selfnom: GA since December of 2005, this article was nominated for FA threetimesin 2006. Opposed editors and the author of a September peer review pointed out numerous places where the article could be trimmed and improved. As far as I can tell, nearly all grounds for objection have since been remedied. The article's source is lengthy, at 116,256 characters, down from 123,361, but the size when measured per WP:LENGTH, stripped of wiki markup, references (of which there are over a hundred), images, and infoboxes, the article weighs in at a sleek ~58K. I hereby renominate this article for FA status. MrZaiustalk 06:36, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Procedural issue: who is segmenting this page, against the protocol above? Tony 03:23, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I did, due to the very lengthy responses received so far. By the way, where's the protocol you mentioned? I'm not seeing one in the parent page, confused by the word "above" in your comment. MrZaiustalk 07:09, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment - Something I immediately notice is inconsistency in referring to the United States as "U.S." and other times as "US". Please be consistent throughout the article. --Aude (talk) 06:51, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment. It has the potential to be promoted this time, but there are some issues which need to be fixed first. I suggest taking a close look though the FA review for Indonesia (Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Indonesia), an article which was promoted to FA within the past week, since many the objections raised there also apply to this article. (Caniago 12:29, 3 June 2007 (UTC))
Which ones in particular? Most of the comments in that article seemed to be over very specific wording issues. MrZaiustalk 12:35, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
The structural and formatting issues, you need to look closely. For example: use of citations in the lead, the length of the TOC, the issues relating to the administrative divisions map, the Further reading section, ensuring all units have both imperial and metric values, use of explicit image sizes, overuse of wikilinks, use of non-breaking spaces for units of measurement, etc. Also, why is the Geography section so early in the article, unlike other countries? (Caniago 12:56, 3 June 2007 (UTC))
On the topic of the Geography section, it is no more prominent than it is in France, Mexico, United Kingdom, or the FA'd Belgium. On excessive wikilinks, do you see a problem with the article at large, or just the LEAD? Struck Further Reading. Don't see any instances of units that aren't listed in both imperial and metric values. Removed forced image sizes. MrZaiustalk 13:10, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
The TOC bloat issue is largely fixed. MrZaiustalk 06:55, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Belgium became FA in 2005, would be better to compare to Australia, Japan, Cameroon or Indonesia. Wikilink problem is throughout the article I think, but its a minor issue compared to other issues with the article. The TOC issue is better, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. The imperial only units are present in the Largest cities table, which BTW seems uncited. Lastly, I separated the Geography section from Environment, and its now apparent the Geography section needs to be trimmed down somewhat. (Caniago 14:08, 4 June 2007 (UTC))
Fixed largest cities tableMrZaiustalk 15:17, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Cut 1/3 or so of geography, focusing on minor details better dealt with in main. MrZaiustalk 16:22, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
My point was more that it is common for country articles in the general sense to have the geography section high up. Definitely ought to be trimmed & have the environment section moved to a more policy-related area, however. Per the TOC issues, I'd actually be reluctant to take the trimming any further, as stated elsewhere, given the length and depth of the article. MrZaiustalk 14:16, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Ok, but my point is that most FA countries, especially the more recently promoted ones, have the geography section further down. I believe Environment belongs right after Geography, and should focus more on the Fauna and Flora issues rather than policy issues, as per our Ecology section in Indonesia. BTW, its a shame there are no Fauna/Flora of USA sub-articles like we have for Indonesia. I previously would agree with your POV about breaking the article into subsections, and the Indonesia article was previously structured this way, but I now agree with the advise we received during our FA review - "the Table of Contents is large and imposing. There is no need for sub-subheads [...] that introduce one- or two-paragraph sections". It make the article much easier to read in a linear fashion without them. Bloat within the top level sections is probably a sign that things need to be condensed or rearranged. (Caniago 14:34, 4 June 2007 (UTC))
Concerning Geography, the transition would suffer if it were moved further down, as the transition from the War on Terror history section to coverage of the modern government and the transition from the government to policy related econ & demographics sections would be interrupted by the move. The only place where we could move geography without breaking the transition is to just above or below the Culture section, but that would make it seem unduly unimportant. Also, it can be argued that an ecology section would be a great thing to put in, but the environment section is uniquely necessary in the case of the United States, given its historic importance in the movement and the conservation movement that preceded it and the dramatic effects of its environmental policies on the global environment.
Merged the only related history sections together to further reduce the TOC bloat, but, again, I feel that little more can be done without making the article unduly difficult to navigate. MrZaiustalk 15:03, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
There are points for object, some were also raised in the previous nominations:
still references quality problems (i.e. controversial statements, not peer reviewed, expressed by David R. Henderson are taken as facts). Every web source should be sided with a reliable paper sources with page numbers specified. (Ideally a FA should mostly if not solely rely on scholar peer reviewed papers.) There also seem to be inaccuracies in the books currently cited: in the "Cold War" section I spotted a fake ref (with a fake page number) that actually talked about other things.
Care to share which, on the Cold War reference, before we start with the review? MrZaiustalk 16:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually I signaled it already :) here (hope that's the only one...) --BMF81 16:40, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
comprehensiveness and unbalanced size. Comparing the "Foreign relations" and "geography" sections, you see there is a clear comprehensiveness and size balancing issue:
For the US the "Foreign relations" is a topic of major importance. Currently it is at the ridiculous short size of 2 paragraphs, excluding the controversial aspects. It's POV until at least one paragraph is added covering the "neocolonialism" issues.
This is partially inaccurate, given the depth & overlapping sections of the /* History */, especially when discussing proxy wars and every major military engagement since World War II. More is warranted, but there is considerably more than two paragraphs of content in the article that directly relates to foreign relations. Does need NPOV fix, however, as you say. MrZaiustalk 16:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
The geography section could be trimmed down instead, merging and summarizing all subsections. (the last sentence on global warming better belongs to the Foreign affairs sect.)
The environmental section could be broken out from Geography and the rest merged in - It and the sentence you mention seem to distinct and seperate from both Geography and Foreign affairs for a clean merge. MrZaiustalk 16:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
the "religion" sect. is missing the % of atheism (5-14%, see here)
in "economy" neither energy or debt are mentioned
Debt is, now. Why should energy be? It is mentioned, albeit in passing, in the main article, and also at least two linked environmental articles. Might want to avoid mention in United States lest other industries wriggle their way in, like agriculture. MrZaiustalk 17:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
In US culture there is the idea that it is the most free country, but the word freedom has just one superficial mention in the "politics" section. Also, why is the human rights section gone? It would be appropriate to have a section/paragraph on "freedom, civil and human rights" (including freedom rankings, death penalty and torture as said in previous FAC)
television is not mentioned in the culture section, but is definitely more important culturally and economically than cinema.
