This page provides information about the standards for spelling and capitalization used on UESPWiki. It covers some of the general guidelines used to determine the appropriate spelling and also provides a compilation of some of the most commonly misspelled words.
UESPWiki is written using American English. Although contributions written in other versions of English (for example, British English) are still welcome, ideally those contributions will later be revised to match the site standards. American spellings should not be replaced by International spellings. Consistency is particularly important in an electronic medium such as the wiki: a search done for the word "armor" will miss any pages that instead use "armour". American English has been chosen because the Elder Scrolls games are made by an American company and are initially released in US versions. Redirect pages (e.g., Oblivion:Armour) can be created using UK spellings for particularly common words.
The Elder Scrolls games use many unique words and names. The spelling of all Elder Scrolls words should match the spelling used in the game, even if that differs from the common English spelling. When there is a discrepancy, the spelling seen by the player in the game (e.g., in dialogs, books, and inventories) should be used in preference to any spelling seen only in the construction set (e.g., in internal identifiers and scripts). Cases where multiple spellings of a word are known to exist are all listed later on this page.
Capitalization should in general follow regular English rules. A few notable points are:
- In sentences, the first word and any proper nouns should be capitalized.
- In titles and subtitles, all words should be capitalized except for minor words that are not at the start of the title (prepositions such as "of", "from"; conjunctions such as "and", "or"; articles such as "a", "the"; etc.). Each word in a hyphenated title should be treated as a separate word and capitalized according to the same rules.
- Any proper nouns from the game should be capitalized (e.g., Foyada Mamaea).
- Any titles from the game (such as quest titles) should match the capitalization used in the game, even if that differs from standard capitalization.
- Compass points should be lower-case unless part of a title or proper place (e.g., "due north", but "West Weald").
- When referring to the main divisions of humanoids and their common alternatives, such as "man", "mer", and "elf", they should not be capitalized unless they occur at the beginning of a sentence, or in other instances where grammar dictates that they should be.
- When referring to the races that are members of these divisions, they will always be capitalized. This includes the following:
- All races of elf: Altmer/High Elf, Dunmer/Dark Elf, Dwemer/Dwarf, Falmer/Snow Elf, Orsimer/Orc, etc.
- All races of man: Breton, Imperial, Nord, Redguard, etc.
- Beast races: Argonian/Saxhleel, Khajiit.
- The same standard applies to all of the currently non-playable races, such as Imga, Kothringi, and Tsaesci.
- All versions of items that include these racial descriptors should be capitalized, such as Dwarven armor, Orcish sword, and Falmer shield, but not elven dagger.
The text of books is taken verbatim from the games. Typographical or grammatical errors in the text should not be fixed, unless the correction is absolutely necessary to understand the book. Any such changes should be documented (for example in a note in the introduction to the book).
Any text directly quoted from the game should be copied verbatim, as with Books. Typographical or grammatical errors in the text should not be fixed, unless the correction is absolutely necessary to understand the quote. The Sic template can be used to clarify that the error is not an error in the article, but the error comes from the original in-game text. "Sic" is short for "Sic erat scriptum", which roughly means "as was written" and is often used to indicate that an error was present in quoted passages and not introduced after quotation.
There are several cases where the names of specific items or places contain typographical errors. For example, Oblivion has a "Thieve's Dagger"; the NPC Istirus Brolus lives in "Istrius Brolus' House". The spelling of proper names should never be changed; the wiki should exactly match the spelling as used in-game.
This section provides a listing of words that are commonly misspelled on the wiki. This is not intended to be a comprehensive spelling guide: editors should use a standard dictionary to determine the appropriate spelling of common English words or use the search function for words specific to the Elder Scrolls games.
American English: Except as noted below, use American English spellings and usages.
- analyze, paralyze: Do not use the Commonwealth spellings (analyse, paralyse). While the -yse spelling is common outside the U.S, the -yze spelling is always preferred in American English.
