Talk:United States

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Miles vs Kilometres again[edit source | edit]

Why is the area in the infobox listed in miles first and then kilometres second?

I realise that miles are the most commonly used measurement in the USA, but it's inconsistent with the infobox for every other country's page. It makes comparing the areas of multiple countries needlessly confusing, both for people used to kilometres (who expect to look at the first value) and those used to miles (who expect to look at the second value.)

There was a discussion in the past debating whether to show miles vs kilometres (as the articles had only listed kilometres at that time), before settling on showing both. That part makes sense, but having them in a different order for different countries seems odd. Nameless Voice (talk) 00:19, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Are you proposing that we change all of the other countries to miles first, since the majority of English-as-a-first-language speakers are from the United States? :) --Golbez (talk) 02:11, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
This is covered in the manual of style under Units of measurement: ":n non-scientific articles with strong ties to the United States, the primary units are US customary." We have to follow guidelines and if you disagree, then you should take the discussion to the village pump. TFD (talk) 03:00, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
"those used to miles (who expect to look at the second value.)". Citation needed on this. For those of us who are used to miles, we mostly encounter materials that give miles first and kilometers second. The format of the infoboxes in all those other countries is likely to confuse most American users. --Khajidha (talk) 14:13, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

420K bytes and counting?[edit source | edit]

Is no one else concerned by the sheer length of this thing? Over 420 kilobytes. No other article on a country even comes close to that, and that's including articles in some other languages. As a matter of fact, it is literally the longest article on Wikiafripedia, excluding timelines and lists. I can also recall two templates condemning its length that have been added in the past month. Does no one else feel we should dumb it down? At least a little? jackchango talk 03:53, 2 November 2019 (UTC)

think it's really 35 or so short articles assembled together. Few people will want to read the whole thing from start to finish--but if they do they can take the time they need all-at-once or in segments. Breaking it up makes it much harder to use for no gain to anyone. Rjensen (talk) 04:06, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
First of all we can move the further reading section off, and move parts back in if people feel there are links necessary for referencing. We can also summarise content, and split sections away into other articles or new articles. Onetwothreeip (talk) 04:48, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
According to xtools the "Prose" size is 111,917 characters, or 17,463 words; and WAP:SIZERULE refers to the "Readable prose size" when talking about necessarily splitting articles above 100k. This article is just over that limit. The problem with reducing is that people are quick to tag the article as too long or come here with complaints. Not so many are willing to undertake the hard slog of paring down in ways that don't provoke protest. It would help for those who do try to make sure that the information being taken down here is available in subordinate articles. I don't think that is done enough. Dhtwiki (talk) 21:09, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
At ‎ ‎[417,479 bytes] this is the 19th largest article here on Wikiafripedia and does not even come close to accessibility limits for old mobile phones and dial-up readers......sorry to say now 18th largest since I wrote this as other articles get fixed.--Moxy 🍁 23:12, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
The info box is also very unwieldy. There has been one improvement in that it used to contain a ridiculous number of non-official mottos which have now been hidden so that they must be collapsed in order to view them. This is a good solution. I would suggest removing or at least collapsing the 'official march' - does not appear in equivalent country articles. The US also has an official flower, gemstone and water bird no doubt but like 'official march' they probably do not warrant taking up space in the infobox. The same can be said for the great seal. There is already a coat of arms which is standard practice for a wiki infobox and is the obverse side of the great seal in any event. I would suggest removing or at least collapsing. Finally I would cut the map of the United States including its territories which looks like it was created in Microsoft Paint, makes the info box unwieldy and appears so small in any case that it is of no use to someone browsing the infobox as to where such territories are. Look at the United Kingdom article for guidance. They have many more overseas territories than the United States but they (and most other country articles) do not include a separate map with overseas territories in the info box. A map and overview of territories can and should instead be included in the politics (subdivisions and territories) section. There are also several sections which are unduly long and detailed and far longer than the equivalents for other country articles (if even existing at all on equivalent articles). . Crime and Law enforcement is ridiculously long and I have not even seen an equivalent section on any other country article. I would suggest simply removing it as it is not a topic even considered significant enough to be on the main article for a country on Wikiafripedia. The Government Finance subsection is also ridiculously long and probably does not need its own subsection (this is another one which is not found on equivalent country articles). It is also full of a whole mess of charts. Income, Poverty and Wealth also seems ridiculously long.StormcrowMithrandir 02:14, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
The article is no doubt too long. The problem is that it's … "United States." Many people from outside the U.S. consult the article and add to it. The number of foreign editors who simply wish to insert factoids related to their countries can be staggering enough. Then there are the American editors, firmly in POV mode, who add statistics about their U.S. region, religion, ethnic history, or politics, etc. It all adds up. I disagree that U.S. overseas territories (pop. 3.8 million) are somehow comparable to the UK's sparsely settled territories (275,000—the population of Madison, Wisconsin or Lubbock, Texas). It's a different metric, and the current map seems valid. That said, all sections definitely could be whittled down. I don't know how on earth that will be achieved, though, because every editor and his Uncle Bob wish to add their two cents' worth in every section. It will be quite an effort to rein them in. Mason.Jones (talk) 17:12, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
The infobox, as well as the lead, is the product of more discussion and resulting consensus than the rest of the article. I would tread carefully before editing there. I reverted an attempt to remove the mottoes and the march because, especially the mottoes, are important trivia, their placement arrived at with some discussion.
The rest of the article's text suffers from "tacking-on" syndrome. Wealth, and its inequality of distribution, suffers from that, but it is a much-discussed topic these days. The recent, unexplained, un-clamored-for placement of a new chart summarizing per-capita wealth seemed possibly excessive, but it was well done and relevant to the subject.
In the days of multi-megabyte OS patches, the download of 400k shouldn't be too much of a burden. Our real problem lies with the 700+ references and their attendant javascript. That, in my experience, is the problem. Turn off javascript and see how much faster your rendering is. I'm not enough of an expert to say that I know exactly why that's a problem. However, when I've suggested that it is, I haven't been refuted by those with greater technical expertise. Dhtwiki (talk) 22:30, 3 November 2019 (UTC)

