Talk:United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Good article United States has been listed as one of the Geography and places good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

"Constitutional" not necessary or needed in the first sentence of the lead[edit]

Many other countries are listed as just "federal republics" in their lead sentences, without the word "constitutional" with a wikilink to the "Constitution" page, despite these countries having constitutions; e.g. Argentina (see the page for Argentina's constitution here), Austria (see the page for Austria's constitution here), Mexico (see the page for Mexico's constitution here), and Nigeria (see the page for Nigeria's constitution here). I propose the word "constitutional" (which is wikilinked and redirects to the "Constitution" page) should be removed from the lead sentence of the United States article. If free will exists, do I have less of it than others (talk) 16:50, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Agree, republics are by definition constitutional. TFD (talk) 17:24, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I find the usage, "constitutional republic" instead of "federal republic" to be unfamiliar. Where does it come from?
Aside -- republics have a legislative scheme of representation in its governance, but not necessarily a constitution. The word "constitution" appears nowhere in Republic of Venice. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:58, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

America = USA?![edit]

I'm sure it must have been debated in these archives before - hotly, I hope - that "America" is redirected here. When most Europeans have talked about "America" over the centuries, they have meant to include Canada, at least, if not the entire Western Hemisphere. Only Canadians think Canada is not part of "America", and they are a teensy-weensy minority.

In any case, I would like to add my formal

Protest to any many which there probably, hopefully, reasonably have been before, against that redirect. I think it's horrifying!

How about an article called "America" detailing all this etymological and geographical cacaphony once and for all? There must be lots of reliable sources. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:29, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

There's been tons of debate, actually. And according to the FAQ at the top of the page, "In English, America (when not preceded by "North", "Central", or "South") almost always refers to the United States. The large super-continent is called the Americas." And speaking of which, the article you want exists - American (word). --Golbez (talk) 13:36, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! If the redirect would not have been locked for editing I would now have done a typical WP:BOLD and redirected "America" there.

Proposal - change redirect of America from "United States" to American (word) to satisfy any and all opinions. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:48, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

