Talk:Saint Petersburg

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Cscr-former.svg Saint Petersburg is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
February 22, 2007 Featured article candidate Not promoted

Article name[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 22:51, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Saint PetersburgSt. Petersburg – As English language sources use St. Petersburg, per WP:CommonName this article should be titled St. Petersburg. I have looked back through the archives, and this matter doesn't appear to have been previously discussed. (on behalf of SilkTork)) Enric Naval (talk) 21:49, 28 May 2013 (UTC) As English language sources use St. Petersburg, per WP:CommonName this article should be titled St. Petersburg. I have looked back through the archives, and this matter doesn't appear to have been previously discussed. As the article is high profile, and well edited, and has held the present title for some years, I am pausing before moving from Saint Petersburg to St. Petersburg. SilkTork ✔Tea time 18:34, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

I don't have any problem with this name change. --Enric Naval (talk) 09:08, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm of two minds about this, leaning towards leaving the article where it is, but I understand the reasoning. At any rate, whatever you do, don't just move the page. This is a high-profile article which at the very least deserves to go through a move request for wider input, in case there are less-than-obvious considerations that need to be taken into account.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 28, 2013; 13:40 (UTC)
I think this is an uncontroversial move - I am simply pausing here to see if there's something the article regulars know that I missed. This is the move request discussion, if you like. If you prefer to set up a more formal move request, please do so using this section as the starting point, otherwise I will action the move tomorrow. SilkTork ✔Tea time 14:36, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, I disagree this is an uncontroversial move, and even if your reasoning is correct (as it very well may be), it should go through a review more thorough than a couple of hasty comments. The article is about a major city, not some obscure concept where judgement of a couple editors is usually good enough. Since the move is your initiative, it is also your responsibility to format and submit the RM properly; please don't shift this burden to other people. Thank you for understanding.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 28, 2013; 15:26 (UTC)
I formatted a formal request. (aw, come on, loosen up, wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and we can ignore the rules at any time for the good of the encyclopedia, remember?) --Enric Naval (talk) 21:49, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Ah, but I didn't ask to follow the rules for the sake of feeding the bureaucracy :) A properly submitted RM leads to notifications automatically posted in all kinds of places, thus enabling a lot more people to comment other than the handful who happened to have the page on their watchlists and who paid attention on this particular day. And the article's high profile calls for a little bit more formality, don't you think? I would have happily helped to RM this myself, had I agreed with the proposal, but I have my reservations (and will document them here shortly after mulling them over); me submitting a request with which I don't quite agree would have simply looked weird :) Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 29, 2013; 01:07 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Um, I can't really take this nomination seriously... Of course, I'm Russian and I see the things from this side of the ocean, but I can't imagine a contraction as the primary reference to a city. This is Saint Petersburg, not St. Petersburg, Florida! I can't come up with any proper arguments for the full spelling, but I guess that's just because it is the default spelling? Personally, I've seen "Saint Petersburg" far more often than "St. Petersburg" - and I mean written in English, not in Russian. Maybe it is a U.S. tradition to contract it, but certainly not global (and we should take into account not only English-speaking countries). A brief glance through the references gives at least three that use full spelling: [1][2][3], incl. Encyclopædia Britannica, which contracts it in text but spells in full in the title. YLSS (talk) 15:12, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While I understand the reasoning behind the request, after reflecting on it for a while I can't agree with it. Let me explain. In Russian, the name of the city is "Санкт-Петербург", which unambiguously translates to "Saint Petersburg". "Saint Petersburg" is, in fact, the variant recognized as the conventional English name by the NGA, which I suspect is one of the reasons why our article is titled so. "St. Petersburg", on the other hand, is obviously just an abbreviation of the conventional name. Now, there is no doubt that the abbreviated name is being used in the real world a lot, but the question remains: is a commonly used abbreviation the same as the common name in English? I am not convinced that it is. To me, arguing about whether "St. Petersburg" is more common than "Saint Petersburg" is akin to arguing whether the article about the 100 meters sprint race should be under "100 meters" or "100 m". Surely the latter is extremely common as well! In the end, it boils down to benefits to both readers and editors, and in this case I just don't see any. Regardless of whether the full or abbreviated version is used as the title, the other variant remains (as it should) a redirect to it, rendering any navigational concerns moot. And a move of an article of this scale is bound to create inconveniences for editors, too (think of a gazillion bot edits this move will trigger, and think about how many other minor tweaks would have to be done manually across Wikipedia). All for a benefit that's nowhere to be seen. And if the article is moved, what are we going to be arguing about next? Whether "St. Petersburg" is more common than "St Petersburg"? This seems to be a move just for a move's sake (but please do enlighten me if there's some important benefit I'm just not seeing).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 29, 2013; 15:25 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unnecessary and let's also remember that this fails WP:ENGVAR, since "St. Petersburg" would be American English. Commonwealth English favours "St Petersburg". Better to leave as is. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:34, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I don't think that titles should be abbreviated unless the title is very long. There is no WP:COMMONNAME differentiation between "St. Petersburg" and "Saint Petersburg", both are equally recognisable. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:30, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Article title[edit]

