Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch

There are no forbidden words or expressions on Wikipedia, but certain expressions should be used with caution because they may introduce bias. Strive to eliminate expressions that are flattering, disparaging, vague, clichéd, or endorsing of a particular viewpoint.

Bob Dylan is the defining figure of the 1960s counterculture and a brilliant songwriter.

Remember that Wikipedia is a global encyclopedia, and does not assume particular places or times are the "default". We emphasize facts and viewpoints to the same degree that they are emphasized by the reliable sources. Terms like this country should not be used.

Phrasing such as "Smith died in 1982, survived by her husband Jack and two sons" should be avoided; this information can be made more complete and spread out through the article. The "survived by" phrasing is a common way to end newspaper obituaries and legal death notices, and is relevant at the time of death or for inheritance purposes. But an encyclopedia article covers the subject's entire life, not just the event of their death. Information about children and spouses might be presented in an infobox or in sections about the subject's personal life. Readers can generally infer which family members died after the subject. Usually this information is not worth highlighting explicitly, except for unusual situations (for example where children predecease their parents, or where the inheritance was disputed).

Even in a stub article, a different arrangement with more details sounds more like an encyclopedia and less like an obituary: "Smith married Jack in 1957. The couple had two sons, Bill and Ted. She died in 1982."

Neologisms are expressions coined recently or in isolated circumstances to which they have remained restricted. In most cases, they do not appear in general-interest dictionaries, though they may be used routinely within certain communities or professions. They should generally be avoided because their definitions tend to be unstable and many do not last. Where the use of a neologism is necessary to describe recent developments in a certain field, its meaning must be supported by reliable sources.

Do not use similar or related words in a way that blurs meaning or is incorrect or distorting.

Similar concerns pertain to many cultural, scientific, and other topics and the terminology used about them. When in doubt about a term, consult major modern dictionaries.