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Wikitravel talk:Abbreviations

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Huh? This strikes me as being silly. Who's rule is this? Which language? -- Mark 21:49, 15 March 2006 (EST)


Suggesting U.S. (not US), but UK (not U.K.) seems counter-intuitive to me. I don't particularly prefer with/without periods, but if we're going to have a style guide for abbreviations, it'd make more sense – and be easier to remember – if it were consistent. - Todd VerBeek 09:02, 30 March 2006 (EST)

Its essentially failed policy, with over 2000 articles (according to google) referencing USA on wikitravel. (Somewhat ironically, we also currently have redirects to the United States of America for USA, U.S.A., and US, but not U.S.) --Inas 21:12, 7 January 2009 (EST)

vfd discussion[edit]

  • Not sure if we need this new policy, so putting it up here for discussion. -- Ryan 22:26, 17 March 2006 (EST)
  • Keep. It hasn't committed any of the "crimes" punished with death penalty. Maybe we should discuss its utility on its own discussion page first. Ricardo (Rmx) 12:56, 21 March 2006 (EST)
    • There was a comment posted on the article's discussion page to the effect of "why do we need this" immediately after the article was created, with no responses given. Policy articles aren't really covered by the deletion policy, and are normally created in response to some need for clarification. I'm not aware that anyone has ever decreed that "USA" never be written as "U.S.A.", so this strikes me as a policy without a purpose. -- Ryan 15:00, 21 March 2006 (EST)
      • On a second thought, I think you're right. Policy pages shouldn't be created out of the blue and maybe we should mention that on Wikitravel:How to start a new page (I'm raising that issue there next). I'm changing my vote here to delete then. Ricardo (Rmx) 09:48, 23 March 2006 (EST)
        • Actually, I'd like to promote an atmosphere where policy pages can be created out of the blue, and that even inexperienced users can influence our policy. There may be some good ideas that experienced Wikitravellers don't think of just because we're used to the "standard" way of doing things. I think that policies that don't meet with general approval will be removed, blanked, revised, or deleted, but I think it's a good idea to let people know that they can propose them. --Evan 10:40, 23 March 2006 (EST)
  • Keep. We probably do need a page like this to guide our friends who enjoy copy-editing. This said, I'm not into the content of the page as it stands, which seems to me to be totally arbitrary (I'm the one who left the original comment). I say we blank it, and make some kind of note to "watch this space". -- Mark 03:36, 24 March 2006 (EST)
  • Keep. I made a couple of changes and some adds. (feel free to change, if you disagree) --Tom Holland (xltel) 08:19, 30 March 2006 (EST)

Wi-Fi vs Wireless internet[edit]

In general whenever I see the expression "wireless internet" used, which actually means Wi-Fi, I change it. Wi-Fi is a specific technology, and it is widely understood. Wireless internet comes in many forms, most particularly as 3G wireless internet, these days. Within the Contact section of an article, wireless internet may be a heading, but beneath that heading would be 3G wireless, Wi-Fi, and some other less well known (iburst, etc) forms if necessary. --inas 19:14, 23 June 2009 (EDT)

Are these distinctions travel-relevant? If not, shouldn't we use the more general term: "wireless?" (Rather than the wordy "wireless internet.) --Peter Talk 21:45, 23 June 2009 (EDT)
I think they are travel relevant. I think travellers are pretty interested in the two main forms of wireless Internet available, namely UMTS/HSDPA (commonly called 3G wireless internet) and Wi-Fi, commonly called (Wi-Fi). Often you can tell which one is being referred to by context. If you have a hotel or coffee shop offering wireless internet, then it means Wi-Fi. If you are talking about city wide wireless internet coverage, then you would need to be specific about which one you are talking about. The question is, do we always want consistency within an article, or are we happy with the context dependent nature of the name.
I'd like to see us use 3G Internet, and Wi-Fi. These are both commonly understood terms, and adding consistency in terminology and abbreviations brings other advantages. You can search for one term in an article, like Wi-Fi, and find all places that offer/list it. At the moment, you would have to search for 17+ combinations to find what you were looking for. --inas 22:03, 23 June 2009 (EDT)
There must be a limit to how commonly understood they are—I use wireless around the city all the time, and I have no idea what the practical difference between these two terms is. Moreover, I wouldn't even recognize that 3G Internet signifies wireless. So, why exactly is this distinction travel-relevant? --Peter Talk 22:12, 23 June 2009 (EDT)
The difference is, that UMTS/HSDPA (aka 3G Wireless Internet) uses the mobile phone network. Internet anywhere there is a cellphone signal. Wi-Fi uses hotspots, and sometime municipal centre networks, and localised transmitters. I can tell you that there is high speed 3G Wireless Internet coverage in all the capital cities of Australia#Contact. You can use it if you have a 3G capable mobile or PDA, a 3G capable modem built into your netbook, or a 3G card or dongle for your laptop. If you bring your Wi-Fi enabled laptop, bad luck. You can use it in a coffee shop here or there, or in Maccas, or in a hotel if you pay way overpriced access fees.
The distinction is important, and many travellers use one or both. A few years ago it looked like many city centers were going to be covered by Wi-Fi. It is now not looking as popular. Over the next few years as 3G networks get rolled out and availability becomes widespread we may see Wi-Fi diminish as a requirement for travellers. I think when you say wireless, you probably mean Wi-Fi, but perhaps you have a 3G phone or card, and you are using that. It is hard to say.
It could be a bit of a regional thing. Free Wi-Fi is very common in the USA. When you have to start paying for it everywhere, a 3G service can look more attractive.
If you want to stay in the Westin in Sydney, expect to pay $30 per day for hotel Wi-Fi. Go downstairs to the phone store, get a 3G SIM for your iPhone or netbook for $39 a month (if you don't get a special) that you can use across the country, and even make free VOIP calls back home, and probably get better performance too. --inas 23:13, 23 June 2009 (EDT)


