the proper noun. Consider clause #2 the "pretty prose" version. It is basically as before, the difference being that the proper noun capitalisation is respected, regardless of the item's actual name. Clause #3 is incorrect due to the arbitrary capitalisation of "helm" and the same goes for clause #4. As far as which of the two is less correct, I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader.

Consider a second example, the Holy sanguinesti staff:

Case B
  1. X mark.svg Equip a holy sanguinesti staff.
  2. Yes check.svg Equip a holy Sanguinesti staff.
  3. X mark.svg Equip a Holy sanguinesti staff. [1]
  4. X mark.svg Equip a Holy Sanguinesti staff.

  1. ^ (as the name appears in-game)

A similar issue presents itself. While clause #3 is the canonical name of the item, it does not look appropriate in most prose, largely due to the lack of capitalisation on "Sanguinesti". "Holy" and "staff" need not be capitalised as they are common nouns, so #3 and #4 are not looking great. That leaves #1, which lacks a capitalised proper noun, and clause #2, which appears to be the most correct in my opinion.

Finally: Achievement Diaries. For this one I am undecided. Note that the difficulty and region are interchangeable; examples:

Case C.1
  1. The Varrock easy diary
  2. The Varrock Easy diary
  3. The Varrock Easy Diary


Case C.2
  1. The easy Varrock diary
  2. The Easy Varrock diary
  3. The Easy Varrock Diary

(you could also factor in the word "Achievement" before "Diary" for argument's sake)

In the above example, the question is whether or not the difficulty should be capitalised. Secondary consideration is given to the placement of the difficulty (which could also be standardised, though it is less of a concern).

Please state your preference for each example given above, and optionally explain your reasoning. A simple 'Support' will be considered as giving preference to prettier prose (look for the green check marks Yes check.svg).

Suggestions are, of course, warmly welcomed. That's all from me, folks.

Wishing love and good fortune to all.

Cлава Україні i героям слава.

Owl (1).pngOwl (t | c) • 19:23, 9 March 2022 (UTC)


Support — I very much so prefer pretty prose. It is important in official contexts for names to retain their original spelling, but for article bodies, I believe it is best to give preference to proper orthography, unless it would create confusion. As for the diaries, I abstain as I have no strong feelings, one way or the other. Owl (1).pngOwl (t | c) • 19:23, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

Support - I didn't realise the style guide which we've been quoting in edits like this for over 2 years said otherwise. For diaries I prefer uncapitalised difficulty but capitalised diary name, ie "easy Varrock Diary" but I don't have a strong preference. zTUG5mD.png Crow  18:35, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

Support - For the case of the diary, I am inclined to go for the easy Varrock diary styling, but I can also accept easy Varrock Diary as well. Jakesterwars (talk) 21:25, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

Support - I think this is the right way to go, and has been what we have informally been doing. The trickier thing is determining what exactly is a proper noun. Something like Kyren fish (6) is a bit of a question mark for me. I don't think that needs to be a part of this forum or whatever, but we should just keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily solve all of our issues here. Definitely a step in the right direction though, we should update the style guide. As far as the diaries go, I think capitalizing diary and lowercasing the difficulty is fine (this is what they seem to do in game chisel dialogue) but I have no strong opinions here. I would favor the structure "<difficulty> <Region> Diary" slightly. - Andmcadams (talk) 02:04, 13 March 2022 (UTC)

Support - Pretty prose and lower-cased tier followed by diary name capitalised, I strongly dislike tier being in between the two uppercased things. As Andrew mentioned, it would obviously be done for things we know to be proper nouns. Fjaratalk 15:33, 4 April 2022 (UTC)

Case-by-case Personally, I think the easiest to understand would be option 4 for cases 1 and 2. Starting with a capital letter deliniates the name of the item from the surrounding prose, and proper nouns should be capitalized. For the diaries, I would agree with "The easy Varrock diary", though technically "The Easy Varrock diary" would be more correct. Ioticonfo (talk) 22:42, 5 April 2022 (UTC)

Close - RS:STYLE will officially be amended to reflect the proposal here, which is mostly already what editors have already been doing as an unwritten rule. -- Recent uploads SpineTalkContribs 03:14, 20 April 2022 (UTC)