Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (geographic names)

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Please post discussions about Railway station names at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (stations).
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q: Why is the article on Georgia named Georgia (country), and Georgia is instead a disambiguation page?
A: The consensus is that there is no primary topic for the term "Georgia". Supporters of that position successfully argued that since the country is not significantly more commonly searched for than the U.S. state of the same name (and is in fact less commonly searched for), it cannot have primary topic over a state with roughly double its population. Opponents argued that internationally recognised countries should take precedence over sub-national units like the U.S. state. Some opponents even argued that this current setup conveys a U.S.-centric bias. Attempts to rename the articles to a natural disambiguation title like "Republic of Georgia" or "State of Georgia" have not reached any consensus (see the list of archived discussions).
Q: Why is the Ireland article about the island, while the article on the country is named Republic of Ireland?
A: The naming of Ireland articles dates back to 2002. Previously, content for both the island and country appeared on the same page,[1] but it was then decided to move content and the page history about the country to its official "Republic of Ireland" name, while keeping content about the island at "Ireland". Ever since, this issue has been heavily disputed, but there has not been any consensus to change this status quo. Previous failed proposals have included making the country the primary topic of "Ireland" instead, or using parenthetical disambiguation titles like "Ireland (island)" and "Ireland (country)". According to an ArbCom ruling on 2009, any further discussions relating to the naming of these Ireland articles must now occur at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ireland Collaboration.
Q: Why is Macedonia a disambiguation page, and Republic of Macedonia the article about the country?
A: There is current consensus that there should be no primary topic for the term "Macedonia". As determined by various reliable sources, referents other than the modern country, including the ancient kingdom, have a comparably high prominence. In addition, "Republic of Macedonia" was chosen instead of "Macedonia (country)" because it is also the self-identifying official (constitution) name. This consensus was reached following an ArbCom ruling, and a subsequent centralized discussion in 2009, where several options were presented. An ArbCom amendment request clarified that any further move requests should take place as normal on one of the article talk pages.
Q: Why do articles on populated places in the United States primarily use the [[Placename, State]] "comma convention" format? Why are those cities listed in the Associated Press Stylebook as not requiring the state modifier exempt from this guideline?
A: This is an issue where different rules of Wikipedia:Article titles conflict with each other, thus consensus determines which ones to follow. Most of these articles were created by User:Rambot, a Wikipedia bot, back in 2002 based on U.S. Census Bureau records. When creating these pages, Rambot used the "Placename, State" naming format, initially setting a consistent naming convention for these articles. Supporters of keeping the "Placename, State" format argue that this is generally the common naming convention used by the Associated Press (AP) and most other American reliable sources. Opponents argue that this format is neither precise nor concise, and results in short titles like Austin redirecting to longer titles like Austin, Texas. After a series of discussions since 2004, a compromise was reached in 2008 that established the "AP Stylebook" exception rule for only those handful of cities listed in that style guide as not requiring the state modifier. There has been since no consensus to do a massive page move on the other articles on U.S. places (although individual requested move proposals have been initiated on different pages from time to time). This is now considered a perennial proposal.

Archive to 1 Dec 2006Archive to Nov 2008Archive 3Archive 4September 2012 archivesSeptember 2013 archivesOctober 2013 archives; February 2014 archives

SEE ALSO: Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(places)/Archive

WP:USPLACE: May 2004 discussionJune 2004 discussionJuly 2005 proposal (not passed)December 2005 proposal (not passed)August 2006 proposals (not passed)Aug 2006 proposal to use one international convention (not passed)September 2006 proposals (not passed)October 2006 proposal to use the AP Stylebook for major US cities (not passed)November 2006 proposal to mirror Canadian city conventions (not passed)November 2006 straw pollDecember 2006 proposal (not passed)January 2007 proposal to use the AP Stylebook for major US cities (not passed)January 2007 discussionJuly 2007 discussionJuly 2007 proposal to use one international convention (not passed)October 2008 decision to use the AP Stylebook for major US cities (passed)March 2010 discussionJune 2010 discussionJanuary 2011 RFC (consensus to maintain status quo)April 2012 discussionOctober 2012 discussion on whether to initiate another RFCDecember 2012 Collaborative WorkspaceDecember 2012 RFC (consensus to maintain status quo)February 2013 RFC (no consensus)June 2013 discussion


compromise proposal on USPLACE[edit]

withdrawn due to heavy snowrybec 11:18, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Elsewhere on this page, another editor wrote an RFC about revising the WP:USPLACE naming guideline. Then another editor noted that these discussions arise at intervals, and proposed a moratorium on further discussion of the topic. Here I'm attempting to combine the two, along with a smattering of WP:CANPLACE.

  • The name of the state may be omitted when titling an article about a US city, provided that the city is unquestionably the primary topic for its name and the city proper had a population of at least 100,000 in the 2010 census (if List of United States cities by population is to be trusted, there are 389 cities which would meet this--admittedly arbitrary--population criterion). A redirect from Example City, State to Example City extant as of 1 January 1 2014 shall be sufficient evidence of the primary topic that a move or move request may be assumed to be uncontroversial.
  • The name of the state may be omitted when titling an article about a US city, if the city's name is unique. If another topic shares the same name as the US city, but the other topic has no Wikipedia article, the name is unique only if a proper Wikipedia article could not be written about the other topic. Moves done without checking for uniqueness and availability of reliable sources may result in severe trouting!!
  • Resolved: unless this goes horribly wrong, let's not make any more substantial changes to USPLACE until some time in the year 2016...that doesn't mean the discussion begins in 2014 or 2015, please. —rybec 01:43, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

compromise proposal on USPLACE survey[edit]

  • Oppose all. Come on! We've already spent two weeks discussing this, and the current tally is 15 to 8 against these ideas. How many more times do we have to say it? This is no compromise, this is just yet another "let's do away with USPLACE" proposal, even before the last one has been closed. As for the "no substantial changes until 2016", we really can't stop people from making proposals. Many of them are made by well meaning people who haven't been privy to the earlier discussions. --MelanieN (talk) 01:57, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    • You're counting !votes to determine if there is a consensus? Seriously? --B2C 05:45, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Can we give it a break? For the record, this policy actually results in consistent predictable article names. So why change it? Do we need a trout slap? Vegaswikian (talk) 02:01, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose as this is not a compromise at all. Omnedon (talk) 02:04, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I sympathize because really it seems like a lot of the issue is that nobody is familiar with tiny rural towns, so it seems unduly pedantic to many editors to omit essential identifying criteria (that it's a place, and its general location) when less than a dozen extra letters are just so much more helpful. So to that extent the population size proposal isn't bad. But ultimately I oppose this proposal because I think that 100,000 people is arbitrary (like any number) and so I think sticking with the AP stylebook's list of "cities everyone knows so they don't need a state" is the best compromise. Also, I'm afraid Melanie's right. The only thing that will stop a lengthy discussion driven mostly by Born2Cycle whenever some innocent editor makes a well-meaning proposal is either acceptance of the status quo by opposing editors or a heavy-handed topic ban, but the former seems unlikely and the latter is extreme. AgnosticAphid talk 02:16, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's counter-productive that this is a separate RfC when there's already an open RfC on USPLACE on this very page. Shall I perhaps open a third simultaneous RfC to discuss my own suggestions? I strongly advocate speedily closing this and rolling it into the original open RfC above.
    As for the suggestion itself, absolutely not: we already have a clear and effective naming convention in place, supported by most involved editors, that yields a set of titles that follows reliable sources, squares with common usage, cleaves to a consistent and predictable naming scheme, etc. To deliberately alter the titling of some subset of settlements on something as arbitrary and highly variable as a census count is entirely unnecessary and a complete non-starter. ╠╣uw [talk] 10:44, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

compromise proposal on USPLACE threaded discussion[edit]

@Omnedon:, I sought to address Agathoclea's concerns about "a constant flurry of RMs due to disagreement over which small town is the primary" by limiting the articles this could apply to. You write that you oppose because this is not a compromise; please feel free to make an suggestion that does fit your conception of a compromise. —rybec 04:12, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

rybec, it is not a compromise because it says: omit the state unless the city name is not unique. This is contrary to the current WP:USPLACE model. Where do you see compromise in your proposal? Omnedon (talk) 13:12, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Red Slash has proposed that the state could be omitted for any US settlement that is the primary topic for its name. Uniqueness applies to fewer place-names and is easier to determine. It's a criterion in WP:MOSCAN and I haven't noticed problems with that. —rybec 22:19, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
A similar change was made for Australia a few years ago, with no issues. But for the US of A? Oh NO!!!!!!!! --B2C 03:24, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Naming convention for places in the Philippines[edit]

(I created this thread at WT:AT, but seeing that there's a similar discussion here, and that this talk page seems to be a more appropriate place [pardon the pun], I'm reposting this thread here.)

There is an ongoing discussion about the naming convention for article titles of places in the Philippines, specifically municipalities (aka towns), and component (not independent) cities. Please see Wikipedia talk:Tambayan Philippines#Naming of places. To give a short summary, the status quo is that the comma convention (using the province name), is used for municipalities, but not cities unless disambiguation is necessary. The two competing proposals are (1) to always apply the comma convention even for component cities, and (2) to only use the municipality/city name whenever possible unless disambiguation is needed. —seav (talk) 19:52, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Proposed naming convention (UK Parliament constituencies)[edit]

Advertising the proposed Wikipedia:Naming conventions (UK Parliament constituencies) here, as specified in Wikipedia:Article_titles#Proposed_naming_conventions_and_guidelines. I'm not sure whether constituencies are covered by "geographic names" or not. PamD 13:44, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

WP:USPLACE contradicted by essay?[edit]

Theres a RM at Talk:Mosquito CountyMosquito County, Florida where both WP:USPLACE and WP:UNDAB have been cited. WP:UNDAB is an essay. I also note that recent edits to WP:UNDAB essay cited the result of Talk:Welland as a precedent, but with 2 recent RMs is that article title stable? In ictu oculi (talk) 08:19, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

WP:USPLACE: The five boroughs of New York City[edit]

Neighborhoods within New York City are identified by the standard [[neighborhood, borough]], where "borough" is one of the five boroughs: Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island.

