Template talk:Tone


Can this be renamed {{tone}} or something? — Omegatron 06:32, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

writing {{tone}} has the same effect --FlareNUKE 00:14, 3 February 2006 (UTC) well I think not (talk) 01:04, 4 September 2012 (UTC)


What's the point of adding the cleanup part? It just nullifies the use since we could just use regular cleanup.

Reference please[edit]

This article may not be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia entry.

Where? In the style guide lines, I couldn't find anything on the inappropriateness of using formal tone! Please, be more specific when you refer to guide lines. Don't refer to just a general category of many, many style guide pages. I almost feel like tagging this tag with {{not verified}}

Also, no further reason whatsoever is given why specifically 'this article' is not allowed to be formal of tone, and why you make exceptions to your rule for other articles.

-- ActiveSelective 08:27, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, (IIANM) the template tries to say that the article is not written in a formal tone, and how is that a problem, not that the problem is that it is formal. But it also tries to be very polite, so it does not say "the article is badly written", it says "the article is maybe badly written". And, in effect, the template could have been understood in the exact opposite sense. I tried to reformulate it (although I think the best idea would be to drop the excessive politeness), take a look at it, please. --Mormegil 08:01, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Ha, funny, a case of incorrect grammar changing the meaning. User:ActiveSelective interpreted "may not be" in the sense of permission as in "you may do this". What the sentence meant to say was that the article might not be such-and-such, meaning that "it seems to be" so-and-so. Fortunately, as of now the sentence has been revised to avoid this goof. 09:10, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Not a single word in the style guides does mention any "formal tone". The single instance of "tone" is in "News style ... Encyclopedia articles do not have to follow news style". Indeed: Wikipedia does not bind itself to pseudo-informed formalism. So this template as a whole is complete nonsense. --Jhartmann 09:09, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the cleanup template to avoid potential ambiguity: if this template is transcluded to an article, it won't be clear that the {{not verified}} tag applies to the {{inappropriate tone}} tag and not the article. I propose the following rewrite to address your concern:
--Muchness 10:23, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

It still seems to convey the message "what you've written is rubbish, but I can't be bothered even discussing how to improve it". Here's my suggestion for a tag to be added to the talk page:

--dave souza, talk 13:27, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Talk page[edit]

I think, as an comment to editors of a page and not to the readers, this template ought to go at the top of the talk page not the article page. --Philip Baird Shearer 20:15, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Completely agree. .. dave souza, talk 12:20, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, this kind of tag do not belong in the articles. Articles should be discussed on the talk page, not in the articles them self.
Non-editors should not have to scroll past one or more ugly tags before they get to the actual article. As I see it this kind of tag often makes more damage than the "problem" the tag is pointing out. The tag is confusing and scary for non-editors and as such very detrimental. The only "benefit" this kind of tag has is that it puts the article in a clean-up category, but for that purpose it works just as well to put a tag on the talk page.
My experience is that people who slab this kind of tag on an article often do not write an explanation on the talk page what they find is the problem and don't ever bother to fix the problem. I find that lazy, to complain but not fix.
--David Göthberg 05:01, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


"This article or section seems not to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia entry."

Can we change it to something like This article or section does not seem to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia entry. or something less awkward? The current wording really makes me mad. --D-Day I'm all ears How can I improve? 14:22, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Unwelcome annoyance without useful advice[edit]

This tag advertises at the head of the article the editor's vague personal opinion that the style isn't right, and links to Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles which only mentions tone once, in the context of the option (NOT requirement) of using News style, which itself gives little or no guidance about "tone". There's a case for listing articles for cleanup to draw in help, and this can usefully be done with tags on the talk pages of articles, but this tag on the article itself is at best an irritation and insult to editors who have put considerable effort into improving the article. If you see faults in the article, the best things to do are to edit it, or draw attention on the talk page to exactly what problem you find. Wikipedia can have a problem with knowledgeable or expert editors being driven away by the stress and tediousness of dealing with vandalism and pov pushing. Use of this tag, while no doubt well intentioned, has the same effect and can be more damage than help. I'll try to think of ways of rewording this tag, possibly along the more neutral lines of cleanup with an indication that it should go on the talk page. It should perhaps be added that this came up in the context of it being added to articles which arguably are lively and interesting, but which had been admired as an improvement or asset by very experienced editors. ...dave souza, talk 12:08, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

