Talk:Willis Tower/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Discussion related to the name change is archived here. The general conclusions were:

  • Willis Tower is an appropriate page title for the here-and-now
  • Sears Tower is an appropriate term for historical references where the time context is important

Move

Guys, the news hit today. It's all future tense. Willis Group WILL move in. Sears WILL be renamed. I hate to get involved in a move war, but the cycle is be bold, revert, discuss. I'm reverting. Until we can find some evidence of this change having actually happened, it shouldn't be moved, nor should links be changed. --Golbez (talk) 15:07, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I think you are reverting too far back. This [edit is referenced in proper tense http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sears_Tower&oldid=276752992]. I'm not crazy about getting involved in an revert war so am backing off the article but the Willis name needs to be in the lead. Americasroof (talk) 15:38, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Americasroof. Willis needs to be in the lead sentence, and nothing more. Hopefully they change their minds about this. Another chicago icon bites the dust. Comiskey Park, Marshall Field, now this. Wjmummert (KA-BOOOOM!!!!) 18:09, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Has been made official now. I have changed the name World (talkcontributions) 01:10, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Your source? According to the article, the change wasn't supposed to happen yet. DarkAudit (talk) 01:44, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
ABC news made it official, also I think CNN. I heard it on ABC news. CHeck the sites World (talkcontributions) 01:46, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I looked at some article on ABC which said that the change ould occur this summer. The fact that the name would chnage was made official today World (talkcontributions) 01:56, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

WHEN the name becomes official, I believe we should move it then. JustGettingItRight (talk) 06:19, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

The name should reflect common usage in English. If most people start calling it something different, then it should be moved, but not the day it's renamed. Wikipedia titles aren't determined by official names. Dekimasuよ! 06:25, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
While some residents of Chicagoland will continue to call Willis Tower Sears Tower, Willis Tower will become the official name of the building, and I believe this will be, on a global scale, the widely accepted name that is used, especially by mapping services like Google Maps. However, I don't know how we will develop a criteria to determine which name is the widely accepted one. We may have a situation where the maps and written literature refer to the tower as Willis Tower while people in ordinary speech, especially people in the Chicagoland area, refer to the tower as Sears Tower. I think, since we have three months to do this, we should develop some sort of criteria specific for this evaluation. JustGettingItRight (talk) 06:39, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
The point I was trying to make is that this isn't an isolated case. Renaming events happen all the time, and pages are almost always left at the old name for a significant length of time until common use--as illustrated by things like news sources and Google Scholar--adapt the new title. See Talk:Bangalore, Talk:Blackwater Worldwide, Talk:Kiev/Naming, etc. As for what to do if Chicagoans continue to call it one thing and maps call it another, we have Wikipedia:Naming conflict#How to make a choice among controversial names. So I think a system to evaluate things is already in place, although the end result will probably be a move request at WP:RM. Dekimasuよ! 07:04, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
While there is a generic rule set on Wikipedia, how does that specifically apply for Sears (Willis) Tower? What questions should we ask to determine which name is the widely used name? Should it be search rankings on Google, should it be what a map calls the tower? (I think both of those criteria are fairly poor in this case) I have a feeling that in three or six months there will be a big debate over whether to rename this article and I think we should begin having the discussion now, not so much move or don't move, but specifically what specific criteria do we evaluate to determine which name is widely used? I tried searching yesterday to find out any naming conventions for buildings, and the closest thing I saw were naming conventions for geographic places. On a side note, Mumbai is an example of an article that is named for its current name, even though many people still call the city Bombay. JustGettingItRight (talk) 14:51, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
The argument, of course, being what most people call it, not what many people call it. The governments of English speaking nations like the United States and India itself call the city "Mumbai". Native speakers of Gujarati and Marathi call it "Mumbai". "Mumbai, India" gets over 5600 Google News hits (inc. BBC, Times of India, Reuters, AFP, CNN) while "Bombay, India" gets 144 (most hits are in Spanish, but there's a smattering from the Kalamazoo Gazette, Modern Ghana, Wakefield Observer, etc.). "Mumbai, India" outnumbers "Bombay, India" on Google Scholar over the last 10 years (since the name change), and in the last few years the ratio has changed from 1:1 to 5:1. So there is evidence of a trend, and a majority in favor of the new name. If someone can show those two things here at some point, I'm sure the page will be moved. Dekimasuよ! 06:33, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

It is NOT the Willis Tower yet. You tweakers need to stop jumping the gun, and change the opening sentence back. 68.73.93.130 (talk) 12:24, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Here is a great blog in the Chicago Tribune that should help the Wikipedia community in its decision making process for renaming or not renaming this article in the future. A couple of main takeaways I got were that initially there is a lot of resistance to a name change, but over time a name change is accepted. Willis we always call it the Sears Tower? No, we won't JustGettingItRight (talk) 14:57, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

And if you read the comments, you;ll find that the resistance is not just initial and that despite what Zorn says, the name change is frequently not accepted. While I'll continue to call it the Sears Tower, I do like the suggestion that following the name change it be nicknamed "Big Willie." Shsilver (talk) 15:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
We use the current name on Wikipedia for all of the examples that Zorn gives, though most of the name changes he cites are at least a few years old. From what I gather from the news, the general feeling in Chicagoland is extremely negative to the renaming, and I think that may be the basis for some of the comments on the blog. However, I don't think that when we determine which name is widely accepted, the audience should just be Chicagoland. My guess is we will eventually have to rename this article. The question is going to be, will we do it when the name change becomes official or will we do it at some later point. JustGettingItRight (talk) 16:52, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
No need to make a move, there are plenty of buildings that aren't called by there official names, like the Gherkin, Canry Warf, in England or Library Tower in LA. Companies come and go and I expect we'll have to follow wikipedia guidelines when referring to the Sears tower. Also JustGettingItRight generally people say Chicago when referring to the metropolitan area rather than Chicagoland (which is only used by the media and advertisers). Astuishin (talk) 21:05, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I gather that you're not from Chicagoland otherwise you'd know that everywhere throughout Chicagoland people refer to the Chicago metro area as Chicagoland. Of course we never use Chicagoland when speaking to people not from Chicagoland, because only people from Chicagoland know what it means. 68.73.93.130 (talk) 07:46, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
And oh, yeah, expect great resistance to this in Chicagoland; everyone above the age of 30 still calls that big white building on Randolph the Standard Oil Building, and that was at least two name changes ago. 68.73.93.130 (talk) 07:51, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm a life long chicagoan and i've heard very few people use the term, Chicagoland. In fact most people find it a little annoying if not condescending. I agree with you about Big Stan though. Astuishin (talk) 10:41, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Comment: I think the general convention is to use the official name being currently used. But if the building is destroyed for any reason (demolished, etc) then call it by its most popular name. That's what we do for stadiums. WhisperToMe (talk) 18:55, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Once the name change becomes official, move it to Willis Tower and Sears Tower will be a redirect. Sears can't keep trading on something they abandoned. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 03:49, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

The name of the Pan Am Building in New York City was changed to the MetLife Building after Pan American Airlines went out of business in 1991. I'll always think of it as the Pan Am building, but I don't think I could get a taxi to take me to "the Pan Am building" today. Get used to the new name, folks. --CliffC (talk) 11:56, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I rather doubt most cabbies in Chicago could get you to the Willis tower today either. Googlemeister (talk) 18:48, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

There are actually a lot of Wikipedia pages where the most commonly used name is given preference over the official name when it comes to the title. Triborough Bridge rather than Robert F. Kennedy Bridge; Sixth Avenue instead of Avenue of the Americas; West Side Highway over the Joe DiMaggio Highway; Empire State Plaza not the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza; the New York State Thruway instead of the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway. Based on those precedents the page move to Willis Tower may have been overhasty. 69.106.74.227 (talk) 21:08, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Those are different. Those are colloquial names vs lengthy official names; this is a short official name. The colloquial names are used because things predate official names but also because they're shorter. --Golbez (talk) 21:18, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I cannot find where the length of the name was ever a rationale for choosing what to title one of these things on Wikipedia. At the Triborough Bridge page, where I was tipped off to the others, the discussion was framed entirely on "most common name" status. I also think it's a red herring for nearly all of these, since nothing would prevent RFK Bridge, the DiMaggio Highway, or the Dewey Thruway from becoming the most common names, they just haven't. We call RFK Stadium Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, so if the renaming of Triborough had caught on with the public I do not see how long or short official names would be a pertinent issue.69.106.75.105 (talk) 01:43, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with 69.106.75.105; WP:COMMONNAMES makes no mention of discriminating based on the length of the name of an article topic. The official name is not always what the article should be titled. Since "Sears Tower" is still the clear common name, I agree that this move was a bit too hasty. Cheers, Raime 02:52, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
What do the Ivory Coast, Bombay, and the Sears Tower all have in common? They were officially renamed and Wikipedia took the new name. --Golbez (talk) 03:48, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
But unlike the Sears Tower, the articles for Ivory Coast and Bombay were not moved overnight without discussion. Both were officially renamed before Wikipedia existed, and by the time their articles were written, the official names had been long established and very common. That is not the case here. Cheers, Raime 04:26, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

I made an incorrect argument above; citing 'colloquial vs long standard'. I realized the other thing those things have in common - they're all government structures. When the 'government' (which is us, right?) changes the name of something away from its established name, the people (i.e. the government?) tend not to care about the official name. But in this case, the owners of a building have changed its name. We recognize private name changes like Joybubbles and Aon Center (Chicago) and US Bank Tower, why not this? What makes this special? Basically, it is inaccurate to call this building the Sears Tower. You might get away with that if "Sears Tower" were a name granted to it by the people and local culture, but it wasn't. It was the official name of a structure, and now it is not. --Golbez (talk) 15:01, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

WP:COMMONNAMES also makes no discrimination based on "government structures" and "private structures." It isn't inaccurate to call a thing by its common name; it is a Wikipedia naming convention. Perhaps the cases with the aforementioned items should have been more closely examined, but that doesn't change the fact that this article was moved too quickly. Sears Tower may have been the official name, but I would argue that it was and is a name held "by the people and local culture", considering the uproar the name change has caused. What makes this special? The name "Sears Tower" was associated with the tallest building in the US, a former tallest building in the world, and American culture in general for over 30 years. So, this move is more significant than that of the U.S. Bank Tower - I would guess that rename did not make international news. Cheers, Raime 15:20, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

This needs to be moved back to Sears Tower

Policy is quite clear here: "Except where other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions give a different indication, title an article using the most common name of the person or thing that is the subject of the article." Sears Tower is the common name, whatever you may say to the contrary. Sears Tower has 2.2 million google hits; Willis Tower has less than 500,000. Sears Tower has 1,137 google books hits, Willis Tower has 55. Finally, should there be any doubt about current usage: Sears Tower has 1,241 google news hits for the last month; Willis tower has 876.

