4

I would like to ask a question about Newfoundland, and noticed there's no specific tag for it. Given how this conversation turned, I figured I'd make it more of a general case so we don't have to re-discuss this for other countries that are in a similar situation.

With regards to Newfoundland, it was an independent Dominion (though home rule was suspended in 1933) before it joined Canada in 1949.

As a comparison:

9
  • 2
    Does Newfoundland's situation depart from past discussions on minor tags? It seems to me that Newfoundland is adequately served by straight up searching for Newfoundland. The examples with US states show the pitfall of tagging relatively minor subnational divisions: they receive little usage and thus have little utility. In this case, a search suggests there's only two other Newfoundland questions. – Semaphore Jun 4 '20 at 6:22
  • @Semaphore: Not sure. Newfoundland has three questions that I can see which relate to its position as an 'independent' country; with another two/three relating to European exploration of the land. From my understanding, "minor" or not, we were supposed to discuss it here so I created this post for that purpose. – gktscrk Jun 4 '20 at 9:18
  • Personally, I have trouble picturing there being multiple people who are super-duper interested in the history of Newfoundland, to the point that they'd want to follow a history tag about it. Perhaps that's just a failure of imagination on my part? (And yes, that goes for the tags for smaller states too, like Vermont) – T.E.D. Jun 4 '20 at 13:14
  • The provincial history & politics of Newfoundland were one of the more interesting topics that I read last year (though perhaps that was due to the author more than the subject). I heartily recommend Bill Rowe :) – gktscrk Jun 4 '20 at 13:17
  • @gktscrk - I certainly didn't mean to imply it was boring. – T.E.D. Jun 4 '20 at 13:19
  • @T.E.D.: Didn't take it that way! You might be right—though in the present count, if we said that NL has seven questions that could have the tag, only new-york, california, and washington-state have more. I don't count Hawaii/Alaska due to their independence and other properties which might make them attractive tags to have (including geographical separation). – gktscrk Jun 4 '20 at 13:30
  • I can see New York and California. Washington state seems a bridge too far, although I could see an argument that its useful to keep people from mistakenly using a Washington DC tag (assuming that exists?) – T.E.D. Jun 4 '20 at 13:48
  • @T.E.D.: Only Washington's are the state and George. – gktscrk Jun 4 '20 at 14:04
  • One thing that occurred to me (and incorporated in my answer below) is that US states are independent enough that they really more more comparable to UK "Kingdoms", than to regions in any of the countries mentioned in this question. Of the UK Kingdoms, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have tags, while Wales does not. – T.E.D. Jun 5 '20 at 14:27
7

Having pondered this a few days, I think it should only be done for regions that have their own separate international cultural and/or historical heft (but only if they actually generate a tag's worth of questions).

The most obvious calls would be regions that spent time as their own separate independent countries with interesting histories during that period. , , and certainly seem valid, and I think is beyond reproach.

From a cultural heft point of view it makes sense to have a (for a while the largest city in the world), a (a lot of history has happened there), and arguably a (Population slightly larger than Poland. 5th largest economy in the world, if it were its own country).

On very shaky ground are regions who's only real claim to international historical fame is having changed owners one or more times. In this category I'd put and . They probably aren't necessary, unless they have a lot of questions in them (right now Alaska does, Florida doesn't)

So in the absence of any of those factors, it does not really make much sense to have a , , or . Likewise I don't believe the as a region has much if any currency outside of the USA. I could see a case for a (currently non-existent) instead, but I doubt there are enough questions to support it.

