Category talk:Categories of the United States by state

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Category name[edit]

Please see this category naming discussion: Commons:Deletion requests/Category:Countries by category#Categories: Categories. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:49, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

The move discussion was closed with no consensus. See this diff. See also:
That move discussion concerned changing the name to Category:United States by state. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:36, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Better category name[edit]

Category:States of the United States by theme is better than my previous suggestion for renaming the category. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:38, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose It looks impossible to make the name more clear and less confusing. "States of the United States by theme" is very confusing and has a naming style that is not scalable in other contexts neither. --Foroa (talk) 16:26, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
"By theme" is scalable. As is "By subject" and "By topic." They are used throughout the Commons. I think our disagreements started at Category:Subnational entities. You tried to support the use of this new Wikimedia-only word, "subnational." It is only defined in Wikimedia projects. See:
Most people are using Category:Subdivisions by country instead. Maybe someday "subnational" will become standard English, but right now it is not.
Similarly, your support of "Categories:Categories of" at all levels is supported mainly only by non-native speakers of English. Most native speakers of English only support its use at upper levels. That is how it is used on English Wikipedia. It is kind of annoying when non-native speakers of English try to tell a native speaker how to use English. Especially for United States categories. I think I would know how to use English in my country. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:27, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support. It makes more sense to native English speakers. Seeing the word "Categories" listed twice at the bottom of a file or subcategory is not clearer. "By theme" is standard, and is clearer. As is "By subject", and "By topic".
By theme
By subject
By topic
See: Commons:Naming categories#Categories by CRITERION.
See: Commons:List of meta category criteria - "theme" is one of the meta category criteria. As is "subject" and "topic." Any one of these would work in this category name. They mean the same thing overall. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:25, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, it is not category of states by theme but category of themes (thematic categories) which are categorized by state. --ŠJů (talk) 04:39, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
That is what "States of the United States by theme" means. English is not easy. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:32, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not very good in English but I hope, a distinction between "states by theme" and "themes by state" isn't so incomprehensible and my language isn't so different from English. This category is really sorted by theme (so its name can have "by theme" at the end). But WHAT by theme? It doesn't contain "states" (categories of states) but thematic categories, every of them sorted by state within. So, "Themes by theme"? It is a nonsense. "States of the United States by theme" would mean that every state has some its specific theme and we will sort states by their theme. Such "theme of a state" would be probably something like its character, such metacategory would contain something like Industrial states of the United States, Touristic states of the United States, Farmers states of the United States...
If you check Category:Categories by country subdivision, you can see that Category:Categories of the United States by state is fully in line with this category branch and category names there. Nobody invented more correct names for such categories, and they have their good logic. Just the suffix "by state" have not to be dezinterpreted - it's meaning here is a bit different from categories like "Transport by state". This category itself isn't sorted by state but contain categories (sorted) by state. --ŠJů (talk) 03:44, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Most native English speakers believe it should only be used at the top levels. For example; concerning the use of "Categories:Categories of" one admin wrote: "I agree it should only be used at the top levels." That was written by the admin, Rocket000, on this talk page:
Commons:Deletion requests/Category:Countries by category#Categories: Categories --Timeshifter (talk) 12:27, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
What exactly do you mean? "The United States" aren't the "top level", in your view? --ŠJů (talk) 19:48, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
That is the problem with using "Category:Categories". It is hard to define the top level. So it is better to avoid using it when there is another easy category name that works. Such as "States of the United States by topic". Or theme. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:53, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
See above. This is not a category of states by topic. --ŠJů (talk) 22:59, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes it is. See this Google category title search of the Commons for similar naming of categories by topic: By topic. English is inconsistent, and it is very flexible. See also this search of Commons titles (not just categories): By subject. --Timeshifter (talk) 00:30, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, per Foroa and ŠJů. I also believe that if any change is made (no that I would support any such change), it should be to every category within Category:Categories by country subdivision, not just as a one-off for the U.S.--Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:56, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Comment. Let me show you where this is going.

Until recently we did without adding "Categories of" to category names. Some people are now starting categories with "Categories of" at lower and lower levels. Where does it end?