In other words, both common usage and the vast majority of reliable, published secondary sources call this the Sears Tower. Given that Wikipedia is supposed to follow the usage of the reliable sources, there is no reason to make an exception here.

  • Support move as above. Empire NJ (talk) 15:13, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose move - It is not called the Sears Tower anymore. It was changed recently, so Google hits are not reliable. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:15, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
That's entirely irrelevant. Uruguay is officially the "Oriental Republic of Uruguay", but the article is still at Uruguay because that's what most people call it. Furthermore, even if you look at GNEWS hits for just the last day (and we are now well after the so-called change), then Sears Tower still beats out Willis Tower by a sizable margin. Anyone who reads the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times will tell you that both of those papers are still referring to the Sears Tower. I'll reiterate that what matters is published, reliable sources. Those sources by a great majority say Sears Tower. Empire NJ (talk) 15:41, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
You're making general statements. I'd like to see a reliable source, since the renaming, that still calls it Sears Tower as if the name had not been changed. Google hits do not qualify as a reliable source. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:51, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Alright then. Have a half dozen. There are plenty more where these came from.
  1. From the San Francisco Chronicle on July 19, three days after the rename, an article on the Tower that makes absolutely no mention of the Willis name, referring only to the Sears Tower. [1]
  2. From Building (a leading British architecture magazine), an article on July 20 which also makes no mention of the Willis name. [2]
  3. From the Chicago Tribune on July 17, " the Sears Tower gets renamed something no one older than 39 will ever call it" no mention of what that name is, just that no one will use it. [3]
  4. From the Dallas Morning News, "but everyone still called it the Sears Tower. And they won't stop now." [4]
  5. From Reuters, "So while the signs say “Willis Tower,” the lips in Chicago are likely to keep saying “Sears Tower” for a long, long time."
  6. From Business Week, "the CEO of Willis knows people will still call it the Sears Tower" [5]
  7. From the BBC, "Public relations experts said it could take decades for the new name of the Chicago skyscraper to take its place in the public consciousness." (emphasis mine) [6] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Empire NJ (talkcontribs) 16:37, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
So it was renamed just 6 days ago, and you're arguing it should be moved back because many still call it the Sears Tower? What you've cited is either sources that didn't get the news yet, or speculation that people will continue to call it by its old name. 6 days ago? Check back in a year and see how it's going. I'm sure when they renamed Comiskey Park II to U.S. Cellular, it didn't catch on right away, either. But guess which name it's listed under. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:41, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Do you just have no idea what it means for something to be verifiable in reliable sources? I think it's pretty interesting that you think that several of the largest newspapers in America "haven't gotten the news yet." Here are the facts: The vast majority of reliable sources call it the Sears Tower. No one calls it the Willis Tower. You're speculating that in a year, people will. What is appropriate is to call it by the name people are using. If in a year people start to call it Willis tower and the newspapers, travel guides, magazines, etc. do the same then a rename would be appropriate. For the time being, we should stick with the name supported by both common usage and reliable sources. Empire NJ (talk) 16:45, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Reliable sources say its name is Willis Tower, and by an amazing coincidence, that's what its name is. Opinions on what the average citizen will do are strictly that - opinions. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:52, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, beware: You are a 1-day-new user who appears to be on a crusade to try to keep the old name as if it were the real name of the building. Be careful not to get into an edit war over it. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:57, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Like I said above, any official source will almost certainly use both names to describe the building, because "Sears" remains the common name. If many people don't know what the "Willis Tower" is, which seems to be the case, then the news article would not be helpful without also including the more recognizable name. Check back in a year and see how it's going - that is not how naming conventions work. We can check back in a year and see if Willis is more common than Sears, and move the article then if it appears that that is the case. For now, the more common name is "Sears Tower," and that should be used as the title of the article. Cheers, Raime 16:49, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I would expect sources to say "Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower" for some time. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:52, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and that is indicative of the "Sears" name being more common. If Willis were truly were more common, then there would not need to be a mention for the Sears name. Once sources start calling it solely the "Willis Tower", that may be an indication of the common name having changed. For now, that isn't the case. Cheers, Raime 16:59, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
More common this week, maybe. How many people are calling Dolphins Stadium by its new name? How many even know about it? Yet the article was moved to its official name. "B formerly A" is necessary for those who didn't know about this 6-day-old name. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:04, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
The fact that other articles were moved quickly doesn't relate to this discussion; a.k.a., this article doesn't need to be at an official name simply because a stadium was also moved to an official name. There are precedents for moving immediately to the official name, and there are precedents like Burma that stick with a common name long after an official name change. In this case, we definitely should follow WP:COMMONNAME, which suggests that "Sears Tower" be the article name. Cheers, Raime 17:10, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
This is a redlink, a brand new user, who appears to be on a crusade. I'm thinking he wants to move it back to Sears as a self-fulfilling citation, "See, wikipedia still calls it Sears." We had a similar discussion all winter about Yankee Stadium. The argument was that everyone would think of the old Yankee Stadium as "the" Yankee Stadium. Guess what: people adapt quickly. Yankee Stadium means the new one. Trying to move the article back after only 6 days after it was renamed is flat-out POV-pushing, based on nothing but cherry-picked citations speculating that people will continue to call it by its old name. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:17, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • This is not an official move proposal; it should be done through WP:RM. Cheers, Raime 15:19, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
How do I do that? Empire NJ (talk) 15:41, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Requested moves#Requesting a potentially controversial single-page move. Basically, just create a new section (or in this case, reformat this section along the line of:

==Requested move==
{{subst:move|Sears Tower}} A brief reason as to why the name of the page should be changed. ~~~~

Then, add {{moveheader|section=Requested move}} to the top of this page. Cheers, Raime 15:58, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. 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 move request was leave at Willis Tower. This discussion is contentious with fairly valid arguments made on both sides - there is a good point that a fair proportion of media sources do still seem to call this the Sears Tower. That said, there's also strong argument that usage of Willis Tower is widespread and increasing, and that it's clearly the "correct" name officially - the argument therefore comes down to an entirely subjective interpretation of what the "common name" is. Given that a clear majority here seem to think that Willis Tower is sufficiently widespread to constitute a common name, and that that usage is only likely to increase with time, I am confident that the article's current placement is most appropriate given the consensus present in this discussion. ~ mazca talk 17:50, 29 July 2009 (UTC)



Willis TowerSears TowerWP:COMMONNAMES is emphatically clear: "Title an article using the most common English language name of a person or thing that is the subject of the article." It is also emphatically clear that the majority of people and the majority of published, reliable sources call this the Sears Tower. Since the "renaming" last week, news stories have been published in the major media referring to the tower as if no rename had taken place (including the San Francisco Chronicle, the British architecture magazine Building, and the Chicago Tribune. A google search, google book search, google news search, or google scholar search turns up significantly more coverage for the Sears Tower than the Willis Tower (even a GNEWS search for stories only in the last week or day). News sources from the BBC to the Dallas Morning News state unequivocally that no one will be using this "new" name. In short, articles must be named by the common name and the Sears Tower is the common name. Opponents of the move will state that people are going to start calling it the Willis tower. This is pure crystal ballery. If in a year, the reliable sources and common usage refer to this as the Willis Tower, a move to Willis Tower would be appropriate at that time. Empire NJ (talk) 17:00, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

