Wikipedia:Naming conventions (plurals)

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Convention: In general only create page titles that are in the singular, unless that term is always in a plural form in English (such as scissors) or is among the exceptions such as those listed below.

Let's say you were writing a page about crayons. Should you call the page [[crayons]], which is basically what the page is about, or [[crayon]], which makes it easier to link to from passages like "Harold took out his purple crayon and drew the curtains"? Probably the latter.

One can still write [[crayon]]s (which the software is smart enough to render as crayons), but if the page is called [[crayons]], then whenever one wants to use the term in the singular, one is forced into creating a piped link — the ungainly [[crayons|crayon]], or creating a redirect (see below). For markup help, see Help:Editing.

Contents

Exceptions

There are some exceptions to this rule:

  • Category names are usually pluralized, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories).
  • Articles on groups or classes of specific things. Some examples:
    • Articles on particular language families, as opposed to individual languages, are pluralised, such as Romance languages, Afro-Asiatic languages, Native American languages, Sino-Tibetan languages.
    • Articles on polynomial sequences may be pluralized, such as Legendre polynomials, Chebyshev polynomials, Hermite polynomials. Although one does refer in some contexts to "a Chebyshev polynomial" or "the nth Chebyshev polynomial", generally such a polynomial is of interest only because it is part of the polynomial sequence called the Chebyshev polynomials, the sequence being thought of for most purposes as a unit. Similarly, one is much more likely to mention the Bernoulli numbers than a particular Bernoulli number.
    • Things like Maxwell's equations or Cauchy–Riemann equations. The topic is naturally the system of equations, although in some contexts they may be referred to in the singular.
    • Things like polar coordinates. Although one may speak of the second polar coordinate of a point, the article is on the system of coordinates.
    • Articles that actually distinguish between multiple distinct instances of related items can be sensibly given a plural title when the alternative would be to create an inappropriately large number of short articles, one on each instance. The various Zeno's paradoxes, for instance, are incorporated into one article, with a correspondingly plural name.
  • Cases like The Beatles. Although Paul McCartney is "a former Beatle", so that the singular is used, it is of interest only because of the plural usage.

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