Talk:United States/Name

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This is a topical archive of discussion posted to Talk:United States

of America

One more vote for United States of America. There are, in fact, other nations using the title "United States of (something)", so it actually is analogous to the "People's Republic of China" example given above. Yes, I realize there are a bagillion pages linking to United States, but in all fact there are probably a bagillion linking to United States of America as well. -- Ian Maxwell, 2004-03-12-1728

Indeed... - Woodrow 20:52, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Show me a reputable English publication referring to some other country as "u.s." or "united states".--Jiang
No reputable publication refers to another nation solely as "United States" because that is generally recognized among English speakers to be shorthand for "United States of America". Also on this continent, however, are the United States of Mexico and the United States of Brazil. Also, show me a reputable English publication referring to some war other than the American Revolutionary War as "the Revolutionary War". -- Ian Maxwell
"This continent"? Since when are the United States of America and Brazil on the same continent?
Depends on which system you use. See The Americas. Rmhermen 21:23, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)
When I first got here I was like United States of America but after having been here many months I am now resolutely in the United States camp. Why? a.) It's shorter, b.) It's unambigious "united states of mexico" to the contrary, c.) it is used SOOOOO much more in running text--using the whole United States of America becomes incredibly clumsy--and, as someone mentioned somewhere once, the United States page is the most linked-to page on wikipedia, and I imagine the added burden on the servers with the resultant redirects would be substantial. It is wikipolicy to have the most common name in English as the actual page URL--the complete name of the country is absolutely explained herein, but United States is, I'm 99% sure, the very best place for this page to be. Compare South Africa, for Republic of South Africa; Germany for Federal Republic of Germany, etc. America is ambigious according to the goddamn unamericans ;), so United States is by far the best choice. :) jengod 04:14, Mar 13, 2004 (UTC)
The other thing is U.S. institutions--they are not U.S.A. institutions--US Air Force, U.S. Supreme Court, US Capitol, U.S. state, United States Trade Representative, etc. jengod 04:17, Mar 13, 2004 (UTC)
And when these names are used, they don't link to "United States". For instance, the links are properly United States Air Force not United States Air Force.

My point exactly. "United States" will automatically refer to the United States of America. Your first sentence has negated your second. French Revolutionary War?Revolutionary War in Haiti?

I say we move this page to America to piss off those ungrateful anti-American bastards.--Jiang

I second Jiang's brilliant plan. :) jengod 07:01, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)
You should read the NPOV stuff. WikiPedia recognises its extraordinary pro-USA stance on practically everything but evem if light hearted these kind of comments don't help trying to get the other 95% of the planet' population to get involved... --(talk to)BozMo 22:40, 15 May 2004 (UTC)
Um, sir, you spelled "recognize" wrong. Just to let you know... --Jiang 22:58, 15 May 2004 (UTC)
Thanks kiddo. "Recognise" is an unusual word because it can actually be argued that the US spelling (recognize) is correct rather than just established ignorance. Cambridge University Press has maintained the "z" spelling always, (against 99% of native English speakers who spell it with an "s"]] so whether by luck or judgement I cede you are arguably correct. --(talk to)BozMo 14:58, 16 May 2004 (UTC)
But seriously folks:
  • United Kingdom is the page, official name is apparently United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Australia is the page, official name is apparently Commonwealth of Australia
  • A little place I like to call Germany is technically the Federal Republic of Germany jengod 07:04, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)
These are all incomparable. First, it is quite uncommon for anyone to refer to UKGBNI or CA or FRG, whereas USA is extremely common. Second, with the possible exception of the UK (which can reasonable be excepted from this consideration because it is so unique in its longness, it's so totally different, no one uses it), the common names are far less ambiguous than "United States". Similarly, the removed parts are so generic, "Commonwealth" and "Federal Republic" that they don't indicate uniqueness. More telling, though, is that these names are far less common than "United States of America", compared to their short names. From a search on Google (example: "Australia" -"Commonwealth of Australia" vs. "Commonwealth of Australia"), the ratios are as follows: USA-US:2.9-1, CA-A:4.7-1, FRG-G:44.1-1, UKGBNI-UK:75.9-1. In other words, with the exception of Australia which is about 160% (1.6x) difference in usage, the difference of usage for the UK and Germany is magnitudes larger (more than 15 times). - Centrx 21:30, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Germany is a region, and the history of that region is covered in the relevant article for a period long before the Federal Republic came into existence. The history in the article on the United States of America begins with the creation of the United States of America. Not comparable. -- Ian Maxwell 2004 Aug 13 02:53 (UTC)
Long live Usonia! -- Decumanus | Talk 07:08, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I would also vote for United States of America. Regardless of whether there are other nations using "United States" term, the actual page should be the formal title and all nicknames should redirect to there - this should be done for the UK and USSR as well. --Xinoph 15:27, Mar 24, 2004 (UTC)

Why? Redirects are not a good thing. We already state the full name in the article itself. Some of these entries not only speak of the current political entity, but its predecessors. --Jiang 16:32, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Er, there is already a redirect from United States of America to United States. If the article is moved, the redirect will be from United States to United States of America. Why is the latter a worse situation than the former? As far as I can tell, there are a near-equal amount of links to both as things stand. -- Ian Maxwell, 2004 Aug 13 02:57 (UTC)
I have to agree with Xinoph. Maybe it's just me, but this is an encyclopedia, we should refer to things by their FULL AND PROPER names. The full and proper name of the US is the United States of America, and it should be listed as such. The same goes for all other countries. And why exactly are redirects such a bad thing? We're going to have the same number of names (therefore the same number of redirects) any way we go about this, so why not just use the proper name for the proper article and redirect all shortened or casual names to that? NerdOfTheNorth 03:54, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
By fiat, as Queen of all I survey, I hereby forbid, ban—and swear to abolish—any user of less than 1,000 edits and three months on Wikipedia to comment on the "of America" debate. Sincerely yours, the Queen. [her mark] :o) jengod 04:01, Mar 25, 2004 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). RickK | Talk 04:37, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The length is an irrelevant concern. The proper name for this country is "United States of America". Just because many use a shorthand doesn't alter in any way the established full name of the country. -- Stevietheman 20:36, 15 May 2004 (UTC)

Sure. But we're not renaming the country, we're locating an encyclopedia article at the most obvious URL. jengod 21:00, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
It doesn't matter about obviousness, it gets redirected. The only reason not to do that is if there is some true performance concern. - Centrx 21:30, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Obvious, eh? Guess where I looked for it first? -- Ian Maxwell, 2004 Aug 13 02:54 (UTC)

'America(n)' Footer

I did read through the previous discussion regarding this, however upon reading the note I was (slightly) dismayed at how inadequately it read. It seemed to imply that I, say, as an American citizen, would take umbrage to someone's calling me American, or that (more generally) speaking of the U.S. as 'America' is an almost universally-offensive terminology. I amended the statements to, I hope, reflect reality, which is that most people, whether in my ancestral home (India), or France, or England, or Hong Kong, people casually refer to 'America' and 'Americans' at least as much as they do to the 'U.S.' I neglect U.S. citizen because I hardly hear people asking me, whether they're American or Indian or otherwise, " Hey, are you a U.S. citizen?" It's more often "American citizen." I invite more discussion (as I'm sure will happen) on my edits and look forward to streamlining the 'Note' further, though even as it stands I'm unhappy with the non-U.S. extraction and feel that it should be mentioned that its usually South Americans who dislike the term, as opposed to people living in Europe or Australasia, who frankly couldn't care. --LordSuryaofShropshire 04:08, Jun 27, 2004 (UTC)

Is this going to have to go to requests for comment? It seems to be going around in circles. olderwiser 00:48, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps it should. I've tried rewording this several times so that it would reflect the reality of the meaning of the word as it is used rather than our opinion about what it should mean: it's possible to do so without getting into a debate about who is offended by it, and who's offended by that offense. But apparently the "offense" is felt by some to be so important it has to be inserted. - Nunh-huh 01:57, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

This phrase:

The false expectation that cognate words in different languages should have identical meanings causes some people to feel offended by the use of America to refer exclusively to the U.S.

The sentence above is patronizing and POV. An encyclopedia should not tell people how to think on any issue, just give facts.

And this one:

However, there is no nation in the New World other than the United States whose inhabitants commonly refer to themselves as Americans.

The above sentence is of little value and also POV, as if trying to give excuses or taking sides. It seems pretty logical that no country will call their citizens by the name of their continent. It is just not a common practice, well, unless you are the U.S.

This is the reason why I have removed those two sentences from the footer. I tried to make a compromise version, but I just couldn't extract anything good from the text presented above. --Cantus 02:38, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I can appreciate your objections to the specific phrases above and I'm glad you have articulated your objections here. However, in your edits, rather than simply removing these phrases, you seem to be simply reverting back to your preferred phrasing, which includes other changes besides what you list above. olderwiser 02:47, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I welcome your edits on the current version. --Cantus 02:53, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I would love if someone from the Americas, who is supposedly offended by the usage, would actually discuss it here. So far I don't see any, but people from other places who want to be offended FOR them. RickK 05:11, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)

Howdy. Here's the current (as of Jun 29th, 2004, 1:55 in the morning in NY) version:

In the English-speaking world, America has become synonymous with the nation of the United States while American refers to United States (U.S.) citizens; this is a standard usage that applies to much of Europe and Australasia. By pluralizing America to the Americas, the speaker intimates both the North and South American continents as a collective unit. In Spanish-speaking countries, particularly in Central and South America, the word America is used not to describe the nation of the U.S. but what English-speakers would term the Americas. Thus, many people of the Americas consider it technically incorrect and even offensive for the U.S. to be referred to as America and inhabitants of the U.S. as Americans. While, in some quarters, the accuracy and political correctness of such nomenclature is debated, current usage in English by sheer weight of occurrence inclines to America and American as linked to the nation and citizens of the United States.

I basically overhauled it. I felt that we could start working on it here, since there seems to be some good dialogue going on. I have, as is apparent, stratified this into three parts. 1) Dealing with common English usage of the words/names America, American, and Americas 2) The offense taken by non-U.S. inhabitants of the Americas and their preferred usages and 3) A final, as neutral as possible statement on how things are.
So, what now? --LordSuryaofShropshire 05:58, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)

People keep leaving out:
4) Nobody cares that Americans are offended when they're told that they're not allowed to call themselves Americans. RickK 06:02, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)

Okay... let's discuss that sentence. Keep in mind that I'm American, so I'm speaking as an 'insider.' No one has ever made an issue of this usage in the public form in the U.S. and it is primarily a controversy south of the border. Thus, while it is indeed prudent to be aware of this, I think it would be overstating the point to intimate that Americans are offended by a largely unheard prohibition on the use of the term "American" to signify U.S. citizens. Essentially what I'm saying is that for most people in the U.S.A. it's a non-issue of which they've probably never even heard. Thus, I think it's fair to leave that statement out. Now, if you should insist on its inclusion, I feel a less truculent presentation would be the following:

"It may be noted that most U.S. citizens in general would probably object to a call for the proscription of the use of 'American' as a self-referential, or of 'America' as an alternate name for the United States."

