User talk:Rschen7754/Highway Capitalization/Old

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State Highway Capitalization[edit]

As Gateman isn't even contributing to the discussion we're inflicting on his talk page, perhaps I should just respond here:

But other than repeatedly asserting this [that there's a systematic distinction between "state route", "State route" and "State Route], you've cited no basis for this being the case. You've failed to argue that it's a proper noun (and your examples [of actual proper nouns corresponding to common nouns] don't bode well for hopes of convincing you about the distinction), cite no independent style guide for this usage, have wrongly presented the results of the "google test", and are ignoring what Californian law calls them. We're going round in circles on this, it seems to me, and I can't see what'll convince you if none of the above does.

BTW, that page has no occurrences of either "state routes" or "state highways", so I don't see what it demonstrates. And can you at least acknowledge your error on the other google hits? It's not as if I claimed that no page ever capitalises them. Alai 00:57, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

"State route" should not be capitalized that way, ever, unless it's at the beginning of a sentence. I'll do the google test again to show that the majority of the Internet uses "California State Route". --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 03:10, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
... or unless it's in the passage of law that "List of California State Routes" itself quotes? If it's a majority, in the pluralised case, it would seem to be much less strong a one than you first claimed, and IMO you'd need pretty strong evidence to override normal naming conventions and style guidance on not capitalising common nouns. Alai 03:35, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

So as I understand it, you don't want me to touch anything "below the line", never mind that this is a talk page? This could get very frustrating, as you're already repeating claims I've corrected you on before, like the very first "vote for capitals",, which uses "State Routes" only in a heading. Alai 03:43, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

The purpose of the line is to separate the discussion from the results... for clarity. You may add stuff above the line, or start a new heading at the bottom of the page. I'll take a look at the first one. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 03:52, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, thanks for fixing that one, I may just need to get food and sleep before I get grumpier than usual. BTW, software/highways_in_california.htm is a broken link, but from the google cache, also looks like a wikipedia quasi-mirror, though a pretty messed-up looking one. Alai 04:29, 2 December 2005 (UTC)


By the capitalization rules you are advocating, United States Senator is not a proper noun and the capitalization needs to be corrected on List of Current United States Senators. It is a classification of people, isn't it? Just as California State Route is a classification of highway? And you can have "senator" but "United States Senator"? Just as you can have "state route" but "California State Route"? --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 01:43, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Titles of people are a notoriously tricky cases. Several style guides go into all sorts of contortions about this: IIRC the Guardian's style guide ends up coming out from "Prime Minister Tony Blair" but "British prime ministers", or some such permutation, since when it's a title and when it's a descriptor is not always entirely clear-cut. Nothing I've advocated here, or elsewhere, is remotely in contradiction to such practice. What's your basis for concluding that the cases are at all comparable? As I've asked before, can you cite style guides that mandate such capitalisation? Alai 06:00, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

