I have noticed a trend to list Credit titles exactly as they appear on the submitted article. I am fully aware that book titles can reflect what is shown on the submitted article, but has the capitalization rule been dispensed with completely?

I was going to list the relevant guidelines but I can't access the Wiki pages at present.

The Wiki should be only temporarily down.

but has the capitalization rule been dispensed with completely?

I'm not sure. The old thread was about titles specifically, but I have applied it to credits as well. I don't enter everything exactly as they appear on the publication though, I try to keep some common sense with me, and also consult external sources.

Is it causing problems or something?

Is it causing problems or something?

Not really, but I have noticed a trend where users are beginning to submit credit titles in all manner of styles. If there is a guideline that states standard capitalization rules apply to everything but book titles then I think it should be adhered to. It is analogous to motoring down the freeway without any road rules; the situation becomes somewhat chaotic.

I see the Wiki page has been restored in a different form. I am never quite sure what to expect as my time zone corresponds with the knock off time for the staff and lately the spammers have wreaked havoc for the next 12 hours.

If there is a guideline that states standard capitalization rules apply to everything but book titles then I think it should be adhered to

AFAIK the guidelines were never changed, all there is the staff statement in the forum thread.

I suggested updating the guidelines but no one seemed interested. I don't feel comfortable updating them myself as I can't guarantee that it would be idiomatic and grammatically correct, and I do feel like the wording probably needs to be discussed.

I have to admit that I don't mind things as they are, at least there is a possibility to follow language-specific title capitalization, keeping things grammatically correct. I detest the Discogs capitalization rules as they introduce errors in several languages, including my own mother tongue. We can be more flexible than Discogs - and I hope we will be.

I am never quite sure what to expect as my time zone corresponds with the knock off time for the staff and lately the spammers have wreaked havoc for the next 12 hours.

I know... though for me it's because I'm on the same time zone with them. I'm here mostly at night after work.

I think Bookogs uses the same "general generic guidelines" as Filmogs:
https://www.filmo.gs/wiki/general-generic-guidelines-for-all-databases

I reread the guidelines on the subject and I feel they have been modified because they seem much more flexible than they used to be. But maybe that is simply my poor memory.

I really posted this thread just for personal clarification, which in turn I hope also benefits other users. If we decide that credits can be entered exactly as they appear then I can live with that. I would draw the line with personal names, except in the case where the individual has elected to style their name for a particular reason.

I really do think you underestimate your English skills, but if you don't feel comfortable doing the task that is your choice. I tried rewriting a guideline once and I got so bogged down in detail that I gave up. It was sounding more like a legal contract than a guideline.

If we decide that credits can be entered exactly as they appear then I can live with that.

Yeah, it's not a horrible guideline. Though it shouldn't be absolute, for example I don't think we should be transcribing clear graphic design decisions. Also luckily we have the option to update the capitalization of a credit without a massive hassle.

When I first started I followed Discogs guidelines and capitalised everything. Then thought that this wasn't the case for Bookogs so started adding lower case as on the book. Not sure where I got this idea from but I would like to blame Bacchinalia, thank god he's gone.

Yeah, good riddance Bacchanalia (get the spelling right at least).

Far be it for me to defend that blackguard, but I think he was just obeying the more relaxed rules of Bookogs. If memory serves me correctly, his close relation Auribus strictly conformed to the Discogs standard capitalization rules.

but I think he was just obeying the more relaxed rules of Bookogs

While in general I love the more relaxed rules, and I hope we never enforce the Discogs caps, I have to admit that the unnecessary use of ALL CAPS hurts my eyes. Can we ban that?

I thought you would never ask. It annoys me silly, but how do we stop it?

I don't know... a rap on the knuckles with a ruler?

Seriously speaking, all we can do at this point is to politely ask the users to consider using some other capitalization method, or/and just change them.

After all, I've seen maybe just a handful of users doing it, so it doesn't seem like an overwhelming task.

Hopefully other users will chime in as well.

I've been getting some emails lately about users making edits changing the capitalization of books/credits I've submitted. Has there been a decision (or some unspoken consensus) how Works & credits should be capitalized that I'm not aware of? I recall the previous discussion came to the awkward conclusion of something like "discogs capitalization isn't good and titles in all caps should be banned, except sometimes", and I'd like there to be some more specific rules for capitalization, heh!

