Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (geographic names)/Archives/2009/October

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RfC: Article titles for US neighbourhoods

I propose that neighbours of US cities should follow the convention neighbourhood name, city article title where city article title is decided by the already agreed policy for US cities. More discussion on talk page. Dpmuk (talk) 15:10, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

This has become about because of this requested move which I've now bodly closed as I feel this needs a much wider discussion given the number of articles it affects. Making a change for this one article makes no sense as we should try to be consistent. I am aware that this could result in a lot of articles needing renamong but this is no reason not to agree to this policy. Long held consensus at AfD is that other stuff exists is no reason to keep an article and I believe a similar principle applies here - the fact that many articles have the state name included where this proposal would result in them not having the name included is no reason not to make the change. Dpmuk (talk) 15:10, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I think the state name often needs to be included. It is very common for cities to have the same name (Portland, OR and Portland, ME as examples of two large cities with the same name). It is not a stretch to think that these cities might have similar neighborhood names. Adding the state would be necessary. Even if the neighborhood names don't overlap, the reader would have no easy way to determine which particular Portland (etc) the article was discussing without digging into the article. The state name should be included in the title. Karanacs (talk) 15:38, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Your arguement about two cities having the same name isn't that relevant as per the proposal these cities would have state names included anyway as the main city articles have the states in their name. I do think you make a valid point with the rest of your arguement although personally I disagree. Dpmuk (talk) 15:48, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
If there are articles on neighborhoods in either Portland (are there?), then we may need to include state - we don't absolutely have to unless neighborhoods in each Portland have the same name -, but most of our neighborhood articles are for neighborhoods in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York... where there is no real ambiguity on which city is intended. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:43, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Our guidance on US cities and towns is based on two arguments: they are mostly ambiguous anyway, and therefore they occur in lists and cats which include, say, Middletown Township, New Jersey (ambiguous without the state) and Matawan, New Jersey (not ambiguous, although there are several near misses); it will be mildly puzzling to have one with the state and the other without, especially since the reason is not obvious. But the present treatment of neighborhoods doesn't even have that modest advantage.

Most neighborhoods in San Francisco are named Alamo Square, San Francisco, California, and so on, although there are also Alta Plaza and Russian Hill, San Francisco. This is not consistency; it isn't disambiguation either: we have no other Alamo Square or Russian Hill, so disambiguating by San Francisco is more than enough (there are other towns of that name, but is any of them - save the city anglophones call Quito - large enough to have named neighborhoods?

I think we should choose a consistent method, and as simple a one as feasible.

