Talk:United States of America/Archive 2016-2017

Active discussions

Gun carrying information?Edit

New contributor User:WheelGun has been adding a good deal of gun related information to this article as well as other US articles.

Just as a check to ensure that remain a travel guide and not a compendium of facts, how much of this is truly relevant to the traveler? An American traveler may find this of use since gun laws in New York are different from (say) Tennessee, but for the international traveler the specifics are often irrelevant. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:18, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

I think it might be relevant to know where an openly carried gun is called "Tuesday" and where it definitely and decidedly means trouble. Either misapprehension can be dangerous... What we should avoid is weighing in on either side of the debate and providing too much detail in articles like USA or South. Most of those things seem to be based on state laws and thus best addressed in state articles where travel relevant... Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:35, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
"Travelling with firearms" is probably a travel topic worth starting since a sentence or two in each state article is more than enough info for the vast majority of travelers, but for those who do travel with weapons it is important to provide sufficient detail to make appropriate plans. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:50, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Already exists at Recreational shooting#United States of America? 2001:5C0:1000:A:0:0:0:9B 00:44, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I like Ryan's suggestion. I would say issues around carrying a handgun for personal protection are not well covered under 'recreational shooting'. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:21, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I was pleasantly surprised that the section does actually seem to be written for the traveler from a neutral standpoint. I would say that the information is potentially helpful, but it isn't completely focused as a "Stay safe" topic, which should specifically address an issue or non-issue that people may think is an issue related to safety. This article mixes in hunting/sport advice with danger advise. Is it true that renouncing your citizenship means you cannot carry a gun for any reason in the US? I learned something there I never knew. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:19, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I support Ryan's suggestion, too. And I imagine User:WheelGun would probably be happy to contribute his great knowledge to the topic. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:02, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
We do need to decide if we need to pare down the info in existing articles, though. We don't have a policy similar to w:WP:Undue weight, but I am a little concerned about the level of detail being placed. Powers (talk) 00:46, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I think the solution is to have all the details that could be relevant to any traveler in the Travelling with firearms topic and then having brief summaries in articles where that's relevant, with a pointer to the topic article as appropriate, rather as we've done with airport articles. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:06, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
WheelGun says: My knowledge of firearms was just an entry point into this venture, I certainly do not plan to write a compendium of firearms legal advice (unless you want me to...) I have elaborated on many topics since then. Be advised that upstate NY is a crossroads of many cultures, very far right politically, and Ultra left wing NYC is two hours away. Upstaters trying to make a living on hardscrabble land and down-staters who think this is their big backyard. Just trying to mitigate culture clashes that happen all the time, and enable everyone to get along better. (No resentment here - I am originally from Brooklyn) Yes it is a safety issue - the NY state police will throw you in jail for crossing from PA or VT with a handgun. Happens way too often around here. Take a look at what I have done with CATSKILLS, NEW YORK over the past day. —The preceding comment was added by WheelGun (talkcontribs)
We wouldn't be giving legal advice, just practical advice similar to the advice you've been giving. I think that a topic on travelling with firearms would be useful to some of our readers. Have a look at some of our other travel topic articles and see what you think. On your other points, everything you're saying is really welcome and useful information for any traveller who's at all interested in what the place they're visiting is like, beyond the trees, farms, bears, etc. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:53, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
We currently have a recreational shooting article which is mostly about hunting with a bit of range target practice. Perhaps that article should be split to put the Elmer Fudd stuff in hunting (so that, like fishing, it's a standalone topic) and the rest in travelling with firearms? K7L (talk) 04:16, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Upstate NY is not "very far right politically". Upstaters may be somewhat fiscally conservative, but hardly "far right", and they are socially moderate. Many oppose draconian gun regulations but support moderate ones, and support for abortion and gay marriage is fairly split. If you think upstate is "far right", try visiting the deep South or the Great Plains sometime. Powers (talk) 15:45, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Enough... read what I have written. It's been blended in to general topics. Has anyone seen what I have done to the Catskills section recently or are we just going back and forth? Ikan Kekek thank you for the support. LtPowers, are you prior service? —The preceding comment was added by User:WheelGun (talkcontribs)
"prior service"? Powers (talk) 18:06, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Stay safe/RacismEdit

User:The dog2 just added the following text:

The constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech, meaning that a person cannot be prosecuted for any form of verbal abuse, racially-motivated or not (but can be for racially-motivated violence). While attitudes towards racism differ widely from region to region, the prevailing culture of political correctness means that it is rare for individuals to express racist opinions in public. The US is, at least publicly, a racially tolerant nation. Many states have laws against racial discrimination in the job market or university admissions.

There are a series of problems with it:

First, it's absolutely false that people can under no circumstances be prosecuted for any form of verbal abuse. Harassment is illegal. Being called a racial epithet once is not a crime, but someone who yelled one all night outside your door could be guilty of various crimes, including disorderly conduct. Chances are, the police, if called, might just tell the person to knock it off, but let's take another case: Suppose you have a manager at work who is constantly calling you racial epithets. You might have the basis for a civil rights lawsuit, based on your being in a hostile work environment. Now, do we really want to explain all that on Wikivoyage? No. But I think we need to simplify things by stating that racist speech per se is legally protected in the U.S. as part of the Constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Second, at this time, with Donald Trump leading in the Republican Presidential primaries, it absolutely is not rare for Americans to express racist opinions in public.

Thirdly, racial discrimination on the job market or college admissions is Constitutionally prohibited nationwide as a result of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, it did take quite a bit of time to enforce that decision in the various states, especially down south, but it is quite misleading to point to state laws and ignore the fact that racial discrimination is illegal nationwide. That doesn't mean it doesn't still happen, and some recent Supreme Court decisions have weakened civil rights enforcement in important ways, but Brown v. Board of Ed is long since settled law.

I think it's a good idea to deal with racism in this article (please note the 4th sentence of "Stay safe/Police", which does so briefly and with content that can be easily proven if challenged), but in a "Stay safe" section, the important points would address first of all potential threats to a person's life and liberty (e.g., unwarranted police stopping and frisking of non-white people, police brutality, attacks by armed or unarmed racists, inequities in the justice system) and secondly, to their equal treatment (e.g., the tendency for store personnel to follow black customers around on the presumption that they must be shoplifters). We need to do this briefly and keep it relevant and not unduly alarmist. As for the rest, it's best to deal with background information in "Understand", briefly but accurately. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:59, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

I was under the impression that the US constitutional guarantee on "freedom of speech" means that you can say whatever you like without facing any consequences, but if my impression of how far it goes is wrong, feel free to change it. I am not a legal expert so I do not know the details of the laws.
As for the part of expressing racist opinions, I get you point about Donald Trump, and I don't deny that it does happen. But as far as I can see, Donald Trump is among the minority who will actually publicly voice their racist opinions. There definitely is a strong culture of political correctness in the US, so I will say that the majority of people wouldn't actually dare to voice out racist opinions. I'm not saying that you don't have a lot of racist people, but at the same time, the culture of political correctness means that whatever racist opinions people may have is usually bottled up inside and not publicly expressed. My take on why Trump is so popular is that all these racist comments he is making are what people truly feel, but due to the prevailing culture of political correctness do not dare to articulate in public. So when someone like Trump comes along, and with the presidential primaries being a secret ballot, people would vote for him since he dares to say things they would never dare to, and in theory people would never find out how you voted due to the secrecy of the ballot.
And for your third point, go ahead and change it if I was wrong, I know that at least in the places I've lived, there are laws against racial discrimination in the job market and college admissions, but I'm not sure if those are federal or state laws. But I do think we should at least briefly point out that such laws do exist. The dog2 (talk) 14:32, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
A majority of people don't have to openly express racist sentiments in order for it not to be "rare for individuals to express racist opinions in public". And it's not just now. The open expression of racist sentiments increased during the 2008 campaign, with the encouragement of Sarah Palin, and has continued throughout the Obama Administration, as supporters of white supremacy stewed while a black president was in office. You seem to be focusing only on the politicians, not their supporters; you seem to be under a misimpression that their supporters are just quiet consumers and are less pointedly racist than the politicians they're supporting, whereas the reverse is often true: They're more, and more violently racist. I don't think "a majority of people avoid racist remarks" is that useful a statement. On laws against racial discrimination: Sure there are state laws, but the main point is that it's illegal under the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, which was finally interpreted correctly again by the Supreme Court starting in 1954, with a number of important pieces of U.S. legislation passed both during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and again starting in the 1960s, reinforced by several other landmark Supreme Court decisions and aggressive enforcement during the Eisenhower, Johnson and Nixon Administrations, among others (though not the Reagan Administration).
I'm not sure you really dealt with the gist of my argument, though:
but in a "Stay safe" section, the important points would address first of all potential threats to a person's life and liberty... and secondly, to their equal treatment. We need to do this briefly and keep it relevant and not unduly alarmist. As for the rest, it's best to deal with background information in "Understand", briefly but accurately.
We don't want to bloat this article unnecessarily, we need to keep it focused on the reader who may travel to and within the U.S. and situations they may encounter, and we should particularly avoid misleading generalizations and downright incorrect statements. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:12, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
I agree with you that we should not sensationalise issues, and we should keep the section concise, accurate and relevant for travellers. I probably got some details wrong since I did not study the U.S. legal system in detail, and I have also not been to every single part of the U.S., so go ahead and correct those whatever mistakes I made.
I don't know what you think, but I do think there are several points that definitely should be mentioned in this section though. Please let me know what you think of my points, and go ahead and re-write the section to make it more suitable for the article. A local like you would probably be more familiar with stuff than a foreigner like me.
  • The U.S. constitution guarantees freedom of speech, so it is not illegal to make racist comments. We probably do not need to elaborate further, but this does mean that if someone walks past you and makes a racist remark towards you, there is nothing you can do since it is his/her right to freedom of speech under the U.S. constitution.
  • There are laws against racial discrimination in employment or university admissions. I would say this is relevant since many travellers to the U.S. are here to work or study.
  • I don't know about what it's like in the rural South, but as a non-white person myself, I have never experienced any open aggression from random guys in the street on the basis of my race. So while racism definitely does exist, I think it is important to note that as a traveller, at least in the more liberal and multicultural parts of the U.S., your chances of being targeted for racial abuse from random people while walking down the street is very slim. There may well be regional differences, and I won't be surprised if open racism is more common in the South than in the big touristy cities like New York, Chicago or San Francisco, so if that is true, then I think it does warrant a mention. I don't think we need to go into details about American racial politics since it goes way beyond the scope of a travel guide.
  • As for more subtle forms of racism like police brutality and the like, I haven't been in the U.S. long enough to know first hand how serious the problem is. Personally, I have never been stopped and frisked by police, and neither have I been arrested before. But if that is likely to be an issue for travellers, please go ahead and add it in, since I wouldn't know what to write.
The dog2 (talk) 17:54, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
I already added what I thought was necessary and important about dealing with cops in the "Police" subsection. I agree that random acts of aggression by civilians against people merely based on their color are quite uncommon in the U.S. Yes, it should be stated that discrimination in employment, college admissions and treatment at public accommodations is illegal and can be punished if the victim wants to sue. But parenthetically, I would say to you, if you are not familiar with Brown v. Board of Education, the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, there are basic things about U.S. history you don't know or understand, and it's not the case that only "legal experts" are familiar with the basic facts about these things. Brown v. Board of Ed absolutely could be mentioned in "Understand", as could Plessy v. Ferguson (which you also don't need to be a "legal expert" to know about), but let's remember that we're trying to avoid bloat and keep this article as travel-focused as possible. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:58, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

(indent) I still think it's interesting that we have so much talk about race, anti-Islamic sentiments, etc in the US but why does no one care about these issues in Europe where they seem even worse in most cases? I get that we have a lot of Americans and US-travelers, so there are more people looking at and thinking about this article, but as I said way above when this section was first created, we're really treating the US as "special" when it's neither special nor is it likely the worst case. I appreciate The dog2 for chiming in as a non-white. It's nice to talk WITH people instead of talking ABOUT a group and trying to formulate their everyday experiences from a few high-profile news articles. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:59, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

I am white as white can be and I have to agree on the "US is probably not the worst place in this regard" point. When my girlfriend (who is not white) visited me in Dresden, she experienced an instance of insults based on the color of her skin. And just recently a woman at the supermarket shouted at some people who are presumably of foreign ancestry something along the lines of "Can't you behave in a foreign country". I am of course no expert on this, but I fear some parts of Europe have huge problems with racists and racism. But as a white person I observe, let alone experience probably only a small fraction of what actually happens. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:15, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
And I must say that having lived in Australia before, you definitely get a lot more racial jokes in Australia than in the US. I don't want to misrepresent Australians so I will point out here that in general, stereotypes are not as offensive to Australians as they are to Americans, so some of it may be misconstrued as racism by Americans when Australians see them as nothing more than jokes. And of course, as I previously mentioned, there is a strong culture of political correctness at least in the more liberal parts of the US, while that culture is not as strong in Australia. But in any case, there was once when someone actually drove by and shouted racist slurs at me in Melbourne, while such things have yet to happen to me in the US. Of course that is an isolated incident, and the vast majority of Australians I have met are racially tolerant, as are the vast majority of Americans I have met. Anyway, I will re-write the section and incorporate some of the points brought up here. Please feel free to edit so we can have something that relevant for travellers. The dog2 (talk) 01:36, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Good points, everyone. I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:42, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm a bit unsure about "The U.S. constitution prohibits racial discrimination in range of public spheres such as employment, university admissions and receiving services from retail businesses." A federal constitution confers, defines or constrains powers or responsibilities allocated to various branches or levels of government - it doesn't govern individual retail businesses directly. w:Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States ruling that the "U.S. Congress could use the power granted to it by the Constitution's Commerce Clause to force private businesses to abide by the Civil Rights Act of 1964." is not the same as the Constitution requiring directly that the motel act in some particular manner. The motel is a retail business, but is not a government and its role is therefore not defined by the federal constitution. K7L (talk) 02:09, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Go ahead and edit it if you feel that it is not accurate. But what I am pretty sure of is that it is illegal for shops and restaurants to refuse service to me based on my race, so there definitely is some legislation regarding that. The dog2 (talk) 04:20, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes there is, notably including the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But K7L, isn't your argument the one Barry Goldwater advanced in 1964, which was decisively rejected in that election? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:29, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
No. I said that the federal Constitution "doesn't govern individual retail businesses directly" but that, based on a Supreme Court ruling, the "U.S. Congress could use the power granted to it by the Constitution's Commerce Clause to force private businesses to abide by the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
The w:Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, 1964#Changing dynamics took a very different position on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as "Goldwater supported civil rights to varying degrees, but opposed this bill, reasoning that it undermined the sovereignty of the states to govern themselves."
The Constitution does give Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, but the actual law requiring the innkeeper not discriminate is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and not the Constitution itself. K7L (talk) 12:56, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. I think the current text of "Stay safe/Racism" is good. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:56, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Bahamian travel advisory for the U.S.Edit

I think it's important for us to post some excerpts of this with a link, but I anticipate that it may be controversial and would like to broach the topic here first. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:22, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

exercise extreme caution .. in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate. and Do not get involved in political or other demonstrations I think is good advice for most countries. Not to downplay this important topic that needs to be addressed but need to put it in proportion compared to number of people shot by non police in the USA and maybe mention the increase in deaths by cars in the US in the last couple of years. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:14, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Bahamians are mostly black, so it's important to understand the advisory in that context; as mentioned in the "Stay safe/Police" section: "It is particularly important for you to appear calm and cooperative if you are a non-white person, as people of color are much more likely to be subjected to police harassment and violence in the United States than white people." I am not aware of the increase in death by car that you refer to. Perhaps you'd like to tackle this? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:32, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I think the current Stay Safe / Police section states the main points quite well (keep calm, no sudden movements, more so for non blacks). What I feel is missing are comments on the heavily segregated communities. I feel very safe as the only white person on the streets of a city in India or China but in some suburbs of Los Angeles and Detroit I have been very unconformable (although not as much as some areas of Paris or some English cities) and in one incident in a suburb of St. Louis I was physically threatened because I was the only non black on the street. --Traveler100 (talk) 09:51, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm really sorry that happened to you! However, I think we should be careful not to overgeneralize about things like that. I taught at Bronx Community College in the 90s when it was not in a gentrifying neighborhood at all but a black Hispanic ghetto, and while students of mine from the neighborhood said it could be rough at night, I never felt threatened as the only white guy on the train a lot of the time, nor while walking to and from the college or in the college (with the exception of one unbalanced student that I had to look out for, but he never did anything). In 1997, while I was teaching there, I took a trip to Chicago for a conference in the summertime. I planned to meet a friend in Oak Park and was asked how I was getting there. "I'll take the L, of course!", I said. Several white people recommended I not take the L, but when I pressed them on whether it was unsafe, none would say it was; all they said was that I'd probably be the only white person on the train and might feel uncomfortable. I was the only white person on the train, had a friendly conversation with other passengers and enjoyed the experience. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:28, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

"Yankee" and "n-word"Edit

I just made this reversion.

My remark on the word "Yankee" in my edit summary:

As a New York Yankees fan, I disagree that there's anything necessarily derogatory about the term "Yankee", whether used to mean "American" abroad, "Northerner" in the South, or "New Englander" elsewhere.

And then I ran out of room, so I'm addressing "n-word" here.

My feeling about "n-word" is that I'd rather we not specify what that word is, but that this addresses things sufficiently:

If you have to reference race, Black or African-American, Asian, Latino or Hispanic, Native American or American Indian, and White or Caucasian are acceptable terms.

The likelihood is much greater that if you actually know what the euphemism "n-word" stands for, you know that that word is offensive and shouldn't be used unless perhaps you are African-American yourself — in which case, no-one needs to tell you anything. And otherwise, you've already been told what the acceptable terms are, so we aren't going to tell you what the offensive ones are.

Does anyone disagree? If so, how would you suggest phrasing these things? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:15, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. While the geographical variations in the meaning of "Yankee" were once accurate, I don't think anyone uses them that way locally anymore. And even if they did, the inappropriateness of using the word is highly dependent on context and tone. And I agree that anyone who knows what "the n-word" is would probably never use it. Powers (talk) 22:55, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't think there is any reason for us to list any slurs, whether in their full length form or abbreviated. Either in this article or anywhere else. I am not an expert on the term Yankee, but I thought it is only ever really used as an insult in Latin America, the South and when referencing Baseball. On the other hand, I would not know of many uses of the term Yankee outside of anti-imperialist tirades of the likes of Chavez or Castro or Southerners discussing the Civil War. But I don't really follow Baseball. At any rate, I think the current discussion of terms for racial/ethnic groups is appropriate, there is a little use for us to list slurs here as there would be to list them in any other article. The only thing that might merit discussion is if there are terms that are commonly used in other countries but are offensive in the US. The only such term I would know of is "Colo(u)red" which some Germans seem to think is more appropriate than "black" and which has a specific meaning in South Africa but is a certain degree of offensive in the US if I am informed correctly. Hobbitschuster (talk) 02:59, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
"Colored" was the standard word for African-Americans 100 years ago, which is why the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is so named. The word, like "Negro" — which was still current in the 60s, as you can hear in speeches by Dr. King — is now totally outdated and except perhaps if spoken by a very old person, it would offend. But this seems like such an unusual thing to deal with, so I wouldn't include it in the article. "People of color" is used in the U.S. today, but that term refers to a much broader spectrum of non-whites, often all of them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:49, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree regarding both topics. There's no need to bring up the n-word, because if you know what word is meant, you should know that it's offensive. "Yankee" can be used as a slur, but can also be used neutrally or as a friendly jab; I don't see any reason it needs to be specifically mentioned. --Bigpeteb (talk) 20:01, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree that neither of these are worth mentioning. As a sidenote, if a word does need to be mentioned, we need to use the word. Saying "Don't use the 'n' word" would not be helpful and presumes everyone knows what that means which is not true at all. I'm not going to write it out here because the discussion is over and there is no purpose, but if that way of writing occurs in other articles, the word should be written out. It looks very childish to to say "the n word"/"c word"/"b" word,etc. We're adults, and if we want our guides to be understood, we must say what we mean. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:27, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with you, but I don't know if it's necessarily true that we're all adults. Powers (talk) 16:03, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Good point. We've had children contribute to this guide. But I totally agree with you, ChubbyWimbus. If it's necessary to say what words not to use, they need to be specified. It's just that in this case, the words _to_ use have been specified, so I think there's no need to mention any of the numerous offensive ones. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:15, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Garage sales and flea markets?Edit

Is it time to split out shopping in the United States? The "buy" section seems to be becoming a "kitchen sink" into which to toss everything from incompatible electrical systems and mobile telephones to estate sales, thrift shops, garage sales. Isn't this page intended to be a very general overview of an entire country from the perspective of the voyager, with the detail pushed to pages further down the hierarchy? K7L (talk) 21:34, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

There is perhaps a bit too much detail here, but I don't see anything that is regionally specific; it pretty much all applies nation-wide. Powers (talk) 23:07, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Warning boxEdit

  WARNING: Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry advises caution while visiting some regions of the USA, in view of protests following the election of Donald Trump, which have taken place in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Oakland and Portland. They have noted incidents of violence, crime, arrests, and an "increase in verbal and physical attacks and harassment incidents which are anti-foreign and racist", and counsel their citizens to avoid demonstrations, increase security measures and closely monitor the news. (Advisory here in Turkish)

I really feel we should have a consensus first, before we slap big red warning boxes on high profile articles when the need is surely up for discussion. I get that the situation in the US is tense right now, and it's only to be expected that non-western governments (especially the ones with a complex relationship with e.g. the US) will be the first to issue warnings, but a Turkish warning to avoid demonstrations and follow the news when travelling to the US is, imho, reason for a mention in the Stay safe section rather than a warning box on top of the article, just like we do for other countries where there is an advise to be extra vigilant due to current political or other developments. Also keep in mind that in this particular case the original poster has an agenda and is trying to make a point; see Talk:Chechnya. Let's hear some opinions before reinstating any of those sudden and debatable boxes. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:17, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

I think this should be a cautionbox in "Stay safe", but I think it's pretty reasonable and belongs in the article. Trump campaigned as an out-and-out, repeatedly ranting racist, religious bigot and misogynist, and has been rewarded by almost half the voting public in the U.S., across many states, with a victory. That, combined with current and potential problems relating to the angry opposition to his victory, which was attained with a minority of the popular vote amid some successful attempts to block some eligible voters (notably including some elderly black voters in states like North Carolina) from being able to vote, can easily be predicted to worsen things, and the reports I've read suggest that things have already gotten worse, especially among children, who are following Trump and his adult supporters by beating up fellow students who are Hispanics, disabled people, etc., citing his promises to deport Mexicans, build a wall, etc. Muslims have had problems in the U.S. ever since 2001, and these will obviously get worse, now that a candidate who promised at certain points in his campaign to bar all Muslims from entry has been elected. If I were a Turk, I would definitely think twice about traveling here now, and I certainly would think three times about spending time living here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:29, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Sure, a mention in the stay safe section seems fair. Unfortunately, rather than join the discussion here, on Talk:Chechnya or on his talkpage, this user is choosing to start an edit war over red warning boxes on top of a list of US articles, India and United Kingdom. I've explained to him that he really should engage in the discussion, but his mind seems set. I don't want to seem too prejudiced, so I'm hoping others will join in before undoing all the warning boxes a second time. Also pinging User:K7L and User: Ypsilon, who have been involved before. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:54, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
The red {{warningbox}} is for non-obvious dangers to life and limb. Aleppo is under siege, Mosul is a war zone, that sort of stuff. I've already placed a {{cautionbox}} about the currency situation in India#Buy - this is causing problems for the voyager but not directly endangering lives. We'd also routinely mention things like the recent New Zealand quake if they affect travel.
I've been making changes to article body text where the situation has been deteriorating because of the election... Americans in Cuba has an infobox stating that US-Cuba relations are a moving target and I've had to reword that to indicate they're about to take a turn for the worse. No, I did not cite Turkey as a source, w:WP:RS style. There are other, more trustworthy sources about the current situation - if only because it's a bad time to be a journalist in Turkey right now for reasons which have little to do with the US election result.
If something affects travel directly (and not in some brief, transitory manner like "a turnip truck overturned in the right lane of Route 66 is blocking traffic...") then mention it inline. At this point, the big red box is overkill. K7L (talk) 16:29, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
The thing is, though, is there anything in that travel advisory that doesn't seem totally reasonable to you? Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:34, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
It's not unreasonable, but wouldn't you say it's rather obvious advice considering the generally known situation? There's nothing very specific in that particular Turkish advice. That doesn't make it invalid in any way, but K7L makes a valid point in saying that -unfortunately- Turkish press and governmental statements are not among the most trustworthy at the moment, and probably not the best place to find up to date information on the situation, which would be a good reason to include the link. I think the main thing (in all these cases) is just to get the core of the threat and advice across, so travellers can make informed decisions. I do feel that in general, unless there is specific information that is hard to link otherwise, we should try to focus on English language sources where we can. Google translate works somewhat okay for French and maybe Turkish, but not so great for e.g. Arabic. JuliasTravels (talk) 16:48, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Is your main point that we should generally link only to English-language governmental warnings? That makes some sense, but it's also problematic in that many readers, though reading this English-language source, may be from countries whose governments don't put out English-language warnings, and we shouldn't assume that their specific security concerns will be dealt with in the travel advisories of governments that use English as an official language. I do see the exception guideline you're offering, though: "unless there is specific information that is hard to link otherwise". Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:54, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, my point was that we should only include non-English links when they have some kind of added value, like information not available in English. I also don't think it's a great idea to start linking every English language advice available[1], when they all say the same thing. We're not trying to give readers links to their specific governments, but just to a few relevant, readable statements - as an encouragement to find updated info themselves. The warning boxes should be as compact as possible. JuliasTravels (talk) 17:20, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
OK. So in this case, do we link any source, and if so, which one? Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:22, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Considering that the situation is still quite volatile and covered daily in all kinds of media across the world, I think we can do very well without any specific link. But that's just me :) JuliasTravels (talk) 17:28, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
I suppose it depends on the complexity of the situation; something like the India#Buy 500/1000-rupee currency demonetisation might need a link to more detail than we can fit into a brief {{cautionbox}}, as might the longstanding war on Da'esh, but does "widely-reported civil protests in the wake of the 2016 election" get the idea across just as easily without the mention that "the nation's own state radio" has extensive coverage or the mention that a foreign régime said something? Choosing Turkey seems odd as there are plenty of available sources closer to the situation which appear reliable; the "a seemingly-peaceful protest often can rapidly turn ugly" advice is so common on government external affairs sites as to be venturing into WV:NCO territory. There's also the not-so-minor detail that the voyager is still at far greater risk of being killed by common criminals than by election protesters at the moment. K7L (talk) 17:36, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
So, should we turn discussing warning box to the caution box in "Stay safe" part, as it has done for India  ? Ismail Khatai (talk) 10:36, 15 November 2016 (UTC+3)
I have read through the discussion, and frankly it doesn't seem sensible to advise against travel to the USA just because of a Trump victory. The UK is not advising this. Appreciate these are unusual times with a high degree of uncertainty, some volatility, but we haven't reached the threshold of 'dangerous' yet. I would travel tomorrow. Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:34, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
The Turkish Foreign Ministry isn't advising against travel to the U.S., either, but it does give some advice about ways for its citizens to increase their safety while they're here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:41, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Please see proposed formulation of caution box:
  Note: Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry advises to avoid demonstrations, increase security measures and closely monitor the news while visiting some regions of the USA, in view of protests, which have taken place in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Oakland and Portland. They have noted incidents of violence, crime, arrests, and an "increase in verbal and physical attacks and harassment incidents which are anti-foreign and racist". (Advisory here in Turkish)

Ismail Khatai (talk) 13:30, 15 November 2016 (UTC+3)

I think the text I used for what was a warningbox is clearer in explaining what the protests are in relation to. I can't insist on using the Turkish Foreign Ministry as a source if a majority here doesn't want to, but I think the gist of the content should appear in "Stay safe", because it's really accurate to say that things are tense now, and the U.S. - and especially religious and ethnic/racial minorities, transgendered people, disabled people and women - face(s) an uncertain future under a Trump Administration and Republican control over both Houses of Congress and very soon, the Supreme Court. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:35, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Ok, I will put banner on stay safe block, then ( in the way as it is described in warning box ). But the way it is worded looks slightly exaggerated, as it is in real ( as i feel ). Suggest to use more soft wording. This is very ticklish issue. Ismail Khatai (talk) 14:05, 15 November 2016 (UTC+3)
There's no consensus here for a banner. I wasn't suggesting you plunge forward without waiting for a consensus. I predict that the cautionbox will be reverted by someone soon. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:25, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. I don't even think we need a banner (but I have no strong feelings about it), and a link to the Turkish website seems unnecessary and in this particular case even biased. It has been said by others before; we start with inline text usually, unless there is something new, for which travellers are specifically vulnerable and of which travellers might not be aware (like the India money thing). The list of cities is also somewhat random, as there have been demonstrations in all kinds of places and for both sides; most of which were not violent. Yes, there has been an increase in reports of hate crimes and racism, in both direction). That is terrible and deserves mentioning. However, it's not like there never were any hate crimes or unrests before, and we've handled the increased police violence and accompanying protests last years with restraint too. For comparison; the UK saw a 40% rise in racial and religious abuse after the recent referendum, but that spike was gone after a few months. I get that people are frustrated and scared over the current situation in the US; I sure would be. But as a travel guide, we can't get ahead of the facts and warn for what might become a problem. Let's go about this as we would with any other country, monitor the situation and adapt the text as we go along. Obviously, things will change if the violence becomes more concrete or widespread. Compare it to the Turkey article. All western governments have been warning to exercise caution and avoid political demonstrations in Turkey for a long time. The same is true for dozens of other countries in the world. We don't use caution boxes to warn Jewish travellers from Muslim attacks in Parisian suburbs (which is also a real problem); but we do include an inline warning. So let's propose a wording for the USA, please go ahead an improve. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:28, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
The outcome of the recent Presidential elections have left the United States politically divided, and demonstrations are taking place in many major cities. In some cases, these demonstrations have turned violent. News media have also reported an increase in attacks and harassments (both verbal and physical) based on race, religion or sexual orientation over the past year and especially since the election. The situation remains volatile and travellers are advised to stay away from demonstrations, be vigilant and consult up to date information before and during their trip."
The Turkey warnings appear to be politically motivated, as a response to US warnings with which Erdogan disagrees. [2]. I'd hesitate to say "stay away from demonstrations" as this would also discourage legitimate, peaceful protest which the 1st Amendment should be protecting. Everything after that is WV:NCO. Governments are infamous for giving this sort of advice, but it's not very helpful.
"The 2016 Presidential election outcome has left the United States deeply divided politically, with widespread demonstrations in many major cities. While most protests are peaceful, a few have turned violent. Media have reported incidents of harassment (both verbal and physical) and attacks based on race, religion or sexual orientation."
Hopefully that avoids mentioning "nasty woman", "basket of deplorables" or any of the other charming epithets directly? K7L (talk) 14:07, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Some prose to the effect of what K7L suggests in the "Stay safe" section seems fine. The warning box template explicitly states that it is for "non-obvious dangers to life and limb" and that it should be used sparingly, and I think most people would agree that "avoid political protests" is obvious, and that the dangers to minorities, while clearly escalated at the current time, do not rise to the level of "non-obvious dangers to life and limb" in a country where racially motivated violence has existed since its founding. A cautionbox also seems overblown to me, but I tend to generally be wary of adding warnings to articles based mainly on the current week's news coverage, so I'll defer to others on whether prose or a cautionbox is best. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:10, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Actually I find the warning downright confusing. On one hand you are warning against potential violence in demonstrations (from those who are not happy with the election) and on the other you are warning against hate crime, incidents of which are generally instigated by those favorable to the election outcome. Without any context I would assume that you are suggesting I would be subject to attacks on my race/religious beliefs/sexual orientation during these demonstrations.
Apart from a running commentary on the current situation, I still don't really get what advise we are trying to communicate to the traveler with this. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:49, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
I daresay, the most likely danger of violence in demonstrations would be from the police, or possibly from pro-Trump individuals or groups, not from demonstrators opposed to bigotry and racism. I think the word is basically that this is an increased period of tension, and that particularly if you are recognizably non-white or non-Christian, you should be alert to this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:41, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
American SJWs that are protesting "racism" and "bigotry" are a rather violent and intolerant bunch (and also rather racist and bigoted if you spend any amount of time listening to them); much moreso than a "Trump voter" which is not a cohesive group with a single motive despite attempts to mark them as such. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:13, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Not to worry, I'm sure that pesky First Amendment will go away soon enough (most likely under a flurry of abusive litigation) as soon as people like Donald Trump and Peter Thiel are anywhere near the levers of power. Speak truth to power in their dystopic nation, get sued. K7L (talk) 12:49, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
The SJWs are already against the First Amendment, so if you're right, he would be appeasing the Regressive liberals. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:55, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

I really do not think throwing around loaded terms (particularly those usually employed by people of a certain political bent) like "SJW" or "regressive" is all that helpful. For the most part we have managed to keep politics out of WV and I hope we can keep it that way. Way too many wikis have gone down in flames over silly political disputes. That being said if and when politics have consequences for travel, we should mention that and only that. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:17, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. I also don't think it's helpful to invoke fear-mongering with talk of First Amendment dissipation. And the idea that the protestors are riteous and non-violent has been proven false. A political narrative was being pushed there, which is why I responded and why I responded with the words used by those who oppose them. We need to focus on the present and edit later if there is a prolonged trend or the media claims about concentration camps becomes reality. I think what is written currently is close to as much as we can fairly say. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 01:38, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't disagree with your last sentence and will choose to ignore the rest. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:15, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

Racism sectionEdit

Would it be prudent to add a comment under the "racism" subheading that racist incidents have increased in past weeks as a result of the poitical situation? Dmartin969 (talk) 23:18, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

It looks a bit odd to mention the 1960s civil rights movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, then act as if nothing had happened at all (good or bad) between then and the painfully divisive 2016 presidential race. That's a huge gap in which a lot has happened - the anti-Muslim backlash after the 11 Sept 2001 attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the election of a black President in 2008, the Ferguson MO racial disturbances in 2014 and the whole "driving while black" phenomenon and bizarre "asset forfeiture" laws by which police assume anyone carrying large amounts of cash obtained it by crime, making it fair game for police departments to pocket for themselves. 2016 is a setback, but it's just one milestone of many. We should try not to emphasise the current week's news headlines at the expense of all else as race relations stateside are an awkward topic with a long and complex history. K7L (talk) 17:08, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Good points. Perhaps all of that should be mentioned? The risk is to make the article too long and encyclopedic, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:40, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
The risk is that this overlap other existing sections, like #History or #Police. The current "#Racism" text even overlaps and repeats itself, claiming that "it is in general rare to face open aggression" and then repeating this to claim that "incidents are rarely physical in nature":
The constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech, meaning that making racist comments in and of itself is not illegal, and racist remarks can sometimes be heard at high profile political rallies. That being said, most Americans are, at least publicly, tolerant of other races, and it is in general rare to face open aggression from random people as a result of one's race. Compared to many European and Asian countries, the U.S. is, at least publicly, a racially tolerant country. The U.S. constitution, as well as landmark legislation such as the civil rights acts of the 1960's prohibit racial discrimination in a range of public spheres such as employment, university admissions and receiving services from retail businesses. AS a result of recent changes in the political climate there has been an increase in racist incidents, particularly those targeted at people of Middle Eastern and Latino descent. The incidents are rarely physical in nature.
I'm not sure how to reword this. The 2016 election fits poorly with the rest.
The "police" section of the article should be expanded to mention this sort of thing (a point raised more than a year ago at #Recent cases of police violence / abuse) but fixing the "racism" section could be awkward as there have been many discussions on this page and still no easy answer. K7L (talk) 18:10, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
I changed it to "tensions", because it is mostly tension rather than "incidents" which is confusing since we also say they're non-violent. I'm not sure about the police thing. Why exactly does the traveler need to know about the police confiscating the belongings of citizens? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:13, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Um, that should be obvious... tourists carry money. If people carrying substantial amounts of cash are at risk of being robbed both by criminals and (on some Trumped-up excuse that the cash must be drug money) by police, that's something the voyager would want to know. If there's any racial profiling (ie: persons of colour more likely to be stopped by police in certain areas) that only aggravates the problem - as the traveller is alien - but any non-obvious danger to voyagers carrying cash during their travels needs to be disclosed. K7L (talk) 12:49, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
The article you cited talked about citizens not foreign nationals. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:57, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Foreign nationals would be just as much at risk as anyone else. K7L (talk) 01:51, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
I think that's obvious, and forfeiture should be mentioned. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:18, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
I would just caution that as a travel guide we don't have to mention every single aspect of racism and police conduct in the United States. Forfeiture does unfairly target lower income ethnic minorities as well as immigrants, but is it really something that the vast majority of travelers are going to notice? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:51, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
The non-obvious dangers are normally the ones we warn about... this qualifies. K7L (talk) 03:26, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Forfeiture could affect any driver, so even though members of minority groups are disproportionately arrested and prosecuted for drug crimes, and therefore also subject to arbitrary forfeiture for merely being charged, even without basis, and eventually acquitted, coverage of forfeiture belongs in the "Police" section. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:24, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
There are an awful lot of potential 'non obvious dangers' in any country, and I thought we should highlight the ones that are likely to impact a traveler. I'll leave it to your better judgement whether this genuinely should be of particular concern for travelers to the US Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:09, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Some figures might be helpful, but do you think being struck with the rotan in Malaysia and Singapore is more common than forfeiture in the U.S.? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:37, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Good question. Rotan in Malaysia is widely used for immigration offenses which does impact travelers, albeit those from poorer countries in the region. An American (for example) is unlikely to get caned, although it has happened on rare occasions. The question is just whether if I travel (for example) from France to the USA with $6,000 in my backpack, how likely is it going to be that a police officer will search and confiscate it. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:44, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Not that likely, I would say, but it could happen to you randomly, whereas I believe you are unlikely to be caned without actually committing an offense. I had forgotten that Malaysia instituted rotan strikes for undocumented or overstaying workers, but I think the point is made. I wouldn't go on and on about forfeiture, but it's worth spending a sentence or so on it. And having thousands of dollars in cash on your person is dangerous, anyway, in terms of theft or loss. But the forfeiture of a car is a really serious matter, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:19, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Confederate symbolsEdit

Re this edit by User:Hobbitschuster: I agree it's fair, but I'm not sure why it's something a traveler needs to know. Foreign travelers to the U.S. aren't likely to have opportunity to display confederate flags. Powers (talk) 19:37, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