Television is mentioned in the culture section, but was only added recently. Suggest a reread of the merged Media section. MrZaiustalk 16:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
the American Dream must also be mentioned in the "Socio-economic class" section, in the part about social mobility
Yup - Actually, it ought to be moved there entirely and rewritten. Will momentarily. MrZaiustalk 16:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Slave trade from Africa is not mentioned; need to compared it with the "quest for freedom" that moved the European colonizers (this is a contrast of top notoriety about US foundation)
Mention of slavery is made in at least two places, and the topic is covered in greater depth in the since-split main articles. Can add mention and link to the slave trade in one sentence, though, and will shortly. MrZaiustalk 16:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Westward expansion: need to mention more clearly the will to impose of the Cristian civilization on the Natives and the appropriation of their land.
Dealt with slightly differently, focusing on Indian Wars in Independence section, but it appears to be resolved, given its thorough coverage in the linked articles. MrZaiustalk 06:55, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Given the size of the history section and the tone of the Native American section, which carefully implies that the oppression of native peoples did not end with the end of colonialism, I'm not sure that that really would be a positive change. Don't really need to cover it twice, especially when it's dealt with in the main article and, more extensively, in both Mains for the Native Americans section. MrZaiustalk 16:30, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I didn't mean a deeper coverage, just a rewording.--BMF81 16:51, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Nearly every section has been rewritten compressed a great deal, and I can't find any of the first dozen or so phrases listed on that rather lengthy list. Please be more specific. MrZaiustalk 16:31, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I found 2. not as many deadwood phrases as i expected. ill change them. as for the active and the passive voice, this article needs a lot of reworking. the words, is, am, are was, been, being, and be, should have limited usage. for example:
. . . the present-day continental U.S. was inhabited exclusively by various indigenous peoples could be rewritten as . . .
various indigenous peoples inhabited the present-cay continental U.S. exclusively
Seems minor, but it does make a big difference. and considering how big the prose is in this article, this will help. Oldag07 16:46, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Neutral leaning towards Support, Yes, it has adequate refs, Yes, it is long enough(maybe too long;120kbs) Yes, it has 144 footnotes, Yes, it has been shaved a lot, No, some weasel words leaning still. c'mon, we've fished a good one.Kfc1864Cuba Libre! 06:30, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Oppose - from my first reading, it is too long. Particularly the history, culture, and demographics sections. Please find ways to summarise each idea and/or drop too high detail out. Look to reduce these sections by 1/3 as a minimum; by 1/2 would be more appropriate. The second paragraph of the health section IMO is completely unnecessary in a summary country article (fine for Health Care in the United States. The language section goes into too much detail on what appear to be minor languages and details around the official status of languages.
Per the history section, please keep in mind that the coverage of minority peoples and foreign affairs would double in size if it were cut further. As it is, it has already been cut by well over 1/3 in the few months, and, IMHO, is quite compressed and well executed. Concerning the official status of languages, I'd be shocked to see any article reach FA without listing their official languages, and, given the complexity of the issue in the United States, the two or three sentences here seem warranted. Definitely agree with you that the culture and demographics sections could be trimmed further. However, that said, we're still well within the WP:LENGTH guidelines when measuring purely the prose, per the above. MrZaiustalk 14:26, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
These sentences are unnecessary:
The largest cities of the United States figure prominently in the economy, culture, and heritage of the U.S.
The article may as well explain that most trees in the US have green leaves.
The South Florida metropolitan area (Miami and Ft. Lauderdale) and the Washington Metropolitan Area, (Washington, Baltimore, & Arlington) are among several metropolitan areas that consist of multiple large cities that rank among the largest metropolitan areas while none of their member cities rank in the top ten.
Too much trivia. Just one example.
Not really - It's there to direct people to the two lists linked more clearly now. Did trim the fat, though. MrZaiustalk 14:26, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Related to length, it's rather waffly in parts. Take this paragraph for example...
The United States has a variety of freeway and highway systems, multiple large international airports, and an extensive freight train network. Automakers developed early and rapidly in the United States. The U.S. is home to more roadways than any other country in the world. Although public transport systems are heavily used in some large cities, these systems tend to be less extensive than in other developed nations. Air travel remains the preferred mode of transport for long distances.
The first sentence is pointless and uninformative - it could be written about any country, except maybe some Pacific Island countries. The second could possibly go somewhere if there was actually some meaty information - i can imagine it might be helpful point in the US's economic development, but here it is vague. Cutting it would help word count. The third sentence is an example of many comparative sentences - (eg, 'first', 'most expensive', 'third or fourth largest depending on some vague detail', etc) - that are kind of annoying and in many cases uninformative trivia (ie, trivial). The last two are informative, but you need a source for the last sentence.
All links in that sentence are simply definitional and distractions (with the possible marginal exception of 'western world'). What do they tell the reader about the US? On the other hand, the link to 'federal' is OK, as it directly helps the point (ie, federation as opposed to unitary state). Similarly, why link this way ' it's national economy', when you could do this 'its national economy. ie, a link to 'economy of the US' is far more useful and less of a distraction than simply a link to 'economy'. Merbabu 12:27, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Other useless links (nothing to do with the US and hence are merely distractions)... Diversity, border, flora (why not link to 'flora of the UNited States'?)
Good links... [[Immigration to the United States|immigration]], American Revolutionary War (well, obviously), [[United States Bill of Rights|Bill of Rights]]
Wikilinks are largely fixed in lead, and much, much less of a problem below. Note that Flora of the United States does not exist - It is largely covered on a state by state level, when covered at all, but that is outside the scope of this FAC. MrZaiustalk 14:14, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Suggestions for improvement...
'a complex [[Social class in the United States|social structure]]' would be better as '[[Social class in the United States|a complex social structure]] so it is clear the link is talking specifically about the US, and not just a meaningless definition link to simply social structure.
