Help talk:Naming conventions/Archive 1

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Naming conventions

  • Nicely done, Hardvice. This will make a handy reference when trying to decide on appropriate names. (Admin 23:06, 25 September 2007 (EDT))
    • It can probably be expanded with things other than powers and characters, but again, Halo 3...--Hardvice (talk) 23:07, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

With the new idea in motion...

Should this page be updates too? Right before "Descriptive names", something like: "If there is little information on the power and how it works, it should be named with the holder of the ability until more information is learned.(Maya's ability, Alejandro's ability)"

?--Riddler 23:53, 3 October 2007 (EDT)

  • Probably--Hardvice (talk) 00:00, 4 October 2007 (EDT)
  • I think that if there's little information on a power and how it works, we should simply not have an article. Such is not the case for Maya's ability and Alejandro's ability--we have seen the powers in action, can describe in detail what occurs, can make pretty accurate conclusions about what's going on, and know full well the consequences of the powers. What we don't have is a name for the powers, mostly because they don't have counterparts with powers we've seen in other media, like flight or telepathy. When we didn't know much about the powers after Four Months Later, we didn't write an article. Now that we have been smack dab in the middle of the powers, we have a wealth of information, but no name. The help page should be updated, but I don't think we should be encouraging the creation of powers articles when little or nothing is known about the power. That's my only concern. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 07:30, 4 October 2007 (EDT)
    • Nicely updated. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 16:16, 4 October 2007 (EDT)
      • Excellent. This will be mucho helpful for reference in the future. I am glad that when I stepped of on a limb earlier this week, and did the Maya's ability and Alejandro's ability change, that it stuck, and everyone seemed to accept it and we moved on with it. I was half-expecting to get it nixed for being too-speculative, but I am glad it ended up being something that we can have as a fall-back when we just can't get the naming convention hammered out when undoubted EH powers are being bandied about. We will definately get a chance eventually to get the names tiddied up anyway, and this will help keep the characters from being so much in limbo as to being EHs in cases like this. It should also help supress the newbies from continuously jumping in with names like 'Beubonic Death Ray' and 'Puking Pestilence', etc...until a firm canon-name is eventually given. --HiroDynoSlayer (talk) 10/4/2007 17:18 (EST)

Super Strength

If we already changed it, I'm not sure, because it says super strength in the beginning. But if we did change someone tell me i'm stupid for ranting. I have so much to say, i just don't know what to say first. haha. Okay, lets seeeeeee... First off, I think we should definetely changed Enhanced strength to super strength. The columns above say Enhanced strength is a descriptive name. I don't think it is at all descriptive. Someone gets enhanced strength from steroids! haha lol. But it's not like no one uses the term super strength. When I first joined I was very confused to why enhanced wasn't super. And with all the other names like lightning and muscle mimcry, I think it is only fair to correct to use Super Strength. And changing the rules in the middle of a constructive decision wouldn't be fair. It'd be a little Monkey Scopes. See you later amigos. Jason Garrick 15:57, 5 December 2007 (EST)

  • Yes, it has already been changed. This page wasn't updated. It was "descriptive" because the only source for calling it "enhanced strength" was that that was a description of the ability. Now it's canon. Simple enough.--Hardvice (talk) 16:09, 5 December 2007 (EST)
    • Alright, thanks for telling me. :) Jason Garrick 16:16, 5 December 2007 (EST)
  • When was it ever called super strength? It's been consistently called just strength more. --Hero!(talk)(contribs) 21:09, 5 December 2007 (EST)

Naming Conventions, they are great but...