- armor: Do not use the Commonwealth "armour"; likewise for other -or words such as "color", "favor", "honor", etc. Exceptions are made for spellings used in the games (see "savior" below).
- councilor, leveled: The single-consonant versions should be used in favor of the Commonwealth double-consonant words ("councillor", "levelled"). Likewise for adding suffixes to other words ending in a short vowel followed by a consonant, such as "traveling" versus "travelling".
- center, program: The US spellings should be used, not Commonwealth (centre, programme).
- dialog / dialogue: "Dialog" is primarily a US spelling, but is also acceptable in international English. Either spelling is acceptable on the site. Some prefer "dialog" to refer to interface elements ("dialog box", "dismiss the inventory dialog"), and "dialogue" for character content ("the NPC's dialogue varies by player character race"); this distinction is permissible on the wiki, but not required. There should be no need to correct either spelling of this word, except to provide consistency within a single article, and with the aforementioned distinction in mind.
- gray / grey: both spellings are acceptable, and the game tends to use both spellings almost equally. In a proper name, the spelling should always match the game's spelling of that name (therefore Greyland but Grayrock Cave).
- jewelry: This word is never spelled "jewelery"; "jewellery" is a Commonwealth spelling, but the US form "jewelry" should be used on the wiki.
- minimize, realization, recognize: Do not use not the British spellings (minimise, realisation, recognise). Although technically correct in most Commonwealth countries, the -ise form is uncommon outside of the UK, and even many British prefer the -ize spellings. Note that some words do not have an -ize form, such as "advertise".
- northeast, southwest: When referring to intercardinal directions, use the North American spelling (compound word), not Commonwealth (hyphenated – e.g., north-east, south-west). However, when referring to secondary intercardinal directions, use a hyphen to separate the first direction from the second and third (e.g., west-northwest, south-southeast).
- paralysis / paralyzation: Morrowind and Oblivion feature spell effects which cure and resist paralysis. However, in Morrowind, the cure effect is called "Cure Paralyzation", even though both the other related spell effects use the word "Paralysis". "Paralyzation" is an acceptable word according to both Collins English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster. Since the game uses that variation in this particular case, the one effect in Morrowind is referred to as "Cure Paralyzation" on the site.
- savior / saviour: Use "savior", except in the few cases where a game has "saviour". In particular, The Morrowind item Cuirass of the Savior's Hide should be spelled without a "u". The Oblivion item Saviour's Hide, however, should be spelled with a "u", since the game has it that way. Skyrim returns to the short spelling (and omits the "Cuirass of the" part): Savior's Hide. Most other uses of "savior" in the Elder Scrolls are also without a "u" (e.g., Tears of the Savior).
- while / whilst: The US "while" should be used, not the British "whilst". Similarly, "among" should be used in preference to "amongst".
- worshipper, worshipping: The double-p versions are far more common in-game (despite this being inconsistent with "councilor" versus "councillor", etc.). Accordingly, UESP uses "worshipper" and "worshipping" except when the other spelling appears in-game.
- Fighters Guild: The non-possessive form should be used (e.g., "Fighters Guild" but not "Fighter's Guild" or "Fighters' Guild"). In Morrowind, the term "Guild of Fighters" is used to refer to the guildhall locations, but "Fighters Guild" is still used to refer to the faction itself. The only exception to this rule is that the guildhall in Wolverine Hall in Morrowind is referred to as the "Fighter's Guild" in-game.
- Mages Guild: The non-possessive form should be used (e.g., "Mages Guild" but not "Mage's Guild" or "Mages' Guild"). In Morrowind, the term "Guild of Mages" is used to refer to the guildhall locations, but "Mages Guild" is still used to refer to the faction itself. The only exception to this rule is that the guildhall in Wolverine Hall in Morrowind is referred to as the "Mage's Guild" in-game.
- Thieves Guild: The non-possessive form should be used (e.g., "Thieves Guild" but not "Thieves' Guild"...much less "Thieve's Guild", a typographical error).