For whatever reason, Confederate flags sometimes appear in the context of European soccer without any indication that those displaying them have any particular opinion on that whole 1861-1865. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:41, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Washington post has an article on this phenomenon. According to the article the confederate flag is used in Europe for reasons as diverse as a simple token of 'rebellion' against the larger nation state (i.e. Naples against Italy) to a proxy and fig-leaf justification for racist views. I'm not convinced that it is that widespread, but definitely exists. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:24, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I think many people from outside the US may be aware that this symbol exists (though even inside the US few people know that the Confederacy used several national flags, but never that precise one), but not aware of all its connotations. Especially given that older movies that glorify the symbol may still be prevalent in some countries (in Nicaragua for instance Walker Texas Ranger is still on TV regularly - not that I would know of any association between that series and the Confederate flag) Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:32, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I grew up in the UK watching the 'Dukes of Hazard' , so the flag was familiar to me. Only much later the real meaning of it, and yes probably advisable not to carry such a flag around.
That said, one criticism I have of this article is that it is getting less of a travel guide and more of a collection of facts about the country. The flag issue is technically a fact, but is it a relevant one? Is an Italian football fan busy packing his collection of confederate flags for his US holiday going to read the section and say "Thank you Wikivoyage!! I had no idea!!"? Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:38, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, certainly, our coverage on the United States (particularly this very article) has to fight with the problem you describe a lot and we have to strike some balance. Are there other parts of this article where you fear we have made this mistake? And how about having a more in-depth discussion on this issue in the article on the South in particular? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:23, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I try not to involve to much in United States, if only to avoid the 'too many cooks' scenario (also I haven't actually been there for a few years). Specific areas to cut down on would be holidays, which is mixed with important national holidays and less travel relevant cultural ones. Immigration into the US is insanely long a detailed, and could probably benefit from having a dedicated travel article to itself. Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:05, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure all of the holidays listed are relevant to travelers for one reason or another, although some of them may depend on a traveler visiting an area where a particular culture predominates. Powers (talk) 19:58, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
In such cases, that could be an argument for mentioning those holidays in region articles and not necessarily this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:13, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

The Confederate flag seems irrelevant. It has no meaning to the traveler. Even within the US, the meaning gets blurred, but more importantly, regardless of the flyers intent, what exactly can we say about a person with a Confederate flag? Nothing. What reason are we even talking about it? As everyone pointed out, it's not even about Americans with the flag; it's about travelers displaying it. I could see it being given mention in the American South regional article (maybe not in the same way), but I don't see any value in it here. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:29, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Too much detail?Edit

In my view there is too much detail in this article which really reduces its usefulness as a travel guide greatly. This edit on respect is frankly overkill. Also "Generally, Americans prefer a firm handshake, which is perceived as being confident" - are there cultures who prefer limp or overly strong handshakes? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:08, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

If you check the talk page archives for this article you'll see that trimming the article, particularly the Respect section, has been a cyclical effort - it fills up with mundane detail, it gets trimmed back down to the basics, and the cycle repeats. If it's time for another trimming then please plunge forward and pull out any obvious bits. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:18, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
OK, I completely forgot that I had raised this in 2015. I'm happy to try some trimming, and hopefully no-one feels too protective of this particular article. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:00, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Trim away. My only rationale for trying to bulk out the Respect section is that, as an American myself, I'm trying to not be imperialist and assume that the whole world is automatically familiar with American cultural norms. But here on the Internet, maybe it really is unnecessary.
And yes, other cultures do have varying preferences on how firm/weak a handshake should be. Just read w:Handshake. --Bigpeteb (talk) 13:57, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
While that is true, I would say that Americans will not be offended when a foreigner gives them a slightly weaker or stronger handshake than average. In most country articles, we need to find a balance between including the information that is necessary and avoiding an article that is off-putting because of sheer size of fact-heavyness. With that in mind, I'm also inclined to delete such details, in this case. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:11, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Probably not offended, but a limp handshake is definitely a bad way to start a business meeting, especially if you are a man shaking a man's hand. I don't think it's crucial to mention, but if we want to serve the business-traveling community, we could consider whether to keep it in the article or delete it to save space. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:39, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Lengthy articles exist on rules of conduct when involved in business meetings in the US (and many other large economies). From my own experience, I would say that the handshake thing is one of the smallest cultural differences most foreigners will face when conducting business in the US, and of little consequence to other travellers. Considering also the wide variety of backgrounds (and accompanying rules of conduct in home countries) of business travellers reading our article, I don't think we should try to include such facts unless they are also of real value to a wider range of travellers. That's just my general feeling though; I have no strong objections to including specific details if others want to. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:52, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
There is some social science around international handshakes, but fairly nuanced and to the point above there are very few cultures (if any) which engage in limp handshakes as a matter of course. Working for international consultancies there is a whole list proper business etiquette that would easily fill an article such as Business travel in the United States. Another point is that business travel varies greatly between American cities (visiting an office in Seattle and Texas do have different requirements) Andrewssi2 (talk) 18:23, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
A Business travel in the United States could be a good idea if there are people who are experienced with it and want to tackle that. My "business travel" has mostly been limited to the times when I used to audition for orchestras, so it was at a much lower level of luxury than that of business executives on expense accounts. But if that article is started, the remarks about handshakes should be moved there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:59, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Should it be specific to the United States, or perhaps just Business travel with a sub-section for the US? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:59, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Given that business travel already exists and is not subdivided by country or region, maybe we would like to have articles like business travel in Europe, business travel in Arab countries and so on. I think if we can say something about Japan and/or China (whose culture, including business culture is very different from the West) we should also make an article on that. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:40, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

So Business Travel in North America ? (assuming Mexico is not too different to US and Canada?) Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:14, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
On the question above: I don't have a strong opinion about whether Business travel should simply be subdivided into separate sections, but I would simply observe that that article feels to me like it's more or less long enough already as an overview, so it may be more user-friendly to create separate regional articles that include advice more or less specific to those regions. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:40, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't think that would be wise just now. Frankly, when you actually read more closely, that article needs a proper cleanup, since it's packed with obvious and non-tavel specific information. I really fail to see the use of that whole (long) understand section listing professions that may or may not require travel. If someone who has to travel for work decides to search for information here, I don't see how they'd benefit from a very obvious list of others who might also have to travel for work (or not, completely depending on their actual jobs). The list of options to get around is equally obvious and also completely depends on the destination and on your company's travel policies. There's a distinct lack of actually useful information like rules of conduct, things to check in your company's travel policy and how to find good information for different destinations. I'd suggest, if anyone really wants to dive into this, to first trim the existing article and then include the information we were talking about. If it ever becomes so bulky that a division is needed, we should do it then rather than start several outline articles again. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:14, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
I would trust your judgment on this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:42, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

Incorrect map locationsEdit

I just took a look at the 'Map of the United States' image and I noticed that San Antonio was placed further north close to Austin. As someone who loves geography and locating different cities, I am quite confident that the editor who made this map placed San Antonio in the wrong spot. This is very misleading to tourists who look at this map and assume San Antonio is closer in distance to Austin. De88 (talk) 23:22, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

If you look at the earliest recorded version of the map ( ), you'll see that Austin was originally placed in the correct location, where San Antonio is now. User:Peterfitzgerald was told in 2009 that I-10 was incorrectly routed through Austin (it actually goes through San Antonio, which wasn't on the map). So Peter attempted to fix it, moving Austin from its correct location and replacing it with San Antonio, instead of moving I-10 to its proper location and simply adding San Antonio. The fix will be somewhat involved, but I'll see what I can do. Powers (talk) 21:50, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
(Just for the record, found some earlier versions of the map at -- you'll see that the map didn't originally include highways, but when User:Cacahuate added them I-10 was routed through Austin accidentally.) Powers (talk) 21:54, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
I have repaired the map and made a few other tweaks. Powers (talk) 23:40, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

public forumsEdit

I know that "forums" is correct English, but it just sounds awful to me. Is there something else we might write there instead? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:43, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

"Public places" would be fine, I think. However, your other option is to tolerate this expression, which is standard and rather an idiom in the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:07, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
"Places" is awkward idiomatically when we're talking about civic discussion. "Forum" is explicitly the word for places -- even virtual places -- where discourse occurs. Powers (talk) 20:18, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:41, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Hobbitschuster Is it perhaps that although the German word is exactly the same : 'Das Forum', it sounds a bit old and stuffy? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:16, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it is because I had latin in school or because German really knows no regular plural the way English and Spanish do, but "forums" just sounds wrong. There is nothing wrong with the word "forum", but this plural just looks not right to me. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:41, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Actually the previous wording 'fora' was technically correct for latin experts, but 'forums' is pretty much the accepted plural in everyday English. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:42, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Executive OrderEdit

I added the following caution box to 'Get In' :

  Note: On January 25th 2017, the President signed an executive order preventing the visa processing for the next 30 days of citizens from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia. This order is likely to be extended to prevent these nationalities acquiring U.S. visas in all but exceptional circumstances.

Politics aside, and regardless of how you feel about the person who made this order, please feel free to update with factually correct information. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:26, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

The situation is very fluid, and may be dependent on court orders, executive action, and a wide variety of other factors. I suspect it will be difficult to keep this updated. Edge3 (talk) 22:42, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
Experience shows that we have a rather good track record of keeping stuff updated as long as it is in the news. Once the situation dies down, we are not necessarily as good at those updates. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:10, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
This destination is edited frequently enough that I can't see this being an issue. It's the out-of-the-way places that are hard to keep up to date, for instance: "NOTE: Vanuatu sustained extensive damage due to Cyclone Pam on March 14, 2015. While the island of Espiritu Santo was unscathed and most Port Vila venues have reopened, destruction on many outer islands was severe and reconstruction efforts continue. (Jan 2016)". Do we know if they've rebuilt? K7L (talk) 00:46, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
True, but the Schengen Template still alludes to the Paris attacks for instance. Though this danger is probably lower here. Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:12, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
It's important enough to mention, even though it's in flux. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:30, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
I'd suggest keeping it simple, given that official advice is confusing and even conflicting. Also a daily commentary isn't actually required. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:23, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree. And I would also say, let's not get into the politics. Let's just state what the current situation is, no more, no less. The main problem is that there are many conflicting reports about green card holders, with some saying that they are not affecting, others saying that the ban affects them too, and some also saying that green card holders must report to a US consulate to be vetted further and may be let in on a case by case basis. The dog2 (talk) 05:15, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
There are also badly conflicting reports about the status of UK dual citizens and Canadian residents - it looks like the US government is trying to downplay this to the UK Foreign Office and the Canadian immigration minister, among others. I'd state the current situation if I knew what it was. K7L (talk) 06:02, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
My understanding is that the current situation is that people who had legal status to enter or live in the U.S. but had been detained pursuant to Trump's executive order have been released in full from some airports and not from others. The main advice for travelers with any kind of citizenship in the 7 countries mentioned in the executive order should be to postpone travel for now, or if they already have tickets, to make alternate plans in case they are barred from embarking on a plane to the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:57, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
"White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that 'moving forward', the ban 'doesn't affect' green card holders, but he would not clarify." and "After an outcry, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued a blanket waiver later on Sunday, allowing green card holders to enter the United States."[3]
Dual citizenship is also a confused mess... UK, maybe, Canada, maybe, Australia maybe not? For that matter, what happens to people who have a "Tehran" birthplace listed in a Western passport they acquired before renouncing Iranian citizenship? Are they still the enemy, much like Ted Cruz is still under a cloud of suspicion of being Calgarian despite his best efforts to renounce and betray Canada, or are they simply citizens of their new country?
I'd update the warningbox, but I don't know what I'm doing... and neither does Herr Drumpf. Too bad. The flip-flop on green cards needs to be addressed, as it directly affects travel. K7L (talk) 15:28, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
At this point in time we should advise green card holders not to leave the U.S. It may take a few weeks for unambiguous and consistent rules to be announced. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:19, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
That seems to be the standard advice from universities and corporations to their students and employees at the moment. It's worth mentioning, though I don't know how many permanent residents are reading a travel guide to their own country. Powers (talk) 00:52, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
And they also have the same advice from people on work or student visas. As of now, if you are from one of those countries, you won't be deported if you're already here legally, but you cannot come back once you leave. The dog2 (talk) 02:06, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
I think the Visa Waiver section as it stands now - particularly the box at the top - is not accurate any more. It now seems to indicate that mere presence in or travel to Iran or Somalia makes the person in question ineligible not just for Visa Waiver but for applying for a regular visa as well. I am not sure that is correct. Hobbitschuster (talk) 02:34, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes - an Australian (for example) wanting to travel to the U.S. having previously visited Iran would no longer be eligible for the visa waiver, but would still be able to apply a regular visa, possibly with additional scrutiny. Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:52, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Another (related?) issueEdit

In our Iran coverage there is a throwaway line on Visa Waiver being denied to anybody who has been to Iran, regardless of citizenship, though it is apparently possible to get a "regular" visa (which is a pain in the lower backside even for people who'd qualify for Visa Waiver otherwise). Is Iran the only such country? And which countries are on the list? Has that list changed? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:13, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

non-Americans who have previously traveled to Iran (and some other countries) are not eligible for the visa-waiver program. They can however apply for a 'regular visa' with the usual documentation and potential interview process that is involved. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:16, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that is what I know. What I don't know (and what should be mentioned in this article) is what "and some other countries" means? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:55, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
So according to this website, the following restrictions are in place as of this writing:

"Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
  • Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria." Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:11, 30 January 2017 (UTC)


I suppose it was inevitable that someone would add information about Trump to the article, but I believe it's misplaced. While current events are always notable, it is impossible to accurately judge the weight to give them in the context of the nation's history. Until we have something actually historic to say about Trump's presidency, I don't think a paragraph about how controversial he is is warranted or desirable. Powers (talk) 02:44, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

It has to be said that the specific changes to immigration rules has had a significant impact over the past week, and it merits some context. Agreed that Trump shouldn't be discussed in historical terms at this point in time. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:35, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
However tempting it is to add a "trust Donald Trump as far as you can throw him" as a fair comment, it likely would violate Wikivoyage:No advice from Captain Obvious. The "Muslim ban" and "wall around Mexico" campaign platforms are worth a mention as they affect travel from those countries, but describing his antics in vague terms as "controversial" and likely to provoke "condemnation from more liberal sectors of the population" is merely stating the obvious. K7L (talk) 04:07, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Take it out if you feel it's inappropriate, but I just added it in since many of the things he's been doing are unprecedented to say the least, the executive order on immigration being one such example, as well as how he's taken to Twitter to criticise foreign leaders. But on my part, since we will inevitably have both Trump opponents and supporters who use Wikivoyage, I've tried to write it in as neutral a tone as possible so we don't start preaching our personal points of view to other travellers. Of course, I understand that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is still considered to be disaster by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and so on, and it's impossible to be completely neutral. But regardless, my take is that if we agree to keep the statement, we should avoid taking sides on this political divide, and should try to simply state the facts and leave the reader to decide which political stance he/she wishes to take. The dog2 (talk) 15:51, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Unprecedented or "unpresidented"? K7L (talk) 17:01, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I can just hope for all our sake that Trump ends up being less remarkable than Chester A Arthur or Grover Cleveland. But I fear he might be one of those we remember, for better or worse. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:03, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
The advantages to travellers has not be stated. Having been on a plane this week to USA, on a flight usually full of middle east travellers, there was plenty of space to stretch out. --Traveler100 (talk) 23:05, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
Humor aside, I think my original statement stands. In the history section, there's no neutral way to include Trump without resorting to either meaningless/obvious platitudes about "controversy" or descriptions of current events as they happen (neither of which help the traveler). If events occur that require a traveler's attention, we can and should put them in other sections. They'll be historical later. Powers (talk) 00:35, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Are you proposing to ignore Trump completely until he leaves office? That's like ignoring the elephant in the room - "What elephant?" Just as Duterte is covered in the article about the Philippines, Trump has to be covered as a current unpredictable source of instability. That affects travelers, as we've already seen in a big way. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:56, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
What value is added by having commentary on That Awful Man/The Great Leader? Anyone on the planet with the resources to travel to the US -- and 94% of those who don't -- are aware of what he is doing and probably have an opinion about it. Our readers won't learn anything new, but we'll end up spending a lot of energy trying to get the wording "just right" and fending off soapboxing by opponents and supporters. Let's stick to what a travel guide does best: provide information about the entry and visa requirements and changes that have been announced to them. Ground Zero (talk) 04:32, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
What is relevant to wikivoyage is the degree of unpredictability that travel to the US now entails as a direct result of this presidency. When a former Nowegian Prime Minister is detained for having visited Iran a few years earlier then it has to be said objectively that the Trump administration is causing uncertainty for travelers. Obviously we don't need to discuss our personal feelings about this, just state this cause and impact. Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:15, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
The reason why I added the part on Trump is partly because there is a mention of Duterte in the Philippines article, and of Brexit in the UK article. I agree that the current state of affairs make it very unpredictable on when visa rules can change, and that is of concern to a traveller. And for a foreigner living in the US like me, there is that uncertainty on when Trump can just bar me from entering the country with the stroke of a pen if I should need to leave the country for whatever reason, so many institutions are telling their foreign students or employees to avoid leaving the US for now. A good thing for me is that Singapore is not on the list, but all it takes is a stroke of the pen from Trump and Singapore may well be the next country to be banned. It may or may not happen, but what is an objective fact is the uncertainty that Trump's actions have caused, especially given that since assuming office he has indeed broken many long-standing diplomatic and political conventions that previous presidents, both Democratic and Republican have largely followed. But as I said, we must be careful to avoid preaching one political stance over the other. I have my own feelings and opinions on the issue, as does everyone here, but for as long as I have known, Wikivoyage does not take sides on a political dispute. Especially given how polarising this issue is, I'd say let's keep the tone neutral, and stick merely to the facts that affect travellers. The dog2 (talk) 07:18, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
So as an extension of my previous posts, I think it is OK to mention the executive order against the 7 Muslim majority countries as something that is controversial and could potentially inconvenience travellers, but we should be careful to avoid preaching about whether or not the travel ban is appropriate. Let the facts speak for themselves, and leave readers to form their own opinions on the issue. The dog2 (talk) 07:54, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

We have notices about the visa restrictions in the "Get in" section, so we don't need to address the issue in the history section. I think needs should cut down the full paragraph that covers the history of the last two months to one line: replace

Widespread public anger over the perceived loss of jobs to China and Mexico led to the election of the populist, but controversial, Donald Trump as president in 2016, leading to widespread protests in liberal-leaning major cities across the US, not least because his opponent, Hillary Clinton, actually received almost three million more votes nationwide. Since assuming office, Trump has proceeded to implement many of his most controversial policies, breaking with many well established political and diplomatic conventions in the process, thus cementing his popularity among his core support base of white working class voters, but leading to widespread protests and condemnation from more liberal sectors of the population.


Donald Trump took office as president of the U.S. in January 2017, and began implementing policies that are markedly different from those of his predecessor, Barack Obama. These include changes that may affect entry into the country for some people -- see the notices in the "Get in" section below.

Ground Zero (talk) 15:47, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Too vague. "Markedly different" how exactly, and with what impact on travel?
In 2016, Donald Trump ran for office on a divisive platform which proposed a multi-billion-dollar Mexico border wall and a ban on Muslim travel to the US. His protectionist stance against Mexican and Chinese manufacturers drew populist support in the struggling rust belt. While the long-term impact on travel is unclear, particularly with respect to China and Cuba, a Jan 2017 executive order barring travel from seven predominately-Muslim countries has caused widespread disruption. The issue is currently before the courts -- see the notices in the "Get in" section below.
or, more succinctly:
{{warningbox|Voyagers are advised to avoid all non-essential travel in the wake of the Bowling Green Massacre. (2/2017)}} K7L (talk) 17:15, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
I think something like the first example would be fine, but I'd also say it's tempting to jump to somewhat exaggerated conclusions about what Trump's impact - to travellers, to American citizens, to citizens of other countries - will be in the end, and let's resist that temptation when formulating these warnings. If I were a betting man, I'd say posterity will likely prove the American left's worst fears about the fate of their country in Trump's hands to be at least partly unfounded. If the rollout of the immigration ban is an accurate bellwether, I think there's a pretty wide gulf between what Trump would like to do and what he is actually capable of (or will be allowed to get away with - even by his own party, which, let's not forget, doesn't trust him either). I think a good rule of thumb to follow is Trump's words matter, but the follow-through (or lack thereof) matters far more. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:20, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Wikivoyage doesn't need to educate people about Trump - that's not our role. Phraselike ",divisive platform" are just going to lead to ongoing squabbles about the correct wording (e.g., did 1.5 million people really die at Bowling Green?) The less said the better. The Mexico wall is not an issue for WV readers - were not here to provide advice to illegal migrants or refugees. Maybe there should be a separate "Wikirefugee" or "Wikimigration". Ground Zero (talk) 17:38, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Given that the wall won't stop the vast majority of illegal migration (perfectly legal migrants who just overstay their visa or do stuff not allowed under the terms of their visa, whether by accident or on purpose), there may be tougher "enforcement" components to the wall as well. Also, the "Mexico is paying for it" bit may cause some reciprocity fees to rise for US citizens who travel to other places. But those things need only be covered once they arise. On another note, we are not exactly politically neutral (which is a ludicrous proposition in that case anyway) when it comes to classifying North Korea and the likes as dictatorships. Those countries themselves would insist they are shiny happy people's democratic people's Republics of the people. But I hope we won't have to make assessments like that for the US any time soon or ever. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:52, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
I would say though that currently, it is the unpredictability of the situation that is the most cause for concern for travellers. Just imagine you are studying at a prestigious university in the US, and Trump suddenly decides to sign an executive order banning all international students, so you're going to get deported in spite of having all the proper paperwork and visas sorted out to be in the country legally. I hope that doesn't happen, but I think the point is that currently, the situation is in a state of flux. I think that regardless of your political persuasion, we can all agree that Trump has broken many long established conventions. I know this particular one is not relevant to travel but in general, presidents do not go on Twitter to criticise foreign leaders. Previous presidents would go through the proper diplomatic channels, and make use of official press releases to issue carefully worded statements to the public. The way Trump has criticised the Mexican president and Australian prime minister using Twitter is certainly unprecedented in this respect. The dog2 (talk) 18:16, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Is this any better? K7L (talk) 18:23, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
In 2016 elections, Donald Trump drew populist support from the struggling rust belt by adopting a protectionist stance against Mexican and Chinese manufacturers; his platform included a multi-billion-dollar Mexico border wall and a ban on Muslim travel to the US. While the long-term travel impact of his policies remains unclear, a Jan 2017 executive order barring travel from seven predominately-Muslim countries has caused disruption. See the notices in the "Get in" section.
Or simpler:
In 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S. While the long-term travel impact of his policies remains unclear, a Jan 2017 executive order barring travel from seven predominatntly-Muslim countries has caused disruption and uncertainty. See the notices in the "Get in" section.
The political synopsis simply isn't needed as everyone able to travel is aware of his election and the issues around it. Ground Zero (talk) 18:30, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Either one works for me, but for the record, it's predominantly-Muslim. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:38, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
If he was elected on a platform of making it more difficult for Hispanics, Muslims or any other identifiable group to visit the US, that targets travel directly. It's very much within our mandate to disclose this. K7L (talk) 18:46, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
I think I'd go with the first one. It is indeed true that he proposed a ban on Muslims entering the US during his election campaign, and that could be a concern to foreign Muslims who wish to visit the US. But yes, I think it's succinct enough, and it does serve the purpose of giving a brief overview of the political situation without preaching any particular political stance. The dog2 (talk) 19:11, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
And when he does make further changes, we absolutely should explain them. This is a high-profile article that we can be sure will be updated within hours of any change being made. His protectionist stance against Mexican and Chinese manufacturers if of interest to manufacturers, of course, but they are not our target readership. The border wall is not an issue for travellers, but any additional border control measures he puts in place would be an issue we should cover if/when he does. Ground Zero (talk) 19:14, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
This text is in United States of America#History, for whatever reason. It makes no sense for it to be in that section if the historic context (as to what is happening and why) is stripped. K7L (talk) 20:51, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree with you, K7L. A minimal amount of background is appropriate, and the main issue is that he is not an ordinary American politician, and his unpredictability means that prospective travelers to the U.S. need to pay close attention to what's happening that might affect them. But if we're using geographic designations, I'd use the following phrasing: "In the 2016 general elections, Donald Trump drew populist support from the struggling but populous rust belt as well as Republican base regions such as the South and Great Plains..." There's no reason whatsoever to be exhaustive, but we can educate readers a little. However, if people feel like this is redundant, I approve of the slightly longer text above. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:54, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
I'd be very surprised if, in a paragraph, we can tell WV readers something about the Trump presidency they don't already know, and I will be extremely surprised if we can write something that people on both sides will agree is neutral or balanced. What is there now is neither, but it is rambling and contentious and should be replaced quickly. Ground Zero (talk) 14:39, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Maybe this is simply in the wrong section? This is in #History, an overview which points to a string of timeline articles. That overview gives the 1960's Civil Rights movement a paragraph, the Vietnam War nothing more than a brief mention in passing, says nothing at all about the legacies of most of the leaders - ranging from Nixon/Watergate to Obama. Only three presidents (Washington, Lincoln, FDR) and one other public figure (MLK) are mentioned by name at all. If we were to mention Russia breaking into DNC records to steal 2016's election for Trump, we'd also have to mention the 1972 Watergate break-ins as more of the same. The rust belt and decline of America's heavy industry is a part of US history which deserves a place in the timeline, as is the race to the Moon. Trump, while a disaster, will have to earn his place. Maybe his presidency will be as historic as Nixon's, but he has to earn that.
The concern expressed by the original poster on this thread was "While current events are always notable, it is impossible to accurately judge the weight to give them in the context of the nation's history. Until we have something actually historic to say about Trump's presidency, I don't think a paragraph about how controversial he is is warranted or desirable."
That concern appears valid. While we do have to cover any "Muslim ban" or "Mexico wall" platforms which have caused or are likely to cause impediments to travel, this doesn't belong in the #History section. Is there a place for this elsewhere in the article? K7L (talk) 17:03, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
The Mexico wall is not an impediment to the travel covered by WV. If there are restrictions imposed on crossing the Mexican border legally, they would relevant to our travel coverage. WV should not attempt to be a guide for illegal migration. We just won't do a good job of that. Ground Zero (talk) 17:10, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
We're dealing with a régime which is cancelling valid visas while the traveller is in flight. Do you realistically expect a tightened Mexican border isn't going to come with more restrictions on perfectly legitimate traffic? K7L (talk) 17:30, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
You're extrapolating and speculating there. I have not heard anything from the regime about tightening rules on legal migration or tourism from Mexico. If we can find something real on this, we should add it. Ground Zero (talk) 17:48, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Well "make Mexico pay for it" might end up with higher visa fees and the likes. But of course speculation is idle at this point. While "wait and see" is a really bad approach to the likes of Trump in the real world, it might be a good one for a wiki that is overtly apolitical. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:05, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Trying to move this al ong, how about:
In 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S. at the end of one of the most divisive campaigns in recent memory. The long-term impact on travel of his policies remains unclear: a Jan 2017 executive order barring travel from seven predominantly-Muslim countries has caused disruption and uncertainty. See the notices in the "Get in" section. His campaign proposals suggest that further restrictions on travel can be expected, especially affecting those from predominantly Muslim countries and from Latin America. Ground Zero (talk) 18:23, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
That seems very straightforward, travel-related and objectively accurate. If people don't like having it in "history" because you think history doesn't apply to politicians currently in office (I would strongly disagree), it could be put in "Get in". Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:59, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's fine too. The technical definition of history is anything that has happened in the past, so even if it only happened yesterday, it would also fit under the definition of history. The dog2 (talk) 05:38, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree with your definition, for whatever it's worth. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:04, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

(indent) I don't have a problem with the wording, but that paragraph is really awkward standing at the end of the History Section. Talking about speculated travel restrictions in the one section that actually isn't travel-related. I'm not sure we even need to mention the election at this point in the History section. Aside from "As of January 2017, the current president of the United States is President Trump." there doesn't seem to be anything more to say. It's been just a few weeks. Are we seriously going to update that section to give weekly updates on the US President like we do with zero other countries? That sounds like weak activism to me. We really don't need to be phone-tapping world leaders to write our history sections. It's not that deep. Political activism should be taken elsewhere.

On the relevant section, "Get in", the last sentence is confusing. The purpose of "Avoiding travel in the US" is to reach countries that are not the US. That should be mentioned, because right now it's just shoved in there without explanation. Shouldn't it specifically state that for those who may be from suspended countries who were planning on travel to another nation via the US, see "Avoiding travel in the US"? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:52, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

I wouldn't really call it political activism. As far as I can see, we've tried to vet the paragraph to ensure that we are neither promoting nor rejecting Trump's agenda, but simply trying to give a background behind the immigration ban. I think we can all agree that if you are a potential tourist from one of the affected countries, the ban could potentially be disruptive for you. Whether or not the ban is warranted is a separate issue and probably a very divisive debate that I won't get into here, but I don't think even the most fervent Trump supporters will deny that the ban has inconvenienced those from the affected countries. The argument will simply be that the ban is necessary to protect Americans. But anyway, from the way it is written, I don't think we have written about whether we support or reject the ban. As far as I can see, the paragraph simply states how the policies of the current administration could potentially disrupt the plans of potential travellers. The dog2 (talk) 15:57, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't know if you understood my points. The first paragraph is about the History section. The history section isn't where we talk about travel restrictions. It's not supposed to be "History of travel", it's just history. In looking at other History sections, I'd say we don't do a very good job in "ending" them overall, but ending with the random immigration ban here (regardless of neutrality) or Brazil's World Cup protestors are off the mark, in my opinion. (El Salvador and even Burundi's very short history section ends better than most of our country History sections.) That's why I said we should just let it end with something that essentially just says "The current president is President Trump" or leave that out altogether and just say something about America continuing to be an important and influential nation. History sections should by necessity end with very broad non-specific points, since no country stands still in time and these pinpointed moments as being so defining that we end the nation's history with them just don't read well. The second paragraph is about the travel restrictions and nowhere did I even remotely suggest deleting them or that it was not relevant. All I said was that our link to Avoiding travel in the US is not written well. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:34, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
I concur completely with User:ChubbyWimbus. The revised paragraph is much improved from when I initially started this discussion, but it still seems out of place with the tone and scope of the rest of the History section. Powers (talk) 01:42, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @ChubbyWimbus:, I don't think that unilaterally removing all reference to Trump after this long discussion with the edit summary "Try to end it in a fair but open way" is a good approach. Clearly a lot of people think he has to be mentioned for completeness. I'm one of them. I do think it makes sense report the fact of his election in a neutral, simple way, rather than getting into a discussion of why he won the election. I proposed the longer version as a way of compromising with those who felt that context should be provided. Taking the absolutist approach of deleting the paragraph altogether is not going to be seen as "fair" by the many people who do not share your view. Ground Zero (talk) 14:00, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

The history section may indeed be the wrong place to mention Trump's election (though we may argue that the fact that he "won" despite a near 3 000 000 popular vote deficit and the endorsement of pretty much no newspaper of any repute is historical no matter what he does in office), but some place should mention it. Especially since most of our readers will be asking what effect Trump has on their visit or planned visit. Not mentioning Trump would be a bit like not mentioning Hamas in the article on the Gaza Strip. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:21, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
History might be being made, but the analyse can happen later. Let's stick to being a travel guide and let people know was the present impact to their travel is. If anyone here has views on the Trump presidency then I suspect there may be some other places on the interwebs that would provide an outlet to discuss them. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:09, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with the statement which was inserted to replace the Trump text, "Still the overall living standards in the US are among the highest in the world and the nation continues to be a leader in global politics and economics." It's safe to say the US is the largest economy, but "a leader in global politics"? Given the last few weeks, "comedy of errors" would be more apt. In any case, this belongs in some other section for now as Trump isn't history yet. K7L (talk) 22:40, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
While I strongly believe that Wikivoyage does not use the phrases "gong show", "omnishambles", and "clusterf*ck" nearly enough, doing so here could be, um, contentious. How about we replace that sentence with "In January 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States", and leave it that so we can all get on with building a travel guide? Ground Zero (talk) 00:24, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
I would like to add "despite losing the popular vote by a record two million nine hundred thousand something votes" but that would be contentious. I think replacing what is there with this short, crisp statement would be better. If and when Trump declares war on Vanuatu we can of course mention that. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:29, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
True. He only lost by "286·8692 votes, a margin ten times the entire population of Vanuatu". Hopefully all 2,868,692 don't cross into Emerson at once, making Manitoba suddenly our fourth most populous province? K7L (talk) 02:13, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

(indent) This is precisely why what I wrote is better. You guys are showing that you have ulterior motives for your ravenous desire to throw in a line about Trump. If you don't think America is still a world power, you're lying to yourselves. The US is certainly a leader in global politics. When Trump talks (or even Tweets), world leaders actually react (probably more than necessary), and the same was true for Obama, Bush, and on back for decades. That's not the case for the leader of Vanuatu, since the nation was brought up. Many world leaders probably don't even know who heads Vanuatu offhand. To say the US is not a leader in global politics is a fantasy. There is still no other nation (including Europe's "Union") that has more sway and influence in the world. You can hope for that to change and for the destruction of America, death to Americans, and make tired "haha the popular vote" gags, but do it on your personal blogs. It doesn't belong here. Let's end the anti-Trump circle-jerk by dropping mention and moving on to constructive editing. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:38, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

I wouldn't consider the popular vote a joke and neither would most small d democrats. Also criticism of Trump is not exclusive to the "death to America" crowd. The main reason why people are so glued to Trump's Twitter feed is because the US seems to have ceased being predictable and reliable and the utterings of the President are perhaps the closest thing to a domestic or foreign agenda we're going to get. At any rate, Trump is neither a usual President nor a usual politician which was one of the main selling points for his supporters, really. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:27, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
@ChubbyWimbus: I am not clear how my proposal to add "In January 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States" shows ulterior motives or suggests a desire for the destruction of America. Perhaps you could suggest constructive changes to make it more neutral. As far as the line about the US bring a leader, we could argue that, but it is clear that it is contentious and we're better off leaving it out of our travel guide. As you say, it is better to argue that out in a blog. Ground Zero (talk) 21:29, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Hobbitschuster that it's generally accepted across the political spectrum that Trump is not your conventional leader. Whether that is a good or bad thing is up for debate, and definitely does not belong in this guide, but I think that simply stating that he is unconventional is not a biased statement. And well, I think we can all agree that from both an economic and military perspective, the US is still by far the world's most powerful and influential country. I would be careful about calling any country the best though, since that is subjective, and depends on how you define "best" since no country is perfect. I'd actually question whether or not the US really has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Sure it's better than much of Africa, Latin America and Asia, but is it better than say, Scandinavia, Western Europe, or even Canada? From my personal observations, Iceland definitely seems to have a lower poverty rate than the US. And even Singapore's public housing is in much better shape than the Projects in the US. The dog2 (talk) 22:36, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I did not write that the US was "the best" country in the world here nor in the History section. That kind of emphatic statement is always going to rub someone the wrong way. My words all marked it as part of an unspecified top tier of nations on the three mentioned fronts. Trump was elected in part due to his being perceived as an establishment "outsider", so yes, he is "different" from the born-and-bread politicians however, I don't see any value in trying to add a line about "An eccentric new leader" being elected either. The US is at least on par in most regards with Canada, Scandinavia and Western Europe; certainly enough to hold up the claim that Americans have AMONG the highest standard of living in the world. (Very few people countries and people actually make up your list) "Among" does not mean "the absolute highest" which of course would be a boring and pointless debate. I tried to end it with a description of the US that has been representative for a while and is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. I think it's the better way to go. Just to provide another comparison, the Canada article ends in 1982. No mention of Trudeau or any arguments about whether he's a "lovely-locked leader who cares deeply about all citizens and the concerns of minorities in the hopes of maintaining and strengthening Canada's multicultural society" or "the anti-white, Canada-hating globalist who some claim to be the bastard child of Castro, who fights every day to destroy Canada's culture, values, and freedoms". Nope, he's given no mention and adding him doesn't seem necessary either. Some may argue that is just another example of poor History endings (I'm sure it could be improved), but I think it's still good perspective to show that there is no need to obsess over trying to make every day into something historically noteworthy. I don't mind if others have a crack at editing my line. I'm not safeguarding it. I do think that we should have in mind something broad and non-specific in these History section endings (in all country articles), as I said before (and to leave Trump out for now). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:13, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Well Trudeau is not the child (bastard or otherwise) but the child of a very successful (if you measure success as "succeeding in what you set out to do, no matter what it is and no matter whether it is good or bad") if not uncontroversial prime minister in his own right. A fact that crops up remarkably little in both the swooning and the condemning portrayals of him written by non-Canadians. And while I think we don't need to be current for the sake of being current, some events are so immediately obvious as noteworthy that they are "history" even while they're happening. In Germany most of those happen to fall one ninth Novembers of some kind or other. And while the US definitely is "among" the places with the highest standard of living (even if some people in "the bad part of town" will see little of that in their lives), the same is true for most member states of the EU, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and probably a half dozen other states. Heck, you could even make an argument for saying something like that about Panama. I don't think this is particularly worthy of mention, unless we mention it in the context of a remarkable rise over a short period from the poorhouse of (insert geographic region) to one of the places with the highest living standards on earth. The US has been many things and North America was indeed once considered less valuable a possession than Latin America, but the US have never been the poorhouse of the Americas. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:39, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I see no reason why the ending of the "History" section should even mention Herr Drumpf. This could just as easily conclude with an economic or sociological comparison, from a generation ago to today. From the fuel shortages of the 1970s and the intense fears of losing automotive, photo and electronics industries to Japanese rivals - to the rise of automation - to the shift of heavy industry like steelmaking abroad and the replacement of "smokestack industry" with technology companies as the original Cold War ended and the Space Age gave way to the computer age. Hydraulic fracturing to squeeze every last fracking drop of oil out of the ground to reduce America's reliance of imports, ubiquitous inclusion of computers in every aspect of daily life, an economy where the relative stability of the 1950's and 60's (where huge factories run by big business and represented by big labour dominated entire sectors, US Steel or Bethlehem-style) to the current fast-paced environment where nothing is stable, life for many is economically precarious but many clever folk have become millionaires. Contrast the rust belt to Silicon Valley to see which way America has gone to draw a tentative 'conclusion' to its "History" section. K7L (talk) 16:15, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
That could work too. Come to think of it, the history section currently makes no mention of the restructuring of the American economy away from heavy industry towards a more service-based economy. And this is definitely a major reason why much of the Midwest suffers from urban blight, poverty and high crime rates. If the consensus is not to bring up Trump, I'm not going to push it, but mentioning this shift away from heavy industry is indeed a major factor behind Trump's election, as his promises to bring those jobs back have resonated with the workers. But back to the topic, anyone visiting the rust belt can indeed see just how bad it is for those laid off when heavy industry was shifted offshore, and even in places like New York City and Chicago which have somewhat restructured better, you can still see the vestiges of what were once factories, and some neighbourhoods that were once reliant of these factory jobs are now in a really bad state. The dog2 (talk) 18:23, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It is at this point that I point out a) there has been at least one previous discussion on the history section where length did iirc come up and b) the article post-war United States exists and either deals or should deal with some of the historical trends you rightfully point out. Though it is perhaps written in a more positive tone than some would describe the "rust belt" in. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:39, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