This policy is not particularly clear about where abbreviations should be used ("where" as in "which parts of articles", not "where" as in "which words"). Obviously, in listings, there is strong precedent to abbreviate as much as possible, particularly for addresses and operating hours. But in prose, I don't think abbreviations are always necessary. If you're reciting a long list of streets, then it's probably a good idea, but in isolation I think it often works better to spell things out. As such, I think we should clarify the scope of this policy, both in terms of how necessary it is to abbreviate, and in terms of where in the article abbreviations should be required. LtPowers 08:32, 13 July 2009 (EDT)

I agree — abbreviations should be mandated for listings, but there is no need to enforce them in text, where the full word may work better. Gorilla Jones 08:50, 13 July 2009 (EDT)
The discussion behind street abbreviations policy is well buried: Wikitravel_talk:Manual_of_style_for_the_US#Addresses. My thinking is that if it's an option to abbreviate, might as well to save space. But I don't think we need to make this mandatory, at least outside listings. --Peter Talk 12:09, 13 July 2009 (EDT)
I think the current text works well. Use of abbreviations is encouraged, and when used they should be standard. The situations where abbreviations should not be used is best left to the writer, rather than being prescriptive. --inas 22:49, 13 July 2009 (EDT)

Spacing before abbreviations...[edit]

I notice some Wikitravellers are updating articles to use spaces before abbreviations. Like "88 km", rather than "88km", and "22° C" rather than "22°C', and "5 l" rather than "5l". I've always been a no-spacer myself, but I'm open to be convinced. Any abbreviation typesetters know which way looks best? --inas 21:12, 16 January 2011 (EST)

Wikipedia uses spaces -- and in fact, they specifically use non-breaking spaces so you don't end up with "88" at the end of one line and "km" at the beginning of the next. I assume that recommendation is based on the consensus of professional style manuals, but I can't say for sure. LtPowers 22:02, 16 January 2011 (EST)
Although the print version matters, it's important that novice editors are easily able to update Wikitravel. HTML points out how difficult it can be to use non-breaking spaces. The on-line Style Guide of The Economist, which is widely bought, read and respected for its clarity of exposition, recommends the simpler style, which is natural for most users of non-US English. --W. Franke-mailtalk 08:36, 14 October 2013 (EDT)
I agree and I've made this part slightly clearer, I think... -- 00:16, 16 February 2014 (EST)

17th century vs seventeenth century, minutes vs min[edit]

