See Forum:Need_policy_on_capitalization_of_races_(and_I_guess_other_things) for the advent of this article.

I've decided to create this article, and just use this talk page to work out what should go in it. Like the main article, entries will be alphabetically ordered level 3 headings. I fear that there won't be a lot of input over these nouns, and the end result will be me making arbitrary decisions about what's common and what's proper. As horrid as that sounds, I think it's more important to be consistent, than it is to be perfectly correct. Besides, the more mistakes I make, the more outrage I'll cause, and the more interest I'll generate.

I should like to point out that many things that are proper nouns can also be common nouns. For instance, a Knight of the Garter can be called a "Knight" for short. Being a Knight, he is also a knight. That's a bit confusing, and as a rule of thumb I avoid it, but it's not improper. (Perhaps that very paragraph should be place in the article)

It should also be said that this won't work for all proper nouns. The Tear of Seas, for one, can be a Tear, but never a tear. A tear is a liquid secretion from an eye, while the Tear is a piece of blackrock.


It's a good idea to just get a background on the criteria used to determine whether a noun is proper or common: AngusM 16:50, June 15, 2010 (UTC)

Candidate wordsEdit


That's the best word I could give to things like Dexterity, Strength, Intelligence, and Armour Class. I sorta don't feel like those are proper, but I think RPGs have an old tradition of treating them as proper. I wouldn't know what to do. AngusM 03:59, August 8, 2010 (UTC)

"Character Creation"Edit

Maybe this should be expanded to include all those menu items. But maybe this isn't a question of it being a proper noun, since maybe it's more of a title. Maybe we need a lexicon to distinguish "phrase" from "title". AngusM 16:47, October 11, 2010 (UTC)


I think the word "dungeon" should be common, as it is mostly used that way in the games (AFAIK), and it seems to be a very generic way of describing evil places by different fantasy settings. But their status would be different from "Shrines".--Sega381 13:39, October 17, 2010 (UTC)


As this refers to the society (like "Britannian") and not the race, I think it should be proper. --Terilem 08:28, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

So do I. But if "Gargish" is a society, or an ethnicity (always proper in English), then that means "gargoyle" would sometimes have to be too. This would mean "gargoyle" could be either. I don't know if we wanna go there. AngusM 01:58, August 30, 2010 (UTC)
From what I remember, "gargoyle" and "gargish" are corruptions of "Gargl", which is the gargoyle's name for their own society. So "Gargl" should be proper, but I'm not sure if "Gargish" would be proper as it is the Britannian's name for the gargoyle society. -- Browncoat Jayson 14:10, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand how that changes things if it still refers to the society. Wouldn't it be akin to something like the English word for Deutsch being German? --Terilem 14:20, September 24, 2010 (UTC)


I'm not sure on this one, probably common.--Sega381 13:39, October 17, 2010 (UTC)


This is the one that is currently, and possibly colloquially, called the Blackrock Obelisk. First, I'd like to have a look at what the name should be. If everything here is as it should be, then I guess it should be proper. AngusM 21:04, June 23, 2010 (UTC)

Obelisk componentsEdit

These would be the Tongue of Flames, the Tear of Seas, etc. I don't see how these could be common. AngusM 21:04, June 23, 2010 (UTC)

Yep, definitely proper. --Terilem 03:34, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
I don't foresee any more discussion here, so I'll be adding them to the lexicon.--Sega381 13:24, October 17, 2010 (UTC)


Same issue as "Gargish" above, though by English standards and consistently with "Britannian", I don't see how this could be but common.--Sega381 13:39, October 17, 2010 (UTC)


Refering to the runes related to each Shrine. I'm not sure on this one, probably common.--Sega381 13:39, October 17, 2010 (UTC)


Since these are the names of spells, I'd say that they are proper. An instance of spell casting would be common, but the spell is pretty unique. AngusM 19:57, June 25, 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, missed this one. I agree, they should be capitalized. --Terilem 01:58, September 24, 2010 (UTC)

Ultima II itemsEdit

Off-hand I don't remember all the items, so maybe some are proper and others aren't. An issue of contention is Talk:Force_Field_Ring. AngusM 22:26, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

Word of PowerEdit

Refering to the Words of Power that opened the eight dungeons. I'm not sure on this one, probably proper as it is a name of a specific set of words.--Sega381 13:39, October 17, 2010 (UTC)

Word of PassageEdit

Refering to the Word of Passage that was needed to access the Codex. I'm not sure on this one, probably proper as it is a name of a specific words.--Sega381 13:39, October 17, 2010 (UTC)

Approved wordsEdit


I'll bet the "-hood" suffix commonizes any proper noun. I'll look into this, and probably make a decision at that point. AngusM 17:23, June 15, 2010 (UTC)