If the boroughs are supposed to be named in alphabetical order, the Bronx should be first. Dyspeptic skeptic (talk) 01:00, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Structural issue - South Tyrol under Italy?[edit]

It makes no difference to me, but the number of recent reversions seems to indicate that it does to some people. What are the pros and cons? --Bejnar (talk) 14:48, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

As one of the reverters, with no particular attachment to the region, it just makes sense to include a sub-national convention under the convention for that country. Looking at the rest of the list, we do the same for the countries of the UK. Questionable cases are the British dependencies (should Bermuda go under the UK as well? Isle of Man?) and Chinese administrative areas (Hong Kong, Macau/o). But South Tyrol is already referenced twice in the main Italian guidance, so I think that's where it belongs. Dohn joe (talk) 14:55, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
+1 --Mai-Sachme (talk) 16:30, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that the problem is simple: either the naming convention for Italy without South Tyrol and that for South Tyrol are mutually exclusive, and then we should have two paragraphs at the same level, named "Italy without South Tyrol" and "South Tyrol", or they are not, and then the South Tyrol convention goes under the Italian convention. The present situation is wrong in both cases. Alex2006 (talk) 17:02, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
One often lists exceptions directly under the general rule, among other reasons so that the reader knows that they are exceptions. --Bejnar (talk) 17:22, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
This whole thing appears to have been the result of an unintentional error. This change indented the names of all countries - but neglected to add an indentation for South Tyrol. Compare any of the previous versions. I suggest this is an easy restore to the previous indentation. Others agree? Dohn joe (talk) 17:20, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I do. Another hint is the out of alphabetical order placement, and I don't think placing it between South Africa and Switzerland would help editors to find it easily. walk victor falk talk 09:05, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Very good. Alex2006 (talk) 09:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Disambiguation of parish names duplicated within districts (England)[edit]

WP:UKPLACE deals with further disambiguation where there are two parishes with the same name within the same local government district or unitary authority. There are several examples in England: in Cheshire East: Chorley (Alderley / Cholmondeley); in Cheshire West and Chester: Cuddington (Broxton / Eddisbury); in Herefordshire: Brockhampton (Bringsty / Old Gore), Linton (Bringsty / Penyard), and Newton (Golden Valley South / Hampton Court); in Wiltshire: Charlton (Brinkworth / Upavon); in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire: Welburn (Amotherby Ward / Kirkbymoorside Ward); and in the Waveney district of Suffolk: Flixton (Lothingland / The Saints).

The only disambiguators provided by WP:UKPLACE in this situation are ward and compass direction. It seems that ward is the disambiguator favoured by ONS in the census statistics, although it is not easy to verify that. But ward does not seem to be a good disambiguator: the ward is unlikely to be widely known outside the minority who take an interest in the area's local politics, the name of the ward might be obscure (in the Welburn case the ward is named after a smaller village some distance away), the ward might change and ward is not the disambiguator used by the district council (or county council), at least in the Welburn case. Local government has every reason to choose a disambiguator which local people will readily understand (Ryedale council uses the nearest town).

I would suggest replacing the present guidance "If there are two places of the same name in the same district/unitary then parishes, wards, or lowercase compass directions are used as appropriate to identify the relative locations." with something less prescriptive, such as "If there are two places of the same name in the same district/unitary then parishes, lowercase compass directions or other disambiguator used in local practice, such as electoral ward or nearest town, are used as appropriate to identify the relative locations."

It should at least be clear from the article why a particular disambiguator has been chosen. Any views?--Mhockey (talk) 20:19, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

To take as an example the two Flixtons, naturalness to me suggests using the local town, even if you end up with article titles such as Flixton (near Lowestoft) or Flixton, Bungay. GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:26, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Comma prohibited in place names[edit]

In disambiguating places names like churches, hotels, schools, structures, and other entities that you call a "place", is the comma prohibited in this naming convention and WP:MOS? Anime (talk) 16:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

In general, yes. Parenthetical disambiguation is the norm, unless there is a common alternative name that provides natural disambiguation. Comma disambiguation is used for municipalities and populated places in many countries, as that is a commonly used form of disambiguation in reliable sources. olderwiser 17:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Completely untrue. Parenthetical disambiguation is used for North America, but comma disambiguation for most other countries, for structures and other places as well as populated places. -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:02, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
It perhaps may be used for a bunch of other stuff, but with very little justification. olderwiser 16:28, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by this. It is entirely justified by conventions outside North America, both on and off Wikipedia. Look at Category:Buildings and structures in London or Category:Buildings and structures in Sydney or Category:Buildings and structures in Warsaw, for instance, if you don't believe me. The vast majority of articles in these cats and their subcats use the comma form for disambiguation. If you want to know the prevailing form for any country look at similar categories, as it does vary. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:59, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
The justification for using comma disambiguation with US populated places is that it is a variety of natural disambiguation. In most cases, where other projects have adopted that form, it results in ugly bastardized forms that rarely if ever occur in normal usage. olderwiser 14:23, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
That's certainly not true. I'd certainly write "Reading, Berkshire", "Rue d'Auseil, Paris" or "Connaught Hotel, London". Wouldn't you? I certainly wouldn't write "Reading (Berkshire)", "Rue d'Auseil (Paris)" or "Connaught Hotel (London)"! And I'd be surprised whether anyone else would either. In fact, I'm amazed that this form has survived so long in North American articles, as it's just not what is used in real life and not natural English. Yes, it is used in some non-English-speaking countries (Germany, for instance), but that's not really relevant to English Wikipedia.
However, all this is off topic, as the simple answer to the OP's question is, no it isn't prohibited. In fact, for articles re many countries it's the standard form, whether some editors like it or not. But only when disambiguation is required, obviously. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:08, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Populated places in some other parts of the world do use similar conventions as in US where disambiguation is necessary. However, I would never write Connaught Hotel, London, in running text. I suppose there are contexts in which it might occur, but it seems quite an artificial construct to me. In cases like that, I'd argue that preferred Wikipedia convention for artificial (as opposed to natural language) disambiguation is parenthetical.
Of course, there are relatively few things that are truly prohibited on Wikipedia. Whether it should be encouraged or not is another matter entirely. olderwiser 15:22, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe this is an ENGVAR issue then, as I would most definitely write "Connaught Hotel, London" in running text. Indeed, it would be perfectly normal in British English. And that being said, WP:ENGVAR being a policy, it is down to individual country styles as to what we use. Currently North American articles use parentheses, other English-speaking country articles use commas, and non-English-speaking country articles vary. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:46, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
If we're looking at how articles are titled, I don't think we can say any country uses any system with complete consistency. For example while buildings in London that need disambiguation often append ", London" there are some articles that append " (London)" and some that use some other scheme. olderwiser 17:28, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Generally that's because these articles are created by editors more familiar with the North American article system or who think (as you evidently do - or hopefully did!) that it is the norm on Wikipedia. They will usually be moved by any experienced British (or Australian, New Zealand etc) editors who spot them for consistency's sake. However, my argument still stands - there is no "prohibition" on the use of comma disambiguation. And in fact it is regarded as normal for articles on some countries. There is no encouragement of parenthetical disambiguation for place name articles except regarding those on North America (where, if comma disambiguation is spotted, they will generally be moved to the parenthetical form, just as they will the other way on non-North American articles). -- Necrothesp (talk) 08:16, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Just passing through and I saw this debate and concur with Necrothesp that in British English that the comma form is correct for place-names. In running text I will refer to Regent Street, Lancaster - Portland Street, Lancaster- Wear Mill, Stockport- etc- the Connaught, London is a special case that confirms the rule as it is rarely referred to as the Connaught Hotel. If however I am writing a technical article say on trolley buses in the 1940s and need to disambiguate between Running Voltage (Stockport) and Running Voltage (Manchester) then the bracketed form is correct. I hope that clears things up. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 18:05, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Place names is written in the text and municipalities or populated places are just examples of place names. Anime (talk) 15:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Short answer... there is no rule against using a comma for disambiguation. Many of our articles disambiguate in this way. Neither is there a rule against using a parenthetical. Many of our articles disambiguate in that way. Both forms of disambiguation are acceptable. Blueboar (talk) 12:09, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

the country that calls itself the Republic of Macedonia[edit]