@Dhtwiki: Please see this discussion for the opposition to the excessive infobox content. Onetwothreeip (talk) 09:38, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

I don't see much rationale given for any removal. "...ridiculous number of non-official mottos..." doesn't say much except "I don't like it". Nor does calling them "cruft", as you did in an edit summary. The fact that other countries don't have an official march in the infobox shouldn't hold too much weight, as this country might be putting more store in martial music than others. I would like to see more reasons that speak to why this information is no longer useful to the general readership. If they are to be removed, I would like the information shifted rather than deleted from this article completely. That is, there should be links that lead to the substantial articles on the mottoes, or phrases, and the march. Dhtwiki (talk) 12:20, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
It's just too much for any reasonable infobox, it's pretty simple. We already have content throughout articles about everything that is contained within the infobox. It's pretty clear that there is no desire for so much content in the infobox, and simply liking the content is not a good enough reason to have it there. Onetwothreeip (talk) 05:03, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Is there content on the march and the mottoes in the article? I didn't see it. I would be more willing to take it out of the infobox if that were the case, although I think the present 2-1 consensus is insufficient to remove at this point, given that others inserted that material and it is longstanding. Dhtwiki (talk) 11:59, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Even more than that, there are Wikiafripedia articles on those subjects. If they aren't in the rest of the article, then that is more reason not to be in the infobox, as the infobox is a summary of the article. Onetwothreeip (talk) 08:13, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
Having the lead be a summary of the article is stated policy (or a "guideline"), and the infobox is considered part of the lead. Nevertheless, there are often items in infoboxes that are not established in the article. The mottoes and the march were thought to be important by others, I didn't want to see them just vanish, and your removing them seemed precipitate and unnecessary. They are sourced, don't take up much space, and are relevant to the article. Dhtwiki (talk) 20:57, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

@Mason.Jones: Can you explain your opposition to the trimming measures I implemented? All I removed were unnecessary or irrelevant. Onetwothreeip (talk) 19:47, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

No one opposes "trimming," which is not what you did. The babies you decided to throw out with the bathwater are not "irrelevant" either: major recent history (nuclear weapons, Hiroshima, Moon landing) and the premier military, scientific, and cultural status of the country. In the info box, you jettisoned a default line in all country boxes: "Official languages" (with its footnote about the states, so now there's only a footnote about the territories). The info box is long, but it's "United States." There's a lot editors could do to "trim" this article in the body text, but there's no reason to make the US into Ireland or Luxembourg in the lead or infobox. Mason.Jones (talk) 23:14, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

I don't think we should worry about dumbing anything down. If you want to read the whole article, great. If you don't, figure out what category you want to narrow your search with and start from there. Ctrl + F is also a thing. If the other country articles aren't as long, maybe they could benefit from being longer. Wikiafripedia should strive to be history's both most accessible AND most detailed encyclopedia. Just my 2 cents. Myagooshki66615:42, 23 November 2019 (EST)

Article Size[edit source | edit]

I noticed that there's a warning that this page might be too long, and that it may contain too many citations. I'm new to Wikiafripedia, so I'm not sure what should be done - should the article be split into a main article with subpages, or should the article just be shortened?


Cake (talk) 06:07, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Look up. Like, immediately the previous section. --Golbez (talk) 15:36, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Appropriateness of article 'the'[edit source | edit]

Dear Sir, I appreciate your efforts in this article. My only confusion here is why the article 'the' should be applied before 'United States of America'. USA is particular country.Why shouldn't it be written without 'the'? Why don't we try to amend this traditional error? Isn't it our duty to rectify the errors of past and give only purified knowledge to the coming generation? I wait for a quick answer. Thanks. Birbal Kumawat (talk) 17:00, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Because that's how we do it in English. All countries that don't begin with a proper noun - the United Kingdom, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and long forms like the French Republic, the Republic of Cuba, the People's Republic of China, etc., have "the" in front.
It would be a little weird to say "I went to French Republic" just as weird as it would be to say "I went to United States". It only works when we're dealing with a proper noun, "I went to France" "I went to Texas". --[User:Golbez|Golbez]] (talk) 17:19, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

etymology[edit source | edit]

This refers to a reliable source that we could and should quote, a linguist that questions the traditional etymology and presents the derivation from Markland. --Espoo (talk) 00:37, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

The cite is letters to the editor--not a reliable source. the author Colin Moffat is a sports journalist not a historian. Most experts on Columbus reject the idea that he sailed to Iceland in 1477. Even the writers who think he did so have zero info on what he learned about what the Icelanders called "Markland." According to the book Columbus, America, and the world (1992 p 140) by Anne and Henry Paolucci, " Many Columbists, dismissing both these claims as absurd, have doubted that Columbus could ever have gone to Iceland," Rjensen (talk) 01:20, 23 November 2019 (UTC)