I'm having a little problem with all the renaming and pointing back to the naming conventions as the logical way to name an ability. But the reality is that the "canon" sources aren't always reliable. Like I am perfectly fine with calling Monica's power "Adaptable Muscle Memory" or whatever it is called because Suresh knows what he is talking about when it comes to abilities. But what we fail to remember is that when this show is about normal everyday people just getting these abilities out of the blue. I don't know about you all but if I started glowing and making little explosions from my hands, I wouldn't call it "Induced Radioactivity". I would call it glowy explosion... and just because thats what i call it doesn't mean that that is the correct name for it. Which is like Micah calling Niki's ability "Super Strength". He just calls it what he as a 11 year old boy is familiar with. That certainly doesn't mean thats the correct name for an ability. Where as a creator in the show, like a writer or director in a commentary or interview should have a higher place in the hierarchy because they would know what to call it if someone had asked them. So while some canon sources are reliable many are not considering their characters are normal every day people and don't know whats happening to them. So i just believe articles like "Freezing, Lightning, Super Strength" and a couple others should be looked over again and thought out if that is indeed the correct name for them. And lets face it, Heroes did rip off a lot of abilities from other cartoons, comics, and other sources so why not just take their names?

All in all I don't think a hierarchy is fit. I think it should be situational and dependent on the ability and what all characters name it.--.Vault 08:35, 9 December 2007 (EST)

  • A few random, disorganized comments from me...I agree, the hierarchy is not perfect, and I agree, we might need to put some extra emphasis on comments from writers. However, I do believe strongly that we should not always be looking for a scientific name for the powers. The reason so many of them sound so scientific is because Chandra and Mohinder are both scientists, and are responsible for labeling so many of the powers. If they were poets, our article names would look very different. I have been very vocal about maintaining "bliss and horror" as the label for Guillame's power because it preserves the culture and the context of his power. Even when asked, Joe Kelly said "No one would have named it in his village because they think of it as a spiritual power given by the Loa." As Heroes becomes more global, it's really important to me that we respect the cultures from which these powers emerge. We also need to remember that not all powers necessarily have names. Another way to say that is that there is no "correct" name for many of the powers; we just have to label them because articles need titles. So Micah saying "super strength" is not him misnaming something, it's him giving a name to a phenomenon he's observing. And he does it with the best background knowledge he has: comic books, not science. There's nothing wrong with that, and there's nothing wrong with respecting what the power holder's intelligent son called the power. If I had the power to emit radiation, I wouldn't call it "glowy explosion", but I would call it something like "radioactivity"--and I hoped very hard that Ted would have said something like that so we could get rid of "induced radioactivity"....So yes, I think we need to revisit some of the conventions we have. I don't have a perfect solution, and I don't think one exists. Micah has said he "talks to machines"; I think "technopathy" is a much better term than "machine talking" or "talking to machines" (though I wouldn't be opposed to the latter). Perhaps it comes down to discussion and consensus if we want to override the existing hierarchy, which I think is also what basically what you're saying, if I'm understanding you correctly. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 18:18, 6 December 2007 (EST)
  • Super and Enhanced mean the same exact thing, but enhanced is more exact than super. Now if we are going to call it super strength, why not change the others to Super Speed and Super Hearing. We have no canon sources for those, so why don't we change them to match up with the other Super/Enhanced physical attributes to attain some greater continuity on this site?--Dracomaster4 03:00, 10 December 2007 (EST)
  • I have some comments about names for abilities:

1)Description: The most important thing we should be aiming when naming an ability? It should be descriptive. In other words, it should be possible to guess the general function of the power just by knowing it´s name. It´s okay to require common knowledge from other works (comics/sci-fiction), like "Telekinesis" or "Telepathy", but I strongly think we should avoid names that make people think "And what the hell does this power do?".

2)Standardization: If we are naming all abilities with scientific and formal names ("Adoptive Muscle Memory", "Induced Radioactivity", "Telepathy", "Telekinesis" ) instead of the casual names given by the characters ("Muscle Mimicry", "Going Nuclear", "Mind Reading", "Moving Objects With Your Mind"), then we should stick to it. It just feel awkward, strange and uncyclopedic to have, at the same time, names like "Rapid Cell Regeneration" and "Super Strength". Also, we should try to use few different adjectives and nouns. For example, we have "Space-Time manipulation", "Mind manipulation", "Whatever manipulation". Later on, if we find an ability to control the weather, it should probably be named "Weather manipulation", too (and not "Weather control"). This includes the "Enhanced" powers as well. I think it looks more professional if we choose a style and name all powers according to it.