The issue might be sort of trivial when it comes to book titles, but as SextonBlake pointed out when I asked if there's been a decision on this matter, Works etc. are case sensitive. Having some rules for capitalization might help reduce the amount of duplicate credits.

I'm confused myself as to what would be best as I was originally used to Discogs rules so initially stuck with them eg. for book titles, upper case for the first letter of each word.

However, I became more relaxed and started adding lower case eg. "A Gentleman in khaki ordered South: The Boer War Diary of Corporal George Stokes" as listed in the book. Though for some reason I've never liked complete lower case.

Also with magazines, if a previous submitter has used upper case eg. the magazine MOJO I've followed suit rather than use Mojo.

Just FYI to those who haven't read it, this is the original statement from staff:

"I've spoken with Nik about this and at this point since we don't have any way of enforcing the capitalization rules and there are concerns about grammatical clarity, you should capitalize in the way that you are most comfortable. I know that often the Library of Congress cataloging data only has the first word of the title capitalized, so there are obviously conflicting opinions. If we do decide to conform to the Discogs capitalization standards at a later date, we would have the Devs deploy a script to update entries. I know this isn't as clear-cut an answer as you might like, but please let me know if you have any questions."
https://www.bookogs.com/forum/7667-dont-forget-the-capitalization-rules

I'd like there to be some more specific rules for capitalization

Agreed. While I do appreciate the current flexibility, and I understand that capitalization is something that users should not necessarily be worried about, I do agree that some standardization would be nice.

As a book website, I think using the Discogs capitalization guidelines would make the website look bad, and might drive users away. A lot of bibliophiles do appreciate proper capitalization and spelling, and languages in general.

Here are some of my thoughts:

As on book

Strictly following the capitalization on the book isn't ideal as often there are design decisions involved. To keep the database somewhat consistent and readable, IMO we shouldn't be following the design decisions.

Proper names

I think in general we should follow the official capitalization of the entity (be it a company, person, etc.) If multiple capitalization methods have been used, and there's no certainty, then I think any common capitalization should be accepted.

Works, titles, subjects

Loukash's suggestion from Discogs has been my favorite:
- Grammatically correct capitalization in each respective language is preferred, but not required. If you are not familiar with the language, you're allowed to use the Discogs Standard Capitalization (The First Letter Of Each Word Is Capitalized). The Discogs Standard Capitalization can be updated to the correct capitalization anytime.
- All small and all caps are not allowed, except for abstract titles, abbreviations, acronyms, Roman numerals, etc.

It prefers grammatically correct capitalization, but does not force anyone to learn any language-based rules either. It also bans all small and all caps - except when it's correct to use them.

Now, I'm aware that some languages (like English) do not have one single method for title capitalization, which is a small complication. But a lot of other databases seem to have been able to pick one method for those languages and follow that, so it shouldn't be impossible for us either.

I'm aware that some languages (like English) do not have one single method for title capitalization

There is actually a style rule in English for formatting book titles, song titles and article titles which goes like this:

Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are the only words capitalized in titles of books.

For users that are not familiar with English grammar rules then I could imagine it might be difficult to understand.

I have been on this site for nearly two years and in that time I have reprogrammed my brain from the strict Discogs standard capitalization rule to a more relaxed approach. I readily agree this is a better method for listing Foreign language titles, and where capitalization or non-capitalization is the usual way a title is presented: e.g. VALIS by Philip K. Dick.

However, I find it odd when users add a title in all uppercase or all lowercase, simply because it is printed that way on the cover of the book. If the database wasn't case sensitive then I might care less, but unfortunately that is not the reality.

In the example of the book submitted by Ambassador_M https://www.bookogs.com/book/472432-the-life-and-works-of-vincent-van-gogh the cover image shows the title in all uppercase. I certainly would advocate entering it that way, but it had been listed as "The life and works of Vincent van Gogh" which to mind wasn't indicated either. Therefore, I changed it to: "The Life and Works of Vincent van Gogh" which conforms to the style rule mentioned above.

I might add that not having a consistent rule presents real problems when creating Work Credits due to the case sensitive nature of the database.

A couple of times, I have discovered duplicates because the titles have been created in different font cases.