United States of America#History is intended to be a brief summary of a well-intentioned 240-year experiment in democracy which began in 1776 and ended on November 2016. By design, it's general and brief as the detailed US history is in the series of historical travel topics: Indigenous nationsPre-Civil WarCivil WarOld WestIndustrializationPost-war. The rust belt, automation and offshoring of heavy industry should get a sentence here but not more than a short paragraph. The rest would fit into the individual articles. K7L (talk) 19:51, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Please have a look at Post-war_United_States#Decline_of_American_manufacturing_and_rise_of_the_tech_sector - I am sure the writing can be much improved upon still. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:08, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Please limit this discussion to talks about this article. Certainly there are many US-related articles that could benefit from further editing, but let's not get distracted. I think the discussion has entered a good place and is nearing the end (and maybe even is beneficial in thinking about how to end History sections for other countries that are not done well at the moment). I think K7L brought up some potentially good topics to frame our last sentences about US History. Care to take a stab at the editing? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:01, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
As I said, the history section is already pretty long and there have been calls in the past to shorten it. Part of the result of those are the aforementioned specialized articles. So having a more in depth treatment of certain aspects there is certainly something that should be looked at before potentially bloating the section here to be too long. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:44, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Arbitrary break to make finding entries easierEdit

I have made this arbitrary break to make this section more manageable. Please either respond below this or move this headline a bit further up. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:47, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

How about a permanent break? This thread is just a collection of snide remarks about the American president and a few hurt feelings around American exceptionalism. I guess if it confined to the discussion page then it isn't doing any harm per se, just be aware that this discussion isn't travel relevant at all. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:07, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
It might contain a few snide remarks, but there were actually relevant points raised, among them whether the history section should mention Trump and in which way if so and whether we do the development in the "rust belt" justice with the way the history section is currently written. And I do think the decline of American manufacturing and the cities it happened in has travel relevance. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:33, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I think a good place would probably be somewhere in the last paragraph. Perhaps before the 9/11 attacks. The outsourcing of heavy industry to China and other countries really gained traction in the 1990's, so it might be a good place to mention that. Of course, we should also mention the rise of Silicon Valley and the tech industry as a counterbalance to the negative effects. What we have seen, though, is that the population of the US in the rust belt has shrunk, while that of California has boomed. The dog2 (talk) 01:59, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Another government travel warningEdit

I presume this should be added as a {{cautionbox}} instead of a {{warningbox}}, as it doesn't expressly indicate a non-obvious danger to life or limb? K7L (talk) 14:52, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

{{cautionbox|Nigeria has advised its citizens against any non-urgent travel to the United States until Washington clarifies its immigration policy, after several incidents in which people with valid visas were denied entry.[4]}}
That sounds right to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:33, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Don't we usually use Template:VisaRestriction for immigration-related warnings? Powers (talk) 19:59, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I suspect none of us were familiar with that template. I am not. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:09, 8 March 2017 (UTC)


Given that there is a real chance that Jeff Sessions becomes the new Attorney General and other Trump appointments seem to have similar opinions on the relationship of federal drug laws to state attempts at medical marihuana or other cannabis decriminalization, should we note that the status of the substance being legal under state law while still illegal under federal law has never been resolved and this conflict is likely to come to a head under the Trump regime, likely to the detriment of cannabis consumers of all kinds. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:17, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

A topic worth following, but I think we should stick to describing the current situation. Normally we start mentioning changes when they actually happen, rather than writing about what will or will not "likely" happen. Especially for an article like this, which is sufficiently popular in terms of edits to keep it up to date. JuliasTravels (talk) 21:31, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
True, but as certain media personalities associated with MSNBC would like to say "watch this space" Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:49, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Pet-friendly hotelsEdit

This edit asserts that "most hotels" are pet-friendly, but I question whether this is true. Pet-friendly hotels seem rare to me. Powers (talk) 01:47, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

I worked in the hotel industry for almost a decade, at a number of different properties. While pet-friendly hotels are not exactly rare, they're certainly in the minority. Moreover, "pet-friendly" in hotel parlance generally means "dog-friendly", and that friendliness generally decreases as the size of the dog increases (the hard upper limit generally ranges between 30 and 50 pounds, though actual enforcement is usually nil given that most hotels don't actually have scales to weigh visiting dogs; service animals are obviously exempt from this rule). I don't think I've ever worked at, stayed at, or heard of any hotel where cats or other non-dog pets are allowed in guest rooms under any circumstances, though there might be a few, I suppose. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:40, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
Certainly, I wouldn't bring my cat to one of Trump's hotels. He might try to grab her. K7L (talk) 02:52, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
Do hotels commonly advertise their stance on pets? Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:44, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
A search on "pet-friendly hotels" finds many websites dedicated to the topic, as well as pages on major franchisor sites like Best Western, Choice, Marriott, Doubletree. Often, an individual B&B or hotel listing will indicate a pet-friendly establishment. That said, pet-friendly venues are the minority and travelling with pets often awkward. K7L (talk) 13:56, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
I will remove the comment then. Powers (talk) 17:27, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
I must interject here, as I frequently travel with a cat (really!) and in my own experience have found that all hotels that accept dogs will also accept cats. I wouldn't know about turtles or ferrets though… –StellarD (talk) 18:16, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

Connecting religion and politicsEdit

I removed the following about religion because A) it wasn't travel related as such, and B) it is not possible to make broad declarations that political voting is driven by religious affiliation in the US:

"Differences in religiosity largely correlate with politics, too, so the Northeast, West Coast, Hawaii and Chicago metropolitan area are generally progressive and Democratic; most of the South and heavily Mormon states like Utah, Idaho and Wyoming are very conservative and Republican; and much of the rest of the country (e.g., several Midwestern, Southwestern/Rocky Mountain, and Southern coastal states) is nearly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. A trend of the last few decades is one of increasing geographic political polarization. "

I'm sure there is some crossover - evangelicals and pro-lifers are likely to be leaning to Republican candidates, but given the election events of 2016 I think it is fair to say that it is a far more complex situation than that, and probably not one we should be addressing on WV. Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:55, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

I disagree insofar as over quite a handful of elections the Republicans have steadily won "white evangelical christians" while losing the "everybody else" demographic in presidential elections. So religion is in fact a rather accurate predictor of political affiliation and it has only increased in the US (as opposed to e.g. Germany where the hold of CDU/CSU on Catholics seems to be weakening more and more). Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:32, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, I don't understand your objections. That degree of religiosity is pretty strongly correlated with which party a person votes for is so well-founded and well-established that it's a truism in American politics. And what's relevant about such neutrally-phrased information is simply that it gives the reader a bit of basic understanding of the U.S. I would restore it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:57, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Precisely. Leaving aside the fact that what the excised text says is indeed generally true - anything I say about that would simply be redundant to what Hobbitschuster and Ikan have already pointed out - I think we do the site a disservice when we stick to a strict definition of what is "travel-related" and err too much on the side of leaving out background information. We do so to a greater degree than usual in this article out of sheer necessity - it's already one of the longest articles on the site, and would be many times longer if we didn't strictly limit how in-depth we go - but all the same, it's that background information, much more so than anything that would go in a "See", "Do", "Eat", "Sleep", etc. section, that's the reason why people travel in the first place. Anyone can make the rounds of the tourist sights and robotically snap photos, but without a context to put those things in, a story that they can be part of, what's the point? You want to get to know a place. And, whether we like it or not, the conjunction between and interplay of religion and politics is pretty well inescapable for anyone who spends any significant amount of time in the USA, especially these days. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:14, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
<returned text in face of overwhelming disagreement> I don't disagree with the sentiments expressed in the responses (although I wasn't trying to remove 'background information' but rather avoid too much explanation that becomes confusing), but the text as written does suggest a symmetry between religious belief and voting record. Religion is an influential factor but if it were that simple then elections would be eminently predictable (and 2016 was by any measure unpredictable) . Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:42, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
The result was unpredictable, but the voting patterns not so much, as whites and especially whites without college degrees gravitated toward the Republicans. But there are big differences between how whites vote on the East and West Coast and in other parts of the country, and a lot of that is correlated with frequency of attendance at church.
If the correlation of everything had to be 100% for it to be OK to mention on this site, we could make no remarks about the people of any nation, culture, religion, ethnic group. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:51, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Well we might want to argue the wording, but I think bot h aspects - the connection between religion and voting behavior and the increasing geographic polarization are remarkable, especially since they have not historically occurred in the US, but have been rather striking in certain European countries in the past, where they are now often less visible today. Just take the Ruhr area and its "natural governing party" SPD or the Catholic Christian Democrat connection (ahem *gay SPD Landrat in the Bavarian Forest*) that used to be quite prevalent but are increasingly becoming tenuous at best. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:01, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
I would agree that the connection is remarkable (literally meaning to be worth remarking upon) whilst not giving the impression that religion is the be all and end all of voting affiliation. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:00, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Main international gatewaysEdit

In light of this edit, the interested parties are pointed to pages 35ff of this PDF detailing the data in question in pretty exhaustive form for 2015 (newer data doesn't yet exist here), so that any debate as may arise can be had on the basis of facts not feelings or having a hunch. Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:16, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Taking a look at the stats in that article, San Francisco seems an arbitrary cutoff point to me..Houston looks much more fitting, given it drops from roughly 10x to roughly 7x Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:45, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, but what is the question / point being made? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:48, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
The edit in question ads SFO as a main international gateway, bringing the total to six (instead of the previous five). However, the numbers in the PDF I linked don't really support including SFO while limiting the number to six (nor is there any policy that does). SFO had (in the year of reference) 10,755,078 international passengers while the place immediately below it in the ranking, IAH, had 10,177,441 the place below IAH however, DFW, had 7,580,093 which is a much more significant drop. Thus I suggest making the cut at the three million jump, not the few thousand jump. Hence the stuff in comment tags. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:05, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure how it stands for people from Europe but from East Asia, the main entry points to the U.S. are most certainly LAX, SFO and JFK. Of course I know that many other American cities have flights to East Asia, but in terms of frequency and number of Asian cities served, these are without a doubt the main ones. And speaking of which, I wonder if it's worth mentioning that NRT and LHR are good hubs for flights to the US for those coming from East Asia and Europe respectively. The dog2 (talk) 16:00, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
I edited the article Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:06, 2 August 2017 (UTC)


Because of its subject, this article probably attracts a lot of editors who want to help out by adding a little bit here and a little bit there to elaborate on a particular topic or add a perspective unique to their region or state. The downside of this is that the article can become unwieldy and go into more detail than the typical traveller would want, e.g. the fairly lengthy explanation of how gift cards words. I would expect that most travellers are familiar with the concept, so probably only a cursory description would be needed. There are also cases where the same point is made in more than one place (full-service/fibe-dinibg restaurants). I've taken a few runs at this to trim it down, and encourage others to keep an eye out for well-intentioned excesses. Ground Zero (talk) 19:34, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Since April 19, the article has grown by about 4,000 bytes, mostly by people adding a few extra words here and there, elaborations, or a regional example or exception. I've cut some more out -- about 1,500 bytes, but we really have to remember that this article should not attempt to be a compendium of everything you need to know about travelling in America. Because that is something few people who be interested in reading. Ground Zero (talk) 03:22, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
I completely agree with your position, and would actually prefer people didn't add superfluous information given the size of this article. Unfortunately this article attracts the majority of edits, so that will always be a very difficult view to enforce. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:26, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Yep. The last edit that I revert was adding an example of vocabulary differences right before the link to "see English language varieties", in other words, starting to duplicate that article. There is one editor in particular who seems to enjoy adding little bits and pieces to this article regularly. If anyone disagrees with my trying to keep this article from becoming a juggernaut, please speak up. Otherwise, I will continue to revert unnecessary padding of this article. Andrew, I appreciate the efforts that you and @K7L: have made to cull the cruft that accumulates here. Ground Zero (talk) 22:32, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Associating people with their ethnicity's traditional foodsEdit

This is in "Respect":

In this regard, never associate anyone with any particular type of food or other traditions based on their race. For instance, asking a Korean-American about Korean food, a Chinese-American about Chinese food, a Mexican-American about Mexican food, an African-American about fried chicken or anything that is typically connected to someone's ethnic background is considered to be stereotyping and hence, very offensive to Americans.

I want to push back on this a little. Sure, asking an African-American to recommend a fried chicken place if you don't personally know the individual you're asking likes fried chicken (such as if s/he spontaneously brings up fried chicken in a conversation) can cause offense, because African-Americans being caricatured for eating fried chicken, watermelon and so forth is a trope. But if I know someone is Cantonese, I seriously doubt I'd offend them by asking whether there's any Cantonese restaurant they like. I'm Jewish, and I don't feel the least bit offended when people ask me for recommendations of good Jewish delicatessens in New York. I'm always happy to answer that question. So I think all this stuff really depends on context: Don't walk up to Mexican strangers and ask for a recommendation of a taqueria, but if you are having a conversation with someone you meet at a party and say you love Mexican food and wonder if they like anyplace in particular, would that necessarily be offensive? I think this bullet goes overboard and should be dialed back. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:10, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

It does sound overly sensitive. I think in the original edit comments they said that an Australian-Asian wouldn't be offended but an American-Asian would. I guess in Australia (thanks to a racist immigration system until the 1950's) , most Asians are 1st, 2nd or third generation and have close connections to their ancestral country, whereas as in America you can easially encounter an Asian whose family goes back to the nineteenth century and would be generally bemused by a question about authentic Cantonese restaurants. In any case I think this falls in the bucket of "things to seriously not get concerned about" and remove it. Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:24, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
You could indeed, but most Cantonese-Americans I know do at least have places their family likes to go for banquets on special occasions, or they know about such places. I guess I know of one Korean-American who gets annoyed about questions about Korean restaurants since she seldom eats Korean food and then only home cooking, but she's also a difficult person in other respects, so I don't know if that really tells us much. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:49, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
It is probably more a general fact of life that if you ask someone a question based on their apparent ethnic origin then you will run a risk of offending them. Does it have to be travel advice? I'd say not... Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:33, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I think that there probably should be some mention of this. I'm not sure what the right way to phrase this will be but I do think the US is unusually sensitive in this respect. I do recognise that not everybody gets offended by this, but at least based on my experiences, general American culture regards this as stereotyping and it is generally taboo to ask people about any type of food that is typically associated with their ethnic background. For instance, many Chinese-Americans I have met find it very annoying when other people ask them about where to find good fried rice. Of course, I do know that is also depends on what ethnicity as well, as most Italian-Americans I have met have no issue about being asked about where to find good pasta and pizza.
As for the issue with African-Americans and fried chicken, I think this absolutely has to be mentioned. While this may be a Captain Obvious for Americans, many foreigners aren't even aware that this association even exists, and I only learnt about it after spending several months in the US, and this is something that absolutely could cause serious offence. So let's say for instance, I'm a tourist making an enquiry with an African-American receptionist at my hotel. I could have just unintentionally offended the person out of ignorance, as I wouldn't have been aware that this stereotype even exists, and my intentions would have been as innocent as wanting to eat some fried chicken since the US, since the US is known internationally for fried chicken. As a foreigner, I would like to point out that for many of us, fried chicken is considered to be general American cuisine, and not necessarily connected with any particular ethnic group. So I would say yes, this is most definitely something travellers need to be made aware of. The dog2 (talk) 16:31, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I tried to rephrase this when I first saw it, and utterly failed. The spirit of it is "Don't make assumptions about a person based on their race or skin color." Maybe some explanation could then be added, to say that because the U.S. has a long and ongoing history of immigration, you can't tell by looking at someone whether they are culturally American or fresh off the boat. But that doesn't make up for the fact that the main point being made is universally applicable, and should be Captain Obvious (even though it sadly probably isn't for a large number of people). In no culture is it safe to make assumptions based on a person's skin color, even in a homogeneous country like Japan. And asking a black person about fried chicken is about on par with asking a French person about snails, or asking a Scottish person about haggis.
That's not to say you can't ask about fried chicken! If you're asking the hotel concierge where to find some good fried chicken, and the concierge happens to be black, I wouldn't expect there to be a problem. Presumably, you chose them because it's their job to answer questions like that, not because of their skin color.
I have a hard time seeing how this is not advice from Captain Obvious. Maybe some people need to adjust their world view in order to realize "Gee, if I asked a French or Scottish person a question like that back home, it would be offensive, so it's probably offensive here to ask a black person a similar question." But how is that specific to the U.S., and not a general travel problem of sometimes not seeing other cultures equivalently to your own? --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:06, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I think the fried chicken thing is different on a couple of levels. First of all, Haggis and Snails are actual traditional foods of the areas in question. Fried chicken is not exactly "African American cuisine" (and yes, such a thing exists or has historically existed). As a matter of fact, if asked who "typically eats fried chicken" I'd either say Ketuckians or people from Central America (basically all non US fast food chains there are fried chicken). And while I consider the Lederhosen and whatnot stereotypes about Germans (which really only apply to Bavaria and only Altbaiern at that) annoying, I consider them a lot less offensive than caricatures of African Americans that have no discernible basis in any observable reality. I think it might also be wise to inform readers of some stereotypes they mightn't have heard of to avoid offense. Even major German newspapers get elementary things about African Americans wrong, as seen in a left wing (!) paper putting "Onkel Barack's Hütte" (Uncle Barack's Hut; hut also being slang for house in German) as a headline with the White House upon his election Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:12, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I can only speak for myself but personally, I would not be the least offended if a visitor to Singapore asks me where to have good chicken rice, kaya toast, laksa or any of the dishes typically associated with Singapore, or even if they ask me for recommendations for good Chinese restaurants. But I guess this issue is more minor and if everyone desires for it to be removed, so be it.
I must say, though, from a foreigner's perspective, that the fried chicken thing is most certainly not obvious to foreigners. I, for one, have grown up associating fried chicken with generic American cuisine (perhaps due to the influence of American fast-food chains like KFC and Popeye's), and not specifically African-American cuisine. If someone is not aware that such caricatures even exist, it is easy to see how they could easily offend an African-American without having the slightest clue why that person was offended. Therefore, I think that travellers should at least be made aware of this issue, so no unintentional offence is caused. The dog2 (talk) 18:14, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
With all due respect The dog2 , I believe that your observations on race in the US is very much on the overly sensitive side. Wikivoyage is a guide to travel, not a guide to avoid low-level offending people in every possible scenario. Yes, we need to respect people and customs when we travel to other countries, but recommending that I don't ask where I might find a good Korean restaurant in Atlanta is seriously not good travel advice. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:49, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not saying you can't ask anyone at all. My impression is that in the situation you mentioned, it's OK to ask someone who is obviously a non-Asian, but if you ask a Korean-American, that person may see it as stereotyping and get offended unless the two of you are very close friends. The dog2 (talk) 22:24, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I can ask an African American about Korean restaurants, but not an Asian-American? Sorry, but your observation and recommendation is just utterly wrong. Again, we are not in the business of avoiding offense at all costs, but providing real travel advice. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:40, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Dog, don't you agree that this is highly context-dependent? If you ask Chinese-Americans for favorite places for fried rice, you demonstrate that you don't know anything about Chinese food beyond the most superficial, but if I'm speaking with a Cantonese-American and say that I eat Chinese food more than any other kind when I eat out and really love high-quality Cantonese banquet food, and does s/he know anyplace s/he'd recommend, that's not stereotyping, it's a legitimate question that absolutely can have a "no" answer if s/he doesn't know such a place. It seems to me that you've associated with Americans on the extreme end of the "P.C." continuum. Even (especially?) in liberal cities like New York, we just don't have such a thin skin. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:26, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
OK, it may well be the case that some of the Americans I have associated with are exceptionally sensitive even by American standards. Given that you grew up in America, go ahead and change it what you feel is more accurate. But I still stand by my point that I think the fried chicken issue should be mentioned in some form. Although my point may seem counterintuitive given the dominance of American popular culture throughout the world, this is one of the issues that a foreigner who has never lived in the US may very well not be familiar with. In any case, Hollywood doesn't show us the complete picture of what actual American society is like, so it really is not inconceivable that some aspects of American culture may not be well-known to foreigners. The dog2 (talk) 04:07, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Fried chicken and watermelon, and neither would be obvious to a foreigner, whereas the offensiveness of asking a Chinese- or Korean-American whether they eat dog - a bigoted question that's hardly unknown in this country - should be obvious. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:10, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

[unindent] Well, here's my edit. Unfortunately, it made the section longer. I think I'm going to subtract the least essential parts and stay with the fried chicken and watermelon only, but if anyone thinks it's really important to add the rest back, you have my blessing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:23, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Excision here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:25, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
I guess that looks fine. I'll trim it a little further since there's one sentence that I think is probably not necessary since it's already covered in the rest of your edit. If there's anything to add in, maybe Chinese-Americans and fried rice would be a point to add (though I must say that fried rice is most certainly not only Chinese, and I personally do enjoy Thai crab fried rice and Korean kimchi fried rice), but that's nowhere near as offensive as the trope about African-Americans and fried chicken, so I'm fine if it stays out. The dog2 (talk) 05:19, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, as I said, the really offensive slur is that Chinese or other East Asian people all eat dog and cat. But we just can't put everything in this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:24, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
For the record, if there's one thing I've never heard about New Yorkers as a group, it's them having thin skin. And I have heard quite some negative things about them (in addition to all the positive stuff) Hobbitschuster (talk) 06:15, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
Whatcha lookin' at?! :-P Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:45, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Another issue with the "Respect" sectionEdit

"There are Native American reservations scattered throughout the country."

I understand the desire not to offend, but as far as official terminology is concerned, the United States has "Indian reservations", not "Native American reservations". The former term is how Department of the Interior refers to them collectively, and the official names of the individual reservations generally follow the formula of "(name of tribe) Indian Reservation", "(name of tribe) Reservation", or "(name of tribe) Nation", with none including "Native American" in their name. It also perhaps bears mentioning that Wikipedia has refused repeated page move requests of w:Indian reservation to w:Native American reservation.

Additionally, it's not even clear whether the term "Indian reservation" is generally considered offensive among the demographic group in question. Surveys consistently fail to show any clear preference of what term they feel should be used to refer to them; generally, "Native American" and "American Indian" poll in a statistical dead heat of 35-45% each, with the balance preferring the unqualified "Indian" or other lesser-known terms such as "Amerindian" and "Aboriginal American". I think the muddled picture painted by those statistics bolsters the argument that we ought to stick with the official terminology in this article, especially since we already touch on preferred terminology in the bullet point directly above.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:25, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Sure. Change the wording accordingly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:30, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
No disagreement from me. Though there is one term for the ethnic group(s) in question that should never be used in polite company. And that's currently trademarked as a Football team name. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:49, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
uncyclopedia:Birmingham Niggers minor-league baseball? K7L (talk) 01:52, 22 April 2017 (UTC)
  Done -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:11, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

"Redundant Map"Edit

I think 'redundant map' is code word for 'dynamic map'. I believe Dynamic Maps have very much proven themselves on this site, and I would suggest it is time to replace our US map with one. I appreciate that this is heresy to some, but the Static Map can still be the backup option as per the example here.

What more needs to happen to adopt the dynamic map on this article? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:44, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

What's the problem with the static map? Wikivoyage practice to date has been to use static maps at the region level and higher. I don't see the problem. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:10, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Agreed with Ikan Kekek, especially because maps for articles as high on the breadcrumb hierarchy as this one need to show the color-coded regions breakdown, which is currently impossible to do with a dynamic map. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:24, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Actually that isn't true anymore. Please see this map for North India that demonstrates regions can be color coded very effectively on a Dynamic Map --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:21, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
It's redundant in that it provides no information at all beyond what's already on the static map. It's nice that we can have color-coded regions but I certainly don't think it's preferable to use numbered markers over clear on-map labels. That North India map is especially silly, as it labels cities outside the region more clearly than those inside! Powers (talk) 20:34, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
In addition to what Powers said, the entire point of dynamic maps is to provide a more user-friendly alternative to static maps. It's not at all clear to me how to edit the region borders of such a dynamic map - and if it's anything like the mapmask function used to delineate borders on e.g. Buffalo/Allentown and the Delaware District, there's nothing user-friendly about it. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:52, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Simply put the static map for this area has extremely limited number of labels. You can't really zoom in to find anything if you wanted to on a static map. For dynamic map labels in this particular region - one has to zoom in (whether or not the dynamic map has shading) in order to see them as most of them are extremely small in the first place. I lightened the shading a bit on the article page. The markers are there simply to highlight the cities and other destinations as mentioned in the region article. Easy enough to get rid of them and the shading by unchecking the groups when viewing the dynamic map.
  • The point is that dynamic maps do in fact provide a more user-friendly alternative to static maps for the viewer and not for the one who has to create and maintain them. I totally agree that getting there is the biggest problem to overcome. We all appear to be floating with our own life preservers in a big undefined ocean. I believe that to create or edit the boundaries one would get involved with OpenStreetMap. Another possible future option that might come into play is retrieving/editing the data in Commons. Yet another is to define the boundaries (all the lat/long) positions and actually put them into GeoJSON format directly, in a table, a template or some other means.
  • It is probably preferable to use templates to make things happen with dynamic maps; however, they do not fulfill some needs and that alone may warrant the direct use of the Kartographer extension. Because of our user transparency goals, we wouldn't expect a casual editor to know how to use Kartographer anymore than using ParserFunctions, magic words, write Modules or templates and now-a-days wiki format coding and html etc.
  • I suppose I started this all when I did a test on the Himalayan North page. Perhaps the answer is to use both the static map and dynamic map together in region articles in particular. -- Matroc (talk) 23:01, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, technically, it's not easy to transfer what was done at Himalayan North to the U.S. map. If I understand the process correctly, the templates are calling a predefined boundary from Wikidata (which gets it from OpenStreetMap, assuming the links between Wikidata and OSM are set for the page). This can work well for regions that have official administrative boundaries, but for our nebulous regions -- like many of the top-level US ones -- there is no pre-defined boundary in OSM so it's not as simple as plugging in the Wikidata property. It's possible to trace boundaries and colour-code them (I did it recently here), but it involves a lot of tedious tracing that doesn't look good zoomed in and clutters the page with reams of numbers unless you move the coordinates off the page. It's still very much a work in progress.
I agree with Matroc that perhaps the answer is to use both static and dynamic maps. Dynamic maps give the user more freedom to explore and can easily be made clickable to enhance usability; a well drawn static map can highlight the essentials for the traveller at one glance and are more easily available offline. I'm not sure why we need to say it's an either/or proposition.
And, for what it's worth, I think the dynamic map at Himilayan North is an upgrade over the static map, so we'd be better to keep it. The US region map, however, has more info that isn't easily drawn out in a dynamic map, so I don't think it's a good candidate to be replaced by a dynamic map. -Shaundd (talk) 00:17, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
When I load the Himalayan North page, the map shows labels for cities outside the region and only icons for the cities inside the region. This makes no sense. I don't understand how this is an upgrade. I have to click on an icon to see what it is, or look over at the article. But that's weird since it's clearly possible to have written labels directly on the map. Powers (talk) 01:00, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
True, but when I load the Himilayan North static map, I see a map with no cities, no other destinations, no airports and no labels -- basically no context except three coloured regions and some borders. If a dynamic map can accurately show the same three coloured regions + add markers for destinations inside the region and labels for large cities outside the region, it seems like an upgrade to me. I'm not arguing that dynamic maps are ready to replace static maps at the region level, just in the particular case of Himilayan North I don't think it's a big deal because the static map isn't very useful (IMO). -Shaundd (talk) 04:35, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Again the labels you are looking for do not appear simply because they are low in the label hierarchy for OpenStreetMap. As stated before you would have to zoom in to see them. Shading has nothing to do with the unseen written labels in that area of the map. If you click on a marker located in text - a map will popup at a different zoom level and all the labels you would desire will show up (the zoom level different). -- Matroc (talk) 05:04, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm aware of the cause of the problem; that doesn't make it not-a-problem. Powers (talk) 20:26, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
In summary I think it is clear the Dynamic Maps have promise, but are not quite ready yet for the country level article. The gaps are A) Wikivoyage USA region definitions in OSM and B) Some aesthetic details on Dynamic Maps for close zooms --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:03, 6 May 2017 (UTC)


This article has been recently targeted by an anonymous, IP-hopping, edit-warring vandal. Therefore, I have temporarily restricted edits of the article to autoconfirmed users. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:20, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm actually thinking that we should consider permanent semi-protect to our most established articles. I know not a popular opinion with some, but we do seem to get a lot of people who stumble onto WV and feel that they can just jump into United States and start hacking away with their thoughts and opinions. It is also a very long article as it is and hardly lacking for content --Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:23, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
For the record, I do not think semiprotection of any of our articles should be undertaken unless to ward off specific and concrete vandalism. The semiprotection right now is justified. I do not think anew indefinite semiprotection would be. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:35, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I'm not convinced it was vandalism, but the edit warring was unacceptable. I would have liked a shorter semi-protection period, though. Users like this tend to lose interest in less than a week. Powers (talk) 01:19, 23 May 2017 (UTC)


I was the first to remove Russia from the line about resurgent powers challenging the dominance of the US. I think it is hard to argue that a dilapidated wreck like Russia is in any position to challenge the US in anything. Having said that, the edit warring by the anonymous editor is a stupid waste of time, and semiprotection is warranted to stop it. This isn't a big deal. I can live with leaving Russia in. Ground Zero (talk) 06:34, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Reading the full sentence I think the inclusion is valid - "Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has emerged as the world's sole superpower, and while its hegemony is increasingly being challenged by a resurgent China and Russia, it continues to play the dominant military, economic, political, and cultural role in world affairs."
It is true to say that the hegemony is being challenged fairly vigorously by Russia (see involvement of Syria and the threatening of Baltic nations as examples of this challenge). It is not quite the same as stating that Russia has any chance to surpass the economic or military position of the United States in the short or medium term. Obviously China does, and maybe putting them together makes parsing this confusing. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:31, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Russia may or may not have tried to influence the last presidential election. I don't know whether China ever did a similar thing. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:37, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
Many people would argue that Russia not only tried to influence that outcome but succeeded in getting Trump narrowly into office, and to my knowledge, no-one's ever even accused China of similar things. Instead, I believe the reports are that they've concentrated on industrial espionage in particular in the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:02, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
I think it reads fine. Both of those countries can be pains in America's butt when it comes to influencing/manipulating international policy/economics/relations. They're both relevant. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:30, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Certainly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:45, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

My post was about the page protection and edit warring. As I wrote, "This isn't a big deal. I can live with leaving Russia in", so I'm not sure why everyone is still debating one side of the issue. It was settled before anyone joined the discussion. I've moved on to other things. Ground Zero (talk) 23:16, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I guess if you raise an issue [[Ground Zero]] in this article, it is going to be picked up on. My parsing of your initial statement was that you were unhappy with the edit and wanted to register this. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:47, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Although I disagreed, I didn't respond because I'm not proposing to change anything, but yet the one-sided debate continues. I'm just trying to cap it off. Nothing to see here, folks, let's move along. Ground Zero (talk) 00:07, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
I guess everything has been said, but has it been said by everybody, yet? Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:37, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
It is a bit like that explosion scene at the firework factory in 'Naked Gun' movie "Nothing to see here! Move along!" :) --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:43, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
I may be biased because I was the one who wrote that sentence, but I think the wording is pretty clear and accurate. Both China and Russia have been increasingly trying to challenge America's dominance in international politics, but they're not quite there yet. Any sane person would tell you that despite these recent developments, the U.S. is still the undisputed most powerful nation on Earth. The dog2 (talk) 01:35, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Yep, absolutely no-one is proposing to change it. No-one. Do we have a "deeming provision" where we can say that everyone is considered to have weighed in on the issue so we can close the single-sided debate and move on? Because the issue is settled. There is no debate here. Ground Zero (talk) 01:47, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Taking Scissors AwayEdit

From the {{VisaRestriction}} box, in Special:Diff/3207575/3208368: "The ban has been voided by the courts, but if you come from those or other Muslim-majority countries, you should still expect close scrutiny by the TSA, if you arrive by plane, even in transit to another country."

This seems to be mixing two unrelated concepts – the TSA (which is security, taking scissors away so they don't turn up airside) and the immigration authorities (who are just as far out-of-control, but which have a different mandate). TSA isn't in the passport and visa restriction business, as far as I know? K7L (talk) 19:28, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

They can prevent people from leaving, but please edit the text. The important thing to me was not to leave it as proclaiming the existence of an executive order that's been voided by the courts, but then secondarily, to also indicate that Muslims are likely to face close scrutiny on entering or leaving or the U.S. by plane. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:31, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
I've changed the wording to "portions of the ban have been temporarily halted by the courts". SCOTUS looks to have left the ban partially in place for now – which does adversely affect the voyager.
That said, this probably should mention CBP and "extreme vetting". That's a different animal from TSA. Most court rulings indicate a Muslim ban would be illegal because of the 1st Amendment establishment of religion clause, but customs and immigration have a wide (largely accountable to nobody) latitude to turn any non-citizen away for any reason or no reason at any time. This could be used as an effective loophole to turn Muslims away because of their political beliefs, after a lengthy search through their mobile devices, their data, their social media posts and anything else that may amuse Homeland Insecurity. Ultimately, any Trumped-up reason will do, as being turned away once is a guarantee of trouble on all subsequent travels.
Airport security is entirely separate from visa restrictions. K7L (talk) 15:04, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

Slang in Talk SectionEdit

I previously added a statement about "Uncle Sam" but it was deleted as it supposedly only belongs in the English language varieties article. I did start another discussion there for which there are currently no replies but anyway, I think this might be useful information, since Americans do commonly use "Uncle Sam" to refer to the federal government, but not the state or city government. I also think we need to establish some form of consistency between articles, and the "United Kingdom" article does go into some political slang in its talk section, such as "Westminster" for the UK Parliament, or "Holyrood" for the Scottish Parliament. For consistency sake, we should come to a consensus on whether such slang belongs in a country's talk section, because it makes absolutely no sense that it is OK in the United Kingdom article but not this article. The dog2 (talk) 22:48, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

In my view, under normal circumstances you'd be right to place that information here rather than in English language varieties. However, due to its sheer length, this article is treated as a special case. As you probably know from previous discussions on this talk page, the consensus that has evolved vis-à-vis this article is that strict curation of new information is required, especially in terms of relevancy to the traveller, to keep this thing from becoming even more monstrously long than it already is. Unfortunately, on that basis I have to agree with the reversion. It's an interesting tidbit, and it would IMO be fine to pad out a shorter article like United Kingdom with analogous information, but a visitor to the U.S. from overseas could survive perfectly well without knowing that "Uncle Sam" = "federal government", and it's not the end of the world if we leave that factoid out. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:22, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
The large majority of our 200 country articles do not cover political slang, so for consistency between articles it makes absolutely no sense that it is not addressed in most country articles but it is in the United Kingdom article. As I've noted above, the USA article is growing like topsy in part because contributors like The dog2 continually add little tidbits here and there, a few words, an extra sentence or three, that they think might be interesting to some people. Their intentions are good, but they are failing to see the forest for the trees, as will our readers if this article become a compendium of everything about the USA. Ground Zero (talk) 00:47, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I will sound like a broken record, but Wikivoyage articles are not a place to store every single piece of tidbit and trivia that you find out about a country. Maybe you are learning all these facts about the US all the time, and that is great, but just because you know a thing does not make it traveler relevant and does not absolutely need sharing.
To put it another way, every additional sentence we add to this article makes it even less accessible to the traveller due to sheer length. Is that what you really want to achieve? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:00, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
A constructive approach would be to try to make edits that don't make the article longer. So if there is something you think really should be added to the article, find something else that coyld be removed because it's out of date or something that could be explained more briefly. Check the combined edit to see if it's adding length, and if it is, find something else that could be removed. That way you get to add things without making the article gianormouser. Ground Zero (talk) 13:02, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Of course we should not add every useless bit of information, and I'm definitely willing to compromise on content, and some things may be in a bit of a grey area. But as far as I know, I've tried to be fair, and there have been times when I refrained from adding stuff in because I've tried to avoid unnecessary length. If you really look at my edit history, I've also trimmed stuff down before when things were really getting into unnecessary pedantic details (like what I did with the Switzerland "talk" section). But I think that as a foreigner who has lived in the US, my perspective from facing that culture shock would allow me to notice things that Americans won't. Let's just take the fried chicken issue I previously brought up as an example. To an American who grew up in the US, not asking a black person where to get fried chicken is commonsense. However, to a foreigner, it's not immediately obvious that there is an association between black people and fried chicken, as many of us aren't even aware of those caricatures. So while an American would know this intuitively without being told, a foreigner would need to be told about this so he/she doesn't offend anyone. So rather than insisting on deleting something for everything that is added, let's just take a case by case approach to curating content. Yes, unnecessary length could make important information lost in a sea of words, but conversely, cutting for the sake of cutting could also result in information becoming vague and less clear. The dog2 (talk) 15:54, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
As I've pointed out above, the article has been growing steadily month by month, even taking into account the cutting that Andrew, K7L and I have been doing. It would be appreciated if you would use some of your trimming skills on this article too when you are adding to it. As far as the Uncle Sam thing goes, in addition to the question of consistency with other country articles that you raised and now don't seem to be concerned about, I will ask why we would put in the Uncle Sam point here and not terms that would be of more direct relevance to travellers like gas/petrol, ATM/cashpoint/ATM, elevator/lift. I'm not suggesting adding those to this article, because vocabulary would quickly overwhelm the article, but I am pointing out that you want to add vocabulary that is of incidental relevance to travellers while we leave out more relevant terms. Ground Zero (talk) 18:59, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I thought the "Uncle Sam" thing would be useful based on reading of other articles, but after looking at Andre's reply, I saw that he also has a valid point so I decided not to press the issue further. And as for gas/petrol, that's covered in Driving in the United States, and ATM is pretty much standard in all countries except the UK. If you have noticed, I was the one who created the Driving in the United States article since many visitors get around the U.S. by car, and that allowed much of the information that was originally in the main article to be moved somewhere else. Perhaps as a suggestion to trim this article, we could also create a Sports in the United States article, since many visitors do travel to the US to watch sports, and that could cut quite a fair bit of length from the "Do" section. The dog2 (talk) 19:34, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────We have American Football and Ice Hockey in North America as well as Major League Baseball what we lack is an article on the NBA. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:45, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

It seems the OP wants to add their own life experience in the US to this article, which is not exactly compatible because this is a travel guide and not an immigration guide (hence the discord in this and other areas).
Perhaps we could just create an Immigrating to the United States article, similar to Retiring abroad. Then the OP would have an outlet for their contributions of living in the US, and we could keep this article concise and focused on the traveler? Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:21, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I would kindly appreciate it if people would stop misrepresenting me here. I've always yielded whenever the consensus goes against me, and I don't recall ever resorting to edit warring. People certainly need to be aware of some cultural issues when they travel because different cultures get offended by different things, and it's true that Americans tend to be more sensitive about certain issues that people of other countries, so visitors to the US need to be made aware of this so they don't offend people during their trip. In the same way, Americans visiting other countries need to be made aware of sensitive issues in those areas so they don't commit a faux pas. How is this only relevant to immigrants and not tourists? I understand there may be disagreements, but I hope people can respect my right to an opinion and logically debate with me, rather than relying on character assassinations and misrepresentations to discredit me for the sake of discrediting me. The dog2 (talk) 23:06, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
It wasn't the intent to misrepresent you, so apologies if offence was taken. If we stick to facts on actual edits made, then consensus is that added content is too detailed and makes this article too long for travelers. It should also be noted that many don't agree with your beliefs around offending people in the US, so it may be worth you considering that feedback.
I made a suggestion to create an article more suited to immigration experiences. If you don't like that idea then no problem, but please understand that making this article longer doesn't make it more useful. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:00, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
If it's an honest opinion that creating that article is useful, then of course I don't mind having that discussion. It just seemed to me like that the comment was sarcasm that you were using to make a mockery of me, so I apologise if I misinterpreted it. And well, I will concede that maybe my opinions on offending people in the US could be coloured by the fact that I have mainly interacted with Americans in a university setting, and it is somewhat true that American universities tend to be rather left wing. My friends who mainly interact with corporate America do report different experiences and a much less prominent PC culture than at universities. I will clarify that yes, when it comes to say, racial issues, Americans are in general much more touchy than Singaporeans, but perhaps some of the Americans I have interacted with are on the extreme end of the sensitivity spectrum even by American standards, so while I don't think my opinions are completely baseless, perhaps they could have been coloured by some of those experiences. The dog2 (talk) 17:16, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I agree that your opinions are not baseless at all. Possibly more than any other country the cultural diversity and population size of the United States means that all manner of appropriate protocol are likely to be encountered. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:05, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I think it would be very easy for a person who "ha[s] mainly interacted with Americans in a university setting" to overestimate Americans' sensitivity to racial issues and the like. There are even many people on the left who've come to see the emphasis on (some might say obsession with) identity politics found at many American universities to be excessive to the point of counterproductivity vis-à-vis their own aims.
In the parallel discussion of this same issue at Talk:English language varieties, someone suggested creating a Political systems travel topic article. I think there'd be a stronger argument for that article than for Immigrating to the United States in terms of whether they fall within Wikivoyage's scope (I think I remember an instance - perhaps the Marriage in China VfD discussion? - where many users came out forcefully and specifically against the idea of Wikivoyage catering to people seeking to stay permanently in a place rather than just visiting). If it's really important to cover this information, I think doing so in a Political systems article would be my preferred solution.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:19, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think having an Immigrating to the United States article is a bit overkill. It's a very complicated process that I'm not sure we can cover satisfactorily on WV. That being said, people do travel for more long term purposes like work or study, and I think we should be useful to them too. I understand that WV should be travel focused, so I propose a guideline that if we include information relevant to more long term purposes like that, perhaps we can keep it to stuff relevant to the travelling and initial settling in phase. For instance, someone who wants to work in the US will first need to get a work visa, then upon arrival will need to get health insurance and a social security number. I think it's fine to cover them briefly as we have done in the article, but of course, getting into every detail about what daily life is for the "average American" is overkill.