Swept in from the pub

When looking over Staraya Russa I noted that "seventeenth century" is being used rather than 17th century. I am curious to know if we have a clear WT policy on this? As it (is/was) a pending Star article I am assuming that aspect was applied to due scrutiny. Same query applies to 2nd floor vs second floor, or second bus service of the day.. vs 2nd bus service and similar. I also noted that minutes is being used rather than min. ie "with the trip taking about 90 minutes", rather than the shorter 'with the trip taking about 90 min'. Of course to economise on space the abbreviations make sense but do we actually have a clear policy on this. As the Staraya Russa article has been subjected to some rather close scrutiny in regard to other issues I am curious as to the min, hr, Xth, km, mi and other abbreviations that I understand are a common guideline or to-policy in regard to usage in WT articles. Is it a shorten in listings, run with full word in prose guideline, possibly similar to Jl (in listings) and Jalan (in prose) in the Indonesian articles (as kindly explained to me by Burmesedays some time back when I needed some guidance on that matter), or is it a universal application of the shortenings. Or is it not really defined as a hard and fast rule with a Mos guideline. I note that Wikitravel:Abbreviations gives no information on this, nor does Wikitravel:Time and date formats. I have been using min. hr 2nd floor and similar in many article edits and I would like to know that I am doing the correct thing here regarding the MoS, most especially as no doubt I am sometimes changing other established editors work when doing this. I have been assuming that most of us often just use the full word without regard to the potential shortening, certainly I often do myself and sometimes find I am going back and 'correcting' my own edits. I guess whilst considering the 12/24 hr question at Wikitravel talk:Time and date formats it would not hurt to visit the other abbreviations and standardisation policies/guidelines as well. Thanks -- felix 11:30, 23 June 2011 (EDT)

As you note, we do not have a policy requiring shorter versions of certain words, with the exception of "Road", "Street", "Avenue" (etc.); months; days of the week; and the like within listings. Outside of listings, I see no reason to abbreviate most of the time. LtPowers 14:28, 23 June 2011 (EDT)
I was surprised when I saw Peter 'spelling out' seventeenth century in the Staraya Russa article, not that I have a problem with it, I was just surprised and that was the primary motivation in my comments above. Knowing that Peter has a well tuned concept of WT policy and guidelines it stirred up a few lingering concerns with my own interpretation of abbreviation policies for prose content. I imagined that abbreviations were possibly more appropriate especially in listings such as Do, See, Sleep Drink and Eat but possibly less so in the intros to those sections. As the Understand and similar sections are more likely to include prose and broader descriptive content then possibly abbreviations are less appropriate as it can sometimes 'chop' things up a bit. I will continue with my current assumptions however I wanted to ensure I was not missing out on something that I should be aware of. Thanks for your comments. -- felix 11:29, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
I think outside of listings this is really something that should be up to the editor's discretion. The way I look at it, listings are something we want to have consistent formats, because they're throwing a lot of info at you in a very short space (This is a Restaurant, 83 Wherever Ln, +00 000-000. Su-Th 9-9. Exceedingly generic. $5-$10.). But outside of the listings, we're establishing a more informal tone with our reader, a conversational tone. When reading it, I imagine it as a friend telling me why I should go to this town, in which case I want him/her to talk to me in plain speech. I'm not against using abbreviations outside of listings, but requiring them just seems silly. PerryPlanet Talk 12:09, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
Probably a good idea to keep it that way, especially in light of the recent events with the Staraya Russa article. So I am hoping that no one has a problem with things being abbreviated sometimes, and not at other times within the prose. I would suggest that an article should have some reasonable internal consistency though and that abbreviations should be applied appropriately in the individual listings, most especially for clarity and to assist in reducing clutter. -- felix 13:16, 24 June 2011 (EDT)
FWIW, I thought I had been roughly following the Chicago Manual of Style guidance for abbreviations, by writing out numerals one–twenty (after which the hyphenated numbers get cumbersome: twenty-one, twenty-two). Turns out the CMoS actually recommends writing out numerals one–one hundred [1]. Go figure. I don't like the looks of single digit numerals in general prose at all, but they look fine in listings details. A basic level of consistency within an article, or even within, say, a huge-city collection of articles, is best. But I wouldn't be excited to try to come up with a site-wide policy on this one ;) --Peter Talk 19:51, 27 June 2011 (EDT)


Swept in from the pub

How do we spell Wi-Fi on Wikitravel? Is it Wi-Fi or WiFi? --Globe-trotter 10:06, 6 November 2011 (EST)