It was SIX DAYS AGO. Show me a source that isn't speculation or for whom the news has arrived but they are not using it yet. Naturally, the Chicago papers are going to be more on top of the story than outlying papers. Find a reliable poll as to what people are "commonly" calling it, rather than newspaper editorial speculation, which is meaningless here. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:06, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
If they were to actually conduct such a poll, I think you'd be surprised at the number of Chicagoans who (1) hadn't heard about it; and/or (2) couldn't care less about it. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:09, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
What makes you think that the San Francisco Chronicle is several days behind the rest of the world? Show me one source that shows people calling the Willis Tower. Every travel guide in the world calls it the Sears Tower. Multiple full-length books calling it the Sears Tower have been published [7] [8] [9]. You seem to think that just because they changed what's painted on the front this has all changed. It hasn't. Not one reliable source shows any significant group of people calling this the Willis Tower. Empire NJ (talk) 17:15, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
ONLY SIX DAYS Web pages don't necessarily change overnight. I saw a quote from the mayor of Chicago saying he's just fine with the name change. He's people. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:26, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, people refers to more than one person. Empire NJ (talk) 17:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
You've apparently never dealt with Mayor Daley. ;) Kevin Forsyth (talk) 14:20, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
RE: Printed travel guides and books, how many still showing pictures and details on tours of WTC were still on shelves six days after the attacks? That is an extremely misguided way to justify a change back to Sears. Sswonk (talk) 17:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Move was premature and overhasty. No evidence that "Willis Tower" is the common name, and the articles referenced by Empire NJ above do indicate that "Sears" is the common name, at least for now. A good precedent to use is 555 California Street - the article remained at its older name, "Bank of America Center", for over two years after it was officially renamed, but has since been moved to the official name after several sources were provided that indicated the older name was no longer the common name. Cheers, Raime 17:16, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Speaking of crystal ballery, what is relying on multiple sources that speculate using phases like "no one older than 39 will ever", "but everyone still called it the Sears Tower. And they won't stop now.", "the lips in Chicago are likely to keep saying “Sears Tower” for a long, long time.", "the CEO of Willis knows people will still call it the Sears Tower", "it could take decades for the new name of the Chicago skyscraper to take its place". All of these are guesses about the future, they can't be fact. To me, it's the same thing only less supported by guidelines to use the "Sears Tower" name because a lot of weasel worded comments from columnists, etc. think they know how the future ends up. Sswonk (talk) 17:23, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    Sears Tower may not be the common name for 10 years into the future; we don't know. But now, and only now, Google hits and articles from reliable sources both indicate that "Sears Tower" is the more common name. We don't need to make any guesses about the future; all that matters is the present, and in the present, "Sears Tower" is more common. Cheers, Raime 17:27, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    They may be wrong about whether or not the name will change in the future. The fact is that common usage has NOT changed, at least yet. Wikipedia should reflect whatever is presently supported by the reliable sources not what we think/hope will be supported by common usage and reliable sources in ten years, ten months, ten days, or ten hours. Empire NJ (talk) 17:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    Google hits are absolutely NOT considered reliable sources for this kind of information, and citations for what people are still calling it is pure speculation and is thus also not reliable sourcing. Its name has been changed, and that fact is reliably sourced. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:34, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    Again, how do Google hits count after only six days? Every mention of the building before the naming rights were announced by Willis, over 35 years of published material, is not going to mention Willis Tower. The rest will mention both names for a while, so Sears gets another "hit" to add to those 35 years worth. Not at all logically or mathematically relevant use of that method to establish a common name of something. Sswonk (talk) 17:40, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    A reader is hundreds of times more likely to come across the "Sears Tower" name in printed resources and the internet, so he/she is far more likely to recognize the Sears name over Willis. That is certainly a logical method to establish a common name. Raime 22:42, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The building has a new name; WP should reflect it. There's no danger of confusion, thanks to the redirect from Sears Tower and to the mention of "Sears Tower" in the article's lead. As for reliable sources that use the new name, here's the Associated Press, producer of a large proportion of U.S.-based news reports and publisher of the style guide used by most American newspapers, happily using Willis Tower as the building's primary name: [10]. PRRfan (talk) 17:38, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • That reference is just like all the others - the fact that "Sears" is still mentioned indicates that "Willis" is not the most common name. If "Willis" were the common name, then "Sears" wouldn't need to be present in the article. Cheers, Raime 17:42, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Nope, it's unlike the others in that it illustrates a clear change in usage by one of the primary style determiners in the media (read: reliable source) universe. Certainly, AP's use of "formerly known as Sears Tower" acknowledges that many readers will not yet know the new name; just as clearly, it shows that the tower will henceforth be called by it. PRRfan (talk) 17:57, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
It only illustrates a clear change in the official name, which isn't in dispute. You are interpreting it to mean that "Willis" is also the common name, but that is completely unsupported by the article. Cheers, Raime 18:02, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. The name Sears Tower is iconic, and ubiquitous. It's like trying to rename the Brooklyn bridge, or Yankee Stadium. 199.125.109.58 (talk) 17:46, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    Something that has never happened and likely never will. Speculation. Sswonk (talk) 17:48, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - common name cannot trump accuracy. To call it "Sears Tower", however common, is now inaccurate. I would like to request the proponents of this move to indicate how it could be proven that "Willis" ever overtakes "Sears". Google results? Newspapers? A hunch? --Golbez (talk) 17:54, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, to start, when news sources stop saying "formerly known as the Sears Tower". I do believe that Willis will one day become the common name, but it isn't now. Cheers, Raime 18:05, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Which news sources? How many? How do you quantify it? Or does it really just come down to a hunch that it's time to move it? --Golbez (talk) 18:09, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • It comes down to building consensus, as every move does. If this article is moved back to Sears, and in one week, one month, or one year another editor wants to move it back to "Willis", then another move discussion can be started, news sources can be presented, and editors can build consensus on which name is more common. The keys are discussion and building consensus, which were both overlooked in the move to "Willis Tower". Cheers, Raime 18:13, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) is a guideline. Verifiability is a policy. The name of the tower has verifiably been changed. Some journalists speculating that people might not adjust to the name change is not verifiable proof of a common name. —Jeremy (talk) 19:07, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Point of order. It seems, reading above, that the initial move to Willis Tower was carried out without anything resembling a discussion or a consensus to move. Thus, procedurally it seems that this should be moved back to Sears Towers immediately. If people want to move to Willis Tower, then they face the responsibility to establish a consensus to do so. This should never have been here in the first place. Empire NJ (talk) 19:08, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Per WP:BOLD there is no stipulation to seek permission before making changes to Wikipedia. —Jeremy (talk) 19:09, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Alrighty then, I would like to exercise the Revert portion of BRD. I tried before, but seem to have moved wrong. Will someone tell me how to move back to Sears Tower so as to complete part two of BRD? Thanks. Empire NJ (talk) 19:12, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
        • Reverts don't happen a week after the fact. They happen immediately. I linked you to the move procedure; I strongly urge you not to do it. --Golbez (talk) 19:13, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
        • We are already in the Discuss portion of BRD. To move the article this early in a discussion about the move would be discourteous to those wishing to engage in the discussion and appear to be an attempt to railroad the discussion. —Jeremy (talk) 19:20, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
          • And just to let folks who weren't paying attention know, Empire NJ already did a copy-paste move to the old name about 25 minutes ago, claiming that after 2 hours of discussion, a clear consensus had emerged. I don't think I need to point out all the errors made there. --Golbez (talk) 19:24, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    • As Jeremy said, you don't need consensus to make an initial/original edit or a move. Nor do you need it to revert. Repeating the process, though, does require consensus. If there was a challenge then it could have been made at the time; the move reverted, an RM opened. It was not. So this is the new base situation we deal with. There's clearly valid points on both sides which were apparently not expressed fully before the last move; that's what this is for. Also, to be frank, you have no grounding to speak on anything about procedures, having violated multiple ones in just the last 20 minutes. --Golbez (talk) 19:13, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Well I wasn't aware of the need to revert at the time. You're not really making much sense though. Why does the 6 days this has been named Willis Tower trump the YEARS that the article was at Sears Tower? Empire NJ (talk) 19:18, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
        • I have no further way of explaining it to you. If you move it, I will move it back. And then we can have our happy D part of the BRD cycle. Would that work? Or how about this: Skip the move war and just discuss the situation. Eight years, 6 days, surely we can wait more than two hours to discuss where it should be. --Golbez (talk) 19:20, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
          • I agree that we should discuss this further, but I do believe that while we do so, the article should be at Sears Tower. I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree and I'm not going to waste my time moving it if you'll just move it back. Perhaps this discussion will benefit from some more opinions as other people see the page. Empire NJ (talk) 19:27, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
            • I'm no philosophy expert, but I believe what you are saying there is an odd form of begging the question, that is you are assuming an outcome of an argument in it's premise. Or something like that. All I can say is making an RM and then making the move shortly thereafter to bolster your argument is not unlike a cop saying "I think we should arrest this guy", asking the DA if there is probable cause and then making the arrest without having a response from the DA. Why ask the DA in the first place, unless you really want to make him mad? Sswonk (talk) 19:54, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
              • Quite to the contrary, to work with your analogy. It's more like if a Cop knows a guy has done something wrong, but has not yet been convicted in court. You hold him in jail until the proceedings are over. What I'm saying is that given that this was moved without consensus, it should be moved back unless a consensus to move it is established. Empire NJ (talk) 20:20, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
                • Actually, it's more like the train has left the station. You might have chosen a different route earlier, but now we're all riding the Move Request Discussion Express -- next stop, consensus. PRRfan (talk) 20:37, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • CALL IT THE SEARS TOWER. That's what it is. Save the Sears (talk) 19:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC) Save the Sears (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Oppose move to Sears Tower. WP:COMMONNAMES was not written with this type of situation in mind, and I don't see it as applicable here. A local concert venue, the Oak Mountain Amphitheater, was renamed the Verizon Wireless Music Center a few years back. Local columnists and radio shows started petitions and on-air protests proclaiming that nobody would ever use the new name. Fast forward two years, and I have been corrected more than once when saying "I'm going to see XYZ at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater tonight". Names change, and there will always be those of us who continue to use the old name simply out of habit more than anything else, but that doesn't mean the new name isn't correct (or that it will not become common usage). This structure has been officially renamed, and our article's title should reflect that. --auburnpilot's sock 19:41, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    • If I were able to amend my previous statement of opposition to the move with any single thought posted since, this statement by AuburnPilot would be it. There is an element of common sense that is missing in the strict interpretation of WP:COMMONNAMES used by the nom. That guideline is not meant to cover a recent change like this unless it were an obvious case of frivolity. It is primarily about things or people with multiple established names where one name has prevailed over time. Place name changes that are official, legal and not likely to be undone like this one are factual and given precedence over sentimental favorites. Sswonk (talk) 21:22, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I'm afraid. It's a real shame the tower's name has changed but it definitely has, so Wikipedia must change too. - Pointillist (talk) 20:16, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Willis got the naming rights as part of their lease and chose to name the building Willis Tower. End of story. Nothing prevents us as individuals from thinking of it and referring to it as Sears Tower, whether for sentimental reasons of out of force of habit, but that's no longer the correct name. One early version of the lede started with "Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, is...". That is a straightforward and correct way to inform readers about both names immediately. All the "popularly known as" claims belong in the body of the article. --CliffC (talk) 21:19, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
    • There is a substantial precedent for calling this by the common name, not the official name. The most obvious example is Burma. Although the country is technically the Union of Myanmar, it is known in the english-speaking world as Burma and so we use that name. So far as buildings go, there is also ample precedent. For example, the article. 40 Wall Street. Officially, this is the Trump Building, but historically and in common usage, it is known as 40 Wall Street, thus we use that name. Empire NJ (talk) 22:23, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Poor choice; the address is always a valid moniker, in that case both Trump Building and 40 Wall St are valid, accurate names. --Golbez (talk) 22:37, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Another tower. We have an article named John Hancock Tower when in fact the official name is Hancock Place. So, in other words, yes WP:COMMONNAME applies to buildings.Empire NJ (talk) 22:25, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
        • Perhaps that article should be moved then, though at least "John Hancock Tower" is still using the same nomenclature as the official name, what with the "Hancock" at all. It's not quite as different as Sears vs Willis. --Golbez (talk) 22:37, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
        • The Hancock Tower is another bad example. Disclaiming WP:OR in advance, I have lived in the Boston area for over 15 years and this is the first time I can recall having heard the name Hancock Place, maybe once or twice before I'm not sure. Learn something new... The company that owned it defaulted in March, but it is still listed in their portfolio here (other assets changed hands today, [11] so that page may disappear soon) as the John Hancock Tower. So, there may be a reason to move the article whenever a new owner decides on a name, but none now. However, with Willis Tower the name change is a highly public one. The mayor of Chicago is famously in support of it. And, the company with the right to call it what it wants calls it Willis Tower. Sswonk (talk) 23:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
      • I don't think there was ever any real consensus to move Myanmar to Burma. That debate went to the mediation cabal, and people are still arguing about it. I'd personally prefer Myanmar, since I'm pretty sure all the atlases and almanacs I've ever owned have listed the country that way, or as Myanmar (Burma). But I digress... Zagalejo^^^ 02:54, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • (outdent) Very partial list of other towers/significant buildings that we don't use the official name of. You can help by expanding it.
    • Oriental Pearl Tower - the Chinese name literally translates as Oriental Pearl TV Tower but in both China and the english-speaking world the word TV is generally omitted, so we left it out of the title.
    • Kuala Lumpur Tower - the official name is "Menara Kuala Lumpur" but we go with the common usage (Menara is the name of the company that owns the tower)
    • West Pearl Tower - officially 四川广播电视塔, the "Sichuan TV Tower", a name not even mentioned in the article.
  • There are, I am sure, many more, but this is what I have found so far. None of these, of course, are exact parallels, but the Kuala Lumpur Tower is pretty close. The general public has rejected the corporate naming as "Menara Kuala Lumpur" and we have named the article accordingly with the common name. Empire NJ (talk) 01:26, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