Only depending on how it's applied, I think. The definition is as follows:
A native English suffix denoting state, condition, character, nature, etc., or a body of persons of a particular character or class.
Specifically, the former is all that applies here and in that case I don't see any reason to believe it contradicts the capitalization of the word. If it were used to refer to a group as opposed to the state of the individual known uniquely as the Avatar, you'd definitely have a point. I say keep it capitalized. (I hope it's okay to contribute discussion here) --Terilem 05:41, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
This is exactly where you contribute.
If that's true, then when "God" (the theistic one) is suffixed w/"-hood", shouldn't the properness stay? A quick Google for "godhood" reveals only common nouns, including those appearing in a monotheistic context, and on credible sites. AngusM 05:58, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
Good point, but on that note, what about Christhood? --Terilem 06:45, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
Hmm... looks like whatever we do won't be completely right, but it'll be difficult to say it's at all wrong. Perhaps at this point, the least incorrect way would be to go back to what Origin says about this, if we find consistency. Crikey, that means going through all the documentation again! Terilem has already found a proper noun instance in the SI manual. Is there a single place that links all the Ultima documentation PDFs? AngusM 17:29, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
Don't worry! :) I found two instances in the "Virtues" chapter of the U5 manual, one in the U6 in-game books and another in the U7 Usecode: all capitalized. There are text files of all the Ultima manuals here and I cross-checked with the hard copies just to make sure. --Terilem 23:30, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
Oh yeah, well check this out.
Perhaps we should set another policy: if manuals and game texts are perfectly consistent on a word, it gets added to the lexicon w/out debate. Maybe we'd want to tack on a "and used frequently enough". AngusM 03:26, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, but if we do, remember what I said about "knight" up at the top there. A noun that is sometimes proper and sometimes common might not be contradictory. It'll take some more wraggling to decide if it is or not. AngusM 03:29, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the out-of-game use of the word "avatar" can be compared to its Ultima form at all; they're different meanings with different usage. It's the same old "an avatar" versus "the Avatar" thing. Group versus unique individual. "Avatar" is a name as much as it is a title in Ultima, and it belongs to one person. In any case, your idea about rubber-stamping anything that's already shown to be consistent might be wise just to avoid extra headaches. --Terilem 04:01, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!! There goes consistency. I've confirmed with Notable Ultima and that Joshua and another guy use it as a common noun. The shrines have it proper, though.
Again, I'm not saying this is a contradiction, since some things can be expressed with both a common and proper noun, but it definitely isn't consistent, which means more banging of the heads. AngusM 22:05, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
But wait: Wasn't the original Ultima IV in all-CAPS?? Even if some versions were not, early Ultimas in particular were known for inconsistency... I seem to remember "altar" being spelled "alter" all over the place in my original copy. --Polygoncount 22:17, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
Well okay, but there's still a clear trend in favour of capitalization. I found another instance in the U5 dialogue where it's proper. I'm leaning towards "majority rules" here. --Terilem 22:21, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
Very good point. I, too, don't remember case when playing the game. But a quick look into the TLK files, shows case. :(
On the other hand, maybe that shouldn't make a difference. Maybe canon shouldn't be taken from hex edits from the files, but what the user experiences, or more specifically, what the user was intended to experience at release time. In fact, I think that line should go onto the canon page.
I'm not really in favour of a majority rules policy. Maybe a clear majority, like by at least 2/3 (or more). AngusM 22:27, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I just went to look at a bunch of screenshots, and all that I saw w/text had case. When I looked around here for them I wasn't sure if they were the facelift shots, but MobyGames took the guesswork out of it. AngusM 23:27, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
My vote is for Avatarhood. Majority rules works fine, and since it's clearly capitalized throughout the manuals and games - with one exception - I think this case is overdue to be closed. --Warder Dragon 23:43, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I was getting at. Of something like eleven confirmed instances of the word, only two aren't capitalized. That's a comprehensive majority to me. --Terilem 02:12, June 18, 2010 (UTC)
Yes, well, that's why I added "Avatarhood" to the lexicon several posts ago. But we've been working on some important precedents, like what constitutes a sufficient majority, hairsplitting over canonical events, and the like. AngusM 03:10, June 19, 2010 (UTC)


I see this concept as being like an SI peer to Britianian Virtue. So I see it as proper. BTW, is there some generalization for Balance, Order and Chaos? Britannia has "Virtue", but I don't recall what SI has. AngusM 04:55, July 3, 2010 (UTC)

They are sometimes called "Principles", and some times "properties". Besides the fact that they are captitalized in-game, I vote to make these Principles (Balance, Order an Chaos) as proper too. If no-one else votes, I'll move them to the Lexicon.--Sega381 18:37, August 25, 2010 (UTC)
I think these have waited for more than enough time. Proper AngusM 04:36, September 17, 2010 (UTC)


I see the answer to this as being the same as that for "Balance". AngusM 04:55, July 3, 2010 (UTC)

Proper. AngusM 04:37, September 17, 2010 (UTC)


Without thinking about it too much, I'd say common. AngusM 18:46, August 28, 2010 (UTC)

Definately! Dungy 19:41, August 28, 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. --Terilem 08:34, August 29, 2010 (UTC)