comment on length. To those arguing that the article is "too long", I'd say that is more accurate to say that it is "unbalanced". Just to make an example, it was candidate as FA while not having any mention of the huge issue of neocolonialism in the US foreign policy of 20th century, and containing instead the trivial sentences cited above. I think that the current superficiality of the article would have been avoided if Featured Articles on sub-sections had been created first.--BMF81 13:13, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Still, the topic is dealt with throughout the history section, if implicitly. Will introduce neocolonialism link and source shortly to the foreign affairs section. Even neocolonialism doesn't describe the United States as a neocolonialist, but rather says its corporations benefit from neocolonial policies in other countries' former colonies. It defines neocolonialism as "international economic arrangements by which former colonial powers maintained control of their former colonies and new dependencies following World War II." Assuming that definition is correct, to describe United States policies as neocolonialism would be incorrect, unless you know something I don't about their trade policies with the Philippines. That said, criticism of 1970s+ American foreign policy is present both in the multiple subsections of history, the main article for FP, and several others. MrZaiustalk 14:15, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Are you now basing your knowledge on a start-class article with no reference?--BMF81 14:36, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Again, I said "assuming that definition is correct". Also did a little digging on Google Scholar, and was surprised that I wasn't able to find anything in the first couple pages of results that was primarily focused on American neocolonialism w/regards to the foreign policy (barring coverage of neocolonialism in the Phillipines several decades ago, not discussing current policy). The point I was trying to make was that criticism of American foreign policy isn't missing, but rather just one particular aspect of it that may raise NPOV issues if unsourced.MrZaiustalk 15:01, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
It was much simpler to deal with the topic you seem to be hitting at by discussing the more common claims of American imperialism, especially since those claims are targetted at direct actions of the United States government, rather than NGOs/corporations it hosts & IGOs it sponsors. Does this suffice? MrZaiustalk 15:34, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment. Extremely good article, but some of the citations won't even fit in one line on a 1440 pixel wide display which is annoying. I think some of the citations could be shortened, as it really does look odd. Most are missing access dates too. Wackymacs 18:53, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment. As an economist I find the Economy of the United States box difficult to understand. It needs to have a date range or period for the numbers you produce. You can say that the GDP growth rate is 3.4%, but do you mean last year, average annual increase over the last 10 years, two years ago? Please give the years for your numbers. Another issue would be that the numbers in dollars mean nothing to foreigners when they are not put into context. Perhaps you could add two lines giving the exchange rate of the dollar to the euro, GBP, Swiss franc, or the yen. The relative value of $1 is pretty important information, even if it does fluctuate constantly. Keeping a date next to the information and updating it every so often is reasonable, I'd say. I like the article on the whole. It's difficult to take this subject and turn it into something of FA quality, but I'm sure you can do it. JHMM13 09:04, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Fixed. Went with Pounds Sterling and Euro. Still little to no mention of monetary policy in article, although it is covered in the Main, and, given the length of the article, could arguably be left out, given that we're dealing with a floating currency. MrZaiustalk 11:28, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment. Am I the only one who finds the tables in the article distracting and unnecessary? Specfically, 'Economy of the United States', 'Demographics of the United States' and 'Five most populous incorporated places in the United States' should go. Anybody interested would go into sub-pages and find them. And if they are not there, move them.--Svetovid 08:37, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
The table for large cities may be uneeded, but the economy and demographic tables are needed. They convey information to our readers in an easy and concise manner. Adding CPI inflation, unemployment, poverty and currency convergency rates to the section text, rather than a seperate infobox, would require a lot more additional text, as I cannot simply list key figures in the text - it wouldn't read well. I have thought long about having these two tables in their sections before I created them. They are simply the most efficient way to present key figures w/o hurting the prose of the economy and demographics sections. As for sub-pages, consider that certain figures such as unemployment, poverty rates need to be mentioned in the main article. These infobox do not present minor trivia but are limited to the most important and meaningful pieces of data. Best Regards, Signaturebrendel 17:36, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Removed the half-dozen entries that were wholly redundant with the infobox and/or article text, left the others be pending decision in talk. MrZaiustalk 05:16, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
It looks OK now, good job.--Svetovid 12:08, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Comments I am reading through the article and will list my comments/questions/suggestions below as I proceed:
Article nameWhy is the article titled "United States" instead of "United States of America" ? I assume that this has been discussed earlier, so a link to the relevant debate will be sufficient for me (i.e. the arguments need not be necessarily rehashed here)Found the FAQ
Wikilinking: There seems to be somewhat excessive wikiling in the article. For instance:
Common English words used in their standard sense need not be wikilinked. Examples from the lead: Economy, Annexing, Diversity. Later on: Agriculture, Nationalism, secession (this word has already been used twice before it is wikilinked), moon, resign
Language and clarity The article is pretty good in these aspects! Here are some minor issues that may be worth looking into:
"In the northeast, the coasts of the Great Lakes and Atlantic seaboard host much of the country's population." Should "country's" be changed to "region's"; also population distribution seems more relevant for the Demographics, rather than the Geography, section.
"Beyond the coastal plain, the rolling hills ..." Which coastal plain ?
"flora of the U.S. are very diverse". At least in American English, should be "flora ... is" or "floras ... are" depending upon intended meaning.
"5,000 just in California" -> "5,000 in California alone". This is a preference and not an error.
"Americans' eagerness to expand westward began a cycle of Indian Wars that stretched to the end of the next century." Given the context, it is not clear if the "next century" refers to 1800s or 1900s (I know the answer :-)).
"As the Communist Party in the Eastern Bloc suppressed dissent, American anti-communists like Joseph McCarthy attempted and failed to suppress their opposition at home." Not clear what/who "their opposition" refers to.
"The leadership role taken by the United States and its allies in the United Nations-sanctioned Gulf War and the Yugoslav wars helped to preserve its position as the world's last remaining superpower and to expand NATO." The "to expand NATO" is hard to parse on first reading. Rephrase ?
Many of the web citations are missing publisher information.
The quality of some citations can perhaps be improved. For example in the Environment section, this arguably partisan document is used as a source; I think it would be simple to find a more "neutral" official report or academic study, which provides greater depth and detail to the interested reader.
Level of detail In some cases the content coverage prose can be tightened and the details covered in the main articles (I realize that this is a matter of editorial judgment, so the following are simply suggestions):
"Ten constitutional amendments composing the Bill of Rights were ratified in 1791." Is the "technical" description of how the rights were promulgated important enough for the lead ? Instead may be better to mention what rights were guaranteed, say, something like "freedom of speech, religion etc were recognized as inalienable rights in 1791"; the constitutional mechanism can be discussed in the Histry section.
"The Congress, lacking authority to levy taxes, was handicapped in its ability to fund the Continental Army. It overprinted paper money, triggering hyperinflation." Is this important enough to be mentioned in a summary style article, especially considering that the whole of World War II and its consequences is dealt with in six sentences ?
"The country's flora and fauna include thousands of nonnative exotic species that sometimes adversely affect indigenous plant and animal communities." Citation ? Would have been ok if there were separate articles on flora and fauna in US, but since there (surprisingly!) are not ...
"The Energy policy of the United States is a matter ...". E should not be capitalized.
"President Richard Nixon became the first President to resign, rather than be impeached over electoral fraud allegations during the Watergate scandal." The "electoral fraud" bit is factually incorrect. The three articles of impeachment related to "obstruction of justice", "abuse of power" and "contempt of Congress" (recall, "coverup is worse than the crime" :-) ) Of course this article need not go into the details, but the factual inaccuracy should be removed.
This section needs copyediting (I did some of this, but much more effort is needed)
The section needs to be reorganized since the topics seemed to be dealt with in a random order. As suggested ordering of the paragraphs would be : (1) Constitution, (2) Federal Government structure, (3) State Government organization, (4) Political parties
The section suffers from WP:Recentism. For example it devotes one sentence to, "There are two independent members of the Senate, but both were former Democratic incumbents." The rest of the paragraph has similar issues. Wouldn't it be more encyclopedic to take a longer term view and state something like "US effectively has a two party system with all the President, and most of the Senators and Congressmen elected over the last century (or whatever) being members of the Republican or Democratic party" or "The Republican and Democratic party have dominated politics over the last century with all the presidents ... ".