A variety of options:

Basically people want a way to consolidate some subcategories. Maybe my suggestion of Category:States of the United States by theme is not the best idea but "Categories of" is not a good idea in place of it.

Another possibility might be "United States by state by theme". Category "by" names can get fairly long: Category:Architectural elements in Italy by region by period. Its parent category is currently Category:Categories of Italy by period. --Timeshifter (talk) 23:36, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry. All of this looks to me like a solution in search of a problem. In your chart above, the middle column contains the best category naming convention. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:11, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
It is not a convention. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:43, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes. I think it's very important that you quibble with the wording that I used. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:23, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
It becomes a de facto convention when most users start to use that style and no other style without quibbling, which is the case in point. Such "naturally" growing conventions tend to be the best ones. --Foroa (talk) 15:02, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
I hope you don't mind me breaking this thread up a little so I can reply more clearly. How about Category:Italy by century by theme? And Category:Centuries in Italy by theme? Either one could be a subcategory of Category:Italy by century. --Timeshifter (talk) 00:31, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
I think, these current category names are equally or even more undestandable. No reason for a change. --ŠJů (talk) 13:17, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
If they are equally understandable, then it makes more sense to use the current convention for the most part. Use "Categories of" only when nothing else makes sense. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:33, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Ad the third column: Category:Italy by city by theme (as well as Category:United States by state by theme, in case of the category discussed here) would be a real equivalent of the names in the second column. But it would be incompatible with the main structure and standard naming of metacategories (Category:Categories by city, not Category:Themes by city). The current convention have some insolvable problems (I can not think out a suitable name for Category:Countries by category) - but I'm not sure that renaming of all superior metacategories to some new system will not have some other problems, maybe more than the current one. Anyway, the original rename proposal for this category is unacceptable and misleading. Maybe, some improvements can be found, but I think, this is not a promising way. --ŠJů (talk) 22:06, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Proposal: new naming convention for categories of the US by first-level subdivision (state, territory, etc.)[edit]

I propose a change in the standard naming of categories of the United States by first-level subdivision (FSL), such as by state. FSLs of the United States include states, territories, Washington DC, the minor outlying islands, and even Indian reservations. (Categories for Indian reservations are currently included under the state(s) they're in, but for some topics they could be parallel to categories for states.)

Currently, we have at least the following situations for first-level subdivision categories for the US (there may be more):

  • "By state" categories that contain only states
  • "By state" categories that contain a mix of states and other things
  • "By state or territory" categories (there aren't very many of these)

I propose we use combined categories everywhere, that contain all types of FSLs. Reasons:

  • If everything is in a category named just "by state", as is the case for many topics, users looking for information about the other types of FSLs might see "by state", assume that only states are included, and not find what they're looking for.
  • Be consistent in the organization of these categories. I see edits changing these categories back and forth by people who disagree as to exactly what should be included.
  • Avoid having, for a given topic, a "by state" category with a lot of entries and then having to separately manage the smaller categories.
  • We could eliminate some US "by location" categories that were created in order to group categories grouped by state and other things (city, county, etc.) with individual categories for some territories.

The most accurate naming for a combined category would be "by first-level subdivision", but a satisfactory alternative might be "by state or territory". This would be similar to categories for Canada (which has "by province or territory") and Australia (which has "by state or territory").

As far as converting to the changed naming (assuming it is agreed upon), there doesn't necessarily need to be an immediate mass conversion. As long as consensus is reached, people could move the categories and adjust the contents as they have time and inclination.

Finally, there is a related discussion at Commons:Categories for discussion/2015/08/Category:Washington, D.C.. If this proposal is adopted, that discussion would be resolved. --Auntof6 (talk) 06:17, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