"Iolo's Hut"Edit

Doesn't really look like the stuff of a proper noun to me. Maybe if we found an instance in the game where it was made proper, but as we've observed, Origin has been pretty inconsistent about that sort of thing. AngusM 02:25, September 12, 2010 (UTC)

Nah, that should definitely not be a proper noun. It's even common in the clue book (along with all the other huts). --Terilem 04:26, September 12, 2010 (UTC)
I guess it's pretty straight-forward then. Common it is. AngusM 03:37, September 13, 2010 (UTC)


I see the answer to this as being the same as that for "Balance". AngusM 04:55, July 3, 2010 (UTC)

Proper. AngusM

"Serpents" (Great Earth/Order/Chaos)Edit

Yes, they are a race, but not exactly a race. They're a unique trio, which is why I think proper. Besides, we have got a load of "Great Earth Serpent" references, and not just in SI. Still, I wouldn't blame anyone for disagreeing. AngusM 04:55, July 3, 2010 (UTC)

I'd also be inclined to say proper, for the reasons you've mentioned. It also acts as a differentiation from serpents (as in snakes) or even silver serpents. --Terilem 03:34, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
I don't foresee any more discussion here, so I'll be adding them to the lexicon.--Sega381 13:24, October 17, 2010 (UTC)


I think this should be linked to #Virtues. Since I'm used to seeing "Shrine of Compassion" and never "shrine of Compassion", I feel that this should be proper. AngusM 03:04, June 12, 2010 (UTC)

I agree with this and the Virtues issues as well. --Terilem 23:42, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
I agree too. Therefore, I'm adding it to the Lexicon.--Sega381 18:38, August 25, 2010 (UTC)

"Shrines" (Britannian)Edit

I see this the same way I see #Shrines. AngusM 03:04, June 12, 2010 (UTC)

Maybe, but only when refering to the Shrines of Virtue? What about the shrines at Ambrosia, proper too? And the gargoyle and ophidian shrines? Maybe for consistency, to be clear that we are refering to Shrines as the term is used in the Britannia universe, not as a shrine who anyone could have at home.--Sega381 18:40, August 25, 2010 (UTC)
Quite right. I'll change this heading from "Shrines" to "Shrines" (Britannian), and add other entries AngusM 19:13, August 25, 2010 (UTC)

"Shrines" (Ambrosian)Edit

These are the ones found in U3. If they are to be proper, it wouldn't be for the same reasons as #"Shrines" (Britannian). AngusM 19:25, August 25, 2010 (UTC)

I don't foresee any more discussion here, and in fact they are already specified as so in the lexicon.--Sega381 13:24, October 17, 2010 (UTC)

"Shrines" (Gargoyle)Edit

Off hand, I'd say since these shrines are just supposed to be counterparts to #"Shrines" (Britannian), their statuses should be linked. AngusM 19:25, August 25, 2010 (UTC)

I don't foresee any more discussion here, and in fact they are already specified as so in the lexicon.--Sega381 13:24, October 17, 2010 (UTC)

"Shrines" (Ophidian)Edit

Same reasoning as above.--Sega381 13:24, October 17, 2010 (UTC)


This is a pretty special set of words which have meaning and specifications as separate from out-world virtues. Also, Origin documentation is pretty consistent about this (probably perfectly consistent), so these should be proper. AngusM 22:26, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

There isn't as much interest as I had hoped, so I'll put these two into the lexicon, since I think they are pretty safe bets. AngusM 03:27, August 12, 2010 (UTC)


I apply the same criteria here as for #Virtues. AngusM 22:26, June 9, 2010 (UTC)


Natural phenomenon, doubt it's magical, certainly not unique. Seems pretty straightforward to me: common AngusM 03:42, August 30, 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. --Terilem 03:34, September 24, 2010 (UTC)
I don't foresee any more discussion here, so I'll be adding them to the lexicon.--Sega381 13:24, October 17, 2010 (UTC)

Indexing the lexicon by noun status Edit

As of now, the lexicon has been reordered so that nouns fall under the headings "Proper" and "Common". I don't think that this is convenient. When editors visit the lexicon, I think they are less likely to be interested in all the nouns that are either proper or common. I would expect they'd be looking for a specific word, and finding that entry directly. This would have been easier with the previous style of indexing everything by noun. AngusM 19:32, August 25, 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that is a good point. That's probably why you had them as titles, to get to them faster from the index? Even though that may facilitate access, I found it difficult to read. Anyway, if we separate them in two categories, AND order them alphabetically inside them, it's not so different. You would have to look in two places, though. I'm not opposed to going back to the other way, though. I just found this one more... ordered. But the original way may be more useful.--Sega381 00:14, August 26, 2010 (UTC)
The previous lexicon's strength wasn't in its looks, was it? Anyone else who wants to should check out the previous version and give an opinion. Notice how the nouns used to appear in the table of contents. This was lost. AngusM 05:49, August 26, 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I've tried merging both ways. What do you think of the result?--Sega381 00:19, August 27, 2010 (UTC)
I think it's definitely an improvement over the bulleted style. AngusM 03:18, August 27, 2010 (UTC)

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