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Forum: The Situation Room > What counts as a name

I know there has been a debate on this at Talk:Alpha 7, but I'd like to clear up exactly what we classing as a name for the purposes of creating articles/unnamed characters. I don't particularly follow the logic on that linked talk page, and don't agree that there is such a difference between a police call sign and a conspirator's codename that we would treat them differently, but even if there was I still see inconsistencies -

  • I see no absolutely no difference between Cabal 5 and Alpha 7, yet one is unnamed and the other is not;
  • Again, I don't see the distinction between Agents Dos and Ocho, and officer 1-M-38 yet again we have treated them differently.

I feel like we should make a decision to either give all these characters articles, or treat them all as unnamed.--Acer4666 (talk) 18:44, January 23, 2016 (UTC)

Wasn't "Cabal 5" just from the credits - definitely don't remember ever hearing that spoken in dialogue. I'd rather rename that to "Female cabal member." Other than that I'd lean toward giving them articles. The list should be for people who have no IU name of any kind. --Pyramidhead (talk) 20:09, January 23, 2016 (UTC)

Is "5" less legitimate than "A7"?

True, but "5" was her pseudonym within the cabal and was how the other members knew her. I don't see how it's any different to someone being known as "A7" to his fellow conspirator Nathanson--Acer4666 (talk) 20:44, January 23, 2016 (UTC)
For that matter, I can't remember "cabal" being used outside of the credits. I don't know if "5" on the screen combined with an arbitrary word is enough to put together a name. Anyway - in the other cases I would be okay with giving them their own articles. Just write it something like:
1-Mary-38 was the radio call sign of a LAPD officer - etc. --Pyramidhead (talk) 21:02, January 23, 2016 (UTC)
Why would we not create an article "5", then? I really don't see how it differs from "A7", they were both identified as such in-universe--Acer4666 (talk) 21:09, January 23, 2016 (UTC)
Hehe. I get what you're saying, just seems a little more of a reach than Alpha 7 - for all we know the Red Dot software randomizes their numbers every time so no one can try to pick up on who each person is. If we apply the standard equally, though, I guess that would qualify for a new article. I'm always looking for excuses to start new pages, so I wouldn't be opposed --Pyramidhead (talk) 21:19, January 23, 2016 (UTC)
Per the Canon policy, we are perfectly fine to continue to use "Cabal 5" as that character's name. Since Alpha 7 already has an article, now that you guys mention it, there is really no reason why Cabal 5 cannot have her own too. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 01:17, February 12, 2016 (UTC)
I was thinking that, but if we start accepting things like Alpha 7 and Cabal 5 as "names", then what is stopping "The Handler" or "FBI agent #2" or all other credited identifiers? In my opinion, these things are not names at all. I still don't see the distinction between Alpha 7 and 1-Mary-38, the fact that one is used to hide an identity and one is used for another functional purpose is kind of insignificant. It's true we have other aliases like Mandy etc., but we also have other functional nicknames- eg Ferg isn't that person's real name but it's something they call themselves to make their name easier for people to say. It's not trying to hide their identity, but it's for the same functional purpose as a police officer calling themselves 1-Mary-38. But one is a name and the other is not--Acer4666 (talk) 15:26, February 14, 2016 (UTC)
Before I comment, I'd like to ask, what were the circumstances under which both "Cabal 5" and "Alpha-7" were used? I don't have the seasons on me now, but was "Cabal 5" ever identified like that, or was it just the number on the screen and then the credits? did "Alpha-7" answer the phone like that, or did Nathanson ever call him that? or was it just the credits? Did someone else call him "Alpha-7" through the episode? I just want to clarify the facts. Thief12 (talk) 16:28, February 14, 2016 (UTC)
Cabal 5 was just the number on the screen and then the end credits. The other guy said "alpha 7" when he picked up the phone, and was just credited as "the man".--Acer4666 (talk) 16:38, February 14, 2016 (UTC)
If that was the extent of the use of both "names", then I think Cabal 5 is in the appropriate place (Unnamed terrorists), and I would have no problem moving "Alpha 7" there as well. After all, we don't even know if that was the name he was known by. Maybe it was a password he knew he had to give when answering :-D Thief12 (talk) 16:49, February 14, 2016 (UTC)
I'm not able to follow the reasoning here. "Dagger", "Mandy", and "Alpha 7" are codenames. Is it because there are numbers in Alpha 7 and Cabal 5 that you guys want to move them to unnamed pages? Also I'm dumbfounded that you are trying to lump a police officer's radio call sign with the codenames of undercover operatives. I'm really not even sure how to reply to that.
Also, under no circumstances would this extend to stuff like "FBI agent #2"... that's quite silly! Blue Rook  talk  contribs 19:56, February 15, 2016 (UTC)
Mandy is a name though. Dagger and Alpha 7 are not names. I'm not trying to lump things together...I'm saying both things are not names, so shouldn't be listed as articles. If we did list them, we'd have to list all the "non name" characters in separate articles.--Acer4666 (talk) 20:13, February 15, 2016 (UTC)
My proposal would be to keep these articles, but make them articles about the code names, rather than the actual characters. They would be categorised in Category:Code names, and much like the Deep Throat/Mark Felt setup on wikipedia there would also be a separate entry for the character (in unnamed terrorists). For Mandy and Arthur Rabens, I don't think we ever have proof these definitely weren't their real names, so this would only be for the "non name" codes such as DAGGER and Alpha-7. As Thief12 points out, we don't know that Alpha-7 relates to that character specifically, it could be a name for his "cell" or his location or just a password he has to say whenever he answers. We can make an article about the code, but not necessarily about the character. This way, the canon policy couldn't be extended to interpret other non-name things like "The Handler" as code names. Note that the radio call signs Air Force One etc are listed under code names, so this sort of "lumping" together of these things is already going on!--Acer4666 (talk) 20:36, February 15, 2016 (UTC)