As for race issues and the like, I'll concede on that point, but honestly, I have actually seen Americans fly into a rage over comments or questions that would be considered trivial, or even non-issues, in Singapore or Australia, so things like that do happen. But on a more positive note, I recently travelled to some of the more conservative parts of the US and it was actually quite a nice trip. Even in supposedly "more racist" areas that are almost entirely white like rural Utah and Idaho, I never even once felt threatened as a result of my race, and people were in general friendly and polite to me. The dog2 (talk) 06:06, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

  • "Political systems" is a research topic not a travel topic so it's out-of-scope, and immigration is also out-of-scope. I believe something similar to what The dog2 proposes is already in place. It is why we have just a general topic on retiring abroad and study abroad but not articles about specific countries. On race in America: Americans tend to have a very skewed view that they live in a society that is hostile to foreigners but foreigners themselves report that Americans are quite open, helpful, and friendly in most travel articles related to the topic that I've read. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:30, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
There is a line between "too much detail" and "appropriate detail" that is not well defined on WV. When there is disagreement it is natural to explore new articles as a compromise mechanism. That is not to say the position on scope is right or wrong, but we need a better way of handling extra content. Perhaps even consider relaxing our Wikipedia linking policies.. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:29, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Your idea to relax our Wikipedia linking policy makes a lot of sense. As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia will cover the issue much more effectively than Wikivoyage will as a travel guide. While Wikivoyage is "not paper", we also want our articles to be useful which means being readable. Someone considering a trip to the US may find an overly long and detailed article to be my useful for planning purposes. Links to relevant Wikipedia articles would help those looking for more in-depth information like thst covered by this discussion. Ground Zero (talk) 17:07, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Hierarchy reviewEdit

This country has thirteen regions; far above the recommended 7±2. We should consider some mergers.

One suggestion would be to combine Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming into the Northwestern United States, moving Colorado to the Southwestern United States. That would make one region less. /Yvwv (talk) 13:44, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Why? Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:54, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
These regions would have more coherent geography. The Pacific Northwest stands out a bit strange as a two-state region, and the inland parts of Washington and Oregon have more in common with Idaho, than with the Pacific coast, both in terms of nature and culture. The Pacific Northwest can remain as an extra-hierarchical region, including British Columbia and northern California. /Yvwv (talk) 14:04, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Washington and Oregon have a lot in common with each other. What does either of them have in common with Wyoming? Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:17, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
There are actually 8 regions and a handful of states that are not given a regional hierarchy. California could be merged with Pacific Northwest to form "West Coast". People reference those states with that term quite often. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho would make more sense with the other Plains states than with the West Coast (Colorado has always been part of the "Southwest" to me). All of the Northeast could be combined, Florida could join the South... But the current way doesn't really bother me. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:21, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
I could maybe get behind a Great Plains/Midwest merger. However, in a larger sense, the United States is an extraordinarily large and diverse country, and if a 13-region breakdown is what makes the most sense from a traveller's perspective (and I think that's true in this case), that always should take precedence over getting all hung up on the arbitrary 7±2 guideline. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:21, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
The rationale for the 7±2 structure is mostly cognitive; a category with more than 7-8 items gets difficult to read and navigate. We should certainly not enforce a specific number; but if the list is made a bit shorter, the already overburdened article will be less heavy. /Yvwv (talk) 21:54, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Plains States? I don't think so. They're primarily Mountain States. You want to equate them to states like Kansas that are flatter than a pancake? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:49, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
They're all "Those states out there" historically and still viewed that way by most today. I actually don't see them as that different from the Dakotas, for example. Places known for their nature, animals and rugged wilderness. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:06, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Can I suggest another way of looking at this? Alaska and Hawaii are probably always going to be mentioned separately, since they're not part of the contiguous 48 states, and are both very unique. If you don't count them (and maybe they could be separated by a sentence, just to break up the long list of colors and regions), that leaves only 11 regions. That's only 2 more than is recommended. And don't forget that 7±2 is only a rule of thumb to avoid long lists, not an absolute prohibition against them. We could possibly combine some or move some solo states into regions (Texas or Florida into the South, or California and PWN into West Coast), but the traveller comes first, and the regions we've been using here are pretty conventional. --Bigpeteb (talk) 20:29, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

(P.S.: I should add, I don't really favor moving Texas, Florida, or California. The South already has 11 states in it; adding these would bring it up to 12 or 13, so you have the same problem you started with, and in any case Texas and Florida were excluded for good reason, because they do stand apart to some degree. Making West Coast the new region would be odd, because it would either contain 3 states (in which case we lose whatever work was put into Pacific Northwest, and have to try to blend together 3 states that are not necessarily all that alike), or we have a region that consists of 1 state and 1 sub-region, which seems pretty pointless.) --Bigpeteb (talk) 20:33, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

The main issue is not the number of sub-regions below a specific country, but the number of regional articles which cannot be filled out with much information beyond the trivial. /Yvwv (talk) 14:21, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Which sub-regions would you say cannot be filed out with much information beyond the trivial? Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:37, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
There aren't any subdivisions that can't be filled out beyond the trivial. There are probably some that are not currently filled out beyond the trivial, but that in itself isn't a valid argument against their existence. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:15, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

The wordings about Yiddish and Pennsylvania Dutch in the "talk" sectionEdit

I am not sure I am all that happy with the current wordings that make both languages/dialects (pick whichever your politics suggest) seem as if they were "basically German" or "German mixed with x" - they're not. They certainly have common ancestry with modern standard German and at least in the case of Pennsylvania Dutch there is an extent dialect in Germany that has visible similarities, but the same can be said for Dutch, Luxembourgian, Swiss German and Alsatian which are various levels of "not German". I know we aren't a linguistics textbook and unless someone searches for it explicitly, it is unlikely people come across more than the occasional word of Yiddish or any Pennsylvania Dutch at all, but if we can be accurate, let us try to do so. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:02, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

I'm surprised we're even mentioning this in an article so high up the breadcrumb hierarchy, especially one where excessive length and detail is such a persistent problem. I think it'd be fine to kick this information down to Pennsylvania#Talk, Ohio#Talk, and maybe Indiana#Talk, but even in those states the Pennsylvania Dutch language is confined to extremely insular and off-the-beaten-path communities of Old Order Amish, and it would be tough for a traveller to encounter a speaker even through seeking one out, let alone casually. It's certainly not necessary information for a traveller to the U.S. in general. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:51, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
If you go to New York City, you will see many orthodox Jews there, so it is actually not that rare for a visitor to hear Yiddish. And it's not just New York City. The East Coast has many orthodox Jewish communities, so chances are if you tour the East Coast, you will encounter people speaking Yiddish. I'm not sure about Pennsylvania Dutch, since I've never met Amish people before, but presumably they're mainly found in rural areas. The dog2 (talk) 23:00, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Orthodox Jews are not to be conflated with Yiddish speakers. Orthodox Jews exist all over the East Coast and indeed nationwide, but the vast majority of them speak English; Yiddish is the language only of a small, conservative minority of Hasidim, which itself is a small, conservative minority within Orthodox Judaism. In point of fact, the Yiddish language in North America is almost wholly confined to Metro New York, and as such this is another bit of detail that can be devolved further down the breadcrumb trail. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:08, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
The 'Talk' section is about how you can interact linguistically in the United States. If you feel that the summary of Pennsylvania Dutch is insultingly simplistic, then just remove any reference to it. It really not a subject required in this article at all. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:14, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it's entirely that Chasidim are found almost exclusively in New York City. I've actually seen them at many places along the East Coast between Boston and Washington D.C. and even beyond. I ran into Chasidic Jews in Philadelphia, Boston and Washington D.C. as well, though I will concede that perhaps seeing these communities was an anomaly. Perhaps Ikan Kekek can weigh in on this because I certainly have heard quite a fair bit of Yiddish in public transport, at the airports and so on. The dog2 (talk) 01:10, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
It may be worth checking out w:United_States#Language . In the United States 0.3 % of the population speak a German language or dialect (including Yiddish and probably Pennsylvania Dutch). My question is why the obsession here? I don't see a corresponding amount of effort in suggesting you learn Tagalog to talk to the more numerous (at 0.5% of the population) Tagalog speakers? French and its dialects are (at 0.6% twice as numerous as the German) are also absent from the discussion.
My point is, just because you personally find a language/dialect interesting doesn't mean it belongs in the 'Talk' section of a travel guide. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:16, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Yiddish is not a dialect of German, but that said, I agree with your point. I also would agree that Chasidim live in places beyond the New York Metro area, but that's not really the main point or this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:31, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
On a somewhat related note, can we say more about indigenous languages? Is the point that aside from Navajo they hardly exist any more that seems to come across fair? Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:10, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
At the risk of being seen as goy-splaining Judaism to a partly-Jewish audience: according to all the data I've seen, on a nationwide scale Yiddish is a minority language even among Chasidim. For instance, there is a modest-size Chasidic community in the northeastern suburbs of Buffalo, but they speak English almost exclusively. I'm given to understand that the same is true of Chasidic communities across the country, and that Yiddish is really only in general use among the Chasidim of New York City proper; Kiryas Joel, New Square, and the other shtetls of the lower Hudson Valley; that one borough in New Jersey whose name escapes me that's been in the news because of the growth of the community there Lakewood, New Jersey; and a few enclaves in South Florida.
Perhaps more importantly, I have yet to hear a convincing argument why any of this information needs to be included in this article at all. One thing Chasidic Jews and Old Order Amish have in common is the fact that they tend to be wary and closed off to outsiders. It's very unlikely that a stranger would be allowed in, let alone stumble blindly in, to places or situations where these languages are spoken. If we are trying to reduce this article's excessive length and detail, it seems like a no-brainer that we would cut out this utterly extraneous information.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:52, 15 July 2017 (UTC) I
Andre makes a good argument for shifting information on regional languages down the line. Maybe this article should cover English, and the widely used languages/dialects, i.e., Spanish snd AAVE, and the other, regional language can be covered by a line like, "you may encounter other languages in some regions, like Hawaiian, French, American Indian languages, Yiddish, and Pennsylvania Dutch. These languages are discussed in regional or local articles." Ground Zero (talk) 17:16, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
You've got a point there. I just thought that if we mention Pennsylvania Dutch, we should mention Yiddish, but if you want to remove both, I'd say go for it. I'm not sure about the Old Order Amish, but from experience, most of the Yiddish-speaking Chasidic Jews I have encountered in New York City know how to speak English as well. And speaking of which, maybe we should have a discussion about mentioning French as well. Of course, I am aware that you can find Francophone communities in Louisiana and New England, and that there used to be a Francophone community in Missouri, but at least in places like New York, Chicago and San Francisco, the only Francophone Americans I've encountered are those whose parents came from France, as well as one guy who grew up in Louisiana, but that's it. If you spoke Spanish in a major American city, chances are you would find someone who can help you out but the same can't be said of French. But then again, French is most certainly historically significant since much of the US was once under French rule. The dog2 (talk) 17:27, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Just leaving this here. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:21, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Get around#By carEdit

Since most people have said that the article needs to be trimmed down, perhaps the "By car" under "Get around" can be trimmed down further since much of that information is already featured in Driving in the United States. We have already included a link to the article, so perhaps we should just leave the most important points in the main article (eg. legal issues that foreigners might not be familiar with), while those who want to get into the details about US driving culture can just go to the separate article on that subject. The dog2 (talk) 18:15, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Compare Europe#By car which has been extracted to Driving in Europe, and stripped down to the essentials in the original article. /Yvwv (talk) 20:44, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

"Great American road trip"Edit

So the section on the aforementioned topic has been previously excised from the article but more recently reinstated - what should we do? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:21, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

It was an admirable impulse, slightly overzealously applied. The Great American Road Trip section seems a bit fluffy on the surface but I think it's possibly the most important bit of fluff in the entire article. Powers (talk) 00:18, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Wouldn't both those who think cars are the epitome of freedom and who still hold a romantic notion of the road trip and those that don't be better served if that were its own travel topic? Surely there's enough meat there to make one, right? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:24, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Certainly, and I believe it is, but the existence of a travel topic does not (and absolutely should not) preclude a summary of the topic in the "parent" article. Powers (talk) 13:41, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, but said summary should be short and concise, right? Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:42, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
I suppose, but those are relative terms. And we shouldn't sacrifice tone. Powers (talk) 14:57, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

Visa Waiver for UK peopleEdit

So what does this edit mean? Does that imply that people from Northern Ireland are not eligible? Or does that mean that whatever those weird "right of abode" contortions the UK goes through to give people on certain islands they never could let go off "kind of citizenship"? So does it in essence mean that someone from the Falkland Islands would need a visa? I am exceedingly confused... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:34, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

It means that people who are citizens of British Overseas Territories are not eligible, so someone from the Falkland Islands or the British Virgin Islands will need a visa. People from Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands have separate visa-free arrangements from the VWP, which in the latter two cases are only applicable under limited conditions. People from Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man are eligible. The dog2 (talk) 22:53, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
Can the wording in the article be clarified accordingly? Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:52, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Would using American Indian and Yiddish phrases be regarded at patronizing?Edit

Usually I am against being overly sensitive in the 'Respect' section, but this was added to 'Talk' about Hawaiian, French, American Indian languages, Yiddish, and Pennsylvania Dutch:

"Speakers of these languages are generally able to speak English as well, but are usually happy when visitors make an attempt to say a few words in their respective languages."

Frankly I would imagine attempting to do this would be often regarded as extremely patronizing to the recipients, and they may well take offence. Perhaps occasionally this would be mildly appreciated, but I believe there is a real danger in offending people here. Do any Americans here have an opinion on this? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:33, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

I really have no idea and doubt there's a universal truth on this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:42, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure doing this in the UK would elicit a negative reaction. Doing so in Australia conversely would probably be appreciated. Perhaps in the US this is not so clear cut, but I would recommend removing this advice. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:50, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
To me, it just sounds odd. Why would you speak Pennsylvania Dutch? Even in the Pennsylvania article, without saying it, it basically says that the language is dead and that it is essentially just something people dabble in for heritage education. Using Pennsylvania Dutch in Pennsylvania would not offend people, but it's basically just pretending your German. It just seems strange to me. Yiddish also seems more like trivia. It's not even mentioned in the NYC article.
"Native American languages" is a lot lumped together. Some are essentially dead and many would serve no purpose to the traveler, but I don't think it would be "offensive" to speak someone's local language if you were speaking the language of that tribe and there was evidence that they actually speak it themselves. With that said, though, you really have to seek Native American language education if you want to learn it and are not already living in that culture. If you have enough interest that you are bothering to learn any of the languages at all then through your teacher and studies, you probably already know more about the topic than Wikivoyage could say...
I guess what I'm trying to say is the description of the speakers as GENERALLY able to speak English well seems like a huge understatement. They're almost certainly going to know English and it's extremely unlikely that you'd ever find yourself in a group where no one speaks English but they DO speak any of those other languages. Even if they know one of those languages, there's probably a near zero chance that they'd use one with a tourist over English so you probably wouldn't even know that they knew it. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:25, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
It seems like a minefield for Yiddish or Indian languages, while I could see it being appreciated in the spirit indicated in Hawaii or Francophone areas. Powers (talk) 18:54, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
It's unnecessary at best, misleading at worst, and adds length to an already overly lengthy article. Three strikes. Let's delete it. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:00, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
I think that is enough consensus to remove. Thanks. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:52, 23 July 2017 (UTC)


With regard to the point about Latinos in the "Respect" section, I'll just point out that there are Latinos who get offended if you try to speak to them in Spanish, because you are supposedly assuming that they are unable to speak English. The only time you can be more or less sure that it won't be offensive is if you are not competent in English, and therefore approach someone in Spanish out of necessity. I know this sounds over sensitive to many foreigners, but right now, there is a huge craze about microaggressions among left-wing Americans, so even approaching a Latino in Spanish can sometimes be construed as a microaggression, as you are supposedly assuming the person is not American. The dog2 (talk) 04:13, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

That's not the point. There are people who self-identify as Latino and who have Latino ancestry who don't speak Spanish. Plus some people consider Brazilians to be "Latino" (though ymmv on that one). Plus, spicy food (which was previously mentioned) is actually not a thing in many Latin American countries, so assuming all Latinos eat spicy food is a bit like assuming all Europeans eat Sauerkraut or all Americans eat Barbecue. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:49, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
Are we really going to advise people on what foods people can eat, offer or talk about around certain races? That whole paragraph should be deleted. It feeds into that "left-wing microagression craze" mentioned. Advising travelers about when to have conversations about watermelon is kind of ridiculous, don't you think? How often do we imagine travelers approaching strangers about watermelons? If we follow the "microaggression" cult, the most succinct and "useful" advice would be "only talk to and ask questions to white people" because of all the traps they place around speech towards non-whites. Those people are not the norm. Can we trust that non-whites can have mundane conversations about food without international incident and just delete the paragraph? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:25, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
I think this absolutely has to stay in some form. Sure, watermelon is something you typically won't bring up in conversation, and you would just go to the nearest supermarket to buy, but fried chicken is something that could. What if you are a new expatriate in the US and ask your black colleague to recommend a place for fried chicken? Of course, from the expatriate's perspective, it is simply the case that the person he asked for the recommendation happened to be black. But the black colleague would get very offended because from his perspective, the other person is stereotyping and asking him because he's black. As I previously mentioned, I had no idea that the stereotype about black people and fried chicken even existed before I lived in the US, and many foreigners don't either, so this absolutely has to be mentioned.
For the record, this "microagression" narrative is actually becoming the mainstream in prestigious American universities, and many travellers go to the US to study in them. In NYU, it is taboo to say "Merry Christmas" if you are not sure that the person is a Christian, especially if the person is Jewish, as it is supposedly being disrespectful to people's religious beliefs. In UC Berkeley, it is taboo to ask people where they're from unless you specifically ask which part of the US they are from because you are supposedly assuming that non-white Americans are not American. I agree that this over sensitivity is absurd, but this article is not about what I feel, but what is likely to offend Americans that foreigners might not be aware of. The dog2 (talk) 14:52, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
I think we should not bow to the rightist sensibilities in calling out that the Civil War was about slavery or that "Happy Holidays" is a perfectly positive thing to say and if you're offended by it, you're an idiot. But that's not the point here, is it? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:31, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
I'll try not to get dragged into a political debate here since this article should be about the current situation on the ground, and not about promoting one political view over another be it right-wing, left-wing or whatever. But the fact of the matter is, you are unlikely to offend someone with "Happy Holidays" unless you are talking to a right-wing extremist. The dog2 (talk) 15:58, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
No one suggested removing talk of slavery from the article and I don't see this as an attempt to "bow to rightist sensibilities". I simply don't think we can realistically make a shopping list of all the foods that are deemed offensive to mention around each race nor do I see it as pertinent enough to the traveler to warrant the insertion. How bad would we expect things to be for a traveler who made the "mistake" of asking a black man how to get to the [insert popular chicken restaurant/food chain]?
While I see the point about universities, university culture seems a bit of a different (and complex) topic and one that is likely out-of-scope. Even though it seems there is a lot of hypersensitivity there, I think even among those who might get offended, they would react differently if it were a foreigner. Am I underestimating these things? Would people really become violent or aggressive enough just hearing "fried chicken" or something in a sentence directed at them to warrant the mention on a page that is already so lofty? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:50, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm so tempted to point out that this article is supposedly an overview and we have fast food in the United States and Canada to discuss [[Chicken]. Trying to cover everything here is creating a very bloated page. K7L (talk) 17:59, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

Of course everyone know's that KFC and Popeye's are American fast food chains, and that is mentioned in the "Eat" section. But the important thing to mention in the "Respect" section is that due to history of being caricatured doing so, it is very offensive to ask a black person where to get fried chicken. In many American universities and corporations, you could be subject to disciplinary action, or even expelled for bigotry if you do so, even though you cannot be arrested and thrown in jail. Similarly, if Latinos consider it offensive to be approached in Spanish instead of English, this should be mentioned. The dog2 (talk) 18:23, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
The dog2, you've got to disabuse yourself of the idea that U.S. university culture is anything even remotely like a microcosm of U.S. culture as a whole. I'd wager that most Americans - even many who lean left but don't spend much time on college campuses, like myself - have very little use for it. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:07, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
I still think the paragraph should not be deleted, as the issue about black people and fried chicken could potentially cause major offence even beyond university campuses. But I'm willing to concede that perhaps general American culture is not as sensitive as American university culture.
I guess this strikes a bit of a chord with me because the level of sensitivity and political correctness I have seen in Americans was a bit of a shock when I first moved to the US. Even coming from Singapore, where we have very strict laws against racism, I have seen Americans cry out racism and bigotry over things that would be considered non-issues by the ethnic minorities in Singapore. The dog2 (talk) 21:45, 24 August 2017 (UTC)
And just to make it clear where I stand on this, I am not trying to paint the US in a bad light, and neither am I trying to use WV to promote any particular political view. I simply think that if there is something that Americans are particularly sensitive about compared to people of other countries that could cause serious offence, this is something we need to inform travellers about so they don't commit a major faux pas. But aside from that, I am happy to have a discussion on what constitutes a major faux pas in American culture since everyone will have different perspectives based on their specific experiences. The dog2 (talk) 04:05, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

(indent) So are we moving towards consensus on deleting the paragraph? The dog2, I think it's clear you're motivated by your experiences and not political agenda. These days, every opinion is being politicized in the US. Makes conversations unnecessarily difficult. If we delete the paragraph, do people think it would be worthwhile to replace it with a line that University students have become hypersensitive towards race far beyond that of the rest of society (or something like that) or just leave it alone? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:38, 25 August 2017 (UTC)

To be clear, I don't think the paragraph should be deleted outright, but I would certainly be in favor of toning it down a good bit. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 12:40, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
I also don't think it should be deleted. Perhaps Andre can suggest a way for it to be toned down, but it is somewhat true that some things that Americans know are offensive to blacks and Latinos are not that obvious to foreigners, and the Respect section is meant to inform foreigners about potential faux pas they might not be aware of. But perhaps a separate bullet point that university and liberal arts college students tend to be exceptionally sensitive could be useful. Then again, the political correctness doesn't just boil down to race. Other things such as women's issues, gender identity and sexual orientation also tend to get really hyped up. The dog2 (talk) 14:32, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
So if there is some consensus to keep it, my question is: How exactly do we make it helpful to the traveler? Right now the statement about "racist tropes" and "historical caricatures" stands rather ominously over the one outlined example, as a warning about potentially numerous but completely unintuitive "offenses" that will get you labeled a "racist" (a hefty accusation although it's losing weight with the university 'redefinition' spilling out into and becoming known by the greater society...). I really hate the idea of advising travelers to "tread lightly" when speaking to non-whites, but it IS essentially what this is about and how Americans themselves are taught to function, and I don't see the purpose in bringing it up if we don't have advice, because it can sound like an unspoken warning that there's no way to avoid being called a racist in America. And I want to be clear that I'm not suggesting anyone is trying to make it that way. I just think it's lacking in how helpful it is to the traveler/advice on how to avoid it or what to do about it and the answers to that are also not easy to sum up...
I will drop the university talk here in order to keep this discussion focused, but if someone thinks it should be here, feel free to start another thread. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:26, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't know. Personally I think it's OK the way it looks. I may be overestimating Americans' sensitivity to racial issues since I work at a university where people are exceptionally sensitive even by American standards, but I do think it's somewhat true that as a general rule, Americans are more sensitive than non-Americans towards issues like these. Just to highlight the point, Nintendo had to change the design of a Pokemon (Jynx, if you are wondering which one it is) for the American market because it offended the black community.
AndreCarrotflower suggested toning down the paragraph, so what's your suggestion? The dog2 (talk) 15:09, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
As I said, if we're going to mention this, I think there should be advice on how to avoid it and/or how to deal with it. We've essentially stated, "Avoid historical racist tropes and stereotypes that you are definitely unaware of or strangers will call you a racist". It's a little foreboding and in my opinion, not helpful to just throw it out there like that. The Mexican part is also redundant as the point right above already specifies "Latino and Hispanic" as the accepted terms. We don't need special warnings about "Calling non-Mexicans Mexican", "Calling non-Chinese Chinese", etc ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:20, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I've been very busy lately, and also the never terribly reliable Internet access at my apartment has been even less so this week. For some reason, I seem to remember the section at issue being longer and more detailed than it currently is - perhaps it's one of those things that have been cut down as part of the overall effort to shorten this article. In any event, I'm okay with how it reads now and I guess I can retract what I said earlier about toning it down. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:12, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
And just to add in a point, I don't think Americans will cut you any slack if you are a foreigner. Most Americans never travel abroad and have very little exposure to foreign cultures, so as a general rule, you are expected to know about American cultural sensitivities the moment you step off the plane onto US soil. Newly-arrived Indian expatriates have been known to be fired from their jobs for displaying a swastika (which is purely a religious symbol with no anti-Semitic connotations in India and much of Asia) because it offended their American colleagues, so I can assure you ignorance will not be accepted an excuse. It's not possible to list every possible offence, but I think it is imperative that potential visitors to the US need to read up about American cultural sensitivities and be aware of them before they arrive so they do not offend people. The dog2 (talk) 20:12, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
With all due respect (and respect meaning respect, not overt sensitivity), we seem to keep coming back to this attempt to distill the nuances of political correctness in America into a 'respect' section that it suitable for all and it is not possible.
This is not a guide (as stated many times before) to avoid the terrible crime of possibly potentially offending someone by saying something that could maybe be construed as an opaque cultural reference. I would really ask certain individuals here to stop fixating on offending people and consider more about how to advise travelers to behave as decently behaved visitors in the larger context of United States culture, and not make a laundry list of every possible offence that could occur. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:40, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
That is why I suggested deleting this paragraph. It's a broad statement about unknown "traps" with no solution or advice for the traveler. And now I see an anonymous user has added onto what I stated was a redundant point about using "Latino" and not "Mexican" by actually inserting my own "Asian" not "Chinese" example into the article. We already stated just above what the acceptable racial terminology is, and now we're restating it but in "This not That" format.
We also already have a Swastika warning, and it makes sense that if you are WORKING in a country, your employer is going to be less sympathetic towards your background when you represent the company, but travelers don't need to be worried about how to be successful in corporate America. This section is not about maintaining employment. For the traveler, while it may be extremely unpleasant to be accused of being a "racist (expletive)" just for treating a non-white like a human (re: asking a person of the "wrong race" for directions to a fried chicken joint), it's highly unlikely you'll get into any serious problems. You're not going to be jailed or deported or anything. And again, I still don't see most of these situations even arising for a tourist. I think the addition of the "Asian not Chinese" edit is added reason to consider deleting the paragraph as it's only going to continue to attract these annoying edits with little benefit as far as I see it. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:54, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
I think the statement about fried chicken and African-Americans should stay, but if you insist, we can remove the sentence about calling Latinos Mexican. As I said, while it's not possible to create a laundry list of offensive tropes for this article, the trope about black people and fried chicken is perhaps the most offensive of the tropes tourists could stumble upon out of ignorance. If you're an international student at a prestigious university, you could be expelled for asking a black person where to get fried chicken, so it can have major repercussions even if you can't be arrested. As for other things, it's not possible to cover everything, but I think some form of warning is warranted so visitors know they have to read up on American cultural sensitivities before making a trip to the US. The dog2 (talk) 16:54, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Well there was a wording in there somewhere in the edit history, that said that not all Latin@s speak Spanish and eat spicy food. In part because some Brazilians see themselves as Latin@s, too and in part because a person named O'Bryan won't necessarily speak Gaelic just like a person named Lopez won't necessarily speak Spanish... Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:00, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
"If you're an international student at a prestigious university, you could be expelled for asking a black person where to get fried chicken" - The dog2 - false statements such as this do not give me confidence that you have the right advice or understanding for the 'respect' section. Whilst racist behavior can (and should) result in repercussions, I find it hard to believe that any student in the US was ever expelled for asking about fried checkin. If you can point to a news story that backs up your statement I would reconsider. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:37, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, that's bizarre. Also, Brazilians, at least in my experience, consider themselves Luso-American, not Latin-American, but when we're talking about those kinds of small details, we're already way too far into the weeds for our own good. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:36, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I think it's time to leave well enough alone here. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:08, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I guess I may have extrapolated a bit there, but there are definitely cases of people who have been suspended from universities for displaying religious Swastikas. There was recently an incident like that at Georgetown University. Unfortunately, I don't have news articles on this, but I definitely know of foreigners who were subject to disciplinary action and sent for mandatory counselling and courses on racism for asking a black person about fried chicken. I can assure you that something like this is taken very seriously and considered to be racism by Americans. But anyway, I agree with Andre that the paragraph looks fine, and we should leave it as it is. The dog2 (talk) 01:40, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Asking for fried chicken and displaying a swastika is not equivalent at all. I would ask that any claim made here in future is backed up by some actual evidence in order to avoid this type of uncomfortable discussion. Andrewssi2 (talk) 19:59, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

I deleted the redundant Mexican/Latino comment, but it seems the result here is to keep the content, so I think we can close this discussion. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:00, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Not to restart the discussion, but just putting this here. Oh, and this. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:24, 6 September 2017 (UTC)


I can't believe I have to say this and make a big discussion out of it, but we absolutely should not be replacing correct typography with incorrect.

It's one thing to type hyphens instead of dashes. No one has a problem with that, and it will be fixed before being promoted to Star. But to actually remove dashes in favor of hyphens when dashes are unambiguously the correct character to use... and to do so again after being reverted is absolutely ridiculous.

If you don't care about proper typography, fine. No one's going to make you. But don't impose improper typography over the objections of those of us who do care!

-- Powers (talk) 01:05, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

I agree completely, and I also don't understand the edit summary. User:AndreCarrotflower, if you think we shouldn't worry about "insufferable hair-splitting" and "nitpicky points of style", then why are you editing pages purely to change these details of punctuation? —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:10, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Also agree. En dashes for ranges are specifically called out at WV:TDF (although it says to "consider" using them). They are standard formatting in written English, and although the tone is more casual on WV, we still follow all other English rules of grammar and formatting. (We don't omit correct capitalization or spelling on the basis of "this isn't WP".) Also, the argument that "dashes are harder to type" is flawed in no fewer than five ways. One, they're not that hard. Two, there's a quicklink below the edit box to insert one, right above all the currency symbols. Three, if that doesn't satisfy you, you can write &ndash; instead of inserting a dash. Four, no one was editing that text often enough to be bothered by the dashes. Five, if someone was editing it (such as adding a new item to the list), there were already dashes right there that you could copy-paste. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:38, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it was a bit much for me to proactively edit the preexisting dashes, but I stand by my edit summary and have to pointedly disagree with many of Bigpeteb's comments above.
First, while the fact that Wikivoyage's tone is informal is a big part of why I feel we ought to depart from the persnickety adherence to antiquated style guides that rules the day at Wikipedia, I reject the comparison between the dashes-vs.-hyphens issue and "[in]correct capitalization or spelling" - I'd go so far as to say a better analogy might be dashes : hyphens :: "thee" or "thou" : "you". In point of fact, hyphens have all but replaced dashes in virtually all informal writing and indeed in a good chunk of formal writing, especially in contexts such as "$5-10" and "9AM-5PM", to the point where it's an open question whether such use of hyphens can any longer be considered "incorrect typography", de facto.
Secondly: hand in hand with the principle of informal tone, I think, comes that of user-friendliness for our editors, especially newbies. Bigpeteb says "the argument that 'dashes are harder to type' is flawed in no fewer than five ways" yet proceeds to not name a single way to render a dash that's as easy as rendering a hyphen: neither scrolling down to the bottom of the edit box to find and click on the quicklink, nor the seven keystrokes (including the Shift key) required to type "&ndash;", nor copy-pasting any preexisting dashes that may be nearby, can compare to the simplicity of the single keystroke required to produce a hyphen. For this reason, as well as for the popular-usage reason I mentioned above, in the aggregate of all Wikivoyage articles hyphens currently appear in the vast majority of instances where dashes are "supposed to" go. Now we're always crowing about the virtues of consistency between pages, so why not conform our guidelines to the way in which hyphen usage has for the most part already evolved, and come down on the side of the informal tone the manual of style openly asks us to take, rather than scrupulously hewing to style books that are increasingly irrelevant, disregarded, and antiquated? Especially when the alternative is a literally neverending cleanup process whereby instances of a punctuation mark that's more convenient to use are converted to one that's a pain in the neck to render on a standard keyboard and is employed so infrequently nowadays that it looks wrong and out of place (even to me, who does a good deal more reading than the average person) even in many contexts where it's used "correctly"?
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:49, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
I think you are severely overstating the prevalence of hyphens where dashes should be used in professional typesetting. (Comparing dashes to early Modern English pronouns that haven't been in common use for centuries is just ridiculous.) And, adjacently, I think you are also incorrectly conflating using an informal tone with using informal typography. The two are completely separate topics. Even with our conversational (I would say, rather than "informal") tone, we require reasonably complete sentences, proper punctuation and spelling, and avoid the use of too much slang.
And all of that aside, why you would not only remove correct punctuation in favor of incorrect, and then do so again after being reverted is absolutely gobsmacking to me. If the distinction simply doesn't matter to you then why go to that kind of trouble twice and in direct opposition to one of your fellow editors?
-- Powers (talk) 13:51, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
@Andre, I understand the position you're coming from... but I don't agree with it.
Where on WV do we have a policy that editing should be "easy"? Just now I quickly perused the Manual of style, Plunge forward, Welcome newcomers, etc. Yes, we do say that "You don't have to create a perfect, fully-formed article the first time around. ... That's how a wiki works!" But we also follow that with "[Don't make] changes to Wikivoyage style."
I'm not saying editing should be deliberately difficult. It may not be written down anywhere as such, but "editing should be easy" is a nice goal to have. In fact, I have to amend my list of reasons why using a dash isn't hard to add a sixth reason: You don't have to if you don't want to. If someone wants to create content using a hyphen because a dash is too hard to type, that is fine, just like omitting most other formatting is fine. Another editor will come along eventually and change it to use a dash, the same as they might fix numbers and units to be separated by a &nbsp; or other formatting fixes.
But you seem to be taking this to an extreme. Dashes are not the worst thing an editor has to deal with when editing a page on WV. I edit pages about Japan. Sometimes I have to switch my keyboard over to Japanese to enter Japanese text. Then I have to find a source to copy-paste the ā ē ī ō ū characters from, since there's not in the quick edit box and I don't remember the Alt keycode for them. (Good thing I don't edit Chinese, because pinyin requires even more special characters.) By comparison, dashes are much simpler. And this is where I take issue with the goal of "editing should be easy", because it all hinges on the definition of "easy". You've opined that entering dashes is onerous. I opine that it's not, and that dealing with other issues of text as well as Mediawiki syntax and some templates we use is much harder. What happens when our definitions of "easy" conflict?
But this is all a distraction from the real argument. WV's current policy is that we should use them, although they're not mandatory. If you dislike that policy, then you need to bring it up on WV:TDF or another appropriate page and gain consensus from other editors to change the policy. Only then would it be appropriate to edit this page or any other page to remove dashes. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:37, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
I must say I'm a bit taken aback by the negative reaction here, given that back in 2013 we had a drive-by editor come in from Wikipedia and move Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (with a hyphen) to Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex (with an en dash), sparking a discussion in the pub where the almost unanimous consensus (the infamous Tony was the only dissenting voice) was in favor of reverting the move and many of the same arguments I made above (about actual everyday usage heavily favoring hyphens over dashes; about dashes being pains in the ass to render on keyboards and therefore not worth the trouble) were advanced. I thought my actions in reverting the en dashes above were in keeping with the precedent set there.
Another argument that was made in the 2013 discussion with which I agree, and which also informed the edits at issue here, but which I didn't think to verbalize, is that the scrupulous use of dashes rather than hyphens in this context comes off as pretentious and show-offy - personally, they strike me in much the same way as when you read the New Yorker and see extraneous umlauts used in words like "coöperate", "preëxisting", and the like. It's probably true that I'm more apt than most people to let that kind of thing get under my skin (hence my snippy edit summaries), but by the same token I doubt I'm the only one to feel put off by that. And I think that's something else that's very much out of step with the informal, conversational tone we try to strike here.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:17, 8 September 2017 (UTC)
Article titling is a different issue from prose, as it presents different challenges and conventions. Plus, with improvements to search and changes to the way redirects are handled, the outcome of that discussion might be different today. As regards pretension, I'd like to think the majority of readers don't consciously notice the use of dashes over hyphens where appropriate, and using each where each is called for presents distinct advantages for readability and reduces ambiguity. Powers (talk) 20:34, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

Seriously? Not even an edit summary? Everyone but you has argued for en-dashes in this discussion, AndreCarrotflower. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:00, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Sorry, Granger, that was entirely unintentional. The layout of the Recent Changes page, the dimensions of the screen on my mobile phone, and the fatness of my thumbs all combine to make it very easy to inadvertently click on "rollback" when editing on mobile using desktop view. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:13, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification! I should have guessed it was something like that... —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:17, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Amusement parksEdit

Do we have any basis for the claim that "amusement parks" are a US invention? They appear to have evolved from fairgrounds and public gardens which existed in Europe for centuries, and the introduction of rides such as Ferris wheels took place on both sides of the Atlantic at approximately the same time (late 1800's, once motors were available to run these). A case for "theme parks" as an Americanism would be reasonable to make, but that's a different animal. K7L (talk) 15:06, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

I guess the term "modern" refers to a permanent amusement park located within an enclosed area with all the rides operated by the same company. If I'm not mistaken, in that regard, the first one was built at Coney Island. The dog2 (talk) 17:26, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Blackpool Pleasure Beach opened in England just a year after Coney Island's first admission-controlled park. And Europe's pleasure gardens and trolley parks on both continents were adding rides well before the 1890s. It's a difficult thing to nail down. Powers (talk) 18:24, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
If you think there is a more appropriate way to write the introduction to that section, go ahead, but I think Coney Island needs to be mentioned as it is historically significant as far as amusement parks go. The section is most certainly relevant as many foreigners visit the US for its theme parks. In fact, I made my very visit to the US so I could go to Disneyland. The dog2 (talk) 19:50, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Can we just leave the Respect section alone?Edit

Despite the long discussion above being closed only a few days ago, with some extremely dubious opinions being thrown around very casually, I believed there was consensus to let this topic go and move on. I keep saying that Wikivoyage is a travel guide and not a place to tell people how you think they should behave, but only a few days later there have been more edits that are not travel related.