  • Support Sears Tower is by far the more common name and was used for almost 40+ years, WP:COMMONNAME supports Sears Tower. End of Story. Eventually it could possible be more known as Willis Tower, but no sane person could say it's better known now as that. This isn't like an arena that gets its name changed every few years, the building became an icon under the name Sears Tower while I would bet most people outside of the Chicago area aren't even aware that its name has changed. TJ Spyke 21:35, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support REVERT back to Sears Tower. Per WP:COMMONNAME. If and when the tower is more commonly referred to as something else, that's when this article should be moved, and not before then. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:10, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Should we also move Cloud Gate to The Bean? (I'm not trying to be snotty; I'm genuinely curious how you and others interpret WP:COMMONNAME.) Zagalejo^^^ 02:41, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Absolutely, we should move Cloud Gate to the Bean. I've lived in Chicago for years, and while I was vaguely conscious that "the bean" wasn't the official name, I would have had no idea what someone was talking about if they said "Where is Cloud Gate?". It's the Bean, end of story, just like it's Jimmy Carter not James Earl Carter, Jr. Empire NJ (talk) 15:35, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • You continue to pick horrible examples to defend your position. Not only is that nickname very similar to the actual name, but it's a nickname for a person. Jimmy <->James is extremely commonplace, middle names are often dropped, as are suffixes. Furthermore, he chose/endorsed that nickname! As for Cloud Gate vs The Bean, it seems a little insulting to the creator/owner/resident of something to tell them that their name for their item isn't the real one. The artist created Cloud Gate; that the people are ignorant of that is no excuse for us to be ignorant of it. --Golbez (talk) 15:49, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • To quote Ann Tickner, "You just don't understand." What we call something should have absolutely nothing to do with what its owner/naming rights owner/artist wants to call it. It's about what the public calls it. That's why we have an article named Whistler's Mother, not "Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother" because that's what people call it. That's why we have an article on Burma not the Union of Myanmar. What James Whistler or the ruling junta of Burma wants is utterly irrelevant. We don't have an article on Jimmy Carter because that's what he wanted people to call him; it's because that's what people did call him. Empire NJ (talk) 16:04, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Fair enough on the Whistler's Mother bit; you finally found a good example. I wouldn't propose moving that article away from Whistler's Mother. However, that is something 140 years old; the public consciousness literally knows it as nothing else. To rename it would be to confuse every viewer of the site. This, however? This obviously is a notable change that people know about. If Chicagalinos are or choose to be ignorant of it, that's not our problem. As for Burma, that's not why the article is there, but the Myanmar/Burma issue is an entirely different discussion. (East Timor would be a better example. But what about Ivory Coast?) Finally, we're dealing with a name change here. Whistler's Mother wasn't a new name or an old name or any name; it was simply the name the public knows it by. If this building never had a name - was simply '233 S Wacker' - for the last 35 years, and then Sears moved in and declared, "We're renaming it the Sears Tower!" - I would support moving it to the new name, rather than keep it at the old name, because that was less a name and more an identifier. Am I being pedantic? Maybe. But my position remains - *I* can see the difference but it's perhaps hard for me to communicate what that difference is. I could say, "The public consciousness created the name out of thin air" for Whistler's Mother, but then you could use that againse me in the case of The Bean... but it doesn't work for the Sears Tower. The public didn't invent that name. They'll get over it. As for Jimmy Carter, that's also what he called himself. That has nothing to do with the public or nicknames or anything. He filed to run for office under that name. --Golbez (talk) 16:53, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. People adapt to name changes surprisingly quickly. Peking or Bombay anyone? Aubergine (talk) 00:34, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
    • That's just your assumption. At the moment, people are clearly calling it the Sears Tower. In a year, if they call it Willis Tower rename it then. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Empire NJ (talkcontribs) 16:11, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with Golbez. Sears Tower simply is not accurate anymore. Zagalejo^^^ 02:37, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
    • In what sense is it not "accurate"? It's the most commonly recognized name just like Whistler's Mother. Surely, the "official" name should be mentioned but it shouldn't be the article title. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Empire NJ (talkcontribs) 16:11, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
      • "Sears Tower" has no official standing anymore. The people who own the building's naming rights call it Willis Tower. The only reasons for anyone to continue calling it Sears Tower are force of habit, ignorance, or sentimentality. Whistler's Mother is a special situation, since people have been calling it that for over a hundred years, despite knowledge of Whistler's own title for it. If, in 100 years, people are still calling Willis Tower "Sears Tower", then maybe we should start considering a name change. But who knows what the future will bring. Zagalejo^^^ 19:08, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Zagalejo. Aubergine also brings up a very good point... At some point in time, the name "Willis Tower" will become more commonly used. Why don't we speed up that process? --timsdad (talk) 06:48, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
    • "Let's speed up that process" violates the very core of Wikipedia. We are supposed to only provide information published in reliable sources; reflect the world, not change it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Empire NJ (talkcontribs) 16:11, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose reverting to Sears Tower. As far as guidelines go, WP:COMMONNAME is not specific, but WP:Naming conflict#How to make a choice among controversial names is: "Is it the official current name of the subject?" (emphasis added) In fact, WP:COMMONNAME appears to defer to this guideline when it says, "Except where other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions give a different indication". Regarding the examples of common-name usage cited by Empire NJ, such as Oriental Pearl Tower, Kuala Lumpur Tower, and Menara Kuala Lumpur, that editor makes a stronger case for changing the names of those articles than for reverting this one.
Many — including myself — consider this to be an asinine, money-grubbing decision by building management to change the name of an icon; but change it they have, and it's not our place as Wikipedians to argue against that change. That said, I'll call it Sears Tower until the day I die, just as I do with the Standard Oil Building — but I won't feign confusion if a tourist asks me how to get to Willis Tower or the Aon Center. Kevin Forsyth (talk) 14:18, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Well the policy you cite above refers specifically to naming article to avoid POV; there isn't really an NPOV problem here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Empire NJ (talkcontribs) 16:11, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I disagree. Nothing personal, but the passion with which some people are resisting this change strikes me as very POV. Kevin Forsyth (talk)

