Wiki Grammar

Wiki's TextFormattingRules lead to some contortions of English morphology, to wit: (obviously, sometimes it is easy to restructure a sentence more like "I am one of the PeopleWhoRefactorWiki.")

SixSingleQuotes is a clunky solution when the plural form of a page name is not simply an extension of the singular form, e.g.: StrawMan, StrawMen; Radius, Radii; Diagnosis, Diagnoses; Tooth, Teeth; and (according to Shelly Berman) Jackii and Kleeneces, Octopus and Octopi. (Note: Octopi is correct plural form (along with octopuses!) according to The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition).

[Ugh - some dictionaries are just too accommodating!]

Even worse: FolkWithFeet?, FolksWithFeet?.

Possible solutions
  1. A UserStories page that redirects (perhaps automagically) to UserStory.
  2. Switching to QuechuaLanguage, which has a very regular morphology. To wit: UserStory, UserStorykuna.
  3. Modifying the engine so that one chooses each word and its definition that make up the link from a dictionary and then chooses the form appropriate for the context (Explained below).
  4. Adding a new page alias feature to the wiki engine (Explained below).


The first solution seems somehow simpler, though I can't quite put my finger on why. On the other hand, the second solution would encourage participation by Greedo the Bounty Hunter and the others from his planet.


Alternative perspective: the WikiName mechanism isn't perfect, but it's usually GoodEnough.


see WikiWordPhrase

Explanation of the 'choose words' solution in the list above

When entering a link such as StrawMen, one would find the word 'man' in a wiki dictionary, find the appropriate definition (a male person) and choose the desired form (the plural form 'men').

Obviously, this would be a painful process and would detract considerably from the nature of wiki.


Explanation of the 'page alias' solution in the list above

The idea is to allow the creation of multiple PageAliases for a page (e.g. UserStories and UserStory). The new page creation page is a good place to propose such alias creation: if existing page names lexically close to the new page are found in the repository, these existing names could be proposed in some way to the user as candidate aliases.

Technically, this feature is a good opportunity to dissociate page names and page ids, and unleashing new features such as 'page renaming', 'page alias' and 'page (names) internationalization', aso.


Before: "You sound a bit insistent for somebody who allegedly found the secret to true happiness."

After: "You sound a bit insistent for somebody who allegedly found the secret of true happiness."

Somebody made the above alleged correction. I am curious to know the rule for why it is "of" instead of "to". One would say, "key to the door", which is correct.

There are many words in English that always take a certain preposition, but without any particular reason; they just have to be memorized. In this case, "secret of" and "key to" are both correct. For help on a specific word, consult a dictionary; similar words are often used differently.


See PlainEnglish, WikiNamePluralProblem

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