I think you are right, categories that can contain all the first-level divisions would be best. The problem would be how to name them (Washington D.C. isn't a "territory" apparently). Wikipedia has w:Template:Administrative divisions of the United States by state, which is also misnamed, but uses "Administrative divisions of the United States by first-level jurisdiction" as the heading it actually inserts into pages. It doesn't include Indian reservations. Category names like "Xs of the United States by first-level jurisdiction" may be accurate but unfamiliar. --ghouston (talk) 06:36, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I concur that there should be a single, combined category containing all FLSs instead of one for just states and a separate -- usually parent -- category for the other FLSs. In addition to the reasons stated above, someone searching for information on a topic probably isn't concerned whether it's located in a state, district, or territory. So, placing all of the FLSs for that topic in one category allows easy navigation among them. Also, this grouping would match what {{Us states}} shows. As for the category names, my preference is for "by state or territory", but I would not be opposed to "by state", if that's the consensus. Thanks for starting this discussion! Waz8 (talk) 01:46, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
While it would be very nice to have a single, combined first-level subdivision (FLS) for the United States, given that there is no reasonable AND completely accurate name that can be given to such FLS's that would properly apply to all categories, add support for staying with the "Foo in/of the United States by state" category names whenever reasonably possible (even though it usually includes some or all of the "non-states"). Thoughts on the issue. . .
  • Foo in/of the United States by state has been used more than 1,500 times already. Although (as used) it often includes several non-states, those (non-states) only constitute (at most) about ten percent of the total FLS's. (By contrast, territories in Canada constitute about thirty percent of the FLS's--hence the need for the FLS Foo in/of Canada by province or territory. Australia is slightly better with territories constituting about twenty-five percent of the country's FSL's--hence the need for the FLS Foo in/of Australia by state or territory.)
  • There is ongoing discussion for some of the non-states of the United States to actually become states in the future.
  • For those categories that Foo in/of the United States by state just won't work, then use Foo in/of the United States by location as the FLS (followed by Foo in/of the United States by state as a further subdivision). For example, the FSL of the Military of the United States category could and should included military subjects located entirely within other countries (England, Iraq, Japan, Korea, etc.). However, to reduce confusion, this option should only be used as a last resort. For example, would the category "Flora in the United States by location" be divided geographically by political division (states) or by latitude, region, etc. In this case an FSL "by state" clearly indicates the FSL to be geographical by political division.
  • Since they are not standard, nor accurate, the few categories "by state or territory" should be eliminated.
  • This seems like a reasonable option, given that {{Us states}} can be added to each category to describe what's in scope, and the alternative names that are technically accurate are also cumbersome ("Xs of the United States by first-level jurisdiction"). You just have to expect that every so often somebody will complain about the inaccurate use of "state", and they'll need to be pointed to this discussion. --ghouston (talk) 02:04, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Another, simpler option would be "by location". We already have some categories with this naming, such as those in Category:Categories of the United States by location. --Auntof6 (talk) 01:27, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

That works too. You just take a category like Category:Nature of the United States by location and merge Category:Nature of the United States by state into it, and it avoids the inaccuracy of a "by state" category that contains non-states. --ghouston (talk) 05:11, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
That would also be fine with me. However, where would something such as, Foo in the United States by city fit? Waz8 (talk) 01:50, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
To me, cities are locations, so they could fit under "by location". However, now that I think about it, including cities, counties, etc. in "by location" wouldn't resolve how to categorize the first-level subdivisions. --Auntof6 (talk) 02:26, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

In every day speech, when we refer to states, we include "relevant state-like entities" (first-level subdivision, in Commons-speak). So, when there is a breakdown of Electoral College votes by state, DC is included, but not Puerto Rico, because DC has electoral votes and PR doesn't. I think that scheme could work quite well on Commons, such that Category:Courthouses in the United States by state should include any state-like entity that has a courthouse, but exclude any that doesn't. It just makes intuitive sense. "By location" does not make sense to me, since a location can be anything from a planet to a GPS coordinate - it's just too vague. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 14:44, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

I don't think there's any perfect solution. You can pick between a) wrong (including non-states in "by state" categories) b) vague (by location) and c) accurate but verbose. I think on balance I'd go with vague. --ghouston (talk) 01:37, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Also option d) nested, which is putting a "by state" category inside a "by location" category, which is the status-quo at Category:Nature of the United States by location. --ghouston (talk) 01:48, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Apparently with nested, you still have the problem of deciding whether DC is a state or not. I'd have thought obviously not, but currently Category:Nature of Washington, D.C. is with the states. --ghouston (talk) 01:55, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps we should have a vote on options a-d and any others that may exist, since there's no right answer and it's a matter of preference. --ghouston (talk) 01:55, 13 January 2017 (UTC)