Comment: The statements by Forsyth and auburnpilot, and my second of auburn, clearly state the primary flaw in this nomination, which is the claim that a move from Willis Tower to Sears Tower is supported by a guideline phrase where "WP:COMMONNAMES is emphatically clear" about this issue. Pulling a single sentence from the lead when that sentence has paragraphs of explanation following which cover multiple scenarios can be misleading, which I think has been the result here. In continuing to staunchly support the move, the nominator has also used arguments which have been repeatedly and effectively rebutted. This discussion is about a move, but parallels to a deletion discussion can be drawn when one looks at the noms arguments and sees similar arguments listed as arguments to avoid in deletion discussions, including reliance on Google hits to determine what title to use, and comparing this article's title to those of other articles in an illogical way which is akin to the What about X? line of reasoning that is discouraged as well. Please don't immediately shoot back at me saying "This is a move, not a deletion!". I know that, but for the sake of brevity and lacking a similar ATA essay for moves, I am pointing to a place where refutations of these two rationales have been established for some time and are relevant here, in spite of the fact that those refutations are currently applied to a different discussion forum. Sswonk (talk) 16:51, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Example - in my previous hometown of Charlotte, there was a building named 1 First Union Center. Tallest in the city for 4 years, 2nd tallest for 15. And 2 First Union, and 3 First Union. (4 First Union was supposed to be a supertall but I digress) There was also a building in Charlotte named Wachovia Center. One day, First Union bought Wachovia and took its name. What to do with the buildings downtown? The First Union complex - all of which was taller than Wachovia Center - was renamed Wachovia. 1 Wachovia Center, 2 Wachovia Center, 3 Wachovia Center. The old Wachovia Center simply reverted to its street address, 400 South Tryon. So far as I know, not one person in Charlotte clinged to the old name of 1 First Union. The ownership changed, the name changed, and we moved on. Is the Sears Tower more special than these? Of course. But it's not immune. This is the tallest building ever to be renamed; the next tallest was, well, its friend a few blocks away: Aon Center née the Amoco Building née the Standard Oil Building. Last I checked, while some people were stubborn (I personally prefer to call it Amoco), the change was made and accepted, and no one has ever questioned - so far as I can tell - where the Wikipedia article belongs. That's a good example to follow, I think. --Golbez (talk) 17:04, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Please Note. While those requesting a move have engaged in forum shopping and the like, the point of order raised above is valid. The page should not have been moved in the first place without a consensus, as those moving it should have known quite well that doing so would be controversial. It is technically more or less impossible for those without administrator tools to carry out the R of BRD, so I have moved the page back. I do not mean for this to prejudice the discussion of the final name in one way or another, but it did seem appropriate for this to remain at Sears Tower until the discussion runs its course. I also urge all editors, particularly Empire NJ, to refrain from edit warring within the article itself, as this seems to have been occurring. Cool3 (talk) 19:24, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Why do you say the move couldn't be reverted? So far as I know, Sears Tower only existed as a redirect, which can be moved on to. That kind of obviates your entire argument here. I won't move it back - move wars are the worst we can have - but your premise seems seriously damaged. Also, what discussion? This RM is now obsolete. A new RM needs to be opened now, the previous discussion goes out the window. --Golbez (talk) 19:38, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • There were multiple lines in the page history; an ordinary user can only move over a redirect with a one line page history. Thus, it did require administrator tools to move. Cool3 (talk) 19:43, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, yes, there were; made a week after the fact. If someone wished to revert it within the week before Empire NJ performed his copy-paste move, they were able to. But I misunderstood you; I thought you were saying that right after the move, it needed an admin to move it back. --Golbez (talk) 20:10, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I also will not move war with you. But if any move was out of process it was the move you just made, which has completely thrown the above discussion off the rails. The person who originally moved it from Sears to Willis did so entirely within Wikipedia's policies; no prior discussion was required. Your reversion of this move has no basis in any policy--BRD is an essay, and even it states "Do not accept "Policy" , "consensus", or "procedure" as valid reasons for a revert"Jeremy (talk) 19:55, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Please Note that nearly every project outside the English Wikipedia has accepted Willis Tower as the proper title. Sswonk (talk) 19:41, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
    True, but most of those moves were initiated by a single user (Aubergine), so it doesn't really reflect any international-opinions that we can apply here. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:21, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
    I think that the moves at the 25+ other projects have gone unchallenged and that articles have been edited since then at these other projects does, at least, suggest that the move is non-controversial outside English Wikipedia. Really, whether Aubergine did many of the moves or not, the key words in my statement are "accepted Willis Tower as the proper title", and to embellish those words, without batting an eye. It would be nice if we could do the same. So, not applying international opinions, just making note of the fact that the rest of the world has moved on. Sswonk (talk) 23:30, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Note - I have moved this back to Willis Tower following a notice posted at WP:AN/I. This is not to be interpreted as some kind of "administrative endorsement" of this title but was done so to prevent disruption to the ongoing move request. It should remain at this title until the close of this discussion. Thank you, Shereth 20:12, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now, wait until we can get some perspective on whether the "Sears" name will hold strong in about a year or so. Then we can have this discussion. It's only been a few days, people. — \`CRAZY`(lN)`SANE`/ (talkcontribs) 01:30, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Pretty obviously Sears Tower is the common name, it is pure crystall ballery to suggest Willis Tower will become the common name so change it now, and there are a million and one examples where we do not slavishly name things after their official name regardless. Hell, we don't even do it for some living people. MickMacNee (talk) 03:19, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
    • After Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali, a lot of people resisted calling him by his new name. Howard Cosell was an early adapter, and eventually his new chosen name became used universally. The crystal ballery is the assumption that people will continue to call it Sears Tower, when in fact there is no source given that can demonstrate that. It's pure sentimentalism, and trying to abuse wikipedia to "protest" the name change. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 03:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
      • I don't need a source to back up my statement that 'it will become known as the Willis Tower in the future so rename it now' is predicting the future, something we do not do. Its the common name right now. Whether it will be the common name in the future, is a matter for the future. Who knows, maybe the financial crisis will see Willis Group go under or be taken over within 15 years, you just don't know. It took a couple of years at least before anyone accepted nonsense like Snickers, if we have to start plucking comparisons out of thin air. MickMacNee (talk) 03:40, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support The landmark of Chicago has been known "Sears Tower" for a long time. Think about the case of Burma and Myanmar.--Caspian blue 08:50, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
    • That is a bogus comparison. The Willis company purchased the naming rights through legal means, not through a military coup. And why should Sears continue to get free advertising, when they abandoned the place? This is all about sentimentalism. There is no reliable source backing the idea of keeping it at Sears Tower. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 13:44, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Don't be rude, Baseball Bugs. Just because I don't agree with your crusade for changing the established recognition on the old name, that does not mean you can be freely away from WP:CIVILITY. How do you know that I have "sentimentalism" toward the place? More over, you said No reliable source backing the idea? Did you forget already what you said above? You said "Google hits" are meaningless at this point because you are exactly aware of the fact that the new naming is not widely known to the public and not established. You are indeed the one who resorts to "bogus" arguments. I did not mention the military coup of the state at all. Not every states in the world do not follow the political stance of the U.S. The naming is also a matter of "recognition".--Caspian blue 14:46, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Trying to keep a no-longer-valid name is an abuse of wikipedia guidelines. That "common names" guideline is for when the name is unclear. An example would be the plane landing in the Hudson river in January. The media called it the Miracle on the Hudson, but there were objections to it on the grounds that it was "not a true miracle", whatever that means. I think a bland, factual title was settled upon. But that's what the "common names" guideline is about. There is no such thing as the Sears Tower anymore, except in the minds of a few sentimentalists. Anytime something is renamed, it can take awhile for the new name to gain full circulation. The original editor who pushed for retaining the old name is trying to abuse wikipedia, to make this article into a "protest" against the new name. That is not wikipedia's place to do. The reliable sources call it Willis Tower, or "Big Willie", and that's what it is. There is no more Sears Tower. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 14:57, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
        • Regarding Google, there are hundreds of thousands of hits on "Willis Tower", so it's hardly unknown at this point. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 14:59, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Requested move polling at 48 hours

This is a list of the !votes in this requested move discussion provided as an arbitrary breakpoint. The participants are listed as preferring either Sears Tower or Willis Tower as the name of the article, not of the structure itself:

Sears Tower (supported) (9): Empire NJ (nominator) • Raime • 199.125.109.58 • Save the Sears • TJ Spyke • Born2cycle • TonyTheTiger • MickMacNee • Caspian blue

Willis Tower (opposed) (15): Baseball Bugs • Sswonk • PRRfan • Golbez • JeremyA • AuburnPiIot • Pointillist • CliffC • Aubergine • Zagalejo • Timsdad • Kevin Forsyth • Rnb • Who then was a gentleman? • CrazyInSane