So, my idea... preferably, leave this ostensible fourth sentence out completely. If the issue is pushed, I guess for the sake of (in this case unnecessary?) balance of viewpoints, we could utilize an attenuated statement, something along the lines of the spirit of my alteration. --LordSuryaofShropshire 06:28, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)

Technically, you're correct that nobody ever makes an issue of it in the US. However, it comes up on Wikipedia and Usenet all the time, with, especially Brits, demanding that we change and feigning insult for the poor, oppressed brown people who don't seem to find it offensive at all. RickK 06:30, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)
Okay, see: poor, oppressed brown people now that is offensive, since you're categorizing people not by the more meaningful category of geography and socio-economics but by race. Also, I happen to be what some people consider 'brown' (ethinically Indian). Luckily, I got over that in high school and think skin color categorizing is, for the most part, for pre-schoolers and racists (often with similar mentalities). Hopefully, we'll come to a stage where we hardly even think about black, white, brown or yellow.
Anyway, as for the America(n) thing; since it is an issue online, apparently, and several people seem to enjoy the amenabiliy of semantics to political squabbling, why don't you insert a sentence, preferably streamlined and neutral in tenor, about U.S. citizens and their feelings on the political correctness of the "America(n)" label? --LordSuryaofShropshire 06:40, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)

We'd be better off leaving all four sentences out. We don't need to make a footnote each time someone is offended by the plain and accepted meaning of an English word. We should just link to American where this is already discussed. And anything that is retained should avoid the word "many", unless they can cite a survey. - Nunh-huh 06:44, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I apologize, because it's not MY characterization (my niece is brown), but the characterization of the racist anti-Americans who feel that they have some sort of mandate to speak for other people. RickK 06:46, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)
Nunh-huh: Well, apparently, it means quite a lot to a few people, so a brief note with a reference to the main American article seems in order. Also, the idea that any random word which causes offense shouldn't be dealt with is a noteworthy call for moderation. However, I don't see most articles suffering from multiple instances of jargon-conflict. I personally really couldn't care less, as I learned my lesson about international and weighted usage of terms with the Kolkata/Calcutta debate. It seems that the best way of handling these situations is to 'say it as it is' and mention major voices in contention as briefly as possible. I feel it's being done here and since people feel strongly about it, the note needn't be excised from the page. --LordSuryaofShropshire 07:02, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)
If we (unlike any citable dictionary) deem that "America" needs a usage note, we will be asserting our POV. As such the note should be removed until it can cite some authority who deems the word offensive. That a word offends a (or many) Wikipedian(s) is not noteworthy: that a word is thought by a Wikipedian to offend a certain group is not noteworthy: if a word is designated offensive in a dictionary, that is noteworthy. Nunh-huh - 07:10, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, NH, that's what I've been trying to say in my pathetic way. We keep hearing from people who think that OTHER people are offended. We never hear from people who are actually offended. RickK 18:32, Jun 29, 2004 (UTC)
With this sentiment I can actually agree. Perhaps I'll look around the net to see if there are any really discernible voices calling for a change in usage. In fact, if we find none, I guess it would indeed be fair to completely do away with it. Let's see what comes up. --LordSuryaofShropshire 01:45, Jun 30, 2004 (UTC)
I note that we still have no citations to any authority that designates the use of "American" as offensive, and that nonetheless we still have the note. - Nunh-huh 19:58, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Actually, I've known Latino people from other parts of the Western Hemisphere who find the common usage of "American" to be offensive, because to them it would seem to arrogantly imply that the only "Americans" are those living in the United States, and as such would prefer that "American" refer more generally to people from North America and South America, how the name was originally used. The only alternatives I can think of are "U.S. national" or "U.S. citizen". - Gilgamesh 20:05, 5 July 2004 (UTC)
People you know, however, are not a citable reference, and are not authorities on language. - Nunh-huh 20:17, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
True. ^_^ - Gilgamesh 20:26, 5 July 2004 (UTC)
There are articles about the subject, you can find them either on paper or over the internet; however, since the vast majority are in any language but English I doubt you will consider them as a "citable reference". Well, here is one article in English (don't worry, the only thing in Spanish is the title, and the author is a USian): "¿Todos Somos Americanos? Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century." BTW, people south of the border of the U.S. are not of a single race or culture, that is simplistic; there are as many white, brown and black people in other American countries as there are in the U.S. and Canada. As an example, I am white and some in my family are blonde and/or tall and have blue or green eyes. Peace, regards. -- 15:13, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Those are some mighty big strawmen you've introduced, but the point is that you're citing a political speech on a website (in which someone laments that the word American doesn't mean what he thinks it ought to mean) rather than an authority on the English language (citing the use of American as offensive). We still have the "usage" note with no citation to any authority on usage who agrees with it. - Nunh-huh 21:09, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I hope I didn't start another controversy by saying that Native Americans are also, not formerly, known as (American) Indians. This is noted under Native American, and what is said there agrees with my experience. --JerryFriedman 16:32, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

"American" as used to refer to citizens of the US offends me but I'm from the 'between Mexico and Canada'... I think that replacing any instance of American with American covers the issue nicely though, since it's pretty well discussed in American and I think it's definitely worthy of it's own article and discussion. I don't think we need to protect the entire United States from one word, lets leave the discussion and controversy in the article: American...Comments?Pedant 23:38, 2004 Oct 21 (UTC)

As per my United States of America passport, citizens of the United States are called "U.S. Citizens" on page 3 in the IRS section. Funny enough, our embassies are called "American Embassies" on page 4. I reiterate my point above in the discussion about the formal title of the country to notate all permutations regarding our citizenry descriptions and the objections to the colloquial use of "American". Revmachine21

We still have no citations to any authority that designates the use of "American" as offensive, and that nonetheless we still have the note. - Nunh-huh 22:44, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Fiction: A new country called the United States of Europe is created in the modern territory of France, Spain and Portugal. This new country calls itself Europe and calls its citizens Europeans.

How would you feel if you were German, or Italian, or Polish and the names Europe and European were stolen from you forever (and in many different languages)? This is the same way we Latin Americans feel when the US calls itself America and its citizens Americans. This needs not be endorsed by an English language dictionary or encyclopedia to make it appear more valid or truer. It exists in the real world and it is very offensive, and worth of a mention in, yes, the English Wikipedia.

--Cantus 08:32, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)

-- User: anonymous

Take the word 'Columbia,' (or 'Colombia') which, like the case you mentioned, originally connoted the entirety of the New World land mass. I see no-one in an uproar over a South American country's decision to incorporate a vague 16th-century geographical classification into the name of a proper country, for good reason. The simple fact of the matter is that both 'America' and 'Columbia' are terms, once broad and synonymous in the English language centuries ago, that have come to represent specific political entities over which there is no confusion. It is funny that you mention the 'theft' of the name of Europe without specifically mentioning the Greeks, for if you knew your history, 'Europa' was a term that began its life as a name for mainland Greece, then by degrees spread its way over to encompass the entire continent. Yet public outrage over this seems to be astoundingly quiet...

We North Americans do make a distinction between people on the two continents: Latin Americans and North Americans (Canada and the U.S.). The term 'American' refers to citizens of the U.S., because that country has the name 'America' in its title. I see this as more of an advantage in specificity rather than an ethnocentric hindrance; in any case, you must admit, it's a far better practice than saying the word 'American' and having free association from Canada to Chile coming to mind over what it could mean. The people of the Netherlands have the proper perspective to realize the somewhat-awkward English use of the word 'Dutch' does not connote Germans (Deutsch), or German-speaking peoples on the Continent (as it once did around the mid-19th century). But both Dutch and native speakers do not pretend that the contemporary use of the word has any broader connotation within the language. Thus, to take offense over the nomenclature issues of the word American in English is an effort to impose the conventions of your culture on a different one, which, given the current status of the word, would be unwieldy in practice and fairly unnecessary as well.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:22, 22 November 2004

The English language is described in English dictionaries. "American" is proper usage in English for the U.S., and English speakers regard what Spanish and Portuguese speakers classify as one continent, as two continents, North American and South America. The resentment sets in when you insist on using Spanish cultural differences (one America) when speaking English (N & S America, the Americas). You will need to adjust, or get the English language to adjust, if you don't like current use. But Wikipedia is here to report what is, not what you think should be. Therefore we will gladly report that someone (though a named someone or a printed source objecting to the use would be good) is displeased with standard English usage, but we must also report that the use of the word America to apply to the United States of America is not considered an offensive or a pejorative usage in any English dictionary or usage guide. - Nunh-huh 08:43, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
And I stated that clearly, for US-citizens it isn't offensive; for Latin Americans, it is. I believe that that is clear as water. --Cantus 08:55, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I understand the claim you are edit warring about. Alas, one cannot very effectively insist that other people speak their own language in a way that pleases you, or change established useage to please you. You also cannot give one side of a story (yours) in Wikipedia and erase the other. That's not a neutral treatment, and it's improper. - Nunh-huh 08:57, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Our own language? - Woodrow, Emperor of the United States 22:27, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
And I'm not even arguing on how should US-citizens call themselves. That is entirely not the point. The point is--and it's all I'm saying--is that for Latin Americans, that specific term, used in that specific way, is offensive. No more, no less. (PS: Go to my user Talk page, before you accuse me of things I haven't done) --Cantus 09:09, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
That's not all you're saying. You are deleting information that shows that this is standard usage. That's not proper for you to do: it is standard usage. - Nunh-huh 09:14, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
And how is the footer denying it is standard usage for US-CITIZENS? --Cantus 09:40, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
By erasing the portion of the footer that says so. - Nunh-huh
This is getting really out of hand. I do not believe Cantus is entitled to speak for an entire continent. Using America as short for United States of America is standard in English. Most Latin Americans have far better things to do than worry about this potential ambiguity being "offensive". Some of the edit summary comments are crazy: "By using 'America' to mean the US you are insulting all Spanish/Portuguese-speaking population." How is this insulting anyone? This claim reflects poor judgement. (And why doesn't it insult Canadians, anyway?) Are all non-Chinese offended that in their own language the Chinese call themselves the "Middle Kingdom"? You're setting yourself up to be offended by a lot of local language uses if this is how you feel. I won't be offended if you call an American a norteamericano when speaking your language; don't fret about the conventions in English. This footnote should IMHO be axed; but if it must stay, it should not say or imply that all Latin Americans are tied up in knots over this multiple usage of America. -- VV 12:06, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Anything that doesn't fit your own ideas is thought by you as 'getting out of hand'. I'm tired of your ideological wars. Another thing to add is that, if English wasn't as widely used throughout the world then this would probably be a non issue. But since it is so predominant, other people end up using these Americanisms. English Wikipedia is not for 'Americans' or Brits only, but for everybody speaking English as a second language in the world. There lies the importance of this footnote. --Cantus 22:02, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Keep the personal attacks in check, huh? By getting out of hand I meant the edit warring over this small bit. (Name one ideological war; I am working for neutral language here.) The English Wikipedia uses the actual English language, not English as modified to please others. You didn't address most of my points, though, so there's not much to say. -- VV 22:12, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I thought this was clear, but I'll repeat it. It insults Latin Americans and not Canadians, because America in Spanish means North & South America. And your ideological wars are many, including United States, Augusto Pinochet, Fidel Castro and others. --Cantus 22:21, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Hm, you'll have to remind me. I rememeber insisting on neutrality in some cases, and others pushing ideology, but no matter. America might mean "ugly chicken" in Zulu; what does that have to do with anything? -- VV 22:52, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
That's a foolish example. Both Spanish & English America are related. The fact that the name America was initially given to just South America does nothing but increase the weight of the offense. --Cantus 23:52, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It seems I was wrong and Canadians are also offended by the unilatelarism of the empire. Some Canadian user has just edited the footer to broaden the offence to the rest of The Americas. PS: While surfing I found some interesting sites from some angry continental neighbours: [1] (Canadian), [2], [3] (Puerto Rican), [4] (Brazilian). Enjoy! --Cantus 08:58, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

In an article about the USA, it is quite proper to refer to it as "America". There's an America (disambiguation) thingie, isn't there?