The "Constitution" paragraph deals with some issues at a great level of detail, (eg. "House seats are apportioned among the states according to population every tenth year. As of the 2000 census, seven states have the minimum of one representative, while California, the most populous state, has fifty-three.") while not even mentioning aspects that will be of interest to an international readership, eg. Universal suffrage for >18 year olds (I know that there are exceptions); division of power between federal and state governments with respect to foreign policy, military, law and order, commerce, civil law etc (these suggestions need not be adopted in toto, but someone knowledgeable should take a look)
"The Constitution vaguely guarantees to every State a Republican Form of Government' ". The "vaguely" may be justifiable, but I don't think wikipedia should take a stand on this issue :-)
In spite of the length of my comments above, from what I have read so far, I believe that this article should be able to reach FA status with a bit of cooperative effort by editors/reviewers. I'll continue proofreading it from Section 6 onwards later and add my comments to the above list. Please, place any responses to my comments below, instead of interleaving them with my comments. I have numbered my remarks for easy reference. Regards and happy editing! I have added line seperators before and after my (lengthy) remarks, so that the page is easier to parse; feel free to remove the separators if it goes against the norms of the FAC page) Abecedare 01:23, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Oppose. There are so many issues that this should be withdrawn and reworked before resubmission. Here are just a few that I noticed at the start.
I'd hoped not to have to query the opening sentence: "The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic made up of fifty states, one federal district, and several territories." Consider replacing "made up of" with "comprising". Don't you know how many territories?
Done. And yup--done.—DCGeist 05:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
"almost entirely" in the western hemisphere, isn't it?
Why is "capital" linked. We do speak English. Uncomfortable use of a hedgehog word right at the top: "coextensive". Mention Washington, sure, but do we need to go into the District of Columbia just here?
"liberal democracy"—Well, I wouldn't be too quick to claim that, given that Bush was allowed to steal the presidency in 2000 and nothing has been done to fix the systemic source of that problem. But I won't make an issue of it here.
Yeah. We have hopes, we have hopes.—DCGeist 05:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
"American society is the product of large-scale immigration, resulting in a complex social structure." Unsure why the complexity of American social structure needs to be highlighted here, as though it's unusual in this respect among all human social structures. There are many immigrant societies.
Point taken. Trimmed, edited, and consolidated for proper emphasis.—DCGeist 05:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
"Ten constitutional amendments composing the Bill of Rights were ratified in 1791." No, "comprising".
Oh, Tony, Tony, Tone. Of all people, you should know: elements compose a whole, a whole comprises its elements. See, e.g., . And after you proposed comprising correctly above. Oy.—DCGeist 04:36, 11 June 2007 (UTC) You're right.
"It remains the dominant economic, political, military, and cultural force in the Western world and around the globe." Remove "in the Western world and". "Is" would be better than "remains", unless you're expecting a change in that soon.
Done. And bettered.—DCGeist 04:36, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
There are problems of angle, emphasis, neglect of essential information, and poor prose. Tony 03:05, 11 June 2007 (UTC) PS It's overlinked, too. Who wants blue for "English", and many other words.
Thanks. This is a major help to the article. Keep 'em comin'.—DCGeist 05:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Would you please spell out precisely what you're referring to when you refer to other problems of angle, embphasis and missing information? On the last point, please also keep in mind the large number of split/main articles and articles split off from them that are generally more appropriate places for straight-up expansion. Any specifics would help, MrZaiustalk 07:20, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Dan, I'm busy this morning, so just one thing: "The nation was founded by thirteen colonies of Great Britain located along the Atlantic seaboard. Proclaiming themselves "states," they issued ...". Where's your boundary between spelled out and numeral (typically nine–10)? Later on I see numerals; I could cope with "thirteen colonies" as an exception (if there's a case for it), but why are initial caps used later? MOS says italicise words as words rather than using quote marks. MOS also says to put the comma outside the quote mark. Tony 00:25, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
The problem with that approach is that there are also at least a half dozen more articles that would also have to be reviewed, if not half of these. Also, to suggest that this article should be a copy and paste job of its various daughter articles seems like a call to duplicate Portal:United States. Personally, I still feel that when one judges this article solely on its merits, it warrants promotion. MrZaiustalk 09:37, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Support Obviously the editors of this article are determined to get FA status. Rather than dismissing this article, which really is very close to FA (or already there), Would the reviewers please say more about what needs to be fixed? Sending them to other articles isn't really what the goal is, in my view. We should focus on this article alone, just as any reader would have to. If nothing specific can be said, then it should pass. If something specific is said, it will be fixed and still pass, therefore I say pass. Wrad 22:44, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment: I noticed that in the culture section, there was not one word about American theatre, particularly American musicals, which are famous at least throughout the English-speaking world. I added a short paragraph and an image trying to give a flavor of the topic. I also added a footnote or two, but you might want to add a more prominent x-ref to the musical theatre article, from which some of the material comes. Best regards, -- Ssilvers 01:02, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
There was actually a short sentence about musicals in the Music section, focusing (a tad overmuch) on Porter and Irving. Merged them into the new paragraph you introduced to Literature and the arts. MrZaiustalk 02:35, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Further comments. I was asked to discuss overlinking. I take a functionalist view to wikilinking: how does it help/hinder the reading experience? Some delinkings may come down to subjective judgement, but given the amount of blue spattering, particularly early on in the article, I'd be inclined to delink dictionary words and the names of countries, unless they're likely to be unfamiliar to many English speakers, or piped to a focused article (such as immigration, which is a good one). Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, Russia could all be smooth black rather than stick-out blue; some are linked more than once, as though we didn't get a chance earlier to digress. "Italian explorer and cartographer" ... well, who wants to interrupt their flow and read the Italy article in that sentence? "Cartographer" and "adjectival" I think people should know; why not remove "and demonymic" (it's not the place to teach us all a new term, unless it's important to understanding the meaning, which it's not—it's redundant). "English"—hello? Same for "Spanish" and "Portuguese"—they're either trivial or just too off-topic to risk diluting the high-value links, the ones you want readers to consider hitting. BTW, in an article that has had to be massively reduced, why does this remain: " This common use of "American" has aroused controversy, particularly in Latin America, where Spanish and Portuguese speakers refer to themselves as "americanos" and use the adjective "estadounidense" to describe a person from the United States." Remove it and you've solved the linking issue there. Formatting: "the Pacific and Arctic Oceans" should be "the Pacific and Arctic Oceans", yes?
Let's pick out some copy-editing issues at random from the small "Environment" section.
