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Bulbanews:Manual of style

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This is an instruction manual that addresses the conventions adopted by Bulbanews in writing, editing, formatting and linking. Please read it before you contribute to Bulbanews and refer to it when necessary.

Any questions or disputes regarding Bulbanews style should be directed to George Hutcheon.

For information on how to submit an article to Bulbanews, please see the article submission guide.

Basic wikicode

In addition to writing articles with factual, useful and relevant information backed up by reliable sources, Bulbanews contributors are expected to demonstrate fluency in the English language and a basic understanding of wikicode. Some of the most commonly used aspects of wikicode are listed below. Should you forget, above the text editors for articles are a row of buttons with many common wikicode attributes.

  • Text formatting: To make text bold, put three apostrophes on either side of it, such as '''Bulbanews'''. This will result in Bulbanews. However, bold text is mostly for any names or facts which need a very large amount of emphasis. For a normal emphasis (such as translations of Japanese text), it is common style to put text in italics, which is done with two apostrophes instead of three, such as ''Bulbanews''. This will result in Bulbanews. Use your judgment and follow precedent as to when bold or italics are appropriate.
  • Links: Whenever something is referenced in an article that has its own article on Bulbapedia, be sure to link to it. This is done by putting two brackets, a vertical pipe and the letters bp on either side of a word. For example, {{bp|Pokémon}} will result in Pokémon. However, sometimes there's no way to use the exact name of an article in a sentence without the sentence being awkwardly worded. In these instances, to have different text display than the article's name, put vertical pipes between bp, the article's name and the text you would like to display. For example, {{bp|Pokémon|Pocket Monsters}} will result in Pocket Monsters, which you may notice links to the Pokémon article.
    • Short links: There are several quick links which are not only useful, but common style. For example, when linking to a Pokémon article, typing {{p|Pikachu}} results in Pikachu, which you may notice links to the article Pikachu (Pokémon) on Bulbapedia. Another quick link is {{m|Splash}} for the move Splash, for example.
    • External links: Other links can be done with using a single bracket. In this instance, a vertical line is not necessary to divide the name from the link. However, the full address is needed to link to a page. For example, to link to the Bulbagarden Forums, typing [http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/index.php Bulbagarden Forums] would result in Bulbagarden Forums. External links are primarily used to cite sources and to link to any related Web sites.
      • Do not use any links or templates in an article's blurb. It will mess up the Front page and Bulbabot.
  • Bulbasaur
    Images: Images are added in a manner similar to links. To add an image, link to the image's name, but add File: before the name. For example, [[File:001MS.png]] will add in the image 001MS.png. Formatting attributes can be added to an image as well, divided with vertical lines. For example, [[File:001Bulbasaur.png|thumb|100px|Bulbasaur]] will add the image to the right. All images are uploaded to Bulbagarden Archives.
    • If the image is for some reason hosted elsewhere, just insert the image's link. For example, entering http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y114/Encyclopika/Bulbasaur.jpg would result in the image showing. Do not link to images that do not belong to you or that you do not have permission to use.
  • Headlines: These are not to be confused with traditional news article headlines. Wiki articles are divided by levels of headlines, much like a large outline. These are indicated by equals signs on either side of the headline text. There are six levels of headlines, with one equals sign being the first and highest level, which would look like =Headline text=, and six equals signs being the sixth and lowest level, which would look like ======Headline text======. First- and second-level headlines are underlined. Text size decreases with lower level headlines.

Naming conventions

Bulbanews ideally uses character names appropriate to their context and in a way that is understandable by English-language readers.

  • Articles about English-language releases and anime episodes and movies should always use English character names.
  • Articles about Japanese-language game and other merchandise releases should use English character names unless the original Japanese names are for some reason necessary for the translation to make sense. This also applies to articles relating to another language.
  • Japanese-language anime episode titles should use the original Japanese character names. However, accompany the Japanese name with the English name in parenthesis or via the {{tt}} template inside of the article. The template should not be used in the article title, tagline, or blurb.
  • Character names in other languages are rarely used on Bulbanews, but they should be translated to English. However, accompany the translated name with the English name in parenthesis or via the {{tt}} template.

Linking to the Bulbapedia articles that correspond with Pokémon-related names is especially important when Japanese names are used (such as in episode titles). Readers who are unfamiliar with Japanese names may hover their cursors over Bulbapedia links to see a name's English equivalent in the link's URL, or they may click the link to obtain more information.