(Jerzy(t) notes that these two sentences are an edit by User:

Reasons why I think using the version mostly using "United States" and "U.S" is preferrable to the one using "America/American":

  • Both versions are correct English
  • The page title and most of the related articles the page links to use US
  • Why poke the bear (needlessly)? Use the version that isn't as offensive to some people.
  • Refusing to use the perfectly valid US version re-inforces the ugly American stereotype.
  • American is fairly ambiguous, United States less so. However, since we aren't the only country to use those word in its name, I think one that generally uses United States of America and USA is ideal. Niteowlneils 01:03, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
This usage is simply not customary in English. One does not say "This is a U.S. tourist attraction." It is clear from context what American means here; the ambiguity is simply not a problem. In fact, I question whether any other sense of American offers any significant competition with this usage. Based on the behavior of the users who have favored this change, I suspect this change is being made in bad faith. The talk of related etymology is particularly unpersuasive, given the sheer number of out-there cognates one could scrape up. Use of USA would be even more non-English. However, I'm glad you're willing to come here and talk about this, something no one else seems interested in doing. -- VV 06:28, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)
  1. I have intentionally not looked to see which users are advocating either side--I don't want to be affected by personal bias.
  2. I don't believe sheer volume of usage to be the only factor. Or are we going to replace isn't with ain't in all articles regarding items in the southeast US?
  3. I don't think the usage is as lopsided as the "America is obvious" camp suggestsat least when it comes to written English--u.s. tourist attraction gets slightly more hits than american tourist attraction, and us tourist attraction get three times as many hits as either of the others. Niteowlneils 15:02, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The bottom line is that U.S. citizens largely call themselves Americans, for better or worse. It doesn't matter in an encyclopedic sense whether anyone is offended by this fact. It's most important to defer to what a people call themselves, not what others want to call them. -- Stevietheman 20:47, 15 May 2004 (UTC)

I disagree. If someone called themselves God you might take offence and choose not to defer to them. Extreme example, but the point stands that neutral language is important.
The issue here really is that U.S. citizens call themselves Americans, and so do Latin Americans. So there are two groups of people with the same name, who do you defer to? You can't. You need need to use a more specific term.
My 5 cents worth. Ben Arnold 08:18, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
The God reference is an "apples and oranges" comparison. Even if Americans are incorrectly calling themselves Americans (and it's not incorrect, really), they have been doing it so for so long that it has become an encyclopedic fact, and history here cannot and should not be erased just to make some people feel better. That said, I agree that some kind of disambiguation is in order, and I do not dispute that others besides U.S. citizens call themselves Americans in a factual manner. -- Stevietheman 23:07, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

HONESTLY, i've just read this whole thing and it makes me sick. Before I once and for all decide this debate, let me state a few things which you should take for fact: (1) America is standard usage in English for the United States (2) This isn't going to change any time soon (try ever) and (3) America is often used in patriotic songs (America, america...) and just to keep from repeatedly using the words United States (english as a second-language speakers take note-sentence and word-choice variety is important in english). So, with these facts in mind, let me turn to the most important question: How many internet users are there in Latin and South America (about what-2000?) and how many read pages in English (about 2?). If this upsets you, make sure the way you like it is in your native language (probably spanish), use America in the article since its in standard use and always will be, and just mention somewhere that it upsets other people. End of story, should please everybody, get over it and worry about things like your economy and drug wars...yadayadyada...--naryathegreat 00:07, Jul 1, 2004 (UTC)

Interesting way to finish a discussion, with a childish and insulting statement; I could reply to you we would not have a drug war problem if you were not a wasted drug user whose only virtue is to have access to the share the U.S. gets from drug money. As you can see, a childish statement can be answered with an equally childish and probably untrue statement based on bias and stereotypes, and can be done back and forth ad nauseam with no useful result but to create more resentment. Now, regarding the use of America to refer to the U.S.A. only and American to refer to USians only, the only reason you have been able to get by using those terms like that is because (a) English speakers got used to England and her colonies (Canada included) calling the U.S. America and the USians Americans, with total disregard of the rest of the continent (singular, even if you fracture it in two to create disunion among the other American countries so you can prevail), which was typical of her I-am-the-center-of-the-Universe way of thinking and which inherited to the U.S., and (b) because of the lack of union itself which pervades the countries south of the U.S. (Canada does not count, she has been integrated culturally in that sense to the United States) which prevents them from reclaiming in practical use the terms America and American when confronted with English speakers. I believe the purpose of an encyclopedia is to present facts in the most neutral way for educational purposes, acknowledging all the variants of a definition within reason; those of us who come from other American countries do know the common usage of these words in English -as well as the deleterious effect such usage creates by destroying the sense of continentality other nations on Earth can claim, like Africans and Europeans, where the exceptions are more the rule- and find it refreshing when the Encyclopedia acknowledges there are other usages, but the problem in this particular article and discussion is the phrasing, extremely self-centered and with total disregard. Yes, is an article about the United States of America, but it does not have to be aggressive towards the rest of the American countries; I will not provide an alternate phrasing for your footnote, you have to do it yourselves, learn to think outside your bubble. It is a shame that a country founded by such illustrious people as those you call the Founding Fathers, who did identify America as the continent and Americans as the people of the whole continent, had been replaced by the sheer force of bad usage of the words by ignorant simplistic men and women. My only hope is that ignorance will not prevail, even if it takes another two hundred and fifty years to correct this mess. I am an American!!! :) -- 14:13, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Pedant : I do NOT like to see people who choose to use substances to alter their own body chemistry called "Americans". We prefer to be known as "freaked-out whackos". Calling a freaked-out whacko an 'American' is a grave insult. And the founding fathers knew quite well that "America" referred to what freaked-out whackos call the continent to the south, which is referred to now most commonly as South America. There was America and North America. That's one reason... the other issue is that there are actually 2 'united states of america':
  • the united States of America - a federation of Sovereign States or Nations... each nation independent except for in matters where the State has ceded responsibility to the Federal government. This federation has a red, white and blue flag - the one pictured in the article. The system of government is a federation of independent Nations, each Nation governs itself internally.
  • The United States of America, considered as a single actual nation, originally created as a legal fiction, now almost universally accepted as THE 'United States' of America or simply 'America'. This is what is referred to by "One Nation,,," in the Pledge of Allegiance (oath of fealty). This nation has a red, white, blue, and gold flag. Adding the gold fringe to the flag symbolises that the flag is a military flag.
so... there's a lot of issues, but even if you are a U.S. 'government official', you may not have the right answer to the "of America" question. Though I prefer correctness to convenience, I think that in this one case, the title of the article should reflect the most common usage... It is difficult to explain to someone that a blackberry is NOT a berry before you tell them what a blackberry or a berry IS... similarly, most people will be looking for United States, no need to tell them that it "is OF AMERICA, the-america-that-used-to-be-North-America-but-now-is-commonly-called-either"America"-or-"United States". It is laughable to imagine someone on Earth, who is reading the "American english" article on United States in wikipedia - that that person would not already have a glimmer of an idea what United States means. I think United States is ok to use as the title, regardless of the actual accuracy of the name... there is a huge volume of inaccuracies in every reference source on the United States of America. It seems to be the custom in America to be ignorant of and not to circulate true facts about the governmental structure, history, and foreign policies of 'the country between Canada and Los Estados Unidos de Mexico'. Ask an American how many countries are in North America... hey, we may be freaked-out whackos, and ignorant of many details of our own 'homeland', but it's because culturally we have been trained since childhood to be ignorant of anything that might create awkward confusion between what is correct and what our government wants us to believe. One reason most americans know who is getting kicked off of survivor island, but do not know the name of their elected representatives, or how the elctoral college system works. Americans can vote at age 18, but many Americans think you must be 21 to vote. Most americans think you automatically lose the right to vote if they are convicted of a crime, and that they have to 'have their rights restored' in order to vote.Pedant 15:43, 2004 Oct 16 (UTC)

Jumping in with both feet here... As an American who has lived overseas for a decade and travelled extensively worldwide, we can get away with any of the following "United States", "USA", "U.S.A.", "United States of America", "America", "America" and other permutations involving the f-bomb. Everybody, native and non-native English speakers alike, knows exactly what you are talking about. Now, depending on the listener, i.e. Central and South Americans specifically, saying you are from America and that you are an American really peeves them. Nobody else really cares (1 billion Chinese and 1 billion Indian make a good chunk of 50% world's population) In my humble opinion, all permutations should be listed with a reference to the objection. For style, a particular permutation should be selected for use throughout the entire article. Further reference on the CIA homepage:

    conventional long form: United States of America
    conventional short form: United States
    abbreviation: US or USA

As a European, I would opt for the following. Use the CIA references set out above. Make the main page reference 'United States of America' - redirect all other shortened forms and abbreviations to that page. As 'United States of America' is the full name, isn't this the least contentious of all options? Nick Fraser 13:02, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As a Canadian, I favour using "United States" or "the U.S." as the noun form and "American" as the adjective. I appreciate that it is somewhat annoying that "North American" or "South American" is not equal to "American", but that's what you get.

The fact that some Spanish speakers find this offensive is unfortunate, but as others have argued, the purpose of Wikipedia to record current usage, not to advocate correct usage. As another example, English Wikipedia does not require the Falkland Islands be entered under their Spanish name, Islas Malvinas for fear of annoying Argentina, nor does the Spanish Wikipedia require the same islands be called anything other than es:Islas Malvinas. --Saforrest 23:20, Nov 5, 2004 (UTC)

The USA is the only country on the planet with the word "America" in its formal title. That adds weight to the use of "Americans" to describe its people. --kfx 04:00, Mov 13, 2004 (UTC)

For all I know Canadians are equally offended by the "generous" application of the term onto the USA citizen's alone. So I think it is a bit patronising the way you come down here onto the Southamerican contributor above. Further US-English is but one variety of many of English and you must not impose US usage on others here in the Wikipedia Refdoc 21:36, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

As a Canadian I would just like to say that we don't care. We don't think of outselves as Americains, we are Canadians and we like it that way.

I myself find it amazing for people to accuse Americans for being arrogant and self-important for calling themselves such. The points made by Nunh-huh and Cantus pretty much cover it; and as I understand it, no one had problems back when the United States broke from the U.K. I may be going out on a limb here, but to my knowledge, the United States was among the first colonized nations of the American continents to become independent. An alliance of independent nation-states in America; hence, "United States of America." From far back as 1812, I've found texts that show everyone referring to people of the United States as "Americans." In all, the name describes what it was, and what still is, though many other former colonies exist as nation-states now. To be offended, cry arrogance, and demand a change without knowing the process behind the creation of these words ... hrmph. For Refdoc; why would you accuse Cantus and Nunh-huh of forcing the U.S. English dictionary meanings down everyone's throat? I'm quite certain that in other forms of English, things are exactly the same.

-- User: Anonymous

I was wondering if it makes sense to explain how the word "America" in the United States of America came to be. There seems to be no indication of that in the article. Most countries' articles seem to explain how the name of that country was derived so I thought that might be something useful to include in this article. AreJay 14:19, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think there has been a huge misunderstanding surrounding the use of the word "American". As an American, I can tell you that when we use it we are consciously including all of North and South America (and perhaps the world?). In this sense, American loses all meaning and dissolves into one great mushy love fest.

We're saying "Gosh, we're just a little ol' bit of this *great* *big* *world*! And we wouldn't have it any other way!"

So you see it is actually a way of being humble, the opposite of arrogant.

I mean, after all, when you get right down to it, aren't we *all* Americans?

group hug!

Seriously though, which adjectival form is open to us? Our country's name is the United States of America, often abbreviated as U.S.A. So what does that make me? A United States of American? A USAian? There's no option open to me *except* _American_.

curtains 7:40, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Opening sentence

From LaurelBush 16:37, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC) (Laurel Bush - 16 Kennedy Terrace - UK - KWI 5BN):

I suggest the article's opening sentence should read
“The United States of America, also referred to as the United States, U.S.A., U.S., America,¹ or the States, is a sovereign power and federal republic centred on Washington DC in central North America …”
The expression ‘sovereign power’ places the US on a map of sovereign powers, of which others include the UK (centred on London or Westminster), France (Paris) and Ireland (Dublin). Or is 'UN-recognised sovereign power' more precise?
How about "country"? Michael Z. 2005-01-28 16:47 Z
I second the motion to use the word country. Terms of art like 'federal republic' and 'sovereign power' belong in the article, but further down. brassrat

American versus USean

I removed the following:

¹America is incorrectly used to refer to the nation of the United States. Actually America is the name of a continent ranging to the Canadian North Pole to the Chilean South Pole. This continent was named after the Italian cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. Most people from this continent, mainly Latinamericans, find offensive the use of the term American to mean a citizen of the United States of America. The correct and proper way in Spanish to address to a Citizen of the United States of America is Estadounidense which could easily be translated to English as USean (the pronunciation of US is a usual and ean as in FloridEAN.

and replaced it with (from a previous edit):

¹America may refer to the nation of the United States or to the Americas—North and South America. The later usage is more common in Latin American countries where the Spanish word América refers to both continents. The United States is a less ambiguous term and less likely to cause offense. Unfortunately the term American meaning a citizen or national of the United States has no straightforward unambiguous synonym.

America is not incorrect in this use. It is accepted in the United States, and overseas as well. Germans use it this way. Polish use it this way. British use it this way. I'd wager that plenty of others do as well. It is therefore accepted and correct. It is ambiguous, but correct.

Additionally, America is not a single continent. America may refer to the North American and South American continents collectively, but that's two continents, not one. In English, we refer to The Americas to specify both continents. The use of the word America to refer to The Americas in English is rare at best, and nonexistent at worst. This is an English language encyclopedia. As such, we should follow English standards. If Spanish-speaking people use the word America differently, that's fine. They have their use. We have ours.

Finally, USean/USian sounds ridiculous in English. Again, if it works in Spanish, keep it there. We don't attempt to force Anglicizations on Spanish language texts. It's equally inappropriate to attempt to force Latinizations (better word for this?) on English texts.

If anyone has a good compromise, please, add your input.