Therefore can we please just leave this section alone, and at least raise any future content in the Talk page first? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:09, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

Amen, brother! Ground Zero (talk) 03:24, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Heartily agreed. Enough is enough. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:53, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
That edit seemed OK to me, though. No? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:39, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Verbatim : "Gender is also a sensitive issue and best avoided as a conversation topic with people you don't know well." - what exactly is useful about this insight, and what on earth would I do with it? I work in an American corporate environment, and I know how important gender equality is to my industry. This statement however is just another example of a laundry list Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:08, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
Maybe you're right. And if it's not clear, that's a very good reason to delete the statement. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:12, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
This was one of my concerns about leaving the " don't talk about X food around X race" stuff in the closed conversation; it's likely to signal to others to add to it, and here we are minutes later... The gender thing seems obvious. Approaching strangers with antagonizing comments about men/women is not a great idea anywhere. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:31, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
The point I was trying to get at is that you can't make jokes about gender differences in the U.S. In most other countries it's fine as long as you don't go overboard, but in the U.S., the feminist community is much more vocal and prominent, making this a very sensitive issue and very easy for you to be labelled a misogynist, so it's best to just avoid such jokes altogether.
Of course, left-wing circles insist that men and women only differ in the sex organs, and all other perceived differences are purely social constructs and stereotypes, while right-wing circles insist that men and women were assigned different gender roles by God and should stick strictly to these pre-defined gender roles as doing otherwise would be disobeying God. As you can see, this is a highly polarised and sensitive topic that should be avoided if you don't know someone's political leanings. The dog2 (talk) 14:47, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
If only a fraction of the energy that is expended here were instead invested in the region and state articles of the US, a lot could be gained. I mean surely, many that partake in these discussions and make these edits know enough about some part of the US to work on those respective articles, right? And in addition to that, maybe it is time for semi-protection or something? Because driveby IPs do have a tendency to stir debate. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:16, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
As far as I know there is no way to protect a single subheading from edits and the edit highlighted above was from a fairly long-time editor, so it wouldn't have done anything in this case.
For what it's worth, I think most Americans actually do separate politics from science and biology and acknowledge that there are biological and scientific explanations for many differences between men and women while also acknowledging that culture plays a role. And many adults and parents still talk about, acknowledge, and joke about gender differences in the US. I think the college campus experience is again giving you a skewed image of how prevalent certain views are, since the "biology is fake, everything is a social construct" circle is mainly youth and their professors.
As I see that the paragraph itself was not just added and that it was just altered/bolded, I won't call for its deletion, but if the section continues to attract these sorts of edits, I think we may have to reconsider deleting these points OR consider presenting them differently if it's possible to do so in a way that doesn't encourage further additions. Maybe it's not possible though. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:50, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The "respect" section is far from the only one that sees incredible amounts of debate or back and forth over extremely minor variations in spelling or wording or style or whatnot. And could you please stop with your implicit derision of people on US college campuses? We all know now what your opinion of them is, please stop inserting it in the conversation at every opportunity. Sorry for being blunt. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:07, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Hey everyone. I didn't want to get into a negative discussion around people's motivations. We all have different views on respectful behavior, but with regards to a travel guide I believe that we cover the headline items appropriately in the Respect section as it stands.
We already agreed to leave the 'Talk' section alone on a similar basis.
If anyone wants to add more content to the Respect section, please create a new topic on this Talk page first and try and achieve consensus. Thanks. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:26, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm a left-winger (social democrat - think Bernie as a presidential candidate, but actually more radical) and the feminist son of a committed participant in the Women's Liberation Movement, and The dog2, if you're really representing people's opinions accurately by saying "left-wing circles insist that men and women only differ in the sex organs, and all other perceived differences are purely social constructs and stereotypes", you are dealing with different left-wing circles than I have ever dealt with and, frankly, you are dealing with weirdos. And most Americans certainly are not members of some fact-denying lunatic fringe on the left. Instead, we have a lot of trouble with people on the right who deny all sorts of facts (global warming, anyone?) because they accept lying propaganda from right-wing media as Gospel. And really, none of that needs to be covered in a travel guide. At this point, and with no personal disrespect to you, I support deleting the warning about discussing gender, and I'd ask everyone to please focus on the traveller, not what a vanishingly small number of weirdos might be offended by. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:39, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
As one of Ikan's fellow social-democrats-left-of-Bernie-Sanders with no connection to university campus life, his words reflect my feelings almost verbatim. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:48, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
As a moderate left-winger, and as someone committed to progressive values and equality for all races, genders and LGBT people, I concur fully with Andre and Ikan. There are plenty of places to express one's esoteric views on the Internet (have you tried Twitter?), and nobody should use Wikivoyage as a channel to express them. Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:20, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
For the record, I have been called a misogynist for having the audacity to suggest that differences in behavioural patterns between men and women can be explained in part by biological differences. I'm not some right-wing lunatic who thinks that stereotypes and societal pressures don't play a role at all, and I most certainly support equal opportunities for women and think we can improve on that in some respects. And for the record, I have always accorded my female colleagues the same amount of respect that I have accorded my male colleagues. But as a scientist, I find it hard to believe that biology doesn't play at least some role in determining sex-specific behaviour in humans, especially since sex-specific behavioural patterns have been observed in virtually every other species of animal known to mankind. Views like the one quoted by Ikan Kekek from my previous post are what I have actually heard from some people in the feminist movement, so I can assure you I'm not making this up. But I'll concede that I don't know how mainstream or fringe that particular ideology is within the feminist movement.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the "Respect" section is meant to inform visitors about potential faux pas that they may not be aware of so they don't offend people at their destination. For instance, an American visiting Myanmar will need to be told that he has to take off his shoes whenever he enters a Buddhist temple, as not doing so is very offensive to the Burmese, and that's what the respect section is for. I won't mind toning it down, and perhaps we can more specifically mention that jokes about gender differences are an absolute no-go in the US, as Americans consider this to be misogyny. The dog2 (talk) 02:43, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
And yet, stand-up comedians continue to make their livings telling jokes about just those things. I think your absolutist view of this is more reflective of your own perspective than of broader American society. Ground Zero (talk) 03:02, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps working in a university may have coloured my views somewhat about how sensitive people are. But anyway, I have the experience of being fresh off the boat and making mistakes navigating the nuances of American cultural sensitivities, and what I really hope to do here is to provide potential future travellers to the US with the relevant information so they don't make the same mistakes I did. Honestly, the level of political correctness and sensitivity was a bit of a shock to me when I first moved here. The dog2 (talk) 03:22, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Frankly, the fact that you were recently "fresh off the boat" and yet are now trying to school lifelong Americans about their own culture is precisely the problem here. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:20, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Dog, I taught at universities for over 20 years (most recently in 2014) and didn't encounter views like the ones you are coming up against. I think they're more prevalent among particularly extremist folks in the Modern Language Association and such. Please consider how unusual it would be for a visitor to deal with such views without themselves being a scholar who we would hope would have the courage of their convictions. And I have to wonder whether you might not want to consider transferring to a school with more reasonable students (and faculty?). I'd like to know where you go to school, but that's really none of my freakin business. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:29, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
The dog2 - I do actually welcome you continuing to edit Wikivoyage on travel related subjects. It would nevertheless actually help everyone here if you were to stop editing the respect sections for a while. It should be obvious there is a rather sizeable gap between your views about respect and, well everyone else who is editing here. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:40, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
AndreCarrotflower, just to make it clear, I do not claim to understand American culture better than Americans, and of course I know that I can't credibly claim to do so. Let's just put this in perspective. As an American, you will undoubtedly know best what is offensive to Americans and what is not, and I do not claim to know better than you in this regard. But what you may not notice is that something that is offensive to you is not offensive to a foreigner and vice-versa. That is the perspective I am trying to provide here.
And to Ikan Kekek, I'll take your word for it that that particular view is restricted to far-left extremist circles. Perhaps I was just unlucky to have encountered people who are far-left extremists. Since the consensus has gone against me, I'll accept that and move on with this issue. The dog2 (talk) 04:48, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

(indent) Wow, was it my comment that inspired everyone to announce political affiliation?? I thought it was clear, but just to clarify, the reason I mentioned the college thing was because The dog2 specifically stated that his views and concerns are stemming from his experiences on a university campus. I did not insert the "youth and professors" comment because of some sort of "anti-university" stance. I'm rather moderate, and I think most Americans are with slight leanings either left or right and in my experience, most people are still willing to consider and adopt ideas from "the left" if they lean right or "the right" if they lean left. While politics certainly can/does get in the way of meaningful discussions and debates, America is not a nation of party-line loyalist ideologues and hopefully it never becomes one. I've studied in the fields where social justice and other ideas that characterize the "far left extremists" described above are taught, and those types definitely existed when I was in university (as well as professors whose personal politics were part of the curriculum), but they were a minority both among my peers (and such professors were also a minority among professors). While they may have grown in number since then, what we have to consider here is the prevalence in society at large and how likely it is that a traveler would get into "trouble" associated with it. If it spills out beyond specific fields of academia and actually permeates society, we can always reopen this discussion (same as any other), but this is a section where it's preferable not to try and be "ahead of the curve"; we want to list very clear and well-established points, and this one just isn't that at the moment. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:19, 12 September 2017 (UTC)

If those ideologies are still fringe ideologies, I'm happy to leave them out. I'm a moderate who is left-leaning on some issues and right-leaning on other issues, but I have been subject to hostility from some left-wingers at a forum because some of my views don't conform to the far-left SJW (and yes, I do distinguish between moderates who stand up for social justice and SJWs) narrative. But anyway, my stand is that we can leave fringe ideologies out, but the respect section should reflect what is offensive to people that subscribe to mainstream ideologies, even if those mainstream ideologies can seem extreme by the standards of another country. The dog2 (talk) 14:38, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
A certain proportion of far-left identity-politics ideologues obviously exist in the U.S., as does a certain proportion of far-right, genuine homophobes/misogynists/racists/whatever. But if there is a majority viewpoint, I'd characterize it as 1) moderate and 2) sick to death of the drama coming from both of the extreme ends of that spectrum. Despite the dystopian prognostications you hear from both the alt-right and the "SJW" crowd (a loaded term to be sure, but I'm using it because you did, for want of a better one, and with the same definition) about how the other side is dragging America to perdition, most people here hold men and women to be of equal worth (if different in terms of certain biological specifics), don't consciously harbor racial animus, coexist fine with folks of different sexual orientations and gender orientations, and would really like for their fellow citizens to stop obsessing over the definition of their own identities. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:40, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Well it is quite clear - and also mentioned in the article - that political polarization has increased in terms of demographics and geography above all. Back in LBJ's day, there'd be Democrats and Republicans in practically every state, city and county. Nowadays there is quite a handful of places where one party runs unopposed in (almost) all relevant races. And that's actually bizarrely the precise opposite of what's happening (or at least was happening) in Europe over the last few decades. Back in the day a catholic person from a rural area would vote for the CDU/CSU even if they put up a convicted criminal or a cardboard cutout. Likewise a working class person, especially one employed in mining, metalworking, manufacturing or the likes would vote for an SPD corpse over a living breathing candidate of any other party. Nowadays, that certainty is gone. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:56, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
I would just like to say that I think it's good that we have the perspective of someone who is not native to the U.S. but has experienced the country from the perspective of an outsider. It is indeed true that we might not realize what we don't know about what is taboo and what is not. I can certainly imagine a visitor from a less egalitarian society making misogynistic comments -- possibly half-jokingly -- and being caught off-guard by the response. The question to me is, would that response be so problematic as to merit specifically warning visitors away from such comments? Powers (talk) 21:18, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Not only is outside perspective good, it should be vital to our Respect section. The issue is that the Respect section has being continually reworked to try and reflect a very 'unique' perspective that appears to stem from anxiety around giving offence under any circumstance at a far left-wing academic campus.
Some travelers will come from countries with more misogyny and racism than the US. It isn't our mission to tell those travelers how to behave, just advise them with regards to areas to act respectfully specific to the US. I believe the section as it stands is fine. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:56, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
As I have previously stated, these things I brought up are what I have actually encountered when interacting with Americans. But then again, I don't discount the possibility that the hypersensitivity I encountered could still be a fringe ideology that is only prevalent in certain university campuses but not in general American society, and I believe that is what this discussion is meant to ascertain. These far-left extremist views do seem to be getting more and more prevalent among the "millenial" generation than in older generations, and the media (both mainstream media and social media) can sometimes make it seem like America is divided into far-left extremists and far-right extremists with almost nobody in the middle. But anyway, as I previously said, if we have ascertained from the discussion that this hypersensitivity to gender issues and extreme aversion to jokes about gender differences is still a fringe ideology, then I am happy to leave it out. This may not be the best place to bring my personal feelings in, but I'm also quite sick of the drama between the SJWs and the Alt-right, and for sanity sake I hope that what AndreCarrotflower said about most Americans being moderates who know how to use their common sense is true and remains true for the forseeable future. The dog2 (talk) 22:29, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Great, hope we can all get back to writing about travel only. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:34, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
Remember too that the Millennials are hardly the first generation to indulge in strident and perhaps naively idealistic left-wing radicalism in their young adulthood only to collectively turn their back on it later on in life. The Baby Boomers who so vigorously protested America's involvement in Vietnam in the '60s and '70s grew to be among the principal architects of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:39, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
Really? Certainly the demographics match, but I doubt you'll find much overlap between the two on an individual level. Powers (talk) 21:17, 14 September 2017 (UTC)


@Andrewssi2, I think I do prefer to title the subsection "LGBT" rather than "Gay and lesbian". As mentioned on LGBT travel#Understand and its talk page, "LGBT" is the most widely used term. (And hey, using it here would only help to strengthen it as the most common term.) It's widespread enough that I think anyone who's looking for that information will recognize it if they see it in the table of contents or scrolling through the page. For anyone who doesn't know it, the first sentence mentions "gay and lesbian", so it gets explained fairly quickly.

Come to think of it, that subsection doesn't currently mention anything about transgender issues. Toilets#Stay safe mentions that laws for bathroom access for transgender people vary by region, and even within the U.S. this varies by state and city. There can also be travel difficulties when someone's outward appearance doesn't match the gender stated on their identification. I think this subsection ought to mention these, even if only to say "it's complicated, do your research". If it does mention those issues, then "LGBT" would certainly be a better section title than "Gay and lesbian". --Bigpeteb (talk) 15:18, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Agreed with the above. Forgive me for beating this drum a little more, but seeing as we're trying to reduce the length of this article, it also occurs to me that "LGBT" is several characters shorter than "gay and lesbian". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:35, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
I also agree with Bigpeteb. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:38, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
The section is about "gay and lesbians" though. Bisexuals only matter here if they're going to be involved in gay or lesbian encounters/activities. Real transgender people want to blend in and live as their "new" gender, so there isn't much advice for them, and if we're going to say "do your research", we're saying we have nothing to say, so the inclusion sounds like it's more for us to be "PC" (even though gay and lesbian is not non-PC) or just extending the "Respect" section nonsense into another category, to be honest. I don't really care that much, because this just seems pointless to me (and it will actually lengthen the article, because you then have to add that line about "do your research" for transgenders).
I am however firmly against the outlined reason "And hey, using it here would only help to strengthen it as the most common term". Why would we want to do that? Using Wikivoyage as a tool for soft activism to push an agenda is not what we're about. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 17:01, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
I would make the section "LGBT" and also specifically address trans issues. Wanting to blend in isn't the same as blending in. I have a trans woman friend whose life has been threatened on the street in New York City(!) because of that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:52, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
The reason I reverted was because an anonymous IP had changed the title section of one our most important articles. If there is consensus to change then that is fine with me. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:28, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm ambivalent about the title, but I do think we should address issues pertaining to transgenders. The safety of travellers is important to our "Stay Safe" section, and that includes people of all gender identities too. But at the same time, let's be careful not to be too sensationalist. While it is appropriate to mention some of the discrimination transgender people may face, I think that at least in liberal areas like New York City or the San Francisco Bay Area, transphobic people are a minority and most people you will meet take a live and let live approach to gender identity, and that should be made clear too. The dog2 (talk) 21:25, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Actually, thinking about this some more, I believe that LGBT as a title will not be well understood by readers from non-English speaking countries. I think that it should remain as 'Gay and Lesbian'. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:17, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
What makes you believe that? The term "LGBT" has been borrowed into some other languages—I've encountered it in Spanish, and I've heard that it's used in Turkish and Danish too, among others. If anything, it might be easier for many readers who don't speak much English to understand. —Granger (talk · contribs) 22:25, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Acronyms are intrinsically more difficult to understand. It may be used a bit more in places such as Spain and Germany, but I think a Chinese/Japanese may be confused. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:47, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
As far as I know, there is no blanket term in Chinese or Japanese to refer to LGBT people, and there are only separate words for homosexual and transgender people, so Andrewssi2 has a point there. That being said, I don't think it will be that difficult for a Chinese or Japanese person to do a web search to find out what the term means. The dog2 (talk) 01:03, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
I definitely agree on not being sensational or overstating dangers. As for the abbreviation, if we engender to make it clear in context, I think people will get it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:29, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Doing a web search to look up the meaning, or gleaning meaning from context, does nothing when we're talking about using a section header to help readers find important information relevant to them. Powers (talk) 00:21, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
True. If we need people to do web searches on our terms then we have actually failed to convey meaning to the reading. Frankly we should avoid acronyms as much as we can (for any subject). --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:29, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
So do you want to write out "Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender"? If you really are convinced that's needed... Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:51, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Just to put this into perspective against the rest of the world where we almost never have such discussions and nobody is bothered by these things:
There is currently no mention of gay and lesbians at all in: Hungary, Norway, Chile, Burundi, Tanzania, Vietnam, Palau, Fiji, Denmark, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Grenada, Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Cameroon
There is just a single note/line about it in the Respect or Stay Safe section in: Ghana, Ethiopia, Brazil, Spain, India, Estonia, Mauritania, Croatia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Morocco, Bhutan
No subheading but more than one-line about gay and lesbians: Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Singapore, Jamaica
Has a subeading for gay and lesbian: Canada, Germany, Japan, Iran, Italy, Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, Nigeria, China
Out of all of the articles above that I checked, Singapore was the only one with a line about transgender. Nobody with an interest in any of these other countries has ever noticed or cared about this in all the years these articles have been around. I think this conversation is mostly making something out of nothing. We focus a lot more on those "stares" you might get from the "deprived" and rural people in safe and accepting countries than we do on places where real problems can occur for gays and lesbians, and now there is this burgeoning need to add/expand a section about Transgender travel in the US? Seems a bit silly. You could still have a line about "transgender" under the "gay and lesbian" heading if there's anything to say, but it may also be worth noting, we don't really give advice for other mental/psychological conditions. In the LGBT travel article, transgender is only mentioned in the Air Travel section, yet there is an exceptional need to talk about it in the US article? I just don't see it. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 09:43, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Wow, a "mental/psychological condition" probably know how that comes off. Anyway, thanks for pointing out where conditions for LGBT people have been neglected on Wikivoyage. Meanwhile, I see no-one suggesting a separate section for transgender people, only a mention that problems are possible. If you think that's obvious to everyone and there isn't any country where transgender people are extremely safe in not being attacked, threatened or ill-treated for being transgender, then we shouldn't say a thing. But really, we're just talking about a single sentence at most. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:49, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
Going back to the question of "gay and lesbian" vs. "LGBT" and the supposed inherent difficulty to understand acronyms: again, this is the English Wikivoyage. Of course, speakers of other languages remain welcome to use and contribute to our community, but I don't think a ten-second Google search is an unreasonably high expectation in this case. The comments I made at pub#Understanding of the word "millennial" apply: "the more we at the English Wikivoyage go down the road of making concessions to readers of limited English proficiency, the more we enable the continued neglect of the other language versions of Wikivoyage". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:09, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
One of our stated goals is offline use. A ten-second Google search is an unreasonably high expectation if the voyager isn't currently online. As for "safe and accepting countries"? Take a look at - the Transgender Day of Remembrance site. Many transwomen of colour have ended up very dead in countries like the US and Brazil, which LGBT travel seems to think are relatively safe. That they're better than some Da'esh-occupied Arabian backwater is little consolation. K7L (talk) 00:50, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Regarding offline use, a little bit of forethought goes a long way. The voyager may not have access to the Internet whilst travelling, but s/he obviously does when printing the article out. And no matter what their native language, it's incumbent on said voyager to read over the article before printing it, to see how useful it is vis-à-vis their travel plans lest they be caught with insufficient information and without Internet access. For non-native English speakers, it's also incumbent on them to accurately assess their own English proficiency level vis-à-vis the content of the article, and to clarify any confusing language for themselves before they go offline. Again, while non-English speakers are welcome to use us, they need to do so with the understanding that English is the language of currency here, just the same as I wouldn't go on fr: or de: and expect them to simplify the terminology they use for the benefit of me as an English speaker. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:48, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Just to put things in perspective here, I don't deny that there have been violent incidents targeting transgenders solely on the basis of their gender identity. Similarly, violent homophobic attacks have also occurred. But the fact that such incidents have happened doesn't mean it's an epidemic. And also keep in mind that even people who don't approve of transgenders are not necessarily violent against them. So while we should not pretend that every American is accepting of transgender people, let's not blow the issue up more than necessary. The U.S. is no Uganda or Nigeria, and while transgender people may still face some discrimination, there is no law making it illegal to be transgender, and at least in the main tourist areas, the vast majority of people you will meet will not randomly walk up to you and beat you up on the basis of your gender identity. The dog2 (talk) 06:02, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

Agreed. We shouldn't overstate dangers; we should merely state them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:08, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
I thought the original question was whether 'LGBT' was a better title the 'Gay & Lesbian'? I still don't think it is, but if the consensus is to change then I'm not going to challenge it. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:28, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Can we not just state that under the "gay and lesbian" heading? This discussion seems to be that "gay and lesbian" is 100% understood while there may be people, even in some English speaking countries that are unfamiliar with "GLBT", right? So why not just say what you want to say about transgender under that heading. The only proposed information however was to advise transgender people to research it elsewhere.
"Wow, a "mental/psychological condition" probably know how that comes off" - Since Gender Dysphoria is the diagnosable mental disorder that you must have in order to be transgender, it should have come across perfectly fine. Stating facts doesn't imply ill-will or hatred towards the group if that's what you're insinuating. We don't call blind people "blind" because we hate them; we call them blind because it describes their condition. Transgender people are individuals with Gender Dysphoria. It is a mental disorder. No one should take offense to that. There has been a recent surge in people claiming to be "trans" as a sort of "trend" when they're really just experimenting with fashion and those people are making things difficult for real trans people by trivializing and minimizing their condition to being about "self-expression through fashion", but I'm assuming we're not talking about those people. Again, I'm not opposed to adding something about it, but if our advice is to Google it then we're just putting it in here to have the word there, not to give any real insight or advice. If there is a website for trans travelers about safety and travel concerns around the globe, I'd think it best added to the LGBT article. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 08:44, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
This is what happens if your idea of "stating facts" is to profile voyagers on the basis of a "mental/psychological condition". Is this person actually suicidal, or are they "experimenting with fashion", and does it matter if they're assured nothing but trouble in any case? K7L (talk) 13:05, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
You building a strawman? I can't really understand what your point is; just that you're angry... ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:15, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
I could be wrong, Chubby, but I think the objection is that individuals who have successfully transitioned to a new gender are usually no longer considered to have gender dysphoria. That is, transitioning is seen as a cure, not simply a treatment. Powers (talk) 21:16, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
I will not get into the politics or the terminology because I am not qualified to do so, and neither am I advocating discrimination or demonising such individuals, but I will try to provide the biological perspective here. Yes, transgenders can undergo sex reassignment surgery, but even so you will not be "completely" transformed as you will not assume the full reproductive function of the other sex. Unlike some species of fish, that is still not possible for humans. So from a biological perspective, someone who is biologically of a particular sex, and a transgender who has transitioned to a gender associated with that sex are not exactly the same.
And I know I am digressing here, but as politically incorrect as it sounds to LGBTQQIA rights activists, intersex is essentially a birth defect. It's when the genitals fail to differentiate properly, so you get ambiguous genitals that are somewhere in between male and female. For instance, that particular structure would be too large to be a clitoris but too small to be a penis. Just like you will classify someone with anopthalmia (born without eyes) or amelia (born with missing limbs) as having a birth defect, from a scientific perspective, intersex would also be classified as a birth defect. And just to put it out there, as far as I know, no human has ever been born with full functioning sex organs of both sexes. There's a lot of other medical disorders related to reproductive function and sex-specific differentiation (eg. androgen insensitivity syndrome), but that will take too long so I will not cover them here. The dog2 (talk) 00:41, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

(Indent) While the link and suggestion that I am advocating for "profiling voyagers" don't seem to match the hypothesis proposed above, the link is unrelated and the profiling accusation is nonsense, so I'm just going to let that go and get back to the discussion. So based on what's been said: -"Gay and lesbian" is easily recognizable by everyone but the acronym (GLBT) may not be understood (on the basis that acronyms are often not known) If it's true that the acronym is not known even by all Native English speakers, then why not keep "Gay and lesbian" and if we have something to say about trans people (which nothing has actually been proposed), just say it there. We can bold it to make it pop out. I don't think it necessarily has to be in the title (and the full acronym "LGBTQQIA" mentioned above isn't even understood by gays and lesbians and is a huge eyesore. Hopefully we don't have to have a discussion about that) ChubbyWimbus (talk) 09:09, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

What I propose to say about the situation for trans people is that while there is increasing acceptance of trans people and identity in the U.S. in general, trans folks, when recognized as such, can at times experience hostility, ranging from demands to use the restroom of the gender others take them for, up to and including threats to their lives and persons, even in cities like New York that would normally be thought of as politically liberal. It would be great if a transgender person could write something quite brief that reflects something of their own experience, but something should be mentioned and it should be truthful without being unduly alarming. And yeah, let's please not use LGBTQQIA! Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:00, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
I wonder how true some of those statements are though. The bathroom controversy, for instance, is mostly due to the complete subjectivity of who qualifies as "trans". What people are concerned about seems to be non-trans people taking advantage rather than trans people themselves, and that is exacerbated (or the concerns seem validated) by the push by far left youth that "gender is subjective and malleable" (many conflating it with "sex" or even claiming "sex" is also subjective) and something you can both choose and change at your will (these are the sorts of things I was referencing when I said people are making it harder for real trans people). I don't think we can presume that because there is controversy it translates to harassment of trans people or normal men/women who look "suspect". Is there harassment or is it an assumption?
The issue of violence against and murder of trans people happens most often (actually almost exclusively) with trans involved in illegal activities; namely prostitution. On top of that, while LGBT advocates like to throw out "trans people of color" are "disproportionately affected", what they leave out is that "people of color" are also the ones killing them or "disproportionately targeting" them, so the insinuation that race and racism are factors is completely false. The risks of violence (and death) seem to drop significantly outside of black communities and outside of the sex industry.
I feel like some generic "Violence against trans people is rare" followed by something to the effect of keeping it to yourself unless necessary in order to avoid stares, whispers, comments, and questions would probably be as succinct and as truthful as we can get. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 06:33, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
For perspective, the origional question was around the title of this section. Do we really need a discussion around how to handle advice for transexuals? (advice which frankly doesn't seem to be from anyone who would describe themselves as such). Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:02, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Chubby, I think you're misrepresenting laws that have been passed, which state that people are required to use the bathroom of their sex as declared at birth. And while I don't know how often trans people have their lives threatened, I assure you, my astrophysicist friend whose life was threatened on the streets of New York is not a sex worker or engaging in illegal activities. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:05, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Wasn't North Carolina the only state that originally passed a bill? And wasn't the transgender part later revoked? Correct me if I'm wrong. I wasn't denying that threats or violence could occur outside of the sex industry or black communities, I said it was lower/less likely. Almost all of the deaths relate to one or both. "Threats" are harder to measure, but I think all trans people know it's wise to be careful who you reveal that information to. The main point of my proposition was that advice is likely to be generic, not that what is said must be what I wrote or that more couldn't be said about safety if we have advice. In response to Andrewssi2, it seems part of the purpose of proposing the acronym in the first place was its inclusion of the "T" in the title. I suppose it did become more focal in the discussion than perhaps it needed to be, and I see your point that we could just finish LGBT versus "Gay and lesbian" thing and end the discussion as it was presented. But where are we with that? I did try twice to say "Why not leave it "Gay and lesbian" while still allowing trans advice. No one opposed, but no one said it sounded okay, either. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 08:08, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I think "LGBT" is a better heading than "Gay and lesbian" either way, but if we include advice for trans people, the heading "Gay and lesbian" certainly won't make sense, and I think "LGBT" is probably the best alternative. I think we should include advice for trans people, and Ikan Kekek's summary above ("while there is increasing acceptance...politically liberal.") looks pretty good to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:23, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
There has been a trend of adding more and more letters to try to cover more groups. It went from LGBT 10 years ago, to LGBTQ 4 years ago and now LGBTQQIA. Only God knows how much longer it will get before the final term is settled. But anyway, I think we should mention briefly that incidents that Ikan Kekek described could occur, but also not make it seem like the vast majority of Americans are transgender haters. And yes, the fact that acceptance of transgender people is growing in general American society should be mentioned, as should the fact that the legality of transgender people using public toilets of their choice varies by state.
And as a reply to some of the comments by ChubbyWimbus, there are a lot of things that could become aberrant (for lack of a better word) when it comes to sexual differentiation. In the case of androgen insensitivity syndrome that I mentioned above, the person is genetically male but has a female body and has sex organs that are female but not properly formed, and is hence sterile. The far-left crowd is really pushing for such conditions to be considered part of the "normal spectrum" of biological sex, rather than being considered congenital disorders as the scientific and medical community generally regards them to be. It's true that the minority rights groups in universities are pushing the idea that gender has absolutely nothing to do with biology whatsoever, and you will be targeted if you don't agree with that point of view. In the hard sciences, we treat these as medical disorders when we write scientific literature or have scientific discussions, but it's now incredibly difficult to talk about such stuff publicly, so we just avoid it altogether at public forums. The dog2 (talk) 16:02, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
All we need to know about androgen insensitivity syndrome is its impact on travel. If there's some special reason why Castor Semenya should avoid all travel through this country, we say so, but we're not a general medical textbook. K7L (talk) 16:51, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
All I'm doing is providing the scientific viewpoint, and used that as an example of conditions related to sex determination. In any case, someone with androgen insensitivity syndrome will pretty much have exactly the same external appearance as a "normal" XX woman, so unless you are a medical professional who is conducting a comprehensive medical examination of the internal genitalia, and follow that up with a genetic test, you won't be able to tell. Therefore, there is certainly no need for special advice for people with androgen insensitivity syndrome, since there is no way you can tell such a person apart from a "normal" woman when you see her in the street. The dog2 (talk) 18:16, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Whether a condition is considered abnormal or not is a cultural matter to a very large degree. Are people who go into trances and rant and rave crazy? Not if you're a Pentacostalist. Is it abnormal for a man to have a boy lover? It's absolutely abhorrent to me, but it was normal in ancient Greece. But can we please focus on travellers, rather than irrelevant feuds between physical and social scientists? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:44, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I support making this section called "Gay, lesbian & Transexual" if that helps conclude this. If "LGBT" is what some people really want, then I won't object even if it is not my preference. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:48, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I have no problem with "Gay, lesbian and transgender", which is the currently favored term on this side of the pond. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:54, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I support Ikan's proposal. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:06, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
"Transgender" is a broader term than "transsexual", and I agree that it's the term we should use in this article. I would be happy with "Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" or "Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender" as a section header. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:08, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm happy with Andrewssi2's proposal, but I think we should use "transgender" instead of "transsexual". LGBT is fine with me too, so I'll go with what the majority wants on that. The dog2 (talk) 03:05, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
I still think "gay and lesbian" is enough and don't see any issues with including trans advice under that heading. Otherwise I would support LGBT over "gay, lesbian and transgender" which is too long but more importantly for consistency across countries. I think we should try to have some uniformity to make it easier for travelers and "gay and lesbian" or "LGBT" are the most prevalent. Spelling out "transgender" to me suggests we must have something to say about it while the acronym is just an acronym and "gay and lesbian" which are who we are actually offering advice to 99.9% of the time makes the most sense. (as far as the "normality" of these things, heterosexuality is normal for the human species. Culture can affect acceptance, but I don't see it affecting a biological norm. Homosexuals already know it's not the "norm"; the dating pool is very small for them, especially lesbians. But if these things matter somewhere, I don't think it's here.)
Anyway I prefer "gay and lesbian" or "LGBT" over the recent proposal for the reasons I've stated above. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 07:02, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Let's add some advice pertaining to transgenders then. Based on what I've been seeing, I think we can summarise that transgenders may face discrimination, and there is a risk of open hostility from some more conservative sectors of the population. But at the same time, the general trend has been increased acceptance, and as a general rule, anti-transgender violence is not a very common occurrence in the main tourist areas. The dog2 (talk) 19:22, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
I continue to think LGBT is the preferable term, and continue to oppose the English Wikivoyage making concessions to non-native speakers of English that are deleterious to our content. Again, the ultimate goal should be to foster strong Wikivoyage communities across all language versions, not to foster en: as the default option for native and non-native speakers alike. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:28, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Native English speakers can be found in many different countries; are we sure that "LGBT" is recognizable in all of them? Powers (talk) 19:50, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
On one hand, I suppose you're right. Leaving aside native English readers, I imagine a large number of ESL readers also use this article, and just to add one solid data point, I remember being in grad school with a lot of ESL speakers fresh off the boat who didn't know what "LGBT" stood for. On the other hand, most readers who are not LGBT themselves probably have little to no interest in reading that subsection. Those who are LGBT, even if they're ESL, likely have already learned the acronym. If they haven't learned the acronym, we should teach it to them, because the acronym is very common in the U.S. and readers interested in those topics ought to learn it.
I think that only leaves two solutions.
1. Change the subsection title to "LGBT". Readers who don't know the acronym and don't care about LGBT stuff may read a sentence or two, realize what it means, and then skip ahead. (That could be aided by bolding the keywords "gay", "lesbian", and "transgender" when they appear.) Readers who do know the acronym won't have a problem. However, readers who don't know the acronym but are looking for that content won't be able to find it in the table of contents.
2. Leave the subsection with the title "Gay and lesbian". Again, people who aren't interested in that content will skip ahead. For people who are interested, I think it's widely understood that this includes "bisexual", "transgender", and others, so I think it's fine to keep the title short. However, we should add a sentence explaining that "LGBT" (and sometimes other similar acronyms) are commonly used in the U.S.
Between those, I think I now lean towards the second option. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:38, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't think "Gay and lesbian" is widely understood to include "bisexual" and "transgender". I suppose it could be assumed that information relevant to gay and lesbian people is also relevant to bisexual people, but I certainly wouldn't expect to find information for transgender people under the heading "Gay and lesbian". —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:58, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
I think we can bold transgender and give information there when we have it. I think it's well-established for information relevant to transgender to be placed under the "gay" umbrella. I do think that if anyone is particularly interested or knowledgeable about transgender travel, they should really start adding information to the LGBT travel article and if it grows, a specific transgender travel article might make sense and would probably be more helpful. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:27, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
I tend to agree, though really I wish we could come up with a better header than either "LGBT" or "Gay and lesbian". It's awkward; feels like a noun is missing. "LGBT travel" or "Considerations for gay and lesbian travellers" (though neither is ideal due to the redundant use of "travel" on a travel guide) or some such would be more consonant. Powers (talk) 21:04, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Federal holidays and banksEdit

The current wording in the Holidays section states that banks are required to close on Federal holidays. Is this true? Powers (talk) 00:47, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Electronics for exportEdit

"TVs don't match the international DVB standard used in other countries. DVDs and Blu-rays are often region-coded. They use the image size and frame rate of the U.S. TV system, though flat screens don't have the compatibility problems that the older, heavier, CRTs (picture tubes) do."