  1. We may be able to use Russian Hill and Alamo Square, disambiguating where necessary (the various Chinatowns, for instance; the reason for that should be obvious to the reader).
  2. I might consistently use Russian Hill, San Francisco, leaving the few cases like the Portlands, where the city is ambiguous, for separate treatment.
  3. It would be possible to use Russian Hill, California, but it stretches idiom.
  4. I find Russian Hill, San Francisco, California clumsy, and it may defeat the useful WP:pipe trick. I don't see any advantage in consistency above 1 and 2, and it's not usage. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I was the one who proposed changing the name "Harbor Island, San Diego" to "Harbor Island, San Diego, California." The reason for my proposal was to make the style of that one page consistent with the other 90+ listings for neighborhoods in San Diego. Thus, my proposal would have affected only a single page. Maybe you misunderstood my request; it would have had no effect on any other listings or on current style. I was merely trying to bring that one page into consistency with what already exists.
Someone argued, and you apparently agree, that we should instead change all the other pages from "Tierrasanta, San Diego, California" to just "Tierrasanta, San Diego." That WOULD be a massive change. If carried out consistently it would mean changing 90 neighborhood pages in the San Diego area (see category "Neighborhoods in San Diego, California") as well as 70 in San Francisco (see category "Neighborhoods in San Francisco, California") and nearly 200 in LA (see category "Neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California").
I agree the state name is not really necessary. It would have been nice, back when this system was set up, to leave out the state. But is it worth the effort of changing 400 pages now, just to get rid of the state name? I would OPPOSE the idea, but I'm really not qualified to make that level of decision.
If the decision is made to keep the current, imperfect but entrenched style, then I would again request that the name "Harbor Island, San Diego" be changed to "Harbor Island, San Diego, California" to make it consistent with existing practice. There is something to be said for standardization.--MelanieN (talk) 17:33, 23 September 2009 (UTC)MelanieN
This system can be revised. 90 articles is not so many for a cooperative effort, and bots exist to make moves like this anyway.
We should revise it, unless it has some benefit to outweigh its obvious cost. I don't see one, but I'm willing to be convinced.
Amd that's why the discussion is here, with an RFC: to decide whether to keep the "current imperfect system" or to dislodge it from its trenches. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:44, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I have to admit that Vermont might have a problem. We have a lot of tiny villages. Mercifully, only a few of which today have articles. We alwsys list them here as "tiny village, Vermont." Since the village is not incorporated (like a neighborhood), it is really part of a "town." Every place in Vermont is legally in a town, except for a few cities. There are no "unincorporated areas." So the new guide might force us to saw, "tiny village", town, Vermont." A bit awkward. Also villages are disolving themselves. So we might have an article "Barton (village), Vermont" which would, at disencorporation, turn into (I guess), "Barton, Barton, Vermont" the name of the now new "neighborhood," being the same as the town name. There are other villages in town.
So I am rather hoping that an explicit caveat be used for Vermont and other New England towns that are like this.
I had supported this initially. It makes the name unique right off the bat without any need for a dab now or someday. "San Diego" seems unique to us, but one day we will encounter one or more in South America, Phillipines, or Spain, that just hasn't come to our attention yet. Putting "Harbor Island, San Diego" may seem naive and US-centric, when we look back! The Portland problem is obvious. Let's hope none of the US Burlingtons try to be terse!  :) Student7 (talk) 12:00, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
The city San Diego is the primary topic for the term, and that will never change. (See, again, policy for U.S. cities). doncram (talk) 15:02, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
To go with Student's topic — let's say that communities in minor civil divisions (townships in many states, hundreds in Delaware, and towns in New England, New York, and Wisconsin) should be exempt from this, and should be named in the same way that municipalities are named, i.e. "Communityname, Statename".
Something that's not been mentioned is parenthetical disambiguation: except for a few that are at "Neighborhoodname", all Pittsburgh neighborhoods are at "Neighborhoodname (Pittsburgh)".
Let me say first, then: I oppose "Neighborhoodname, Statename", such as the example of "Russian Hill, California". It makes it sound as if it's a separate community. In my ears, "Neighborhoodname, Cityarticletitle" sounds the best. This would mean that we consider neighborhoods within cities the same way we consider counties within states: the county is a subdivision of the state, so we have the articles at "Countyname, Statename"; with neighborhoods being parts of cities, requiring the neighborhoods to have the name of the city after the comma. We already have certain city articles at "Cityname" and the rest at "Cityname, Statename"; since consensus has determined the name of the city articles, why not simply go with the same format for neighborhoods of those cities? Nyttend (talk) 14:02, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Note also that some of the New England neighborhoods or nonincorporated "villages" span into 2, 3, or 4 legal townships, such as Georgetown, Connecticut. doncram (talk) 15:02, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
This is a pretty far reaching discussion that we've had many times before, particularly where it comes with naming county subdivisions. I generally favor using "Neighbordood, City" as the article title. But then there is the question of how it affects other areas, such as minor civil divisions above. Generally, for civil townships we use Township, County, State, because there is often a township with the same name in the same state. Look a Washington Township. For New England Towns, treated as an MCD by the census, we use Town, State. I recently tried to move several Michigan Townships to follow the township, county, state method, until I was asked to stop by another editor concerned that suggested the existence of an adminstrative hierarchy that wasn't there. It may lead to inconsistent styles, but I propose the following.
Just my two cents worth.DCmacnut<> 15:41, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

