Talk:List of people by occupation

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Category names[edit]

See the Wikipedia List of people by occupation for a list of occupations that we can possibly use on this page.

Usefulness of this page[edit]

Do you think this page is a good idea? Should we continue to maintain it? I just compared List of people by name with this page and added 92 names that had not yet been added here (into "To be categorized" of course). Obviously people are adding to it and forgetting to add to here as well. Should we try to encourage them by adding a note to the top of List of people by name reminding them to add it it, and adding it to our style guide? Or assume someone else will add it? Or just give up on the whole idea? Nanobug 14:48, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

This list is probably useful and worth maintaining. We either could do it ourselves or recruit enough new people well-motivated to do housekeeping jobs. As a side-note, we are in an early phase of the project and perhaps we should change the format of data and do extensive changes to the Wikipedia software to adjust it to our needs. In this way, with XML and proper scripts many tasks could be automated. This means recruiting developers.
With, say, 150 people spending several hours a day in Wikiquote we can forget software changes and go indulge in adding new quotations.
Kpjas 20:21, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Category divisions[edit]

Some of these sections are getting rather long. There is nothing specifically wrong about this, but maybe they could be broken up. Here are the longest two:

  • Politicians, political activists, and dictators is a rather diverse group of people - do we just divide it in three?
  • Authors come in many varieties: essayists, novelists, writers, etc. (although this particular grouping doesn't seem right)

What are your ideas for the best way to break these two categories up. Or do we even need to bother? Nanobug 17:56, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I think it would be good to divide up authors. Really, it's already a divided category -- Poets and Journalists are a variety of author. One obvious category we could use is Novelists. Essayists would probably work well, too. And a better term for Non-fiction writer could be useful, although I suppose many non-fiction writers are better suited for other categories (Scientist, Philosopher, etc.).
Maybe a category for Children's authors? And . . . ? The goal, of course, would be to eliminate Authors entirely as a catchall category.
Obviously, some people still straddle two categories -- Camus, for example, fits both Philosopher and Novelist. But some division is a good idea. -- Scarequotes 20:29, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Multiple occupations[edit]

Some people are listed as multiple occupations e.g. economist and writer. Unless the person wrote outside of their main occupation, do you think we should list them under Authors, or should Authors be reserved for people whose main source of income was writing? Nanobug 17:56, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I'd say keep Authors (or whatever subcategories we come up with) as a category for people who devote most or all of their living to writing, rather than people who are experts in a field who write books devoted to that topic. -- Scarequotes 20:31, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)


Why do we have authors ordered by first name, and everything else by surname? See also Talk:List of people by name for a discussion on format, where the concept of ordering by first name was brought up and rejected. Nanobug 18:25, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

"Category:" categories[edit]

Anyone who has looked at Special:Recentchanges in the past few hours will have noticed a lot of minor edits by me. I've been adding the articles listed on this page to the new "real" categories that recent software upgrade made available. If anyone would like to know more about this feature they should take a look at meta:MediaWiki User's Guide: Using Categories.

You can see the categories created so far at Special:Categories - Tobin Richard 01:53, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Proposal to abandon the "List of people by occupation" page, in favor of Categories:[edit]

I propose that this new feature of the MediaWiki software begin to be used, rather than the older Lists that have been created, and that this page should ultimately be abandoned as superfluous. Categories have begun to be used extensively on the Wikipedia, and seem to be working well, thus I believe creation of appropriate categories should begin here. These need not, and I believe should not be too intricate, but we should aim at perhaps only a few more categories than currently exist, and some of those that do exist in the list are not all that well named. Though up until now I have used it extensively I think the category Authors should be abandoned, because it is ultimately too broad a term. Generally I would recommend that SUGGESTIONS should be made before categories are created and propose that the list begin to be made here for the next week or so. ~ Kalki 14:04, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

List of proposed Categories to be created: (Those already existing in BOLD)

  • Actors (including Actresses? this seems to be increasingly common usage)
  • Anthropologists
  • Architects
  • Artists
  • Astronauts
  • Athletes
  • Attorneys
  • Bands
  • Businesspeople
  • Comedians ( & Humorists? )
  • Computer programmers
  • Computerscientists
  • Critics
  • Directors (or Movie Directors? )
  • Historians
  • Inventors
  • Journalists
  • Lexicographers
  • Lyricists (or Song writers?)
  • Mathematicians
  • Military commanders
  • Musicians
    • Composers
    • DJs
    • Musicologists
  • Novelists ?
  • Philosophers
  • Poets
  • Political leaders
  • Political activists (or Social activists?)
  • Religious leaders
  • Scientists
  • Sociologists
  • Writers

COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE: Personally, I have a bias in favor of "authors" over "writers." Anyone can write. Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson published books and were therefore "writers." An author is someone known primarily for their production of literature (not great literature -- just literature). Faulkner, Stephen King, and Anatol France are all authors.

"Author" is also a good umbrella term for someone like King who produces novels, short stories, horror fiction, fantasy, and screenplays -- otherwise, I have no problem describing someone as a poet or novelist or essayist or journalist or humorist or whatever, all of which I perceive as subclasses of authorship.

Humorists and comedians are not equivalent, by the way. Mark Twain was a humorist (among other things). Steven Wright is a comedian.