To avoid controversies, rather than changing these results please address any requests to fix mistakes in them to me. This line is the end of the 48 hours polling results, additional entries go below. Sswonk (talk) 17:02, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose moving back to "Sears Tower", the name of the tower has changed, to have it at the old name is potentially misleading. Now if someone types in Sears Tower thinking it is still the name they are immediately informed of the change - essential for understanding most of the article. Guest9999 (talk) 21:53, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support moving back to "Sears Tower". It's dumb that a couple of lawyers can rewrite history like this. It's the Sears freakin' tower. And it always will be, regardless if one tenant got naming writes and wants to call it the Willis tower for the next decade. The name hasn't changed for most people. Go ask anyone in Chicago what it's called. A hundred years from now, it will still be the g'damn Sears tower. This is an encyclopedia not a fuckin' court room. -71.194.135.16 (talk) 04:32, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support a move back to Sears Tower for now. When it is conclusively shown that Willis Tower is the common name, then move it. (This could take days, weeks, or months but Wikipedia is descriptive, not prescriptive. See Talk:Adam Jones (American football) for an example where usage changed at a different rate than the official name.) — AjaxSmack 04:59, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
    • In the Adam Jones re-naming, once the player and the media both referred to him by the same name, it was supported to move to that per WP:COMMONNAME. As I wrote above, just about every article I find in Google news written after the re-naming calls it the Willis Tower and mentions it used to be the Sears Tower (although a few don't mention its old name). What's the difference here? Rnb (talk) 14:29, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
      • There's no difference. It's an attempt by sentimentalists to abuse wikipedia to further a personal agenda. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 14:59, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
        • Please don't accuse others of such malfeasance without substantial proof. It's rather rude. The original poster here had a fair point, and it's ridiculous for you to discount it so. Jwkpiano1 (talk) 15:51, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
          • Please don't abuse the "common names" rule to further a personal, sentimental agenda, and thereby aid in making wikipedia look stupid in the process. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:23, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
      • I'm not a sentimentalist (in this case, anyway). And, if you'll note, I opposed the Adam Jones move in June and supported in September because I felt that common usage had changed. In this case, I can't believe that common usage really changed in six days. Evidence presented here and in the article tends to support that. Maybe (or probably?) in six weeks or three months things will be different. But Wikipedia should not predict the future or engage in prescription. If User:Baseball Bugs's "sentimentalists" represent common usage, then there no reason to avoid a sentimentalist article title (sentimentality would be irrelevant since the conclusion is based on reason). Wikipedia is not about official names or corporate shilling. — AjaxSmack 16:36, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
          • And how is retaining the no-longer-correct Sears name, not shilling for the Sears corporation, which abandoned the building 5 years ago? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:03, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
        • How do you judge when common usage is changed? I did so via the Google news method, which seems to point to Willis Tower, but maybe there's a better way. Or do you think that it's not possible for it to change in six days and it therefore shouldn't be changed for x days at a minimum? Rnb (talk) 16:41, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
          • It's a red herring. "Common usage" is needed when there is more than one name for something. This building has only one name. Sears abandoned downtown Chicago six years ago. If the supporters want to name it back, maybe they should take up a collection and buy back the naming rights. One thing certain: The Sears corporation won't be pitching in. This is sentimentalism, and attempting to use wikipedia as a crusader to resist change. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:01, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
            • "Sears Tower" is a name for this building that is more recognized by the general public than "Willis Tower". Building owners and tenants are not the only ones who decide what a building is called. Raime 19:20, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Move back to "Sears Tower." Sears Tower is the common name for this structure, and will remain so until such time as it has been replaced in the public consciousness by the name Willis Tower. This has not happened yet, so it's fairly ridiculous that it has been moved to Willis Tower, and it is especially ridiculous that the name "Sears Tower" is only mentioned a few times in the entire article, even though it's been named that for 99% of the time it has stood in Chicago. Jwkpiano1 (talk) 15:56, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Baseless crystal ball, and making wikipedia look stupid by being behind the reality curve. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:35, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
      • How do you interpret this to be related to WP:CRYSTAL BALL? It isn't speculation to say that "Sears Tower" is the common name at present. The only "baseless crystal balling" is the speculation that Willis Tower will become the common name in the future, so change it now to expedite the process. Labeling those who disagree with your personal crusade to rid Wikipedia of the "Sears Tower" name as "sentimentalists" and "abusers of policy" is not helping your argument; please try to remain WP:CIVIL. I, for one, am not a sentimentalist, and would support this article being named "Willis Tower" if and when that name becomes the common name. Right now, it isn't. Raime 19:17, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
        • Again, given that the majority of articles I can find written after the re-naming call it the Willis Tower, I don't understand the claim that Sears Tower is still the common name or the name most people are referring to it as. What evidence are you using for that? Rnb (talk) 19:34, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
          • Official sources will usually use both names (the official name and the common name), so they aren't necessarily a good indicator of which name is more common (althigh, Empire NJ did list some official sources that used only the "Sears Tower" name above, and as I mentioned above, Emporis, often cited by the media as an authority on building data, also uses the "Sears" name). I believe Google hits are a good indicator of which name is more common - a reader is far more likely to come across the "Sears Tower" name in printed resources and the internet, so he/she is far more likely to recognize the Sears name. And we shouldn't forget about the Chicago Tribune article where Chicagoans being interviewed didn't even know what the Willis Tower is. Obviously we should reject speculation that "everyone will always call it the Sears Tower", but when a reliable source carries out an interview and publishes the findings in a reliable newspaper, it shouldn't be discounted. If many Chicagoans don't know what the "Willis Tower" is, how can we honestly expect international readers to have accepted the "Willis Tower" name in only a few days? Raime 19:50, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
            • I didn't find Empire NJ's list of articles to be particularly compelling given that the majority of them called it the Willis Tower while arguing that Chicagoans will still call it the Sears. Of the others, one was an op ed from someone who didn't like the switch and two were written very close to the switch, so could have just been mistakes. As far as Google hits, even if everyone on Earth started referring to it as Willis instead of Sears overnight, I suspect the hits for Sears would outnumber those for Willis for years just because of the headstart it had. Anyway, thanks for providing reasoning for your thoughts instead of the "that's what it's called because that's what it's called" argument that seems to be getting a lot of play here. Rnb (talk) 20:05, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
              • IMO, it is because of the nearly 40-year "headstart" that the Sears Tower name remains the most common. The building became internationally-recognized with that name, so it is fairly certain that the common name most recognized by readers worldwide did not change in 10 days. We can discount speculation articles that state "no one over age 39 will ever call it the Willis Tower" - I wasn't referring to the speculation articles Empire NJ listed above, only ones like that of the San Francisco Chronicle that were written after the name change but never mentioned the official name. It may because they just "weren't updated", but it may also be because target readers would have been unfamiliar with the name change. That being said, I am fairly certain most official sources will cite both names. But Google hits, IMO, are a good indicator. Cheers, Raime 20:44, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
                • Re: San Francisco Chronicle, reading the byline will show that it was written by Henry Fountain of the New York Times. Checking the original source[12] will show that it was first published on July 6, making it factually correct to call the building Sears Tower since the renaming had not yet occurred. Simply another poor example used by the nominator. Sswonk (talk) 20:59, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
                  • Okay, so the Chronicle was a poor example - as I stated above, I would be very surprised if most official sources, and all of those outside of Chicago, where the name change was more publicized, use both names for quite a while. The Google hits still indicate that "Sears" is the common name. Cheers, Raime 21:08, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
                    • Barring an edit or two and the very unlikely event that the weak arguments for a move prevail here, this article's first six words will be "Willis Tower, formerly named Sears Tower" for "quite a while" as well. It is understood in the art of writing that concise explanations are needed in cases such as these. The "Google hits" argument has been soundly and roundly refuted above by several who oppose this move. Sswonk (talk) 22:01, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
                      • How has it been refuted? By editors arguing that Google hits are irrelevant after "only 10 days" but then using them to show that the name "Willis Tower" is gaining popularity? I think not. You may regard the oppose arguments as "weak", but I haven't seen any compelling evidence that Willis Tower has become the common name in 10 days. Raime 22:10, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
                        • There is the problem, Raime. The entire assumption made in the nomination is that WP:COMMONNAME correctly applied justifies a move back to Sears Tower. That is the inherent weakness that you are gamely attempting to shore up. The official name part of naming conflict guidance is satisfied, and the Associated Press among others has begun using the Willis Tower name with an explanation. I refuted "Google hits" without later relying on them in reverse, but ultimately my position is that the building is renamed; the company has a long term lease; the previous owner responsible for the building is several years removed; the mayor of Chicago is promoting the name change; and a redirect with a prominent four word explanation in the first sentence of the article satisfies the concerns of those who fear readers are going to be searching for "Sears Tower" for "quite a while" based on existence of a legacy of now outdated publications. Sswonk (talk) 22:31, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
                          • Obviously we interpret WP:COMMONNAME differently, and I suppose that is the root of this entire debate. My position is that per WP:COMMONNAME and its supplemental essay, WP:OFFICIALNAMES, the official name of an object should not always be the name of the article if another name is more widely recognized. I don't see a weakness in this logic; "Willis" is official, but that isn't enough to justify it being the article title. Google hits and interviews indicate that there has been no change in the common name as of yet. Whether or not there is a redirect from "Sears Tower" is not the point; the guideline clearly states "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize". Given the tower's 40-year "legacy", it is all but certain that international readers have not come to "easily recognize" a new name after 10 days. Raime 22:44, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Sears Tower" has been the most commonly-used name for the last 40 years, because it's been the actual name of the building. If the building were actually called something else and everyone had been referring to it as "Sears Tower", those arguing WP:COMMONNAME would have a point. The change of name is very recent - printed travel guides won't have caught up, and neither will the vast majority of the Web. WP:COMMONNAME is not an excuse for wilful inertia. 81.111.114.131 (talk) 22:53, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
That's an interesting angle no one has mentioned before. Thanks - Pointillist (talk) 23:08, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
I beg to differ, but I join you in thanking the participant for reiterating and adding strength to points made by some of us above. Sswonk (talk) 00:19, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think the (implied) novel point was that this article has always used the tower's official name as it was/is at the time. All the best - Pointillist (talk) 00:50, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Sears Tower, per WP:COMMONNAMES. Dlabtot (talk) 22:09, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Change is tough, but please get over it, the tower has a new name. This page can always be found through the Sears Tower redirect page... ...making this whole discussion another giant waste of time. Typical WP-Bikeshed. --Dschwen 22:46, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Polling update at 6 days plus 8+ hours I am just putting this in to make a final !vote easier to tabulate. Without listing names this time, there have been seven responses since the arbitrary break at 48 hours: Sears Tower (supported move)(4), Willis Tower (opposed move)(3), making the totals support 13 to 18 oppose. Sswonk (talk) 01:18, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose the move too, per Baseball Bugs's rationale. -- Luk talk 11:36, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Move-protected

I've move protected this article indefinitely to suppress further move-warring. Once consensus is formed, please ask an admin to unprotect it if necessary. –Juliancolton | Talk 16:12, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. 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.

WGN-TV news

Tonight they were talking about the Willis Tower, and its possible attraction of new business. Not once did they say "Sears Tower", but they did call it "Big Willie". Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 02:48, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Normally, when a landmark or other popular thing is renamed, it is uncontroversial, so the Wiki article is moved to the new title. In this case, however, it is certainly controversial so we will have some opposition. I do not feel that WP:COMMONNAME covers cases like these, because we've not had adequate time to figure out whether or not Willis Tower will become the common name or not. IMO, we need to leave the namesake at Willis Tower with "Sears Tower" mentioned clearly in the lead. If, in a year or so, most sources still refer to the tower as "Sears", we can debate moving it back to "Sears Tower". — \`CRAZY`(lN)`SANE`/ (talkcontribs) 02:57, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I was most amused that they called it "Big Willie" (or maybe "Willy", [as in Free Willy]) since that nickname didn't appear on-screen - only several quick shots of the words "Willis Tower" outside the building). The double-meaning of that term in British English is probably lost on the American audience (or maybe not), but I have a hunch that's the name that's going to catch on. It's only been 7-8 days. A year? It shouldn't take nearly that long. It would be interesting to start counting up Google hits every week or so, since the sentimentalist here tried to make something of that, only 6 days after the renaming. WGN, which is available on many cable systems, will probably aid in spreading the word about the new name. Tom Skilling's weathercast, showing the Chicago skyline, also made a point of calling it Willis Tower. No Sears to be heard. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 03:10, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Presumably there's a subtle distinction between calling it just "Big Willie" vs. "the Big Willie". The later, I'm sure, will gain some street-slang usage. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 06:03, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
The CEO has endorsed the nickname "The Big Willie" while the Mayor personally prefers "Big Willie". Only time will tell which phrase the public more readily adopts. --RKrause (talk) 01:21, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

On Google just now, I type in "willis tower" chicago, and got 615,000 hits. "willis tower" by itself got 486,000 hits. "big willie" chicago, got 22,700 hits. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 03:16, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