Dagger-discussion only Edit

Claiming that the article for Dagger is not for the character but for the name itself is... not good. It simply does not make sense. This is a situation where we need to step back from splicing hairs into finer and finer hairs. No one... absolutely no one... wants to read "an article about a code-name" but rather they want to read about the character that the code name represents. I want to restore character categories and article attributes back to Dagger.

And, let's keep this particular sub-thread to Dagger for the time being, without detonating into every single possible other scenario and situation that it could possibly compare to in the entire universe. Can we do that, for once? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 17:12, March 28, 2016 (UTC)

Welcome back to the discussion...but no, we can't just have a "dagger only" talk as all of these issues affect each other. We can't have a load of double standards running through the wiki because we had every debate in isolation and were forbidden from making comparisons. Comparisons are were the one who brought Dagger into this debate yourself, and usefully because it was a similar situation to what we were discussing. I'm happy to continue the debate about these characters, following on from the above - I am interested to hear counter-arguments to what was raised.--Acer4666 (talk) 23:11, March 28, 2016 (UTC)
So the counter argument would be: 0.00% of new visitors would click "Dagger" with the expectation of the history of the codename. Same with "Mandy" or any other codename. All visitors want to read about the character it represents. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 00:11, March 29, 2016 (UTC)
The information that visitors reads is the same no matter how we categorise the article: the info on the page will be everything we know about the topic (the codeword and the mole that used it). When visitors click on Sword of the Faith they get info on the code name, with a link to the character it represents. This is the same except the character isn't given a name, so what small amount of info we have about them goes on the code name article.
As for Mandy: It's true that in Findings at CTU Jack said that Mandy was one of her "aliases", but that was the name she went by for six years between Day 1 and Day 4, so much in the same vein as we decided on talk:Ted Cofell, that is for all intents and purposes her assumed name (even if it may be different to the name she was born with). That is not the case with "Dagger", which is a codeword used for communicating with Alexis. One is a name and the other is not. Dagger is an unnamed character, so by the inclusion policy should not have a character article--Acer4666 (talk) 16:11, March 29, 2016 (UTC)
I do not understand how the inclusion policy can be the underpinning for the change you are trying to make here... it has never excluded code-names to suffice as a name for a character. If it did, Proudhug or I would have noticed. Code-names could even be considered an example of conjectural titles, but even more legit than them, because they are used IU.
Also, the exceptions for Mandy and Ted Cofell essentially because 'they used those names a long time' is extremely arbitrary. Those would only be their "assumed names" for persons they wanted to deceive (which for dramatic purposes includes the audience). We cannot prove they didn't use their real name to other groups, trusted persons, etc. We could only speculate that they didn't. Dagger was his assumed name to those he wished to deceive, too. "Dagger" and "Mandy" are both appellations... they both identify individuals where their birth name is not known either to the audience or the on-screen characters. Which is 100% unlike the police officer's call sign. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 19:58, March 29, 2016 (UTC)
I do not see how it is 100% different to a radio call sign. Are you suggesting the Air Force One (which is a radio call sign) article be deleted as it's not a sufficient "name"?--Acer4666 (talk) 21:12, March 29, 2016 (UTC)
I think that with the presence of articles like Air Force One & Two, Marine One, Alpha and Charlie Team, all the plane flights etc., it demonstrates that radio call signs/temporary functional labels are worthy of their own articles. So 1-Mary-38 should really be allowed an article of some kind.
I think I agree with you when you say it's needlessly pedantic to make these pages strictly about the name and not what they represent (ie adding "vehicles" categ to Air Force one etc) so adding character categories to these pages, as well as the code names category, makes sense. So this would allow 1-Mary-38, Dagger, Alpha 7, etc. to have articles with the code names category and the relevant character categories. However, these titles are technically not character names, so that would stop us gleaning things from the credits or oou sources to give "The Handler" his own article or anything.