In many cases, like Russian Hill, the neighborhood name alone suffices. If the name alone is ambiguous and that topic does not have primary use (primary use is doubtful for any mere neighborhood with an ambiguous name), then it should probably be disambiguated with the name of the city. I strongly oppose defaulting to the neighborhood, city, state convention except when absolutely necessary for disambiguating (as in two 'hoods with the same name in both Portlands). There is no naming principle that calls for clearly describing the topic of an article in its title, especially if it has a clearly established and obvious name (which every neighborhood does, and that is its name). "Whenever possible, article titles reflect the name most commonly used, and most likely to be recognized, to refer to the topic of the article. " 1. There is no reason to try to abide by a non-existent naming principle, especially when doing so would contradict existing ones. --Born2cycle (talk) 19:44, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

This RFC was opened in response to a simple move request for one neighborhood in San Diego, California. I think it's crazy to prevent the local wikipedians from the San Diego area from cleaning up their local system of names, until a U.S. wide system is agreed upon, which is highly unlikely anytime soon. I note however that Category:Neighborhoods in San Diego, California is not entirely uniform; the original request is not just as simple as originally presented. It is not just to rename a single oddly named one to conform to all its local neighbors. I myself don't think the San Diego neighborhoods naming system has to be entirely uniform, but it is worth having a San Diego-specific discussion that could possibly reach a consensus to make them all uniform one way or the other, or which could possibly otherwise rename a few of them, without it having to be part of a U.S.-wide discussion. It seems that there are thorny issues about New England "villages" which are quite unrelated. I assume there are editors who know and care about New England who have no expertise about California city neighborhoods and vice versa. San Diego is also a special case, and whether "California" should be appended to "Harbor Island, San Diego", or to "East Village, San Diego" could depend upon how much possibility in readers minds there could be that there could be a Harbor Island or an East Village in one of the other San Diegos. I personally think it might be reasonable to append "California" for clarity to the lesser neighborhood names, even though "California" is not needed for "San Diego" itself and it may not be needed for more distinct neighborhoods like "Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego".
Should San Diego neighborhood names be discussed here or in a different RFC? A narrower RFC, perhaps hosted at Talk:San Diego could be announced at California-related wikiprojects and Talk pages. doncram (talk) 01:36, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Lots of good points. I agree that it makes sense that San Diego decide its own naming conventions, which it has done.
But I think even "Harbor Island, Walla Walla" is US-centric, presuming that everyone knows where Walla Walla is! Student7 (talk) 12:27, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

I think it does make sense to try to have some consistency in naming. Up to now the cities in California, at least, have been about 95% consistent in naming city neighborhoods according to the formula "Neighborhoodname, Cityname, Statename". I agree that may not be the best system, but I had assumed it would be just too much trouble to change all 350-400 such pages to something else. If people do think it is worth the effort to re-do the convention - and if people are actually available and willing to do it - then let's please discuss it and reach a consensus.

First let's agree that we are discussing ONLY neighborhoods in larger cities, where it is clear to all that the neighborhood lies within the city and is part of it, geographically and politically and in common usage. Villages and townships and such have different issues and can be discussed elsewhere. For naming neighborhoods within larger cities, possible conventions include:

Neighborhoodname, Cityname, Statename. This is the existing convention, at least in California. Examples:

Neighborhoodname, Cityname, where the cityname is done in the same way as the city's main article The examples would become:

Neighborhoodname (Cityname), where the city name is done in the same way as the city's main article. The examples would become:

Comments, or a proposal? --MelanieN (talk) 14:45, 25 September 2009 (UTC)MelanieN