Oppose, because as the FAQ states, in the English-speaking world, "America" nearly always refers to this country. --Golbez (talk) 13:54, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Oppose per FAQ as is clearly explained in the talk page archives in English America = USA. MilborneOne (talk) 14:03, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't see how either of your oppositions are relevant to my proposal - ? - . What you're saying is exactly what the article American (word) so well clarifies. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:11, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
You want to redirect "America". We don't want to, because "America", in the English-speaking world, refers to the United States. American (word) is linked at the header of the etymology section; perhaps that link could be moved to a hatnote. --Golbez (talk) 14:40, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Good idea. And just fyi: you're commenting to a citizen of the United States who began to speak English in 1950, to read and write it a few years later and has worked as a writer and teacher of English for decades. We write on enWP, I believe, not solely for the English-speaking world but for anyone who can read English. No? In that vein, I still see nothing wrong with my proposal as the clearest and most global way of handling the tricky word "America" on enWP. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:29, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Nobody cares about your global way. It's not appropriate to inconvenience everyone for the sake of people learning English. Literally the only thing that matters here is that when native speakers of English say "America" they are almost always referring to the USA hence why the redirect is here. If they become confused as to why, they have the means to go look it up for themselves. LordAtlas (talk) 06:20, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The English Wikipedia uses the common usage of the English language. So, "North American" is redirected to "North America" the continent, not to "United States" the country, even though in Spanish usage, Norte Americano with a direct translation of "North American" is used to designate U.S. citizens, and neither Canandians nor Mexicans. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 05:57, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Among English speakers, "America" when used by itself overwhelmingly refers to the United States (and that does include speakers outside the US[1][2][3][4]). ╠╣uw [talk] 11:11, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
I don't mind being opposed, but it would be nice if just one of you in opposition would realize that all of you so far have opposed as if I had proposed not to refer "America" to the word's most common usage. I only ask that because that's exactly what I have done, proposed that the word be redirected to an article where the matter us much better clarified to our readers than it is when "America" is referred here. Perhaps I'll see someone opposing because they think it's clearer to our readers to redirect here than to American (word)? That's an opinion that at least would be relevant, though I couldn't disagree more. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 11:54, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
But surely America should point to the subject that the term overwhelmingly refers to, and that's the United States. As for making things clear to readers, it's not like information about the usage of the word American is inaccessible to readers now; it's prominently linked at the beginning of the etymology section of the United States article. ╠╣uw [talk] 13:14, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose The purpose of re-directs is that readers will be re-directed to the article they are looking for. My guess is that the vast majority of readers are looking for this article. It is more convenient for them to see this article than one about the Americas. If they were looking for the Americas article, there is a note at the top that says, "United States of America", "America", "US", "U.S.", "USA", and "U.S.A." redirect here. For the landmass encompassing North and South America, see Americas. For other uses, see America (disambiguation), US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation)." TFD (talk) 13:59, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Same reasons as given above. A perfect analogy is "Australia" . Australia is a continent with 4 countries. Nevertheless if talking about "Australia" in almost all cases the country called "Commonwealth of Australia" is meant. Surely nobody has a problem with that, so its also no problem here. --Joobo (talk) 14:37, 10 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose: common usage in English is that America = United States. To clarify, that is America as a separate term and not as part of a combined term. English usage also does not generally recognize a single continent of America, rather there are two continents: North America and South America. The usage of America to mean the combination of the two is generally limited to discussing Columbus and usage in multilingual bodies (such as the Organization of American States). Modern, monolingual, native language usage is that America is United States and Americas is the combined continental land mass. --Khajidha (talk) 14:25, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: I just thought it was worth noting that nothing in WP:TITLE says that article titles should be based specifically on "modern monolingual native language usage" or on how "native speakers of English" behave, just on a preponderance of reliable English-language sources. Presumably, then, the behaviours of non-native speakers of English should be taken into account at least as much as those of native speakers, and those arguing for focusing exclusively on the latter are basically inventing a nonexistent guideline. That said, it seems likely that the current title is correct either way. Rwenonah (talk) 21:29, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
It doesn't have to be in the guidelines because that's just how languages work. If you want to know how Spanish works, you don't really care about how a Japanese guy who learned it in school phrases things. --Khajidha (talk) 22:57, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
Oddly enough, Wikipedia doesn't operate based on individual user's anecdotal understandings of "how languages work". Rwenonah (talk) 02:17, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Oddly enough, Wikipedia does operate based on how a language is used by the people who use it. LordAtlas (talk) 02:23, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Exactly, I agree; that would include non-native speakers. Rwenonah (talk) 04:06, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
That makes zero sense. Inconveniencing the natives speakers to accommodate non-native speakers. What should happen is you do things as natives do and then you learn something new. If a non-native speaker is confused then they will see their opportunity to improve. Your logic honestly baffles me and I can only assume that you are yet another non-native speaker with a grudge against Americans. LordAtlas (talk) 05:03, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
I think, even among non-native speakers, "America" is more commonly used to refer to the US. Clarity-wise, most non-native speakers that I know consider "North/Central/South America" a better alternative when referring to the continents as they too are aware of the ambiguity surrounding the word. So, it wouldn't really stump a non-native speaker if their search inquiry for "America" led them to this article -- ChamithN (talk) 04:50, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
As I said in my initial comment, I'm pretty sure that's the case as well (it's been shown in previous discussions that a preponderance of sources uses "America" to refer to the US). My point is simply that we shouldn't be basing titles exclusively on the behaviours of monolingual native English speakers (which, given the populations of different groups of first-language English speakers, would basically mean that typical US usage would prevail for every single article). It's amusing how just pointing out that guidelines don't apply that standard provokes accusations of "grudges against Americans". Rwenonah (talk) 14:05, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Why would it be unfair to follow the behaviours of native speakers? They use the language most. Many only communicate in that language. Using incorrect English just to compromise or feel more inclusive toward people who've learned English incorrectly is a terrible idea. Learn what you don't know. LordAtlas (talk) 22:56, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I think it's pretty clear WP:SNOW has more than applied at this point. I'm tempted to make a template like {{faq off}} that just says "Read the FAQ" in either as Vogonic a manner as possible or else borderline-disruptively flamboyant. This is just one of many pages that could use such a template. Ian.thomson (talk) 06:07, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Proposal: Remove/Change "Ethnic Groups" section from summary.[edit]

Case for changing the listed figures[edit]

This section is rife with errors. The source cited for this information is a misattribution. It leads to a beliefnet article on religious demographics and does not mention ethnic groups of the United States at all. The true source claims to pull information from the U.S. Census Bureau, but upon referencing the U.S. Census Bureau's table of reported ancestries(the closest source I could find) the numbers don't add up. E.g. ~13% of Americans reported German ancestry, but the source this information was pulled from claims it is 17%. I am not including the actual numbers for each reported group because of the following section.

Case for removing the section entirely[edit]

The information currently listed is ancestry and is self-reported. Ancestry is not ethnicity. The United States does not have true ethnic groups the way countries like Afghanistan and the Philippines do. It does not describe ethnic communities the way they exist in some other countries. Right now, this section states that 6.7% of the U.S. population is American which does not make any sense and is very misleading. To be sure, there are historically notable communities such as the German Texans and the Pennsylvania Dutch and it may be worth researching and listing these, but these communities make up a very small portion of the U.S. population and it is still debatable if they are true ethnic groups.

Therefore, I propose that this section be removed. Ethnic groups are typically linguistically and culturally isolated so if anyone can think of something like that in the United States that may be a worthwhile replacement. Bludragn0 (talk) 07:14, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 May 2017 (I just updated the race and religion.)[edit]

[Full reproduction of article removed.]

Not done: I couldn't identify the desired changes. —C.Fred (talk) 00:04, 27 May 2017 (UTC)