In the same vein, the Cabal 5 character does have the in-universe designation "5". I would suggest moving her to an article called "Cabal 5" - because we need to disambiguate from other things referred to as simply "5" (ie Interstate 5), and any such dab tag would be oou anyway so why not go with the credits.
Does this sound reasonable?--Acer4666 (talk) 10:54, April 3, 2016 (UTC)
I haven't contributed as much as I'd like in this (and Curtis' topic), but it's mostly because I consider both to be really tough calls, which leaves me thinking and thinking of possible solutions. Anyway, about this case, I really don't see a lot of harm in making the article about the "name" as opposed to the "character", since it would include the same information: "Mandy was the alias used by a hitman and assassin that did this or that". It would be sorta similar to what Wikipedia does with superhero articles where the article on Robin or Flash features information of every single person that has bear the name. If there ever appears another "Mandy" or "Dagger" in the show, which I find unlikely, then we would add it to the same page. So I agree that this is probably the best call. Thief12 (talk) 13:13, April 8, 2016 (UTC)
Hey Thief - so do you reckon we should remove all the character categories from Mandy's page and just put her in the "codenames" category with nothing else? I kind of now think that's a bad idea, as it's sort of counter-intuitive for people who haven't read the one line in Findings at CTU where Jack says that "Mandy" is one of her aliases. I'm not sure the wikipedia comparison is quite the same, as they are articles about fictional characters, whereas our in-universe articles purport not to be.
What do you think about creating a page for 1-Mary-38?--Acer4666 (talk) 15:36, April 8, 2016 (UTC)
Overall my main issue is the idea of removing character categories from Mandy, Dagger, and other codename characters. Beyond that, I'm definitely OK with the other changes that are being proposed recently. Acer's proposal of the relatively minor rewriting of introductions of those articles ("Mandy/Dagger was the alias...") sounds perfectly reasonable. Also, unlike the past I am now much more amenable to the idea of creating individual pages for 1-Mary-38, Cabal 5, et. al. I was slow to accept this because of this project's past: Proudhug had a very keen eye for avoiding grey areas and preventing confusion, and he was excellent at establishing very strict rules to accomplish that. So many years later, however, I believe it's better for us to amend our policy to be a bit more inclusive when wider varieties of identifiers are available. All the points of these recent discussions are indicating a need to our being a bit more inclusive.
I suppose it might be worth mentioning that there is good reason to suspect that Proudhug himself would disagree with these recent change proposals: 1-Mary-38 was his single, inaugural entry at Unnamed law enforcement officers. But I'm not a mind reader; perhaps he would support this now. Regardless, without someone to actually put forward the opposing argument, there's nothing stopping us from making this change. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 13:44, April 12, 2016 (UTC)
OK awesome, glad we came to an agreement :)
As for Proudhug's intentions, I guess there is also the arguments he put forward at talk:Alpha 7 where he made it clear that he reckons that Alpha 7 and 1-Mary-38 should be treated the same- so if we agree Alpha 7 should stay I guess he would want 1-Mary-38 to be made also. But here's hoping he returns and clarifies that himself!--Acer4666 (talk) 17:18, April 12, 2016 (UTC)

I'm honored that all these years later, people still value my weigh-in on these issues! While I do still feel the new change could open the door for inconsistencies and ambiguities (What if a character is only ever known as "Mr. President" for example?), I've softened to these things a bit in my old age. Over the years, Blue Rook has broken me to the point where I'm willing to accept that every once in a while certain things should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. And this would be one of those incidences. Thanks for requesting my inclusion in this discussion. :) --proudhug (talk) 16:03, October 27, 2016 (UTC)

Noice! Blue Rook  talk  contribs 18:59, October 27, 2016 (UTC)

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