  • I disagree. There are many templates like this that are placed in articles to call attention to specific things that need to be addressed. It is quite useful, especially for an encyclopedia that everyone is allowed to edit. I have used it before on articles with content that has been pasted from an older public-domain source (like the 1911 encyclopedia) that used more florid language than is customary for today's encyclopedias. It doesn't mean the content is bad, just that the language or writing style should be worked on. The vast majority of Wikipedia editors are not going to take this template as a personal insult and be driven from the project. I agree, the Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles page can be expanded to provide more details and help about this. --JW1805 (Talk) 19:43, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I also disagree. Any problem with the 'Tone' tag has, in my admittedly limited (1 example) experience, been based more with the character of an editor in an unreasonable reaction to the placing of the tag than in any flaw based within the tag itself. Frankly, no editor who is incapable of quite succinctly winning an argument with someone who is comparatively (or supposedly) ignorant deserves to be considered an "expert" - I find the suggestion that expert users are being forced out of wikipedia by pov pushing ludicrous for this very reason. With regard to how this issue became an issue i agree wholeheartedly with JW1805 that the vast majority of wikipedians would not take this tag as a personal insult - and that there are those who do/would is a condemnation of their character rather than of the tag itself. As for improving the tag i certainly think this is possible. It should probably be expected that anytime the tag is placed it is accompanied by a detailed explanation of exactly why it has been placed upon the talk page of an article for starters. siarach 21:14, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Glad to see general agreement that the tag had problems: I've made a minimal modification to make it match the guidance it links to: improved guidance on "tone" in the Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles will be welcome, though such a change should of course be carefully discussed to reach consensus. The problem of getting editors placing the tag to clarify their concerns on the talk page has not been addressed: suggestions for this would be welcome. ..dave souza, talk 17:02, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

What is inappropriate tone?[edit]

As various editors have pointed out, there is no guidance as to the mysterious "tone" or official requirement for this "tone" to meet some editor's tastes. This is something that can be discussed on the talk page of the guide to writing better articles, not a vague label to stick on articles where you personally don't like the style. ..dave souza, talk 19:13, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I think it is rather clear; it is certainly much clearer than "improvement in writing style", which could mean just about anything. Encyclopedic tone does not mean simply "well-written". Don't revert to implement a change that everyone but you has disagreed with. —Centrxtalk • 21:49, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately your thought that is is rather clear is not matched by any guidance as to what is meant, and in practice this is a matter of individual taste. If an editor cleaning up can't see what the problem is by reading the article, they're hardly likely to share that taste and they're not going to be in a position to mind read the editor who added the tag: As siarach says, "It should probably be expected that anytime the tag is placed it is accompanied by a detailed explanation of exactly why it has been placed upon the talk page of an article for starters." The change was proposed in principle in the #Reference please section above to meet concerns expressed by other editors, and no objections were raised. In the #Unwelcome annoyance without useful advice section two editors disagreed with my description of the problem, hardly surprising as they had added the tags in the incident which drew this to my attention. Of them, one agreed that "As for improving the tag i certainly think this is possible" without commenting either way on my proposal, while the other agreed that "the Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles page can be expanded to provide more details and help about this". So far such expansion has not been made or even discussed. Your objection is noted, and in the interim I've adjusted the tag to make the guidance situation clear. My proposed tag is shown below for discussion. ...dave souza, talk 10:19, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

If the editor cleaning up thinks it is in an encyclopedic tone, they can just remove the tag. A whole policy page is not needed for every little quality tag. —Centrxtalk • 17:10, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Proposed revised tag[edit]

In my opinion this proposed tag alerts editors to the opinion that improvement is needed in a positive way, and as discussed above editors who have a particular issue with "tone" can add a comment to the talk page clarifying their concern rather than leaving authors to hunt in vain for guidance or possibly giving the impression that a critic is attacking their writing abilities. ..dave souza, talk 10:19, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Oppose – this does not mention the main problem this template is all about – not the “quality” of the article in general, but specifically its style itself. A humoristic science fiction novel might have its style perfected, nevertheless, it does not fit into an encyclopedia. This template should say the style of this article is… well… different from that you are used to in a serious encyclopedia. --Mormegil 16:46, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Proposed archnemesis tag[edit]

Requested edit: "article or section" parameter[edit]