I interpreted "the country that calls itself the Republic of Macedonia" as a sarcastic description. The editor who calls herself ‎Iryna Harpy assures me that this is not the case. If so, the phrase "the country that calls itself" is just so much verbal padding. Euther way, this phrase can be removed from the guideline without detriment to the article. Claimsworth (talk) 14:29, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm not certain that it is absolutely necessary however, as this is a guideline page to assist users with geographic naming conventions, it provides better qualification of the geographic issue in context. In the case of Ireland, the distinction between Ireland (the island) and the Republic of Ireland are provided. The same is true of the Republic of Macedonia (the country) and the many geographic disambiguations for Macedonia including historical regions. By no means was this ever intended as an affront as Claimsworth believes it to be per his/her edit. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:26, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
The phrasing is not intending to be sarcasm, it is to reflect the fact that the name of the Republic of Macedonia is a quite controversial issue. Many other states refuse to recognize this name and instead refer to it exclusively as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". This is the name they go by in the UN, always sorted alphabetically with the t's. This is discussed in more detail at Macedonia naming dispute. Given that the point of this article is to explain the naming conventions for Macedonia, and the status of the name is integral to the dispute, I think it is important that we make this distinction in the text. Perhaps if we say something like "the country whose constitutional name is the Republic of Macedonia" this would be clearer? TDL (talk) 21:57, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Iryna Harpy's comparison with Ireland doesn't make sense, as the sentence in the same paragraph does not say: "the distinction between Ireland as an island and the country that calls itself the Republic of Ireland." Using "the country that calls itself" does come across as snarky, intended or not, and should be (and has been) removed. If it's necessary to identify that we are referring to a country, then use "Republic of Macedonia (the country)", just as you wrote it above. - BilCat (talk) 22:04, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
@Danlaycock: I think the fact that it occurs in a paragraph on naming conflicts should be sufficient to indicate that the name "Republic of Macedonia" is controversial, especially as there are no details given on the controversy, and the ARBCOM ruling is linked to. - BilCat (talk) 22:10, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
@Danlaycock: Thank you for clarifying the issue further. I knew that there had to be a good reason for the wording to be so specific. Personally, I would find 'constitutional name' a little convoluted. Nevertheless, if it is used as a wikilink to the relevant discussion page, it would be valuable in assisting users to identify the history of the dispute on Wikipedia. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:23, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
@BilCat: I disagree that the occurrence on naming conflicts is sufficient. A wikilink would serve well to point the user to the specifics. These issues crop up time and time again (i.e., the English language naming convention of 'Kiev' vs 'Kyiv'). The more references to the arduously protracted discussions for those who wish to challenge accepted conventions, the better. These are no small matters to be skimmed over as they are resurrected every few weeks. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:23, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
What are you talking about? No one is adding or removing links to discussions. The "country that calls itself the Republic of Macedonia" wording didn't link to anything. If you want to add more links to discussions, I have no problem with that. But we should not be using snarky wording in guidelines when we aren't allowed to do it in articles. Or do we need to ask ARBCOM for a ruling on this to? - BilCat (talk) 00:48, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
  • @BilCat: Since "Ireland" is a constitutional name, "the country that calls itself Ireland" would make more sense. Wiki has an article entitled Republic of Macedonia. The guideline should not imply that our own article title is incorrect. Claimsworth (talk) 22:32, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Not the entire island is the Republic of Ireland (that is, the entire island of Ireland is not a single country). --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:43, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
And all that is called Macedonia is not the Republic, so what's the difference? - BilCat (talk) 00:49, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe that TDL qualified that by noting that the use of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" is still prevalent and used in either an intentionally or unintentionally derogatory manner. Why are a few words to clarify the Wikipedia position so problematic for someone whose interests lie predominantly with Militaria related issues? I'm simply pointing out that there are areas of Wikipedia (such as the ones I deal in) that are subject to severe edit warring, and you've certainly been around long enough to be highly aware of the fact... so that's the difference. Don't make assumptions that guidelines and policies are self-evident when they've proven not to be. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:01, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I deal quite often with geographical naming issues in military and aviation articles, including the Republic of Macedonia, so the quidelines are of interest to me for that reason. I also have been interested in Geography and Social studies most of my life, so I'm not ignorant of the issues involved, even if I dont spend much time editing those issues on WP. The paragraph in question in the guideline page is simply about handling conflict through consensus - it's not about the details of the controversies themselves. If you want to be be more clear on the nature of the controversy in that paragraph, that's fine, but using snarky-sounding phrases isn't the way to do it. Using the phrase "the country that calls itself the Republic of Macedonia" is misleading, as it makes it sound like no one outside of the Republic calls it that, which is simply not true. The phrase also does nothing to inform the reader about there being a controversy than what is already in the paragraph, which as you point out is not much. So putting that phrasing back in won't help what you claim you want to achieve. - BilCat (talk) 04:56, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, BilCat, that wasn't my 'snarky-sounding' phrase in the first place. I did, however, realise that it was there for a reason before being whisked out by Claimsworth, and its function was quickly clarified by TDL. Under the circumstances, I would have no objections to its being rephrased as "the country whose constitutional name is the Republic of Macedonia" per TDL's suggestion. Would this be acceptable to you? I do agree that it may appear a little awkward but, as it serves a meaningful function, I would find it an acceptable compromise. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:11, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it is a bit awkward. I'd rather not use the easter egg, but I can't think of anything less awkward at the moment. Let's see if there are any other suggestions in the next day or so. - BilCat (talk) 06:04, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Personally, I don't particularly care what wording is used. I just think that if we have an article which explains the origin of the dispute (which the ARBMAC casepage doesn't), why not link to it? If you are looking for alternatives, what about "... the Republic of Macedonia, whose name is disputed, and the various other uses of Macedonia"? TDL (talk) 05:35, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
What about "... the Republic of Macedonia, whose name has been disputed, and the various other uses of Macedonia"? The present tense could be construed as being an invitation to join in the dispute. In this manner, it can be understood that a decision has been made by the community, and it isn't up for rehashes of the same arguments. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 20:35, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
@Irina: I think that wording is sufficiently neutral. - BilCat (talk) 20:43, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
@BilCat: In which case, I'm also comfortable with TDL's suggested wording. I admit that I've probably read too much into the precision of the wording. "... name is disputed..." is serviceable enough to qualify the problem. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:59, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
If you want to emphasize that it is an off-wiki dispute, you could use a qualifier like "whose name is disputed internationally". TDL (talk) 06:34, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Personally, as it's a guideline, I'd prefer to keep it to keep the 'disputed' reference pointed directly at the Wikipedia dispute. Details of the off-wiki circumstances surrounding the dispute belong on the relevant naming dispute page. As I see it, the objective is to inform contributors/potential contributors that, for the purposes of Wikipedia, decisions have been made and discretionary sanctions are in place. If they wish to pursue the dispute further, they should do so within the scope of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 23:18, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Comments by Claimsworth, another sock of community banned user Kauffner, struck. A reminder to look out on this page for future socks. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:38, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, In ictu oculi. I'd already suspected due to the aggressive nature of his/her edit summaries, and their POV pushing on a guidelines page.
Danlaycock and BilCat: Given that Claimsworth is a sock, the question remains as to which of the two preferences should be used for that paragraph as it is still in the redacted form the sock left it in. "... the Republic of Macedonia, whose name has been disputed, and the various other uses of Macedonia", or factoring in the off-wiki breadth of the dispute using "... the Republic of Macedonia, whose name is disputed internationally"? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 09:15, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Either is quite fine with me. If readers are interested they can click on the link for more info. I just think it is helpful to include the link. TDL (talk) 17:46, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Since the name is only disputed by one country (Greece), it seems to me as a disinterested outsider that name has been disputed is the more npov version. Wp:undue etc. Or perhaps name is disputed? But yes, definitely wlink it.--John Maynard Friedman (talk) 23:41, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Good point, John. Would name has been disputed by Greece be too POV the other way, or simply accurate? As to name has been disputed, I'm fine with that or name is disputed. Grammatically, "has been" might be better, but "is" is probably correct for the foreseeable future. - BilCat (talk) 00:55, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Given that it's only Greece that has disputed/is disputing the name, I don't see that it would be POV. For the sake of accuracy, 'has been disputed' without qualification infers that there are a number of of nation-states involved in the dispute. We're not dealing with various socio-political clashes in the Balkan states or Eastern Europe where it would be a touchy subject to name who disagrees with whom and why. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:30, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Considering the length of time between when the sock removed the wikilink, and how long it is taking to work out exactly how to phrase the matter, I've gone WP:BRD by reintroduced the wikilink as ""... the Republic of Macedonia, whose name is disputed by Greece, and the various other uses of Macedonia". I anyone feels that it is straddling WP:POV uncomfortably, please feel free to modify it. I simply feel that, as a guideline, the importance of WP:CON and the fact that there have been high profile disputes needs to be easily and obviously available to users/contributors. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:55, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Perennial Proposals[edit]

I just listed the US place names debate at Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Don't include states in US place names, but it could really use some cleanup and improvement from someone who knows this debate way better than I do. Please have a look. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 05:44, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Brazilian neighborhoods and districts[edit]

Wikipedia currently has hundreds of articles on neighborhoods in Brazilian municipalities, but due to the lack of specific guidelines, they are being disambiguated with too many different methods. Some are disambiguated with "(MUNICIPALITYNAME)" (example: Barreto (Niterói)). Some are disambiguated with "(neighborhood)" (example: Graça (neighborhood)). Some are disambiguated with ", MUNICIPALITYNAME" or ", STATENAME" (examples: Independência, Porto Alegre and Ipanema, Rio Grande do Sul, which are articles about neighborhoods in the same municipality, I might add - what's the point on having some disambiguated with the state name and others with the municipality name?)

WP:PLACE#Brazil currently only instructs editors on how to disambiguate cities (municipalities). I believe we should have instructions on how to disambiguate Brazilian neighborhoods and districts, as well. My initial suggestion is that we disambiguate them with ", MUNICIPALITYNAME", as in Independência, Porto Alegre. Of course everyone is invited to propose other methods, my main goal here is to standardize it all for the sake of unity.

And in light of this proposal, I'd like to request some special attention for neighborhoods in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Should they be disambiguated with the name of the municipality (which happens to be the same name of the state), or should we do it as it's done at Sé (district of São Paulo)? Victão Lopes Fala! 03:17, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

How about Subprefecture of Sé for the subprefecture, District of Sé for the administrative district and Sé, São Paulo for the neighbourhood? Hack (talk) 07:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
"Subprefecture of Sé" and "Sé, São Paulo" sound fine to me, except for the fact that "Sé, São Paulo" might lead one to think it is about a municipality in the state of São Paulo. If nobody has a problem with that, it'll be fine to me. District of Sé, however, doesn't sound as good, since São Paulo districts are hardly ever referred to as districts, people normally use the word "bairro" for both districts and neighborhoods (districts do exist officially, but people just don't refer to them as such). Sé (district), maybe? Victão Lopes Fala! 03:35, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
There are separate subprefecture, district and neighbourhood articles on the Portuguese WP for Sé. The English Sé (district of São Paulo) article seems to cover all three. I think with an effective hatnote and clear lead, the issue of disambiguation is not an issue. With the Independência example, Municipality of Independência is pretty clear. Hack (talk) 03:55, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, good lead sections can make it all clear. Too bad only me and you are discussing this, I guess we can't just establish a consensus of two editors. Victão Lopes Fala! 05:43, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm strongly in favor of disambiguation via "(MUNICIPALITYNAME)"--the rationale being that you see it across other projects, e.g. WP Japan. ("For the 23 special wards in Tokyo, use the form [[{ward-name}, Tokyo]]; for example, Chūō, Tokyo.") It's also the standard used at the Library of Congress. Why not just add this in a single sentence at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names). Prburley (talk) 12:19, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

So we disambiguate it with MUNICIPALITYNAME regardless of it being a neighborhood, a district or a sub-prefecture? Victão Lopes Fala! 06:08, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Next-highest jurisdiction. Although I thought officially Brazil only has 26 states+DF, then municipalities/admin regions of the DF. Aren't the meso/microregions purely for statistical purposes? E.g, there's the city Boa Vista (Roraima) and microregion Boa Vista (Roraima). It looks like the microregions follow the Portuguese Wikipedia, e.g. Microregion of São Carlos. Prburley (talk) 16:25, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
For administrative purposes, we have the country as a whole, the states + DF and the municipalities. Some municipalities have sub-prefectures, each of them with a "sub-mayor", which has some level of autonomy to do some minor administrative tasks. Districts and "bairros" (neighborhoods) do not have any kind of administrative autonomy, nor political leaders. Large cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte have well defined subprefectures, districts and neighborhoods, but minor cities do not, which makes it kind of hard to determine what's a neighborhood, a district or a subprefecture. Anyway, I'm in favor of disambiguating it all with "NEIGHBORHOOD/DISTRICT/SUBPREFECTURE NAME, MUNICIPALITYNAME". In case a municipality has two different subdivisions with the same name, we can disambiguate it with "Subprefecture of ____" or "District of ____", as suggested above, leaving a hatnote at the other article. Victão Lopes Fala! 18:30, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Agree with proposal for NEIGHBORHOOD/DISTRICT/SUBPREFECTURE NAME, MUNICIPALITYNAME. Prburley (talk) 21:06, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't know anything about this topic, and I see this was a couple months ago (although no guidance was changed yet), but I thought I'd pipe in. I think it's a major problem that Sao paulo and Rio de Janeiro are both cities and states. I think that if it would be unreasonable to say ABC neighborhood, city of Sao Paulo or XYZ town, state of Sao Paulo that that complication dooms the "place, larger place" format and requires something like ABC (neighborhood) . Couldn't there even be a place that is both an area in the city of Sao paulo and also a town in the state of Sao paulo? AgnosticAphid talk 15:49, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Starting again[edit]

It seems this didn't get anywhere - just wondering if we could have another look at this. Would there be any issue with changing the current text to the following? @Victor Lopes: @Prburley:

Where possible, articles on cities/municipalities in Brazil use [[Cityname]]. Where disambiguation is required, [[Cityname, Statename]] is used. An exception applies when the city name and the state name are the same: Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro (state); São Paulo, São Paulo (state). For neighborhoods, use the the form [[neighborhoodname]]. Where disambiguation is required, [[neighborhoodname, cityname]] Hack (talk) 04:22, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Sounds good to me... but what about those cases in which we have multiple sub-divisions within a city sharing the same name? For example, São Paulo has a neighborhood, a district and a subprefecture called "Sé". Should we keep them the way they are as an exception? Victão Lopes Fala! 06:58, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Convention for Bangladesh[edit]

There is no convention established for naming geographic places of Bangladesh. This had not occurred as much of an issue earlier, but a recent dispute indicates that we need to come up with one. I am inviting people for suggestions. I am also drafting a proposal. – nafSadh did say 00:34, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposal for WP:NCGN#Bangladesh[edit]

For what it's worth, draft 1 is supported. Draft 2 is not rejected but it is discussed--one wonders what happened with participation here. I find Bluerasberry the most insightful of all of them, and I wish you all good luck with implementing the outcome of this thread. Drmies (talk) 23:36, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

WP:BDPLACE Drafts[edit]

WP:BDPLACE Draft version 2 is now being discussed.