- NPCs, NPC's: The term "NPC" (non-player character) is used as a noun. Thus, the proper plural form of "NPC" is "NPCs", not "NPC's". "NPC's" is the possessive form, and should only be used when writing about something that belongs to an NPC. Additionally, the proper article to use in the singular is "an NPC", not "a NPC".
- Hand-to-hand: This skill exists in both Morrowind and Oblivion, but Morrowind spells it "Hand-to-hand", and Oblivion spells it "Hand to Hand". The spellings used on this site depend on which game is being discussed.
- quest giver: English rules around hyphenating compound nouns are inconsistent (e.g., "truck driver" but also sometimes "truck-driver"). The vast majority of pages on the wiki currently use "quest giver", so this should be the standard for any new text.
- smithy, smith: Some of the games incorrectly refer to armor- and weapon-smithing NPCs as "smithies" a couple of times, and the wiki does likewise in proper names and quoted dialogue. Apart from these errors, "smith" is the correct word for the person, and a "smithy" is their workplace.
- wiki: The word "wiki" is not a proper noun and therefore should not be capitalized when used on its own (however, it is capitalized in the name "UESPWiki", simply as a function of the name of the site being a proper noun). The word "wikia" is never correct (Wikia, Inc., is a wiki hosting service that UESP does not use).
Words Used in the Elder Scrolls Series
- Altmer, High Elf: All of the games use both terms, but "Altmer" is the more common usage, except ESO, where "High Elf" is preferred. Either is acceptable in any case, but the other should redirect to it.
- atronachs: The plural form of "atronach" is "atronachs", without an "e". When describing the birthsign or a specific atronach type (e.g., "Flame Atronach"), the word is always capitalized. Otherwise it is not.
- Boethiah, Boethia: The former spelling is used in Daggerfall, Morrowind, and Skyrim, while the latter is only used in Oblivion.
- Bosmer, Wood Elf: All of the games use both terms, but "Bosmer" is the more common usage, except ESO, where "Wood Elf" is preferred. Either is acceptable in any case, but the other should redirect to it.
- Cyrodiil, Cyrodilic: As a noun, the name of the province is always spelled with two 'i's. As an adjective, the single 'i' spelling, "Cyrodilic," is more common and therefore is preferable on the wiki, but the double 'i' spelling, "Cyrodiilic," is also acceptable. Cyrodil with one 'i' is found in Morrowind dialogue as an alternative name for the Imperial race.
- Daedra, Daedroth, Daedroths: In traditional usage, "Daedra" is the plural form of "Daedroth". However, that usage appears to be archaic, and differs from the common usage in all games since Morrowind. When referring in general to any of the creatures from the planes of Oblivion, "Daedra" is used as both the singular and plural form. For example, "One randomly-generated Daedra is found in the room" or "There are many Daedra in the area". This also applies to compound names incorporating the word "Daedra"; for example "Spider Daedra" is used in both the singular and plural. When referring to the one species of reptilian creature, "Daedroth" is the singular form and "Daedroths" is the plural form. Capitalization of the word "Daedra" and its derivatives is extremely inconsistent in the game, but more commonly capitalized. Unless quoting from the game, it should be capitalized. "Daedra" may also refer to the various deities, though they are more correctly referred to by the term "Daedric Prince". "Daedric Princess" is almost never correct, even for Daedric Princes generally considered to be female, though there are a few exceptions to this rule.
- draugr: The plural form of "draugr" is "draugr", without an "s".
- Dunmer, Dark Elf: All of the games use both terms, but "Dunmer" is the more common usage, except ESO, where "Dark Elf" is preferred. Either is acceptable in any case, but the other should redirect to it.
- Dwemer, Dwarven: All of the games use both terms, but "Dwemer" is the more common usage, except ESO, where "Dwarven" is preferred. Either is acceptable in any case, but the other should redirect to it.
- liches: The plural form of "lich" is "liches", with an "e".