-- Dpark 06:18, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think it should stay. That "USean/USian" sounds ridicolous is YOUR opinion, and is not enough reason to remove a whole paragraph. What, your view suddently became universal, eh? BAH! Besides, it's "The Americans, not "The Americas". That sounds like some backwatered mexican-town way of pronouncin' it. So speak for yourself: What's so wrong with spanish influences to the text (You DO know that English has been made up by "rip-off's" from the Latinic language, right?) when YOU make "The Americas" rare at best? Prepostirous, in their world "Americans" would be as rare as well - It all depends, not on your imperialistic view, 'tho. Not only that, you're lynching negroes - Removing the thing about Amerigo Vespucci too, which is, in fact, RIGHT....and you're too using an hypocrisy, since you do the same. And Spanish? 'Tis not latinization, but espanozifications. It's more justifyable to "force" (it's not even that, since it's sometimes used) Spanish on English since English was, in fact, MADE UP by a few Spanish words. English was not. Therefore, it cannot be equal. The paragraph's should stay.--OleMurder 09:56, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The inclusion of the conjured terms USean and USian would amount to advocacy of use of those terms, which are simply not in anything resembling what could be called "common use". The unqualified term American is by far the most common word used to describe citizens of the United States; and in English almost always refers to people of that country. The qualified terms North American, Central American and South American are used to denote regional origin. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 10:28, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If there is ever a need (which in my experience is rare) to describe someone as being from North or South America more generally than "North American" or "South American" the phrase "from the Americas" is used instead. In British English "American" is almost always used to mean "a person from the United States of America" unless it is being used to make a point about Canada/Canadians (usually) or Mexico/Mexicans (less frequently). In the future the same may happen with regard "European" as countries such as Norway and Switzerland are geographically in Europe but not in the European Union (then you have Cyprus which is culturally European and a member of the EU, but geographically in Asia. Turkey may also join the EU in future, and that is partly in Europe but the vast majority is in Asia). In short, use American but explain that while it is potentially ambiguous it is by far the most common term in the English-speaking world (or, in other words, do what the article currently does). It might be worth a mention that USean has been proposed as an alternative by some, but hasn't caught on in popular usage. Thryduulf 10:50, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Dpark and Tony Sidaway on this. The whole USean bit comes out of nowhere with no support or sommon usage and doesn;t even really make much sense overall. Including it would be advocacy/personal research/nonnotable/unverifiable/vanity and a long list of other things violating Wikipedia policy. DreamGuy 10:51, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)
Wow, you totally went off on some tangents, there. I'll try to actually address your stuff, though.
I'm pretty sure that many or most natively English-speaking people would agree that USean sounds ridiculous. It's not just my opinion. We don't form words like that. If we did, we'd have words like "NASAean" to describe someone who works for NASA, or NATOean for a member of NATO. We don't form words that way, though. As others pointed out, including the term would be tantamount to endorsing it. Just because a few people think its a good idea doesn't mean we should endorse it. I'm sure I could round up a few people who think it'd be fun to refer to Europeans as "EUs" (pronounced "eews"). But having a few crazy supporters does not make it worthy of inclusion in the article about Europe.
No, it's not "The Americans". No one ever uses that term to refer to North and South America collectively. "The Americans" would typically refer to the citizens of the US.
What's wrong with Spanish influences? Nothing, when they occur naturally. We've incorporated words such as "siesta" over time, and that fine. It's not fine to force wierd Spanish-esque words on English speakers to avoid offending a few zealots, though. (Your understanding of the history of the English language is lacking, and I will not address the claims that it's made up of Latin language "rip-offs". You can read about the English language for yourself if you wish.)
We're not "lynching negroes". And if you cannot reply in a civil manner, your opinion will not be respected.
I removed the whole paragraph. I wasn't specifically trying to remove the bit about Amerigo Vespucci. It just got dropped in the shuffle. If that information is important, though, it might be better to simply add it to the article, or link to Americas where it's further explained. It was rather out of place in that footnote.
"espanozifications" is most definitely not a word, though it's quite fun to say.
It's not justifiable to force Spanish on the English language. You haven't given any reason why this is acceptable, and I'm sorry, but your opinion, however zealous, is not a valid reason. And again, please read about the English language before making claims about it being "made up by a few Spanish words".
-- Dpark 15:17, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, Dpark, for your rational post. Here is the entire USean/USonian "controversy" in a nutshell: in Europe, most specifically in France, a mini-debate now rages around the term "American". In France, some want to replace the term "américain(e)" with the neologism "états-unien(ne)". This so-called movement is ideological and more often than not linked to virulent anti-Americanism. The French Wiki site is not immune to the debate, and many contributors prefer the new term. But the English-speaking world is not France; it is not drawn in to the same kind of political slugfests; it does not yet see "American" as imposed by imperialist running dogs. Rather, "American" is simply standard usage in both U.S. and British English. Wikipedia will accept "USonian" once it is standard usage, and not before. We should not impose a (very) weak and (very) politicized neologism upon every English article in Wikipedia. --Mason (a francophile American)

Thanks for your reply. I can (sort of) understand why some people want to use the terms America and American to refer to the Americas and any citzen thereof, and if it were common usage, I might agree with them. What I want to avoid are the "political slugfests" you refer to. I'm hoping we can reach a consensus and simply point to it whenever there's a disagreement on usage of America/American. I'm also wanting to avoid the petty reverting/re-reverting that happens with miles vs km already. So far it looks like no one actually sees "USean" as valid common usage, but instead as what they wish was common usage. And in that light, I definitely think we should keep it out of articles unless/until it actually makes its way into common usage. -- Dpark 19:52, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've added the following to the first note: Many alternative words for American have been proprosed, but none have enjoyed widespread acceptance. Perhaps that's an acceptable compromise. It presents the possibility of other terms, without appearing to actively endorse them. -- Dpark 21:21, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The Americas are also called "the western hemisphere". I have to agree that common usage among native English speakers is that "American" means a person from the United States. I say this as an American who regularly reads British publications (Economist and Nature, in particular). AdamRetchless 21:39, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A legal definition exist. The government is called the United States "the Federal Corporation" in Title 28 Section 3002. This government is a republic and not a democracy or representative democracy. See the revision and Article IV of the Constitution. Example: No one ever voted on income tax or abortion...but it happended. These are probably the two greatest issues today. The republican form created these laws.

28 USC 3002(15) does not create a legal definition of the term "United States". That subsection simply defines the words "United States" when they are used in that particular chapter of the United States Code. This is simply a way of saving words in the remainder of that chapter of the U.S. Code. (And by the way, Congress and the legislatures of three-quarters of the states voted to legalize the income tax by adopting the Sixteenth Amendment.) Mateo SA | talk00:44, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

Quote: Title 28 United States Code Section 3002(15) "United States means - (A) a Federal Corporation. Bouviers: "The republic whose organic law is the constitution adopted by the people of the thirteen states which declared their independence of the government of Great Britain on the fourth day of July, 1776." Richard Fuselier — (talk)

28 USC 3002(15) does not create a legal definition of the term "United States". That subsection simply defines the words "United States" when they are used in that particular chapter of the United States Code. This is simply a way of saving words in the remainder of that chapter of the U.S. Code. Mateo SA | talk 01:53, May 26, 2005 (UTC)

New vote: swap "United States" with "United States of America"

Though the WP:RM was a mangled mess, I'll propose a new vote here. The vote entails:


Support swap

No discussion here, only votes. See below for discussion

  1. Cburnett 22:31, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  2. Grunt 🇪🇺 22:32, 2005 Jan 25 (UTC)
  3. Estel (talk) 10:09, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
  4. Halibutt 14:40, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
  5. ExplorerCDT 15:33, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  6. SECProto 15:55, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
  7. Michael Z. 21:01, 2005 Jan 26 (UTC)
  8. Heimdal 11:23, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC) Acronym "U.S.A." would also do.
  9. Timrollpickering 15:59, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  10. Guettarda 19:40, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  11. Jayjg (talk) 00:59, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  12. Trilobite 06:52, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC) I've never understood why it's at United States.
  13. Refdoc 22:25, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  14. Calmypal 17:44, Feb 18, 2005 (UTC)
  15. Thryduulf 17:25, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC) Like Triolbite, I've always expected it to be at United States of America.
  16. Rainer 10:46, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC) I'm thinking the same as Thryduulf.
  17. Ddye 00:08, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
  18. Xepeyon 16:09, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Oppose swap

No discussion here, only votes. See below for discussion

  1. Proteus (Talk) 10:41, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  2. Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:25, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  3. Carrp 15:26, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  4. sjorford:// 15:37, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  5. Jonathunder 15:42, 2005 Jan 26 (UTC)
  6. Use common names. Google just "United States" = 31,700,000 hits — "United States of America" = 10,500,000 hits. -- Netoholic @ 16:50, 2005 Jan 26 (UTC)
  7. olderwiser 17:20, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
  8. jguk 21:08, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  9. violet/riga (t) 21:16, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  10. Not unless we move United Kingdom to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Neutralitytalk 21:20, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
  11. Jiang 08:22, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  12. Xezbeth 09:53, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)
  13. ADH (t&m) 10:59, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
  14. Niteowlneils 22:52, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  15. Minesweeper 03:29, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  16. Milkmandan 19:06, 2005 Feb 2 (UTC)
  17. Flyers13 22:08, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC). Agree with Neutrality.
  18. Hajor 20:56, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC).
  19. Daniel Quinlan 20:34, Mar 19, 2005 (UTC)
  20. Funnyhat 20:32, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  21. --Jleon 20:38, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  22. Dpark 19:57, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC) (Late vote, but whatever)
  23. Srl 09:14, 28 May 2005 (UTC) Later vote

Other vote

No discussion here, only votes. See below for discussion

  1. Curps 10:06, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC) (either this or status quo is fine)


Another option would be to swap "United States" with "U.S.A.". That would look better, imo. Sorry but "United States" sounds too much like "United Kingdom".

I oppose on the grounds that it's far too early for a vote; a change like this could do with a bit more (calm) discussion first. I'm actually fairly neutral on whether this would be a good thing. sjorford:// 15:44, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • To Netoholic: How many of those "United States" hits on google are for "United States of Mexico" (10,100) or other countries using "United States" in their names? Also, how many of those are for "United States Army" (2,110,000) or "United States Marine Corps" (394,000) or "United States Air Force" (1,130,000) or "United States Navy" (1,020,000), or "United States Department of State" (and other cabinet departments) or other organizations or corporations (United States Steel - 90,700) that just use the "United States" part of the "United States of America"? Or for phrases like "President of the United States" (3,940,000) or "Supreme Court of the United States" (670,000)? Eventually (despite your blanket attempt to say there are more U.S. references than U.S. of A. hits), those totals (like the pennies I so hate to have in my pocket) do add up. —ExplorerCDT 17:06, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
    • I think your examples (except perhaps Mexico :| ) proove the point. If government stations and military forces don't use "United States of America" in their name, then it is just more evidence that the longer name is not used in common speech or writing - even to the government agencies themselves. The United States self-identifies more frequently using the shorter name. -- Netoholic @ 17:15, 2005 Jan 26 (UTC)
      • (agreeing with Netoholic--written before he posted the above, but caught in an edit conflict) Formations such as "President of the United States" or "Supreme Court of the United States" (as opposed to "President of the United States of America" or "Supreme Court of the United States of America") should count as evidence for the shortened form. Even if you eliminate all the non-governmental incidents (like U.S. Steel), there'd still be an overwhelming difference. But beyond Google, how about some common sense: if you go to any English-speaking part of the world and ask what "United States" refers to--the response would be nearly unanimous. None of the other "United States" are commonly referred to as such except in limited situations where the context makes the reference clear. olderwiser 17:20, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
      • I disagree that google is a good measure of what to name an article. Especially when expanding the name of an article. Searching for "United States" or "United States of America" will still land this article in both result sets. This is the *only* reason given in the convention for caring about search engines and it's null & void. The convention only proposes to use common names to ensure it gets listed on search engines. Again, with this move, this is a null & void point: it will be in both results by same virtue "United States Army" is. Netholic, you're using the naming convention (along with a lot of people I see) for purposes other than intended. Cburnett 21:58, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
        • The convention only proposes to use common names to ensure it gets listed on search engines. Nonsense. From the third paragraph of Wikipedia:Naming conventions: Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. No mention whatsoever there of search engines. "United States" is unambiguously recognized by most English-speaking people (and even those with only a limited familiarity with English). "United States" is the simpler name and is easier to link to than "United States of America". olderwiser 22:05, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
          • What you quoted from WP:NC is a summary and you didn't link to the fuller explanation at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). The first reason listed is for listing on external search engines. Cburnett 22:21, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
            • While it is not readily apparent, the subpage, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), was originally developed primarily to address the names of people (as can be seen where it is linked to from Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Use common names of persons and things). Back in August 2002, Mav created the subpage by transferring and editing the section then labelled "Use common names of persons" [5]. In a later edit, Mav merged what had been a separate section labelled "Use simple titles" into the new Common Names subpage [6]. Although there is certainly some overlap, this is more clearly a case of "use simple titles" rather than strictly "use common names". Adding "of America" does not help to clarify the topic of the article, as "United States" is unambiguous to nearly all speakers of English; it merely makes a longer and more difficult to link to title. While you dismiss WP:NC as merely a summary, it is the primary page and the clearest statement of basic naming conventions. olderwiser 23:01, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

