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Forums: Index > The Wizengamot > Alias vs A.K.A.

User:Rodolphus and I were discussing the alias field in the infoboxes and the intended use thereof. Rodolphus pointed out that alias is defined at"a name someone assumes for a purpose" where I pointed out that various infoboxes have nick-names assigned by others as aliases (such as Loony Lovegood, Phlegm, Potty Wee Potter, etc) and its use seems closer to the notion of AKA (also known as). Rodolphus mentioned the there may have been an unwritten guideline at one point to not include insults and one-offs (such as Miss Mudblood or Scarface), but it's not clear if that has been widely followed.

Personally, I like the AKA usage, as it captures a lot of the fun and creative name calling in the books, but agree that the guidelines or infobox term should be updated if that is the intended use OR that various infoboxes need to be cleaned up to align with the proper notion of 'alias'. Thoughts anyone? --Ironyak1 (talk) 17:34, June 8, 2016 (UTC)

I don't think name calling should be considered an alias. If someone called me a name, I don't think I would be happy if everyone considered it something I am also known as! Rodolphus is right, I have always thought of an alias as something that person adopts for a reason. It is not something they have to adopt because someone decided to say something mean to them. --User:EmilyMills22 18:29, June 7, 2016
Sorry, just to note the infobox field is named 'alias' but the text displayed is 'Also known as' - see Hermione Granger for examples of it being used in both senses. --Ironyak1 (talk) 18:42, June 8, 2016 (UTC)
This has already been discussed. See Forum:Proposal for Infobox Guidelines policy. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 21:24, June 8, 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Seth! It's also in Harry_Potter_Wiki:Character_infobox_guidelines as the ""Also known as" field topic. I would suggest:
  1. We link the policy up to the the discussion and vote that established it.
  2. The layout guide has a note added to the field about the intent
  3. As we compile a list of pending changes to the infoboxes, we change the field name from 'alias' to 'AKA' or 'alsoknownas' to make it the intent clear when editing.
Overall, I think it's helpful to bring these policies/guidelines to the surface in a couple different places so people are more likely to run across them. Cheers --Ironyak1 (talk) 21:39, June 8, 2016 (UTC)

It seems that the "alias" field has suffered a similar fate to the "family" field in many articles, in that guidelines were laid down long ago, but articles have progressively drifted off course over the years. It's easy for well-meaning but non-compliant edits to the "alias" and "family" fields to go unnoticed. Eventually, enough of these edits accumulate, and the fields have ballooned to include every one-off insult and third cousin. So, in addition to clarifying/improving our character infobox policy, I think we need to be better at enforcing it. Starstuff (Owl me!) 00:21, June 11, 2016 (UTC)

Agreed - I think having a comment in the field can help guide editors as to what is expected without them having to have read the policy or been present at the last vote on the matter. Like with the physical descriptors, as the infoboxes become stricter, requiring refs would help with enforcement as it takes more effort to establish new info, and also allows others to more easily verify if it meets the required criteria. --Ironyak1 (talk) 09:03, June 11, 2016 (UTC)
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