"nonnative"—See MOS on this; I think it probably should be hyphenated to avoid the double n.
"In some parts of the country, wilderness areas have been established to ensure the long-term protection of pristine habitats."
"Protected park and forestland constitute most of this, but some is leased for oil and natural gas drilling, mining, and cattle ranching." "ParkLAND" would make the plural verb work; or "parkS". The "but" is a problem of logical connection, which demands a recasting.
Still wondering where the spell-out boundary is: "fifty-seven", but later "435", "22", "fifty".
Omission issue in the same section:
"The energy policy of the United States is widely debated; many citizens and foreign nations call on the U.S., as the largest emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, to take a leading role in fighting global warming." Jumps the gun, doesn't it? First, tell us that the US has resisted international attempts to regulate carbon emissions since [whenever], or there's a slight jerk in the reading. Couldn't the first link be piped to "American energy policy"? Delink "carbon dioxide" and "fossil fuels", and just keep global warming.
Other omission issues:
Literature: no mention of American English-language innovations, or Noah Webster, who played a part in defining the national cultural identity.
"Economy": hugely inadequate at two paragraphs, and not well-written. In a summary section, I'd expect it too be five or six paras, at least mentioning the historical emergence of the US economy, and a few technical details (beyond what is in the infobox).
"Government and politics": "Citizens are usually subject to three levels of government, federal, state, and local". Unsure that relationship was quite what the constitution intended.
Random query: "The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation,"—Switzerland is older, isn't it? (Maybe I'm wrong.)
Embarrassment alert. Ged rid of this: "Wine is often drunk before meals, substituting for cocktails. Aside from coffee, orange juice and homogenized, often fat-reduced cow's milk are typical breakfast beverages." In fact, I'd remove or significantly reduce the whole "Food and clothing" section and add more useful stuff elsewhere. Just because a few other country articles have this doesn't mean trivial information (some of it cultural-centric in the within-nation context) is needed. The small amount that might be retained can be relocated into other sections.
I disagree completely. The description of this material as "trivial" is clearly POV--many social scientists find the dining (and drinking) habits of a culture highly revealing and central to an understanding of its people. I encourage you to pick up, for instance, Food in the Social Order: Studies of Food and Festivities in Three American Communities (2002) by Mary Douglas as well as the classic Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (1929) by Robert Staughton Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd to learn more about the importance of these topics. Just because a few people may find them uninteresting or potentially "embarrassing" because quotidian does not mean they do not belong in this article. I'm not familiar with the "few other country articles" you refer to, but this material should be covered in all country articles.—DCGeist 16:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Follow-up: I do understand the implication that we should take "homogenized" and "cow's" for granted (if not milk as a breakfast beverage entirely). But that's just the point--we do take them for granted in the contemporary Western world, and that's rather arrogant. "The belief that dietary calcium must come from dairy food is largely a cultural phenomenon, unique to the United States and a few other industrialized countries. Throughout a large part of the world, dairy food is rarely consumed" (Recovery from Cancer  by Elaine Nussbaum [p. 164]). Homogenization only became prevalent in the mid-twentieth century in the West. "It has been noted that different countries' death rates from heart disease are proportional to how much homogenized milk their citizens drink" (ibid.). Did you know the U.S. has a very high rate of heart disease? (We'll try to get that in the Health section.) "Various cultures in the world use different animals as a source of milk for food.... In poor or developing countries, dairy goats are a very important source of food.... Most of the world's goat milk is produced in Africa and Asia" (The Science of Animal Agriculture  by Ray V. Herren [pp. 48-49]). Addressing the things we deal with on a daily basis and choose not to think about may bore some people to tears, but it's hardly "trivial." [P.S. Wine drinking in Western Europe is traditionally asssociated with eating. Wine itself is considered much more as a form of flavorful produce and much less as an inebriant than in the U.S. You're an Aussie--judging from my ex-girlfriend's behavior, y'all our definitely on our side of the Ledger. The distinction in cultural practice is significant and well worthy of summary mention.]—DCGeist 08:32, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Food rejoinder: What you say here in justification makes it interesting and worthwhile, but would be too much to include. Without it, the information is (i) trivial, compared with a lot of information that the article omits, (ii) fails to distinguish American eating habits from those of many/most advanced/European/anglophone societies, (iii) appears to claim something "typical" that may, in fact, not be, even among individuals of the received culture (despite the reference, entitled "The speculation is over"), and (iv) gives the impression of representing the American culture, where such a culture now includes a sizeable proportion of Latinos and others who probably eat differently (even though reference to tacos and burritos is made above—we're talkin breakfast here). Tony 13:28, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
These are just random points; they illustrate why much more work is required for this to be promoted. Tony 06:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment: The history paragraph in the lead has too much focus on the founding of the United States (half its length).
Britain, defeated in the American Revolutionary War, recognized their sovereignty in 1783.
Could be cut out, as long as the American Revolutionary War was mentioned elsewhere. Countries which have declared independence usually get recognised eventually. I'd also trim or eliminate the sentences pertaining to the creation of the US constitution, mentioning the constitution in the first paragraph of the lead instead.
The country greatly expanded throughout the nineteenth century, acquiring territory from France, Spain, Mexico, and Russia, while annexing the Republic of Texas and the former Kingdom of Hawaii.
Why is the Kingdom of Hawaii 'former' but the Republic of Texas not? Suggested rewrite: 'In the ninteenth century, the United States acquired land from France, Spain, Mexico and Russia, and annexed the Republic of Texas and the Kingdom of Hawaii'
Can't do it. If you read below in the History section of the article you'll see why. At the point when the U.S. annexed Hawaii, it was no longer the independent monarchy it had long been, but officially the Republic of Hawaii. However, that change had happened only very recently, as the result of a Western coup probably backed by and certainly agreeable to the U.S. Thus to describe it as "the Kingdom of Hawaii" is incorrect, but to describe it as "the Republic of Hawaii" is highly misleading. There is no perfect solution, but in the context of this summary lead, the inclusion of the word "former" is the best way to make the description both technically accurate and historically sensible.—DCGeist 16:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Why not simply 'Hawaii'?--Nydas(Talk) 17:39, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
::::If the Kingdom didn't exist at the time of annexation, then it should just be Hawaii or replaced with "overthrew and annexed", although the former solution would be preferred, as it would not carry with it the implication that the United States government was directly responsible for the Kingdom's overthrow. MrZaiustalk 18:40, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
What they annexed was the Republic of Hawaii - Problem solved, and along with it a duplicate link removed. Kingdom of Hawaii and its overthrow by Americans still mentioned in the history section, although it's arguable that we could live without the entire sentence if we're not going to cover the Texan revolution. Texas has given us at least two Presidents, been a state since the before the Civil War, etc. Might just be a hair more detail than we really need in this parent article, given links to Hawaii and Texas elsewhere. MrZaiustalk 18:44, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
The American Civil War of the 1860s ended slavery and set the stage for the country to become a great power.