And "sears tower" chicago gets 2.17 million hits. What's your point? Jwkpiano1 (talk) 15:52, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
That (1) Willis Tower is well-known; (2) that's its official name; and (3) Google hits are invalid for declaring a "common name", especially only 10 days after it was renamed. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:21, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Why are Google hits invalid "after only ten days"? A reader is far more likely to come across the Sears Tower name in all print and internet sources, so that is the name that will be most recognized. It doesn't matter how many days it has been since the rename. Raime 19:56, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Ten days after the death of a well-know person you'd likely find most internet and particularly print sources would still say that that person is still alive. By the above logic Wikipedia should carry on showing that person as alive until the print and internet world has been brought up to date. —Jeremy (talk) 00:48, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
That comparison is faulty - I didn't say we shouldn't include the fact that the building was renamed, just that its new official name isn't the most common name. Raime 13:22, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
My point is that out of date sources are just that, out of date. Just like you wouldn't try and use sources published before a persons death to show that that person is still alive, sources published before the tower was renamed have no bearing on what the situation is now because we know them to be out of date. —Jeremy (talk) 14:13, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
We're not using the out-of-date sources to claim that "Sears" is still the official name. It is because there are so many sources still calling "Sears", even if they are out-of-date, that the general public is still far more familiar with the "Sears" name. Raime 14:21, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Which is why we have the REDIRECT function. If someone selects an obsolete name of something, they'll be taken to the right name. A good example is Dolphins Stadium, which redirects to the current proper name LandShark Stadium. That serves the purpose of both taking the reader to the right place and subtly informing them of the name change. Invoking the "common names" rule is a mis-use of that rule. That's for when there is no clear "proper" name. A good example of that is the event mostly commonly called "Miracle on the Hudson", but which redirects to the more prosaic US Airways Flight 1549. In that case, "Miracle on the Hudson" was probably the most "common" name, but the standard wikipedia practice is to provide a more technical, if lesser used, name. The average citizen is not necessarily going to remember the flight number or the current name of a building, so they'll put in the one they remember and they'll be taken to the correct name. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 14:46, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
The redirect can go both ways. The "Miracle on the Hudson" is a poor example; that nickname is not even present in the lead of the article. Consider the articles I listed below where the official name is not the article title, but merely a redirect to the common name. WP:COMMONNAMES and WP:OFFICIALNAMES don't say anything along the lines of "this is only appropriate is there is no clear proper name". The guideline is clear: use the name the majority of readers would most easily recognize. There is no specific naming convention for buildings that states that the official name should always be used. Raime 15:20, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
How do you know that the general public are still more familiar with the Sears name? We work on reliable sources not speculation. The name change was reported in all major news outlets in the US, and many abroad. People who are still unaware of the name change after that would type Sears Tower into Wikipedia and be redirected to the article at the correct name. There have been times that I have found out through Wikipedia that something that I had assumed to be true was in fact incorrect--in all these cases I'm glad that Wikipedia gave me the correct, up to date, information. —Jeremy (talk) 14:41, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
The Chicago Tribune interview in which not one Chicagoan could identify the "Willis Tower" is not a reliable source? It is irrational to think that readers worldwide have accepted a new name for an internationally-recognized skyscraper in 11 days, especially when residents of the tower's city did not even know about the name change. There is a precedent for not renaming articles as soon as the official name has changed - consider Burma, Lancaster Park, 40 Wall Street, Bangalore, Kiev, Blackwater Worldwide, Argonaut Building, American Radiator Building, etc. Raime 14:49, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
The journalist who wrote that article hardly did a scientific survey. Firstly, she went out on the day the name changed--many people will have heard about the change on the news that evening. Secondly the sample size is tiny. Thirdly, she actually doesn't even report what the sample size was-for all you know she may have interviewed 100 people and the ten that she quotes in the article are the only ones who didn't know of a name change. Finally, in every news story about the tower since, the same reliable source, the Chicago Tribune, has happily called the tower Willis Tower. —Jeremy (talk) 15:01, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
It is WP:COMMONSENSE that 11 days is not enough for the majority of readers across the world to accept a new name for a 40-year-old internationally-recognized building. The sample size may have been tiny, but it is still an interview that indicates the general public remains unaware of the name change. Since the name change was announced months ago, I doubt that readers who were unfamiliar with the name change 11 days ago are now suddenly more familiar with it. Official sources are obviously going to use the official name (and, in almost all instances, the former name), but that is not indicative of what readers around the world call the building. Raime 15:09, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
All the more reason to keep our status quo, of Sears Tower redirecting to Willis Tower. Wikipedia should be an agent of information, not of misinformation, which is what Sears Tower would be if it were the main article. And FYI, I bet you would be surprised at how many people in Chicago didn't even know its old name. Not everyone cares about that kind of thing. And only sentimentalists want to keep it at "Sears Tower", at the expense of making wikipedia look stupid. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:15, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm prepared to bet that if you asked the same ten people what the capital of Bolivia is you'd get similar results. The ignorance of the populace is no reason for deliberately introducing inaccuracy into Wikipedia. The common name argument can only be based on usage by reliable sources; and those that have published articles since the name change have mostly used the new name. If fact, the traffic statistics here at Wikipedia show that the majority of people visiting the article are coming directly to Willis Tower and not through the redirect at Sears Tower. For example, yesterday there were 3600 hits for Willis Tower but only 966 hits for Sears Tower. Given that Sears Tower is a redirect I don't know whether or not the Sears Tower hits are also included in the Willis Tower hits, but lets be conservative and assume that they are... that means that only 27%, less than 1 in 3 of the hits went through the redirect at Sears Tower; the vast majority of people came straight to the article. Now there are a number of caveats to this line of reasoning, but if you were correct that the world is completely ignorant to the name change I would expect to find Sears Tower accounting for a much larger percentage of the hits. —Jeremy (talk) 15:49, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Anyone who ever watched the "Jay Walking" segment of Jay Leno's Tonight Show knows exactly what you're talking about. And unlike the crystal-ball speculations and invalid reliance on Google hits, you have actually provided us with some evidence that "Willis Tower" is the "common name" - at least among those looking at wikipedia as a resource. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:00, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
This evidence is not very compelling, as if one types in "Sears Tower" without any mention of "Willis Tower" on Google, this Wikipedia article is still the first entry to come up. Raime 16:08, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

JeremyA data

<---Indent: Well, I admit that that is not one of the caveats that I had thought of. But the same will have been true on previous days too; so I did some further analysis of the numbers--which showed me that me assumption was too conservative, the Sears hits are not included in the Willis hits. So here goes... Sears page views vs Willis page views: July 16 - 79%; July 17 - 65%; July 18 - 53%; July 19 - 49%; July 20 - 36%; July 20 - 24%; July 21 - 24%; July 22 - 24%; July 23- 24%; July 24 - 22%; July 25 - 19%; July 26 - 21%. On all these days the article was at Willis not Sears, if your google argument were true I would expect to see the Sears vs Willis ratio stay fairly flat, but in fact it has seen a steady decline, until yesterday when it gained 2%. —Jeremy (talk) 16:26, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

It actually takes awhile for Google to update Wikipedia articles - I've noticed this with past articles that I moved or updated; the changes did not show up on Google for quite some time. For example, List of Olympic medalists in Weightlifting was just moved to List of Olympic medalists in weightlifting, but if you type in either on Google and click on the first link to the article it ends up being a redirect (the old name) to the recently moved page. I'm not sure how long this delay lasts, or how long it applied with the move of this page. Cheers, Raime 16:34, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I concede that may be true. I initially said that there are a number of caveats to the numbers--the main one being that there is no analysis of how people got to the article (clicks vs directly typing in the name). However, I personally would still expect to see a much higher count of Sears page views if the common name argument held true. Regardless, the numbers were just to illustrate my point, my main argument remains that WP:V (a policy not a guideline) requires us to rely on reliable sources, the vast majority of which have adopted the name change. —Jeremy (talk) 16:45, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Continued from above JeremyA data

The problem with the large number of hits for "Sears Tower" is that it's had a 40-year head start. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 12:19, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and that is why it is the common name. Raime 13:22, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Which is entirely irrelevant, since it was the real name of the building in all that time. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 15:07, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
How is that irrelevant? For 40 years, the official name was the common name. Now, that isn't the case. Raime 15:13, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Which is exactly why it's irrelevant. If the building was called "The Sears & Roebuck Company Merchansing Building" (or similar) and people had just taken to calling it "Sears Tower", then WP:COMMONNAME would apply. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 15:58, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't see that listed on WP:COMMONNAME. It simply says "use the name readers would most likely recognize" regardless of whether the name is a nickname, a shortened form of an official name, or an older official name of an object that has since been renamed. Raime 16:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I also don't see "Changing the spelling of fish to ghoti" and "Replacing the entire text of Earth with Mostly harmless" listed WP:VAND. You need to read between the lines - you're applying WP:COMMONNAME to a situation where it very patently has no relevance. 81.111.114.131 (talk) 01:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Which is why we REDIRECT from Sears Tower to Willis Tower. The building is NOT the Sears Tower anymore, and it is NOT appropriate for wikipedia to exercise "willful inertia" as someone aptly put it, and keep it at an old name, essentially acting as an agent of keeping the obsolete name as the "common name". Wikipedia should focus on correct information, not on unciteable, unprovable, and INCORRECT information. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 14:20, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Per WP:COMMONNAME and its supplemental essay WP:OFFICIALNAMES, that simply isn't the case. See all of the examples I listed above that set a precedent for not renaming an article the instant an official name is changed: Burma, Lancaster Park, 40 Wall Street, Bangalore, Kiev, Blackwater Worldwide, Argonaut Building, American Radiator Building. Raime 15:13, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
That is a mis-use of the common names rule. And because those other articles have it wrong is no reason to further that kind of error. "Miracle on the Hudson" is the common name, yet it redirects to a proper name, which is the name of the flight in the incident. Don't make wikipedia look stupid. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:18, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, at what point do you decide that Willis Tower is the "common" name? Do you really think someone else is going to take a random survey a year from now? Not likely. And do you plan on citing Google hits? Sorry, Google hits are not a valid source. You use its proper name now, and be done with it. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:21, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) How is it a mis-use? Those other articles are not "wrong" - I'd like to see the line in WP:COMMONNAMES that prohibits an article from using a more widely recognized name instead of an official name. WP:OFFICIALNAMES is also very clear - the official name should not always be the title of an article if another name is more common. Raime 15:29, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
As I stated above, the "common name" is determined by discussion and consensus. Also, please try to remain civil and refrain from calling other editors "sentimentalists" who wish to make Wikipedia "look stupid" - it isn't helping your case. Raime 15:29, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I call them sentimentalists because many of their arguments are dripping with sentiment. And you need to answer the question, at what point in the future can Willis Tower can be determined to be "common", ironically as there is not even right now any valid citation that Sears Tower is "common". As far as the way wikipedia looks, when people come here they hope to get correct information. If they go to Willis Tower and it redirects back to Sears Tower, their immediate conclusion is liable to be that wikipedia is unreliable (or "stupid" as I called it). I know too many people who already think that about wikipedia. Let's not give them further fuel for that reputation. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I did answer your question - when consensus deems so. We can't expect sources to come out and say "the common name has changed today..." Clearly, this debate isn't getting us anywhere, as neither of us is going to change our mind. You obviously don't have to worry about Wikipedia "looking stupid", as this article is not going to move - there is no consensus that either name is the common name, so it will default to no move in a few days. But I would like to note that I, for one, am not a sentimentalist - if there were significant evidence that the common name had indeed changed to "Willis Tower" in 11 days, I would gladly oppose this move, but I don't find that to be the case. Cheers, Raime 15:42, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
You can't even demonstrate today that Sears Tower is still the common name. Google hits are not valid sources. Random man-on-the-street surveys are not either. The reliable sources say its name is Willis Tower. The sign in front of the building says so too. And "consensus" for making wikipedia look ignorant (do you like that better than "stupid"?) needs to be challenged. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:51, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I have demonstrated it by means that I find good indicators of the building's common name, but you have rejected them all, and that is your rightful opinion. I, for one, have yet to see any evidence that Willis Tower is the common name and not just the official name; it is irrational, IMO, to assume that millions of people have accepted a new name in 11 days. Like I said above, we will have to agree to disagree, and Wikipedia isn't going to "look ignorant" because there is clearly no consensus for a move back to "Sears Tower", so the article will remain at "Willis Tower". Cheers, Raime 16:05, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't take a crystal ball to realize that as time passes, you will hear Willis Tower more, and Sears Tower less. By not posting it under its new name now, you would compel us to post a new request-for-move to the new name, perhaps every month or so, with an "Are we there yet?" attached to it... and still without any valid means to determine what the "common" name is. However, we do have the actual name right now - the only proper name that can be determined by valid means. So do we waste time on this every month for some unforeseen stretch of time, and continue to make wikipedia look ignorant, or do we just keep it at its new name now and be done with it? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 15:41, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
To be fair, I think Raime answered that above: "there is clearly no consensus for a move back to "Sears Tower", so the article will remain at "Willis Tower". The nominator has also stopped posting, anywhere on the project, since last Thursday. Those two are the only ones adding extensively to the debate in support of a move, so maybe a call of WP:SNOW is around the corner. Sswonk (talk)

Archive?