Draft v1[edit]

A proposal for WP:NCGN#Bangladesh follows.

Geographic locations (hereafter place) can be grouped in following levels:

  • Level 0: Country, i.e. Bangladesh
  • Level 1: City, town, district, division
  • Level 2: Upazilla, village, area, neighborhood etc

Whenever possible, articles on places in Bangladesh go under [[placename]]. [UPDATE] When different names and spelling are in use, the one used by administration and found in Bangladesh government portal will be used.

For places requiring disambiguation:

  • Usual convention for Level 1 places is [[placename, Bangladesh]].
  • For a place in Level 2, its upper level location's name is used, i.e. [[placename, parent place]].
  • [UPDATE] If a parent place name is also ambiguous, the disambiguated article name will be used.
  • [UPDATE] For disambiguation parent place, words like district, division, upazilla will be dropped whenever possible for the sake of brevity.
  • [UPDATE] Generally towns and cities will be in [[cityname]] or [[townname]] while districts, divisions, upazillas etc administrative regions will almost always include these words in main article name, such as [[X District]], [[X Division]], [[X Sadar Upazilla]].

A little elaboration:

  • For a city, [[cityname, Bangladesh]] is used.
  • For a neighborhood within a city, [[placename, cityname]] is used.
  • For a upazilla withing district, [[upazilla name, district name]] is used.
  • Only when one level of disambiguation do not suffice, another level of disambiguation can be used. For example, is if place A is in city B, and there is another place named A in B in some other country, then [[A, B, Bangladesh]] can be used.
  • In Cases that are not covered here, minimal disambiguation levels with sensible names will be used is suggested.

Draft v2[edit]


Geographic places of Bangladesh include [1] localities (cities, towns, villages, neighborhoods etc) and [2] geo-political territories. Place names shall be widely accepted English names. Hence, [[Sylhet]] but not [[Silet]]. Alternative and local names can be mentioned in the lede.

When multiple spellings exist, refer to Bangladesh government portal or Banglapedia. Alternative spellings can be redirected.

Localities and territories:

  • Words: district, division, upazila, thana are generally part of proper name and thus capitalized. Hence, Dhanmondi Thana but not [[Dhanmondi thana]].
  • Islands, special places of interest and regions can be handled similarly as localities.


Whenever possible, articles on places in Bangladesh go under [[placename]] . Note that, Dhaka, Dhaka District and Dhaka Division are different place names.

When disambiguation is needed, comma convention will be used:

  • For cities, district head quarter towns: [[placename, Bangladesh]]
  • For divisions and districts: [[placename, Bangladesh]]
  • For places within cities and towns: [[placename, cityname]]
  • For places and territories within districts, but not in a city: [[placename, district]]. Here, district name would drop the part District from name for sake of brevity. e.g. [[Kaliganj Upazila, Gazipur]] but not [[Kaliganj Upazila, Gazipur District]].
  • When one level of disambiguation is not sufficient, use disambiguated name of parent place: [[placename, A, B]].

Discussion on Draft[edit]

Discussion on Draft v1[edit]

  • Support. I am putting forward this draft proposal for community feedback. – nafSadh did say 01:11, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I am contemplating an update [[User:Nafsadh/BDPLACE|draft v2. If someone put forward another draft that will be much helpful. – nafSadh did say 09:57, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Put forward an updated second draft. – nafSadh did say 00:11, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • I think this is reasonable and follows the lead of other countries in WP:NCCS. east718 | talk | 01:45, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Queries. What happens to villages? We have a few village articles too. And, how will you handle the fact that almost all the district towns and the respective districts have the same name. The same goes for upazilas and upazila towns. In case of Sitakunda I used the titles - Sitakunda Upazila and Sitakunda Town. But, how will it all fit into this convention? Aditya(talkcontribs) 02:49, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Good point. As we see in case of Dhaka, Dhaka is the city, Dhaka Division is the division and Dhaka District is the district. Generally, when a district is named after a locality, the pure locality name shall better be used to refer to the locality, and full name X District, for the district name. One known exception is, Noakhali -- which is the name of a broad region, encompassing the whole district and is not a name of a town.
There would be many villages or mohollas with same name; that is very common. In some countries, like US, there is generally no two place of same in a state, so [[placename, StateCode]] works fine. That may not work in Bangladesh. For example, we can find Bottola in every town and unions. Now, let's say there are two towns named Arampur, one in District X and another in District Y. In that case, [[Arampur, X]] and [[Arampur, Y]] are names of those towns. So, there would be [[Bottola, Arampur, X]] and [[Bottola, Arampur, Y]] while Bottola of Birampur town is easily discussed in [[Bottola, Birampur]]. That is how I interpret my proposal with recursive disambiguation. – nafSadh did say 03:22, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Added a few updates to the original proposal. – nafSadh did say 03:54, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Areas vs Thana. Areas in cities such as Dhanmondi, Gulshan, Dhaka etc are now located in a form [[X Thana]] which is both erroneous and confusing.
Dhanmondi is a locality, but it is not simply Thana; Dhanmondi Thana refers to the DMP thana that oversees Dhanmondi R/A. So, the article about Dhanmondi R/A shall be in Dhanmondi or Dhanmondi, Dhaka while Dhanmondi Thana or Dhanmondi Thana (DMP) shall be about the DMP thana. What do you think? I posit, de facto names of localities shall be used for article about those localities, while designated de jure names can be used to describe relevant administrative entity. My proposal focused mostly on place disambiguation only, but there are more to address.– nafSadh did say 05:53, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanas are urban equivalents of upazilas (in fact upazilas used to be called thanas not too far back), therefore they need to be treated like you are treating upazilas in the convention. You can do away with that thana/DMP article altoegther, because thanas are not just polcie precincts. They are administrative divisions too. The subdivision of a thana is a ward, while the subdivision of its rural counterpart - upazila - is the union parishad. I believe your original proposal still holds good. Some of the titles may get a bit long, but short length is not a virtue bigger than clarity. Aditya(talkcontribs) 16:48, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Special thanas, which are functionally sub-divs of districts should be handled equally as upazila. Wards are generally sub-divisions of municipal bodies (city corps, municipality etc). In any case, locality articles would better be independent of its administrative zoning; the same way we are handling Dhaka, despite the urban locality is now (ridiculously) divided into two city corporations and several other entities. So, I posit [[Dhanmondi Thana]] shall be about administrative unit while [[Dhanmondi]], [[Jigatola]] shall be about the localities.
Just found that, DNCC (DCC north) divides its jurisdictions in six zones and each zone comprises of several wards. For example, Gulshan zone comprises of localities Gulshan, Niketon, Banani, Baridhara (under Gulshan Thana) and Badda (under Badda Thana) etc. The way our local government is working, I assume administrative entities would change again sooner or later. So, I posit, appropriate article namespaces will be [[Gulshan (DNCC Zone)]], [[Gulshan, Dhaka]], [[Niketon]], [[Banani, Dhaka]], [[Baridhara]], [[Gulshan Thana]], [[Badda, Dhaka]], [[Badda Thana]] etc. This will move [[Badda, Chittagong]] to [[Badda, Chandpur]] and Banani to [[Banani, ?Mali?]]. – nafSadh did say 17:30, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I suppose island is just another place i.e. locality. – nafSadh did say 09:35, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Hence [[Sandwip]] shall be about the island and [[Sandwip Upazila]] shall be about the administrative entity. – nafSadh did say 09:38, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Question - Are the Bangladeshi terms like "Upazila" and "Thana" understandable to the average English language speaker (our audience). I understand the need to disambiguate the various administrative areas involved... but I wonder if we should use analogous terms (such as precinct, village, town, county, state, etc) that the average English speaker will find more accessible. Blueboar (talk) 20:42, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
There is no appropriate alternative word for Thana. Upazila can be alternatively called sub-district. But Upazila and Thana are always part of the name; e.g. Mirzapur Upazila is a Upazila while Mirzapur is a town in Mirzapur Upazila. Here Mirzapur Upazila is the appropriate name of that entity, used colloquially and in documents. I am not sure if use of any other term in the title will be helpful. – nafSadh did say 21:44, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks for explaining... why not Mirzapur (town) and Mirzapur (sub-district) (or something similar)? That would help clarify what the article is about for the majority of English speakers who don't know what an "Upazila" is. Blueboar (talk) 22:19, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
There are some issues as well. A district in Bangladesh is roughly equivalent to western counties and thanas and upazilas are actually equivalent to districts. Whenever we have a [[X Upazila]] we generally have something called [[X]]. Now the lede in [[X Upazila]] states "X Upazila is an upazila of Y District in Bangladesh". Probably the locality page [[X]] would state "X is a town in X Upazila of Y District in Bangladesh". Now, as X Upazila is the correct name for that sub-district and not X according to your suggestion, the article should be named [[X Upazila (sub-district)]] -- which is a overkill.
Now to be more clear to broader audience, the lede may state, "X Upazila is an sub-district of Y District in Bangladesh".
Also note the capitalization in names. – nafSadh did say 23:10, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - such a convention was long due. --Zayeem (talk) 08:43, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - Almost appropriate. --Rossi101 (talk) 18:10, 22 December 2014 (UTC)Rossi101

Discussion on Draft v2[edit]

  • First version addressed only disambiguation. I am putting forward an revised second draft addressing broader issues with place names in Bangladesh. – nafSadh did say 00:11, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Can we run a pilot on say - Rajshahi District and Rajshahi Town - and see how it works. At the moment I can see no problems with the second version. Aditya(talkcontribs) 03:55, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Are you saying, start renaming articles in this scope to test the proposal or run a simulation down here? – nafSadh did say 04:29, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
An useful ref for Rajshahi is list of all neighborhoods in the city portal. – nafSadh did say 06:19, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Starting to rename the articles in limited scope (i.e. a pilot) would be better than a simulation. Because it will show the merits and demerits of the proposal in field conditions. Aditya(talkcontribs) 08:03, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Roger that. We need an article about Thana. – nafSadh did say 10:43, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Some of the renames may require admin help. Also apart from renaming, some new articles would also need to be created. Please do notify me when the pilot starts, I'll be actively editing from 12th Dec and would be happy to do my part.--Zayeem (talk) 08:14, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
I thought about the need for admin help. Do we have any active admin in Wikiproject Bangladesh? Ragib is no longer active. I kicked off the pilot already. Do we need some page/space for keep track of the pilot? – nafSadh did say 08:27, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
A proposal for standardizing naming of places in Bangladesh is proposed: WP:BDPLACE. At first I posted a draft (here under draft v1) and then with feedback from discussion on that posted second draft. You can comment on this proposed guideline. – nafSadh did say 02:28, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Some caveats. I was looking into Feni. Now Feni refers to a river, and a town in Bangladesh as well as some islands in Papua New Guinea. Now here there is no Primary Topic. So, some question remains about how to name. Current BDPLACE would put the article about the town in Feni, Bangladesh. But is Feni (town) a better name? – nafSadh did say 02:54, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Is there a "British English style" for buildings?[edit]

An editor moved Queen Victoria Statue (Bristol) to Queen Victoria Statue, Bristol with a summary of "British English style".