Or is it just wifi? I have been using wifi as the endless variations are just a bit too messy. Wi-Fi® and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ is the officiall version used by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the holders of the trademark. In my understanding to use Wi-Fi the user needs to register and agree that they are only using Wi-Fi certified products. This is the driving reason I have been using wifi, as it is a more generic term that describes wireless internet distribution without specifically defining it as a Wi-Fi® service that is offered.
The Wi-Fi Alliance list all of the following as their (registered) trademarks" -- felix 10:29, 6 November 2011 (EST)
  • Wi-Fi®
  • Wi-Fi Alliance®
  • WMM®
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access®
  • Wi-Fi ZONE™
  • Wi-Fi Multimedia™
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup™
  • WPA™, WPA2™
  • Wi-Fi Direct™
I prefer "Wi-Fi"; it's more recognizable as a brand name for people who may not be as well-versed in computing terms as we are. LtPowers 14:54, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Agreed. Wi-Fi is best.
I don't think that wifi describes something as generic in general usage. In most cases it is just a lazy misspelling of Wi-Fi. You certainly don't need to register to use the word. --inas 17:08, 6 November 2011 (EST)
I also think Wi-Fi is best. Wikipedia also uses Wi-Fi. --Globe-trotter 17:38, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Well Inas that is not actually the case. To use Wi-Fi a provider of the network is required to register and the use of that registered trademark term is meant to define that network as complying with the standards defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance® that owns the registered trademark Wi-Fi®. Globe-trotter, Wikipedia describe Wi-Fi, they do not "use" it. If you have a look at the article there you will note the article outlines essentially what I am saying here ... "Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance and the brand name for products using the IEEE 802.11 family of standards". It is not a complex registration process and is available with an online form from the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Each Wi-Fi provider is meant to register and describe their network specific Wi-Fi Alliance recognised and certified devices. So if we use Wi-Fi we should only be describing those networks that are using Wi-Fi Alliance® certified equipment and have registered as a Wi-Fi® provider. More generic terms that would be inclusive of any wifi network are: WIFI, WiFi, wifi, wireless internet network, WLAN, Wireless LAN, wireless local area network, or IEEE 802.11 wireless network. For us here I think we are logically limited to either WIFI, WiFi or wifi as many providers do not use Wi-Fi Alliance® certified equipment, or it is not registered, or is a mix of certified and non-certified equipment. -- felix 18:09, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Perhaps have a look here as it describes the use of the trademark Wi-Fi in association with IEEE 802.11-compliant devices. The IEEE 802.11 equipment and managing software in many restaurants, cafes and hotels is not actually Wi-Fi equipment, rather it is IEEE 802.11-compliant wireless LAN equipment. It is a bit like calling a vacuum cleaner a Hoover or an Electolux, or referring to all jet powered airliners as Boeings. Sorry if it seems pedantic, but it is true. -- felix 18:32, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Read the article again. It doesn't say that. --inas 18:57, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Read which article again Inas, I think you are misunderstanding the use of the term Wi-Fi, it is a brand name used to describe IEEE 802.11-compliant devices, not a broad descriptive term suitable for describing Wireless LANs. Have a look at the suppliers of equipment and software for hotels, restaurants, cafes and similar businesses, you can examine the entire website for some of them and never even find a mention of Wi-Fi, or any near version of it. This is because Wi-Fi is a specific trademark, the equipment will be described as "IEEE 802.11 compliant" or similar. Have a read of the article link you inadvertently deleted in your previous edit. -- felix 19:18, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Oh for crying out loud. Since when is it our job to be pedantic about not genericizing trademarks? Go to the UK, and the word "hoover" is perfectly unremarkable as a generic term for "vacuum cleaner"; whether the Wi-Fi Alliance likes it or not, "Wi-Fi" is the most common generic term for wireless networking. LtPowers 19:47, 6 November 2011 (EST)