I'll re-iterate what I've said before elsewhere. I am in general agreement with Born2cycle regarding neighborhoods within incorporated cities. If there is no other article with that name (and assuming the neighborhood is notable enough to have a separate article), then the article should be at the simplest name. Where disambiguation is necessary, parenthetical disambiguation should be used rather than the comma-convention. The disambiguating phrase should reflect that of the parent city. So if the parent city is named City, State, the neighborhood would be Neighborhood (City, State), and if the parent city is named simply City, then the neighborhood would be Neighborhood (City). The comma convention, such as it is, is based in large part on postal conventions. The practice of inserting a third level disambiguator is, IMO, something of an aberration that is not in common use outside of Wikipedia and perhaps some gazetteer-style directories. olderwiser 18:37, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Bkonrad (older ≠ wiser) that Neighborhood, City, State is odd. It has always looked odd to me, but I've made sure any articles I work on keep to that prevailing convention. If we are going to change the convention, and I think we should, I'd prefer Neighborhood (City, State) when the city's article has a state name attached, and Neighborhood (City) when it doesn't (for example, Neighborhood (Portland, Oregon) vs. Neighborhood (Seattle)). I'm not 100% sure about places not needing disambiguation. Personally, I think neighborhoods, unless they are internationally known, could stand a little "pre-disambiguation"--to use an example from my state, there is a neighborhood known as Croisan-Illahe (which may or may not be notable--I'm just using it for illustration purposes). Likely this would never need disambiguation, but perhaps it needs some context, which in this example would be Croisan-Illahe (Salem, Oregon). However, if we can agree on how neighborhoods should be dabbed, then perhaps we can further work on an agreement about when they should be. First things first. Also, as far as the mess a change in naming convention would create (per WP:ITSTOOHARDTOFIX), it seems someone can always program a bot to fix just about anything of this nature, so why should this be any different? Cheers, Katr67 (talk) 20:18, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I never understood what makes geographic topics substantially different from other topics for many editors to feel that they are able to "stand a little 'pre-disambiguation'". It's so much simpler and consistent to simply use the name of whatever it is, unless more precision is necessary because of a conflict with some other use of that name. Predisambiguating city names is bad enough, but the horrendous result of extending this logic to neighborhoods reveals the fundamental flaw in principle of doing this. I say, keep it simple. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:08, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
If you are addressing me directly, could you? (Instead of referring to "many editors" you might ask me why I feel the way I do.) Well, no mind. Let's keep it simple. I've struck my remarks said in passing in order to focus on the topic at hand. Like I said. No need to reply further to me here. Thanks. Katr67 (talk) 23:07, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we know you can't. The reason, for everybody else, is that 77% of all American municipalities are ambiguous, and have to be disambiguated anyway; the other 23% then look odd and unusual, because they are. This should not apply to most neighborhoods; are there neighborhoods called Springfield? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:58, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Whether it's 33% or 3% or 99% that are unnecessarily disambiguated, it's still unnecessary. Does Los Angeles look odd and unusual because Portland, Oregon is disambiguated? Carmel-by-the-Sea would look odd and unusual because Paris, Texas is disambiguated? I think not. To the contrary, if only those cities that needed to be disambiguated were disambiguated, then you could tell whether the name of a give city topic had other uses or not, just like you can with just about any other topic in Wikipedia. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:50, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the problem with all of the three above proposals is that they call of unnecessary disambiguation. In contrast, what is suggested by Bkonrad is to use just the name of the neighborhood for the title of the article whenever possible (that is, there is no conflict for that name). Thus, Kearny Mesa and Bay Park, San Diego (or Bay Park (San Diego), my preference) (because there is only one Kearny Mesa, the one in San Diego, but multiple Bay Parks, as seen at Bay Park. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:20, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea of including the name of the city, since the neighborhood only exists as a part of the city - the city is an important part of the neighborhood's identity. Something to indicate that's what it is would be helpful to readers. In other words, "Linda Vista" alone gives the reader no clue where or what Linda Vista is or what the article is about, whereas "Linda Vista (San Diego)" makes it clear. That would be in line with the current convention for naming cities, which follows AP style in saying there are only about 20 American cities that need no state name appended. Why would it be OK to have an article named "Linda Vista", a mere neighborhood, while a nearby separate city is listed as "El Cajon, California"?
BTW neighborhood names are so commonly repeated across the U.S. that it's unlikely many are unique. The creator of an article may think it is unique when it is actually not. For example, there is another neighborhood in another California city also named Linda Vista. Such articles would need to be called "Linda Vista (San Diego)" and "Linda Vista (Pasadena, California)" no matter what arguments are made here in favor of "simplification". (I tend to prefer the parenthetic clarification since, as others have pointed out, "Linda Vista, Pasadena, California" is just not a phrase that occurs in nature. --MelanieN (talk) 23:12, 25 September 2009 (UTC)MelanieN
Of course I agree with you that the name Linda Vista (San Diego) is more informative than is Linda Vista, but providing any information other than the name about the topic of an article is not the role of an article title... that is the role of article content. Click on WP:RANDOM a few times to get a feel for how articles are named in WP, and to see that conveying any information besides the name is not the purpose of an article title.