WP:UKPLACE suggests the use of "Town, County" and so forth rather than the "Entity (Disambiguator)" we use for most everything else. Leaving aside the question of whether that's silly (it's not as if people in American don't use the format "Columbus, Ohio" generally for place names too), there's nothing in WP:UKPLACE to indicate that it applies to things rather than entities. The Queen Victoria Statue is in a place, but it's not really a place in and of itself. The Victoria Monument, Liverpool (also moved) is more a place since it's a building...

I guess my question is: Does WP:UKPLACE apply to buildings? I'm amenable to having it apply to buildings (I'm against it but don't much care) but this would need to be spelled out. Herostratus (talk) 13:47, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

It's a convention that's grown up over time. If you look at the appropriate categories you'll see that the vast majority of British buildings and structures (and I don't think there's any real difference in this instance) use the comma form and not the parenthetical form. And consistency is always best. I also think it's far more natural in British English to write "the Queen Victoria Statue in Bristol" or "the Queen Victoria Statue, Bristol" instead of "the Queen Victoria Statue (Bristol)". -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:54, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes OK, then it should say so in the rule, any objection to my adding that? Herostratus (talk) 14:02, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm happy for it to go in. -- Necrothesp (talk) 16:19, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
There being no objection, I went to go for it.... but now I'm not sure where it should go. I think what we're trying to say that all entities that are fixed in place -- buildings, parks, roads, statues, rooms within houses, markers, plaques, rail stations, burial sites, and whatnot -- should be considered "geographical places" for all purposes of article titling (and I guess naming within articles). Right? (Not sure how to handle no-longer-operative vehicles and small hand-carriable items and whatnote -- probably doesn't come up much -- and an exception would be made for dead people even though they are (usually) fixed in place. Don't need to drill down to that level of detail.)
This would apply to all places not just England so it ought to be in the general overview somewhere -- something to the effect of "Fixed entities such as buildings, parks, statues, etc. are considered 'places' for the purposes of this rule" or something. Not sure how to word it or where it should go though. Herostratus (talk) 17:19, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's a matter of British English style. Consistency is important - between countries. Unless there is an established national style (not just a WP convention which has grown up over time) there's no good reason for adopting different disambiguators for different countries. The general preference at WP:NCDAB is for disambiguation to be by parenthesis, unless there is a "natural disambiguator". Geographic names (i.e. place names) are an exception, but natural features are not, and it is hard to see why buildings should be an exception. --Mhockey (talk) 21:14, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Since there are thousands of articles on British buildings that use comma disambiguation and only a handful that use parenthetical disambiguation, I fail to see what value would be added to Wikipedia by not going with the clear consensus among editors who write on British buildings! And it's not just British articles that use comma disambiguation either. Many others do too. In fact, it's really only North American articles that consistently use the parenthetical form. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:25, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I suggest you take the discussion to Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation. It's not really about place names.--Mhockey (talk) 22:01, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
It's at the intersection of disambiguation and geographical place names so it needs to be informed by both. Summing up, I understand that ALL geographic places of town size or larger take commas, and this is certainly not a WP:UKPLACE Britain-only thing: "London, England" but also "Brest, France" (rather than "Brest (France)") and so forth. OK, all in agreement so far.
So the two questions on the table are:
  1. Which is correct for NON-BRITISH places smaller than towns (buildings, parks, etc.): "The Hermitage (Nashville, Tennessee)", or "The Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee".
  2. Iff the parenthetical form is used for NON-BRITISH buildings etc. should BRITISH buildings etc. be an exception, such that both "Victoria Memorial (Montreal)" and "Victoria Monument, Liverpool" are correct, which I think is what Necrothesp is saying
I'm agnostic re #1, but I don't see the case for #2, except that Necrothesp is basically saying "We've been doing it this way forever and nobody's objected and there are thousands of articles that use this format, and it's really a minor thing, and British people are just generally more thoroughly comma-oriented when it comes to this sort of thing, and so let's not make a big project to change all these article titles for no gain" which is eminently sensible. And if that's the case we just need to expand the opening of WP:UKPLACE and only WP:UKPLACE to something like this: "Where possible, articles on places in the United Kingdom use placename. Where disambiguation is required, a different system is used in each of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Disambiguation should never be to post town, former postal county or postcode district. For the United Kingdom (only), small fixed entities such as buildings, rooms, statues, etc. are considered to be geographical places." [bolding added for emphasis here only.] Is this agreeable to all? Herostratus (talk) 22:57, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Note that it's not just the UK. You will find the comma form is used overwhelmingly for buildings in most Commonwealth countries (except for Canada). Take a look at the appropriate categories. -- Necrothesp (talk) 23:04, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, I don't know. When I look at the lists of skyscrapers in Europe, the first two countries I picked, France and Germany, both use parenthetical disambiguation for buildings. I am a staunch supporter of USPLACE, but really for the most part it's not super appropriate to let subprojects come up with a wp:LOCALCONSENSUS about policy. And I struggle to see anything about British buildings that makes them uniquely in need of comma rather than parenthetical disambiguation. I mean, would someone actually say "the queen Victoria statue, Bristol?" Surely they would instead say " Bristol." If nobody would actually use the former phrase, then there's even less reason to allow a local consensus (people in the U.S. actually would say "I'm from Bothell, Washington"). AgnosticAphid talk 15:27, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Whether unambiguous city names must be followed by US state names[edit]

There seems to be some confusion on this.

  • The WP:USPLACE guideline says:

    Articles on populated places in the United States are typically titled [[Placename, State]] (the "comma convention"). ...

    Cities listed in the AP Stylebook as not requiring the state modifier in newspaper articles have their articles named [[City]] unless they are not the primary or only topic for that name.

  • The FAQ at the top of this talk page says:

    Q: Why do articles on populated places in the United States primarily use the [[Placename, State]] "comma convention" format? Why are those cities listed in the Associated Press Stylebook as not requiring the state modifier exempt from this guideline?

    A: This is an issue where different rules of Wikipedia:Article titles conflict with each other, thus consensus determines which ones to follow. Most of these articles were created by User:Rambot, a Wikipedia bot, back in 2002 based on U.S. Census Bureau records. When creating these pages, Rambot used the "Placename, State" naming format, initially setting a consistent naming convention for these articles. Supporters of keeping the "Placename, State" format argue that this is generally the common naming convention used by the Associated Press (AP) and most other American reliable sources. Opponents argue that this format is neither precise nor concise, and results in short titles like Austin redirecting to longer titles like Austin, Texas. After a series of discussions since 2004, a compromise was reached in 2008 that established the "AP Stylebook" exception rule for only those handful of cities listed in that style guide as not requiring the state modifier. There has been since no consensus to do a massive page move on the other articles on U.S. places (although individual requested move proposals have been initiated on different pages from time to time). There is currently a moratorium on changing the USPLACE policy, unless it's for a reason that has not been discussed previously.


  • The 2013 RFC at § Commas in metro areas above closed by Herostratus endorsed that result, stating:

    2C) State names should only be included when disambiguation is required (per the spring 2013 RfC here which asked the question "Should US metropolitan area article titles include a state name, even when no disambiguation is strictly necessary?" and the conclusion was "No", superseding the previous WP:USPLACE suggestion the state name should be omitted only if the first principal city is one of the 30 U.S. cities cited by the Associated Press Stylebook for stand alone datelines (BTW WP:USPLACE needs to be updated to reflect that).

It appears that the first 2013 RFC was either ignored or later overruled as it is not reflected at WP:USPLACE (indeed, Herostratus noted this in closing the latter RFC quoted above). A moratorium on changing WP:USPLACE was imposed in March 2014 by Llywrch at a later RFC at § Moratorium on WP:USPLACE change discussions, despite the first 2013 RFC not having been implemented, but the moratorium was added to the FAQ.

So which is it? Why was the first 2013 not implemented? Was this an oversight or has it been subsequently reverse (and Herostratus cited it erroneously)? sroc 💬 18:42, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

In what sense is the 2013 decision "not implemented"? I think Herostratus maybe misread and thinks that USPLACE is somehow superceded or needs updating, but the 2013 consensus seemed to be rather that it doesn't apply there. Dicklyon (talk) 19:05, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Dicklyon, that Herostratus must have misread. (I'm pinging him for confirmation.) That said, I'd like to point out two things that seem to be missed here:
  1. This moratorium only applies for one year from 5 March 2014 -- unless something clearly new can be said on the matter. By my calculations, this moratorium will end in a matter of weeks. At that point, everyone can pretend to engage in their favorite WWI pointless battle over swampland, dead bodies, rusting barbwire, & unexploded ordinance.
  2. The exception mentioned here applies to at most 30 cities; this number is probably less due to disambiguation. In other words, one could rephrase this section to read "Articles on populated places in the United States are typically titled [[Placename, State]] except for the following cities. [Insert list here.] These have been excepted based on the Associated Press Stylebook, & that they do not need disambiguation."
Or can we put the top back on this tea pot & let the tempest subside? -- llywrch (talk) 20:59, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Yeah I probably did misread it or something. I was not ruling on the larger question (should state names be (almost) always included with city names) but on a different question (what should be the punctuation format for articles about metro areas). Within the context of making that ruling I also had to clarify that I didn't want to decree a use of state names differently for metro areas than just for cities -- that is, if the the article on Denver is properly titled Denver, then the corresponding metro area article should be Denver metropolitan area; if the article on Denver is properly titled Denver, Colorado then the corresponding metro area article should be Denver metropolitan area, Colorado; and so forth. That's all I was trying to say and all I have the remit and expertise to say, and anything else should not be inferred. Herostratus (talk) 22:25, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, I misinterpreted the first 2013 RfC as affecting article titles for cities (e.g., Austin) rather than just metropolitan areas (e.g., Austin metropolitan area), and therefore assumed that WP:USPLACE should have been updated. sroc 💬 10:56, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

U.S. city names in the text of articles[edit]

How should the text of a Wikipedia article refer to one of the U.S. cities that the AP Stylebook says to name alone, without specifying its state?

Is it "New York City, New York" or just "New York City"? "Cincinnati" or "Cincinnati, Ohio"?

An Associated Press article that mentions Seattle is required to call it "Seattle", not "Seattle, Washington". This guideline, citing the AP Stylebook, says that the article about that city should use that style (and omit the state name). But what about an article that mentions Seattle? Should the Space Needle article say that it's "in Seattle", or "in Seattle, Washington"? (Or In "Seattle, Washington, United States, North America, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Local Group, Universe"?)

