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February 18, 2012

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Copy-edit Question Edit

Usually, your copy-edits of my articles make sense and are welcome—with all the entries I've been editing, I make a lot of silly mistakes, (mistakes that are somewhat embarrassing at times.) So I admit I was confused by your edit of The Fine Gold Chain. I am not at all bothered by the edit—it's a wiki after all—but I don't understand what was wrong with any of things you changed. Or does the way you changed it just sound better to your ears? Again, this is just a question of curiosity. (I have noted that you like to change whenever I use the word "due".) ~ Lhynard (talk) 01:00, January 20, 2015 (UTC)

We all make mistakes; I certainly did when I touched up The Fine Gold Chain. It's also hard to follow a sentence around wiki code.
No worries about asking, I'm happy to explain, if I can. First, I'm a technical editor of scientific papers written by non-English-speakers, hence my focus here. I generally correct errors in grammar and style according to US English rules and roughly the Chicago Manual of Style, with adaptations to a wiki. But I limit the full range of possible edits here, to preserve a writer's voice, a fantasy style, and a conversational style.
Now, the specific points on the edit:
  • "The Fine Gold Chain was nearly impossible to miss to a visitor of Memnon" changed to "...for a visitor of Memnon". What did I do? I think it was editor's instinct. Let's rearrange the sentence to something equivalent: "To a visitor of Memnon, The Fine Gold Chain was nearly impossible to miss" or "For a visitor of Memnon, The Fine Gold Chain was nearly impossible to miss". Actually, both sound fine. The original "to a visitor" just sounded odd to me, I think because of the repeated use of "to". Let's correct "visitor of Memnon" (implying they are of, or come from Memnon) as "visitor to Memnon" (they come to Memnon). So "to miss to a visitor to Memnon" sounds very repetitious, while "to miss for a visitor to Memnon" is clearer.
  • "...due to its unique architecture." The grammatically correct usage of "due to" is tricky, and I'm not sure I understand it myself. I'll point to this grammar article. It boils down to "due to" being equivalent to "caused by" but not "because of". It's a common problem, one I only discovered last year, and I imagine most people who aren't editors and grammar nerds don't care. I could leave it, but changing it is a force of habit. "Due to"/"Caused by" didn't work, so I went for "owing to".
  • "The inner decorum". Here, "decorum" actually means social behaviour, propriety, good manners. So that would be how the customers and staff act, or perhaps the gargoyles. :) "Decor" means the style of decoration and furnishings (which I misspelled this morning after zero sleep). "Interior" seemed more appropriate, being specific to describing a building.
So, I hope that answers your questions. I'm happy to explain my copy-editing, but don't really have the opportunity to do so in a summary box. — BadCatMan (talk) 11:02, January 20, 2015 (UTC)
  • "Due to"/"owing to" — Ah, I see. That article's author was sloppy on his/her explanations, but it's a matter of the part of speech of "due" vs. "because"; the former is an adjective, while the latter is an adverb. In which case, "owing to" can get away with it, because as a participle, it can function as an adjective or adverb.
    I would argue, however, that this is all a little prescriptivist, as "due to" is a phrase that has taken on a role of a preposition in its own right, so it should be able to function in an adverbial sense as well.
    In any case, since the whole participial phrase functions as an adverb, it really should have a comma. :)
  • "Decorum"/"decor" — embarrassingly, I never knew this. Thanks for educating me! (I'm glad those gargoyles aren't alive now!)
~ Lhynard (talk) 21:21, January 20, 2015 (UTC)
Prescriptivist, yes, it is. But I don't expect anyone else to change how they use it, and I wouldn't edit an article solely to change it. It's just one of the things I correct along the way. (But, ugh, a comma? Something just looks funny about it.)
What I've been doing is to go through Special:NewPages, patrol a new page, click edit, read through, and check wiki code, style, spelling, and grammar. I want to ensure all new pages match the current house style while we update the old articles to that style. I like to think the FRW could be the only professionally edited wiki around. :)

Year tallyEdit

Just saw your year tally. You're going to hate me by the time I finish adding all the years that haven't yet been. Man, I wish I had more time online so I could finally finish that project :(. -hashtalk 12:31, February 10, 2015 (UTC)

Eh, I'm already well past any new years pages there will be. It just puts me in a version of Zeno's Paradox: the closer I get to the end, the slower I get. :)
So, anyway, I have 300 pages (1000 DR to 1299 DR) to check and rewrite the plagiarised entries from The Grand History of the Realms; not all will be filled, so it's effectively less than that. That was the main reason for doing this, since the copied pages made up a substantial proportion of the wiki. Then I have about 22 pages (1363 DR to 1385 DR of hefty recent history to copy-edit, tidy, and also check for plagiarised entries from tGHotR and a variety of other sources. They get longer and longer, so it's another Zeno's Paradox. Then, finally, the 100-odd pages from then until 4th or 5th edition, which will have a scattering of entries. Then straight on to the end of the Roll of Years, with a few future entries. Plus, I go over new or added-to pages as they come up.
I hope to finish by the end of the year, but I've been at it maybe two and a half years now. Whew. — BadCatMan (talk) 11:56, February 11, 2015 (UTC)


Hi, I could not fint the rename option. I'm used to MediaWiki on Wikipedia.--
David Latapie ( | @) 02:18, February 16, 2015 (UTC)

Wikia uses the same code, but the rename button varies depending on the skin. In Monobook, it's a tab up the top. In Oasis (the default), you click the arrow next to the edit button to bring up a list of options.
However, where are you getting information about Lopango? All I can see is a name on a map. The Maztica sourcebooks otherwise don't mention it. — BadCatMan (talk) 02:25, February 16, 2015 (UTC)