Wait, what? My ATSC TV is flatscreen, but that does nothing to improve its chances of being able to pick up Auntie Beeb on Freeview should I take it to London at tea time. All of the incompatibilities which existed with NTSC vs. PAL still exist with DVB vs. ATSC; the screen itself being flat solves nothing. K7L (talk) 16:51, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

Difference is that these days you can plug a tuner (or NetFlix, AppleTV, whatever) into the DVI port of any flat screen produced over the past 4 years (and quite possibly far longer) and have no issue reading displaying the signal. Older CRT's never had this. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:44, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
In other words, it doesn't work without a converter box. I see. K7L (talk) 02:14, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
I'd say it is a pretty massive shift in functionality. Back in the 80's you would need a special convertor to give a bad picture from your NTSC games console to your PAL television. Those days are happily long gone. If you want to buy an awesome Japanese TV then it isn't just junk when you bring it back to the US. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:40, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Japan was NTSC, not PAL. It was more US-compatible then than it is now. Some of the channels were on the wrong frequencies but the system was otherwise the same.
Nonetheless, it's not a flatscreen-vs-CRT issue. A 1987-era VGA computer monitor is analogue and CRT-based, but was well-standardised internationally. You probably could find some box which tuned PAL (or Caligou, or whatever) and spit out SVGA, much as there are converter boxes which tune ATSC and spit out HDMI today. Even so, an ATSC TV is no more able to tune DVB-T under its own power than any other random computer monitor. K7L (talk) 05:39, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't believe the Japanese NTSC format was the same as the US NTSC format. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:41, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Didn't East Germany use a non-compatible format for color TV to the West, so that you could only see Westfernsehen in black and white? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:54, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Yup. The UK and West Germany are PAL. East Germany was SECAM, the French system adopted by Russia and much of the Soviet bloc, although not all could afford colour TV as a luxury at the height of the Cold War.
Korea is just as divided (or worse - as the south uses NTSC, not even the frame rate matches the other system). K7L (talk) 12:40, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Nobody is buying a TV in another country and looking forward to dragging it home. Particularly since, due to the geography of the USA, the dragging home part likely involves airplanes. So this issue won't affect travelers. ArticCynda (talk) 22:22, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Gun ControlEdit

From what I have been hearing, this is a very polarising issue, with left wingers generally feeling that the relatively high incidence of mass shootings is to be blamed on a lack gun control, and right wingers feeling that there is currently too much gun control that is infringing on their second amendment right to bear arms, and that getting rid of gun control will reduce mass shootings as it will allow regular citizens to defend themselves from the perpetrators of such mass shootings. I am not here to have a political debate on the pros and cons of gun control, and WV is most certainly not the place to have such debates. However, I was wondering if perhaps it is worth mentioning in the Respect section that gun control is a very polarising and emotive issue that foreigners should probably avoid getting into a discussion with Americans about. The dog2 (talk) 16:42, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

If someone travels to another country to lecture people on gun control or any social/political issue, the chances that they will offend people should be obvious. Going to another country and complaining about it or telling people your own country is better is universally detested. I'd say it's a Captain Obvious case. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:56, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
That may be somewhat true, but the difference is that gun control laws are much more lenient in the US than in almost any other country, and the issue tends to be more polarising than in other countries. If you come from places like Japan, China, Australia, the UK, Canada or even my native Singapore, there is almost universal support for gun control among the general population, and in all these countries you cannot legally buy a gun without going through a lot of bureaucracy to get a licence. Gun control in the US is for the most part regulated at the state and municipal levels, and in some areas, there are minimal, or sometimes even no licensing requirements for you to be able to buy a gun. The US is pretty much the only country I know of where a significant sector of the population is vehemently opposed to any form of gun control whatsoever, and this group is extremely passionate about defending their constitutional right to bear arms. Visitors to the US may well be caught off guard at how far these people will go to defend this right. The dog2 (talk) 17:17, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree with The dog2 on this. US support for free availability of guns, without even requiring licensing or restricting people on the no-fly list for alleged associations with terrorism in their ability to purchase and carry concealed firearms in some states, is obvious to almost no non-Americans. I completely agree that we don't want to delve into the politics of gun ownership in the U.S., but mentioning that firearms are widely available and legal to carry with few restrictions in some parts of the U.S. and that if you, as a visitor to the United States, want to know about local opinions on firearm ownership and use, you are best off asking questions and listening, is good, in my opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:42, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
I think Ikan has struck the right balance with his comment. Given the tendency in this article to delve into the minutiae of issues that aren't really relevant to the traveller, I think it should be again emphasized that any explanation we offer about guns should be kept brief and should avoid concerning itself too much with the "why" of the matter. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:02, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
That too was what I was leaning towards. I provided all these details in my first post just to give a context to this discussion, but for the article itself, I would say that we should just make it known that guns are a very polarising issue and it is best that you just stay neutral and listen to people's opinion without promoting your own so you don't cause any offence. There is no need to go into details regarding the "why". The dog2 (talk) 18:28, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

(indent) I can see the reason for mentioning open-carry. I don't see a reason though to mention gun ownership as a "polarizing issue" or to advise people on how to discuss it. There are constant conversations here about shortening this article and avoiding giving too much advice on how to have a conversation, and this to me seems to be another step in the wrong direction. At some point we have to trust that the traveler has had social interactions in their life and is capable of having more without self-destructing. If they make mistakes, are daft/stubborn, or just want to be a jerk we shouldn't be so concerned. They'll learn and grow. Saying things like "It's best to ask questions" is a universally good way to find out how people feel about something. It just sounds like we're moving into How to Have a Conversation when we start trying to warn people about any and every topic in which opinions may differ. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:32, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

The reason why I think something should be mentioned is because this is an issue in which the sentiment in the U.S. differs greatly from that of the rest of the developed world. In Singapore and Australia, even the gun owners themselves are generally supportive of all the background checks, licensing requirements and restrictions you have to put up with in order to be allowed to buy and own a gun (And yes, I have actually met Singaporean and Australian gun owners before). In the U.S., the NRA is vehemently opposed to any form of regulation on gun ownership. I know it sounds crazy to foreigners, but even if what is proposed is merely something like banning firearm access to people with a recurring history of violent crime, the pro-gun crowd is vehemently opposed to that because they see it as a violation of their constitutional right to bear arms. How this affects potentially travellers is when perhaps news of a mass shooting breaks while they are visiting the U.S. You might be saying something like, "There should be gun control to criminals like this don't get the chance to shoot people.", and that could potentially be offensive if you meet someone who is pro-gun. The dog2 (talk) 14:46, 17 October 2017 (UTC)
See, to me this example of how it affects travelers shows that it doesn't. If someone says "There should be gun control [so] criminals like this don't get the chance to shoot people" some people will say "Yeah, I know" and some people will have some retort or possibly bring up criticism against that person's country. That's how things tend to go everywhere when outsiders do that. So what? Foreigner gives opinion. Local expresses disagreement. Regardless of views, if Local is "offended" it will not be because Foreigner supports banning guns or whatever; it will be because Foreigner is a foreigner criticizing Local's country. It's a Captain Obvious case.
Again: If you go to another country and start criticizing it and acting as if YOU know best or better than their entire nation, you might anger some people and they might put you in your place. This is not the "special case" it's being made out to be. If you want to talk about issues you have with a nation's constitution or the way it's interpreted with the locals, Captain Obvious tells us that you are venturing into a "controversial topic". He also tells us that gun ownership is not on the list of "pleasant everyday conversations" in any country. The fact of the matter is, a conscientious traveler isn't going to start spouting off about gun control, "banning firearm access to people with recurring histories of violent crimes", etc. just like they're not going to start commenting about all of the obese people they see or whining about how ugly everyone is. I don't see anything above that suggests this is different from any other criticism of the nation by a foreigner. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:32, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
We disagree. And I don't know why you would think foreigners would know that the U.S., uniquely among countries in the world, has a Constitutional provision that's been interpreted to guarantee an individual right to own and carry firearms. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:54, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Since openly carrying a weapon is a universally recognized sign that someone has bad intentions (professionals in active function with police aside), travelers are unlikely to have a discussion about this topic with people who may feel sensitive about it because it is obvious to everyone with common sense that interacting with armed individuals is a bad idea. When traveling to Syria, you also shouldn't have to be told to think twice before discussing Sharia with someone who's carrying explosives around his/her waist. So I agree with Ikan Kekek, this doesn't belong in the Respect section. It should however be mentioned elsewhere, so that travelers are aware of the situation and do not call the police immediately whenever they see armed individuals in public. Even experienced travelers who have visited other developing countries before, are unlikely to be aware of this special case. I was quite shocked myself during my first visit to the USA, admittedly I didn't read WV since it didn't exist yet back then! ArticCynda (talk) 21:52, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
With all due respect, ArticCynda, it sounds like you've still not really grasped the nuances of U.S. gun culture, at least as practiced in more politically conservative areas, despite your earlier visit. No, people openly carrying weapons in a place like Texas or Wyoming doesn't mean your life is in imminent danger and that the police should be called, but quotations like "openly carrying a weapon is a universally recognized sign that someone has bad intentions" and "interacting with armed individuals is a bad idea" makes it sound like you still think saying the wrong thing will necessarily result in a violent reaction from these people. That's emphatically not the case. Whether or not you buy the idea that carrying a gun around at all times is necessary to protect oneself from physical threats (I don't), the fact remains that most folks in the rural U.S. really do only keep their guns around for protection. It's still a bad idea to try to lecture these people about gun control, but only because it's impolite - not because they'll shoot you if you piss them off.
Addressing the two comments above ArticCynda's, I think I agree with ChubbyWimbus more than Ikan Kekek. It's a well-known fact to anyone who even casually follows the news that the U.S. has a disproportionately large population of gun owners, and that the ramifications of that have caused great controversy both within and across the U.S.'s national borders. The particularities of the American Constitution and legal system that allow this to be the case are outside the scope of this site, and anyway irrelevant as far as the traveller is concerned. Captain Obvious says you don't poke hornet nests, regardless of the why's and how's.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:31, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
I understand your point of view, AndreCarrotflower, though it would not be reasonable to expect travelers to grasp the nuances of U.S. gun culture since for most of the rest of the world, there should not even be a nuance about it in the first place. Regardless, my point was that to most travelers, the act of openly carrying a weapon will be interpreted as an act of hostility, regardless if the individual's intentions are malicious or not, simply because weapons are de facto associated with war zones or crime. It is therefore likely that travelers will be more upset by seeing weapons in public than U.S. citizens are by questions about them. Keep in mind that for travelers from developed countries, it will likely be their first real life encounter with a fire arm, since for example in Western Europe, police officers tend to carry their fire arms concealed to avoid upsetting civilians. ArticCynda (talk) 23:14, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
No one is arguing against mentioning open-carry. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 05:19, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Open carry is mentioned under the “Stay Safe” section. I do think that a Respect section should mention sensitive topics though. Of course, everyone knows that you generally don’t discuss sex, politics and religion, and we don’t have to advise people regarding that, but the fact that gun control is so sensitive and politically charged in the US is not immediately obvious to foreigners. Outside the US, public support for legislation that bans violent criminals from obtaining firearms is almost universal. It’s only in the US where there is significant opposition to such legislation. The dog2 (talk) 05:48, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

"Respect" is where features of local culture that are unusual for people from other nations and might confuse or upset them, or which they might not know not to talk about (etc.) are mentioned. We Americans have to try to put ourselves in the shoes of people from countries like ArticCynda's if we are to write a good "Respect" section. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:51, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
"Outside the US, public support for legislation that bans violent criminals from obtaining firearms is almost universal. It’s only in the US where there is significant opposition to such legislation." - But WHO is going to start a conversation like that and NOT know that they're probing? The very fact that they acknowledge the issue means they know there is not such a clear solution in the US. You are not just going to "accidentally" or "unintentionally" probe people about the availability of guns to convicted felons for mass murder in a country. Who does that? It's like saying "People all over the world agree that child pornography is bad, so what's wrong with probing Japanese people on my trip to Japan about Japan producing and exporting so much of it? I can't fathom how anyone could have an issue with me, because we all know how bad it is." Surely these are Captain Obvious scenarios. There is mention of foreigners "not understanding all the nuances" of the issue over and over above, but they don't NEED to know. Knowing that there is a debate/issue and that it's an ongoing problem in the first place is enough information and as AndreCarrotflower stated, those who even casually pay attention to world news have that awareness. The traveler profile we have to build to make a case for this seems to be an arrogant traveler who wants to bless the natives with his/her knowledge. That traveler is not going to care about our "Respect" section, because respecting the local people/culture is NOT of interest to them. Our Respect section isn't written for that traveler; We're supposed to be writing for travelers who actually care, and travelers who care about not offending Americans are not going to bring up this topic without understanding there is controversy and would certainly approach it with caution if they decided to pursue it. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:24, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Let's be a little more forthright about this. There are plenty of times foreign visitors have in my presence brought up how ridiculous it is that it's so easy for murderers to get firearms in this country, and when they bring that up in New York City, they are likely to get unanimous agreement. What part of the country and in what kind of crowd a visitor brings up the topic is something that matters a lot. I don't think the topic is off-limits anywhere. It's just that if a visitor wants to be careful, they should ask open-ended questions and listen. Anyway, I'm impatient with the argument you're making, that visitors are likely to know about mass shootings in the U.S. and therefore would know to avoid broaching the topic. No, if they have any interest in understanding the country they're visiting, they would want to understand more about it. Therefore, they may want to have a conversation about it, and rather than saying the topic is off-limits or ignoring the topic as obvious (which I'm sorry, I find stupefying), we should advise visitors that there is much more support for regulations in cities, and especially in cities on the West Coast and Eastern Seaboard, plus some in the Midwest, and much more support for unfettered access to firearms in rural areas, the South, the Southwest, the Mountain States and much of the Midwest outside of major cities, but in general that it's best to ask questions and listen if they want to learn more about public attitudes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:56, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek is spot on. We don't have to go into that level of detail in the article itself, but the fact that gun control is extremely polarising should be mentioned. I've lived mainly in liberal areas, and in these areas, attitudes towards gun control are for the most part the same as in Europe and Australia, where people are required to go through a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy to get a licence to buy a gun. I have also travelled to more rural and conservative areas like Idaho and Utah, and just driving through the countryside you'll see garage sales where people advertise the sale of firearms. Honestly, even though I always knew that the US is rather lax when it comes to firearms legislation, I wasn't expecting it to be that easy for someone to be able to just walk up and buy a gun. And for the record, the Singaporean and Australian gun owners I have met think it is ridiculous how violent criminals can just go to a shop and buy a gun in parts of the US without going through any background checks whatsoever. For many of us non-Americans who are not intimately familiar with American politics, it is very much possible to unintentionally offend a pro-gun American with what we only intend to be a casual remark. The dog2 (talk) 14:46, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
But how hard would it be to simply not make any remarks, casual or otherwise? The dog2, I get what you're saying about the difference between liberal and conservative parts of the country, and Ikan Kekek, I get what you're saying about travellers who want to learn more about American culture. But I live in a mid-sized city in Upstate New York, an island of blue where nowhere is more than a 45-minute drive from deep-red country, so I have experience with both sides of the political coin, and I can say from personal experience that nine times out of ten, any attempt by a foreign visitor to discuss gun control with a resident of the rural U.S. will end badly. It doesn't matter how gently the topic is broached, how innocently the question is phrased, whether the asker intends to use it as a springboard into an anti-gun lecture or a cultural learning experience - the level of emotion attached to this issue, and the consequent level of resentment among rural dwellers toward folks who hector these people about why they're wrong, is such that it will be received the same way: with suspicion if not hostility. (Not to put too fine a point on it: many of these people have a certain suspicion of foreigners to begin with, and not just the nonwhite ones.) The current section emphasizes the distinction between liberal/urban and conservative/rural regions, which is important, and for the latter advises that visitors not poke the hornet nest rather than instructing them how best to poke the hornet nest, which IMO is the responsible thing to tell people. And I think that's sufficient. As for visitors who want to learn more about the nuances of U.S. gun culture, at least until passions subside a bit they'd be better off finding some other source of information than asking locals. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:27, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm actually quite happy with the way it's written now. If we don't tell people how to approach the issue, we should at least tell people that it is a very sensitive topic that is best to avoid. For me coming from a foreigner's perspective, the main concern is that many foreigners will not be aware of how sensitive gun control is in the US, and we should absolutely mention it in the respect section to inform travellers about this. In fact, I have travelled to rural Australia, and met rural Australian farmers who own guns, and even in those instances, the issue is nowhere near as sensitive as in the US, and these people are generally supportive of some form of gun control to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. As you can see, the vehement opposition to even the slightest form of gun control in the rural US is not immediately obvious to a foreigner, even if the foreigner comes from a rural area. I agree that you can avoid making any remarks, but for a foreigner who is not aware of the sensitivity of the issue, it is easy to make such remarks purely out of ignorance. We most certainly need to make a mention of this so people know that this is a topic that is best avoided. The dog2 (talk) 15:57, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
AndreCarrotflower, I'll defer to your experience. The bullet point on gun control in "Respect" is cogent. I think we probably can all accept this as OK and move on. ChubbyWimbus, are you satisfied that even if you think it's unnecessary, it's brief enough not to be important to remove? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:56, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
The explanation seems spot-on, and easily understandable by those unaware of the legal (i.e. constitutional) background of the matter. As a European however I do wonder, is the sensitivity of the issue only limited to guns in particular, or also other weapons like pepper spray for self defense etc? Are defensive weapons covered under different laws? ArticCynda (talk) 22:46, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
There was a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2010 that overturned a complete ban on the ownership of nunchuks, applying its rulings on the 2nd Amendment, so yes, other weapons can be covered under judicial interpretations of the right to bear arms. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:59, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
That being said, the sensitivity is very much focused on guns in particular. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:55, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I made my points, they were heard, understood, and discussion has settled. The consensus is clearly that some mention is warranted and with that understanding, the sentence is fairly concise, so I'm okay with it. The "Respect" section seems to have grown and gained more attention in the past year/few months than it ever did in the entire time the site has been running. I'm hoping these social issues/news-of-the-day conversations will relax for a while. Otherwise, we may need to talk about where line should be with issues that are confined to some form of people disagreeing or getting annoyed (as opposed to those that could get you arrested or insight violence). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:15, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I know this discussion is settled, but just to reply to your point, my understanding is that things that would jeopardise your personal safety or get you arrested generally go in the "Stay Safe" section. The "Respect" section is about covering aspects of a place's culture that visitors might not be familiar with that could lead them to cause offence to a local. Let's not forget that this is a travel guide, so Captain Obvious rules should be applied from a foreigner's perspective and not from a local's. The dog2 (talk) 14:57, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

I agree with you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:56, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree with ChubbyWimbus. Can't we just quickly list a series of sensitive topics and be done with it, rather than spending a paragraph on each? Powers (talk) 02:14, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
That could work, but there are some things where detail is necessary. There are things that have absolutely no connection with race whatsoever from a foreigner's perspective, but are considered racist by Americans. The dog2 (talk) 16:58, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
Yeah but do we really have to warn people against talking about fried chicken? Americans are smart; they know foreigners might not be aware of racial stereotypes. Powers (talk) 20:17, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
I have a friend who got into trouble for that when he was fresh off the boat. We all know that the U.S. has good fried chicken, so my friend decided to ask his colleague for a recommendation of a fried chicken joint, and because he was unaware that this racial stereotype even exists, the colleague he asked happened to be black. He was disciplined by the company and made to go for mandatory counselling over that. Of course, I know of more worldly black Americans who understand that a foreigner asking about fried chicken that may not be aware of the stereotype, but there is also a significant number of more insular ones who don't and would get offended. Foreigners need to be told about this because let's face it, not every American you meet is going to have a lot of exposure to foreign cultures.
It's the same deal with the Swastika. As someone who grew up in Asia, I just see it as a Buddhist or Hindu religious symbol and don't associate it with neo-Nazis, anti-Semitism or whatever hate group may have appropriated it unless I see it in the specific context of the Nazi flag. But in the U.S., displaying the symbol would get you expelled from your university or fired from your job. Just do a Google search for news articles if you think I'm making this up. Sure, the offensiveness of this may be obvious to European foreigners, but to Asian foreigners it's not, so we need to inform travellers about this so they don't get into trouble. The dog2 (talk) 23:53, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
Wikivoyage is not concerned with employment. Foreign workers getting hired/fired are outside of our scope. If he were a tourist, the black person would've called him a racist and he would either made a decision to try and explain or just leave the idiot alone and likely opt not to approach anymore black people. In truth, though, you could be accused of racism for ANYTHING you say to or about a black person if someone wants to make the claim. Tell people you don't like Beyonce and some idiot will make a "racism" accusation. You could be completely polite but if someone really wants to they can twist it and say your politeness was "condescending" or whatever. But the perpetually-offended aren't something worth warning people about. We've arbitrarily listed watermelon and fried chicken, but we have no reason to disallow adding "grape soda" or any food or question that might offend someone of every other race. The fact of the matter is, people are not trying to be racist, so advice like "Don't accidentally be racist" with 2 cherry-picked examples is pointless. As I said, if this is the major issue you claim, why not just write "Avoid approaching black people whenever possible"? It's already implied by the claim that the mere mention of certain fruits and foods in their presence will make them lash out at you. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 09:45, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Don't want to get into this increasingly mad discussion about a mad topic, but I would say that Wikivoyage is absolutely concerned with employment, especially (if not exclusively) for workers in a country that is not their own. Why else do you think we have 'Work' sections in destination articles, or pages such as Working abroad and Business travel? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:48, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
There was discussion about that quite a while ago and it was agreed to only cover the bare minimum on those topics and confine the information to mostly the travel side (documents, visas, etc). We do not cover how to interview, how to be a "good employee", when/how to ask for a raise, office politics, sensitivity training, etc. "Work" is not even a required field and most articles do not include it. I doubt most users would notice if it disappeared from the site completely. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:31, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Right, and this "Respect" section is a summary, not a lengthy discourse, so it's not that much bigger than a bare minimum. On the other hand, I don't think the argument that the section is useless because it's necessarily incomplete really holds water. We're arguing over a few lines of text. I'd prefer to risk erring on the side of inclusion and maybe you'd prefer to risk erring on the side of exclusion, but it's really not that much text to argue about. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:57, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────And I think we have already picked some of the more important stuff that are not obvious to foreigners to cover. Of course I understand that practically anything you say could potentially offend someone who subscribes to some fringe ideology, and we need not be concerned about that (just as we don't write about how not to offend a neo-Nazi or white supremacist). But if it's something that would upset a significant portion of the population, it should be covered, and that's what we have endeavoured to do here. I think Ikan Kekek and AndreCarrotflower have done a good job chipping in as Americans to help us determine what are the more important points, so as it stands, I think we are good with the Respect section for now. The dog2 (talk) 01:55, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

I think that is a fair point, since Americans are (over)sensitive to a lot of things that are non-issues elsewhere, it's perfectly okay that the "Respect" section of the USA article is longer than those of other countries/regions. While conversing with Americans, I've noticed they get easily offended because ironically, they have a culture of excessive political correctness to avoid offending anyone. Therefore, I think it's important to at least give a few lines of context to the issues, where appropriate. I would even argue that making a (long) list of respect issue keywords in itself could be considered rude by Americans, since it implies they have more issues to deal with than other countries/regions. For example, I've noticed that Americans are quite obsessed with their flag (which you see literally everywhere you look), but rather than just mentioning beware of the flag, it perhaps deserves a sentence or two explaining where that sensitivity comes from, so visitors can deal with it more appropriately. Americans are probably best qualified to write out these sensitivities. ArticCynda (talk) 08:47, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
A better example of writing out a Respect section in my opinion is that of Germany. ArticCynda (talk) 08:56, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Ironically, in Germany "disrespecting" the flag is illegal (in the US even Scalia considered it protected by the first amendment), but it's way less of a social faux-pas. There is at the very least a sizable minority of Germans who consider the flag entirely irrelevant and even those that wave the flag only do so for sports events. And after all, there is a political movement that self-identifies as "Anti-German" Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:29, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
And I will chip in by saying that racism is illegal in Singapore, and you can go to jail for posting racist comments on Facebook. But that being said, it has to be quite blatantly racist, and our ethnic minorities are in general not as sensitive as American ethnic minorities. There are many things that we joke about when interacting with friends of different races in Singapore, and they are just treated as jokes, but in the U.S., people are extremely sensitive about that sort of stuff, so you would be branded a racist, or in the worst case even be fired from your job for some things that would be considered harmless in Singapore. I was quite shocked when I got accused of anti-Semitism for asking a Jew to recommend a good bagel place; in Singapore, asking an Indian to recommend a good curry joint or a Malay to recommend a good nasi lemak joint would be a non-issue that the person would be happy to answer. It's kind of ironic that even though the U.S. constitution in theory guarantees freedom of speech, in practice you have to be more careful about what you say in the U.S. than in other countries that don't have such a constitutional provision. The dog2 (talk) 15:04, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
It's completely absurd that someone would accuse you of anti-Semitism for asking a Jew for a recommendation of a bagel place, which is such a completely normal thing to do. I really can't fathom that and I'm sorry it happened to you. I don't think it represents any kind of norm in the U.S., but I do agree with your general take on degrees of sensitivity over ethnic/racial remarks. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:17, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Regarding the anti-Semitism of asking Jews for bagel recommendations: again, The dog2, that's not American culture, that's wackaloon campus outrage-fetish culture. When we touched on the subject before I was going to mention this as a joke, but now I seriously wonder whether we shouldn't have a travel topic article directed at students from abroad about Navigating left-wing U.S. university culture, just because the expectations and potential pitfalls are so wildly different from any other setting in the country. Frankly, now that I think of it, I don't think it's only foreign students who would benefit from such an article. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:14, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
There is already an article about U.S. universities called Touring prestigious and notable universities in the U.S.. Perhaps it could be useful renaming the article and adding some information specific to U.S. university culture there. The dog2 (talk) 23:57, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Causing any serious offense by innocently asking someone who's Jewish to recommend a bagel place is not a normal part of US university culture, or any part of US culture that I'm familiar with. I think we should avoid spending time and cluttering articles with minor or very unlikely ways that a traveller may offend someone. (I think it is true that Americans are extremely touchy about race, though, and I think it's appropriate that we mention this in the "Respect" section.) —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:26, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
Bagels have gone mainstream; there's no reason outside NYC to prefer a Jew's opinion on the subject to a gentile's. Also, there's a big difference between, "Oh, you're Jewish? Know any good bagel joints?" and "I'm looking for a bagel joint and since you're Jewish I thought you might have a favorite." But even then it feels like a stereotype to me, and I wouldn't be surprised that someone took offense.
As for "Navigating left-wing U.S. university culture", I would oppose writing serious articles on myths. Powers (talk) 21:41, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
That's true, I guess I should qualify what I said before. I was imagining a situation like the "fried chicken" scenario described above, where no explicit connection was made between the food and the ethnicity. If someone asked the question in a way that implied, "You're Jewish, so you must know about bagels", I can see how that could cause offense. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:54, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As noted elsewhere on this talk page, in any country, for any trivial issue imaginable, you can find an individual that feels offended by it if you search long enough. The Respect section scope should therefore be limited to only those sensitivities that are widespread in a region. If you ask 1000 Belgians where to get the best waffles, then 999 will happily share their favorite place with you, and 1 may feel offended by the stereotype. Don't we all agree that it would be silly to avoid asking all Belgians about waffles, just because one in a thousand may feel offended by it? Living in a society means adhering to social consensus regarding what is acceptable and what isn't, and Wikivoyage should focus on that social consensus rather than the extreme views of individuals. As a side note, Respect implies a respectful attitude towards someone's opinion on a certain topic, whether one shares that opinion or not. The act of asking a question, whatever the topic may be, is an invitation towards another individual to share his/her point of view, and can therefore hardly be considered a lack of respect. So can we please close this discussion and move on to the very long list of other articles that do deserve our attention? ArticCynda (talk) 09:00, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

Since Ikan Kekek has indicated that it's a small minority, and what I encountered was an isolated incident, we don't have to include it. I did mention that asking an Indian Singaporean to recommend a place for curry because he's Indian, or asking a Malay Singaporean to recommend a place for nasi lemak because he's Malay is generally not considered offensive unless you ask it in a condescending manner. The Malays and Indians in Singapore are generally proud of their culinary traditions, and they are generally happy to provide their recommendations to people outside their ethnic groups who want to try their food. Even if it may be somewhat stereotyping, the Malays and Indians in Singapore actually take it positively and are happy that you are interested in their cuisine, and don't see it as trying to make a mockery of them in the same way some Americans see associating Jews with bagels or pastrami. The dog2 (talk) 17:54, 27 October 2017 (UTC)


Speaking of which, do you think we should have any sort of warning about Halloween costumes since travellers in the U.S. for Halloween may want to dress up for Halloween parties. I understand that some of this outrage is just plain stupidity and people deliberately looking for reasons to get offended when there really are none, but this whole "cultural appropriation" thing has been getting a lot of press recently in the mainstream American media. Ikan Kekek and AndreCarrotflower, what do you think? The dog2 (talk) 18:15, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

IMO, no. We couldn't possibly cover everything that might offend someone. My suggestion would be to add to the article about Halloween that if you'd like to wear a costume and have any reason to be concerned that it might offend someone, ask a local for their reaction before you buy or put on the costume. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:31, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
This discussion is no longer related to gun control, proposing to close it and start a new section for Halloween, although I think the concept of satire in Halloween costumes should be evident to most people (i.e. Captain Obvious case) and doesn't need/deserve discussion here. ArticCynda (talk) 21:19, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
I've moved it as you suggested. But anyway, of course commonsense tells you that you don't wear something to deliberately mock somebody else's culture or you risk offending people. But it's way more sensitive than that if you interact with young left-wing Americans. Just check this article out. The basic premise is that if you are wearing an ethnic costume of a culture that is not white, unless you are a member of that ethnic group, you are a racist who is committing cultural appropriation and being insensitive to the history of the relevant culture. I personally couldn't care less if non-Chinese people want to wear a traditional Chinese costume to Halloween, or if you want to have a tattoo of a Chinese character on your body. Sure you look stupid if you get the character "死", which means "death", tattooed onto your arm but I don't see any reason to get offended. Then again, the left-wing American media is making a big deal out of this. I'm not sure how much of the outrage is real and how much is just being sensationalised by the media, and it's hard to gauge because I work at a university, and people here tend to be more sensitive than even your average left-wing American. That's why I asked Ikan Kekek and AndreCarrotflower to give their thoughts as moderate left-wing Americans so we can have a better idea on what the general sentiment is. If it's only a small minority that gets outraged by this, I'm happy to leave it out. The dog2 (talk) 00:14, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, this all falls handily into the category of stuff we can exclude. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:47, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:54, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

I know you mean well The dog2, but I really think you should take a break from the American "Respect" section and focus on other areas of interest. Your concern about "social justice warriors" is duly noted, but bringing up every social justice talking point for us to discuss is tiring. It sort of starts to blur the lines between being concerned and pushing for "social justice" in this section yourself. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:18, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

I mean for extra added fun, we could discuss whether or not parts of the left have problems with antisemitism. In some seriousness though, if all the energy that's invested into minor points on the USA article were invested in destination articles (even destination articles within the US) or region articles... Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:26, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
As I mentioned, I personally couldn’t care less what you want to wear for Halloween. This has nothing to do with my personal feelings on the issue, and if anything, I think this is another example of people being too sensitive. I brought this up because this idea that wearing non-white ethnic costumes is racist unless you belong to that ethnic group is being pushed a lot by the left-wing American media of late. Just do a google search about Halloween and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Just to name a few, Teen Vogue, MTV, US News, Huffington Post and the administrations of many elite universities have been pushing this. With all due respect, please do not accuse me of being a SJW without proof, and if anything, I have stated both the SJWs and the Alt-right are contributing the the toxic political culture we see in America today.
But anyway, I believe this particular discussion has been settled, so let’s move on. The dog2 (talk) 13:48, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
And before anyone accuses me of pandering to the SJW crowd, I'll point that one of the issues I raised, gun control, is actually much more sensitive when talking to right-wing Americans than to left-wing Americans. If all I'm concerned about is not offending the SJWs, commonsense should tell you that I would not have brought up that issue. The dog2 (talk) 15:56, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Could we please avoid the "SJW" terminology? "Social-justice warrior" is used as an insult by right-wing elements against anyone who questions the propriety of anything they want to do. It unfairly maligns people who do actually work toward social justice as uptight harridans, and I'm sure that's not something you intend. Powers (talk) 21:37, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Not sure anymore if some people here are genuinely concerned/oversensitive about issues, or just trolling. Regardless, there are literally thousands of articles that are in more dire need of attention than this one, so let's move discussion efforts elsewhere. It's really not of any concern to the typical traveler that some locals in a country are offended by mating squirrels or falling leaves, as long as the majority of the natives are reasonably normal. ArticCynda (talk) 22:34, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
I was using "SJW" to refer specifically to the extremist elements of the political left (i.e. those that are extremely obsessed with identity politics and even use violence to push their political positions), and not to refer to left-wingers as a whole, so apologies if offence was taken. I believe I did mention in a previous post that I was not using the term to refer to moderate left-wingers who stand up for social justice whenever there is genuine social injustice, and I used it because I couldn't think of a better word to use. I'm open to suggestions of a better word if there's one. The dog2 (talk) 23:42, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
I believe SJW/Social Justice Warrior was actually coined by those who identify themselves as such as a badge of pride. When people heard their talking points, some people began using it as a point of mockery. The term seems equally popular among young liberals who want to distance themselves from those types as well as conservatives. Now it has dubious status. People still self-identify as SJWs and it is also still used as a slur against those same people. "SJW"s are people of a particular radical ideology, so I think if the ideology and its adherents are being referenced, it's a valid word to use. Alternatively, the term "leftist" has also sprung up to separate moderate and classical liberals from the "social justice warrior" types. Either way, these are going to sound "negative" if you find the ideology to be harmful/wrong. It's better to use SJW/leftist than just saying "liberal" or "Democrat" because those are way too general and not equivalent. To me, the use of SJW already clarifies that the person is not talking about all liberals/left-wingers. Similarly, I'd rather someone reference the alt-right if that's what they're talking about than dubious statements like "some conservatives" or "Republicans", because alt-right is also a radical ideological movement. With that said, I don't anticipate much need for any of these references. But if someone wants/needs to make the reference, I'd rather they just get it out so we all understand rather than beating around the bush and having to clarify again later. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:00, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Also: really, we're going to stick our heads in the sand and deny that campus liberals are developing a problem with free speech? After the Evergreen State College "Day of Absence" fiasco, after the University of Missouri protest where the media was physically removed from the scene, after God knows how many speakers are no-platformed (and not only far-right hatemongers like Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos)? Isn't that kind of insulting to The dog2, who's shared numerous personal experiences with this kind of thing? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:30, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
It's fine, I'm not taking this personally, but thanks anyway for sticking out for me. But yes, I agree with AndreCarrotflower that this aversion to free speech among campus liberals is becoming a real problem. As I said, I'm a moderate who is willing to adopt ideas from both the left and the right, and I actually find it quite intellectually stimulating to listen to debates between the moderate left and the moderate right. The problem is that many campus liberals are engaging in rioting (and I really mean rioting, not just protesting) just because some moderate conservative who leans ever so slightly to the right has been invited to speak on campus. Standing for social justice is important and I think we should all do that, but there's a group of people who cry out racism/misogyny/homophobia/whatever over what most sane people would consider non-issues, and it's specifically these ones I refer to as "social justice warriors". But anyway, I hope we've clarified the terminology here. I know some radical right-wingers use the term "SJW" as a pejorative to refer to everybody on the left, which I most certainly do not condone or partake in. Whenever I use it, I'm specifically referring to the radical elements on the left as described. The dog2 (talk) 16:49, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
Tangent here, but left and right as political terms date to the French Revolution. From w:Left-wing politics:
The political terms "Left" and "Right" were coined during the French Revolution (1789–1799), referring to the seating arrangement in the Estates General: those who sat on the left generally opposed the monarchy and supported the revolution, including the creation of a republic and secularization,[6] while those on the right were supportive of the traditional institutions of the Old Regime. Use of the term "Left" became more prominent after the restoration of the French monarchy in 1815 when it was applied to the "Independents".[7] The word "wing" was appended to Left and Right in the late 19th century[citation needed] usually with disparaging intent and "left-wing" was applied to those who were unorthodox in their religious or political views.
For the record, I am proud to call myself leftist and don't consider it a slur at all, though of course it can be when the word is said scornfully, like any other word (compare "Jew", for example). Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:58, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek: I most certainly don't consider you a SJW though. At least from our interactions here, you still seem moderate enough to accept science for what it is unlike some on the far left. :) The dog2 (talk) 00:47, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
I care greatly about social justice, which is not served by the abusive treatment you've detailed. Rejection of the scientific method is not a left-wing position, in my opinion, and whoever claims to be left-wing and rejects the scientific method is hard for me to take seriously on any other matter. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:20, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

(indent) Personally, I don't think you can add qualifiers to "justice". Justice is justice. Trying to qualify "justice" is definitely pushing for some sort of injustice, and the tenants of "social justice" prove that. Even the alt-right is pushing for its own form of "social justice" on the international/nation-state level where white people become "the oppressed minority". But a lot of people seem to equate "social justice" with supporting equality, so even if someone says they "support social justice", it doesn't necessarily mean they ascribe to the ideology of social justice. I used to think that way myself. At any rate, as long as users aren't attempting to use Wikivoyage to promote "social justice" or other political agendas, the politics of every contributor really don't matter. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 10:24, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

On your first point, of course I disagree. On your concluding point, of course I agree. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:02, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

The length of this articleEdit

We've been talking for a long time about shortening up and tightening up this article. However, despite the best efforts of many of us, the article has not changed significantly in length since at least the beginning of this year. I think it's time to get serious about this, and to that end I'm proposing that we institute a policy on this article whereby all future edits must have a net negative effect on article length. In other words, anyone who wants to add text to this article must also remove an equal or greater amount of text from somewhere else in the article. This can be done either through condensing flabby prose, merging information into articles further down the breadcrumb chain or elsewhere, or outright removing information. Let's hear your thoughts. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:25, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