15
  • 2
    To me, this looks all dependent simply on 'number of questions for it', and thus acceptable (or not). Except of course for west-coast as I imagine Connacht & Cork would capture the meaning of that much better (or British Columbia?) ;) – LаngLаngС Jun 5 '20 at 15:09
  • 2
    @LаngLаngС - Well, ultimately "number of questions for it" has to be a necessary criteria, no matter what any others are. The software itself deletes questionless tags. It only gets to be an interesting meta-worthy issue once there are a number of questions for it – T.E.D. Jun 5 '20 at 15:19
  • Even though England and Scotland make up a kingdom now, they had long and independent histories -- hence I think they deserve their own tags without much debate. Also, the UK is technically not a federal country. – gktscrk Jun 5 '20 at 15:19
  • @gktscrk - ...I agree. Which is why the paragraph I put them in says that. As for the "UK technically...", yes, that's quite true, which means if anything those kingdoms/regions are more tied to the UK than states are to the US. But of course in some ways they also aren't (it would probably be easier for them to leave the union than a US state). But its probably the closest international parallel available, and in either event far more comparable than regions in places like Mexico or Germany, which were the examples used in the question. – T.E.D. Jun 5 '20 at 15:25
  • @gktscrk - Doesn't this answer do that? For example, by the critera above, it seems like cashmere might one day be worthy of a tag, if it were to get an Alaska-esqe level of questions. Meanwhile Wales likely won't ever be (short of it becoming its own country). – T.E.D. Jun 5 '20 at 15:38
  • 1
    Regarding German states: Hamburg, Bremen, Saxony and Thuringia may be looked at, others are mostly 'too new'. But then short-time-Prussia-long-gone has a popular tag, while always-there-Saxony-still-here hasn't (and Saxonsa slightly problematic usage currently, I'd say on par with my hyphen-play-thing…) – LаngLаngС Jun 5 '20 at 15:48
  • @T.E.D.: Sorry, I meant a clear line to say that, e.g., "If a state say Newfoundland had 10/20/25 questions relating to it, then it could get it's own tag." -- whatever that numeric value then was. That's what I meant by "number of questions". – gktscrk Jun 5 '20 at 15:53
  • Also, I wonder if Quebec could be renamed into "french-colonial-empire" or something like that. french-empire is problematic as it has questions relating to the actual First Empire and Second Empire but also the French colonial empire. At the same time, Quebec kind of symbolises "new-france" though not exactly as the questions there also cover Acadia. /Kind-of-a-separate-topic/ – gktscrk Jun 5 '20 at 15:57
  • 1
    @gktscrk - I've never heard that term used before (perhaps an important property in a tag?), and it would properly encompass far more than Quebec (eg: West Africa, French Louisiana, Haiti) – T.E.D. Jun 5 '20 at 16:44
  • @T.E.D.: Sorry, took me a while. You've never heard which term used before? All three of those are quite common in my experience. Acadia was a minor colony (should not need its own tag); French colonial empire to distinguish from the "actual" Napoleonic 'Empires' with a crowned Emperor. New France was French Canada. – gktscrk Jun 8 '20 at 9:42
  • I think Louisiana changed owners more often than FL. – Mark C. Wallace Jun 8 '20 at 15:24
  • @MarkC.Wallace - ... and Texas more times than that. – T.E.D. Jun 8 '20 at 15:38
  • @T.E.D.: I'm wondering about if you wanted to specify how many questions is "a tag's worth of questions"? I do want to accept your answer, but that would mean we'd need a "plan-to-go-forward" with regards the small state tags? Delete at will from moderators' end? – gktscrk Jun 11 '20 at 6:46
  • @gktscrk - If that is unclear, I'm inclined to think that should be a separate meta q. – T.E.D. Jun 11 '20 at 17:01
  • @T.E.D.: Actually, don't the recent "edit wars" invalidate the principle that "if a potential tag gets enough questions, then it should be a separate tag"? As it stands, we could come up to the fixed limit (whatever the number), but then for that tag to be added, we'd need to edit the old questions which would be not accepted by some members, reverted, and an edit war commences? Instead, it seems that the more sensible way would be to agree either on a specific list of tags for this category or the defined criteria (without "number of questions" being one of them). – gktscrk Jun 29 '20 at 7:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .