So we have a question on Plymouth and frankly based on the title I thought it was about the town in Massachusetts where the Mayflower landed (also Plymouth) - ie the 'steps' off the Mayflower.


Anyway, they've used the tag as well, but is there anything we can do to make examples like this clearer?


3 Answers 3


I'm almost certain we have had similar issues before. The most sensible thing to do is have two tags, and , to differentiate between the two. Users applying the tag should have no problem choosing the appropriate one.

  • How is cambridge or aberdeen dealt with?
    – user141
    May 23, 2014 at 14:53
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    @andra Of genuinely (IMHO) ambiguous major destinations, cambridge and manchester are for the English places, christchurch for the Kiwi, perth for the Australian, and memphis for the American— but there are no questions about their counterparts. san-jose is for the capital of Costa Rica, as opposed to san-jose-california. santiago-de-chile is already explicit as are washington-state and washington-dc. We have no tags at all thus far for Arlington, Birmingham, Halifax, Kingston, Lexington, Newcastle, Newport, Portsmouth, or Worcester.
    – choster
    May 23, 2014 at 15:42
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    @pnuts: it's generally discouraged to resolve ambiguity in tag names via additional tags, mostly because it requires accurate tagging of the questions, which doesn't always happen. Tags are intended to represent one and only topic, object or whatever and should be stand-alone, not meaningful only in combination with others. Jun 6, 2014 at 5:46

Taking Plymouth as the example (but his would be far from unique in this respect), as well as Canada (x2), Montserrat and Trinidad and Tobago here lists 21 USA states other than Massachusetts and also Wisconsin (x3) with a ‘Plymouth’, so adding country names would still not exclude all ambiguity. [plymouth-usa-wisconsin-sheboygan] would be ridiculous.

To my mind, fearing the OP will not to be adequately specific unless forced to choose a tag and/or others to be incapable of asking for clarification if necessary seems rather patronising. Yes, the first eight words of the Title of the Q referred to on their own would indeed be ambiguous, but it only takes reading one more word of the Title to achieve as much as [plymouth-uk] would. As far as I am aware “England” was in the Title right from the start. Might I make a plea for a little trust in the ability of Travel Answers users to take steps to provide clarity where disambiguation is appropriate?

At the moment [plymouth] is applied to a single Q and apart from [dubai] (38) and [berlin] (34) I have not noted any city tags (eg [bangkok], [boston], [brussels], [istanbul], [toronto], [vancouver]) with more than 30 Qs. Categorising down to a more specific location hardly seems required yet for searching purposes.

  • I do not agree with your last statement. If I am planning to go to a certain city, I browse read all the questions tagged with that city-name.
    – Bernhard
    May 23, 2014 at 16:36
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    I see your point, but can't remove my downvote :|
    – Bernhard
    May 30, 2014 at 6:44

Go with whatever Wikipedia chooses. Wikipedia has a disambiguation policy, but in most cases we won't need to make the determination (only when a name has both geographical and non-geographical meanings and no geographical meaning has a privileged listing).

In the case of Plymouth, the “Plymouth” article is about Plymouth, Devon, UK. The “Plymouth, Massachusetts” is about Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA. So it's natural for the tag to refer to Plymouth, UK.

  • I agree. Venice may exist elsewhere, but our tag is not venice-italy and if there's another Barcelona that doesn't mean we should have barcelona-spain. Let's wait for confusion (like Georgia) and then tag. May 24, 2014 at 14:03
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    This would mean keeping up with policy changes in Wikipedia too. And do you mean the English Wikipedia or does Wikipedia have a cross-edition policy that all editions implement? May 25, 2014 at 5:29
  • @hippietrail This is an English website, so yes, the English Wikipedia. Given the rate of policy changes on Wikipedia, that's a non-issue. May 25, 2014 at 9:01
  • Not just policy changes: Wikipedia being what it is, anyone could change the disambiguation of a particular word.
    – WGroleau
    May 29, 2014 at 19:47
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    @WGroleau Not really. Wikipedia is a community. If omebody tries to change these kind of debatable things, it will be backrolled within minutes. It is not like there is anarchy on Wikpedia.
    – Bernhard
    May 30, 2014 at 6:43

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