In addition to 'common names', I'd be extremely reluctant to move any page with more than 500 incoming links, at least until the paging feature is added to the 'what links here' pages. It was only by luck that I found a broken redir to Washington, DC caused by its weak consensus move. Niteowlneils 20:36, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It's a page swap and can't create a double redirect unless there was already one there. Cburnett 21:50, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
No, this is incorrect. If there are any redirects to the United States, when that is moved to United States of America, those redirects would become double-redirects and would no longer work. olderwiser 22:10, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
Imagine my surprise when I entered "United States" into the search category expecting to find an article on the Republic of the United States of Brazil (what Brazil was called pre-1968), and suddenly finding an article about a ragtag collection of 50 states that are scattered across the most southerly third of North America! Let's keep things simple and where people expect to find them, shall we? jguk 21:13, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Er, the most southerly third of North America includes Mexico and Central America. I've always suspected this newfangled "Wikipedia" thing was unreliable. Or maybe this is indeed something new and notable and we need to create United States (southerly third) and add it to the disambiguation page. I look forward to your original research :-) -- Curps 21:35, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Mexico's in Central America - North America is Canada, the United States, St Pierre et Miquelon, Greenland and (arguably) Bermuda. Of course, two of the ragtag areas aren't in the southerly third of North America. One's a former outermost province of Russia, and another one, properly called the Sandwich Islands isn't in a continent at all, jguk 22:06, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Mexico is a Latin American country, but it's definitely in North America. Geophysically speaking, the continent ends at the Panama Canal, so all of Central America is in North America, too. Michael Z. 2005-01-22 16:54 Z
Central America is in North America, Mexico is not in Central America. e.g. Flora of North America North of Mexico [7]

We have the United States Air Force (USAF) not the United States of America Air Force (USAAF), United States Postal Service (USPS), not United States of America Postal Service (USAPS), President of the United States (POTUS), not President of the United States of America (POTUSA)...even the Constitution itself makes repeated references to the "Congress of the United States" instead of the "Congress of the United States of America". Using "United States" is perfectly correct and most common--Jiang 08:26, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"America", "US", "USA" are all in as common usage as "United States" alone. Why pick one and not the others? The name of the country (or federation, if you prefer) is the United States of America. Isn't accuracy supposed to be of some value in an encyclopaedia? Why is this even an issue? Do the people who are so passionate about this thing want to be called "United Statesians" rather than Americans? Fine with me - I'd be happy to get my continent back. Guettarda 19:53, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Do the people who are so passionate about this thing want to be called "United Statesians" rather than Americans? Actually, I'd rather not be called either, what with being Irish and all. Proteus (Talk) 12:57, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

United Kingdom does not need to be moved to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Ever heard of the UKGBNI? The full title is so unwieldy that there's not even a decent acronym for it - neither would you hear it often in official speeches. On the other hand, "United States of America" and "U.S.A." are commonly used, and widely referred to. Heimdal 11:27, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

You know, they tend to use, "Miss United States" -- AllyUnion (talk) 12:37, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

sounds like good advice to me:) jguk 13:17, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There is a Straw Poll taking place on Wikipedia talk:Requested moves on where votes for "Requested Moves" should be placed. As this page was listed on the RM page and the debate was moved to here, the people who voted here, have practical experience of the issue and you might like to contribute to the straw poll on the RM page. Philip Baird Shearer 11:48, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"United States" and "U.S."

There are specific usages for these terms. The abbreviation "U.S." should *only* be used as an adjective, such as "U.S. dollar." In noun form, the country must always be spelled out as "the United States." Never refer to the country as "the U.S.;" that may be common in slang usage, but it is considered improper in writing.

Abbreviations are a form of slang that can only be used as adjectives. Gotcha. Likewise, "Aren't I?" should be used instead of "Ain't I?", because the correct answer to the question would be "Yes, I are", and not the ungrammatical "Yes, I am" ("Ain't" being a variation on "Am't", the contraction of "am not"). See, because "ain't" is non-standard.
Call me crazy here, but if we're going to be so linquistically pedantic, we should at least strive for sensical pedantry. -- King of the Pedants, Corvun 00:58, Mar 16, 2005 (UTC)

Corvun: The use of United States as a noun and U.S. as an adjective is standard in most style guides: NY Times, AP, Chicago Manual (used in book publishing), etc. Those of us who are professional copy editors and proofreaders like the distinction. Of course, we have a bigger bone to pick with Wikipedia: the substandard English found in many articles by contributors whose mother tongue is not English. Horrendous errors of syntax, grammar, spelling, and punctuation are ubiquitous.

You say that you are a copy editor and proofreader: so, edit the places where you see problems. that is the whole point about wikipedia, you contribute what you can. you don't say that you are an author, you say that you are a copy editor and proofreader. Otherwise, it is better that someone contribute even if they have some rough edges, if their contribution is otherwise an improvement. brassrat

I do that, Brassrat—I often edit one English Wiki article each day to fix punctuation, syntax, and spelling. Some people take offense and revert my edits. (I also contribute articles in English, French, and German, and don't mind if someone alters my writing, especially in French and German.)

ok, that's fine, but of course i misunderstood because that's not what you wrote... see any parallels? :) Peace. Brassrat 14:51, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Article title: United States or United States of America

Forgive me if I've missed something here, but why is this article called United States? Isn't the actual state (eh?) called the United States of America or the USA?--Alun 20:48, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

There has been extensive discussion of this and a vote (please see Archive 9). The outcome was that the article remains United States. Sunray 21:43, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

move to United States of America?

The official name of the US is United States of America, shouldn't that be the title of the article?

Please look at the very first heading on this page. -- Coneslayer 22:44, 2005 July 26 (UTC)

it would make sense to change the name only if there was another united stares, of, say russia around somewhere. Gabrielsimon

Both titles are good, and it may not be worth changing. Tony 05:18, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I can't see any reasons for changing the name into United States of America. Thorri 14:27, 21 Aug 2005 (UTC)

Neither can I. I vaguely recall that this issue may have been discussed before and the consensus was to keep the current name. --Coolcaesar 14:05, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
The first entry on this page directs one to Archive 9. (SEWilco 14:08, 21 August 2005 (UTC))

Consistent reference to the US throughout?

I wonder whether contributors support the idea that it would be neater and easier to read if the nation were referred to simply as 'the US', i.e., without the dots; that is, after the opening, and in all instances for which there's no good reason to use one of the longer names. Currently, usage in this respect is inconsistent.

Tony 05:23, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

If you want to make it consistent, better use U.S.A., because only US is not very descriptive. −Woodstone 08:10, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

in context of this article, what could anyone confuse US with? Gabrielsimon 08:12, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Agree with Woodstone, we should use U.S.A., instead of "the US." --Gramaic | Talk 08:17, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
USA instead of U.S.A.? (SEWilco 15:22, 29 July 2005 (UTC))

I'd rather spell it out as 'the United States' than use 'U dot S dot A dot', which, although an accepted abbreviation, is (1) one letter too many in this highly focused—and already too long—text, and (2) looks much neater, in my veiw, without the dots (nowadays, who spells NASA, NATO, PBS, ABC, and most other acronyms with the dots?).

I'd still opt for 'the US'. 'The USA' sounds pedantic, as though you're shortening it, but then partially retracting the brevity. 'The United States' is attractive, but the article is far too long as a single text for most readers of Wikipedia, and spelling it out on its numerous occurrences will worsen that problem. In addition, 'US' can also be used as an epithet ('the US peace mission', 'US interest rates') whereas 'USA' sits awkwardly in that respect. 'The US' has a high recognition factor worldwide; no one will mistake it for 'us', as in 'we, us, they, them', even momentarily. Tony 02:58, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Related discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#U.S._vs._US. (SEWilco 16:12, 1 August 2005 (UTC))

Proposed Move

The official name of the US is the United States of America, not United States, though rendered to that very often. This article should be moved to United States of America to perserve its official name. --Alvinrune 21:49, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

This has been proposed many times previously and has never garnered a consensus to move and more often than not the discussion degenerated into barely disguised incivility. Please review the archived discussion pages before making a serious attempt to raise this contentious issue again (which after having been beaten to death umpteen times already is highly unlikely to come to ay sort of consensus now). BTW, the condensed version of why it remains at United States is the practice of using common names as article titles, enshrined as policy at Wikipedia:Naming conventions and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)olderwiser 01:27, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Other names of the USA

Does the USA have other names? Britain has "Albion", China has "Cathay" etc. Everton 23:07, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

If you mean a name that is not a derivative of the official name yet is widely known, then at the present, the answer is probably not. Columbia used to be widely known but is now archaic. One could refer to "the Union" and be understood, but it sounds archaic and is most commonly used when referring to the states that did not secede in the Civil War. --Coolcaesar 06:43, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
Is Columbia archaic? The title of the federal capital is still the District of Colubmia. Everton 08:45, 18 September 2005 (UTC)'s defintion #two says The United States--Shimonnyman 09:30, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
By archaic, I mean that if you go up to the average American on the street and say, "isn't Columbia a wonderful country to live in," they will consider you crazy. Only people like myself who hold bachelor's degrees in history from reputable universities are aware that Columbia is the old name for the mythical female personification of the United States (as demonstrated in the name and logo of Columbia Pictures). Most Americans know that D.C. stands for District of Columbia, but don't know what is the Columbia in "District of Columbia." But if you say U.S., United States, America, or USA, everyone will know right away what you are talking about. --Coolcaesar 02:11, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I am asking this because I feel that there is something very uncomfortable in the name "United States of America", which arrogantly includes America although not covering the whole Americas. People often call the USA "North America", but it is also uncomfortable since there is another country (Canada) in North America. I think that another name should be adopted. Everton 21:51, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm sure the government will appreciate your input. --Golbez 22:04, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Well technicly there are two other countries in North America then again the European Union should change its name because not every European country is a member... The name was never meant to say we are exclusivly american nah nah nah nah nah. It's more just at the time of naming we were the only free nation (as in gained independence) on the Continent of North America why change names? No one else does (for the most part) --Shimonnyman 03:36, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Also, only the ignorant and uneducated are dumb enough to treat North America as synonymous with the United States. Most educated intellectuals in all three North American countries are knowledgeable enough to know that North America refers to a continent that has three main countries, and not just the U.S.


I don't know whether this has been discussed before and if it has been, I'll shut up.

Wouldn't "United States of America" be the proper name for this article and "United States" only a redirect. After all this is the name of the country and there were and could be other "United States", even though there are none at present.

Str1977 13:07, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

That has been raised many times, please check the archives. The consensus has always been to keep United States because that is the far more common usage in the vast majority of American publications (even government ones). "United States of America" is very, very formal (not to mention a mouthful to say) and is only commonly used in documents with legal effect like passports and legislative bills (for example, a bill's preamble will always say something like "Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled"). --Coolcaesar 04:32, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Just wanted to know without browsing all the archives. Your argument seems to me quite US-centric. But then, I'm only an European. As long as there's no other United States around and as long as it isn't shortened to simply "States" I won't stir this up. But there's another post at the top. (PS. Internal legal usage of the state's name is another matter alltogether.) Str1977 17:12, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Use of America and U.S.

Could I encourage everyone to go through and edit out all of the unnecessary uses of U.S. and America. It is understood that the article is about the United States so the terms do not have to start and end every sentence. Just my opinion but it does make it tough to read at times.--Looper5920 08:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

United States

I'm sorry to state the obvious, but why is this article at "United States" and not at the official United States of America? Sure, the USA are the US, but as evidenced by United States (disambiguation), there are all sorts of other United States, so why not keep the article at the official name? dab () 23:33, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Why is Columbia a name for the United States?

