Talk:List of people by name

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I'm sorry but I have to complain about these name-lists again. I said this once over on wikipedia before as well.

When you list names alphabetically, the first column in the persons name needs to be the letter you are using for the alphabetization. If you sort by the last name, the last name must begin in the first column. If you sort by the first name, then the first name must begin in the first column.

Its not that the first column is really special. But the first column is the only column that lines up from row to row when variable-width fonts are used (such as the Times font used on the Wikimedia sites). The eye needs to be able to scan down the rows until it comes to the letter its looking for. It can't do this if the list is sorted by last name, which is allowed to float freely in the middle of each name in a staggered fashion.

With the sorted letters in the middle of the rows, visitors must read every single item in the list up to the one they are looking for (to find the start of the last name on that row). The list might as well had not even been alphabetized.

So my suggestion is this:

Use Last, First Middle by convention. Beleave it or not, this is the convention most english speakers are most familiar with. And what about non-english users? Simple: they wouldn't be reading an English-only site to begin with. In the future if the site becomes multilingual, each language is going to get its own list anyway, thus allowing each language to use its own convention. I imagine many oriental languages would sort a list by the given name as well, except for those languages the given name happens to come first anyways, thus making the order of the names a non-issue. Other languages might have other conventions.

Just my 2 cents. Robert Lee

Yes, you did complain over at Wikipedia. It appears you do not have a consensus to do it over there - no-one so far has agreed with the idea, and three people (including myself), have disagreed. I assume Cimon avaro (who implemented your idea in Wikiquote) did not see the discussion over there. Hopefully we do not need to rehash the same thing here: Wikiquote, the sister project of Wikipedia, should use the same format as all the other lists on Wikipedia - First Name Last Name. I think the change to this page should be reverted until it is agreed in Wikipedia to change (which is unlikely to happen).
See discussion at en:Talk:Poet - I have added my reasons for not agreeing to this format there. Nanobug 13:00, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I am sorry if I don't apologize ;) In fact My view is that either we go with the current piped link system with surneme first on the shown text, or alternatively we alphabetize the list by firstname. That would work fine for me. But please let's not list stuff in different style we alphabetize it by. -- Cimon avaro 10:07, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
That's all I'm saying too. If its first name first then it has to be sorted by first name. Its not a style issue, its a usability issue. I'm not trying to cause trouble here. I want the wikipedia to succeed as much as the rest of the group. But some of the design flaws which are held onto for historical reasons drive me crazy. List formats are one of them. Anywho...
I just read it. I'd forgotten which page that was was posted a long time ago. :o) I also didn't know about a meta discussion but found one here: (using google). I guess this is the one your meant. Don't know. That page has many other links to various talk pages where other people like me have suggested it but I won't list all of those discussions here. Several authoritive bodies have dictated that all alphabetized list of people should be in last, first syntax. See for a basic grammer lesson. These lists are mentioned at the bottom. I'll address your questions here since "Poet" no longer contains any lists and this is a newer topic:
My suggestion of alphabetizing by first name was moot. I wouldn't have done it that way, but suggested the alternative anyway. But I agree that lists should be sorted by last name so won't discuss it furthor here.
I do not agree that most people have a problem finding a name when the list is sorted First Name Last Name: You don't see that it slows you down when your eye has to move not only vertically but also horizonaly to scan within each name?
What about non-English names like Mao Zedong: Kept as Mao Zedong. If Mao is his surname (family name). One of the reasons we sort by family name is so that related people will appear together in the list. Mao would be in the 'M' section of course; as he already is. If you see this done incorrectly on this particular list (for Lu Xun) fix it (as of the time of this writting it is listed correctly however, and based on the history it always was).
Are we going to list Arc, Joan of: No. Look at the list (she is in there). Arc is where she is from not her last name. She is known only as "Joan" and she is from a place called "Arc". So she would be listed in "J" as "Joan of Arc".
The whole concept of accidental links is broken here: I don't know what you are refering too.
We are talking about a lot of lists, hundreds in fact: I know and this shouldn't stop us. Many of the WikiProjects are MUCH more cumbersome. The section on scottish clans is going to take many months or years if only one person participates. This is something that can be done at our lessure however.

Sorry about this pages having been changes without a consensus. No harm was done and I think the page looks much better now. I certainly find it easier to use.

So even though they had a vote on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (lists) and 79% of people voted for First Name Surname and against Surname, First Name, you still insist that we should use it here? Since I assume you wish to accept the majority vote, I can only deduce that you feel that not enough people voted to be a representative sample of Wikipedians (it was 19). If that is the case, why don't we decide how many we feel is enough, raise the issue (by putting extra links to it in a few places) so more people will hear it and go to the page where the voting is taking place (i.e. the above link), make up their own minds, and vote? Then when we have the specified number, we can accept whatever the majority vote is. Does that sound reasonable? I assure you that even though I personally like First Name Surname better, I will fully support whatever the majority decision turns out to be. Nanobug 12:49, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)
It seems as if no-one wants to talk about this anymore. OK, how about a compromise? How about we consider this page equivalent to the Lists of people by name on Wikipedia, which are the only lists in Wikipedia that are ordered Surname, First Name? So we keep it permanently in this format, but leave other pages that list people in First Name Surname format, as per Wikipedia (unless we agree to change them later)? If no-one has any objections to this, we will assume we have reached a consensus. (Not too bad - only took us 10 weeks.) Nanobug 18:17, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I believe the listing for "Ben Gurion" should probably be corrected to "David Ben-Gurion" —Kalki 12:53, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Maybe I'm missing something, but could someone please tell me why there are a number of names on this list that link to what apparently are currently nonexistent pages? Is this not meant to be an AFTER-the-fact list. . . ?
--- Michael K. Smith 22:22, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

