Wikipedia:Words to avoid

related topics
{theory, work, human}
{language, word, form}
{law, state, case}
{work, book, publish}
{god, call, give}
{group, member, jewish}
{math, number, function}
{war, force, army}
{film, series, show}
{government, party, election}
{system, computer, user}
{son, year, death}

There are no forbidden words or expressions on Wikipedia, but certain expressions should be used with care, because they may introduce bias. Strive to eliminate expressions that are flattering, disparaging, vague, clichéd, or endorse a particular point of view.

The advice in this guideline is not limited to the examples provided and should not be applied rigidly. What matters is that articles should be well-written and consistent with the core content policies—Neutral point of view, No original research, and Verifiability. The guideline does not apply to quotations, which should be faithfully reproduced from the original sources; see the section on quotations in the main Manual of Style.

Contents

Words that may introduce bias

Puffery

Words such as these are often used without attribution to promote the subject of an article, while neither imparting nor plainly summarizing verifiable information. They are known as "peacock terms" by Wikipedia contributors. Instead of making unprovable proclamations about a subject's importance, use facts and attribution to demonstrate that importance.

  • Peacock example:
  • Bob Dylan is the defining figure of the 1960s counterculture and a brilliant songwriter.
  • Just the facts:
  • Dylan was included in Time's 100: The Most Important People of the Century, where he was called "master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation".[1] By the mid-1970s, his songs had already been covered by hundreds of other artists.[2]

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