3)Scientific names: Whatever style we choose for naming abilities, we should stick to it. I believe the best option would be to name them scientifically, when possible, for two main reasons:

a)To help communication between the various languages of the Wiki. Scientific names, generally derived from Latin or Greek, have a higher chance of being similar in other languages. Take for example "Telekinesis". It´s called "Télékinésie" in French, "Telecinese" in Portuguese, "Telekinese" in German and "Telequinesis" in Spanish. Ok, I know this won´t be possible with all the powers, but just wanted to note this.

b)Now that Heroes is becoming more global, I think exactly the opposite: scientific names would be better than "cultural names". We know different people can have the same power. While Guillame in Haiti may call his power "Bliss and horror", someone in a different country may discover this ability and call it "Endorphin manipulation", and another person in another continent, after finding out that he or she has this power too, may call it "Drug simulation". One of the reasons Science uses strange and complicated names is to allow an interconnection between cultures. However, I do think it would be interesting to add a page/section about how different people from different cultures reacted from the discovery of evolved humans abilities.

4)Explicitness: Well, I think this has already been commented. I won´t list all the absurdities that would happen if we gave full credit to any random comment from any random character, but we should certainly develop some guidelines to decide when a character statement may be invalided. Sometimes, characters are wrong, sometimes they lie and sometimes they are just having a casual conversation about their powers. I think we should analyse the context of the statement (not so much the character´s background) and see if this statement would conflict with other naming conventions. Sylar wasn´t talking explicitly about his power name when he said he could freeze thing, but I do think "Freezing" is much more descriptive than "Cryokinesis". Also, we can always try to adapt what a characters said; even tough Micah said "Super strength", I still think "Enhanced strength" would be perfectly canon.--Referos 14:39, 8 December 2007 (EST)

  • Regarding scientific names: I don't think we should name all our powers with scientific names. Some don't have a scientific name, and many would require us to speculate how the power works in order to apply a name with a "scientific sound" to it. For instance, flight would most definitely have to change if we wanted to use all scientific names. However, for as many times as we've seen flight in action, we really don't know how it works. Do Nathan and West manipulate wind? Do they levitate? Hover? Glide? Do they defy gravity? Do they propel themselves, or do they control the atmosphere around them to be propelled through the air? Or is it energy they're manipulating? Maybe it's a form of magnetism they use to fly, or perhaps they're telekinetics who can only move their own bodies. Shall I go on? ... My point is that assigning a scientific name 1) assumes speculative reasoning in many cases, and 2) ignores the culture of the character with the power. If a new character has the same power as Guillame and he happens to give his power a scientific name, then we can (and should) revisit the name we have. But how in the world can we come up with a name for what he does without assuming we know how it works? Does he manipulate endorphins, simulate drugs, or is it something different entirely? We really have to put canon sources above all others. We can discuss individual cases where we would break this rule, but the show is our Bible--everything else is just really good input. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 16:18, 8 December 2007 (EST)
  • Actually, the Genesis files name it as "Flight Potential". Anyway, I do know Chandra didn´t research all powers and certainly didn´t name all of them. I just think it feels strange that, in the same page, we have a)scientific names, b)formal but unscientific names ("Dream/Mind/Space-Time manipulation", c)metaphorical names (Bliss and horror) and d)Names from comics (Super strength).--Referos 21:35, 8 December 2007 (EST)
  • I for one can't endorse any naming convention that puts names made up by fans--no matter how scientific or cool they sound--above names actually used in the show or by the show's creators. Our first job is to document, not to create. And every time we use a descriptive name, we're risking speculation that is not supported by what we know. Sometimes that's our only option, and when it is, we frequently have to opt for our best guess. But using such a name when we have a name that's been given to us seems like speculation for speculation's sake.--Hardvice (talk) 01:16, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Power renaming checklist

When a power article changes names, the following articles may need to be updated:

Is it a name?