As to the other problem, I'm glad you brought that up. It is the responsibility of the article creator to check for other uses of the name. One of the big problems with articles that are predisambiguated is that the naming convention facilitates ignoring that responsibility - the creator is likely to simply create the article at the pre-determined pre-disambiguated name. On the other hand, if you only predab when necessary, then the creating editor naturally first checks to see if the plain name is available, and uses the name if there are no other uses, or deals with ambiguity issues if there are other uses (creates a dab page, hat links, moves, or whatever is required to deal with the ambiguity - work that is necessary regardless of what the convention is). All that stuff tends to get missed when names are predabbed. I've seen it time and time again. For example, some TV episode names were being predabbed (with the name of the series) for certain series. So what would happen is that the name would automatically be made EpisodeName (SeriesName) even when EpisodeName did not exist. Then maybe another article using that name would be created, and it would appear to be unused. If the original article had been put at EpisodeName, then when the new article with the same name was being created, that editor would see the existing use at EpisodeName and then move it to a dabbed name (make room for a dab page), or whatever.

Predabbing creates way more problems than it solves. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:50, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

We can agree, at least, that pre-dabbing neighborhoods causes more problems than it solves.Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:12, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Agree that discussion here, however interesting and informative, is not going to get us anywhere. I think we should quit and return to local auspices (which were working in SD!).
I admit that Vermont unincorporated villages which had their own identity outside their town, maybe shouldn't (gulp!). That was a local phenomenon though.
And I do also have an interest in California place names. I did think La Jolla was a independent city for a long time.
I find dropping "California" from the title US-Centric.
When I search for anything, I use an outside search engine (google) and almost always hit the wikipedia article I want within the first one or two items. Having a lengthy title is not a drawback (except to editor who above mentioned it was a pain to pipe in a link. Agree to that, but I generally have to find the article to get the right title anyway, which I then copy to the link). Student7 (talk) 12:10, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) One more consideration, for any policy about neighborhood article names in the U.S., is that there are many hundreds of neighborhoods that are named for a historic house, such as neighborhood Montpelier, Hanover County, Virginia named for Montpelier (Orange, Virginia). I have encountered literally hundreds of these because i have worked on disambiguating NRHP-listed buildings, and there are many southern plantations and other situations where there is both a house or plantation, plus a community taking the same name. It has seemed to work well, that geographic areas are named using commas for disambiguation, while individual buildings are named using the building name, plus parenthetical mention of geographic area, as in Building (City, State). I like the use of commas only in geographic names. I would hate to see artificial constructions like "Montpelier (neighborhood), Hanover County, Virginia" or "Montpelier (house in Orange, Virginia)". doncram (talk) 12:27, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Semptentrionalis said "We can agree, at least, that pre-dabbing neighborhoods causes more problems than it solves."
No, we are not agreed on that. Pre-dabbing neighborhoods (as is already required for cities) PREVENTS problems before they arise. I can just imagine the battles over which "Linda Vista" or which "Westwood" gets to be the one without a dab! "I created my article first!" "Yeah, but my Westwood is bigger than yours!" By providing the city in parentheses, there is never any doubt or any argument - and the people who have to listen to arguments about name changes can deal with more significant issues, instead of having to judge every neighborhood name in the country individually.
To me the bottom line is simple: if cities are required to include the state - and they are - then neighborhoods should be required to include the city. Westwood (Los Angeles), not just Westwood. --MelanieN (talk) 16:02, 27 September 2009 (UTC)MelanieN
There, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with requiring cities to include the state. You seemed to ignore the points I made above, but how predabbing creates, rather than prevents, problems. The problems you say are created by predabbing actually exist whether predabbing is done or not. That is, the primary use of Westwood, for example, needs to be decided and debated regardless of which naming convention is used. The only difference is that if predabbing is the norm, then that decision is likely to not get made, and appropriate redirects, dab pages, hat notes, etc. are likely to not be created.