- Magic, Magicka: Both spellings are used in Oblivion, but the meaning is slightly different. "Magicka" refers to the energy needed to cast spells, thus the effect names Absorb Magicka, Fortify Magicka, and Restore Magicka. "Magic" refers to damage, healing, levitation, or other (non-elemental) effects that can occur as the result of a spell, birthsign power, or enchanted or daedric item; thus the effect names Resist Magic or Weakness to Magic. Skyrim continues this usage: Absorb Magicka, Fortify Magicka, Restore Magicka, vs. Resist Magic, Weakness to Magic. In Morrowind, the "Magicka" spelling is used in every case: Absorb Magicka, Fortify Magicka, Restore Magicka, Resist Magicka, Weakness to Magicka, etc. The adjective forms are "magical" and "magickal", respectively, the latter form being used in some of Morrowind's skill books. Also, while some of the internal game resources (scripts, etc.), sometimes use the term "mana", it is never used to refer to Magicka in any of the game text, and should therefore not be used on the wiki.
- Night Eye: This spell effect exists in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, but Morrowind spells it as shown, Oblivion spells the effect with a hyphen: "Night-Eye", and various items enchanted with the effect use a third spelling "Nighteye". Skyrim returns to the Morrowind spelling. The name used for the effect in each game is given precedence, so the pages describing this effect exist at Night Eye, Night-Eye, and Night Eye.
- Orc, Orsimer: While "Orsimer" is the proper word to use when referring to this race, it is only seen in very rare instances in the games (mostly in a few books). Almost all dialog references, including from members of the race, use the word "Orc". Thus, this is the preferred spelling on the site.
- Soul Trap: This spell effect exists in Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, and ESO. Daggerfall, Oblivion, Skyrim, and ESO spell it this way, but Morrowind spells it as one word: "Soultrap". The spelling used on this site depends on which game is being discussed.
- Summerset / Summurset / Sumurset Isle: This province of Tamriel is generally spelled "Summerset", but in its first appearance in Arena it was spelled "Summurset" instead, and it was spelled "Sumurset" in Daggerfall. Thus on Arena or Daggerfall pages, the "Summurset" and "Sumurset" spellings (respectively) should be used, but everywhere else, use "Summerset".
- Udyrfrykte, Uderfrykte Matron, Udefrykte: In the game of Morrowind (specifically Bloodmoon), this creature's name is "Udyrfrykte"; this is also closest to the Norwegian source words. However, in Oblivion, the creature is spelled "Uderfrykte Matron", and a third spelling is used in Skyrim, "Udefrykte". In each case, the name that is used in the game should be used.
- Vaermina: This Daedric Prince's name is spelled both "Vaermina" and "Vaernima" in various books and other sources. Overall, "Vaermina" is the more common spelling and therefore is preferred on the wiki except when quoting specific sources that use "Vaernima".
Words Specific to One Game
- Ald'ruhn, Ald-ruhn: The apostrophe spelling is used in all dialog and on the paper map for this major city in Morrowind, but the cell names, and thus all scripts and console commands which refer to it, all use the hyphenated spelling, because of conflicts with the apostrophe as a string delimiter sign. (Also, in some cases, the 'r' is capitalized.) This site has chosen to use the name that is used in the dialog: "Ald'ruhn", while the other spellings redirect to it. This spelling is also used in the city's ESO appearance.
- Assurnabitashpi, Ashurnabitashpi: This is a rare instance of an obscure location in Morrowind which is spelled two different ways on the interior and exterior cells (proving that even the developers have trouble with those Ashlander names). Either spelling is acceptable, but the first spelling is the one used for the page on this site, while the second redirects to it. ESO uses the latter spelling, though the location has no accessible interior in this game.
- Methredhel: Methredhel's name is misspelled without the second h in one of Armande Christophe's dialogs, but is spelled consistently with two h's everywhere else. Aside from quoting his dialog, it should be spelled with two h's.
- venin: When referring to the ingredient dropped by Spider Daedra, the correct term is "venin", not "venom" - venom is the fluid, while venin is the actual toxic chemical found therein.
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