The country is referred to as: The United Sates of America, The United States, America, and U.S.A where did US of A and Columbia come from?

This a rather simple question to answer, U.S. of A is just someone's preference, standing for United States of America, and Columbia is just an old name for America, coming from the last name Christopher Columbus, since he is said to have be the first European to discover North America(Although this is disputed).--Dp462090 20:19, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't this page be at United States of America?

Just throwing this out... but the name of the country IS the "United States of America". Why is the article here at "United States"? (This has been annoying me for some time.) Matt Yeager 21:22, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

There is a redirect in place ... what specific arguments would you place for the change? User:Ceyockey 16:06, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
1. The Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution refers to "The United States of America".
2. The term "united states" is rather ambiguious. Mexico is the "Estados Unidos Mexicanos", translating roughly as "United States of Mexico". So "United States" could refer to more than one nation.
praetor_alpha 14:56, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
But, amusingly, it doesn't. We've been over this, several times. The full name of Mexico is Estados Unidos Mexicanos, are we planning to move Mexico there? "United States" COULD refer to other things, but does it? Can you cite something in common use where it is used for something other than America? --Golbez 16:28, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
Hello! I think the article is situated properly (i.e., currently) precisely, but not solely, because it is simpler and easier for users to type. Why confuse the issue for visitors by reversing the current state with a redirect as so? Similarly, few other country articles are entitled so lengthily, and should only be when there is a possibility of ambiguity or confusion (e.g., Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Congo). This isn't an issue per se here; further to that, I believe the Mexican longform name more properly translates (according to my almanac) into "United Mexican States". My two cents ... E Pluribus Anthony 16:44, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, the article for the Republic of Austria just says "Austria" as the title, and the article for the Federal Republic of Germany just says "Germany" as the title, and similar things with the Republic of France and such. If you change the title to "united states of america", you'd have to change the titles of all the other nation articles, logically. -Alex 17:48, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I concur with all the arguments raised above in favor of the status quo. The current policy of preferring the common name of a country over the country's formal legal name is the better one. It would be awkward to force users to go to articles with titles like "United Mexican States." --Coolcaesar 20:55, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

This needs to be named "United States of America." The side bar even states the full name, isn't that confusing? And who is going to be confused anyway with the title as the full name, in a regular encyclopedia it would be in full. And what's wrong with having a redirect anyway?

The sidebar of Belarus says Republic of Belarus, and the sidebars of almost every country have a longer name, so that argument is right out - we have deliberately chosen to use the short-form names here. The burden of proof is on y'all - show how "United States" is ever used in a fashion not specifically referring to America. I'll accept any press citation. --Golbez 16:11, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
In reference to the comment "in a regular encyclopedia it would be in full" ... in the on-line version of Britannica, the article is "United States" (see User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 18:10, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Just checked: MSN Encarta's online version also uses "United States" rather than "United States of America" (and Encarta is the descendant of the old Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia). So both of the two "established" or "regular" encyclopedias use "United States." --Coolcaesar 05:54, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I strongly object to this naming convention. All throughout Wikipedia, in countless instances, the United States of America is called "the United States", or just "US". It is, as far as I can tell, an Americocentric term perpetuated with a fair degree of unjustifiable chauvinistic pride. I am doubtless of a minority view, but I wish Wikipedians from the USA would step outside their national mindset and help create a new Wikipedia standard for the naming of this country, which is, after all, and although the most powerful, one of just 190 or more nation states in the world. Australia, after all, is not called in Wikipedia "The Commonwealth", although its full name is "The Commonwealth of Australia". Is it a case of "might is right" in Wikipedia as elsewhere? Alpheus 05:46, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but I'll have to say yes. Although it's not just might, it's also the weight of tradition. The usage of "United States" or "U.S." for the United States of America is overwhelmingly established as part of American English. This usage goes all the way back to the original 1789 Constitution, which repeatedly uses "United States" to refer to the United States of America. If you run a Google search with the site: operator to limit scope to, you will notice many other early historical documents and commentaries also use the term "United States." --Coolcaesar 06:03, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Could someone please check non-English encyclopedias and reference works in German, French, Chinese, Portugeuese (sp) and any other language you think fit as well as non-American English works (Australian, British, South African, for example) and report back here what they find to be the name used to refer to the United States of America in those works? That would be helpful, in my opinion. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 15:44, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Spanish Wikipedia refers to es:Estados Unidos. the iBook of the Revolution 06:36, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
If so, then it should be then the "United Kingdom" article should change to "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". It is in common usage and I think it is fine. Panthro 00:50, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

There is a broader question here: should article names be popular names or proper names? I personally favor proper names for article names, though I don't mind popular names in article texts. Therefore, I favor the "United States of America" name for this article. (For what it is worth, the popular name of the "United States" is certainly consistent with usage in world press. Le Monde refers to "les Etats-Unis" (the United States). Frankfurter Allgemeine refers to "die Vereinigten Staaten" (the United States). BBC News refers to "the US" or "the United States".) JonathanFreed 23:45, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

In that case, we would have to rename about 90% of the country articles. And should we rename the states, to Commonwealth of Virginia, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, not to mention counties, County of Orange, California, ad nauseam? The fact remains, we use the general name here, the one most familiar in the English speaking world, and no one has been able to show any evidence that "United States" is a vague term. --Golbez 00:00, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Just because renaming involves work does not mean you personally have to do it or that it should not be done.
Vulgar (common) names such as "United States" were probably used in print to patronize vulgar readers, but automatic redirect technology now allows us to have the best of both worlds: put an automatic redirect on the vulgar "United States" and put the article at "United States of America", where it properly belongs. By saying this, I assert that the important question is not whether "United States" is a vague term, but whether it is the proper title for the article. Clearly, the people and representatives of the USA have used the "United States of America" as the proper name, and have used "United States" merely in reference to the "United States of America" as it is used in the Constitution (see the preamble). Usage of the phrase even predates the Constitution (see the Treaty of Paris of 1783).
If we seek a NPOV or worldview, then let's look at what is used in multilateral treaties, which don't assume an audience of USA citizens only. For example, look at the multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention and its member states. JonathanFreed 04:08, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I have a single demand - show me a case in the mainstream English-speaking media where "United States" can be confused for anything else. Also, again, you might want to take this up with the folks at United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and San Marino, all of which have considerably longer "real" names. Just because the official definition of the country is "United States of America" doesn't mean that's what we name it here; we use the most common, simplest name. The policy of least surprise. --Golbez 04:24, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Your demand is reasonable, though it's probably impossible to provide a case, because no other "United States of" countries appear to exist. (See CIA FactBook list of country names). Also, if you feel strongly about this issue, you might want to go over to Hillary Rodham Clinton and get that article name changed. (Good luck with that. :)
I just determined that my preference of "proper over popular" for article names is out-of-synch with the official style guide of Wikipedia. (Specifically, see the section regarding article titles, and the separate naming conventions article.) It is a shame that 23 days passed and 18 response comments were made before somebody (me) found the guideline and include a reference to it here. Perhaps that is a sign that the guideline is too hidden, or something, but that is a debate for some other talk page, not this one. At this point, I consider this question closed, because the current official style guide supports the existing "United States" article name. JonathanFreed 06:36, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
With the Clinton thing, you're comparing apples to kumquats. And I knew of the guideline but I was too lazy to mention it; after all, I figured anyone arguing a name change would have familiarized themselves with it, right? --Golbez 07:05, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to have to agree with JonathanFreed, when i came to this article, the first thing that struck me was the absence of "of America" from the title. It's awkward and therefore should be changed. -- 2nd Piston Honda 13:33, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps some day the style guideline will be changed, or at least this specific article's name will be excepted. That will only happen if enough people log their support for change. JonathanFreed 16:29, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
My comment is that even the most informal of settings use the full title United States of America[8] and the formal[9]. Wikipedia should do the same if possible. Yusuka 23:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Show me an instance where "United States" has actually been used or confused for something else. Please. --Golbez 00:06, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Show me an instance where "Hillary Clinton" has actually been used or confused for someone else. Please. -- 2nd Piston Honda 01:15, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
It's amazing how many logical fallacies can be contained in a sixteen word sentence. --Golbez 23:50, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Using a blog entry as a usage note (referring to the contribution from User:Yusuka) is not what I'd call referring to either a representative or authoritative (not synonymous, those two) source. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 02:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Why does a tie mean that one side wins? (Namely, that this article is still named "United States") -- 2nd Piston Honda 05:30, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Status quo ante bellum. --Golbez 05:32, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Ah, so if the article was originally named "United States of America" then it would currently be so named. Makes sense...not really. -- 2nd Piston Honda 05:40, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
What would you suggest as a more equitable outcome ... keeping in mind that a) thou shalt not fork and b) consensus is almost never a 90:10 proposition and usually closer to 50:40 (with 10 quiet until after a decision is made). User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 05:50, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
A more equitable outcome would be to keep debating it until there's a clear winner. -- 2nd Piston Honda 22:00, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Also, can someone tell me why China's article is named "People's Republic of China"? -- 2nd Piston Honda 05:40, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Pleeeease don't start that conversation here anew. The current naming of China-related and Taiwan-related articles is the result of heavy discussions among many passionate people over a period of years (yes, years) and it will likely never be settled. Could someone please put on Honda's talk page a reference to some of the voluminous discussion on this matter. The discussion here around the naming of the United States article is orders of magnitude less volatile than that which surrounds the naming of China-related and Taiwan-related articles. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 05:50, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate 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 debate was no consensus, split pretty much in half. —Nightstallion (?) 09:54, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Vote - Should this article be moved to United States of America?