It's not tricky at all. Just use the specific/general and a/the distinctions if you want a couple of very simple tests. The Prime Minister of England is a proper noun, but a British prime minster is not. The Senators were a baseball team, and Barbara Boxer is a specific United States senator, so she is Senator Barbara Boxer. But look at the United States Senate and you will see that whenever they are not refering to a specific senator it is always lowerr-case. If you want to back that up with style guides, see User:BlankVerse/TAGT#Style Guides. BlankVerse 13:39, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
That's the style I'd use, and what the Guardian Style Guide would say -- well, it'd point out that he's PM of the United Kingdom, but that's another matter :) -- but I'd the impression that some style guides, US ones in particular, were altogether keener on caps in some such cases. Alai 04:45, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
There's no style guides that mandate the capitalization of titles of people... they're both classifications of things. People have taken the argument that classifications of things are not proper nouns. I point them to English Springer Spaniel- it is a type of dog. Considering that on the Caltrans web page itself (at they use "California State Route" (and considering that they MAKE California State Routes) I would say that they are capitalized. Like Microsoft can decide how Windows XP is capitalized. Not to mention the IPod (capitalized here because of the MediaWiki software limitations). Also, we have the capitalization of Interstate Highway as well- because U.S. Highways are interstate highways, right? And besides, Interstate 16 does not go between two states, but it is an Interstate. An even more extreme example is as follows: Interstate 16 is a U.S. highway. It's a highway in the U.S. right? The capitals are needed to distinguish between that and the U.S. Highway System. I intend to CFR all the state highway categories to fix the capitalization because most of these categories predate the move to capitalize state highway systems and the state highway WikiProjects. It is generally accepted among the roadgeek community at Wikipedia that these systems are to be capitalized. I also reference the recent successful CFR to rename Category:U.S. highways in Foo to Category:U.S. Highways in Foo. But yes sorry I haven't been working on this because I have other important things to do... such as reformatting the state law sections of all the state highways in California (and yes there is no caps there because California is there only as an optional prepositional phrase). And I wasted most of my day doing that. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 06:25, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
  • But there are style guides that mandate such capitalisation for titles of persons, or at least, discuss such cases specifically, whichever one they end up concluding. To suggest that there's some more general rule that the style guides forget to mention for some strange reason, after discussing such specific ones, seems implausible.
  • Your link to is unhelpfully unspecific, as the term doesn't appear on that page. Searching the site, we have "State Highway routes", "state Routes", "State highway routes", "California State Routes", "California State routes". From which we conclude...?
  • The comparison with trademarked terms is pointless, and a complete red herring.
  • Interstates and Highways. Another day's work.
  • The fact that these categories predate the WPJs is neither here nor there. WPJs neither set precedent, nor have any special standing in matters of naming. You may or may not succeed by sheer "mobilisation of the vote", or certainly on the basis of SFD, block any chance of a consensus vice versa, but other than that, how are they relevant? "The roadgeek community at Wikipedia" is a pretty small "generally". Are you abandoning your claim that this is the general usage on the 'net in favour of this rather small, and entirely self-selecting group? Sites you referred to below that use lower case, or a variation in case, seem in several cases to be "roadgeeks", at large.
  • On Californian state law: I'm not at all clear what your case is here. That "[Ss]tate route in California" is different from "California State Route"? Or that they are the same, but only the latter phrase has its own capitalisation consideration? (Despite it being not especially standard or common, as the googling illustrates, much less having its own established capitalisation.) Alai 07:44, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
    • If you go to various pages on the Caltrans page you do find the phrase "California State Route"... it got a few google hits below.
    • I am not abandoning my claim that the majority of the Internet leans toward capitalization of "California State Route"... I'm mentioning that most of the road web sites and the Internet as a whole capitalize phrases like "California State Route." And it's not just me... SPUI is another defender of this 'scheme" I believe. So are others, like TEG24601.
    • I am not quite certain that this discussion is really going anywhere. I'm not backing down on this one, and I doubt that you will either. The evidence is here and on the other debate pages in regards to the capitalization. The only major problem we've had was the CA County Route stub (which is probably the hardest one of all of them to prove to others). I'd say that we should just change all the stubs to Template:StateName-State-Highway-stub to lowercase and hyphenate them- wasn;t that the original point of the SFD? --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 07:58, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
      • I'm not disputing this capitalisation exists; just that it's at all predominant, which is the criterion (or something to that effect) for adoption in WP. If it's a bare majority, from a small sample size, that's not conclusive. On the evidence below (which you seem to have ceased updating, hence my question), it doesn't seem to even be that. "California State Route" is obviously massively common in the names of particular routes, but again, where's the evidence that it's used that way generically? (I'm not just driving down a state route in California, it's a California State Route. Note the category isn't even used exclusively for "roads with 'California State Route' in their names", which would be at least a possible definition, if not an especially compelling one.)
      • It's disappointing that rather than counterarguments, you simply say "I'm not backing down", and that a couple of other people agree with you. Why bother with a line of arguments in the first place, if refuting them making no difference to your stance? If there's a basis in accepted usage or recognised stylistic recommendations for this preference of yours, it shouldn't be that hard to document it. I'd personally be happy to "back down" if given a compelling reason to do so. What I absolutely don't want to do is to agree to the idea that personal preferences trump normal style and usage, which would be the net effect of supporting ad hoc capitalisation with adequate rationale.
      • It was; but the capitalisation should follow that of the permanent category, if nothing else. Come to that, so should route vs. highway. If a change is proposed, best it should be the right one, not just a partial fix. Fixing just the hyphens and capitalisation (which you seemed to take quite some time to come agreeing to, come to that), and then having to renominate to change something else, would be unduly painful. Alai 08:32, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Rough draft for CFR[edit]

Please leave comments below the line

The categories listed here have been nominated for renaming because they do not have all of their words capitalized. For example we have here [:Category:California state highways]]. The problem with this is that any road or any highway in California could be a state highway... it is a highway in the state of California. However, the purpose of this category is to hold highways that are named California State Route 1 or something like that. Therefore, the capitals are needed to make the distinction. Therefore, this category should be renamed to Category:California State Highways. --Rschen7754 (talk - contribs) 21:17, 4 December 2005 (UTC)