Names of people

All modern persons should have their name given in Western order. Since the definition of "modern" may vary from culture to culture, for the Japanese, all names from the Taishō period onwards 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 Ohtani and Rica Matsumoto instead of Shin'ichi Hiromoto, Ikue Ōtani and Rika Matsumoto.

Japanese

Romanization

The primary and preferred method of romanization of Japanese used on Bulbanews will be the utilization of the trademarked name of the subject in question. For example, while Umbreon's Japanese name of ブラッキー would be taken literally to be romanized as Burakki, the name copyrighted by Game Freak and Nintendo is in fact Blacky: note how "Burakki" is a close approximation of this in katakana. A table of these trademarked names is found here, itself derived from various official Nintendo sources as well as the Japanese list of trademarks.

The secondary method of romanization of Japanese used on Bulbanews will be the Hepburn standard, itself used widely by the world outside Japan to transliterate Japanese text. Long vowels are indicated by using the macron-topped letters Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū ā ē ī ō ū, and should be used rather than a doubling of the letter, a tilde, a circumflex, or an unmarked vowel. Please note that if the copyrighted romanization uses one of these that it is not wrong (i.e., オオタチ Ootachi, Furret, which is trademarked with the doubled O).

For Hepburn romanization:

  • I-macron (Ī ī) and e-macron (Ē ē) is to be used when romanizing Japanese words of foreign origin, hence kōhī for コーヒー but Iizuka for いいづか. A hint to look out for is whether or not a () is used to lengthen it.
  • O-macron (Ō ō) is to be used for both おう (as in しんいちろう Shin'ichirō) and おお (as in おおづか Ōzuka)
  • E-macron (Ē ē) is rarely used, except with the interjection ええ and some foreign loanwords.
    • Please take note that verbs such as 思う omou and 呪う norou do not have long vowels.
      • However, subjunctive forms such as 思おう omoō and 呪おう noroō do have long vowels.
  • zu is to be used for both ず and づ; ji is to be used for both じ and ぢ.
  • With ン/ん, there is some free choice whether to use n or m when followed by labial consonants p, b, f and m. Follow popular or established convention on a word-by-word basis, hence, Namba for ナンバ but Hanba for はんば.
  • To simplify matters, always romanize ポケモン as Pokémon; when ポケ is an abbreviated form of Pokémon, romanize it as Poké.

Pokémon terminology and style

Nouns, capitalization and specific terminology

  • The word Pokémon is always capitalized, as well as the names of Pokémon species. So are nouns starting with "Poké," such as Pokéblock, PokéNav and Poké Flute. Note, however, there is no one common trend for spelling of words beginning with "Poké"—they can be written as a compound word, with the second part of the word capitalized or uncapitalized, or as two words with the second word capitalized. Also note that this applies to many nouns starting with "Pokémon," such as Pokémon Trainer.
  • Items and all words in them are always capitalized; they are considered proper nouns for the purposes of Bulbanews. "Leftovers," "Escape Rope" or "Water Stone" are all correct as written. Case should match that of the game text, such as the DeepSeaTooth.
  • Locations should also be capitalized in a manner consistent with English grammar. Ruins of Alph has the A in Alph always capitalized, while numbered routes, such as 101, 217 and so on, are proper nouns and must have the R capitalized.
  • Specific terminology is different; leveling up and legendary Pokémon have a lowercase L, as "starter Pokémon" would have a lowercase "s" (but, of course, a capital P in Pokémon).
  • Specific types are called "the Water type" and "the Rock type" when used as nouns and "Water-type" and "Rock-type" when used as adjectives, while their subject pages are Water (type) and Rock (type), respectively. Squirtle is a "Water-type" is not correct; Squirtle is a Water type and Squirtle is a Water-type Pokémon are.
  • 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. TCG terminology of "basic Pokémon," "stage 1 Pokémon" and "stage 2 Pokémon" should not spill over into other media, as Pikachu and several other Pokémon are considered basic in the TCG sense yet are Pokémon that have undergone one evolution in their lifetimes, making them first-evolution Pokémon, more akin to Charmeleon than unevolved Pokémon, which their pre-evolutions are.

Episode numbering

The Bulbanews rules of episode article titling dictate that the order in which the episode aired in Japan is its title. Episodes of the Best Wishes series are titled BW001, BW002, etc. Similarly, episodes from the Diamond & Pearl series are titled DP001, DP002 and so on. Episodes of the Advanced Generation are titled AG001, AG002 and so on. Note that AG101 is Vanity Affair—the skipped episode is AG101 (unaired). Both clip shows in the anime's history are also counted as episodes. Episodes of the original series are titled EP001, EP002 and so on, with the numbering system being that of, again, Japanese-aired episodes. Note that Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out! are not considered episodes in the series timeline. Side story episodes are SS001, SS002 and so on in the order they were aired in Japan.