'Set the stage' is a rather dramatic colloquialism. That the civil war was American is implied. As long as it can be implied that it took place during the C19th, it's unnecessary to state the decade.
In 1945, the U.S. emerged from World War II as one of two nuclear superpowers and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
No mention of World War I is a mistake. It's not that big a deal to Americans, but it established the US as the world's most powerful nation. I'd also mention the United States' membership of various international organisations like NATO and the G8.--Nydas(Talk) 13:45, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with you on a handful of points: The section on its founding summarize details found in no less than three different sessions. The year in which Britain granted US official recognition is important to mark the end of the revolution.
The first World War, while significant world wide, simply was not that important - A compelling argument can be made for the US as a Great Power prior to WWI, and, while Wilsonianism had a marked impact on modern politics, it is not necessarily something that can be easily stated in the lead, or even something simple and clear enough to warrant mention in this article, lacking, as it does and likely should, discussion of neoconservatism and American liberalism. - Update: N/m - You're right, I'm wrong, you're attractive, I'm unattractive, you're wealthy, I eat dumpster mcnuggets. WWI and the Spanish American War provide a better place to drop in the great power link, and provide better integration with said article. MrZaiustalk 15:15, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
On striking the year and "nuclear" from the WWII sentence, the year implies that we were a founding member of the UN, an early developer of nukes, etc. Only problem I see with it is that Russia didn't have nukes in 1945, so should replace "one of two nuclear superpowers" with "the first nuclear weapons state" - deals with the word superpower in the next sentence anyway, and an explanation the similar status of the Soviets is described in the COld War section.
Your other points are good, though, w/regard to the Kingdom of Hawaii, implicitly dating the Civil War, and overly dramatic language - Strange that the quoted phrase slipped through: I've been removing those strange middle school textbook-style phrases for the last two months, mostly from Geography. MrZaiustalk 14:55, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Ixnay on Hawaii change. See my response to Nydas above.—DCGeist 16:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Oppose, in its current form. Prominently, this article is almost 4 times the recommended size and should be much more concise; even per WP:LENGTH, it's still twice the recommended length. For instance, the history and economy sections are morbidly obese: one paragraph (at most) for each subsection in the former, and is there a specific reason why a table of limited utility resides in the latter when it doesn't even reside (in that form) in the dedicated subarticle? And topical focus is also an issue: where does one find a map and or listing of political subdivisions or capitals? This, I would think, is a basic question of prospective readers; per the country wikiproject, there is no such section ... and if this information or link thereof is present, it isn't apparent. Correct me if I'm wrong, but no other country featured articles even approaches this article's size, and it's the height of hubris to think that this article cannot be shorter. Per the lead of the cited size guideline, this bloated article may reflect an unwillingness or inability of editors to effectively pare it down and use subarticles. Corticopia 13:25, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
STRONG OPPOSE: for the following reasons:
First and foremost, this article is way too long. At 133 KB (of which perhaps some may be references and the shop of External Links), this article is over four times the recommended size. Wikipedia:Summary style recommends no more than a 50% extra to that, which brings the "maximum" up to 45 KB. Still, the article approximately three times the size of the maximum! Unbelievable! It takes a heck of a time for the article to load on my connection. Imagine the trouble caused to people with dial-up connections! According to Wikipedia:Summary style: ...it is very rare for an article 50% larger than this [30 KB] to still efficiently cover its topic. Also, the same page states that There are also technical issues with editing articles over 30KB that often lead to duplicated information and poor structure. (emphasis added) The IMMENSE size is the primary reason of why I have not read the entire article but instead skimmed over it. Until the size is lessened to approx. 50-60 KB, I am not taking back my oppose.
The size of the readable prose, which is what WP:SIZE is based on, is 55kb (according to the 'Page size' extension). That is within boundaries. CloudNine 15:43, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
The recommended size is 30 KB. The "maximum" is 150% of that, which is 45 KB. Even 55 KB is above the maximum. What I meant by my statement (Until the size is lessened to approx. 50-60 KB, I am not taking back my oppose.) is for the entire article, not only the readable prose. Universe=atom•Talk•Contributions• 16:35, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
This is an unreasonable request, especially the "not only the readable prose part. The article is fine, size-wise. The guildline you're referring to refers users to the WP:SIZE article, which doesn't make the case you're making. 55 KB is not above the maximum on the main, size-guidline page, which, I think, in cases of MoS conflict such as this, should be ultimately referred to. At 60 KB (of readable prose), the article is said to need to at least consider dividing, but can in special cases stay together even then. Wrad 16:52, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Indeed; I would consider this particular object nonactionable; the article complies with the manual of style with regards to size. CloudNine 17:24, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
No, it does not. This is an exception to the rule. Why should it be an exception when it can be more perfect while covering the topics (an overview of them, of course) while being shorter?
This article has twenty-four external links, not a healthy amount considering that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not a collection of links.
As I look over the links, I see none that are problematic. They are all well organized. I don't think there is a problem here. Wrad 21:24, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
No matter how well organized they may be, Wikipedia is NOT supposed to be a shop of links but instead an encyclopedia. Universe=atomTalk•Contributions 15:43, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Approximately one third of the lead is of the US's history and is rather long (according to me, at least).
I'm inclined to agree here. Wrad 21:24, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
The "History" section is too long and hardly follows Summary Style. Look at the "History" section of the India article (FA), just to give an example. Its history is approximately ten times longer than that of the US, yet the section is summarized excellently in approximately a fifth of the length of the section in the US article.
That seems to me to be expected on a largely American, English Wikipedia. The Hindu Wikipedia probably has a longer history section for India than for America, merely because they have more information. Wrad 21:13, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
That is not according to guidelines and is false. There is tons of information on the history of India (just visit the History of India article), but the main editors there actually possess brains (no offense to anyone here) and want to keep the article within reasonable size limits. Also, Wikipedia should provide a worldwide view of everything; it is owned by everyone, not just Americans. It is not supposed to be so that since this article is English, there should be more info on the history of America that on that of any other non-English speaking country. The other Wikipedias in other languages are just there for the people who don't know English. Universe=atomTalk•Contributions 15:43, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
The same problem comes up with the "Culture" section. According to the Summary Style policy, only a brief overview of the topic should be provided, not a whole dumping of its main article into the section, which is apparently being done with the "History" and "Culture" (not literal "dumpings," of course)
At the "section" of Navigation boxes at the bottom of the article, there are two that give information about other countries' membership of two of the organizations that the US is part of. What I am trying to point out is that approximately 70 organizations are listed in the Navigation box that gives all (well, of course not all, but you get the idea) of the international organizations that the US is part of. So, why are there only two boxes that specifically point out other countries' membership. Why only two of the apprx. 70 organizations? So, either all 70 navigation boxes be given (which is quite impossible without making the article explode in size) or remove the two boxes of the "special" organizations (the more reasonable solution). Wrad 21:21, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
This objection doesn't make sense to me. That's just the nature of navboxes: Some are more general than the articles they're in, and other go into specifics. There are plenty of examples of these differences all over wikipedia. I'm impressed that the article has already trimmed out navboxes that may be considered unimportant, leaving only the UN, G8, and North American countries boxes, as well as the more specific intern. membership box. Only four boxes seems reasonable to me, expecially with a country so involved in world politics.
