[WikiEN-l] Getting smarter about surnames

Chris Lüer chris at zandria.net
Fri May 5 12:36:19 UTC 2006

At 07:28 AM 5/5/2006, charles matthews wrote:

>- It seems that the historic accident, that 40000 pages on U.S. places were
>created early on, has rather skewed perceptions (as if the Johnson City dab
>issue was more important than the Johnson surname dab issue).  That is not
>right, but many, many pages still start off disambiguating places named
>after people called X, when the more obvious thing is the people called X.

A difference is that that there are maybe ten places, but hundreds of 
notable people named Johnson. It might be best to have a separate 
disambiguation page for common surnames, e.g. Johnson (person) or so. 
This would make it easier to use a different style guideline for them, too.

>The fact is that dab pages in general are never going to be neat and tidy:
>it's a catch-all idea.  Surname dab pages on the other hand should be
>important reference pages, for example for someone wondering which Watson
>was a sixteenth century commentator on Senecan drama (Thomas, as I found a
>couple of days ago).

Agreed, but this requires to be lenient about spelling. Historical 
names often exist in lots of spelling variants, so one would have to 
have Jamison and Jamieson on the same page.


More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list