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To make Heroes Wiki more consistent and make articles clearer and easier to understand, naming conventions should be followed when adding new articles.

When deciding on a name for a new article, the primary goals are clarity, precision, and accuracy. A clear name helps readers understand what content the article describes, a specific name helps readers distinguish similar articles from one another, and an accurate name insures that the article's name reflects rather than contradicts canon sources.

Please Note: If you want to try out or practice wiki markup or other formatting, please use the Sandbox, not an actual article.

General Naming Conventions

To make your article easier for other editors to find, you should follow standard naming conventions. The basic rule is that the article title should appear however it would if it were used in the middle of a sentence (bearing in mind that the Wiki software will automatically capitalize the first letter, but that links ignore the capitalization of the first letter).

To test whether your article title is appropriate, simply use it in a sentence, ignoring the capitalization of the first letter. If it looks good, then you have the right title. For example, if you are writing an article about Peter's bangs, trying the sentence "Peter's Bangs look preposterous" reveals that a better title is "Peter's bangs".

Some basic guidelines:

  • Do not capitalize the second or subsequent words of the article's title unless they are proper nouns. Titles (whether of episodes, books, graphic novels, films or what have you) should be capitalized as they normally would be: the first and last word should be capitalized, as should every important word in between, excluding articles, short prepositions, and the like.
  • Use singular nouns whenever possible. Only if the article explicitly refers to multiple subjects (e.g. Linderman's thugs) should it be plural. If a word is frequently used both singularly and plurally, use the singular form. Links to articles may be easily pluralized by simply adding the plural suffix outside the link (e.g. [[symbol]]s).
  • Adjectives should redirect to their noun form. For example, do not add an article called "Angry". Instead, add an article called "Anger" and redirect "Angry" to "Anger".
  • If your article title is a verb, it should be added in the gerund form. For example, Help:Editing is correctly labeled "Editing", not "Edit", "Edits", or "To Edit".
  • Use the common names of persons and things. For example, Nathan's younger son is "Monty Petrelli", not "Montgomery Petrelli". See below for more on character names.
  • Be precise. If an article's title will lead to ambiguity, you should consider adding a disambiguation page. For example, since there are several tapes in the series, "Claire's tape" is preferable to "tape".
  • Prefer spelled out phrases to acronyms.
  • Avoid special characters in article titles. In particular, ampersands (&) tend to break links. Use "and" instead, even if it means altering a title.
  • Avoid any characters used for emphasis, such as quotation marks, exclamation points, or asterisks, unless they are part of a proper noun as it appears in the show ("9th Wonders!" is correct, "*-*OMG PETER ROXXORZ <_< !!1!" is not.)
  • Avoid using definite or indefinite articles ("the", "a", "an") in the article's name unless they are used as part of a proper name or title. "The Haitian" and "The Company" are fine, since those names are used like titles. "Explosion" and "Train wreck" are better choices than "The Explosion" and "The Train wreck" because they provide more flexibility in using the article's title in a sentence as a link ("Isaac predicts an [[explosion]]" instead of "Isaac predicts an [[The Explosion|explosion]]").

Character Names

The following criteria should be considered in order when deciding the name for a character's article:

  • Names given in canon sources: Characters can generally be divided into two groups: named characters and unnamed characters. If a character is at least partially named, then that name should be used for the character's article. If only a last name is given, precede the name with an appropriate title (Mr. Linderman, Mr. Petrelli). If only a first name is given, use that name (Stanley, Rufus).
  • Names given in near-canon or secondary sources: If a character is named only in Heroes 360 or interviews with creators, use that name (Kelly Shoemaker).
  • Names given in episode credits: Unnamed characters should generally be named as they are listed in the episode's closing credits (Jumpsuit). Please note that names given in canon sources prevail over names listed in the credits. For example, Jeff Tracy is credited as "detective", but tells Isaac his name. Officer Ramsford and Beth Lindall's names appear on their nametags.
  • Descriptive names: If a character is not listed in the closing credits and is unnamed, a simple description will suffice (Lady with a purse).

Special Considerations

  • Assumed names: When a character has assumed a name other than their actual given name, the name most commonly used for the character should be used. For example, Gabriel Gray is Sylar and Sarah Ellis is Eden McCain. On the other hand, Claire Bennet has used the aliases "Vivian Lewis" and "Claire Butler", but should be listed under her original name. It's usually a good idea to add a redirect for any aliases a character uses (or for the character's formal name if the character generally uses an alias).
  • Conflicting descriptions: For unnamed characters, it's likely that a simple description, including one listed in the closing credits, may not be specific enough to distinguish the character from others. This is particularly the case with police officers, federal agents, medical personnel, agents of The Company, and the like. Such simple descriptions should be amended as much as is necessary to distinguish the character from others. As a last resort, characters can be numbered (Linderman's guard, Linderman's guard (II)).

Power Names

The following criteria should be considered in order when deciding the name for a new power:

  • Names given in canon sources: If a name is given for a power in a canon source, that name should be used, regardless of whether it is the best description or not (Rapid cellular regeneration, induced radioactivity).
  • Names given in near-canon or secondary sources: If the power is unnamed in canon sources but is named in Heroes 360 or interviews with show creators, that name should be used (Telepathy).
  • Names in common use in other works: Common names for powers which are not explicitly named should be used if they are wide-spread and readily understandable. Names from comic books, other television shows and films, and from parapsychology are all good candidates (Technopathy, Telekinesis, Pyrokinesis). Uncommon names, particularly those which do not appear in most dictionaries or which are creations of fans of other works, are probably best avoided.
  • Descriptive names: If the power has not been named and a common name for it does not exist, a descriptive name of the power is appropriate.
  • Holder's name: If an ability has been displayed on-screen, but its effects, limitations, causes, mechanisms, or nature cannot be determined with any certainty, making a non-speculative descriptive name impossible, the ability should simply be named for the person who displayed it. (Maya's ability, Alejandro's ability). Such a name serves as a placeholder until a non-speculative descriptive name can be determined, or until a name is given in a canon, near-canon, or official secondary source.

Guidelines for descriptive power names

  • Avoid speculation: A descriptive name should avoid speculating as to the effects, limitations, causes, mechanisms, or nature of the power. Use only information confirmed by a canon source. Don't make assumptions.
  • Breadth: Try to find a name that is neither over- or under-broad. If a name would include effects we haven't seen a character perform, it's probably too broad. If a name doesn't cover all of the effects we've seen a character perform, then it's probably underbroad. Again, a name should support what has been seen in canon sources without either speculatively expanding or erroneously restricting.
  • Simplicity: A primary goal of naming articles is clarity. The most impressive or technical name for a power is usually not the clearest. A simple, descriptive name will make it easier for readers to find and understand the article. Avoid names derived from foreign roots and suffixes, except for those which are already commonly used as descriptions of powers. A name with a Latin or Greek neologism is generally going to be hotly disputed and difficult to remember and understand, and frequently will misuse the underlying foreign words. In particular, it is almost never appropriate to simply append "-kinesis" to a Latin or Greek root. "-Kinesis" implies motion or control; it is not merely a suffix which denotes "cool power to do {thing x}". And even in cases where motion or control is appropriate, it's still much better to use a simple English description. Again, the goal is clarity, precision, and accuracy, not creating the "best sounding" name.