I would like to request that the "article or section" language be updated with optional data field parameter. Most cleanup templates provide this option. Specifically, should be "{{}}". Thank you,  Satori Son 17:18, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Done. Luna Santin 00:39, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Formal tone[edit]

I added a generic description of formal tone to the Guide to writing better articles in the Other issues section. This should help address the fact that this template sent people on a wild goose chase looking for guidance. It basically just says to follow WP:RS:

Formal tone 
Articles and other encyclopedic content should be written in a formal tone. The standards for formal tone will vary depending on the subject matter, but should follow the style typically used by reliable sources in the subject area. Formal tone does not mean that the article should be written in unintelligible argot, doublespeak, legalese, or that it should be filled with jargon; it simply means that the English language should be used in a businesslike manner. Dhaluza 11:30, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Just for information, Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles#Information style and tone now gives the needed guidance, with the shortcut WP:TONE linking to the tone subsection. ... dave souza, talk 09:04, 1 June 2007 (UTC)


Would an admin please edit this protected template to wikilink formal tone as in {{Inappropriate person}}. Dhaluza 02:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Please wikilink "formal tone" to WP:TONE Dhaluza 00:18, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Good thinking, have done the latter. ...... dave souza, talk 09:15, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

See also[edit]

{{editprotected}} Please remove {{potentialvanity}} from see also as it is deprecated. – Tivedshambo (talk) 20:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Done, Garion96 (talk) 22:57, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Bolding weirdness[edit]

The text presently reads:

The lack of boldness is off-putting. It should probably be:

Could an admin fix this? --Elyscape 11:17, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Changing the template to reflect usage[edit]

I've been looking through some of the pages tagged with {{Inappropriate tone}}, and it seems that only a minority of them are actually written in an excessively informal tone. Some have problems that aren't really about tone as such -- they're written like instruction manuals, or have some neutral point-of-view issues. In those that do have problems with tone, often the issue has nothing at all to do with formality. The tone may be essay-like, yet perfectly formal. Often the template is used to mark the kind of style that you get in older scholarship or reference works like the 1911 Britannica; above, JW1805 gave this as an example of what the tag ought to be used for. Yet this kind of writing is actually very formal and scholarly -- it's just dated in most people's view.

In some cases -- about a third of those I looked at -- I was unable to figure out why the tag had been placed at all, even after digging around in history to find out what the article looked like when it was placed. The editors who tagged these articles presumably thought something was wrong with them, but we may never know what that was. The tag will sit there until someone gets around to removing it, annoying the editors who wrote the article (as User:dave souza pointed out above) while accomplishing nothing constructive.

I suggest changing the text of this tag to better reflect actual usage, to encourage explaining the issues in talk, and to avoid the impression that it represents a judgment from some impartial authority (rather than one editor's possibly idiosyncratic view). How about:

—Celithemis 00:09, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I ran into another one of these recently: Simon Mayor. This has a problematic tone, yes, but the problem is not really one of formality; it's more a matter of non-neutral tone. The template, as it stands, would probably just confuse the person who wrote the article.
Unless there are any objections to the above language, I'll place an editprotected request soon. —Celithemis 02:40, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Looks good to me, and given the lack of objections so far will implement the change. .. dave souza, talk 08:09, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I just copy-edited the template to remove the fluff. The word "may" is sufficient, not to mention the obvious fact that an editor would have had to express concern to place the tag in the first place. — Deckiller 16:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

General Clean up[edit]

{{editprotect}} please remove the Template:Not verified and Template:Unsourced from the see also section as they redirect to other listed templates. additionally please use Wikipedia:Transclusion for the non-template content of this template. Jeepday (talk) 14:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Cheers. --MZMcBride 16:10, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Link to talk page section[edit]

This template should have a mandatory talk page section parameter. Otherwise it's just another pastel box that doesn't help anyone fix the problem. Shinobu (talk) 21:30, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Tracking category[edit]


Please add the tracking category Category:All articles needing style editing between the includeonly tags. Thanks. MER-C 08:43, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svgY Done - Nihiltres{t.l} 12:05, 17 April 2008 (UTC)


to {} for consistency? Stevage 03:43, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Since that's already a redirect, I think it's okay to leave it as it is. In fact, this template has nine different redirects to it [1] that should cover all the bases. — Satori Son 14:31, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I know it has a redirect. That's no reason not to rename something. The main issue is which name shows up in Category:Cleanup templates. Stevage 03:28, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Format the date[edit]