  • Strongly Support It is the full name of the country, and is used on all official documents, seals, the Pledge of Allegiance, Passports, et cetera. Adding "of America" isn't too complicated, and United States will of course redirect here. R'son-W 00:55, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose The current title/locale United States is sufficient precisely, but not solely, because it is simpler and easier for users to type: other simpler renditions are either discouraged by Wp guidelines (U.S., USA) or have other meanings (America). In addition, reputable publications like the Oxford and Webster's dictionaries and the CIA World Fact Book seem fit to have entries under the simpler and unambiguous rendition. Similarly, few other country articles in Wp are entitled so lengthily, and should only be when there is a possibility of confusion (e.g., Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Congo). And I'd be curious whether proponents of this change would also support a similar move for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and other countries. In any case, a move to the long-form rendition would simply be superfluous. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 02:06, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. --Golbez 04:05, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. I am supporting for reasons I have stated above. (no strong or strongly needed) JonathanFreed | Talk | 05:32, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support for reasons stated above; it's the name of the country, and that's where it should be. I don't care too awful much about this, but it would be nice. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 07:00, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support I'm a big believer in the right of someone/people to be called what they wish to be called as long as it doesn't conflict with the truth. I strongly believe that if you polled americans asking which title they'd prefer for this article, they'd say "United States of America". Therefore i agree with changing it. -- 2nd Piston Honda 07:11, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support move. "United States" is a rather non-descript name, not very suitable as article title (but how to deal with "United Kingdom"?). −Woodstone 12:27, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. As an "American," I believe "United States of America" is proper. Isn't that what we call our own country in the Pledge of Allegiance? I would support a redirect from United States and USA. - Rlm0710 17:47, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As an "American," I believe "United States" is unambiguous and in common use. In conversation, the lay press, and in everday usage, "United States" is as proper and understood as "United States of America". User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 17:43, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
    • I guess that means I'm an "United Statesian" rather than an "American?"Rlm0710 17:33, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment : If "United States" → "United States of America" (with redirect from "United States" and {{Otheruses1|}}-type template) then "United Kingdom" → "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (with ditto). Both articles currently have the longer names, emboldened, in their opening sentences. David Kernow 18:44, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
This vote is about this article's name, not about the general naming conventions. Therefore a change to this article's name does not mean that other articles (i.e. United Kingdom") would have to be changed. JonathanFreed | Talk | 23:37, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I agree. It was just a suggestion. Best wishes, David Kernow 16:59, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Logically, however, it makes no sense to use the "formal name" of one nation (especially the nation with over two-thirds of native English speakers, English language) and the "common name" of an equally or lesser-known nation (with only one-fourth the native English speakers the United States has). And logical also supports consistency. //MrD9 04:45, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong support "United States of America" is the proper name and all other names are derived from it (it contains the elements of each variation mentioned in the lead). Klaam 19:54, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment - was anyone going to put this on WP:RM? --Golbez 20:01, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
    • I don't think so. Can't you do so yourself?? Georgia guy 20:05, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
      • Why should I, I'm not the one proposing it. :) --Golbez 20:13, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
        • Who proposed it?? All you have to do is ask them to put it at WP:RM on their talk page. Georgia guy 20:14, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
          • I did it. --Golbez 20:33, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong support Whilst other countries' pages may not use the full titles, the term "United States of America" is used in everyday language (unlike "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"), and seems to be the best descriptor. Chairman S. 01:51, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Unless every country article is going to be moved to its formal name, the logic behind this is specious. It is by far most commonly referred to as simply the United States. olderwiser 02:01, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
What logic, specifically, is "specious"? (aka fallacious?) JonathanFreed | Talk | 22:56, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
The most common argument for moving seems to be that it is not the official name. My point is that MOST country articles are not at the official name and that is in fact contrary to Wikipedia naming conventions. Unless we are going to rename EVERY single country article to use the official name of the country, then there is no basis for moving this article. Or in other words, the basis for this move is bogus. olderwiser 23:23, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Bkonrad. I support short form article titles whenever possible. It's simply what's the best idea for Wikipedia.--naryathegreat | (talk) 02:42, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, it's a proper name after all. Redirects can be (and are) used for all other versions.—Ëzhiki (ërinacëus amurënsis) 06:42, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose move per the common name policy. Rhobite 06:46, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. It is the official name, it is in common usage, and it is unambiguous. BlankVerse 10:15, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support although I think this is something would have been done far earlier if it weren't a question of detail. - TopAce 12:51, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. The article for orange juice is titled Orange juice, not OJ although it is common usage. Encyclopedia articles should have proper titles so as to ensure no ambiguity at all. Let's change United States to United States of America, Croatia to Republic of Croatia and so on. It's a big project, but if we want Wikipedia to be taken seriously, it is important to do this. --Barfoos 16:41, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
    • I agree whole-heartedly. R'son-W 23:30, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
      • And I disagree wholeheartedly. Wikipedia will be taken less seriously, since established encyclopedias like Britannica and MSN Encarta both use "United States" as the article title! --Coolcaesar 01:27, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose per David Kernow's statment. Wikiacc 17:47, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support cf. Federated States of Micronesia, Jasy jatere 19:37, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per Wikipedia style guidelines and established precedent. 1) Contrary to what Barfoos insinuates, serious encyclopedias do not in fact list each country under its official name. 2) Jasy jatere's comparison is not valid because when people refer to "Micronesia", quite often they are in fact referring to the island group and not to the nation. "United States", on the other hand, is unambiguous. --The Lazar 19:43, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose mainly for practical reasons (ie the country is usually refered to as the United States and moving the article would complicate all these links). Also, few countries have their full names listed here. Spain is officially the Kingdom of Spain, France the French Republic, etc. Full names are only desirable if you're disabigating (e.g. People's Republic of China vs. China).--Bkwillwm 20:23, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose There seem to be two arguments for changing it: 1) that it's offensive because there are other United Stateses, and 2) that we should use the formal name. 2) is clearly inconsistent with WP article naming policy, so advocates for that argument need to go and get the policy changed first; 1) is unfortunate, but unavoidable. Whatever you think, "United States" is the term in common use in English for the country. It is inevitably going to be the term people use for the country in all other articles, so it's the name they're going to want to link to. Ben Arnold 22:08, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose. The U.S. is more commonly called the "United States" than the "United States of America." Parallel with UK/other nation reasons. Furthermore, "United States" is used in conjunction ith other things such as the United States Congress, not the "United States of America Congress," so "U.S." is "not official" has no relavence. //MrD9 00:05, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. We should use common names, but only if they are correct and NPOV; "United States" is US-centric. —Nightstallion (?) 10:53, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
    • How?? If the term "United States" as this article's title is U.S.-centric, it is no less true that the abbreviation "U.S.-centric" is U.S.-centric; you know that U.S. stands for United States, right?? Georgia guy 22:05, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
      • LOL, nicely met. -- 22:16, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As already noted above, the established encyclopedias (MSN Encarta and Britannica) both use "United States," so Barfoo's argument makes no sense. Also, "United States" is the more common term in use and is used in many official contexts like the U.S. Constitution, the United States Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations. --Coolcaesar 17:17, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unnecessary detail. Full name is not needed for any disambigulation purposes. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 23:43, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - shouldn't the official name be used for the sake of correctness? --Arny 06:10, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
    • Nope. The overwhelming precedent in Wikipedia and in other encyclopedias is to list countries under their common names, while making note of the official name near the beginning of the entry. --The Lazar 07:38, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I think everything should be listed at its legal name with a redirect from commonly used names, until this becomes a standard policy that is enforced, no specific reason to change this one. PhatJew 09:17, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support United States of Europe is a significant concept in the development of the European Union. United States by far most commonly refers to the USA, but not always.TMac 00:14, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
    • But there is a United States (disambiguation) page that has the other meanings it can mean. What advantage does equal-topic dis-ambiguation have here as opposed to primary-topic dis-ambiguation?? Georgia guy 00:15, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Per E Pluribus Anthony and all the other arguments. astiqueparervoir 02:54, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - per R'son-W's arguments.--Looper5920 03:07, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - United States is commonly used for only one country. The United States of American. European Union is the common name for the United States of Europe and Mexico the common name for the United States of Mexico. Since Wikipedia is designed for the average person to us, we should make it as easy as possible for information to be obtained.--Christian_Historybuff aka Steve
  • Oppose. the iBook of the Revolution 00:12, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment - The 2005 print edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica uses "United States of America", not just "United States". JonathanFreed | Talk | 03:29, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Weakly Support - The CIA Factbook uses United States, but mentions the full name within the article. On the other hand, this Library Of Congress pages uses the full name, as does The Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution. Full name wins. Also, people searching for "America" will find it. No big deal though.-Barry- 04:46, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Extremely strong support as an American citizen, I hate it that the article is at United States.--Brendenhull (talk) [20:54, April 22, 2006]

Further information/evidence

  • On the United States (disambiguation) page, the only current nation that has "United States" in its title seems to be the United States--all of the rest are defunct or related to the United States itself. It's not like there is a "United States of (something not 'America')" out there that's going to be confused with what is currently one of the world's powers--a name that's known around the world regardless of whether it's liked or not.
  • Google "federal republic" (CIA factbook) specifically finds hits of nations that call themselves "Federal Republic of xxx" (because there is more than one "Federal Republic"), while Google "united states" (CIA factbook) finds only the United States (becuase there is only one United States). Although the source is from the US's government, it objectively lists the official names of all nations. The CIA Factbook also states "conventional short form: United States" and "abbreviation: US or USA," which means it does not view "United States" as an abbreviation, but merely an official shortened version of the name. //MrD9 22:11, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I know that I'll have to close this tomorrow as no consensus, but there's at least one other "United States" in existence — the United Mexican States or United States of Mexico. Just FYI. —Nightstallion (?) 08:38, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
However, it's not known by "United States of Mexico" in English - it's known as "United Mexican States". "In English" is the important thing here. --Golbez 08:50, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. 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.

Shouldn't this page be at America?

The reason why the Germany article isn't titled "Federal Democratic Republic of Germany", France isn't titled "French Republic", Russia isn't "Russian Federation", et cetera, is that the full name of the country is just a description of the government, and includes the name of the country. This article as it is titled now would be the equivalent of if the article on Germany were titled "Federal Democratic Republic". The name "United States of America" means that there is one country, America, formed from a union of separate states. The most correct title of this page would be "America". Let's not kid ourselves, when someone types "America" and hits "Go", they're most likely looking for this page, and if not, they could go to a disambiguation page. R'son-W 23:59, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Let's kid ourselves: visit the America dab and its talk page for a counterargument (no pun intended!) regarding prevailing usage. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 02:01, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I read your argument, and guess what: If someone types "America" and they mean the region, they can be redirected from the top of the page that says "This article is about the country called America, for the region called 'the Americas', see Americas". Guess what, chief? Your argument does not work. The name of the country formed by Alabama, Alaska, ..., Washington, and Wyoming is called "America", and no matter how opposed you are to the current administration of that country, or opposed to its culture, it's still a fact. And let's really, truly be truthful with ourselves on this at least: That's the only reason why America doesn't redirect to a page entitled United States of America. R'son-W 08:14, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
And your argument does work? Arguably no: this is but one way to skin a cat, and we agree to disagree. Usage depends on context no matter where you are, and your commentary above obviates that. And in Wp, it's not necessarily about "truth" (nor justice, nor the American way ... as admirable as though qualities are): it's about what everyone can verify, objectify, and all the other good stuff. Otherwise, see above and below. And please refrain from insinuating disdain for the US where it doesn't exist and in making pejorative references like "chief", 'son. :) E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 11:53, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

just use google to get past disambigs like that [10]. PC or not, the prevailing use is what it is, but I guess providing the facts isn't our mission here if it conflicts with other agendas... keith 03:07, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Let's review some facts (and I won't belabour this): as per cited entries and ordering in even reputable US publications, not to mention the note in the US article, usage of America varies – in isolation or as a compound term/modifier and in either hemisphere. Apropos, exercise caution when using Google tests: there are more than just a few entries for North America, South America, Northern America, Central America, Anglo-America, Latin America, Ibero-America, Middle America, Americas, Free Trade Area of the Americas, North American Free Trade Agreement, not to mention the namesake, derivatives, et al. So, I guess Wikipedians shouldn't invoke neutrality and insinuate impolitic when they provide arguable "facts"? E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 05:27, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't need to use any caution in referencing the google "test" since it produced the obvious result. Do you dispute it? There are 6 billion people in the world. what is your ballpark estimate of people using "America/American" for meaning #1 vs. meaning #2? Now restrict it to english. I don't see POV coming into play there. Nor do I need to assume any kind of faith, good or otherwise, as I have citable statements made on talk pages as to peoples' reasons, which are much more concerned with protecting a minority sensibility, or correcting a percieved injustice. Do you dispute any of this? your arguments seem predominantly rhetorical. keith 07:33, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Arguably, you do need to proceed with caution. I don't deny possible prevalence on this side of the pond about usage (I do live in the Great White North, after all); however, I do dispute presentations of information that do not objectify topic matter (as done above) – this is a POV, which is dealt with herein. I've cited publications which you can easily verify either way, not possibly subjective opining from Wikipedians. Nor will I estimate and predicate my decision-making solely on Google tests that Wp advises to treat with a grain of salt. As for rhetoric: pot, meet kettle.
But I agree with G. below to move onward (and have included information for our mutual benefit): I've stated reasons further above why the current simpler article name is sufficient, which seems to work for other reputable compendiums like the Oxford English Dictionary, Webster's dictionary, the CIA World Fact Book, et al. – to move the article to the long form is simply superfluous. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 11:04, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
Why has this discussion deftly and imperceptively morphed from being about "United States" to being about "America"? That has nothing to do with this article. --Golbez 07:56, 8 February 2006 (
back to the article then, I don't much care about the name but I don't like having a footnote in the intro. Why in the land of futuristic wiki technology do we need a 500-word foot-noted essay to summarize something spelled out on another page already? The use of america (right where it's footnoted..) could just link the disambig page which covers it all. keith 08:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd agree with that, Kd: there are specific articles in Wp that deal with the topic, and top-level articles needn't be overloaded with rehashes of details that can be substituted through a mere note/piped link to the sub/article itself. This article is more than twice as long as recommended, and it's time to clean out the kitchen sink. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 11:04, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
The reason why (if you had bothered to read the previous posts, you'd know this), is because the name of the United States of America is not "United States", just as the name of the Kingdom of Spain is not "Kingdom", or the name of the Federal Democratic Republic of Germany is not "Federal Democratic Republic". Not so imperceptive, is it? R'son-W 08:25, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
The chaps at United Kingdom would like a word with you. --Golbez 23:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
The discussion switched from "United States" versus "United States of America" to "United States" versus "America", and therefore I have put this discussion in its own section.
While I support a change to "United States of America" for reasons I stated in the corresponding section (above), I do not support a change to "America", which would be just as improper as the "United States". Arguably, it may be as common as "United States", but I don't see any reason to swtich from one bad article name to another. JonathanFreed | Talk | 19:53, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I support the idea of this page being at United States of America... America would be a terrible place for the article, IMO; why have an ambiguous name when you could have a clear one? (I still think America should redirect to USA, but putting the article itself there is a dubious idea.) But I have to say that "United States of America" is the name of the country, and we should have articles at the proper names of their subject whenever possible. ... Before too long, I'd like to have a straw poll on whether or not we should move it. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 22:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree, I don't think it should titled "America", either, but I do think it should redirect to "United States of America". I think people misunderstood where I'm coming from on this. R'son-W 00:48, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
It will likely fail, like all the other polls taken on this subject. This really should simply go under perennial proposals. --Golbez 23:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