@felix. Apologies for removing the link. No idea what happened there. The Wi-Fi alliance have specific trademarks for their certified or registered equipment. The word Wi-Fi is not one they have sought to protect against unregistered but standards compliant equipment. The word has been in use since way before they even came into existence. They have no chance of successfully protecting what is surely genericised term by now, and they aren't trying to. That's why they have their Wi-Fi certified, and their little logo thingy - that is what they are interested in. And even if they did successfully protect Wi-Fi, you wouldn't escape a passing off or trademark suit by omitting a hyphen, or making it lower case - it means the same thing. Do a search for "Wi-Fi" on expedia, to see why to persuing any such strategy would be futile.
As far as WT policy goes, we use the most common names. If you'd like to explore this trademark thing a little more, have a look at the discussion at Talk:Perisher, and see what you think. --inas 20:08, 6 November 2011 (EST)
There is no need for any "crying out loud" or any other sort of crying here. It is just what it is, no more and no less, Wi-Fi is a registered trademark describing a certification issued to describe compliance to the Wi-Fi Alliance interpretation of the IEEE 802.11 standard. That it has been adopted as a generic term in common vernacular is a given. If we wish to use the term here as a potentially inaccurate description of some establishments IEEE 802.11 standard wireless LAN I don't really give much of a toss about it. However I do not appreciate being told that I am wrong about something when I am not, or that a reference I have supplied that describes the issue says the opposite to what I am outlining. If in doubt just look at the little ® following the registered name and trademark. Wi-Fi® describes the brand ascribed to the certification process available to manufacturers of IEEE 802.11 standard wireless LAN products and to the use of those products when providing a IEEE 802.11 certified wireless LAN services, such as you may come across in a hotel. What we should be more interested about here is working out a way to avoid having a wide range of descriptions used in the articles, including; wifi, wi-fi, WAN, WLAN, WIFI, WiFi, Wifi, Wifi internet, wireless internet and Wi-Fi, all of which I encounter mixed up throughout articles. If we do pick one of these as a standard to use in WT articles we should probably not actually seek out one that involves a technical name® or trademark™ breach if it is used when describing a non- Wi-Fi certified WLAN installed at a hotel or other business. I assure you many of these networks are not actually Wi-Fi networks at all, they are actually IEEE 802.11 standard wireless LANs. I strongly doubt that the Wi-Fi Alliance will come after IB or WT for incorrect use of the name Wi-Fi, and if they do it will not be my problem. I am happy to go along with any consensus here on a naming protocol, I have already clearly made my suggestions regarding name use and that is either wifi, or WiFi, and not the use of Wi-Fi, as it is a specific trademark with a defined meaning, even if it that is apparently not clear to many people. I wonder LtPowers, if you came across a description that mentioned "hoovering" a hotel room everyday, would you edit that, or would you leave it as "hoovering". At the airport do people board "Boeings", or do they board jet aircraft. The use of Wi-Fi as a descriptive term is actually the same as doing that. felix 20:44, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Sorry inas, I overlapped your comments as my connection kept on timing out, I will go and have a look at that link you provided. -- felix 20:44, 6 November 2011 (EST)
Yes, I understand what you are relating to Perisher being used as a generic naming description of a place or destination. This is a little different though Wi-Fi describes the compliance of a product as being certified to a particular standard. Often what we describe as Wi-Fi is not standards compliant, and sometimes that may offer an explanation to why it does not work properly. Some of the IEEE 802.11 equipment used in WLAN systems is just unstable rubbish. I also agree that taking out the hyphen is a pretty lame way of trying to avoid a TM issue. I am merely suggesting that we should not knowingly select an actual TM and use it. I suspect the only people who even give a hoot about this are 4-5 WT editors and I really don't think the Wi-Fi Alliance is going to come after us. We need to decide on one term to avoid wifi, wi-fi, WAN, WLAN, WIFI, WiFi, Wifi, Wifi internet, wireless internet and Wi-Fi all being mixed into the articles. Should we call it the rather 'wordy' wireless internet or WLAN, as some people quite accurately do in the listings, or should we adopt one of the commonly used acronyms. -- felix 21:00, 6 November 2011 (EST)
I'll choose Wi-Fi too, for consistency's sake. And the trademark stuff is irrelevant. The vast majority of people use "Wi-Fi" in a totally generic sense, and that is the most common way to refer to it, not "wireless internet" and certainly not WLAN. texugo 21:17, 6 November 2011 (EST)