Image preferences

For further details, please see the Archives manual of style.

Images are often a helpful visual addition to the content of articles. They give additional context and attract readers. However, in some cases, it is questionable what images are best used for articles.

  • If there is official artwork, such as the Ken Sugimori stock artwork, anime stock artwork or video game sprites, this is always the preferred image. These images can usually be found in the Archives categories for each Pokémon or character. For example, Sugimori artwork of Bulbasaur could be found by accessing Category:Bulbasaur on the Archives.
    • Anime stock artwork of Pokémon should only be used for articles about the anime, while Dream World Pokémon artwork should only be used for articles relating to the Dream World (as well as Global Link in certain cases). Otherwise, the Sugimori artwork should be used. Sprites should only be used when no other artwork is available, excluding when tables are used. Uncommon artwork, like those from Pokémon Center promotions and Pokémon distributions, may be used when appropriate.
  • If there is no official artwork, such as screenshots from episodes or manga, ones created by the contributing user are preferred over images taken from other sources. There will inevitably be disputes about which user-created image is best, as there is no exact policy on such; however, the image should generally be the highest quality and most informative image.
  • Overwriting existing images is acceptable, since Bulbanews favors the image with the higher quality, not the greater seniority. However, please avoid disputes by discussing the change with the user who uploaded the former image before uploading the new image.

General Bulbanews style

  • Bulbanews is written in AP Style. When in doubt about abbreviations or appropriate word usage, consult the AP Stylebook.
  • The inverted pyramid style of journalism is the most appropriate for the brief nature of most of Bulbanews' stories. Include the most relevant and important information in your blurb (a.k.a. lead), and include less crucial information in the body of the story.
  • Stories must include credible sources. These are to be presented as links at the end of the article under the headline Information.
  • Do not correct quoted speech: Present it as it is, adding "(sic)" where appropriate to indicate incorrect spelling or grammar. However, spelling may be corrected.
  • Use bold ('''bold''') for strong emphasis. Do not spell words completely capitalized.
  • Song, movie and episode titles are italicized.
  • Keep your opinion out of what you write unless it is a column or editorial. Avoid opinionated words—articles must convey a neutral tone.
  • Use a spell-checker to catch large errors, but a spell-checker will not catch incorrect use of "there," "their" and "they're," and a grammar-checker may or may not catch mistakes such as typing "nest" instead of "best."
  • A tagline is a brief, single statement that summarizes or states a major fact from your story. It is meant as a subhead to the article's main headline and should not include the same information as the headline.
  • A blurb consists of the first several sentences of your story, quickly informing the reader the "who, what, where, when and why" of your story. It is your lead in most cases.
  • Use Bulbapedia links as often as they are appropriate (most of the time). Wikipedia links are helpful for unfamiliar, non-Pokémon terms.
  • Avoid exclamation points, and never use one in a serious news article.
  • We are not held accountable to any sort of corporation, such as Nintendo or Game Freak. We are not their cheerleaders or advertisers. It is one matter to inform the public of a new product of interest, but quite another to tout its benefits or provide links to where the readers can purchase it.

Spelling and capitalization

  • "Toward" and related words, such as "afterward," "forward" and "backward," do not have an s.
  • A specific named unit is all capitals, such as "Saffron Pokémon Center." If more than one are used, the specific names are capitalized but not the common word; for example: "Saffron and Celadon Pokémon centers."
  • Numbers, including years, simply need an s without an apostrophe when they are plural; for example: "in the 1990s" and "He is in his 20s."
  • Likewise, fully capitalized acronyms and abbreviations do not require the apostrophe in plural usage; for example: "CDs and DVDs." The exceptions to this rule are fully capitalized acronyms and abbreviations that consist of one character: "He got all A's" is the correct form in this case.
  • Titles ahead of a name are capitalized, such as "Frontier Brain Noland." Put a long title in back of a name (making it lowercase). If it is a job description, it is always lowercase, such as "challenger Ash Ketchum."
  • Hourly times do not use 0's (5 p.m., not 5:00 PM) and the a.m. and p.m. are written lowercase with periods. Use "noon" or "midnight" instead of "12."
  • Dates are to be presented with the month abbreviated according to news style and preceding the day of the month, which does not take an ordinal suffix. A year may optionally be added, with a comma after the day of the month. Months that are never abbreviated are March, April, May, June and July. Other month abbreviations are Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Nov. and Dec. References to months without dates attached are not abbreviated. Therefore:
    • Sept. 1, 2005
    • September 2005
    • Sept. 1
    • September (no date)
  • Names of states in the U.S. are to be abbreviated as dictated by AP Style. Most states with shorter names are not abbreviated (such as Texas, Idaho, Alaska and Utah). The state abbreviations in AP style are not the same as U.S. Postal Service abbreviations. Cities and country names are not abbreviated.