The lead paragraph of this guideline says, "This page describes conventions for determining the titles of Wikipedia articles on places and for the use of place names in Wikipedia articles." (emphasis mine) Is that meant to apply to the section describing U.S. names?

Does this guideline specify a style for naming one of these cities? Does Wikipedia have a preferred style?

My opinion is that this article should give explicit guidance on this topic, one way or the other. TypoBoy (talk) 21:44, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Just to clarify, this discussion originates from this thread where I queried Typoboy's removal of state names from main body text.
In defence of his view, Typoboy quotes the intro to the guideline which states that This page describes conventions for determining the titles of Wikipedia articles on places and for the use of place names in Wikipedia articles. I read that simply as a statement that the guideline addresses both questions, not that every statement within the guideline necessarily pertains to both. The section of the guideline dealing with US placenames, WP:USPLACE, appears to be addressed solely to the issue of placename conventions for article titles - there is no indication anywhere that it is also intended to serve as the placename guide for main body text.
Typoboy notes the guideline's citing of the AP Stylebook in relation to the naming of certain US cities (though again, the context appears to be addressed solely to the question of placenaming in article titles). The Wikipedia article on the Stylebook describes it as a style and usage guide used by newspapers and in the news industry in the United States (my emphasis)., however, is a resource for English speakers worldwide, not just for people "in the United States". There are many non-Americans who are not going to know that Philadelphia is a city in Pennsylvania. Removing the state name from mentions of Philadelphia in main body text forces those users to either click on the city article to find out where the city is, or simply forgo the information, neither of which is desirable. It may make sense to follow the AP Stylebook's conventions in article titles, where issues like brevity, disambiguation and WP:COMMONNAME are principle considerations, but not in my view for main body text itself, where such issues are scarcely if at all applicable. Gatoclass (talk) 05:00, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
It's true that the Associated Press is a U.S. organization. The Times is British, though, and they say "Philadelphia", not "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania". The Sydney Morning Herald does likewise. So does The Guardian. And The New Zealand Herald. And The Times (South Africa). Are you aware of any professional writers who use the style "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania"?
I agree that there are non-Americans who don't know what state Philadelphia is in. But how many of those people know what Pennsylvania is in the first place? And, anyway, what has that to do with USS Advance? — Preceding unsigned comment added by TypoBoy (talkcontribs)
Newspapers report the news, encyclopedias are sources of general information. What's appropriate for one is not necessarily appropriate for the other.
You appear to assume that because the location of Philadelphia is so well known to you, everyone who is not a total ignoramus should do so as well. But would you know without checking what state of Australia Brisbane is the capital of, or Hobart? The answers would of course be just as obvious to Australians as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania would be to Americans. Gatoclass (talk) 14:16, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Google Books has the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica online, so I looked there. It uses the same style. For instance, its entry for Cyrus Hermann Kotzchmar Curtis says that he was born at "Portland, Me." and that he "went to Philadelphia". (I should note that its article points out that, the name notwithstanding, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica was published by an American firm.)
I'm not cherry-picking these examples; every source I have checked uses the same style prescribed by the AP Stylebook. Have you looked at any examples yourself? What are you seeing?
It isn't that I think everybody knows what state Philadelphia is in. It's just that for people who don't know, the information is usually not helpful. I would expect people likewise to be unaware of the population of Philadelphia, or the name of the mayor, or its total area, or the name of its main train station. Nevertheless, these bits of information don't belong in the article about USS Advance. TypoBoy (talk) 15:03, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I was about to delete that last post of mine before you responded to it, because I think this is a digression. To get back to the point - I think the issue here is whether WP:USPLACE was intended to apply, as you have asserted, both to article titles and to main body text, that IMO is primarily what needs clarification here. Gatoclass (talk) 15:12, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
In the text, as opposed to in the title, where well known US cities are mentioned, state names to accompany city names are not required. However, that does not mean that leaving them out is mandatory. I agree with Gatoclass above. --Bejnar (talk) 15:36, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
Usage in body text is outside scope of this guideline - its solely about article titles - and it should not be used to justify inclusion/exclusion of states. How a link to anything is presented in the body text is heavily dependent on context. For instance, Paris is linked as "Paris, France" from the lead sentence of Eiffel Tower - to make it absolutely clear its in France. In contrast, Battle of Hanover has numerous links without mention of the state (eg Dover and Carlisle) - as context makes it clear it is describing events in Pennsylvania.
The lead sentence of Space Needle should mention Washington (and possibly the US). A passing mention of Philadelphia in the body of an article might need Pennsylvania - eg when the article is describing events in Mississippi, that makes it clear that its referring to Philadelphia not Philadelphia. A mention of a minor town, requiring the state name in its article's title by this guideline, may not need mention of the state in body text.--Nilfanion (talk) 09:49, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
It's incorrect to say that this guideline is solely about article titles. The lead begins, "This page describes conventions for determining the titles of Wikipedia articles on places and for the use of place names in Wikipedia articles." And you beg the question when you assert that the Space Needle article should say it's in "Seattle, Washington". That is exactly what is in dispute here. As I keep pointing out, that isn't how the professionals do it. TypoBoy (talk) 15:03, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
The page as a whole speaks to both titles and usage in text, yes, however the language of WP:USPLACE makes it clear it is solely about titling. For that matter, the general guidance doesn't really make any comment about disambiguation outside the title.
The second part of my comment is my opinion - that disambiguation is generally necessary when there is no context, and unnecessary when context is established. That decision process is based on different criteria, for a different purpose, to USPLACE.
I would expect any article to say with a fair degree of detail where its subject is in its lead section, and probably in the first sentence. For instance, consider the articles Eiffel Tower, Brandenburg Gate, Taj Mahal, Sydney Opera House and Christ the Redeemer. In each case, per the relevant national guideline, the containing city has no disambiguator in its title - like the US cities on the AP list. All of these articles mention the country in the first sentence. Why would landmarks in US cities be any different?
In the body text proper of the article, disambiguation is much less likely to be relevant as context will be established.--Nilfanion (talk) 20:28, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh and regarding your comment that "this isn't how professionals do it". Yes, it might not be how professional journalists do it. So what? We are writing an encyclopedia not a news article, and have different objectives to a journalist writing for the NYT. An news story about an event that happened in a city will be written in a different way to a travel article about the city or to a government report about that city.--Nilfanion (talk) 20:41, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
You make a good point about WP:NOTNEWS. I looked in newspapers because they're available online and written for specific audiences. But you're right that I shouldn't have; they aren't relevant here.
The Encyclopedia Britannica seems relevant, though, and they say, for example, "Philadelphia" (rather than "Philadelphia Pennsylvania"). The ninth, tenth, and eleventh editions are available online; see, for example, the 1902 edition's article about "temperance societies".
Or perhaps there are other sources you find more relevant? Every professionally-produced publication I could find uses the same style that the AP Stylebook describes, but, of course, I didn't look at all of them. Who do you think does a good job? TypoBoy (talk) 21:47, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Again, I think this is to some degree a different issue, but in response - we are the free online encyclopedia. We have a much broader readership than the typical professional encyclopedia, so even if your observation about what style other encyclopedias have chosen to adopt was confirmed, it doesn't necessarily mean we should follow their example. Gatoclass (talk) 06:28, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree. Even if all professional writers in every genre say "Chicago" and not "Chicago, Illinois", that doesn't necessarily mean Wikipedia contributors should. (And we have not established that that's the case, though it's all I saw when I spot-checked.)
I would like to get some clarity on this question, though. If I were adding a new article, and I had reason to mention Los Angeles, should I mention the state[1]? Must I? Is it left to my personal preference? Does it depend on other conditions? What are they?
What does each of you think the policy should be? Can you state the rules, and identify the principles that underlie them? TypoBoy (talk) 14:28, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  1. ^ It's California.
  • I don't believe that the rules expressly address this particular question, and certainly all of the discussion of USPLACE has focused on article titles. However, I struggle to see why we shouldn't do the same thing for titles as for article text. All of the concerns raised are equally applicable to titles (not everyone knows where philadelphia is, but we still think that including ", pennsylvania" in the title for the few people who don't is inadvisable). The rule about titles is an attempt to provide a concise title that conveys a reasonable amount of information in a small amount of space. That is what our articles should strive for, too. Extremely obscure places like, for instance, "Bothell, Washington," should have a state because it identifies the place in question as a city, provides information about its location, and is generally referred to in articles with the state. These concerns are not equally applicable to well-known cities like New York, New York. For instance, many people would know that Philadelphia is a city even if they can't place it, and it appears from this discussion that sources don't tend to say "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania." Overall, I would suggest not using the state. For one bonus reason, it makes wikilinks easier. (Also, please make sure you use a comma after the state if you do include the state.) AgnosticAphid talk 00:00, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
It seems everyone is in agreement here that USPLACE pertains only to article titles and not to article text. That is the main point I wanted to establish, as Typoboy has been using USPLACE as justification for blanket redaction of state identifiers from certain city names in article text. Hopefully Typoboy will now agree to refrain from this activity.
I will indeed desist from that activity. Though I haven't given up hope in establishing guidelines for the naming of cities in article text. TypoBoy (talk) 03:57, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
With regard to the broader question of whether we should follow the AP stylebook's preference for omitting state identifiers from certain city names, I am not persuaded this is an appropriate model for Wikipedia and see no necessity to mandate it; as others have suggested, I think it is probably best left to context as the guiding factor. Gatoclass (talk) 04:30, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
But what does "context", mean, exactly? When do you call Chicago "Chicago", and when do you call it "Chicago, Illinois"? In what context is is it "New York City, New York" rather than "New York City"? People seem quick to state a preference, but unable to articulate the principles that stand behind it. (It calls to mind Justice Potter Stewart, who famously said that he couldn't define pornography, but he knew what he liked.) TypoBoy (talk) 03:57, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, to be honest I don't think this comment is very responsive to what I said. The rule on wikipedia is that we omit the state name from the list of AP stylebook cities in article titles. Nobody has explained why there should be a different rule for article text. I can't see how it is ever even conceivably more necessary to include the ", state" in article text rather than in the article title. This response is more like "I never liked the USPLACE rule in the first place so rather than accept that rule and try to achieve consistency across Wikipedia I will steadfastly oppose any and all efforts to expand it." Still, though, in the end, people are unduly sensitive to and/or prone to ownership of stylistic matters, and is it really that big of a deal if people choose to write their articles with a small bit of superfluous information? AgnosticAphid talk 21:14, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
In article text, the need for disambiguation (such as state names) is generally a lot lower than in the title, and is the reason for the PIPETRICK. USPLACE is irrelevant to body text as a result. In Effects of Hurricane Katrina in Florida several localities are mentioned, all with "Florida" in their article's title and none with "Florida" mentioned in the article text.
At the other extreme, rare circumstances might require "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania" for the sentence to make sense. As a hypothetical: "Joe Bloggs is the mayor of Philadelphia, Mississippi. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1966..."
The context needs evaluating before working out if the state name should be added any US location in article text. Its possible to construct guidance on that, and the AP list would be a consideration, but it should not be the driving factor like it is with USPLACE.--Nilfanion (talk) 22:48, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
In article text, the need for disambiguation (such as state names) is generally a lot lower than in the title. For disambiguation, yes, but disambiguation would arguably be the least common reason for adding state identifiers to main body text in my view. The main reasons IMO would be for considerations such as textual clarity, reader convenience, and consistency. I don't think "Effects of Hurricane Katrina in Florida" is a good example BTW, because the name of the article strongly implies that places mentioned will be in Florida unless otherwise stated. In fact that is just the kind of article where I would fully agree that state identifiers would almost certainly be redundant. Gatoclass (talk) 16:40, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

