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There's two general approaches to how one starts a Tag Wiki Excerpt.

  • The Dictionary Method, in which we obviously believe you know what the word you're looking at is, so we don't repeat it. We just go straight to defining it, often as a fragment.

  • The Preface Method, in which we treat it like a preface to an encyclopaedia article, beginning with repeating the tag and then defining it in a complete sentence.

Keep in mind, when you hover over the tag, it will display the full excerpt. But on the Tags page, it uses a basic regex that attempts to trim the excerpt into the Dictionary Method, if it was written in the Preface Method.

Which do we prefer to use? Should we try to have consistency with how it works? Does the level of consistency depend on the kind of tag?

On a normal thought pattern, I personally prefer the Dictionary Method. It matches the Tags page, and I think that repeating the tag name is very redundant. This is how I write all of my tag wikis on Game Development.

But we're a bit different, mostly thanks to Game Titles. Which are a pain and require us to use far more abbreviations than what other sites typically have to deal with. Which means that it's important to note that, for example, is Need for Speed. I don't know if this dictates that we should switch to the Preface Method as a whole, switch to it only for games, or perhaps just try to incorporate the full game title later on (which I did for the MMT tag, back when it existed).

What does everyone else think?

I ask this, by the way, because we sometimes get suggested edits that just go from one method to the other. A standard would help prevent this from happening back-and-forth from parties who do not agree on the method to use.

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I agree that the dictionary method is best. It makes better use of the limited space the excerpt gets on the tags page, avoids the wonky phrasing that the regex leaves in its wake, and just makes more sense considering that a user will never see it anyway unless it's already next to the tag name.

This leaves the question of how to handle abbreviations in a way that people understand what the abbreviation means. For these tags, we should try to phrase the excerpt so that the unabbreviated name is used, for example:

: The twentieth game in the Need For Speed series which adds magical gewgaws and robotic turkeys.

: Brotherhood, the third game in the Assassin's Creed series by Ubisoft, features copious amounts of .

For tags which are simply truncated versions of a long name like , we should use the preface method. (I think TWEOTW is the only instance of this, and the regex actually handles it fairly well.)

  • mukashi-mukashi-tokoro will be in a similar barrel as the-wonderful-end, but in that case I originally wrote it as "Short for [...]". However, in that case it was in part because the game name as a whole is a bit of a mouthful. Also, keep in mind that there is no special formatting for the Excerpts, so we cannot italicize things. – Grace Note May 6 '11 at 19:23

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