If using Wi-Fi is a passing off, or breach of trademark laws, then so are the variously capitalised and hyphenated variants. You can't open up a hamburger shop called mcdonalds, or mc-donalds. Using one of those terms is the same, except they look like spelling mistakes. The link I gave you shows how we do deliberately select and use a TM if it is an the most appropriate and well used term. The only way to work around the any trademark issue (if there actually was one) would be to use a completely different term, and using WLAN would just confuse the people, and make WT look stupid. As to wireless internet vs Wi-Fi, you may care to review the discussion (and my opinion) at Wikitravel_talk:Abbreviations#Wi-Fi_vs_Wireless_internet, although time has certainly moved on since then. --inas 21:18, 6 November 2011 (EST)

Yes, inas, I agree completely, wireless internet is far to broad as it covers IEEE 802.11 WLANs, 3G, CDMA, EDGE and GPRS accessable wireless internet. I never suggested that we should use either WLAN or wireless internet, ages ago I adopted wifi as it appeared to have no particular conflicts and described IEEE 802.11 WLANs as most people would understand them. To be honest I am only interested in seeing one descriptive term for IEEE 802.11 WLANs here. I did not suggest using "the rather 'wordy' wireless internet or WLAN", in my opinion it would be silly. That is why I have been using wifi. Lest I appear to be argumentative here I am going to withdraw from this discussion and when others make a determination as to what we follow here I will just adopt it. I do think it is relevant to consider the actual facts though, rather than assumptions concerning the Wi-Fi term. If there is genuine consensus to use Wi-Fi then it is merely potentially inaccurate, and that is not particularly problematic as most people are completely unaware of it. -- felix 21:33, 6 November 2011 (EST)
So, is there some consensus here, which are we going to use now. Wi-Fi, or something else like WiFi or wifi? -- felix 12:03, 8 November 2011 (EST)
Just did a quick set of searches: Wi-Fi is used on 850 pages (various capitalisation), "wireless internet" on 748, wireless on 1120 (mostly in an internet context, but there was wireless jewellery, and you could stay at Wireless Cottage), and wifi on 1161 (various capitalisation). So I would suggest WiFi, as it seems to be the most popular, is short, and it avoids the hyphen introducing line breaks. AlasdairW 16:58, 8 November 2011 (EST)
It is always seems to be the trivial which generates the most discussion around here! I think the cause of simplifying formatting and avoiding line breaks is admirable, however we can't both argue for a space between unit abbreviations and their associated numbers, and argue against a hyphen in Wi-Fi. The former is likely to cause thousands of more inadvertent and ugly line breaks than the latter. The Oxford dictionary, wiktionary, wikipedia, all use Wi-Fi. I think we would need a stronger case to diverge from that kind of authority. --inas 17:15, 8 November 2011 (EST)
Sorry inis, I still disagree with this commentary that WP "use" Wi-Fi, what they do is describe the use of the term Wi-Fi® in the article on the name, rather than using it to describe the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard. WP do describe IEEE 802.11 in a separate article. WP clearly describe Wi-Fi as a TM of the Wireless alliance used as a trademarked certification and marketing name defining the certification of many products using the IEEE 802.11 standard.
Wi-Fi does not describe all appliances or software that is built to IEEE 802.11, indeed a lot of products are not Wi-Fi certified.
What WP 'use' to describe that (entire) form of wireless network connectivity is "IEEE 802.11" and that describes the standard rather the trademark.
Wi-Fi is a name of a proprietary certification and marketing agreement.
From WP; "IEEE 802.11 is a set of standards ...that...provide the basis for wireless network products using the Wi-Fi brand name" [2]. WI-Fi® is really a sub-set of IEEE 802.11 wireless, and one that is covered by the provision of a proprietary trademarked name. If you have a look on the WP talk page for Wi-Fi you might notice there is a small discussion there at this time concerning that article and how it is is meant to be describing the "brand name". If you care to look at Official IEEE 802.11 working group project timelines-2011-09-28, [3], guess what, not even a single mention of Wi-Fi, that is because it is a brand name. I am not for a moment suggesting that we should start using IEEE 802.11, but do please understand that, as I mentioned earlier, it is like calling all vacuum cleaners "Hoovers".
Inas, you suggested a "stronger case" was required to diverge from the "authority of the Oxford dictionary and various Wiki publications.
Well how about referring to the official website of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) [4]. They are the people who control and define the IEEE 802.11 standard that is Wi-Fi. They use WiFi except where they are talking about "The Wi-Fi Alliance". Perhaps we should be doing the same here in the WT articles. However I will just go with the consensus as I mentioned above, I note globetrotter has already incorporated Wi-Fi into Wikitravel:Abbreviations. -- felix 12:00, 9 November 2011 (EST)
Sorry, I meant the OED, Wikitionary etc have articles describing Wi-Fi, and none on wifi. In fun - I'd suggest you try to create an article on WP called wifi, making the case there that it describes something that is kind of the same as Wi-Fi, but a little bit different in the way you have tried to describe - and good luck with that :-) --Inas 15:41, 9 November 2011 (EST)
There is no need for for an article such as that as it is already reasonably well defined in the correct article at WP:IEEE_802.11. There is not really any such thing as either wifi or WiFi, they are just colloquial acronyms for IEEE_802.11 and the term is also reasonably inclusive of Wi-Fi® Alliance certified wireless LAN networks. It is the colloquial nature of the acronyms wifi, or WiFi that makes them a more suitable generic term to use here. Have a look here at this google search note the way that things that are actually describing associations with the Wi-Fi® Alliance branding are described using Wi-Fi® and those that are not, like Google WiFi are using WiFi, just like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) do. A WP discussion page User:WiFi has attempted to clarify this in the WP context. A google search for WiFi provides "About 571,000,000 results", a google search for Wi-Fi provides "About 434,000,000 results". howstuffworks also describes WiFi. Also I must re-iterate that although many domestic IEEE_802.11 wireless routers are branded with the Wi-Fi® certification and marketing name, many professional and more complex IEEE_802.11 networks rely on IEEE_802.11 equipment that has no need for specific need for the branding or is technically non-compliant. Airports, hotels, cafes and restaurants often have wireless networks that are not Wi-Fi® certified, or using Wi-Fi® certified equipment, better maybe to follow the lead of many like the airport wifi guide and just use WiFi, many also just use wifi, without capitalisation, or Wifi. As the Wi-Fi® Alliance state at their website, if it is "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ then it is Wi-Fi®". When it is certified it has certification that looks like this.
Inis, much as I really do entirely respect your opinions on all things here and would readily turn to you for advice on WT policy matters in this instance I really do think you have the horse backwards in the carriage harness. I hope you will forgive me for persevering with this, but it really is a little odd to use the brand name. -- felix 04:03, 10 November 2011 (EST)
Felix, I suggest giving it a rest. You've written an awful lot of words on this subject, and have yet to convince anyone of your position. LtPowers 11:46, 10 November 2011 (EST)