US county/parish article names[edit]

User:Prisencolinensinainciusol is mass-moving US counties articles from [[X County, State]] to [[X County]]. This contradicts WP:USPLACE, which clearly states: "Articles on counties and parishes are typically titled [[X County (or X Parish), State]]." Has this guideline been changed somewhere else? Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 00:38, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

  • The guideline says "Articles on counties and parishes are typically titled [[X County (or X Parish), State]]", and this is because the majority of county-equivalents have similarly named counterparts in other states.--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 00:45, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't see that as sole justification for mass-moving hundreds of stable article titles without some sort of discussion first, somewhere. - BilCat (talk) 01:05, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
  • There is more than just a question of the need for disambiguation to consider... the principles of Recognizably and Naturalness must be considered. Because so many place names in the US (including both towns and counties) are duplicative (and need disambiguation)... It has become routine for sources to refer to all US place names names with the State name included, even when the name is unique and does not need disambiguation. The names are more recognizable and natural with the State included.
Yes, there probably are a few exceptions to that norm... counties that are so unique that they are not routinely referred to with the State Name attached... but they are going to be few and far between, and the norm is to include the State. To not include the State, we would have to reach a consensus that they are an exception to the norm.
So... when we say "typically", we really mean: Include the State, unless there is consensus that a specific county or parish should be considered an exception to the norm. Blueboar (talk) 01:28, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I am in the process of moving these articles back. Many have been done; the rest will be done within the next day. Omnedon (talk) 03:17, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
In California and Arizona, around 2/3 of counties have unique names. When you're in that part of the United States it shouldn't be necessary to use the ", state" suffix. Also, the Parishes and Boroughs/County equivalents of Louisiana and Alaska respectively are not going to be titled similarly to counties in other parts of the US for obvious reasons.--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 07:22, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Please read through this discussion above. Omnedon (talk) 12:49, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Again, you have to consider more than just the need for disambiguation. Including the state name is the norm in the United States as a whole... so much so that we have reached a consensus to include it in our titles as a default - even when the county name is unique and does not need disambiguation. Doing this makes the title more recognizable and natural. Yes, there can be exceptions... but such exceptions are rare... and are made by consensus, determined through discussion on an article by article basis. In order to make an exception, you really need to go to the article about a specific county... start a discussion and convince other editors that an exception should be made for that specific county. Again, including the state name is the default. Blueboar (talk) 13:00, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I believe all of these have now been returned to their original titles; thanks to TheCatalyst31 for taking care of the ones in Alaska. Omnedon (talk) 13:09, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for moving these back. - BilCat (talk) 13:27, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Since it's been established that 20 particular cities have recognizable based on their names alone and without a ", state" suffix, would not this also be the case for counties named after them? Consider the case of major counties like Los Angeles County and Miami-Dade County. Also, I understand the need for recognizably and naturalness of titles, but for some reason you decided to ignore the Precision, Conciseness, and Consistency principals for article titles, that's three out of four of them. --Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 15:20, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
No, those were not ignored in any way, which you would see if you would read the discussions. Consistency favors using "County, State"; and "concise" is often incorrectly interpreted as "as short as possible". The compromise involving the cities was based on the Associated Press usage. I don't know if there is anything comparable for counties. Omnedon (talk) 15:39, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Someone the older Bothell, Washington thread mentioned using introductions in conversation as a litmus test for naming cities, I'm responding to this: When introducing yourself to someone while in Slovakia, if you were from Ningbo, would you refer to yourself as being from Ningbo, China, or just Ningbo? Of course you would use the first form. That doesn’t mean that “Hangzhou” is what the city is called, or by extension the name of the city should be. What the later part of the phrase serves as is a conversational disambiguator and to additionally and efficiently indicate which country you are also from.
This is also a bad argument for the reason that most Americans in conversation doesn’t necessarily follow the AP’s stylebook literally when speaking of those 20 cities. Additionally, some cities such as Tampa, Oakland, and Anaheim have widespread notability, perhaps to the point that they may be used in conversations without the “, state” modifier. Part of this phenomenon may be related to the presence of Major professional sports leagues in these areas. In fact, when referring to teams from these cities, news reporting typically breaks AP style by not listing the names of the states.--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 15:37, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

NB: an existing discussion was already opened at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject United States#County article titles. Can we consolidate the discussion to one or the other location. Imzadi 1979  11:32, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

As the original poster of both threads, I'll continue to post solely in this one. It's probably better here because this is a policy discussion.--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 15:08, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of the other discussion when I started this thread, though I had searched for other discussions before posting here. Interestingly, there was no support for these moves even there, yet the moves were initiated/continued anyway. - BilCat (talk) 15:20, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

RFC about new Bangladesh naming guideline[edit]

FYI, an RFC is happening elsewhere about naming conventions for places in Bangladesh. See Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Places in Bangladesh).Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:30, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Alternative names policy[edit]

  • Alternatively, all alternative names can be moved to and explained in a "Names" or "Etymology" section immediately following the lead, or a special paragraph of the lead; we recommend that this be done if there are at least three alternate names, or there is something notable about the names themselves.
    • Once such a section or paragraph is created, the alternative English or foreign names should not be moved back to the first line. As an exception, a local official name different from a widely accepted English name should be retained in the lead

A great many articles -- Judea, Lviv, Dunkirk, Venice, Trieste, Daugavpils, to name a few -- do have a "Names" or "Etymology" section and three or more alternative names in the lead. The guideline doesn't seem to reflect the established practice, and likely needs updating and/or clarification. --My another account (talk) 08:33, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

You'll note that at least a couple of these are under ARB sanctions and, per WP:IAR they're probably best left alone because establishing which names should feature is going to mean fresh outbreaks of edit warring. By another token, Gdańsk has also undergone serious disputes, and a resolution was found it the Gdańsk (Danzig) Vote, but trying to resolve other disputes using it as a precedent has failed... and it's been tested more than once according to WP:CCC.
If you take a look at the intro, however, they've come to a reasonable method of dealing dealing with the multiple naming conventions it. Trying to apply this to Lviv is extremely problematic simply because there are three prominent primary names alone. I'm not certain as to whether this will trigger off anything on other articles you've noted (although I can see the potential problems with Judea, Trieste, and Daugavpils). Some things really do need to be addressed on a case by case basis. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 10:28, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

What about Plovdiv, Bulgaria or Istanbul, Turkey? They all have name sections along with Greek and Latin names in the lead, which is against the official guideline isn't it? Other cities such as Bratislava(a good article) in Slovakia, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara in Romania have an Etymology section along with the alternative names in the lead. The city of Thessaloniki has a Name section as well as some different alternative English names in the lead. How such cases should be treated, must the guideline be followed by these? How to deal with such anomalies, by posting the problem on the talk pages of these articles, by going straight to edit and remove it, by exempting them from the policy or maybe by changing the policy as it is proposed?-- (talk) 08:38, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Lots of pages don't obey various guidelines. Sometimes there is a good reason, and sometimes there isn't. The existence of violations is not a sufficient reason for making further violations. Zerotalk 08:58, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
Here! Here! editor Zero! That is exactly right. --Bejnar (talk) 02:19, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
On the other hand... if a specific guideline provision is frequently ignored, we should at least consider amending the guideline to reflect actual practice. Blueboar (talk) 12:05, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
Define "frequently" in this context. I'd say that if a guideline provision is honored more in the breech than in the observance, it may be working quite well. --Bejnar (talk) 15:04, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Bejnar. It is, after all, a guideline. If there such a unit as 'frequency' in articles using alternative names, articles using a few naming conventions for a territory is, in fact, unusual/infrequent. The guideline doesn't get broken unless there is specific need to do so, and there are regions that simply have too many historical claims to various conventions to be proscribed follow WP:IAR. If anyone encounters an article that doesn't comply, and doesn't appear to have any talk related to the unusual number of alternative names, they're welcome to challenge redundant usage on a 'per article' basis. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:54, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

Convention details[edit]

Just a couple of admittedly nitpicky questions regarding our country-specific naming conventions:

  1. Should we list all the individual parts or divisions within a country where its convention applies?
  2. How do we define what areas are part of a country?

I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts. Here's what I personally would say:

  1. Listing all the individual places within a country where its convention does apply seems unnecessary. Instead, it's preferable to consider that it applies throughout the country, and to list just the exceptions (if any).
  2. Wikipedia's corresponding country article normally describes the geographic extents of the country.

So as an example, if we were to create a new convention for geographic articles on places in the country of Spain, we wouldn't have to explicitly specify that it applies to (say) the city of Ceuta, since our article on Spain defines it as part of Spain. (We would call it out, though, if we'd determined that it was appropriate for it to follow a different/special set of titling considerations from other Spanish places.)

Does this sound about right? It seems like this is pretty much the implicit current practice already, but I just wanted to clarify. Thanks! ╠╣uw [talk] 15:11, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

@Huwmanbeing: From your remarks it seems that you have a number of unstated assumuptions. Guidelines may be stated positively, "X applies to y", or by exception "Don't apply x to y if z". Listing never seems appropriate for a guideline. Even the US city guideline uses an external standard, the AP list, rather than listing. If a guideline does not work for a particular place, there must be a reason for that. State the reason for the exception in the guideline and give a clear example. "Bright-line rules" (such as US city names) avoid argumentation and often useless discussion, but often create unhappy editors. On the flip-side a vaguer guidelines allows rational discussion, but often create unhappy editors. Before crafting a new guideline for a set of places, it is a good idea to set forth the need (the explicit reasons) for such a guideline, and why the general guideline does not work for the set. --Bejnar (talk) 15:59, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
  • In general, if a guideline were to generate more discussion than it would solve, it is not a good candidate for implementation. --Bejnar (talk) 15:59, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Bejnar: Thanks, that's sensible. I should say that I don't plan on creating any new country conventions, and that the Spain example was only hypothetical. Really I just wanted to spark a little discussion and get a better handle on our best practices. I agree that it's good to avoid lists and to leave the definition of what constitutes the country to sources outside the guideline. ╠╣uw [talk] 19:33, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

How do we define what areas are part of a country?[edit]