The United States of America / US of A

  • If this is an encyclopedia I feel empirical linguistic accuracy, rather than modern shorthand should be employed. The United States of America reflects and coincides with U.S.A. national and historical documents. This article is posted on the internet, a global medium and should heed all diplomatic and international formalities, be you a citizen of the U.S.A., Brasil, China or Nigeria rather than relying solely on a nation's contemporary reputation. The world is approaching globalization and the internet should reflect that. 13:17, 23 February 2006 (UTC) / Aminatam 13:21, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

  • You might want to check out the rather lengthy discussion of this issue above. Sdpurdy 19:55, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
  • But do we really need to list "U.S. of A." as an option in the introduction? It is very colloquial looking, very unprofessional looking. --Fastfission 02:44, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
And some people call it that. Wikipedia does not dictate what other people say. It presents that information. bob rulz 06:24, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I concur with Bob rulz. Although I personally consider U.S. of A. to be a very informal usage (and rarely use it myself), it is regularly used in American English slang and therefore should be mentioned. --Coolcaesar 01:04, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Use of the word America

The footnote currently reads: "In the U.S., America is more commonly used to describe the United States and less often to refer to the Americas, the lands of the Western Hemisphere (North and South America); the latter usage is more common in the rest of the world." Is this documented somewhere? Are we talking about the usage of "America" in English throughout the world or the use of that and similar words in other languages? - Nat Krause(Talk!) 00:04, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Why "United States" and not "United States of America"?

Isn't United States of America the official name of the US? I would think that United States should redirect to United States of America, not vice versa as is the current case. What am I missing? - Jord 19:42, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Scroll up, look at Table of Contents section 12. Please. --Golbez 19:58, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. - Jord 20:37, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps more sections were added since - to which section are you reffering? Sfacets 05:00, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

For background, please read sections 11 & 12 in Talk Archive 14. Still, feel free to leave comments here, since we may revote at some point. --JonathanFreed | Talk | 18:11, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

terrible. this is just bowing to american stupidity. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

  • Shouldn't it be United States of America (USA)? When I see United States in the article name, I feel like something is missing, like it's short of a word: America. Why is China the People's Republic of China (PRC), why don't we also use the People's Republic? There is only one remaining country with the name People's Republic and that's China. 03:09, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

If United States of America redirects to United States, why doesn't Confederate States of America redirect to Confederate States?--Brendenhull (talk) [20:44, April 22, 2006]

[United Nations] list United States of America as United States of America and NOT United States. Same goes to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (it's really long but CORRECT). All Nations and regional areas should be named after the UN imho 00:23, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Requested Move Discussion, United States, May 2006

The following discussion is an archived debate 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 debate was no consensus. —Nightstallion (?) 11:44, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

This is the page to vote for the move United States to United States of America. Pages should be at the topic's official name, not the name it goes by. Almost every source I've seen has this topic under United States of America. Vote support if you think the page should be moved, oppose if you think it shouldn't. Voting ends 00:00, May 27, 2006. — Brendenhull 23:21, 20 May 2006 (UTC)


  1. Support And no, you don't need to be logged on to vote. 19:16, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support I set up the vote, of course I support. — Brendenhull 19:19, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support The name of the state should be the name of the article. --Matthead 20:53, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support per User:Matthead. —RJN 21:03, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  5. Strong support Dpotop 22:17, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  6. Strong Support There is more than 1 United States,United States Of America and United States Of Mexico. Dudtz 5/20/06 6:47 pM EST
  7. Support don't forget Winston Churchill's speech about a "United States of Europe". I think it's ok to use the full name in this case, just like in the case of People's Republic of China, in order to pre-empt confusion. Also if you are going to go by "most common name", it's certainly United States of America (USA). Gryffindor 17:11, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
  8. support because "United States of America" is the official name, is common enough, and reduced ambiguity. Case in point: the article starts by calling it the "United States of America." "United States" should of course remain as a redirect to the page. — brighterorange (talk) 19:13, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
  9. Support. "United States" is rather non-descript without adding "of America". −Woodstone 21:37, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
  10. Strong support Article name should be the official name of the country. Sarbox 00:57, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  11. Support Support United States of America is much more encyclopedic that United States since the first one is the official name. Black and White (TALKCONTRIBS) 01:03, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  12. Support I'm a bit confused as to the logic of those who are opposed to this move. "United States" is not a different name than "United States of America", it is only a short version. Heck, I bet more people use "the States" in conversation than "United States", but I doubt we'd want to title it that. -- Ned Scott 05:33, 22 May 2006 (UTC) -- Ned Scott 05:40, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  13. Support as per brighterorange and Gryffindor. sendai 05:46, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  14. Support per all of the above. —Nightstallion (?) 14:24, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  15. Strong Support Its the real name, not the shortened name. --larsinio (poke)(prod) 15:30, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  16. Support - Runch 17:21, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  17. Support as per Dudtz Ruszewski 01:22, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
  18. Strongly Support as an encyclopedia, it should be a second nature to be as prescise as possible. After all, should we change the page Knights of the Old Republic to KotOR simply because it's shorter and more commonly used? For accuracy's sake, I hope not. Xepeyon 16:09, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
  19. Support eh, if United States of America is its full name, shouldn't we change it? It makes sense. Zygger 16:18, 16 October 2006 (UTC)


  1. Oppose as per WP:NC: "Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things." -- Mwanner | Talk 20:10, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  2. Oppose for the same reason as Mwanner. "United States" is used in the Constitution, in numerous federal laws and regulations, in nearly all newspapers, magazines, and journals, and in ordinary speech as the most common name of the United States of America. --Coolcaesar 21:46, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  3. Oppose — See Comments section below for reasoning related to my opposition. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 23:02, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  4. Strong oppose in agreement with Mwanner. Article titles don't reflect "official" names, but common ones. While "United States of America" is somewhat common, "United States" is far more so. And I honestly doubt there are very many people who think of Mexico when they hear "United States." — Larry V (talk) 04:31, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
  5. Oppose. If the page is moved, United States can stay a re-direct, but it can allow someone to remove the re-direct and make a dis-ambiguation page for other uses. Georgia guy 22:11, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
    I doubt this would stand. ~ trialsanderrors 23:49, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
  6. Oppose per Mwanner. There is no plausible conflict here. Postdlf 00:48, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  7. Oppose. When I first came across the article on United States, I wondered why it wasn't named United States of America, but then I figured that the name United States is just as good, since it is more commonly used. For an encyclopedic source like Wikipedia, the article United States should best be left with that name, because that's what all other encyclopedias are doing, including the CIA World Factbook, a government site. Plus, a google search for United States yields more than three billion results [11], as compared to that of United States of America, with less than 900 million results [12]. The name of the country should be left in its conventional short form as the title of the article, but the first mentioning of the country should begin with its conventional long form, as what the article does.--Ryz05 t 02:08, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  8. Strong oppose Circeus 03:35, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  9. Oppose per Mwanner. Also, an ease of use thing; so many articles must link here, it would be helpful to keep the article at the short name, so we can avoid redirects. Mangojuicetalk 05:32, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  10. Oppose It would require the fixing of thousands of links due to all the double redirects it would make. --Bachrach44 14:11, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  11. Oppose. If you don't like the naming conventions, then propose changing them, rather than proposing to move an article in clear violation of them. Proteus (Talk) 16:42, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  12. Oppose. There's nothing wrong with where it is. Unless you'd like to change Mexico to United States of Mexico. User:Zoe|(talk) 18:07, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  13. Oppose — Per above args. — RJH 22:37, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  14. Oppose Above arguments. --TheDarkForest 04:34, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
  15. Oppose. Wikipedia policy is to use common names, not official names. The most common name for this country is the United States, nor is any other entity commonly referred to by that name. Policy and precedent is quite clear. — Knowledge Seeker 09:52, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
  16. Oppose: use common name to facilitate linking. Jonathunder 02:58, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  17. oppose Oppose. Shall we move United Kingdom to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 05:46, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  18. Oppose: use common names; it doesn't matter which one is official--Jiang 13:44, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  19. Oppose: WP:NC, link fixing issues, common name, and the move wouldn't improve anything. Mmounties (Talk) Pawprint.png 17:02, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  20. Oppose: moving is hella dumb. -- 00:58, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
  21. Oppose: "If a consensus is impossible to reach on precision, go with the rule of thumb, and use the more popular phrase." There is some precedent for using formal names for countries, such as those related to the Congo or China, but those need the more specific names because they mean distinct things. In the case of "United States" and "United States of America," they mean exactly the same thing. There is no distinction, so we go with the common name. ~ Booyabazooka 01:17, 25 May 2006 (UTC)


  1. Neutral changing my vote from Support. I would still personally prefer ... of America, but as pointed out by User:Ceyockey below, United States is the common form in ecyclopedias (also [13] and [14]). I would still like to see more examples of common usage outside the U.S. ~ trialsanderrors 18:53, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Weak Neutral. If Wikipedia was just starting life, I would support the move, but by now I guess there are thousands of articles referring to this one now. I'd rather the effort to make the necessary changes was put into improving other articles. Markb 10:39, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


WP:NC in a nutshell: Generally, article naming should give priority to

  • what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize,
Tie. Both seem easily recognized.
  • with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity,
Strongly in favor of nomination. The only ambiguity is to the band. United States on the other hand is geographically ambiguous.
  • while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.
In favor of United States, but would make the third alternative, USA the frontrunner.

In balance, I favor the full original name which is common enough and unambiguous. I might support a move to USA though. ~ trialsanderrors 20:23, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

United States is not geographically ambiguous. The English Wikipedia caters to English-language users and few fluent speakers of the English language would reasonably think "United States" refers to anything other than the United States of America. Indeed, the use of "United States" to refer to the U.S. occurs in the U.S. Constitution itself (go read it). Americans are the majority of native English language speakers (that is, people using the English language as an active community on a daily basis, as opposed to people in other countries taking it to graduate from secondary school). --Coolcaesar 21:51, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
By 'Americans' I assume you mean the people of the USA? I do not understand your rational that they are majority of native English speakers - so what? don't assume only native English speakers use the English Wikipedia, and all the rest merely studied it to graduate from secondary school (by the way, don't assume most people 'graduate' from secondary school, either!) Markb 10:43, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Contrary to the nominator's stated rationale, Wikipedia's naming conventions explicitly do not call for articles to use official names. Rather they call for articles to be named for the most common name (see, for example Cambodia, (official name: Kampuchea)). In the present instance, the most common name is certainly "United States"— "...of America" is only added in the most formal contexts. This policy was upheld by better than 2 to 1 in a poll back in May, 2004, and there is no reason to change it now. -- Mwanner | Talk 23:48, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Technically, United States is the conventional short form. United States of America is the conventional long form. It seems like WP uses the short form in most cases, including Mexico over United States of Mexico (but not exclusively: see Taiwan or China). I'm not sure about the "in the most formal contexts" though. It seems reasonably widespread. ~ trialsanderrors 17:37, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Comments accompanying opposition by User:Ceyockey: There is no compelling reason to change the name. As for ambiguity, page moves are generally not done to satisfy disambiguation issues of the kind being discussed here (in my experience); there are other mechanisms for dealing with such. For example {{Distinguish}} in the case of potential confusion with MexicoUnited States of Mexico being a redirect from an alternate, unofficial name. Further, as I've been reminded of on occasion, the availability of an official name that differs from an article title is not a compelling reason to move a page; the 'avoid legalese' argument applies as well to countries as it does to companies, the latter being where it most often appears in discussions (again, in my experience). User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 23:54, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Is "United States" an 'encyclopedic' title? According to Britannica Online, it is (article entitled 'United States' not 'United States of America'). According to MSN Encarta, it is (article entitled 'United States (Overview)' not 'United States of America (Overview)'). User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:17, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. 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.