As a native English speaker and resident of St. Petersburg, I propose renaming the article's title to "St. Petersburg". "Saint Petersburg" is a widespread error resulting from a literal translation of the city's Russian name, "Sankt-Peterburg", by Russian-speaking translators. This error appears to have become widespread only after the advent of the Internet. You'll not find it anywhere in older English-language sources.Abercius (talk) 10:51, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

I do not know, Britannica uses Saint Petersburg. Any way to check paper maps?--Ymblanter (talk) 10:59, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (p. 38): "St Petersburg". Other formats available here. —Abercius (talk) 11:53, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Current online version--Ymblanter (talk) 12:05, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
You did see that the move proposal immediately above this section failed just a couple weeks ago, right? Unless you can offer any new arguments, there is hardly any point in reopening it. Plus, a wide-sweeping statement that the "Saint Petersburg" spelling is a "widespread error" (as opposed to being the full form of "St. Petersburg") really needs to be supported by sources. So far you've offered none (EB 11th edition, is merely an example of alternative usage, and a badly outdated one at that). The NGA's website, on the other hand, gives only "Saint Petersburg" as the conventional English name, not the abbreviation, and those folks are extremely conservative with their "conventional name" assessments.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); June 21, 2013; 12:07 (UTC)
That's just the thing, that electronic and post-Internet reference works can't be regarded as definitive. Unfortunately, many errors have "gone viral" in our day and found their way into even such respected publications as the Britannica. Older, printed reference works must be consulted to really settle the issue, but few of these can be found on the Internet. But if you want online sources, here are a few:
By the way, since you've cited the current Britannica, you'll find that other entries in it use "St Petersburg" or "St. Petersburg". Examples: here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, just to mention a few. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Abercius (talkcontribs) 13:54, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Abercius (talk) 13:09, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that's not what I asked for. Not one of all those sources says that the "Saint Petersburg" spelling is a "widespread error" or is somehow incorrect. The only thing they illustrate is that some sources use "St(.) Petersburg", the abbreviated version of the full name (a fact that no one ever contended). For all we know, it's a part of the manual of style they follow, and a style choice is never an error, merely a decision. One could easily compile a similar list of sources which use "Saint Petersburg"; indeed, some are already available in the thread above this one. Additionally, that "electronic and post-Internet reference works can't be regarded as definitive" is strictly your opinion, and a rather unorthodox one, I would say. If you look at Wikipedia's definition of what a "reliable source" is, you won't see "electronic and post-Internet reference" in the list of exclusions; on the contrary, the very definition of "published" (further explained here) notes that whether a document is published in traditional printed format or online makes no difference.
Regarding Britannica's in-text examples, these remind me strongly of NPR's style guide, according to which the current President of the United States is referred to as "President Obama" on the first mention, but as "Mr. Obama" subsequently. Deciding what a title of a Wikipedia article should be based on such technicalities isn't a terribly smart idea, wouldn't you agree?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); June 21, 2013; 13:51 (UTC)
Уважаемый Ezhiki, perhaps you might at least consider giving some heed to my opinion on this issue, the opinion of a native (unlike you) English speaker and professional translator, instead of just rejecting it outright? This page is evidence to that fact that I'm not alone: others have raised this problem before me and also consider "Saint Petersburg" an error. Just maybe we could be right?
In any case, here's an additional argument you might find convincing:
From the Cambridge Guide to English Usage (1994):