I've been inserting "List of people by occupation" lines in the articles to which I have been adding quotations today (which is a bunch of 'em) because that line appears on the Wikiquote:Template page. If you want to change the method of doing this, you need to change the template, or at least include a caveat on the template page regarding this proposal. . . .
-- Michael K. Smith 21:42, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip on the need to change that page. It is one of several that I know will need work over the next few days. I will try to have them all revised before the week is done. ~ Kalki 22:20, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Some thoughts on a Category list (all based ad hoc on the list of people for whom I personally am planning to input quotations):

  • Actors -- yes, should include actresses, since the list presently makes no other gender distinctions (e.g., no "Businesswomen"). Can "Actors" be defined to include all stage, film, radio, and television performers (dancers, talk show hosts, etc.)? Or make them into subcats? This could also include Comedians.

Add the following:

  • Authors [use as umbrella term for those with multiple subcats]
    • Dramatists [or Playwrights?]
    • Essayists
    • Humorists [which might include cartoonists? E.g., Charles Schultz, Garry Trudeau, Bill Mauldin, and Thomas Nast]
    • Journalists [which could include columnists, like Ann Landers]
    • Novelists [which should NOT be subdivided into mystery, science fiction, etc. -- those descriptors can be included as brief comments on the person's page, just as with "American novelist", or whatever]
    • Poets
  • Dancers [or should this be a subcat under Actors? -- see above]
  • Educators [I would prefer this to "Teachers" because it includes theorists like Piaget]
  • Military commanders -- I don't know how difficult it is to change existing Category names, but I think this would be better as Military figures [or Military and naval figures] (to include quotable people in the ranks, like Alvin York, Audie Murphy, and M/Sgt John Hayes).
  • Musicians [also use as umbrella term for those with multiple subcats]
    • Composers
    • DJs [change to Disc Jockeys? -- except I don't think of DJs as musicians!]
    • Musicologists
    • Singers [or Vocalists?]
  • Philosophers
    • Moralists [like De Bruyere]
  • Political leaders [or Politicians? -- Is a U.S. congressman or a local elected official automatically a "leader"?]
  • Royalty [who are not necessarily political leaders, e.g., Prince Philip and Diana. I can't think of a good term for this that would include non-royals; "aristocrats" and "peers" don't work very well.]
  • Scientists
    • Astronomers
    • Chemists
    • Mathematicians
    • Physicists
    • Etc.
  • Social leaders [I would prefer this to "Social activists", which seems too limiting]
    • Civil rights leaders
    • Feminist leaders [admittedly some overlap with civil rights]

And a question: Can a new category or subcat be created on the fly by simply creating a new one while editing the page? The descriptive pages on theory and use of Categories weren't clear on this. The Category list is a Special Page and not editable, right?
--- Michael K. Smith 15:31, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I'm actually still becoming adjusted to the use of the new "Categories" options myself, and have thus far refrained from making much use of them, but I do feel they are far better than the previous methods of creating manual lists for many things, and think that the List of people by occupation should probably be abandoned. After today I will have time to make a more extensive study of Category use on wikipedia, and how some options might best be adopted here, and what further explanations and examples need to be posted. ~ Kalki 19:32, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Personally, I feel that accessable categories would be better than this list of people by occupation. I have a hunch that many contributors come on to Wikiquote with a cool quote, post it, and leave. Thus, they're too inexperienced to know that they should also post a link here (I suppose it's the same for the list of people by names, but that's slightly different). With categories, you can immediately tell if a page has been catagorized. Right now, there's almost no way to tell unless you look up every name you come across on here. Just my two cent's worth. --Pie4all88 05:23, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I will try to work on agreed upon changes. I advocate maintaining quotes by 'occupation'. As a category is fine. I see value in quotes by persons of respective occupational categories (such is sought after by people; plus a listing of people of respective occupations behooves organization/searchability of these people and the quotes of these persons outside their occupation... this perspective can be valuable) AND the more general category itself. SkyOdyssey 15:14, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Data Queries[edit]

Seems like wikipedia needs a more structured and "query-able" way of storing data. For example, a "person" datatype could be implimented which would contain type-strong fields for things like name, aliases, age, birth place, other relavent locations, first language, other spoken languages and of course: OCCUPATION.

Then I could query a list by a field on the search page and wiki-links could be created that perform queries and generate lists.

Quotes could have been implimented as a field with multiple elements. IE: "Edgar Allen Poe.Quotes(4)" or "Stephen King.Quotes("Nightmares & Dreamscapes")"

LIST People HAVING (Quotes, Occupation) GROUP BY Occupation

When I add a person, open the "PEOPLE" article. Click [+] next to edit. Enter all known information (name, occupation, one or more quotes, etc...). Click save. And like magic, all relavent lists are updated automatically.

Has anyone considered anything like this?



I've reverted the removal of Jesus and L. Ron Hubbard from the list. For some reason, people seem to think "philosopher" is an honorific some do are not deserving of. However, NPOV requires us to tag as such all who espouse philosophies they came up with — as horrifying and despicable as we find them. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 10:04, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

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)

categorys- military leaders[edit]

Where do regular soldiers go, aside from the fact everyone with a rank of corporal or up, is a military leader. (but not what your going for) maybe it should just be soldiers, even a General takes his orders from somewhere, and a low corporal gives out orders to someone...catching about 90% of the armed forces.