  • Chronology often has a lot to do with it. Jerusalem has been a part of many countries. Should we have special rules for places like the Crimea which recently changed hands? Why wouldn't those rules apply to California or Hawaii? The article Pelusium probably should follow the guidelines for the Roman Empire even though it was also an Egyptian town and an Hellanistic one. Santa Fe, New Mexico should probably follow the guideline for US cities, even though it was a city in the Spanish Empire for a much longer time. The guideline for Poland puts it this way: When a city or other place is mentioned in a historical context, if there is no common English name for it in that historical period and context, use the appropriate historical name with the current Polish name in parentheses (if it is not the same word) the first time the place is mentioned. A typical example would be Allenstein. In discussions of East Prussia and the First World War "Allenstein" is used rather than the Polish Olsztyn. The article about the 1521 seige is Siege of Allenstein because that is what it was known as at the time by both sides in the conflict. See also the 1807 Battle of Allenstein, since the name "Olsztyn" did not come into historical use until 1945. --Bejnar (talk) 15:59, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
  • How do we define what areas are part of a country? We don't... we let our sources do that, and simply report what they say. This is important when it comes to disputed areas. We don't take sides in the dispute, and instead report that the area is claimed by more than one nation. Blueboar (talk) 20:47, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Blueboar: Agreed. I probably should have more clearly asked, "how do we determine for the purposes of applying a country-specific convention what areas are part of a country?" Either way, I agree that the answer is not to try to define it within the convention, but instead to rely on an existing, properly sourced definition (something that the convention's corresponding country article can likely provide). ╠╣uw [talk] 19:18, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd be cautious of WP:WINARS, Huw. As with the Ukraine and Russia articles (and surrounding articles), there's been an unstable parity being maintained between de facto control and mainstream global recognition. Consensus has been rational in depicting everything from population to territorial size using WP:CALC. I've certainly seen broad based articles that get less attention suffering from POV issues. RS should be the uppermost determining factors, although the article talk pages may yield some useful insights into consensus as to how territories are being described. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 01:13, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
Iryna: I don't suggest that Wikipedia itself is a reliable source, just that definitions made by reliable sources may be (and indeed should be) present in the associated country article – but of course one can find relevant sources in many ways. Certainly if there's a question about whether x area is part of y country, then consideration of reliable sources is always paramount.
That said, you're also right to mention consensus. If sources are divided or the choice is somehow unclear, then discussion (focused on usage in RS) may be needed to help reach a consensus on how we describe certain territories. ╠╣uw [talk] 19:49, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
I suspect that, in a round about way, the same conclusion has been reached: that it's a case-by-case issue dependent on multiple factors therefore, as desirable as it may be to try to create a 'one size fits all' formula, it would be useless in the face of the complexity of the cases. I'm wondering whether Bejnar was posing this as a hypothetical, or whether s/he is trying to find a solution for a specific case. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 00:35, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree entirely, I was just trying to root out what editor ╠╣uw was originally talking about, and suggest through discussion that the simplistic answer would not be a good guideline. --Bejnar (talk) 02:40, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Revision of UKPLACE[edit]

I've been bold and re-written UKPLACE, to make the terminology more consistent and remove some redundancy. I do not think there have been any substantive alterations, with two exceptions:

  1. I've added England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland should not normally be used
  2. I've moved the England-specific "within a larger settlement" clause to be UK-wide, as there is no reason to restrict that to England

--Nilfanion (talk) 23:06, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Territorial convention[edit]

I'd earlier noted in the US section that for some US territories we append the territory name. (This is the form used for articles in PR and USVI, plus a few elsewhere, together about 80% of our ~400 articles on territorial US places.) Seemed good to note, but I wanted to open it up to comment in case anyone had any feedback/suggestions on other ways to document this. Thanks! ╠╣uw [talk] 18:27, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Notice: RfC at VPPOL could leading to questioning the validity of part of this guideline[edit]

There's a non-neutral, misleading RfC at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Wikipedia:Disambiguation and inherently ambiguous titles about the sentence in WP:Disambiguation that encompasses the precision-and-recognizability disambiguation (i.e., standardized, natural disambiguation in absence of an actual article title collisions) upon which a substantial part of this guideline depends. While WP:RM has long accepted the practice, recent attempts by two parties to remove this material from the guideline without a legitimate rationale, and multiple parties' reversion of these deletions, is being mischaracterized as a controversy and presented "neutrally" by the RfC, which did not perform due diligence and link to the mid-2015 consensus discussions, or the attempts to make this actually part of policy itself instead of the guideline.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:52, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

Use of modern names in articles concerning ancient cities[edit]

Hello. Should we use the modern names for ancient cities articles in the lead section even if the modern name was not in use in antiquity? I'm having a dispute with a user here and I would like to know the rules. Macedonian, a Greek (talk) 07:00, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

WP:USPLACE, AP style city[edit]

Hello, some help please. Your rules for naming articles was pointed out to me. In the biography of Prince (musician), his birthplace in the infobox says "Minneapolis, Minnesota, US". Minneapolis is one of the cities in AP style that goes without its state. Are you really trying to tell me to link the whole kit and kaboodle to Minneapolis? I don't think so. Each entity is its own place, with its own article. I reverted a link like this [[Minneapolis|Minneapolis, Minnesota]] but the person who put it there thought [[Minneapolis]], [[Minnesota]] was overlinking. Now I have simply [[Minneapolis]], Minnesota, US. What do you suggest? I would say as a Minnesotan I'd like a link to my state there. -SusanLesch (talk) 19:30, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

From I what I understand, USPLACE only really matters when it comes to the title of those city's articles (use Boston, not Boston, Massachusetts, for example). In the Prince article, linking to Minnesota seems appropriate, but U.S. should not be linked per WP:OVERLINK. Calidum ¤ 19:35, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
Done. Thank you, Calidum, for your prompt reply. -SusanLesch (talk) 19:57, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
You've got your work cut out for you. There are literally hundreds of articles using the Minneapolis, Minnesota or just Minneapolis. Rklawton (talk) 20:04, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
There is no problem with linking the city either of those ways. The thing to avoid is too many links; there's no reason to link the state or the country when what you're referring to is the city. Dicklyon (talk) 20:24, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
Minneapolis only got its AP style listing in 2007. Wikipedia used to name that article Minneapolis, Minnesota. I asked the guys who changed it to do the cleanup of images but can see now that I forgot to ask them to do infoboxes. -SusanLesch (talk) 20:28, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the point in having separate links to Minneapolis and Minnesota, since the Minneapolis article includes a link to Minnesota. Personally I prefer U.S. rather than US, which looks like "us". Strawberry4Ever (talk) 21:09, 11 May 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. Thank you, Strawberry4Ever. -SusanLesch (talk) 21:44, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

I don't have time to pursue this but can see we have some differences of opinion between editors. As of now one of them has made a change back. -SusanLesch (talk) 16:34, 13 May 2016 (UTC)


There is a move discussion in progress at Talk:Federation Council, New South Wales that makes me think think that the guideline for Australia may need revision to make it more clear for editors, and to reduce the possibility of misinterpretation. --AussieLegend () 07:53, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Alternative names section[edit]

Would it be possible, please, for the Alternative names section to have a shortcut. Shhhnotsoloud (talk) 10:52, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Actually, this is not the main guideline page, more like a summary of WP:ALTNAME, which I now linked prominently. No such user (talk) 12:25, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
@No such user: I don't think removing the no-bolding for Cyrillic, Chinese, etc. was a good idea. It's not addressed in WP:ALTNAME and becomes a headache for those of us who work on non-Latin script areas of Wikipedia. It only needs a brief mention and should alluded to here and in the main entry. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:22, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
@Iryna Harpy: Don't know, it really seems out of place here, on the page devoted to article titles. Yes, some repetition of basics is welcome so as to not send editors all over the MOS and AT pages, but bolding of Cyrillic is IMO just too much. I would rather have it explicitly mentioned in WP:ALTNAME. Bolding of non-Latin terms is sort-of addressed in WP:BOLD and WP:BADITALICS (it would be helpful to add a word to address bolding there as well) – do we ever bold non-Latin terms anyway?
But if you still think that a brief mention here is necessary, be my guest. I'm just wary of instruction creep and the burden of keeping numerous MOS & AT pages in sync. No such user (talk) 10:12, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
@No such user: Actually, I can't remember it ever having felt as if were absolutely clear state that it relates to titles alone, particularly as the WP:TITLE "Naming conventions (geographic names)". Yes, I know that it's addressed in the brief lead, but when you read through the page objectively, the title and lead (and body) are addressed here in a generalised manner. For most editors, MOS and Wikipedia guidelines are an 'at a glance' proposition. If it is intended to address titles specifically, I suspect that the best manner in which to deal with it is to eliminate all allusions to the lead and further instances within the body altogether. Reading it over again, it's the "General guidelines" and "Emphasis" sections that throw me because the article unfolds in such a manner as to imply that the following sections are also going to continue to examine the general use of COMMONNAME and ALTNAME. Any thoughts on my observation, or am I just a bit more potty than I think I am? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 22:26, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

Move discussion for New York[edit]

A discussion is underway about moving New York to New York (state) and placing either the city, the dab page or a broad-concept article at the "New York" base name. Please contribute at Talk:New York/July 2016 move request. Note that the move was first approved on June 18 then overturned on July 7 and relisted as a structured debate to gather wider input. Interested editors might want to read those prior discussions to get a feel for the arguments. (Be sure to have your cup of tea handy!) — JFG talk 23:11, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

lack of archiving[edit]

Just noticed that the archiving bot seems to have malfunctioned on this page. Anyone know why? AgnosticAphid talk 23:24, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Minneapolis-St Paul metro area, Minnesota[edit]

I was reading USPLACE and I noticed that our example about metro areas that have two or more cities in the name is internally inconsistent. According to the stated rules, shouldn't the ", Minnesota" be omitted (because there isn't another MSP metro area, I don't think)?

Not sure whether it is better to revise the chosen example or choose a new example that actually does need a state name (are there any?) for maximum guidance. AgnosticAphid talk 16:16, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

TX or Texas?[edit]

I'm fairly sure of this, but I thought I'd just check, are the two byte abbreviations of US states always deprecated and to be expanded out except when in quotations? ϢereSpielChequers 12:41, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

The only context I can think of where the two-letter abbreviation would be acceptable might be in lists or tables where limited space and repetition are considerations. olderwiser 12:58, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree. Those are U.S. postal abbreviations (not necessarily "two byte" abbreviations, by the way; that would depend on how the characters are encoded). There's no reason to expect people from other countries to know them. TypoBoy (talk) 02:40, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
One thing to note, where I've seen them in use in appropriate places like and infobox, I've bypassed the redirect so that [[Austin, TX]][[Austin, Texas|Austin, TX]]. I've done that so readers hovering their cursors over the link are presented with a tool tip that spells out the location's name. Imzadi 1979  19:58, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2016_September_6#Major US cities[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2016_September_6#Major US cities. Regards, James (talk/contribs) 20:37, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:Van Nuys, Los Angeles#Requested move 1 October 2016[edit]

A discussion regarding renaming of Van Nuys, Los Angeles to Van Nuys may have the potential of serving as a precedent for naming conventions of neighborhoods in cities throughout the United States. Participation is invited. —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 20:32, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:Amouli[edit]

This discussion relates to geographic naming conventions and the territory of American Samoa, and may be of interest to editors. Participation is invited. ╠╣uw [talk] 14:01, 14 November 2016 (UTC)