Specific items

  • The correct spelling of the subject of this Web site is Pokémon, not pokemon or Pokemon.
  • It is Wii, not the Wii, and not Nintendo Wii. The same applies for Wii U. However, Nintendo DS is correct style.
  • Also, you have six Pokémon in your party, not 6 Pokémons; you have four Bulbasaur, not 4 Bulbasaurs.
  • This website is Bulbanews, not BulbaNews. This style applies for all of the Bulbagarden websites.

Punctuation

  • Use a hyphen to connect related adjectives, such as 9-foot board, first-place finisher, 3-year-old girl. When linked adjectives are not related and not dependent upon each other to make sense, they require a comma, such as "the rusted, dull saw."
  • A sentence with one subject and two verbs does not need a comma. A sentence that is constructed with subject-verb and subject-verb does need a comma; for example: "Pikachu ate an apple and threw away the core," and "Pikachu ate an apple, and Pichu ate a pear."
  • News style dictates that in a series of words separated by commas, the final comma in the series should be omitted. This is contrary to conventional English-language style. For example, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle is correct on Bulbanews, whereas Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle is not.
  • Never comma splice, as in "Misty said being a Gym Leader is hard, her sisters give her plenty of trouble." Instead of the comma, you have three options: a conjunction ("because" is good in this case), making it two sentences, or using a semi-colon (the best choice in this case, but don't over-use it).
  • Starting a direct quote requires its own paragraph. An indirect quote (paraphrasing what someone else said) directly related to the preceding sentence can be part of the same paragraph. Try to have paragraphs be no longer than six lines.
  • The American use of punctuation within quotes is preferred to the less often-seen British usage. Punctuation at the end of a sentence is to be placed within the quotation marks, if applicable. Exceptions are colons, semi-colons and question marks that are not part of the quote.
  • Use a comma, not a period, when connecting a quote to a speech tag. It is not: "You do this right." he said. This is correct: "You do this right," he said. If the punctuation ending the quote is a ! or a ?, the pronoun is still lower-case, such as "You get it right!" he said.
  • Names of cities, when accompanied by a state or country name, should be followed by a comma. For example, In Tokyo, Japan, you can find lots of Pokémon fans. and The event will take place in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 17.

Usage

  • Nine and below are spelled out, whereas 10 and above are written as numbers, including ordinals such as "first" and "11th."
    • Exceptions are numerous, including ages, dimensions and addresses, all of which use numerals. Avoid starting sentences with numbers, but when it is unavoidable, spell them out, even those 10 and above. The only exceptions to this rule are years.
  • The word "age" isn't needed with an age, such as "Ash Ketchum, age 10," unless the numeral can be confused with some other figure in the same sentence. Hyphenate an age when ahead of the noun, such as "4-year-old boy," and use separate words otherwise, such as, "He is 4 years old."
  • Subjects and verbs must match, such as "Electric and Psychic are my favorite types." Some misleading pronouns are singular, such as "everyone": "Everyone brought their Poké Balls" is incorrect—instead, write "Everyone brought his or her Poké Balls."
  • "It's" is a contraction for "it is" as in "It's time we got this right." "Its" is possessive as in "The Poochyena wants its bone."
  • Avoid first-person writing (using "I," "me," "us" and "we" to refer to yourself) unless you're writing a first-person feature, column or opinion piece.
  • Avoid second-person writing (using "you" to refer to the reader) unless you are writing directions, a second-person feature or a column.
  • Don't worry about overuse of "said." Speech tags such as "claimed" makes the reader think the writer doubts what is being said.
  • In speech tags, the subject goes ahead of the verb.
    • Preferred: "You get it right," May said.
    • Avoid: "You get it right," said May.
    • Accepted: "You get it right," said May, the youngest coordinator in the room.
  • Use "plenty" and "several" instead of "much," "lots" or "a lot" except in a direct quote. Note that "a lot" is two words.

References

  • Some guidelines were adapted from Nils Rosdahl's Notes on News Style.

External resources