These are cases where someone added names and never followed up. It is the place where I usually start a new page for a person, but I do not recommend adding names here unless you are going to create the page. I have not bothered to erase all the extra names, figuring that I or someone else could eventually get around to creating a page. There are usually loose links like these floating around for months on some other pages. ~ Kalki 22:34, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Looking over the list I realize I am guilty of at least one of the omissions: I created the Hillary Clinton link and never followed through, forgetting about it while being caught up in other things… I will try to attend to that within the next day or two. ~ Kalki 22:41, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)


There's no People category yet, unlike most of the other stuff on the main page. However, I'm not sure how we should go about it; after all, one category for all isn't enough, so we'll need subpages. The most likely way would be to subcategorize by last names. So would Category:A_People or Category:People:A for people with last names that start with A work? If not, anyone have any suggestions? -- [[User:LGagnon|LGagnon]] 01:38, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It seems that categories would make a much easier means of organization than this list by hand. -- Tetraminoe 07:03, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I found here Dan Hibiki but he is not a real person, but a videogame character. In my opinion it is not a good idea to merge them - real significant and famous people and characters. How about we remove tose characters from this list? I think we don't need to create a new list because we have now categories and for characters there is already Category:Fictional characters.

Deleted. Cheers! BD2412 T 00:02, 17 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Creating new pages -- discussion and vote notice[edit]

Many people are having problems creating a new page. There has been some progress in this area (some FAQs posted with various tricks, help page failure allows starting a page with one click, etc.), but virtually no documentation regarding it. Input box is a new mediawiki feature intended to make article creation more streamlined, as well as helping create correctly boiler-plated articles. I have started a discussion, and a vote, at Help talk:Starting a new page, and I urge everyone interested to join it. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 19:47, 3 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alphabetic order[edit]

Parts of this list are not in alphabetic order (i.e. Ford, Gerald - Ford, Harrison - Forbes, Malcolm - Ford, Henry), so it's pretty hard to use and synchronize with lists from wikiquotes in other languages. Why dont you build up the list automatically using categories? If you do so, nothing is missing and all names appear in the correct sort order. --Thomas 21:55, 6 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Second letter categorization[edit]

For the letter "A" I have included jumps to the second letter categorization used in the headings. I think this shoudl be done for all the letters that have second letter heading categorization - but wanted to get feedback before I attempted that work. Trodel 19:58, 28 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would strongly appreciate it if you revert it, since it does significantly damage the quality of the work -- it is quite unsightly. While some mechanism of second-letter-navigation might be useful, this is not it. Thanks ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 21:46, 28 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not sure what you think is unsightly - could you explain? I have reverted for now - I am not sold on the "Jump to:" wording. It just seems dumb to have the easy nav to jump to the A's or in my case the M's when I was looking up a person, and then have to scroll through names when there existed divisions of the name list already - but no way to get there quickly.

I would suggest keeping it simple and but maybe something like this would be more appropriate:

Ab-Ak Al-At Au B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


A B C D E F G H I J K L Ma-Mar Mas-May Mc-Mi Mo-Mu N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The bold suggest your current location in the list - the A's or M's - with the ability to navigate to a different letter easily - this could be in addition to (or a replacement of) the list at the end. After further thought I think adding this inside the second level heading with the current sublist indicated in bold without a link would work best:

Begin example[edit]


Ab-Ak Al-At Au B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



A B C D E F G H I J K L Ma-Mar Mas-May Mc-Mi Mo-Mu N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


End of example[edit]

Any comments Trodel 22:51, 28 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for reverting. I dislike "in-band" instructions: "Jump To" just rubs me the wrong way (think of what would happen if this got printed!). I also don't care that much for in-band TOC, for roughly the same way (although it is less annoying than instructions). Perhaps we can have a second-letter TOC right at the beginning? ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 22:56, 28 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think we should limit the utility of using wikiquote, i.e. not take advantage of HTML because it might someday be printed. an in-band TOC already exists at the end of every letter - this proposed change has more utility than what currently exists. However, I see no reason to continue the discussion. Trodel 07:50, 29 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Long page.[edit]

105 kb, as it stands, and I still have well over 200 names to add from Wikiquote:Bartlett's 1919 Index alone. Perhaps we should consider splitting this into three or four subpages? BD2412 T 17:34, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good idea. I'll see to it.--Poetlister 22:43, 21 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The trouble with the new format of the page is that you may need to change the start and end points from time to time.--Poetlister 22:07, 22 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rarely. Hey, lets just try and find the quotable people with the first and last possible positions on those pages, make entries on them, add them to the list (and adjust the main page) and be done with it! BD2412 T 05:28, 23 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Leaders are judged by the lives and actions of their followers[edit]

Can someone let me know who said this: Leaders are judged by the lives and actions of their followers? I'd really appreciate your help