CZ:English language variant

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CZ:Editorial Council Resolution 0005

The Resolution

Whereas, Citizendium is in need of a protocol for managing international variants of the English language on its pages

Resolved, That the Council adopts the following:


CONSIDERING that all international variants of the English language (e.g. US English, UK English, Australian English, Canadian English) have equal validity on Citizendium;

WHEREAS certain international differences of spelling, grammar and syntax are incompatible with each other within a single article;

DESIRING that CZ should be accessible to all users of the English language, whether as authors or readers;

The following rules should be observed by all authors and editors:

(1) Each article will be written in a specific variant of English, which will be determined by the first author who develops it beyond the category of stub. The English variant should be notated on the Talk page; the technical way to do this will be specified elsewhere.

(2) Subsequent contributors to that article should try to conform with the usage, where this is possible. Where it is not, authors should request on the Talk page for a native speaker to adjust the spelling, style etc. of their contribution.

(3) Alternative spellings and usages should be included in the article text when there is potential for confusion or ambiguity. This would not normally include trivial spelling differences, such as color-colour, labeled-labelled, paediatric-pediatric, etc.

(4) Where the topic of the article has different regional spellings, the first author (beyond a stub) will select the specific English variant, as in (1) above. Alternative spellings will redirect to that as the primary spelling, although it may be necessary to indicate regional differences of spelling or usage within the article. Whenever possible, authors are requested to use common dialect-neutral names for the primary spelling.

(5) Where the name of the topic of the article differs regionally, e.g. aubergine-eggplant, the first variant written beyond a stub will be the primary article and others will redirect to it. (Again, authors are asked to use available dialect-neutral words as the primary spelling.)

(6) In rare cases, when it is unclear that regional names refer to identical things (e.g. French fries and chips), there may be two separate articles, although they should refer to each other.

(7) As a transitional measure, for articles existing before the development of this policy, the language variant for each page will be determined and noted on the Talk page by area Editors or Authors.

(8) Exceptionally, the Editor-in-Chief has the authority to reset the language variant for any particular article.

Method of execution

The protocol will be binding immediately upon adoption. Current rules and guidelines will be rewritten to include each point listed above.


Where nomenclature of an object or series of obejcts is defined in an International Standard, the spelling of the Citizendium Article Name should follow that International Standard.


Current Status



Sponsored by: Martin Baldwin-Edwards

Co-sponsored by Council members (limited to two names): Larry Sanger; Joseph K. Grieboski

Resolution history

  • Proposed: Thu Aug 16 12:32:39 UTC 2007
  • Entered queue: (bypassed)
  • Entered initial discussion: Fri Aug 17 2007 07:30 UTC
  • Entered public discussion: Tue Aug 21 2007 04:30 UTC for 8 days
  • Entered voting on resolution: Wed Aug 29 2007 04:30 UTC for 7 days
  • Close of voting on resolution: Wed Sep 05 2007 04:30 UTC