My suggestions :
* Units of measure - The US is fairly unique in this respect, but this section could be shorted. There is a dedicated article anyway
* Get In - This section is insanely long
** Visa : Most of this could go in a seperate article
** By Plane - Do we really need to break down which airports are best for the West coast? Basically all major US cities have international airports
* Get around
** By Private Plane - is this really needed? Can be a seperate article if someone really wanted to keep
** By boat - I think travelling by boat is more of a leisure activity than a practical travel option - seperate article
** Great American Road Trip - seperate article
* See
** Museums and galleries - long list of museums - really needed?
* Buy
** Major U.S. retail chains - really needed?
Andrewssi2 (talk) 19:26, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree that it is too long, but I'm not in a position to do much in the way of serious editing. In addition to your list for trimming above, I would add:
  • Getting around by car and by bus - both have separate articles.
And for museums, may we could try the 7 +/- 2 approach to curb the inclination to add in regional museums and galleries. Ground Zero (talk) 19:55, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
I would suggest deleting (or significantly shortening) the six bullet points near the beginning of the "By plane" section. I imagine most people flying to the US will just book a ticket from their origin to their destination and wouldn't have much use for a list of the most important connecting airports for their part of the world.
I also agree that the list of museums could be drastically reduced.
Also, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Independence Day are currently mentioned in both the "Holidays" section and the "Festivals and fairs" section—maybe we could remove them from "Festivals and fairs" and put the essential information in "Holidays". —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:10, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
Okay, but I was hoping to establish a consensus here that all future edits to this article, until we get its length down to something reasonable, must be net negative contributions as far as length. I strongly feel that establishing a concrete policy guideline of this nature will help us continue to be mindful of this issue and help keep the article length from creeping back upward. How do you all feel about that idea specifically? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:58, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
I oppose rules like that, which remind me of the sequestration rule for Federal budgeting. However, I'm glad people are thinking practically about how to cut the length of the article without removing essential or really important information - I think that's a more productive discussion than rule-making. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:01, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Let me just state for the record that I don't understand why there are so many edits to this article and so few to the regions states and cities of the US. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:29, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

I don't think we should have a strict net negative effect rule, as it could mean that important stuff would be omitted when they come up. But that being said, many of your bullet points can be shortened. For "private plane", I don't think we need a separate sub-heading, but I think it's worth a mention that for some really remote airports in remote locations, private plant may be the only practical option, but nothing more than that. "Great American Road Trip" should probably be moved to the "Driving in the United States" article. We could probably delete the list of museums, and simply state that major cities will often have world class museums, and perhaps mention a few cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. "Major U.S. retail chains" is probably useful for travellers heading to the U.S. to shop, and you could sometimes maybe run out of toothpaste and need to restock, so I think that can stay provided we stick only to the chains that have a big presence nationwide, and not just in specific cities or regions.
As for the "Get In" section, I think we can cut back on the part about "immigration". Having to prove that you are a legitimate tourist when entering on a tourist visa is pretty standard for entering any country, not just the U.S., so it's kind of a Captain Obvious case. What forms you need to fill up probably can go, as your airline should be responsible for telling you when you are on board, and if you come by land, the border officials will probably let you know anyway. As for "customs", any customs officer in any country has the right to ask you what you're bringing in and search your belongings, so that's also a Captain Obvious. The dog2 (talk) 23:48, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
I think I would agree with everything The dog2 just posted. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:36, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
I strongly oppose removing the "Great American Road Trip" section. It could be elaborated upon in another article, but it's an essential part of traveling the U.S. by car. We can't restrict the article to just the most essential, practical information, or we leave no way to entice the reader with possibilities. The same goes for the list of museums, though I admit it may have grown a bit long. The point is to list some notable examples, because otherwise, how does a reader pick from among the thousands of museums in the country? Powers (talk) 21:49, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
You don't pick from those tens of thousands of museums by reading the U.S.A. article! I tend to agree on road trips, but I think the list of museums is somewhat random and also longer than necessary to make the point. Also, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is not a museum but is on the street. Unless I'm confused. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:41, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
How else would you pick? Our large-region articles should always mention the most notable sites and activities from any given category. Powers (talk) 01:02, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

I still don't fully understand where all of a sudden this rush to cut and slash is coming from. If it's a complaint about too much time being spent on this article, then we're not helping it by spending more on it now. And why are we not putting more effort into state or region articles? Or are the regions too ill-drawn for us to write even the most cursory stuff about Pacific Northwest or Great Plains? Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:00, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

'Great American Road Trip' is not relevant in the 'Get around' section because it frankly is an activity. Move it to 'Do' and then take another look. Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:16, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
I rather agree with Hobbitschuster that it's probably not important to reduce the length of this article, but since people want to do that, I have comments about what is more or less OK to remove or not remove.
Powers, a random selection of museums is not being provided to help people pick a particular city to visit, but in order to indicate that there are many museums in all parts of the country. Or if someone's intention is for that list to serve as a basis for whether someone will visit one city rather than another, it does an extremely poor job of it. If you ask me, I think it would be more helpful to simply and briefly mention that what are generally considered the most notable art museums (or, if we want to avoid controversy, some of them) are in New York, Washington, L.A. and environs (so as to include the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena), Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Cleveland, then we could make a similar list of cities with notable museums of science and technology, history, natural history, and any other common subject (such as the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland), mention that sports halls of fame tend to be in smaller cities, and give a few offbeat examples. The resulting section might actually be longer, though more informative and less random, but if you really want this to help people pick which city to go to, that's what would be required.
All that said, I question whether this isn't barking up the wrong tree. This is the article for the entire nation, not individual attractions. Would we want to also provide a selection of notable restaurants in the "Eat" section? I think not. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:28, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
It's not a "complaint about spending too much time on this article", it's about trying to get an article that is a comfortable length for readers to get the big picture about the U.S. Long lists of attractions and region-specific information make the article cumbersome and less useful, especially when readers who live in or have visited certain places ask "why isn't my region mentioned, when these others are?" Much of the stuff I've cut over the last couple of days has been repetition or excessive detail. I don't see how that benefits the reader. Ground Zero (talk) 02:49, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
If the objective is to create an article which the voyager can print and carry with them? We're up to about eight-five printed pages. How many of these pages are actual things to see and do, and how many are merely guidance on how to get past the "La Migra" checkpoints without being martyred for flying while Muslim? K7L (talk) 13:32, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

Another thing: When we say "this should be covered in article x" we should not cut that information unless we made sure that it in fact is covered in that article. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:25, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

I cut the zoo and aquariums from the museum list because they're not museums. The Walk of Fame should probably also be deleted. But I kind of like the list to showcase some of the top museums nationwide; it adds a little breadth which a country article should show in addition to highlighting the cities with the highest concentrations of museums. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:54, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
You don't find the list random? Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:04, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps rewrite this sentiment in a well prosed sentence rather than preserve a laundry list? Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:01, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
A road trip can be, but isn't always, an activity in and of itself; people usually undertake one on the way to another particular destination. That's why it's in Get Around.
I don't understand the reason to be so strict on the definition of a "museum". Zoos and aquaria are simply museums where the exhibits are alive, and the Walk of Fame is simply an open-air museum. We can change the heading if it's important, but I wouldn't want it to get too long. Powers (talk) 20:36, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
There seems to be a degree of American exceptionalism going on here. A road trip can be undertaken in any country/region when you want to get between two disparate points and have time to spare. It is definitely classified as an activity however. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:19, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Don't hesitate to plunge forward to improve this article, particularly by shortening it. Just reading the first sentence already illustrates that previous editors thought they were writing a book instead of a country overview on Wikivoyage. Lots of unnecessary details (the History section could be a copy of the Wikipedia article, among others) and content irrelevant to travelers. Editing should preferably be done by people who have already visited the country though, to avoid the accidental removal of actually relevant information. ArticCynda (talk) 21:04, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

Hearty applause for @AndreCarrotflower:'s efforts today to trim the excess from this article. Thank you. Ground Zero (talk) 04:29, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for the appreciation, and also to The dog2 for his recent contributions in this arena. But despite all the progress, we've not really even scratched the surface yet, so let's keep the momentum going! -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:37, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the mention but AndreCarrotflower has done the most work, so most of the credit should go to him. But I'd say overall, we have made good progress. I think we can probably shorten the list in the "museums" section but I'm not sure how. Any suggestions? Of course, D.C. and NYC should be mentioned, and I'd say probably Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia should get a mention, and perhaps Detroit for the Henry Ford museum (and even then I'm not sure if it's important enough for that), but otherwise, we can probably cut a lot of it out. The dog2 (talk) 04:46, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
My views on the "Museums" section are expressed above, in this section, but I think that before we change that section - whether to trim or even enlarge it - the views of Powers and ChubbyWimbus, who like the section, should be solicited. I don't think it would be fair to plunge forward without respecting their views. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:37, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Time zonesEdit

"Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific" are pretty self-explanatory, and there's a map. How useful is the listing of all 50 states? Ground Zero (talk) 04:45, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

It's useful, but it's also fine if we'd like to make readers find out the information in state-level articles. The problem then, though, is that we have to check every state article to see if the time zone(s) in the state are mentioned. I don't know if they are in every case, and I don't feel like checking right now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:46, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't have the capacity to do so at the moment either. We can come back to this one. Ground Zero (talk) 12:44, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

A bit of a reminderEdit

I just checked and the Japan article as it currently stands clocks in at roughly 53 000 words with 330 000 symbols (letters, numbers, spaces, whathaveyou) while the USA article measures a meager 43 809 words with some 286 905 signs. The USA is one of the most touristed places in the world and an economic cultural and geographic behemoth and juggernaut. Do we needlessly have to be brief for the sake of being brief? There are bookstores that designate a whole shelf just for USA travel guides. I for example would think it supremely unwise to unduly excise history from this article. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:49, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

It seems logical that the articles for the U.S.A and Japan are comparable in length because they have quite similar touristic value (for example, U.S.A. has 23 recognized UNESCO sites while Japan has 21, although it's not the only metric for touristic value of course). Regardless, the purprose of a country article is to provide geopolitical context and an overview of the most interesting tourist attractions, not have an exhaustive library of everything there is to see. If that were the case then the top countries (like Italy, with 53 UNESCO sites) would have articles so long that they're not pleasant to read anymore. Literally ever tiny village in Greece has some monuments or ruins of historic value, but it's just not relevant or practical to list them all on the country article level. ArticCynda (talk) 14:30, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, my point was pointing to the even slightly longer Japan article in saying that maybe the "cutting down frenzy" is a bit exaggerated right now. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:37, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
According to Special:Longpages, the only non-US destinations which are longer than this page are the country articles for Japan and China. At some point, the excess detail needs to be broken out into some other article. K7L (talk) 16:11, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm not one of those people who falls all over themselves pleading for folks to "think of the offline users", but any article that equates to 85 printed pages would be a bit much to digest, to say the least, even for folks WITH Internet access. "There are bookstores that designate a whole shelf just for USA travel guides" is not a good argument. The U.S. travel "shelf" in the Wikivoyage "bookstore" contains not only this article but every region article, every individual state and every region thereof, every city and district, every national park, every large U.S. airport, U.S.-specific itineraries and travel topics, etc. etc. ad nauseam. If that entire enormous shelf only contained one huge book, you have to admit that would be a problem. If the Japan article is even longer, all that means is it needs to be whittled down too. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:14, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
(And before anyone starts in on the length of the Buffalo districts, may I remind you...) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:17, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
There are likely book stores in North Korea that devote the entire store to North Korean travel guides rather than just a shelf. How can that even be an argument in this discussion? ArticCynda (talk) 12:20, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
It is also true though that the U.S. has an exceptionally vast array of tourist attractions, even if they are not UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For comparison, you can look at similar-size countries such as Australia and Canada. Don't get me wrong here. Both countries are very beautiful countries in their own right, but much of Australia is uninhabitable desert, and much of Canada is inaccessible tundra, and both countries are very sparsely populated, so the U.S. has a lot more cultural attractions, and if desert or tundra is what you want, the U.S. has that too. Just as a comparison, you will notice that most Australians and Canadians are quite avid world travellers, while in comparison, most Americans are quite insular and have little to no interest in travelling abroad unless they have to for work or were born to immigrant parents and have to visit relatives, given that there is already more to see and do than you can cover in a lifetime within the borders of the U.S. The dog2 (talk) 22:17, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Europe has an exceptionally vast array of tourist attractions, but we list most of them at lower points in the hierarchy. K7L (talk) 13:33, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Most of those attractions are seen of attractions of the individual states, though. Not so much with many in the US (especially those crossing state lines) Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:02, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Holidays vs FestivalsEdit

There are several dates listed under "Holidays" that have nothing to do with shops and restaurants being closed, which is how the section begins. Should Mother's Day, St. Patrick's day, Super Bowl Sunday, Black Friday, Chinese New Year, Halloween and others be moved to "Festivals"? Ground Zero (talk) 13:38, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

What exactly is US-specific about Chinese New Year? K7L (talk) 14:02, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Like Christmas, Halloween and New Year's, Chinese New Year is celebrated in the U.S. Why wouldn't we mention it? Ground Zero (talk) 15:26, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
What's US-specific about Christmas and Easter? That's no basis for excluding things. On the question above, in what way would any of those days be a "festival"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:24, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
I am not suggesting excluding any of these, but pointing out that Halloween, Chinese New Year, Super Bowl Sunday are not "holidays" - businesses are not generally closed and people are not generally exempt from on work on those days. They would fit better under "Festivals" or "Festivals and events". Ground Zero (talk) 02:05, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
That Merriam-Webster entry is disappointingly incomplete. Of course Halloween is a holiday, at least the way I would use the word. (Happy Halloween, by the way!) The Wiktionary entry is better (though still not perfect), including the definition "A day on which a festival, religious event, or national celebration is traditionally observed." —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:43, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
So using "holidays" is ambiguous. If the leading US dictionary defines it to mean when businesses are closed/people generally don't work, a lot of readers will understand it that way and be confused by grouping all of these dates together. It would be clearer to separate them into two groups. Ground Zero (talk) 03:56, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
If the name is really too ambiguous, we could change it (maybe "Holidays and celebrations"). If we do separate them into two groups, I think we should keep the two lists in the same section. It would be confusing to put some culturally important holidays like Christmas in the Understand section while other culturally important holidays like Halloween are in the Do section. I also think it would be weird to call holidays like Mother's Day and Black Friday "festivals". —Granger (talk · contribs) 04:18, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm okay with "Holidays and celebrations" with subsections to distinguish between those when travellers can expect businesses to be closed (Christmas), and those that are just culturally significant (Halloween). I think it is a distinction that is important to travellers. Ground Zero (talk) 05:43, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

Why not call the section "holidays and festivals" and give a blurb for each what happens on that day and whether shops close. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:58, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

I think your suggestion is good, though we could always reconsider the name. No need for 2 different sections. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:03, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
The claim that "Halloween, Chinese New Year, Super Bowl Sunday are not 'holidays'" is baffling. They most certainly are holidays. Powers (talk) 20:37, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
Be that as it may, I question the inclusion of imported foreign holidays like Chinese New Year. If we were to include every event that's celebrated by one diaspora community or another, that would amount to dozens if not hundreds of additions to the list. IMO the question regarding imported foreign holidays should hinge on what is the extent and the nature of their observance among Americans at large. In the region of the U.S. where I live, there's not a significant Chinese population, so I can't answer this question for myself, but I'd say if it's observed primarily by Chinese-Americans without much spillover into the non-Chinese population, we should exclude it. We should also exclude it if Chinese New Year celebrations in the U.S. do not differ significantly from those in China (contrast this with St. Patrick's Day, which has taken on an entirely different identity in the U.S. than in Ireland, where it's 1) barely celebrated anymore and 2) a solemn religious observance, not a booze-fest). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:57, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
I think you will find that any given day of the calendar year is a significant holiday to someone in the US. Some have more impact on the general population than others, but frankly I find the current list to wide in scope to be useful. As the example states above, what exactly am I going to plan from a travel perspective knowing it is Chinese new year? Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:05, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
"The claim that "Halloween, Chinese New Year, Super Bowl Sunday are not 'holidays'" is baffling. They most certainly are holidays." You may well believe that you are right and Merriam-Webster is wrong, but many people, especially those who speak English as a foreign language, will accept the leading American dictionary's definition over yours. For the sake of clarity, let's not be dogmatic about this. Ground Zero (talk) 03:05, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
AndreCarrotflower, "imported foreign holidays"? I want to say this gently, but I don't think you thought through that phrase. Christmas and Easter, of course, are among the "imported foreign holidays". As for me, I find the dispute about what is a holiday useless. I would suggest the title of "Holidays and festive days" for the section, give 1-liner listings of what happens on each of the days, and be done with it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:25, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Can I take a step back for a moment? Other than affecting the article's length, I'm not sure what the problem was with covering this information in two separate places. The part in Understand is about planning your trip to avoid busy travel times or businesses being closed (or perhaps being busy), while the part in Do is about things you could participate in (whether you're seeking it out, or just happen to be there during the event e.g. as a business traveller or exchange student). There may be some overlap, but the criteria for inclusion in one section or the other are fairly clear, and also fairly distinct, yes? Mother's Day means that restaurants will be busy, but unless you happen to be travelling with your mother there's not much for you to do on Mother's Day. Chinese New Year and St. Patrick's Day won't have an affect on most travellers' plans, but do give travellers something they could do in many U.S. cities if they happen to be there. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:15, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Ikan - Point taken. However, my clunky wording aside, I don't think that's really a fair comparison. Let's take a look at Christmas and Easter through the lens of the method I suggested above for determining whether a holiday is worthy of inclusion. In the U.S., is Christmas observed by Christians and non-Christians alike? Yes, by virtue of the fact that Christmas is also a legal holiday where banks, government offices, and virtually all stores are closed, public transit runs on an abbreviated holiday schedule, etc. What about Easter? Though it's not on the official calendar, the fact that the vast majority of businesses that usually keep Sunday hours close on Easter elevates it to the status of de facto legal holiday, as far as I can see it, at least as far as travellers are concerned. Also, is there anything about the way these holidays are celebrated there that's culturally specific to the U.S.? I don't know about Easter, but one such aspect of Christmas that I could point to is Santa Claus: while tales of a man who sneaks into houses in the small hours of Christmas morning leaving presents for children are common among traditionally Christian countries, many of the specific characteristics of Santa - his red coat, heavyset build, and the names of his eight reindeer - are directly traceable to Clement Clarke Moore's poem "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" as first published in the Troy Sentinel in 1823, and solidified in the public consciousness over the ensuing decades by Thomas Nast's cartoons in Harper's Weekly, Coca-Cola's Christmas-themed ad campaigns of the early 20th century, inter alia. To the extent that the foregoing is also true elsewhere in the world, these are things that other countries imported from the U.S. These are the kinds of things we should be taking into consideration when deciding whether a holiday should or should not be included on this list - of course, we shouldn't clog up the "Holidays and festivals" section with all this background stuff, but it would be a fine place to whet the whistle of readers who may want to find out more, or to place a link to a Christmas in the United States travel topic article should one ever be written. And finally, does any of the foregoing apply to the Chinese New Year? Again, living in an area without much of a Chinese-American presence, maybe I'm not the best person to ask, but in my experience I would highly doubt that to be the case.
Bigpeteb - Ways in which tourists' travel plans might be disrupted by St. Patrick's Day: road closures and traffic jams due to parades; bars and nightlife districts jam-packed with obnoxiously drunk revelers clad in green; DWI checkpoints on the roads at night due to said drunks.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:30, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Bigpeteb, the thing for you to do on Mother's Day is avoid restaurants, because in most of them, you'll wait an hour and a half or more to be seated without reservations and then have an expensive meal with poor service. If you're a resident of a city or know one, you may be able to know or find out exceptions to this rule, but you are otherwise really best off cooking food yourself or subsisting on yogurt and such on that day, or at least dinnertime hours. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:49, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

A traveler doesn't care whether it is a holiday or a festival or whatever. What they care about is: "Is there anything that might impede my travels" and "Is there anything that may be worth checking out". Stores being closed is one aspect of this but not the only one. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:00, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

If a holiday or festival might affect the average traveler's visit in some way, it should be listed. We should also list festivals that don't affect your travels but you will notice without having to search for them. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:07, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
So why again do we need two separate sections for them? And why do we need to splice what's a holiday and what's a festival? Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:27, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Mx. Granger pointed out above that "festivals" sounds odd - Americans would have trouble recognizing Halloween as a festival, so "celebrations" would be better. Holidays can impact a traveller's travel plans as "See", "Do", "Eat" and "Drink" listings may be closed. Celebrations like Halloween and Super Bowl Sunday are cultural events in which travellers may want to participate or that they may want to observe. Holidays and celebrations are different things, so it makes sense to list them in separate subsections. Ground Zero (talk) 19:38, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Getting food on Super Bowl Sunday is also affected by the Feiertag (the German term which means "day of celebration" and encompasses most of the discussed terms) Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:30, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I have to laugh that I'm being called "dogmatic" for suggesting we don't need to hew closely to Merriam-Webster's horrendously incomplete definition of "holiday". We seem to be conflating two different issues here. Whatever the section is called, the reason why there's only one section is because it is a list of notable annual events of which the traveler should be aware. There is room in the Do section for interesting local or regional festivals, but as far as nationwide celebrations and momentous days, it makes sense to keep them all in one place for easy cross-referencing with the traveler's dates of travel. Powers (talk) 00:20, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Powers, while I respect your work here on Wikivoyage, I do have trouble understand why you don't get that many people will accept M-W's definition of a word over yours. They have a widely-used platform for promoting their definition, so using a different definition could be unclear. Let's err on the side of clarity for the benefit of those readers who are so misguided as to use M-W as a reference. Ground Zero (talk) 03:02, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
There's nothing unclear about having a single section for "Holidays and festive days" or "Holidays and celebrations". Arguments over dictionary definitions are sterile, when there's such a clear way forward. Why are we still arguing? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:40, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Holidays as written is perfectly fine and understandable. If a traveler's English is so poor that they see the word "Holiday" and need to reference a dictionary, it will be a language dictionary to their native language and we don't need to worry about them, because they won't understand any of the holidays anyway. The dictionary reference is just silly. Chinese New Year and Lincoln's Birthday could probably be removed as neither are celebrated/observed on enough of a nationwide scale. The "issue" initially brought up is that the description doesn't explicitly mention that we're including events that may affect travelers in ways other than businesses closing. Why not just add a small line that "The holidays listed below include those that may affect the traveler or have festivities that may interest travelers and are likely to be celebrated no matter where you are in the country" or something to that affect. Maybe including "uniquely American" in order to justify Kwanzaa, which is celebrated by almost no one but is well-known by everyone and not a holiday elsewhere. Adding a brief line would seem to solve this entire "issue". ChubbyWimbus (talk) 05:02, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
I think this is a difference between American English and other forms of English. As a native English-speaker, it really struck me as odd to include Black Friday in a list of holidays. As this is an international project, I see no harm in recognizing that American English may be different and that we should write for our international readership. As for the argument "I'm right and Merriam-Webster is wrong and we should not bend to that recognized authority on American English", well, I guess we'll have to disagree. Ground Zero (talk) 05:45, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Americans also don't look at Black Friday as a "Holiday" in the same way they look at Christmas, Halloween, etc. however, if we add something like the line I mentioned, it will be clear what our criteria is for listing Black Friday (affect on travelers). Anyone who had a question about the title could then always be referenced to said line. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 06:02, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
How the locals look at a holiday is completely irrelevant to the traveler, what's important is whether certain tourist attractions may be closed, if public transport schedules are changing etc. If it doesn't affect the traveler, it shouldn't be mentioned. 12:18, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
ChubbyWimbus, while I think that splitting the two types of events would be useful to travellers, I'll let it drop in order to wrap this up if we make the change you suggest, and change the heading to "Holidays and celebrations" - that adds just two words and will be clearer to non-American readers. Ground Zero (talk) 05:11, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Black Friday doesn't really fit into either category, but it's close enough and should be mentioned for the reasons stated above. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:17, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Okay, I added a line briefly explaining what the list includes. Others can feel free to tweak it if you think there is a better way to word it. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:21, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Can we just leave it at "Holidays" and nix the "celebrations" part? As Ikan Kekek pointed out, "celebrations" does not really clarify anything. Also, it seems fairly consistent for us to use "Holidays" sitewide. I checked Japan, Italy, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand all use it. Brazil also uses it but adds the awkward "and work hours". Bahamas uses festivals but is not a developed section. Germany and Yemen don't have any section for Holidays (should be added). We should just use "Holidays" across the country articles. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:33, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, "and celebrations" clarifies things for non-US readers and for those who follow the Merriam-Webster definition. As far as other arts of Wikivoyage using only "Holidays", they should be changed too, since a lot of the world will read "holidays" to mean businesses being closed. Our United Kingdom article lists only public (shops closed, etc.) holidays in its section, and puts non-holiday celebrations, like Bonfire Night, in the "Do" section (which to me is a more sensible approach). When you convince the rest of the world of your definition of "holidays", then we can drop it without losing clarity. This is a reasonable compromise so that we can move on to other things. Ground Zero (talk) 14:41, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Of the other major English-speaking countries, the Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa articles list public holidays only, while the India article lists "Holidays and festivals" and distinguishes between them on the basis of whether people get time off work or not.
I get that it would be easier if everyone just spoke American English, but until they do, we serve readers better by recognizing that there are differences around the world. Ground Zero (talk) 15:06, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Did you even read what I wrote? You cited two of my own examples to make a completely irrelevant point about "American English". I was talking about the title headings. That can be consistent and is not "America-centric". All of your examples say "Holidays". South Africa specifies "Public Holidays". I'm saying delete the meaningless "and celebrations" that was added to this and suggesting we just make every country's Holiday heading "Holidays" which is mostly already the case by the way. Your point about "Holidays" being confusing is simply false. "Holiday" is not American English. It's just English. Most of the articles already use it and NO ONE aside from you has ever been confused by the word. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:19, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The cases that I cited used "Holidays" to refer to days when businesses are closed, and do not include non-holiday celebrations like Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. So for consistency then, we should move the non-day-off celebrations out of the holiday list. This is where I started, but am willing to compromise by keeping the list intact, but broadening the heading.

It is not just Merriam-Webster that takes the view that holidays are non-working days, it is also the Oxford English Dictionary, which is regarded by many people as an authority on the English language. You can dismiss them as being wrong, and type in all-caps all you want. Does anyone else agree with your dismissal of these sources? It is unfortunate that you are unwilling to compromise on this. It is two words for clarity, and I have provided impeccable references to support this. Ground Zero (talk) 15:43, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Merriam-Webster is wrong, and this shouldn't be a huge surprise—it's a good dictionary, but its writers are only human, and omissions like this are not uncommon. I don't know whether Oxford Dictionaries aims to describe American English or just British English, but their entry doesn't accurately capture American English use of the word holiday either. I know that use of the word holiday varies by country, though, and if "Holidays and celebrations" is clearer to readers from other English-speaking countries, it's good by me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:53, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Clarification was added. It's right there in the text that I added. No need for Webster or Oxford. All you have to do is read the article, and someone who cares that much should do just that. I don't see any need for further "compromise". "Celebrations" doesn't add clarification. It adds words that serve no purpose but to make the heading long and ugly. People from other countries who care (which is so far 1 person since that section was created many many years ago in many articles) will understand if they read it. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:04, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Being clear is never ugly. We put the traveller first. Chubby, all of the English-speaking country articles I cited above, and some of the other articles you cited, use "holidays" to mean only days-off holidays, as do the most widely-used England dictionaries. Expanding the "Holidays" heading in some articles to include cultural events is going to be confusing -- we'd be using the same heading to mean different things in different articles. Let's be clear when we're going to have lists that include different things in different countries.
The argument that it's been like this for a long time says that we should never try to improve things, we should never change policies, we should just let Wikivoyage atrophy. It is also an argument that new users should just keep their ideas for change to themselves - we like the way things are, thank you very much. I don't think that attitude is healthy for Wikivoyage. Ground Zero (talk) 17:25, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
Just because stagnation is bad doesn't mean change is necessarily good. Do you have any evidence of anyone relying on dictionary definitions of the word "holiday" to the extent that they are mystified about what is included in this article's "Holiday" section? Or is it entirely conjecture on your part? Powers (talk) 22:18, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I've gone on at length before about how Wikipedia-style persnickety hair-splitting creates a culture clash when imported to the more easygoing Wikivoyage, and this is a fine example. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:34, 6 November 2017 (UTC) and
Powers, the fact that "Holidays" is used differently here than in all of the other major English-speaker country articles, and that it is used differently here from the major English-language dictionaries should I care that some or many people will find this confusing. You'd think that people wouldn't be so persnickety as to oppose adding two words to a head that is being used differently from other articles, especially when Wikivoyage:Section header in no way discourages three-word headings.
Andre, if you prefer to keep Wikivoyage as a cozy pet project for a couple of dozens editors instead of a broad international project, then you should post warnings indicating that Wikivoyage doesn't want newcomers coming along and trying to improve things. The discussion now is about deleting two words - that sounds as persnickety to me as arguing to add two words. Ground Zero (talk) 08:21, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
You added those two words on your own without consensus and there seems to be more consensus growing against inserting them as there is no proof that they add anything. You keep complaining about how it's not understood without addressing the fact that it's explicitly explained in the article. Honestly, I thought this discussion would be easily settled after I added the clarification line; Every complaint was addressed by adding that line, including yours. If you can read, you can understand exactly what the Holiday list entails. ALL "Holiday" sections should explain what its list means whether it's "National Holidays only" or something else that makes sense for that country.
To claim that you are the one coming here to "improve things" while everyone who disagrees with you is "against progress" and "against newcomers" is rather self-important. Lots of newcomers bring things up that allow changes, but no one is entitled to get their way in any discussion no matter how "right" or "progressive" they think their ideas are. Wikipedia doesn't work that way either. You have been on the side of consensus in other discussions, so I don't see on what grounds you can claim newcomers are unwelcome. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:21, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Chubby, you proposed to change the text and I proposed to change the heading. We each implemented our own proposal, which I thought would settle things.

I realize that I cannot prove anything in a discussion about the meaning of words when Merriam-Webster and Oxford are dismissed as bring wrong, and when usage on other Wikivoyage articles about English-speaking countries isn't even addressed.

I am reacting to Andre's comments above about "how Wikipedia-style persnickety hair-splitting creates a culture clash", which really is about trying to keep things the same and shut out newcomers. I believe that all regular contributors here are here because they want to build a better travel guide, even if we disagree about how to do that. I have no doubt that I have demonstrated my commitment to this project, and when someone dismisses my contributions as "persnickety hair-splitting", they should reconsider their remarks (I have revised this from a less-polite comment). I should not have to explain again that I have advocated for this to improve clarity for non-US readers.

As far as "culture clash" goes, how can that not be interpreted as "you're not welcome unless you do things the way us old-timers like it"? The problem with old-timers, is that sometimes they retire, and then we run out if contributors. I've contributed too much to be shut down by comments like that. Ground Zero (talk) 14:18, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

You have made your argument, and very passionately. But do you really think there's a consensus to make the changes you propose here? Powers (talk) 18:29, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
LtPowers, this discussion has taken a lot of turns, so it difficult to determine where everyone has landed. On the remaining issue of whether to included "and celebrations" in the heading, here is where I think things stand:
In favour: Ground Zero, Ikan Kekek, Mx Granger
Opposed: LtPowers, ChubbyWimbus, AndreCarrotflower

Hobbitschuster supported "Holidays and festivals" and one point, and a few others weighed in on other points, but don't seem to have taken sides on this issue. Please correct me if I have mischaracterized anyone's point of view.

So I don't see consensus on one side or the other.

At the time I added "and celebrations", I did not see objections to it, and I am accused of not having consensus to add it. But there is no consensus to remove it either.

And this is not just me trying to impose an unpopular viewpoint anymore than you are trying to impose yours. Opinion is split. Ground Zero (talk) 19:04, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

"Holidays and celebrations" sounds weird. Why not "festive days" Why not "days of note"? Why not "holidays" and the mentioned explanation and why is everybody constantly acting towards the "other side" as if some harm was intended? Wikipedia for one, despite being a much larger project, does have problems attracting new editors, particularly female and second language. In part, or so it would appear, due to the tone that is found there all too often. We should try and make sure that we remember that fighting over a few words need not be so fierce. We're not a law book where a typo can cause mayhem. We're a travel wiki striving for an informal tone. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:11, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
Regarding experienced Wikipedians-turned-newbie Wikivoyage editors who might be put off by "old timers" enforcing the status-quo way of doing things: this is a travel site, so let's couch this in terms of travel. If I were a tourist - or a newly-landed immigrant - in a foreign country, and immediately after my arrival I set about lecturing the locals about why the way they do things is wrong and how my country does it better, how would I come off? Not well, obviously. And this issue works along the same lines. Many Wikipedians (and please take the content of this comment to be directed at Ground Zero's hypothetical put-off newbies from Wikipedia, and not GZ himself) don't realize that despite the fact that it was only accepted into the WMF family a few years ago, Wikivoyage is a community with a well-established culture that's been around almost as long as Wikipedia itself has, and - perhaps most importantly - which has evolved the way it has for a good reason. We're not, and should not be, an encyclopedia, or a mere extension of Wikipedia. We don't, and should not, place issues like homogeneity of article structure and meticulously perfect use of grammar and punctuation, word choice, etc. higher in importance than the presentation of information to readers that's written in easy-to-understand, informal, conversational - even colloquial - language and that's structured in a way that makes sense for the purposes of the individual article, rather than conforming to some arbitrary sitewide standard that works for some articles better than others. We do things this way because that's what has proven, over the course of our almost-as-long-as-Wikipedia history, to work best here. When our processes show themselves to be deficient, we change them - and anyone, Wikipedians included, can be a part of that process - but the status quo bias that's been intentionally built into our policy strongly discourages change for its own sake, or the instituting of huge sweeping changes to solve minor problems.
And it should be said that most Wikipedians have adapted perfectly well to Wikivoyage culture. In almost all cases, they've done so by resisting the urge to come in with guns blazing and try right off the bat to force Wikivoyage to assimilate to the Wikipedian mindset, and instead hanging back, observing the way things are done here, sussing out the values and mores that underlie the processes - and only thereafter, after having earned solid reputations as valuable contributors, suggesting well-warranted changes to the way things are done (and of course taking things in stride when consensus doesn't go their way). This is a perfectly reasonable thing to ask of people, to the extent that those who can't see their way to doing it should probably seriously reconsider whether a collaborative, consensus-governed project like ours is up their alley.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:43, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
I know you have a thing about Wikipedians, and I will accept that you are not referring to me, but then why bring it up here? This discussion is only about a word, "Holidays", which is used elsewhere in Wikivoyage to mean something, and is defined in widely used references to mean that thing, and here is used differently. I have suggested clarification in the heading where readers will see it before they jump to the list. This had never been about "meticulously perfect use of grammar and punctuation, word choice, etc." It is only about helping readers find and understand information.
I always take things in stride when consensus goes against me, but there is no consensus here. Saying you had the best-attended inauguration doesn't make it true if it wasn't.
Andre, you and I come from immigrant Nations that have been changed for better or for worse by the people who have come here. It would be naive to thing that new editors aren't going to change things. We can safely ignore those who are only passing through, the tourists, but we ignore the immigrants at our peril as they can easily move on elsewhere. And we have no way of knowing which is which. Wikivoyage doesn't have enough of an editorial base now to risk alienating newcomers.
Hobbitschuster's suggestion of picking a new term to bridge the gap is a good one. "Important dates" or "Events" could work. I hope that others are willing to be flexible on this. Ground Zero (talk) 15:26, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

(indent) To me "Important dates" sounds like remembering your boss' birthday and your dentist appointment, and "Holidays" is much more accurate than "Events" (You left out that Hobitschuster also said that "Holidays" with the description as it is now is satisfactory). You keep mentioning "compromise" and now "being flexible" but the compromise and flexibility in regards to the complaint was actually adding the description and I haven't seen anyone claiming the list is still unclear. The issues here were: 1. What qualifies to make the US Holiday list is unclear. Resolution: Add a statement to the US article explicitly stating the criteria for the list. 2. Other countries list holidays with different criteria. Resolution: All "Holiday" sections should briefly mention what their list of holidays represents. Both the initial concern and subsequent points have been addressed. I'm left wondering how productive it is to continue to talk about a resolved issue... ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:30, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Using the same heading to mean different things in articles is not the reader-friendly solution no matter how much you say it is. Using consistent headings for sections only makes sense if readers will find the same information in those sections. Saying that "all concerns have been meet" is only your view. This is still a case of editors not getting that other English speakers use the language differently. Ground Zero (talk) 04:43, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
I for the record have no problem with the current wording. Is there anyone besides you that does? Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:56, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek and Mx Granger expressed support for changing the heading. I cannot speak for what they think now. I repeat this only to point out that there was no consensus, despite claims that there were and attempts to portray me as being a lone voice on this, although obviously I was the most vocal. I do not expect to see any change at this point, but am disappointed about how this issue was handled, particularly the way things were misrepresented. Amongst other things, being told that using "Holidays" in this broad sense isn't American English but "just English". It isn't Canadian English, I can tell you that, and I won't have an American tell me it is. The usage in the UK, Australia, South Africa and India articles tells me that this is an Americanism, but I guess we're just going to go with the American usage and use headings to mean different things in different articles. Ground Zero (talk) 14:48, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
For the record, that's not what I said. You said that there is nothing intuitive to Canadians/non-Americans about what holidays/festivals/celebrations should make the list, and I said that it's also not intuitive to Americans without the clarification, so it's not actually a "unique American word"; Americans also have to read the description, but with the description, Americans, Canadians, and any English reader should easily be able to understand what's listed. Furthermore, listing national holidays is the easiest way to write the section and you can add them to any country without knowing anything about it. To say that because those other countries only list national holidays and therefore it means people in those countries only use "holiday" in reference to national holidays is making quite a big assumption. How do you know that anyone actually gave thought to the "Holiday" section of those articles? I don't think there is much evidence that anyone has. South Africa and Canada just lists names and dates with no information. No thought was put into those and no insight is given. India actually does list holidays that are not "national holidays" with quite a lot of information. I'd wager that the difference is less about the word "holiday" and more about a difference in vision of what the section is meant to convey by editors (or just copy-paste lists of national holidays): Some articles give information about the holidays themselves for the traveler (US and India) in case they're interested, while others are not about informing people about the holidays themselves but rather just telling you the days that things are closed (UK, Canada, South Africa). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:45, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
I'd also like you to stop citing me as supporting your proposed change in heading. A heading of "Holidays" with clear explanation is certainly adequate for English speakers. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:53, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I know it must not feel good to be undercut by me, but I feel like you acted precipitously without a consensus, and then arguing that there isn't a consensus to revert to the status quo ante is not Wikivoyage style. Changes that lack a consensus are reverted, period (or should be). I also feel like you've expended more time and energy than needed to dispute this minor point. As long as the text clarifies why these particular days are mentioned, that is good enough, dictionary definitions be damned. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:34, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ikan, you're entitled to change your mind at any time. I only repeated what I understood your position to be at the time. I apologize if I misrepresented your view.

I agree that more time has been spent on this than it warranted, but I don't believe that that is any more my fault than anyone else's here. I thought that my change was a quite minor clarification for readers, and am really disappointed by the intensity of the opposition to it. A heading that needs explanation in the text isn't as good as one that doesn't, but I know that I have lost that battle. It's never been about dictionary definitions, but about how people understand words. And a lot of people can be expected to understand words they way they are defined in dictionaries. I'm not say that it is the only way to understand the word, just a common one.