If you're not following this, try this: what problem does predabbing PREVENT that does not exist if the names are not predabbed? --Born2cycle (talk) 17:49, 28 September 2009 (UTC)


As far as I can see we are never going to get everyone agreeing on everything but I feel the question can be broken down into several smaller, mutually exclusive, questions which I think we do have some possibility of getting consensus on. Combining these would then give us the outline of a new policy. The three main questions and the possible answers are, as far as I can see:
1. When should we disambiguate?

a) All the time
b) Only when neccessary

2. If we do disambiguate what should we use?

a) Just the city except when two neighbours have the same name in two cities which also share the same name.
b) Always use city and state.
c) Follow the lead article for the city.

3. How do we seperate the disabiguation element?

a) Commas
b) Brackets

Another issue relates to what situations we'd apply the new policy to. I'd suggest something along the lines of the following "Applies when the neighbourhood is generally considered to be part of the city ignoring legal considerations (e.g. this does not apply where every settlement is legally part of a town as in Vermont). I admit I'm not that knowledgeable of that aspect of this debate so it's probably not the best wording. So, how do people feel about getting consensus on each of the three questions above, as well as some statement as to where it applies, and then combing these into some sort of new polciy statement? Dpmuk (talk) 14:11, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your proposal, relating to neighborhoods which are generally understood to be part of a larger city.
1. When should we disambuguate? a) all the time (as is currently done with cities, which are listed as City, State with a few well-defined exceptions).
2. What city information should we use? c) follow the lead article for the city.
3. How do we separate the disambiguation element? b) parentheses Neighborhoodname (Cityname)
  • 1. When should we disambiguate neighborhood names? b, per WP:NC - only be as precise as necessary - unnecessary precision creates more problems and solves none.

    2. If we do dab what should we use? a) just the city except also include state.

    3. Dab with comma or brackets? Slight preference for b) brackets -- e.g., Chinatown (San Francisco) -- but I'm okay with comma for the city (e.g., Chinatown, San Francisco, except when state is required, in which case brackets for the state should definitely be used... Downtown, Portland (Oregon). --Born2cycle (talk) 18:04, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks also for proposal.
1. When should we disambiguate? a) All the time (Because, I think that "when necessary" pretty much means all the time. Note in a discussion about neighborhoods, many editors here are thinking just about names for neighborhoods, not thinking about all the other things like buildings, parks, schools which also carry the same name. "Brown's Ferry" could mean a school to many; it could mean a park, a location, a neighborhood, or it could mean a nuclear plant, apparently. If u mean the neighborhood in Washington, call it "Brown's Ferry, Washington" or "Brown's Ferry, City, Washington". If a name seems to be unique, for now, the article can be "Poquetanuck, City, State", with the seemingly unique "Poquetanuck" redirecting to that. Or if there is a New England exception to naming the City/Town, that one could be "Poquetanuck, State". Later when the name is found to be a name for a tribe or whatever then the redirect is to be changed to a disambiguation page, and no change to all the articles linking to the neighborhood article are needed, and the name of the article always looks like what it is, a geographic place name.)
2. If we do disambiguate what should we use? b) Always use city and state. That is best as a rule for a guideline that will, no matter what we wish, have exceptions. Perhaps unless the neighborhood and city combination are very distinctive and for many/most readers would be known, as in perhaps "Gaslight Quarter, San Diego". (But even then I think adding ", California" is fine.)
3. How do we separate the disambiguation element? a) Commas (So that the very understandable practice of naming geographic areas with comma separation is extended to these geographic areas, too, and so that parentheses can be used to separate geographic names when disambiguating other things like historic buildings, e.g. "Montpelier (City, State)" for the building, while "Montpelier, City, State" means a geographic name for a neighborhood or hamlet.
doncram (talk) 19:58, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
"many editors here are thinking just about names for neighborhoods". Not me. The whole point of "disambiguate only when necessary" is to check against ALL other uses of the name in question. Yes, if there are other uses notable enough to have articles in Wikipedia, then by all means, disambiguate. But if there are no other such uses -- which is often the case despite your assertion to the contrary -- then disambiguation is totally unnecessary, and problematic.