This page is now very long, and around half of it is related to the seemingly endless stream of argument over the name. I suggest we archive the lot, leaving a warning at the top of the page ("Before you ask ..."), and keeping a copy of the move-protection note (so people know why it's protected). 81.110.104.91 (talk) 13:53, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the last section started earlier today about "Formally known as..." I think the argument is over but the information should stay visible for a while longer. The question originally posted was about a problem at the http://www.willistower.com website whereby it has inaccurate meta data in the HTML that says "Formally known as Sears Tower" instead of "Formerly known as Sears Tower". As of this writing that is still the case, and if someone else notices that, which is very likely since Google has used that hidden meta data to summarize its search result for the page, then before they raise the point here they will see the discussion and realize we have already discussed it. I would remove the archive tag of that discussion and leave it open. Sswonk (talk) 14:12, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I have had to restore this section because you are changing the way the RM was archived by User:Mazca. When it says don't change it, it means it. I will also restore your comment ending the discussion above. Sswonk (talk) 14:24, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
The "close bottom" goes at the end of the discussion about the move, which included the section headed "WGN-TV news". Admins are humans too. I closed the above discussion because it was evidently a re-tread of the two mammoth sections above it. The discussion reached its head a couple of days ago, and the conclusion became clear. There's no need to keep on about it. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 15:58, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
You are wrong about this in a couple of ways. The mistake was mad by you in assuming that the WGN-TV news section was part of the move discussion. It had some of the same participants but was started as and edited as another section entirely, independent of the RM section. If it was part of the RM discussion than that is where it would have occurred. You are potentially destroying a proper future analysis of the move discussion and the way the votes were recorded by making that assumption. What you did through this assumption could be exaggerated in the future by others saying a discussion on a different page or even in a chat room was part of the RM discussion section that was closed. This leads to the possibility of late comers to a discussion not having a chance to rebut other points made in these various other locations, a very serious problem. I make no assumptions about the fallibility of admins, I was recognizing that no mistake was made by Mazca but you then proceeded to "correct" things with your errant assumption. Please don't lecture me about keeping on about anything as I was the person who placed the request to close the RM discussion on the admin noticeboard. Sswonk (talk) 02:08, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I am happy with the way the resulting archives appear, I simply feel I need to address the serious problem of having separated sections considered part of a formal move discussion. The way it was originally closed by Mazca and is now archived is correct. Sswonk (talk) 02:33, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I suspect you're basing this on the belief that the nature of a discussion is somehow connected to the number of equals signs on its heading, rather than its actual content. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 12:14, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the headers define sections of a talk page. That's clear cut. So, not saying this is what happened, it could have been accidental: if a group of editors decides to have a bull session off to the side of a formal discussion that includes !votes they just start a new section somewhere on the page and go back and forth for a couple of days. Then, depending on whether they like the points they've made and were successful against the rebuttal of whoever happened to notice they were talking somewhere else, they declare that whole separated thread to be a part of the actual RM debate. If on the other hand they were successfully rebutted there, then they just declare "Oh, that was just a side discussion, not a part of the real debate." The only way the integrity of a formal discussion procedure can be preserved is to contain all of the comments within a single level-two-headed (== Heading ==) section. That is why I am trying to make sure you get the meaning of my repair efforts and my reiteration of the reasons. You can't have arbitrary post-discussion, post-closure text inserted into the archive after the fact, especially since some or more likely many of the participants didn't consider or even know it was later inserted as part of the formal, !voted upon discussion. I hope that helps. Sswonk (talk) 14:24, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
I give up. I clearly can't make any headway with someone who doesn't know the difference between the subject matter of a discussion and a section header. 81.111.114.131 (talk) 17:12, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
This habit of commenting on talk pages with disparagement wouldn't get you far even if your stances were correct. Combining impudence with carelessness and erroneous editing will likely see you gaining the opposite of headway in any civil discussion. There were several different top level sections each dealing with subjects related to the building's name. The fact that you placed comments in one of those sections that was not within the RM discussion does not make it the RM discussion. You should reread the edit summaries and my comments here. Unilaterally changing the correctly closed discussion after the fact was ill-advised and done through an incorrect assumption on your part and that is what you fail to see. Sswonk (talk) 18:16, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
My stance is correct. You haven't provided any evidence to the contrary other than the heading level, which means precisely nothing. 81.111.114.131 (talk) 22:26, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
First, it is self-evident that you are wrong, as the final archiving which was done properly stands as how it was before you botched it. Combine that with the three paragraphs of explanation above, which you haven't dealt with other than through one- or two-sentence declarations best described as baseless equivocation. Finally, read the main project guideline for talk pages, WP:Talk page. There you will find the paragraphs quoted here:

To discuss a new topic, start a new section by going to a new line and typing a title surrounded by '=='. Example: == Heading ==. When starting a new discussion, place it at the bottom of the page. You can also use the tab labeled "new section", at the top of a talk page, which performs those steps for you automatically.

To respond to a discussion already in progress, add your comment below the last entry in the discussion. If you want to respond to a specific comment, you can place your response directly below it. When doing this, keep in mind the advice given at Wikipedia:Guide_to_good_indentation.

I have now shown you, using established guidelines, that the "WGN-TV news" section represented a new topic, outside the formal Requested Move topic, and that further comments within the RM discussion belonged inside that topic and not inside other topics. This should be one of the first things someone participating in talk page discussions gets right. Having to show you anything further would tell me that you have a problem with appreciating or respecting the guidelines, and you will act in avoidance or in spite of them to satisfy your ego. It is difficult to see how that would recommend your actions then or now as being done in good faith. If you still intend to argue about, I suggest you first try to find an instrument that will help you measure precisely "nothing". Sswonk (talk) 00:03, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
"First, it is self-evident that you are wrong" [citation needed]. "I have now shown you, using established guidelines, that the "WGN-TV news" section represented a new topic" No you haven't. You've shown us all the correct use of section headings. You have said that the guidelines say that editors should only use "new section" to start a completely new discussion, therefore a new section must mean one. In other words, your argument was "It should be done this way, therefore it's always done this way", whic is backwards reasoning. It's self-evident that I am right, as should become obvious to anyone who stops to read the section concerned will see. There was a WP:RM discussion ongoing, and it's common in heated debates for people to introduce new evidence as things proceed. The first line is on how the news bulletin referred to the building - how can that not be a part of the discussion? Answers on a postcard. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 10:45, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to post to Mazca asking to transfer this thread to the "Move" archive as well. I regret having started this in a confrontational manner, and wish to send it off without continuing to lessen the enjoyment of editing. The unfortunate tone was fostered by my action in pointing out a mistake. You appear to understand what I mean, and the evidence cited was both admins DMacks and Mazca below approving with the way the WGN-TV part was finally archived, kept separate instead of within the closed RM thread. The point was and continues to be that new topics are viewed as separate by guideline and standard procedure, and that people familiar or not with a particular discussion must be able to rely on that when traveling through the project. Having it assumed to be "obvious" that parts of a page, delineated by level 2 headers as separate, are nevertheless the same topic, is wrong and counterproductive, especially when involving formal procedures such as RM. Operating under that assumption destroys the orderly flow of information and leads to confusion and possible abuse. Sswonk (talk) 12:44, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
What happened when you asked the closing admin about including the other discussion blocks? As it stands, you're putting words in admin's mouth (changing the discussion(s) that were included as leading up to the conclusion admin made). And *especially* looks weird to have a conclusion apparently based on discussion that took place after conclusion was made. Just because it's on the same topic doesn't mean it has to go in the same colored box. DMacks (talk) 16:27, 30 July 2009 (UTC) Alright, the use of a second box looks proper for this. DMacks (talk) 16:28, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I haven't looked at how the first change looked, but as the discussion closer I'm happy with the way it's archived now - it summarises the debate without clogging up the page with a massive closed discussion. ~ mazca talk 17:49, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not an expert at Wiki discussion pages, but is there any way to just archive those sections relating to the name change debate? That would be the bulk of the content. Most of the former (or is that formal? ;) discussions are rather open ended -- and admittedly ones that I would like to continue contributing to still (albeit after a three year hiatus). --RKrause (talk) 16:31, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
(EC) It can be done manually, though it is somewhat long and arduous. Old discussions are at /Archive 1, the move talk at /Move. The page was over 200kB long (the move archive alone is over 120kB), and it became clear that a few people hadn't noticed that the horse had died. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 16:57, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Could just put a "collapse" around them so they don't take up room unless you open them. There are some examples of how to do that, on WP:ANI, last I looked. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 16:40, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Collapsing the "formally"/"formerly" section seems like a good idea for now. Having looked at it again, I now think that it's useful to keep that discussion visible here for a while, since it deals with a technical issue rather than the other circular arguments. 81.110.104.91 (talk) 16:57, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeh, you can say that again. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:57, 30 July 2009 (UTC)