Yes, I agree, seems like a waste of time. However I do think it is all a bit like saying a Buick is a car, therefore all cars are Buicks. If no one gets that then I am certainly just wasting my time and let's just go ahead and use the brand name. It will certainly not be my fault if people think it was the wrong decision later. -- felix 08:28, 11 November 2011 (EST)

We had a discussion about this years ago, and my take-away was that Wi-Fi was the preferred way of writing this, per Inas. Alas, I somehow became confused, and thought that the discussion had favored WiFi, and have written numerous articles using that abbreviation... --Peter Talk 10:55, 14 November 2011 (EST)

Spacing before abbreviations II[edit]

Swept from the pub. - but see the earlier discussions above

While we are raking over matters like the wifi acronym perhaps we should also find some clear consensus on spacing before abbreviations. In reading Wikitravel talk:Abbreviations as prompted by inas I note the comments raised there regarding spaces before things like XX km, and X,XXX m, 30 mph and that sort of thing. I have been merrily using spaces as I understood that is the standard here, as on WP. Is this the case though or is this another chestnut looking for a frying pan. I am not even going to dare to express my own opinion on it, and I have plenty as an ex-art director and author of a number of corporate style guides. I just want to know what consensus we have in that regard to this, is there actually a policy or have we just loosely followed the WP style, if so what is it and can we agree here that it involves that use of a space as seems to be commonly practiced here? -- felix 22:45, 6 November 2011 (EST)

I'd observe there is no common practice. A quick scan over the WT database for km with a space and without, reveals tens of thousands of both forms of usage. Just as an aside, we do seem to have a mild consensus that there is no space between a number at the AM/PM in a listing. We overwhelmingly use 3AM, and not 3 AM. --inas 00:53, 7 November 2011 (EST)
Yes, that has always been my understanding, the times are a different thing, ie: 3AM, or now alternatively 03:00 as long as there is consistency within the article and preferably the article cluster. So there is no established consensus on things such as XX km, and X,XXX m, 30 mph and similar. Doesn't really matter much I guess as long as it is all at least treated the same way within an article. Personally I think it helps if all the articles are stylistically the same. The Wi-Fi, wifi, WiFi thing is a good example of why we should try and get things like that sorted out. I can see what was prompting globetrotter, he was doing an edit on a Thai article and had both WiFi and wifi there in the article. He has now changed them all to Wi-Fi, a visually clumsy solution in terms of typographic style but a great leap forward in the articles stylistic uniformity. I suspect globetrotter would like to see some certainty about such things, especially as he deals with an article set that has an occasional fractious challenge of one sort or another.
You are probably aware I edit and patrol a lot of the Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian articles and each of those is notorious for sometimes highly creative divergence from established or assumed WT guidelines, including general style, content, formatting, capitalisation, word spacing and spelling conventions. Globetrotter recently revised all of the Thai articles to BRIT English in an effort to achieve style conformity, that was prompted by an anon editor challenging his editing style and word use. It appears a similar thing is happening there again at the moment but it is more a writing style issue this time. I can empathise with the desire to have some sort of consensus on the wifi thing.
Although it is preferable to at least establish and maintain consistency in article formatting and style I would prefer my efforts were not wasted in establishing a pattern that is later challenged as inappropriate. The WiFi, wifi, Wi-Fi thing should have been established ages ago and I note that it is still unresolved. I hope this spacing thing is not going to be an issue as well. Line breaks appearing at the space before an abbreviation when text auto wraps is something that possibly should be given some consideration here in regard to the spacing before abbreviations. Some of the Indian articles I have tackled have been such a dogs breakfast that the introduction of any uniformity to the layout and style was an improvement but I do not want to be changing the mishmash of wifi alternatives to one variation, only to find out after doing a thousands of them that they really should have all been conformed to one used as a registered trademark. It may appear I am being argumentative however I am actually just trying to gain some certainty on these things.-- felix 02:04, 7 November 2011 (EST)
I don't think it is an issue. The only person who has expressed a contrary opinion to leaving a space is me, and I'm happy to concede the point. If you would like to please, update Wikitravel:Abbreviations accordingly. If anybody seriously objects they can revert/discuss. --inas 03:21, 7 November 2011 (EST)