What is suggested with the example of "Poquetanuck" is idealistic - what happens much more often is that the plain redirect is not created at all, or, its existence as a redirect is often assumed by the creator of a new article with that name to imply that the existing article only has a "soft" claim on that name and so they take it. We see this fairly often when a U.S. city name conflicts with another city or something else in another country. The argument is made that the U.S. article is already at "Whatever, State", so they are free to use "Whatever" for their article rather than change "Whatever" from being a redirect to being a dab page.

When the title of an article is at UniqueName, City or UniqueName, State that implies to many editors that that article has little or no claim to UniqueName, and they are free to use it for some other article. The fact that each of these is not a dab page (or a redirect), despite each of them also being a name of at least one U.S. city, can be directly blamed on the predisambiguating convention for U.S. cities: Chesterfield, Birmingham, Norfolk, Cambridge. And that's just a few examples off the top of my head. The point is, by predisambiguating the title of a given topic, that topic loses "weight" in debates about the primary usage of that name; this is one of the more-difficult-to-see negative effects of predisambuating article titles. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:11, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't get ur point about "Chesterfield", "Birmingham", "Norfolk", and "Cambridge", which had historic uses for places in England, before ever applied to U.S. cities. Do u wamt this thread to be a U.S.-centric complaint or argument that we should fight against English places getting wp:PRIMARYUSAGE status? I think/hope not. :)
But, ah, perhaps there r some editors who create UniqueName, City when UniqueName is not yet taken. They should immediately create UniqueName as a redirect immediately, to be tranformed probably into a disambiguation page. Or create the dab. Rather than taking "Uniquename" temporarily, when it is an obviously common name, as any Google searching would indicate. And anyone should pause before tranforming a redirect into something else entirely; obviously a dab should be considered first, if there is not an obvious primary usage (contrary to suggestion by redirect). This is sensible "pre-disambiguating". What matters is what is likely to be wikipedia notable eventually, not just what already has a wikipedia article. For the Brown's Ferry example, which i just made up out of the blue, someone had at least created a redirect from that name to a more specificly named article. It would be silly, IMO, to start the nuclear power plant article at the too general name, which will surely gain other wikipedia uses. doncram (talk) 03:45, 29 September 2009 (UTC) P.S. I'll convert the Brown's Ferry redirect to a dab now. Up to now it was a redirect to Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant. Wikipedia needs more "pre-disambiguating", meaning creating of dab pages to avoid future page-moves and invalidation of links to articles that will surely be moved later. doncram (talk) 04:07, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Dab pages should not be created when there is nothing to dab. But my point is that when a title is considered if titles are predabbed (using additional precision regardless of whether that additional precision is necessary to make the title unambiguous) then the natural tendency is to ignore other uses of that name, which is why names like Brown's Ferry incorrectly remain articles or redirects to articles rather than dab pages for so long. You can argue that that's just a problem that needs fixing until the cow's come home - I'm pointing out that with predabbing you're essentially creating an environment that fosters that problem, over and over, without end. --Born2cycle (talk) 14:26, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

1b, disambiguate only when necessary. 2c, the disambiguating phrase should match the city article. 3b, use parenthetical disambiguation. olderwiser 16:42, 3 October 2009 (UTC)