This seems to be a discussion that comes up a lot but which the convention doesn't yet address: is something in a canon/near-canon /secondary source a name or not? We've had this problem with Bliss and Horror, Lightning, Telescopic vision, Replication/Duplication, etc. Part of the problem is that we're frequently using descriptive text to derive a name, but even when it's named explicitly, we need to be able to determine if they're naming the ability itself or merely its effect. Some times, perhaps most of the time, those will be one and the same. Other times, they won't. We need to be particularly careful with using names for aspects of powers (telescopic vision, teleportation, chronokinesis, mind reading, etc.) as names for the entire ability. The best rule I can formulate based on what we've seen so far is that a given name must include every aspect of the power we've seen for us to consider it as a name for the power. Otherwise, the logical conclusion is that it's a name for an effect, aspect, or application of the power. We couldn't call Hiro's power "teleportation" because it doesn't include time travel, for example, but we could have called Matt's ability "mind reading" up until he displayed the ability to send thoughts (and commands).

In other words, this strikes me as a part of the standard we've been employing all along which has never been formalised (look at the decision to separate lightning from electromagnetism, for example: "lightning" describes everything Elle has done, but not everything the agent has done.) When we accepted "Bliss and Horror" we did so because 1) the name was given and 2) it described everything we'd seen him do. Conversely, we have accepted names which were perhaps overbroad (perception, mediumship, telepathy, alchemy) because they do not contradict what we've seen, even if the do imply more than we've seen. This seems right, too; while these names wouldn't be appropriate for mere descriptive names, they're fine if they come from a canon/near-canon/secondary source. Why? Because when we're dealing with a new, fan-made name, the proper question is "is this the best name for this ability", but when we're dealing with a possible name from a source, the only question is "is this the name of the ability at all"? A name which contradicts what we've seen can't be read as a name for the whole ability, but a name that goes too far has to be.

Any thoughts about how/where to codify this aspect of the standard?--Hardvice (talk) 13:41, 22 April 2008 (EDT)

  • Amen--thanks for (reliably) summarizing a recent issue so succinctly and elegantly. You hit the nail on the head. As for where to add it on the help page? I can't think of an easy way to break it down into a hierarchy or chart or anything. Part of the overbroad/underbroad concept is covered in the guidelines section under "Breadth"--perhaps that description could be expanded a bit. Other than that, some of the points you covered might be best described in a narrative in the same section I linked above, or maybe under "Special Considerations". But yes, we should definitely address the issue on the help page somehow. We have enough consistent examples at this point to cover most possible situations, I think. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 14:09, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
    • Okay, I've added a first attempt. LMK what y'all think.--Hardvice (talk) 14:53, 22 April 2008 (EDT)
      • Excellent. I would add examples to the bottom two bullets. Maybe a good example would be not using "mind reading" for Matt's power or "alchemy" for Bob's power. I don't have much preference on the examples, other than I think a few more examples would really help. Very good, otherwise. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 15:10, 22 April 2008 (EDT)


N/A 22:28, 21 July 2008 (EDT) Where do naming conventions take place? Online? And if so, I want in, so that I can at least give my input. The abilities, in my opinion, should be general, so as to cover all possible ways that an ability can occur or turn out. Maybe that's just me...--Shadowulf1 (talk) 22:28, 21 July 2008 (EDT)

  • We discuss them on talk pages of the abilities and here for the general conventions. The guidelines we're following are probably not perfect, but they are very deterministic. If you have suggestions, please feel free to recommend them.--MiamiVolts (talk) 23:23, 21 July 2008 (EDT)
    • It may be my mathematical/computer science background, but the fact that they're deterministic to me is an essential quality of the ability names as we list them here. Part of the naming convention is to make ability names sufficiently broad in instances where we're constructing the name. We do choose, however, to rely on provided names/terms where applicable. If we're provided names/terms by the writers then that takes precedence over any other sufficiently broad term (generally speaking). Since we are a Heroes wiki above all else then the writers are given (through their various mediums) the final say as to the name of an ability. (Admin 23:59, 21 July 2008 (EDT))