I also would much prefer if we changed the phrase at Wikitravel:Measurements#Avoid_orphaned_units of
Except for measurements of temperature and voltage, we have a mild preference for separating the number from its associated unit by a single space, but:


We have a mild preference for not separating the number from its associated unit, but:

This would not only conform to the recommendation of the only major international style guide currently available on-line without payment or subscription but also go a long way towards reconciling the advice given at aou with the advice given at HTML.

It would also make for greater consistency and fewer exceptions - always a good thing in a MoS where it does not compromise comprehension.

Inas, you're certainly not in a minority of one - it's just that many can not be bothered to express an opinion on such matters. For newbies, that code for non-breaking spaces can be really puzzling and off-putting and for experienced editors, it's an extra 6 characters. -- 23:30, 14 January 2014 (EST)

Air conditioning[edit]

In the articles I edit, I see "air conditioning" written as:

  • A/C
  • air con
  • air-con
  • air
  • air conditioning
  • air-conditioning

As I edit mostly warm countries, this comes up repeatedly. I cannot believe it has not been addressed previously, but, if so, I can't find it.

Given that spelling out "air conditioning" is tedious, could we come to an agreement as to a reasonable abbreviation?

--seligne 03:15, 31 December 2012 (EST)

My suggestion is A/C since this is short and doesn't conflict with the "AC" recognised abbreviation for alternating current. -- 05:15, 31 December 2012 (EST)
I strong oppose A/C because: not obvious what is means; less common than the other options; is easily confused with AC (alternating current) which I have also seen abbrevaited as A/C; is ugly. In respect of the other options, I am not overly fussed, but if pushed would vote for air-con.
Any of your suggestions except "air" or "A/C"
Hi - any one from air con, air-con, air conditioning, air-conditioning.

Ok, we'll go with air-con then. I'll make the necessary change and if anyone doesn't like that they can just revert me and present their renewed argumentation here... -- 06:15, 4 January 2013 (EST)

Additional address examples[edit]

Propose we add Court as Ct, Parkway as Pkwy, and Ground Floor as GF. Zepppep (talk) 22:40, 14 January 2014 (EST)

I can agree with the first two as being intelligible in most varieties of English, but unfortunately not with "GF", although it's also possible this page has a dual use: obviously for editors, but also it might be used as a glossary for readers who may not understand abbreviations that English-as-a-first-language readers find obvious and intuitive.

I think that we should also not lose sight of the fact that these abbreviations are only mandated in listings and that editors have an absolutely free choice in body text.

I think there are no universally accepted standards. To quote another: "The question is whether we can produce a list for use in listings on the English language version of Wikitravel that will be commonly understood by travellers."

I believe that the answer is clearly yes, but also think that there should be a fairly high bar for the test of widespread comprehension.

In my view,

  • North: N
  • East: E
  • South: S
  • West: W
  • Square: Sq
  • Corner: Cnr
  • Crescent: Cres
  • Junction: Jct
  • Route: Rte (both the US Postal Service and Canada Post both recommend RTE, but I think we will probably prefer a mixture of upper and lower case)

all clear the bar, but neither Ln (lane), Ter(rrace) or Cir(cle) vault over.

When it comes to non-English abbreviations, I think we have an easy bright line test: is the abbreviation widely used and understood in a version of English? (This will usually mean that a version of English is widely used and understood in that country or countries using the abbreviation).

Using this test, Jalan: Jl (Road in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) vaults well clear of the bar, but "Th" for thanon in Thailand, "R" for rua/rue in French/Portuguese, "C" for calle in Spanish, all fail dismally. -- 23:13, 14 January 2014 (EST)

USPS goes with ALL CAPS for all abbreviations as seen [5]. I do not wish to go with ALL CAPS, however. If a WT'er was to google an address of a listing, let's say (fictitious address) "Martell's BBQ, 1234 Blue Ter, Chicago, IL" they would be in no worse shape than if inserting "Terrace." I am OK if "Ground Floor" is not abbreviated, but note a fair amount of elevators have GF or 1F or "Ground" -- in fact, I can't recall a lift where I saw "Ground Floor" etched on the button. "Ln" and the rest are seen quite commonly -- street signs, mail and the like. Zepppep (talk) 04:37, 16 January 2014 (EST)