This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Senate Hall page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. Advanced Jedi Training Droid 6(Talk to my master) 07:00, February 4, 2017 (UTC)
Recently a bot changed all instances of [[xxx|yyy]]'s to [[xxx|yyy's]] in Wookieepedia. (Here is one example of probably hundreds.)
This seems like a regression, as [[xxx|yyy]]'s is both more semantically logical and more in line with longstanding typographic convention:
In a possessive, the 's is essentially a shorthand for "belonging to." That is, "your father's lightsaber" is an abbreviated way of saying "the lightsaber belonging to your father." Putting that into wiki markup, we would write, "the lightsaber belonging to [[Anakin Skywalker|your father]]." Thus, we should also write "[[Anakin Skywalker|your father]]'s lightsaber." Writing "[[Anakin Skywalker|your father's]] lightsaber" is logically equivalent to writing "the lightsaber [[Anakin Skywalker|belonging to your father]]," which no one would consider correct.
In professionally printed works, the typesetting of a possessive 's does not automatically take on the typesetting of the term forming the possessive. For example, go all the way back to page 1 of 1979's Han Solo at Stars' End. Here you will see "the Millennium Falcon's cockpit," not "the Millennium Falcon's cockpit": that is, the 's is in roman even though the word Falcon is in italics. This typographic convention is consistent in published Star Wars works over the decades. (It is not limited to Star Wars works, and goes back much further than 1979, but Star Wars typographic convention is most relevant here, so I'm limiting my examples to that.)
Printed matter does not have hyperlinks, of course, but extrapolating from this widespread typographic practice makes it clear how hyperlinks ought to be handled.
My question, then, is twofold:
Can anyone provide solid arguments in favor of the [[xxx|yyy's]] construction?
Has site consensus about this ever been established? Nothing about this is in the Manual of Style, where any such consensus ought to be documented.
Thank you! Asithol (talk) 01:22, September 26, 2016 (UTC)
With more editing, I've realized another problem with the changes this bot made: it has created an inconsistency in the way possessives are rendered to readers. As one example, the bot modified the text [[Finn|FN-2187]]'s to read [[Finn|FN-2187's]], but on the very next line, did not change how [[Unkar Plutt]]'s is rendered. The result is that, to a reader, one 's is part of the link, and the other is not, with no obvious reason for the discrepancy. Asithol (talk) 04:21, October 25, 2016 (UTC)
A third, albeit minor, issue with making the 's part of the link: it disallows visual distinction between the single link Skywalker's lightsaber and two links Skywalker'slightsaber. They're easy enough to distinguish on a desktop system, where mousing over a link typically shows its target, but more problematic on mobile devices. (There are still plenty of phrases without apostrophes that have this visual ambiguity (e.g., Darth Sidious vs DarthSidious); it's an unavoidable consequence of how hypertext links work. But it seems such ambiguity ought to be avoided where it's simple to do so.) Anyway, since no one has documented consensus on this, I'll assume none has been established. Asithol (talk) 02:19, November 24, 2016 (UTC)
When I run my bot to apply formatting fixes, I have been applying the standards that have been used for years by members of the site's status article review pages. Unless a new standard is approved and put into place, I will not be changing the style that my cleanup script uses.--Exiled Jedi (talk) 06:31, December 10, 2016 (UTC)
Great, thanks for the explanation, Exiled Jedi! Hopefully a few of the editors who have promoted this particular standard will be good enough to chime in with their reasons for preferring it. Asithol (talk) 05:00, January 5, 2017 (UTC)