There is actually a style rule in English for formatting book titles, song titles and article titles which goes like this: Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are the only words capitalized in titles of books.

Yes, that is a common style, but not the only one. Also depending on the style, the length of the word also affects to whether it's capitalized or not: some styles recommend capitalizing any word with five or more letters, even prepositions.

Then some institutions (including Library of Congress) have their own rules.

But we would just need to pick one style and stick with it. :-)

That's news to me, because that is the rule I have known for the past 60 years, but I don't doubt there are variations on the theme. I totally agree that we need to pick one and stick with it. I am open to suggestions.

I am open to suggestions.

Same here... as long as it's not the Discogs rule. I'm afraid though that staff might favor it, at least based on their comments in Discogs throughout the years.

I'm afraid though that staff might favor it

I hope not as I think that would be regressive. If I had to favour a system for English book titles then it is the one I described (i.e. without the five letters or more sub-clause).

I can appreciate the need for clearer guidelines on capitalisation on Bookogs, I'm also not a fan at all of seeing full caps or only lowercase titles.

There is actually a style rule in English for formatting book titles, song titles and article titles which goes like this: Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are the only words capitalized in titles of books.

I think this would be great. I guess my one reservation is, as you say, how easy would this be for non-native English speakers. I don't think we have to follow Discogs' guidelines here if we feel there's a better way to do it.

I don't think we have to follow Discogs' guidelines here if we feel there's a better way to do it.

I'm glad to hear that.

I guess my one reservation is, as you say, how easy would this be for non-native English speakers.

As easy as it is for non-natives to learn any capitalization rules. They are far from the hardest part of grammar, and if provided with a clear guideline, I think it'll be fine. I think it's a lot harder to submit things in an alphabet that you are not familiar with, but people seem to be able to do that too.

In general, I don't think we should be afraid of grammar and languages. We already have active users from many countries, who I'm pretty sure are familiar with the capitalization rules of their own language.

And, if needed, we can allow users to use the Discogs capitalization. Then users familiar with the language can update those to proper capitalization.

Thanks falsepriest.

In the main, I think the majority of users are already adhering to that style rule because sites like Amazon, Google, Goodreads, AbeBooks normally list book titles in this format. As mirva said if users want to stick with the Discogs standard capitalization rule, then it is not the end of the world. It only becomes a bit of a problem when dealing with Work credits.

Keep in mind that this rule only applies to English language titles because it is completely irrelevant when listing foreign language titles. I would allow foreign language titles to be listed in the style that is common to that region (basically at the discretion of the user).

I just read one of my previous comments and noticed a typo. Just so I haven't totally confused Ambassador_M, this is what it should have said:

In the example of the book submitted by Ambassador_M https://www.bookogs.com/book/472432-the-life-and-works-of-vincent-van-gogh the cover image shows the title in all uppercase. I certainly would not advocate entering it that way, but it had been listed as "The life and works of Vincent van Gogh" which to mind wasn't indicated either. Therefore, I changed it to: "The Life and Works of Vincent van Gogh" which conforms to the style rule mentioned above.

I would allow foreign language titles to be listed in the style that is common to that region

Yeah, it would be nice to see correctly capitalized titles. I think uniformity within a language is enough, not all languages need to be forced into the same mold.

if needed, we can allow users to use the Discogs capitalization. Then users familiar with the language can update those to proper capitalization.

That's a good idea. Okay, I'm happy to move forward with this. I'll update the guidelines to reflect this. Thanks for the constructive discussion!

Guidelines updated! https://www.bookogs.com/wiki/bookogs-general-guidelines#capitalization-grammar Let me know if you think I missed something or it's not clear enough

I am happy with using standard English capitalisation as this is a database about books, authors writers etc. I will be honest, I never did like the Discogs rule where all titles must have a capital letter for each word and was hoping we would not follow that rule here.
Thank you.

The guideline now seems like the English rule applies to all languages. Part of the suggestion was missed:

Keep in mind that this rule only applies to English language titles because it is completely irrelevant when listing foreign language titles. I would allow foreign language titles to be listed in the style that is common to that region.

Yes, good point there Mirva.

Ah yes, good catch. I've just added a note to make that clearer

Thanks, falsepriest. It is a lot clearer now. :)

Login or Register to post a reply to this topic.