What I am trying to point out is that by giving navboxes of only two of the organizations that the US is part of, it is being signified that those two organizations are more important than others, which is, of course, false. I think that one my two suggestions above should be followed (the more reasonable one, of course). Universe=atomTalk•Contributions 15:43, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
There are way too many images in this article, which may be the reason why people with dial-up connections can expect to turn old by the time the article loads. There are 26 images (plus 3 charts). With 9 main sections, this gives an average of approximately 2.9 (rounded to 3) images per section. Even if the amount is too much (which it is), it is worsened by the fact that images are not at all balanced in terms of images per section. For example, 14 of them are swallowed up by the the monster "History" and "Culture" sections, leaving the other equally important sections unbalanced in terms of images.
Is there a guideline for number of images in an article? I honestly don't know. Conceivably, though, on a 28.8K modem, this article would take only about 5 seconds to load. I'd honestly be interested in somebody timing it... Wrad 21:13, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
No, there is no guideline for images in an article (at least none that I know of), but are not 26 images way more than enough. Even if they are not more than enough (which is false), look at the "balance." Over half of the 26 images are swallowed up by just two sections. Also, to user Wrad: I am not sure about what connection I have (it's not a dial up modem, though), but it takes 43.5 seconds for the article to load with my connection. It's still fast compared to what it would take on a dial-up connection. Man, I fell sorry for those guys that have a dial-up... Universe=atomTalk•Contributions 15:43, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Just an example sentence randomly selected from the article: Of the fifty fastest-growing metro areas, twenty-three are in the West and twenty-five in the South. What happened to North and East?
"Of the fifty": 23 in west, 25 in north—that leaves two left. What do you want added? Wrad 21:13, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Also consider the following sentence: African Americans, who are largely the descendants of former slaves, constitute the nation's largest racial minority and third largest ancestry group. I read somewhere before in this review that "race" be replaced with "ethnicity". Hmmm.
This is easily fixed. Wrad 21:13, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
It has been. "Race" should definitely not be replaced with "ethnicity." They just need to be used properly--that is, given the context, the specific way they are used by the U.S. Census Bureau. The two words have particular and distinct meanings. The necessary edits have been made so that they are used consistently, and U.S.-specific Wikilinks added to their first occurences in both the Demographics main text and the Demographics infobox.—DCGeist 06:30, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
(added June 14) Grammar Mistakes: At over 3.7 million square miles (over 9.6 million km²) and with more than 300 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and third largest by land area and population. (Intro) No comma needed after "total area." Also, consistency should be maintained between km squared and mi squared. The country is situated almost entirely in the western hemisphere: its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie in central North America between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south; the state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent with Canada to its east, and the state of Hawaii is in the mid-Pacific. (Intro) Why colon? Also, why comma before the thing about Hawaii if there is a semicolon before the thing about Alaska? This is just in the intro; I don't have the energy (and I think that neither would anyone else) to read and scrutinize the entire 133 KB article for grammar mistakes, but I think that the lead says it all. Universe=atomTalk•Contributions 15:43, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, if the above objections are considered perfectly valid, than the only option is to split it and candidate as Featured Topic.--BMF81 17:00, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, this seems to be a very strong objection over minor points; especially the size objection. CloudNine 17:24, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree. The basic just of it is that it takes too long to load on his computer, so he wants it cut down, not just readable prose. But if it meets MoS guidlelines, this really doesn't seem a valid point. (It loads fine on my computer, by the way, though I do have a fast connection.) Wrad 17:29, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Small things add up to big things: dismissing numerous objections about this article's size is not the way to deal with the issue. The size guideline is a part of the MoS and is very clear: even if you consider just prose, this article is twice as long as recommended; I see nothing in the MoS which justifies such excess. Still, at this point, the most prudent option is to prune -- there are already a number of subarticles, some of which do not hark of the content in this main article.
BTW, not everyone has a high-speed connection -- I may use a dial-up connection, and it takes eons for this article to load. Corticopia 18:08, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. Many sections in the article have been pruned down to the bone. The US is a hugely complex subject matter for an article, restricting the article to "recommended" size would undoubtely result in a irresponsible and incomplete overview of the US. So many important aspects of the country would need to be omitted we would be outright mis-informing our readers. (See comment about feminism below-a very important topic has so far only a sentence in the article) Regards, Signaturebrendel 20:55, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Au contraire: that is what subarticles are for, which are not used to maximum effect in the current instance. This article does not (or should not) exist in isolation of its subarticles, which the above response communicates. If done effectively, piped links can take the place of reams of text. Case in point, about feminism, it's a judgement call: how important is it to the topic of the United States overall? Perhaps it needs to be reframed within the larger realm of other human rights/social developments. That should guide decision-making and editing. Anyhow, there is an article about this topic which, given the above, may be linked to instead. Corticopia 21:43, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
From WP:SIZE "> 40 KB May eventually need to be divided (likelihood goes up with size)." I'd argue that since this a huge (and important) topic, it doesn't make sense to split the article. CloudNine 18:29, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I misunderstood the prior comment; no real argument. Simply put: this article should be made far more concise and the excess content moved to appropriate subarticles ... efforts to date have been lacking. Corticopia
Again, it meets the requirements of WP:SIZE, which is what FA articles should be measured against. I think it is more than concise and that there have been many efforts put forth to make it that way. Wrad 21:02, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. This IS as concise as can be. Signaturebrendel 21:04, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, then we agree to disagree -- for instance, the history section is far too lengthy, while subtopics like political subdivisions (noted in my original comments above) are inadequately dealt with. If editors are either unwilling or (apparently) unable to prune it further, and I note efforts to date to that end, it exemplifies stipulations in the intro to the article size guideline. It's arrogant to think that further reductions/enhancements cannot be made and that such a complex topic cannot be dealt with more concisely -- after all, this is an encyclopedia, where all topics should be dealt with comprehensively. The above assumes the article is in some sort of ideal state currently -- we're not there yet. Corticopia 21:43, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Featured articles are supposed to be examples that other people can look up to when creating new articles or improving other articles. Surely this cannot be an FA; should every article become 133 KB (or ~60 KB prose)? If it can be efficiently covered in way less, why not? Yes, I realize that the MoS states that rare exceptions may be accepted, but this article is supposed to follow Summary Style. Currently, it is clear to everyone (ones with good eyes, at least) that this article does just the opposite. If links to main articles are provided, why is there a need to go into little details. This article is supposed to cover a simple overview of the subjects that it mentions. It's supposed to tell the reader a brief idea of the topic. That is what Main Articles