When saints' names are written into those of institutions, the shortened form St(.) is always used... Geographical names which honor a saint are likewise written with St(.): St Gotthard Pass, St Kilda, St Moritz, St Petersburg. Abbreviated forms like these are used in the gazetteers of world atlases published by The Times and Oxford, among others, and they reflect common usage... Use of full stop/period: The shortened form St is normally left unstopped by British writers and editors, because (a) it's a contraction rather than an abbreviation, and (b) it contains a lower case letter.
Abercius (talk) 14:39, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
As one professional (albeit no longer practicing) translator to another I assure you I gave full weight to your arguments :) So did other people, to very similar arguments, in the thread immediately above. It should be rather obvious that neither "Saint Petersburg" nor "St. Petersburg" (nor "St Petersburg") are incorrect; at least no one was able to support such a claim with an authoritative source. What we have here is clearly a matter of style, and while in matters of style usage is one of the selection criteria, it is by no means the only one. Your Cambridge Guide example would have been a convincing argument only if the said guide had been adopted as Wikipedia's sole style guide (which it hadn't been). Style matters in Wikipedia are driven by applicable policies and guidelines, as well as community consensus, and here we have neither. If any of those ingredients change, then I am sure the article will be moved. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); June 21, 2013; 15:00 (UTC)
Maybe you should see the article for St Asaph in North Wales: that follows the convention User:Abercius was referring to, and conforms with the said Cambridge Guide to English Usage. If that city can be there (along with all other cities with "St." in them), this should be among them too. -- (talk) 14:54, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
The title of the St Asaph article is formatted to meet the British English usage conventions due to the strong national ties. The subject on St. Petersburg, Russia has no national ties to any variety of English, which is why the original choice of spelling has a greater weight, per WP:RETAIN. Since the current title is not incorrect, there is no point in changing it. Additionally, nothing is to be gained by switching to any of the two other equally valid spellings, but there is something to lose—instead of a current stable compromise title we'll get endless quarrels on whether it should be "St. Petersburg" or "St Petersburg". Lest you think I'm exaggerating, a quick scan through WT:AT and its archives will show you that some editors are happy to churn out kilobytes upon kilobytes of pointless discussions over even less significant issues...—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 15, 2013; 15:49 (UTC)
Regarding "endless quarrels on whether it should be 'St. Petersburg' or 'St Petersburg'", can you cite any evidence to support that claim? The variant with the full stop is American, the other British. Both are equally correct, and I for one would be happy with either as long as consistency is maintained.—Abercius (talk) 08:56, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't purposefully keep track of every silly squabble Wikipedians somehow find time to engage in, but disputes about the choice between British and American spelling in articles which have to do with neither Britain nor America (and where WP:ENGVAR is happily ignored) are surprisingly common. Indeed, this very thread is already heading that way! If you ever feel like being astonished by the pettiness (and length!) of some disputes (many of which are not dissimilar to this hypothetical one), just take a look at WT:AT and its archives. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); October 28, 2013; 16:06 (UTC)

Airport photo[edit]

For whom it may concern

Please, change the photo of Pulkovo airport. Now we have new terminal, long awaited, and don`t have those Russian types as portrayed (hope obtain some). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:11, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

My city is called Sankt Petersburg! Not Saint....[edit]

Please respect our Russian spelling and change. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:45, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

WP:COMMONNAME Jaan Pärn (talk) 10:15, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

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