Copy-Edit Edit

Hay BadCatMan, Thanks for fixing my errors on the spells that I have made/added to! Just wondering if there are any pointers that I should think about so that you don't have to fix my mistakes? I don't want to feel like I'm throwing a work load on someone else :S! Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 12:41, February 16, 2015 (UTC)

No worries. It's cleaning up after the anonymous users that takes up most of my time. Some of the edits I make to yours are just style and formatting and minor fixed. Other times I rephrase sentences to make the discussion more concise and to the point, or more natural-sounding.
I think the main problem I've noticed in your articles is the use of "would" or "would have". In this sense, it's a past tense of "will". That is, if Drizzt intends to kill Elminster, then we say in present tense "Drizzt will kill Elminster" and in past tense, we say "Drizzt would kill Elminster". If Drizzt was prevented for some reason, then we say "Drizzt would have killed Elminster". It's not incorrect, but it's not exactly complete – we know Drizzt intended to kill Elminster, but don't find out if he did or not. It works, technically, but it's a not a natural construction in English, and used only in certain situations. I find it's a common style problem among people who not native English speakers.
In most cases, the straightforward past tense will do fine: "Drizzt killed Elminster". It's simple to use, direct and clear.
For example, in your contagion article, you wrote "The old "contagion" spell would have infected a touched target...", which implies that the spell is designed to infect the target, but may not have ever done so, implying it's never been used or doesn't work as intended. I changed it to "Older versions of the contagion spell infected a touched target...", which is simpler and states clearly that the spell did exactly that.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions. — BadCatMan (talk) 13:43, February 17, 2015 (UTC)
Really interesting insights. The work of a copy-editor is often overlooked (especially when it is done well), so I'm always happy to see you tidying up after us. I know I often use the U.K. vernacular in my articles and it is a conscious effort to check it and change it. Are there any other mistakes or points that I should look out for in my articles too? The less work you have to do the better.--Eli the Tanner (talk) 18:34, February 17, 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, I'll try and keep all this in mind! I really appreciate it! Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 22:49, February 17, 2015 (UTC)

After editing dry technical papers all day, it's nice to do the same with wizards and dragons at the end of the day. :) Mostly, I want to ensure that any new article showcased in Did You Know? is top-notch, as well as to ensure all new articles have good quality and meet our standards, to aid in cleaning up the wiki. It's the sheer volume of anonymous users creating half-done articles that I find most frustrating.

Eli: Yes, I've noticed the UK spellings. I'm Australian, but always work with US English, so outside work and wiki articles I have to make a point of using my native tongue. :) IIRC, you generally have the same minor errors I do: basic typos but nothing regular; sometimes a word is in lower case that should be upper case; and the occasional UK spelling.

Terrorblades: One other point is the indefinite article, "a". When used before a vowel sound, it becomes "an" (I think it's just because of flow in spoken English, switching from a vowel sound to another vowel sound is a bit stuttery). So, we say "a conjuration spell" and "an illusion spell", but not "a illusion" spell. Typically, "an" precedes words that begin with the vowel letters a, e, i, o, and u. However, this isn't always the case, as it depends on the pronunciation of the word. Sometimes, u is pronounced "yoo". For example, "an ugly orc" (ugly is pronounced ah-gly) but "a user" (user is pronounced yoo-ser).

Some of what I do is just for style, such as if I think something can be better explained or would sound better if written another way. Often, a major change is quicker than a minor one, i.e., simply rewriting something is easier than trying to find a small fix that maintains the phrasing of an original, tangled sentence. — BadCatMan (talk) 12:15, February 18, 2015 (UTC)

Hehe. Oh ok, I'll try and think of that, I think I did it in one of the new spells I edited or made, cant remember witch one it was! Hihih I'm a wiki yoo-ser! Terrorblades 's Far Realm logs dated 08:48, February 19, 2015 (UTC)

Game GuidesEdit

Not sure if you were aware but Wikia has a mobile app called Wikia Game Guides that is available on iOS and Android. In order for users to be able to find your wiki using the app, the Special:CuratedContent page needs to be filled in and preferably kept updated. I noticed yours was not and filled it in the best I could. Please take a look at it and make changes if needed. Make sure to save when you are done. Any categories that are duplicated or not correct will highlight in red. Pictures are generally picked up from the category page if there is one on it. If not, then you can add one manually by clicking on the gray box. The unused Featured Content does not have to be a category like the rest of the entries and can be a video, article page or image. If left blank, it simply doesn't appear. Thanks! Pinkachu@Wikia (talk) 01:04, March 3, 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, I'll check this out later. I messed about with Wikia Game Guides when it came out (and I admit I couldn't really see the point of it for our wiki). This CuratedContent seems new.
I invite our regular editors to work on this. :) — BadCatMan (talk) 02:16, March 3, 2015 (UTC)
Only Admins have access to edit that page. Pinkachu@Wikia (talk) 18:55, March 3, 2015 (UTC)
Seems so, I tried having a go but couldn't get anywhere. Maybe Moviesign would be up for it, he often likes to tinker with that sort of thing.--Eli the Tanner (talk) 23:01, March 3, 2015 (UTC)
I messed with it a little bit, but not sure how the Wiki wants to organize it and I do not have an Android, so I am not really sure what it looks like or why I was adding categories... - Darkwynters (talk) 00:41, March 4, 2015 (UTC)

Quick questionEdit

Is it standard practice these days to use the DEFAULTSORT template to arrange individuals by surname in categories? Cheers. -hashtalk 12:11, March 24, 2015 (UTC)

Yes. — BadCatMan (talk) 13:12, March 24, 2015 (UTC)

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