are for. It is just supposed to say to the reader: "Here is a link to the History of the US. Oh yeah, we'll just give you a brief overview of it so that you don't get totally lost while reading the main article." Clearly, this is article does not follow Summary Style, thus not following the MoS, thus not being fit to become an FA. Universe=atomTalk•Contributions 15:43, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment. Surely the [[Library of Congress] should be linked in the external links section. Neutralitytalk 16:00, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Feminism is mentioned, though shortly, in the second paragraph of the culture section. Signaturebrendel 20:55, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment: I think this article has taken great strides recently and is getting close to FA status. But shouldn't the page make better use of summary style? In particular, I think the "History", "Demographics", and "Culture" sections are too long. The readable prose size is 56 KB, 26 KB longer than it is supposed to be. If FAs like India can summarize thousands of years of history in five paragraphs, I'm not sure why the U.S. article needs three times that much verbiage for about 600 years. Pare things back a bit and move any extraneous information to the appropriate daughter articles, and I will be a lot happier to support. — Brian (talk) 01:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for acknowledging the hard work these editors have done. I just want to point out again that the length requirement on the summary style page is different from the one on WP:SIZE, which this article meets. That said, I'm thinking maybe shrinking the history section by turning each subsection into a paragraph? that would be five paragraphs. Wrad 01:31, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
In both spots, though, it seems a threshold of 32K is indicated -- no matter what the gauge, United States far exceeds that. This may be somewhat of a challenge to achieve but there's always room for improvement -- I don't expect miracles overnight, but the article remains excessive. I'm glad that you have reiterated my suggestion above regarding the history section (which can be significantly pruned), but the article is lacking in other ways too: per above, for example, where does one find a map and or listing of political subdivisions or capitals? This is a basic notion, yet no dedicated section or clear links exist in this article (that I can see). The economy table seems excessive, and the largest cities table seems little more than an affectation -- why include the five largest cities proper, when agglomerations may be more informative? Anyhow, delete it and do what the Canadians do regarding their largest cities: link and describe. Corticopia 02:12, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I concur. The "Culture" section is the next biggest culprit after "History", in my opinion. It should be able to more concisely summarize arts, literature, popular media, and sports by removing the long lists of names, for one. I know it's tough to cut such name-dropping of popularly known folks such as Frank Lloyd Wright or Andy Warhol, but perhaps more summarizing of movements is in order. It also leaves out some important milestones that I would be tempted to include, such as blackfaceminstrelsy and vaudeville. The former was the first uniquely American form of entertainment according to most minstrelsy historians. I must confess, though, that I'm happy to see a country article that illustrates the section on sports with something other than a picture of soccer. :) — Brian (talk) 02:27, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
The 32K thing is unclear if you read the entire guidline and seems to be being phased out. I hardly think it is reasonable to expect this article to reach that. Many FA articles are much longer. However, since so many people want this and that to be shorter, might as well do it. I'm not an editor of the article myself. I've just noticed how much the editors have worked on it and don't appreciate people who call them lazy because they don't want to make it shorter when the guideline is honestly unclear, and other FA articles of similar size have passed. Wrad 02:44, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
No one is calling anyone lazy (at least I'm not). Rather than comparing this article to other FAs in general, it would be more appropriate to compare it to Featured Articles on countries. Of these, Turkey, Japan, Cameroon, and Indonesia were recently featured. The U.S. article should strive to pare down its content to be roughly equivalent to these. I mean, Japan certainly has a great deal of cultural output, and it's "Culture" section is nowhere near the size of the U.S. one. Ditto its history. The consensus seems to be that readable prose is what should be 32 KB; this is the text without wiki formatting, references, images, and other extraneous stuff. There's a script that lets you check this, and that's the figure I quoted above (56 KB of readable prose). More summarizing can and should be done with this article. — Brian (talk) 03:00, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
The guideline seems to allow up to 10000 words or 50k. We're a hair over 50k, but still at ~8000 words. That said, the culture section could definitely be cut a fair bit, and it wouldn't be impossible to shave a paragraph or more off of history, between the revolution and the modern era. Might also be possible to move the most modern history, everything post 1989, to the foreign affairs section - It's all current enough to warrant discussion in that context in an encyclopedia article. There's less of a problem with overly verbose language in the history section than the problem that topics like indigenous peoples, slavery, and civil rights lend themselves so much better to being dealt with there than anywhere else, in this case, that the article ends up with much less discussion of minority groups and similar topics under separate headers and much more in the history section. Might help a bit to just shuffle things around and, as I said, pare down the bits in from 1790-1940, and make some hard cuts from the newly expanded culture section. MrZaiustalk 03:19, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Is anyone still working on the article? It doesn't appear that anything is happening with regards to comments and objections on this page. — Brian (talk) 22:35, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
It appears that a fair number of recent edits have been aimed at dealing with Demographics issues raised here and further discussed on the talk page. That said, the editing has slowed somewhat, partially due to my own Wikibreak over the weekend. Will review for outstanding issues, but there seem to be a fair bit of overlap and contradiction here, so it might take a bit of effort to break out those issues that can be speedily remedied. MrZaiustalk 04:19, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree the map needs to be changed but isn't an "oppose" based on a map which I already removed from the article a bit harsh. Signaturebrendel 00:28, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Oppose There is no "Further Reading" here at all. You may refer to the topics of Canada or Japan. Secondly, there are too many unnecessary tables in the sections of economy, demographics (probably they are mostly out-of-date right now) that they can simply put in other topics rather than here as this topic is only the brief introduction of the US. I personally think that the section of environment should be merged into the topic of geography. Generally speaking, it is not a good topic to be promoted to the FA status. Coloane 00:04, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
There is no requirement that an FA have a "Further reading" section. In fact, I actively dislike them. If something is important enough to be listed, it should have been consulted as a proper reference. — Brian (talk) 00:23, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. However, good/FA topic should have sufficient external literature references, preferably from "hard" literature rather than websites. It also gives us a chance to go futher and know more if we feel interested in the topic of the US. Regards Coloane 00:40, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment: There are some MOS problems with the article particularly with the formats of the references, e.g. No.1, 62, 63, 113-6, etc. Coloane 01:15, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Comment: got to admit, an article about the United States of America is extremely difficult, good work to the editors of the page. Oldag07 00:11, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I'd imagine bringing Vatican City to featured status would be a little easier. CloudNine 12:51, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Probably. The problem with country articles is that there's so much to say, so it's difficult to cut stuff and put it in daughter articles. I still think the US article needs more pruning. — Brian (talk) 12:55, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
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