{{editprotected}} Format the date just like the other cleanup templates. To do this, replace:



suggestions. {{#if:{{}}|<small>''({{}})''</small>}}</span>

This will add a space after the period and before the date, and it will show the date italicized rather than bold, to conform with the other cleanup templates. Gary King (talk) 03:36, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

 Done Soxπed93(blag) 03:54, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Correct font size[edit]



<span style="font-size:90%">Specific concerns may be found on the [[{}|talk page]]. See Wikipedia's [[Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles|guide to writing better articles]] for suggestions. {{#if:{{}}|<small>''({{}})''</small>}}</span>


<small>Specific concerns may be found on the [[{}|talk page]]. See Wikipedia's [[Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles|guide to writing better articles]] for suggestions. {{#if:{{}}|''({{}})''}}</small>

To get the same font size as other templates. Gary King (talk) 19:34, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

 Done Soxπed93(blag) 19:46, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Style tweaks[edit]


I've made some tweaks to the template style in the new sandbox to match similar templates. Just needs synced. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 15:11, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

☑Y Done The Helpful One 21:26, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Re-enabling for a few more tweaks. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 18:09, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
 Done Thanks, PeterSymonds (talk) 22:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

may be found[edit]

Specific concerns may be found on the talk page

This statement ought to serve two purposes - advice to the reader, but also advice to the person who places the template. As such, might it be better to say "should be listed" instead of "may be found". Because often, templates like this get placed without a list of concerns being put on the talk page. Regards, Ben Aveling 05:21, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

IMO that's because frequently there's no need to elaborate; the issue is evident from a cursory look at the article. If the problem is more subtle, for instance the occasional but still fairly heavy use of sympathetic phrasing, it can be discussed on talk. Thoughts? Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:39, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I've been noticing more and more that maintenance tags are being used without explaination, and occasionally as a form of "scarlet letter" against articles\other editors whith whom the attaching editor has some sort of grievance against. Regardless of that though, what may seem obvious to one person may not seem at all obvious to another (especially, as often seems to be the case with these templates, if there is some POV conflict). Clarifying the language as Ben advocates here is a start, but we should also attach a parameter to all of these maintenance templates in order to link directly to a talk page section. I would even go so far as to create a warning message if the parameter is not used, but that's likely a minority idea.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 06:24, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, the minority is at least two! I find this template far more problematic for the encyclopedia than any improvements it seems to engender. It is useless remarking about "tone" unless someone is going to do something about it. In my view the tagger is just as well placed as anyone else to improve matters. At the very least the tagger should give guidance about what he finds problematic. I often come across this tag and can only see that the article is somewhat conversational yet may be entirely satisfactory in conveying information. So yes, more detail should always be associated with this tag. Sorry about all that! An article I had a bit to do with was tagged and I wish the tagger had put in the effort to do something about it. Thincat (talk) 21:57, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Parameter for talk page section[edit]

{{editprotected}} Please add a "section" parameter to the talk page portion of the message, in order to link directly to a talk page section (ie.: [[{}{{#if{{}}|#{{}}|talk page]]). Thanks.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 06:28, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I've added some code to the /sandbox but it's not working yet. Perhaps you can fix it and then replace the request? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 10:06, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I think that the only thing missing was a pipe character in the #if statement. I'm certainly no expert on template syntax, but I have at least read through (most of) the template and parser functions documentation, and I think that what is in this revision will work.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 00:16, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the pipe is certainly needed, but unfortunately it still doesn't work. For example
It's to do with the way that Wiki sytax uses the # for numbered lists. I'm sure there is a way to fix this; perhaps by using the ASCII code for # instead, whatever that is. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:58, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Works now. I\We just left an axtra pipe character in there.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 18:15, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, now works. I created a test implementation at User:Ohms law/Sandbox/Template talk section link
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 19:00, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

time issues[edit]

What is the correct flag when an article says "recently" about something that is now months or years old? How about when a paragraph begins with "later" (or "earlier") and there is no clear time period for this to refer to? The best tag I have found is {{unencyclopedic tone}}, but I would rather something that clearly said it's a time issue.  Randall Bart   Talk  20:20, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

@Barticus88: See {{as of}}. --Thnidu (talk) 21:16, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

Wording change[edit]

Seems we need to clarify the wording on this template. The first sentence currently reads:

I propose:

Thus rather than using the generic I-don't-like-it term of "not appropriate", we're saying why it doesn't work as it stands, and saying what the proper use is. SchuminWeb (Talk) 08:08, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

And done. Now suggesting a move from {{inappropriate tone}} to {{formal tone}} for the same reason. SchuminWeb (Talk) 12:57, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, no - let's make the move target {{cleanup-tone}}. SchuminWeb (Talk) 19:15, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Even better - just {{tone}}, to keep it simple. SchuminWeb (Talk) 19:16, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
And done. SchuminWeb (Talk) 14:19, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I changed "formal" to "encyclopedic". I just tagged an article for being overly formal: Darug people recognise Sir William Dawes of the first fleet and flagship the Sirius for having the grace and intelligence of humanity to record the original traditional dalang (tongue) of the elder people of Sydney Darugule-wayaun. Way too formal for an encyclopedia: it read like a treaty. — kwami (talk) 01:38, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Linked to an essay?[edit]

This template contains a link to an essay which may not be mandatory nor be reliable to be obeyed. It is neither a guideline nor policy. I wonder if there are other alternatives to an essay. --George Ho (talk) 02:21, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

I just had a quick look - the link was added in 2005 and since then, people have mentioned updating the essay in response to concerns raised on this talk page in the past. Many people seem to have been involved in editing Wikipedia:Writing better articles as well. So I think that to remove the link could be controversial and it would need more of a consensus. Hence, I'll deactivate the request for now. Tra (Talk) 09:06, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
In other words, either RFC or "Village pump (proposal)", correct? --George Ho (talk) 10:17, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, either of those would probably get some more participation. It's also worth raising the issue on Wikipedia talk:Writing better articles to get input from people involved with that page. Tra (Talk) 14:09, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Changing this template?[edit]

I don't have a proposal yet, so I wonder what to do with this template. The essay that was linked within this template is neither a policy nor guideline nor considered to be recommended. Are there any policy, how-tos, guideline, or any other consensus-accepted ones related to this template? --George Ho (talk) 00:26, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Seems no-one has commented so... what's your preference? Do you want to keep it how it is, have the link taken out, or did you find anything else to replace it? Tra (Talk) 20:28, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know. I have lost interest, and essays may be good advices. What is yours? --George Ho (talk) 21:43, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't really mind so much. The wording of the template "see...for suggestions" doesn't imply that that the page has any weight so I'm happy to just leave it as it is. Tra (Talk) 21:49, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 14 July 2014[edit]

where it is: Wikipedia:Writing better articles please replace with: Wikipedia:Writing better articles#Tone Fgnievinski (talk) 23:46, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

The word "tone" already links to there. Do we really need both links to point there? Jackmcbarn (talk) 03:26, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Haven't even noticed that word was linked; it could even be unlinked if necessary. From a user experience point of view, we should improve the one link that users are being told to follow. Fgnievinski (talk) 03:46, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Jackmcbarn (talk) 03:47, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Template-protected edit request on 7 July 2015[edit]

It is necessary to add another link to WP:Tone. On pages such as this one, the template appears in an abbreviated form and does not include any links to relevant policies or guidelines. This suggested link has already been included in the template's sandbox, so it should added in this template as well. Jarble (talk) 03:22, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

@Jarble: I think this would read better with the wikilink in the middle of the bolded text, rather than at the beginning: This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. Thoughts? -- John of Reading (talk) 05:44, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
@John of Reading: Yes, this would be easier to understand. Jarble (talk) 05:46, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
 Done -- John of Reading (talk) 05:50, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

To subst or not to subst[edit]

(Following Nthep's suggestion, I'm copying this here from Wikipedia talk:Teahouse # To subst or not to subst.)

Template:Tone/doc has the following sequence at and just after the end of the top section (with the TOC between them in reading view):

Note: This template is a self-reference, and should not be substituted.
{} or {}}}

Those can't both be right. On the assumption that the explicit instruction is correct and the {} example results from an editing error, I'm deleting the latter. But since I don't know what, if anything, is supposed to be in its place, I'm bringing the question here. Please {} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 21:17, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

Someone with admin permission, please add this navigation hatnote[edit]


This is a courtesy to other editors to ease annoyance of navigation. I would already have added it myself but the template is locked. Quercus solaris (talk) 14:03, 9 August 2018 (UTC)