The India article makes a pretty clear distinction between holidays and festivals in its list, which is where this discussion started. As far as Chubby's comment, "How do you know that anyone actually gave thought to the "Holiday" section of those articles? I don't think there is much evidence that anyone has", this ranks up there with dismissing the recognized references for the English language as being wrong. Unless you have evidence that all of these articles were written carelessly and incorrectly, it is fair to cite them as how the word is actually being used by many people, which is again my point. Many people use "holiday" one way, and we could use a heading that doesn't require a definition in the text to be understood, but instead we're going to use one that does. Ground Zero (talk) 10:23, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

And by the same token as Ikan's remarks above, I'm also not necessarily opposed to the section title as proposed. My comments above (which I meant to write a lot sooner; I knew this would end up being longwinded, and as I've had an extraordinarily busy couple of weeks, I wanted to wait until I had a nice unbroken block of time to gather my thoughts) were predicated on my perception that this conversation had expanded from only being about the wording of the section title in particular, to encompassing broader and more abstract issues such as the differences in tone between Wikipedia and here, what constitutes reasonable expectations of conduct when it comes to editors who are familiar with Wikipedia but are new here, and the desirability of Wikivoyage asserting its own editorial identity independent from Wikipedia convention. Perhaps it would have been better to split my comments off into a discussion somewhere else, but that would have broken the momentum of what was turning out to be an interesting debate, and no one seemed to mind the scope creep (it certainly didn't bother me).
So, to continue my thoughts in that broader and more abstract vein: Ground Zero, from your response to me above, it sounds like you're 1) still not truly convinced that my comments weren't a veiled reference to you and 2) under the impression that I'm for instituting a system of second-class citizenship for Wikipedians-turned-Wikivoyagers where their ideas are ignored in perpetuity, especially if they're derived from Wikipedia policy. On the latter of those two points, I've tried all along to emphasize that most Wikipedians who find their way here seem to have no trouble adjusting to the differences in policy, and don't have any contentious run-ins with editors regarding issues like these. (To be precise, I have found Wikipedians to be somewhat more likely to get into these kinds of disputes than the average new editor, but it still doesn't happen in anywhere near a majority of cases.) You seem to be saying that we should preemptively harmonize Wikivoyage policy with Wikipedia's in order to avoid alienating newbies from Wikipedia; I'm saying you have it backwards: while all opinions are at least potentially valuable, newbies first need to put some skin in the game and demonstrate that they're actually going to stick around and contribute (and, even more importantly, they also need to accrue enough working experience with the status quo to be able to ascertain with authority that a change is truly warranted) before we go changing around the way we do things in order to accommodate them. This is something that's equally much a requirement of newbies who aren't Wikipedians as those who are.
And despite what you seem to assume, I think that you have turned out to be an excellent example of the type of Wikipedian-turned-Wikivoyager that I am not talking about above. When you began to edit here in earnest, there was a bit of an adjustment period, but you're an admin now, and it's not as if we hand out the sysop tools like candy on Halloween. You've demonstrated - through the volume and nature of your edits, through the longevity of your Wikivoyage contribution history, and yes, through your interactions with other editors - that in policy discussions, yours is a voice that can be taken seriously. Doesn't mean I'm always going to agree with you, but it does mean that taking your opinions into account will bear fruit in the form of helping assure the continued presence on this site of an editor who's got a demonstrable track record of quality contributions. And that's the crux of what I've been saying all along in this discussion: anyone can put themselves in a position where their opinion is given significant weight, but there are dues to be paid first. That's something most people (from Wikipedia as elsewhere) understand without needing to be told, to the extent that I think it's reasonable to refuse to kowtow to those who don't.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:42, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
Andre, I won't respond to everything you've written, as I think it is time to try to wind this discussion down.
I appreciate your comments about me. Thank you.
Re scope creep, it can be frustrating when you're trying to get consensus on a change to see the discussion wander off if various directions, enduring that no consensus can be reached. This is why at time I plunge forward and make a change, rather than see a proposal get sidelined in endless discussion about other stuff.
I take issue with your comment that "You seem to be saying that we should preemptively harmonize Wikivoyage policy with Wikipedia's in order to avoid alienating newbies from Wikipedia". I've never said that, and don't agree with it, so I don't like seeing it ascribed to me.
We don't have enough editors here that we can afford to alienate newbies. Instead of hectoring them about how we have a different culture here and suggesting that they have to earn a place here before having a say, we should take a gentle approach to steer them in the right direction. Posting a welcome comment pointing them to Wikivoyage:Welcome, Wikipedians and Wikivoyage:Keep Wikivoyage fun is a more positive way of handling newbies. Frankly, if we had an influx of a hundred active editors who created the critical mass we need to have an up-to-date guide, that would probably better than what we have now, even though they would inevitably change the culture here.
Best regards, Ground Zero (talk) 17:43, 19 November 2017 (UTC)


Do we really need a picture of an Automated Postal Center in this article? Powers (talk) 22:09, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

Is it not useful to know what one looks like? I assure you it looks different to those found in the UK and Australia. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:50, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
It's not all that useful, since if you see a machine in the lobby of the post office it's pretty much either an ATM or an APC. And they're very well signed. Powers (talk) 01:20, 7 November 2017 (UTC)
If you have recommendations for more useful pictures for this seton then go for it. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:06, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Mostly I think I object to the idea that pictures have to be directly relevant to the sections in which they're placed. There was nothing wrong with the Hawaii picture that was there previously. Powers (talk) 19:34, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Subregions on which our attention and energy might be better spentEdit

So I know roughly half the editor-base here seems to have passionate opinions on this here article. I am not judging. What I am saying however, is that the hierarchy level immediately below is sometimes embarrassingly empty. Now there is an easy fix to that: Focus our energy more there. I am sure that all the US experts around here have at least one area of the US where they are experts. Can we please make some of those articles better instead of fighting over literally single words here? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:14, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Enhanced securityEdit

I wish to highlight the experience I had on my recent flight from Hong Kong to Chicago. I want to point out that the security measures you have to go through are a lot more rigorous than for normal flights to elsewhere, or what you had to go through for US-bound flights prior to 26 October 2017. I don't know what it was like at check-in as I was connecting from another flight, but at the security check at the transit point, they specifically flagged me for more rigorous checks because I was bound for the US. I do understand enough Cantonese to know what the security officers were saying to each other, so I can assure you it's not racial discrimination, and it's standard procedure for all US-bound transit passengers. At the gate, all of us were made to open all our bags so they could be searched by security personnel (so it's not just putting the bags through X-ray), and everyone had to queue up to be questioned by police before being given the green light to board. It is NOT standard procedure to be questioned in this manner for flights to non-US destinations, and this bag search is on top of the standard bag X-ray everyone goes through. The fact of the matter is, security for US-bound flights is now a lot more rigorous and cumbersome than for non-US-bound flights. The dog2 (talk) 00:40, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Are you saying every single person flying to the US must be questioned by police before boarding? Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:02, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I'm saying. Everyone boarding that flight was questioned by police before being allowed to board. The dog2 (talk) 01:22, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
According to Daily Mail (not my favored news source, but the quickest one) I found this article. It suggests that Air France, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and EgyptAir now require Police screenings before boarding for the US.
It is possible that you flew with Cathay Pacific and have encountered this.
Significant development perhaps, but is not the same as saying every single passenger to the US is now subject to police screenings. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:13, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
As an observation, there is a tendency that you treat your own personal travel experiences as something that applies to all travelers. Doing some basic due diligence (i.e. a 10 second Google search) would seriously help avoid this repeated problem. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:18, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I did fly with Cathay Pacific so that may explain why. Let's see if there is anyone else flying into the US on other airlines so they can provide some input here. In any case, I'll be catching a flight from Taipei to Chicago in January, so I'll provide more updates following that flight. I think the article should reflect that flights to the US are subject to more rigorous security measures than what you would already expect just for regular international flights so travellers headed for the US are prepared for this added inconvenience, and arrive at the check-in counter and boarding gate in good time to complete the procedures. I think examples of what passengers can expect to go through are warranted. Picking one passenger for police questioning is very different from requiring all passengers to be questioned by police; the latter will make the boarding process a lot longer.
For the record, there are news articles stating that enhanced security procedures are being requested of ALL airlines flying to the US ([5], [6] and [7]). I most certainly did not base this solely on one single experience. The dog2 (talk) 03:25, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
That is understood, but still not quite the same as saying every single visitor to the US must be subject to police questioning before embarking. It is true to say that security (or at least 'security theater') is being increased, but since 9/11 this shouldn't of great surprise to travelers. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:16, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
Most major airlines, though, have recommended that travellers bound for the U.S. arrive at check-in at least 3 hours before departure time, instead of the usual 2 hours recommended for international flights, and according to the news, all airlines flying to the U.S. are required to implement some form of enhanced security measures over what they would for a regular international flight. I made changes as that list is probably going to grow rather rapidly, but I have taken your point and made a note that only some airlines require all passengers to be questioned by police. The dog2 (talk) 02:24, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, this article is for people who've never traveled to the U.S. or were last here before 2001 as well as for those who were here last year. Assumptions about how familiar people are with U.S. air travel security theater (or "procedures", if you like) should not be made. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:10, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek : This content is already in United_States_of_America#By_plane. I don't see why it needs emphasising again. Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:55, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
That's a different argument, and the answer in that case is that a suitable summary should be provided in this article, with a link to the more specific article for details. It still doesn't call for assumptions. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:57, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────While everyone knows that the security procedures encountered when flying have been increased since 9/11, the point I've been trying to make is that security procedures have become even more cumbersome than that since Donald Trump issued his security directive to airlines. I've flown to the U.S. once before 9/11 and multiple times after that. I was questioned by police at check-in the one time I flew during the Bush Jr era, when I was travelling under the VWP before the implementation of ESTA. Besides that, police never questioned me up until Trump issued his new directive. Of course, I know better than to add a warning to WV if I was the only passenger pulled aside for police questioning, but I did actually see all the passengers boarding the flight being questioned by police before being cleared to board. And by the way, the American passengers were questioned by police as well, so it's not as if this rule only applies to non-US citizens. The dog2 (talk) 19:54, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Conspiracy theoriesEdit

With conspiracy theories rising behind the latest shooting incident in a Baptist church in Texas, I think that talking about conspiracy theories is something that must be discussed in the "Respect" section, as some involve political causes (especially those promoted by far-right politicians, if not by fringe organizations). Given conspiracy theories being popular among Americans, this is something that a foreigner may not be aware of when discussing with one. I am not believing in those (though many US conspiracy theories became popular outside), and adding advice about those may be helpful, especially to those who do not believe in those. TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 11:30, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Debunking conspiracy theories is outside the scope of our travel-oriented project and it's none of our business if a traveler believes there is an "Evil white supremacist patriarchy", "Sandy Hook was fake", "Jews control both political parties", "Many world leaders and figureheads are actually alien reptiles" etc. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:48, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree with ChubbyWimbus. Moreover, surely, the U.S. is far from the only country in which conspiracy theories have wide currency. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:36, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
It might actually be surprising to the traveler how the 1st amendment allows people to be more publicly open with their ideas than in other countries. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:13, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
That may be true. But then again, Americans are exceptionally sensitive with a strong political correctness culture, meaning that although you cannot get into any legal trouble regardless of what you say, you could well suffer serious consequences over things considered non-issues elsewhere in the form of disciplinary action by your employer/university.
That being said, I don't think it is within the scope of our "Respect" section, or any section in our articles for that matter, to debunk conspiracy theories. Unless there is a conspiracy theory that is widely believed by Americans which a foreigner typically does not believe in, and disagreeing with an American on that particular case is very likely to cause serious offence, it absolutely does not belong in our article. The dog2 (talk) 02:19, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

My main point here is regarding events that have been targeted by conspiracy theorists (e.g. assassination of John F. Kennedy, Apollo program, 9/11, Sandy Hook shootings). I see that talking such such topics may become mixed with conspiracy theories (especially with a political tinge), and they may be as sensitive as talking about gun control or gender. I am not talking about debunking them, anyway. TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 03:00, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

To say that a significant number of travellers would get into conversations like this with locals strains credulity, to say the least. These proposed additions are pretty clearly not going to accrue a consensus. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:52, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
I think it's kind of true everywhere that if you disagree with someone, you risk offending him/her. People with big egos exist everywhere in the world. I'd say something like this is not advice that is specific to the U.S. and therefore, should be left out of this article. The dog2 (talk) 05:01, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Fee to enter the countryEdit

Article states that there's a $6 fee for non-Americans to enter the U.S. Does this apply to Canadians and Mexicans coming from their respective countries as well? To whom is this fee paid, and for what purpose? Powers (talk) 16:57, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

The fee is applicable only to people arriving via land with an I-94W visa through the Visa Waiver Program. (Therefore, the answer to your specific question is no on both counts: Canadian citizens don't need visas to enter the U.S., and Mexican citizens are ineligible for the VWP.) Text should be edited for clarification. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:48, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
I think it might have been changed but I could be wrong. Look at [8]. The dog2 (talk) 23:02, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
"An I-94 form is needed by all persons except U.S. Citizens, returning resident aliens, aliens with immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens visiting or in transit. Air and Sea travelers will be issued I-94s during the admission process at the port of entry." So Canadians wouldn't need to pay a fee because they don't need an I-94. But it looks like Mexicans do? Powers (talk) 15:19, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Based on my knowledge, it may be dependent on your purpose of entry. For instance, Canadians entering in F-1 student status do not need a visa, but they need an I-20 and I-94, and are pretty much subject to the same restrictions as other international students. The dog2 (talk) 18:10, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
According to all the information I've read, the fee only applies to I-94W (Visa Waiver Program) visas, not regular I-94s. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:29, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
The link The dog2 provided doesn't specify I-94Ws; it seems to apply to all I-94s. Powers (talk) 02:34, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

Air Steward/Stewardess vs Flight AttendantEdit

I wonder if this may be worth adding in. I know it's already covered in English Language Varieties, but I think that if it is something likely to offend, it should be mentioned in the "Respect" section here too. I can tell you that in my native Singapore, we still call the male cabin crew air stewards, and the female cabin crew air stewardesses. In fact, that's the terminology Singapore Airlines uses on their web-site.

From what I can gather, calling a male flight attendant a "steward" is not a problem, but calling a female flight attendant a "stewardess" is considered to be extremely sexist and reinforcing gender stereotypes, and hence very offensive. I can attest to the fact that most Singaporeans aren't aware that the term "Stewardess" is offensive in the U.S., so this is something that some foreigners will probably need to be told. The dog2 (talk) 06:43, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

This is not a travel guide for Singaporeans alone, and I actually doubt any female flight attendant in the US has been seriously offended by a Singaporean referring to them as a stewardess. Perhaps at worst you would get a slight admonishment, as as with everything in life you would accept it and move on.
Again, Wikivoyage is about traveling, not a guide to avoid offending everyone in every possible circumstance. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:14, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Really. This is a travel guide for the 4th largest nation on Earth. We can't be providing direction to our readers on what to say in every circumstance they will encounter. I expect that Americans in the travel industry will understand when foreigners use anachronistic expressions. We don't want this article to be too long for anyone to read, because then there would be no point in writing it. Also, suggestions for additions to this article would be more welcome if accompanied by suggestions for deleting at least as much or more text. Ground Zero (talk) 07:24, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
As others said, No. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:51, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
No, of course, and where are we getting the idea that the word "stewardess" is sexist and offensive rather than merely outdated? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:52, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
From the American media, especially left-wing media. Supposedly, the term is an insult to the professionalism of female flight attendants because their job is about safety, and service is not part of their job scope but just something extra they do. My understanding is that Americans switched from using "stewardess" to "flight attendant" because of campaigning by feminists against "reinforcing gender stereotypes". On the other hand, I have never heard of any complaints in the same vein about people calling a male flight attendant a "steward", so I presume that wouldn't cause offence.
And yes, I am aware that this guide is not just for Singaporeans. The term "stewardess" is widely used in Malaysia and India too (and I presume some other countries as well), and I've even seen the term used on BBC News and other British news sites to refer to modern cabin crew. The dog2 (talk) 15:53, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Again, you've got to disabuse yourself of the idea that sources like that represent the mainstream of American thinking. Frankly, the fact that many people on the left want to turn everyday life into a minefield where random innocuous words become unthinkably offensive for convoluted reasons is a big part of why Donald Trump is president today. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:10, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Not to go on a tangent here, but I think the problem is that some people feel their issues are being ignored while "side issues" (their opinion, not necessarily mine) are given more weight. That certainly is the appeal of Bernie Sanders, who phrases many things one could phrase in race terms in more colorblind terms (though he does address racial injustices) and in a pretty different way some find Trump's deliberately offensive and boundary stretching rhetoric and actions appealing for that reason. But yeah, we need to make sure that we spend more time on regions of the USA than the talk page of this article. Please. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:20, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Many visitors to the U.S. travel around by plane, and would therefore interact with flight attendants, so this is definitely travel-related. But I'll differ to the experience of the Americans here on the issue.

And although I'm going on a tangent here, I also agree with AndreCarrotflower that one of the reasons why Donald Trump got elected is because of a backlash against this hypersensitivity, excessive political correctness and obsession with identity politics that many left-wingers have been pushing. For a country that prides itself on freedom of speech, I actually feel a lot more restricted in the U.S. than in either Singapore or Australia in this regard. The dog2 (talk) 00:35, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

And to continue Hobbitschuster's point about Bernie Sanders: a lot of the same arguments Hillary Clinton's supporters advanced against Sanders are equally applicable to the social justice crowd (namely: that their point of view is a much harder sell to those outside the ideological bubble they operate within, and certainly won't play among the right; that it's better to take a more moderate tack and win, even if you only get a watered-down version of progress, than to gamble big and risk taking a huge step backwards under Trump). All Trump had to do to capitalize was point at the circular firing squad on the Democratic side and say "put these people in office and they'll send their thought police after you just as surely as they're now sending them after each other". Hobbitschuster is also correct in saying that a large part of Sanders' appeal was the fact that, except when he was forced to do so (for instance, when the Black Lives Matter activists crashed his rally in Seattle), he mostly avoided addressing identity politics issues in favor of a brand of leftism that was sort of a throwback to the 20th century, centered around income inequality, unemployment, and other economic issues.
To at least attempt to bring this conversation back within Wikivoyage's scope, I guess the takeaway regarding how to deal with the "Respect" section is that the contentiousness of the debate among policy wonks, and the loudness and shrillness of the arguments on the news channels and in social media, can often drown out the fact that Americans really are for the most part an apolitical people who are content to live and let live. I remember an article that came out in the wake of Roy Moore's win over Luther Strange in the Republican Senate runoff race in Alabama (I just spent about 20 minutes on Google trying to track it down; no luck, but I assure you it exists) that quoted many Alabama political bigwigs as saying that Moore was generally disliked among both the establishment and the rank-and-file voters, and quite a few of the anonymous interviewees rued having to publicly support and campaign for him (keep in mind this was about two months before the child molestation allegations against Moore came to light). The author attributed Moore's victory to dismal turnout (indeed, it was 14%, near historic lows), especially among moderate Republicans who by and large were turned off by both candidates. And I think that's a good microcosm of the nation as a whole. There's a silent majority in the middle who mistrust both establishment elitists and foaming-at-the-mouth wingnuts, who feel powerless, and who consequently have dropped out of the conversation entirely. And in the absence of this silent majority, the only people left talking are the hyperpartisans on both sides sniping back and forth at each other, which paradoxically makes the situation seem a lot more polarized and contentious than it actually is. I think hot-button political or social justice issues, or anything else that might lead to rancorous disagreement, are pretty much the last thing most day-to-day Americans want to talk about with strangers these days. Most people burned out on that stuff a long time ago.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:35, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I cannot stand for the continued slandering of the left-wing as hyper-sensitive to irrelevant details. The truth is, to the extent that the American left is sensitive to issues of racial, sexual, and gender equality, it's because we can no longer tell the people experiencing those issues that their concerns don't matter. That is, largely, why Sanders did not earn the nomination -- because those minorities did not trust him to fight for their equality to the same extent as Clinton would. The point of changing language like "stewardess" is not to make people who use the term feel bad; it's to make the people who are the subjects of the term feel good.
That said, it's highly unlikely anyone would excoriate someone -- especially a foreigner -- for saying "stewardess". And anyone who thinks it's at all likely probably doesn't have a strong grasp of American culture. Powers (talk) 02:41, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Do we really want to talk about the reasons for Trump's -3 million vote "win"? The strongest correlation between voting for Trump and anything was with resentful feelings toward black people - in other words, racism - not resentment over terms for flight attendants and such. When Trump and his supporters use the words "political correctness", they mean a lack of acceptability in saying blatantly racist, sexist and religiously bigoted crap of the kind he spouts off every freaking day. And now, can we please return to travel? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:29, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, but what does having stayed home on Election Day correlate with? That group handily outnumbers both Trump and Hillary voters. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:31, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
And let's be forthright about this. Right now, trying to have a discussion about why the HIV rate is higher among gays will automatically get you labelled as homophobic. I'm not saying that homosexuality is the cause of AIDS (and the scientific evidence is pretty clear that it's not), but now you are forced into fact denial and pretend that this problem does not exist in the interest of being politically correct, and you can't even have a constructive discussion about why this problem exists and how to tackle this problem. Similarly, trying to have a constructive discussion about the higher crime rate in some black and Latino communities (which in fact disproportionally affect the decent people within these communities) will automatically get you labelled a racist for "racial profiling". And saying that differences in ability in certain cognitive skills, or in some cases, even in physical strength, between men and women can be attributed at least in part to biology will automatically get you labelled misogynist. And even on to the Christmas controversy; I think it's ludicrous to say that wishing someone "Merry Christmas" is "not being respectful of Jewish religious beliefs", and for that matter, the idea that saying "Happy Holidays" is "putting America's traditional Christian values under siege" is also equally ludicrous.
For the record, I am pro gay rights, anti-racism, and believe that men and women should be held to equal value. I most certainly don't condone sexual assault, and I absolutely can't stand those people who catcall women in the street and regard it as sexual harrassment. Being someone who works in science, I believe that climate change is real, and I also believe in evolution. That being said, I also value scientific accuracy a lot more than political correctness. Sure, the American right has been engaged in all kinds of fact denial nonsense for a very long time, but now we're seeing this fact denial nonsense coming from the left too, albeit around different facts, and we are also starting to be forced into fact denial in the interest of political correctness. One of the biggest problems here is that people are just liberally throwing around words like racist, misogynist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, etc. on the flimsiest grounds instead of reserving them for genuine bigots like Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos, and using these terms to frame people and shut down discussions and debate, even when people are trying to do it in a constructive way. The dog2 (talk) 05:28, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
"Right now, trying to have a discussion about why the HIV rate is higher among gays will automatically get you labelled as homophobic." No it wouldn't. And as for people staying home and not voting, there are always a large number in the U.S., and we needn't talk about why some people thought Clinton was just as bad as Trump, but if you really want to look into it, consider the out-of-turn remarks of Comey, Russian disinformation and hacking and decades of demonization by Republicans and the male-dominated media. And now, can we please stop arguing about politics and the insane ridiculous standards of some left-wing extremists who aren't part of the circle of anyone here except for The dog2? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:17, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Just to wrap this up (don't worry, I'm skipping/ignoring the political discussion), a lot of people refer to the occupation as "flight attendant". I'd say both stewardess and flight attendant are used and acceptable when talking about the people (ex: "I'll ask the stewardess"). When trying to get the attention of an actual flight attendant/steward(ess), I think most Americans prefer just making eye contact/nodding, waving them over, saying "Excuse me", or using "sir/ma'am". Saying flight attendant actually sounds more awkward that saying "stewardess" to get their attention, but I don't see either as being offensive. In some cases, the flight attendant is going to be annoyed no matter what or how you call her (or him, but this thread is specifically about female flight attendants). Not all of them are good at maintaining their professionalism and hiding frustation/annoyance/anger. In conclusion: No special advice needed

well whatever Clinton did or did not do, it failed to produce the turnout among African Americans that was seen with Obama. Now we might say that's due to the historic nature of Obama, but did Catholic turnout drop dramatically in 1964 compared to 1960? Did more Jewish people vote Democrat in 2000 than 2004 due to Liebermann? Bill Clinton says the last acceptable bigotry in America is not talking to people of a different political opinion. He may be right about that. But I think there is also antisemitism in numerous social groups that is flat out denied by many. And unfortunately that phenomenon is far from limited to the US. And there is also dangerous cultural relativism that is willing to accept gross human rights violations if only they are "part of another culture"... At any rate, I reiterate my plea to look at region an state and city articles within the US to apply our energy and expertise on which is currently sapped here. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:50, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, okay. Look, I freely admit that I've been one of the main instigators of this discussion veering off into out-of-scope political tangents — though in my own defense, it's nearly impossible to meaningfully discuss edits of the type The dog2 often proposes for the "Respect" section without broaching such subjects — but all the same, I think we've come to a pretty solid consensus regarding the "flight attendant"/"stewardess" issue. Let's bring this to a close now. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:55, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I believe the circumstances I have detailed are an accurate depiction of just how sensitive people have become on American academic campuses because these are the things I have encountered on a somewhat regular basis. But back to this discussion, since we have come to a consensus, this discussion is settled. If it's merely archaic and not as offensive as the American media makes it out to be to the vast majority of Americans, then I'm happy leaving it out. The dog2 (talk) 15:09, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Can we please, please, please spend more time and energy on US destinations (or other destinations) that are actually in need of information rather than spending time discussing minutiae of change in the mainspace of this article for hours on the talk page? Adding markers or listings for all ~500 stops in the Amtrak system would be one productive idea that comes to mind (and is mostly doable with online research). Fixing articles for regions immediately beneath USA in the geographic hierarchy or a particular state is another idea. Maybe we can even start pointless debate about the "respect" section of the South or Berkeley ... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:13, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Now we can discuss how asserting that you have flown around the world would offend Americans who are members of the growing flat earth movement.... ;-) Ground Zero (talk) 20:31, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
With members all around the globe, mind you. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:03, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
...or in all four corners? K7L (talk) 21:59, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Wow, discussion went from the casual use of an outdated term to the election of Trump and flat earthism :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:05, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
And I might bring up the necessity to fire Ben McAdoo... But to strike a more serious note, we should really, really, really expand more energy on US regions than this here article. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:48, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

"Those damn libruhls have no tradition"Edit

I know the kind of place from which this comes, but I would somewhat disagree with it. True, I find that US leftist culture to me is more striking by its dissimilarity to the (hard left) circles I frequent elsewhere, but there sure as hell are traditions, celebrations that go back years and years, rituals and so on and so forth. "Conservatives" might meet up at a BBQ or Rodeo. "Liberals" might meet up at a critical mass ride or a protest (Christopher Street Day / Gay Pride Parade is perhaps the best known "protest" of arguably "leftist" origins that has become a de facto tradition in many, many cities). Note the scare quotes, as I have found people to not fit all the neatly into boxes and many, many events that have a reputation of being "a certain political bent only" are in fact much more mixed. To give just one German example, a certain well known German Schlager singer publicly expressed his disgust for Pegida (be glad if you don't know what that is), campaigns for the German social democrats (or has done so in the past) yet gives sold out concerts in Dresden (four a year on two successive weekends, in fact and despite hating Schlager, I would know). Now whom do you find attending those concerts? Astonishingly, Pegida-people just like people who vote for leftist-green parties...So to bring this down to one sentence, I would argue that "liberals" do have traditions and that some of those "leftist" traditions manifest in well attended events that are attended by all sorts of people. The whatsitsface film festival is just as much "American tradition" as Little League Baseball (I dimly remember some junior Senator from Illinois giving a speech about something of that sort a while back, whatever happened to that guy? Skinny dude, funny name, warm smile, great voice). Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:07, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

I changed this whilst you wrote your comment! It seems obvious there are some here who are still shellshocked about Trump's election win, but all this obsession with liberal vs conservative is getting very tiring. It is an important dynamic to understand about the US, but I hope we can stop obsessing over it. Again, we have Wikipedia if they want to try their luck over there. We need to keep WV primarily about travel. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:15, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Based on my experience, I will say that the liberal-conservative divide is more prominent in the U.S. than in many other places. At least that's one thing I noticed when I moved from Australia to the U.S. I agree that WV is not a place to promote any particular political agenda, and that we need not go into too much detail about liberal traditions and conservative traditions. But if my perception is accurate, that is one way in which the U.S. differs from other countries, so in the descriptive paragraphs of the country, I think it should be mentioned in some form, if only briefly. I think that the take home message should be that when you travel around the country, you are likely to encounter a greater variety of political opinions in the U.S. than in virtually any other country in the world. The dog2 (talk) 22:38, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Israel has a greater variety of opinions, and the opinions are more vociferous there. And then in Taiwan, they have a history of brawls on the floor of their legislature. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:19, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that "traditions" necessarily have political affiliation. Enjoying sports and attending sporting events is done by many Americans, not just "conservatives". Counterculture is mostly led by young people, not "liberals". The Schlager example given above sounds like an apolitical event given by someone with a political opinion, but that doesn't make it a "liberal event" (unless I'm missing something). It seems ridiculous to categorize every event as liberal or conservative based on the political bent of the organizer. Not everything is political nor should it be. Things need to be less politicized not more. Can we be a little less political here in this article? I feel like we haven't had even one 24 hour period where there wasn't some senseless talk about liberals/conservatives/Trump/SJWs in way too long. I know myself and others have repeated this to no avail, but can we just let it go for a while? Just accept that the United States isn't perfect, not all Americans agree on everything, and that it's not actually super exceptional in these regards or at the very least resist the urge to bring up such topics for a few weeks or months (none are even remotely dire)? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:54, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
ChubbyWimbus comment X 1000! I'm sure the partisanship in the US maybe shocking to a Singaporean used to political cohesiveness, and even (as you mention) an Australian, but fanatical political partisanship has been recorded since at least the times of ancient Rome and Greece and probably long before.
There are plenty of places where one can express opinions about this (try Reddit or a political group on your university campus) but Wikivoyage is not the place for it. Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:02, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Although I agree for the most part with the foregoing commenters' distaste for delving too deeply into politics, I feel like I need to push back here just a little bit. This is a politically fraught time in the United States (and I'm not just talking about since Trump's election - I'd put the start date no later than 9/11/2001, and maybe as early as the 1994 midterm elections), and visitors from foreign countries are going to pick up on that just as much as anyone else. If we're going to have a "Respect" section in this article, then it's inevitable that from time to time (and especially as the situation on the ground changes) we're going to have to engage in discussions like the ones we've been having recently on this talk page. And while I agree that those recent discussions have probably been too numerous and drawn-out, and have diverged from our scope too often and widely, I'd caution against the pendulum swinging too far in the other direction. We do the traveller as much of a disservice focusing too little on these issues as too much. Let's reorient ourselves more toward being as fair, apolitical, and traveller-oriented as possible in addressing these issues, rather than merely trying to avoid addressing these issues whenever possible. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:44, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
I will admit that I may have gotten a little carried away by some of the politics behind some discussion here and I sincerely apologise for that. Perhaps my judgement may have been a little clouded by the shock factor on having jokes or even innocent questions gone wrong because Americans are very sensitive about some issues that Singaporeans and Australians take a live and let live approach to. And yes, I will agree that we should keep WV politically neutral as far as possible, and only delve into politics when it concerns travellers, and I will endeavour to do that for future edits (though keep in mind that what's considered relevant to travellers often differs from person to person). But that being said, if a particular issue is more sensitive to Americans than to foreigners, we ought to inform people that this is the case and that they should at the very least avoid such topics when interacting with Americans. Likewise, if something is offensive to most Americans but not offensive to most foreigners, we should be informing people about it. It's the exact same concept as telling foreigners in the "China" article that they should avoid conversations about Japan when talking to Chinese people, or telling foreigners in the "Japan" article that they should not use their mobile phone on the trains. The dog2 (talk) 17:37, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Actually Schlager is mostly associated with the drunk, the elderly and the political right in Germany - at least according to cliche. Not necessarily the extreme right, but often the "I am no (bigoted category), but..." crowd. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:20, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Schlager does appeal to those parts of German society that are older and tend to be more conservative, but much as (I think) described above you can still hold conservative values and not be a excessively right wing, thus generalizations are not accurate.
It is an extraordinary time in the US, and we do need to cover the politics to a reasonable extent. I believe want most people on this thread are against is the ongoing tendency to frame everything in America as a constant struggle between liberal and conservative. We even seem to forget that a good portion of Americans are actually apolitical as well. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:28, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
I'd say the majority of Americans are apolitical, and yet there's a huge disconnect in that the media is so saturated with extremely emotionally charged political news, opinions, debates, etc. that politics often seems impossible to escape. It's a strange, often self-contradictory situation that visitors from other countries might very well have trouble making sense of. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:45, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
And let's also not forget the university campuses tend to be particularly politically charged. Given that the U.S. is the most popular destination in the world for international students, that will be likely be the first contact many foreigners have with Americans. The dog2 (talk) 22:15, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Again, Wikivoyage should be a guide for all visitors, not just people who find themselves on a university campus. There is no typical experience that can require constant framing as some sort of culture war Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:45, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
I really hope this post doesn't come across as unfriendly, because I value the contributions you make that don't need anything but your individual experience and intelligence, but The dog2, do you know the Malay expression "Seperti katak di bawah tempurung"? It translates into English as "Like a frog under a coconut shell." Because the frog doesn't venture out, it thinks the coconut shell is the canopy of the Heavens. You have travelled, of course, but right now, your very tenacious assumption that you can draw any conclusions about what American college students think from being (correct me if I'm wrong) at UC-Berkeley, one of the most left-wing colleges in the country, let alone that you could draw conclusions about what Americans in general think or feel, is comparable to the frog's extrapolation of the conditions under the coconut shell to the entire World. I've repeatedly seen you say that you will stop doing this kind of thing, but you take a step forward and two steps back. I sincerely doubt that a majority of foreigners who spend time in the U.S. are college students, nor do you have any basis for considering your limited experience with American college students as making you an expert into how the average American college student thinks or feels. So could you please drop this and concentrate on any other aspect of the guide that you could be working on, instead? I'd love to see no posts about American politics or racial attitudes on this page next week, the week after that, the week after that... Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:57, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
No I don't go to UCBerkeley, but I've heard a lot about what goes on there from friends who went there. And my previous comment was just a casual comment; I wasn't proposing to change anything. Nowhere did I say that the majority of foreigners who spend time in the US are college students, so please do not misquote me on that. I simply said that many people first experience the US as international students, but "many" does not necessarily mean "a majority". And as for the edit that got this whole thread started, I just think it can be misleading to simply portray the importance of traditions to conservatives without reflecting the fact that many liberals are openly rebellious against those very same traditions. Nobody here is saying that liberals do not have traditions of their own (and I am not belittling liberal traditions), but I think that to be representative, we have to reflect both ends the political spectrum (at least as far as mainstream American society goes, but not those on the fringes like the KKK) and not just one, especially for a country as diverse as the US. And for the record, the edit was not in the "Respect" section, but under "Culture" in the "Understand" section. The dog2 (talk) 02:32, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it's a news flash that conservatives want to conserve traditions - it's definitional - nor that leftists want to smash those traditions that they think are holding the people back - "No more tradition's chains shall bind us" is a line in the American version of "The Internationale", whose original was written by French socialists in 1871. So considering the general worldwide scope of what right and left mean, plus the fact that these are overgeneralizations in the American case if not indeed everywhere else, there is no need to specially address them in this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:51, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
If that what everyone feels then how about just removing that paragraph. I was not the one who added in that paragraph in the first place, and I have no issue deleting the entire paragraph. I just think that in order to be representative of American society, if we make a mention of the culture of conservative Americans, then we should make a mention of the culture of liberal Americans too. But if people feel that that paragraph is not important, then we can just delete it. If it is indeed true that men are expected to be "chivalrous" and yield to women in more conservative areas, then stuff like that should go in the "Respect" section, but I am nowhere near experienced enough to have an opinion on this. I know there is a sentence on guns but my hunch is that we have already covered the essentials about guns in the "Stay Safe" and "Respect" sections, so that sentence is redundant. The dog2 (talk) 04:19, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
I am really looking forward to a good long period with no mentions of Trump, liberals, political correctness, guns, sexual orientation and racial sensitivities. All these things are important, but I hope a period of rest can be duly given and focus given to, well, travel. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:14, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Spoken like a true American (even though you're a Brit)! -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:33, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Honored! Thanks :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:46, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Or perhaps we need a separate travel topic for Political sensitivities in the United States, or even a series of Political travel articles? ϒpsilon (talk) 05:58, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I do suggest that each time, and each time it is ignored. I suspect editing a less prestigious article doesn't create the same level as enthusiasm as editing United States. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:53, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
That's beyond our scope and opens the door to allowing articles about all of these annoying issues in every single country. Allowing such an article would be a sign that we not only welcome politically-charged edits, but we actually DESIRE them and that those who make enough of them can get articles about their pet topic. It would likely heighten problems here an create precedent for any number of political rant/blog articles that we as a travel site should not be curating for accuracy, balance, etc. EVERY country has "political sensitivities", EVERY country has some sort of discontent that citizens and/or the government cannot agree on how best to deal with. EVERY country has groups of people who crave power. We do not need Political sensitivities in the United Kingdom, Resisting Trump in Vanuatu, Avoiding American liberals in Burkina Faso, Racism in Indonesia, Homophobia in Jordan, White nationalism in North Korea, Things that might make someone a little glum in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and hence should be avoided. Based on the types of conversations we've been having here that spawned this proposal, those are the types of "travel" articles we would get with "political travel" and I seriously doubt there is any travel topic with political elements that doesn't fit into a different category (wars and other events, historic figures, etc). Let's keep this all contained here, please. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:27, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Even seeing a suggestion of such a topic depressed me. I couldn't agree more with ChubbyWimbus, except that I'd love to see a lot less such talk in this thread, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:48, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Strongly agree with ChubbyWimbus and Ikan Kekek on this. Ground Zero (talk) 19:10, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I actually believe that topics such as Surviving University in the US (with a better title) could potentially be as useful travel article. That said, it seems obvious from the threads above that expert advice on this subject is apparently challenging to aquire. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:25, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There is already an article called Touring prestigious and notable universities in the U.S.. If there is anything specific to U.S. universities that warrants a special mention, that article could probably be re-named, and it could go there. That being said, given the types of discussions here, it might be hard to get a consensus on what is appropriate to include. And of course, there are also evangelical colleges that teach Genesis in biology class (and where it would be offensive to speak out in support of evolution), so those places would most certainly have a very conservative culture. But whatever it is, I do think that as a tourist visiting the campus of say, very left-wing places like UC Berkeley or NYU, you probably would not get involved in such discussions and need not be concerned about some of these issues in the same way that a student actually studying there would. The dog2 (talk) 23:10, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Again, you assume (without knowing) it would be offensive to raise evolution in an evangelical college. You may get vehement disagreement from some, but I really doubt that it is a taboo subject (in fact many evangelicals would welcome debating it). What is truely offensive is the suggestion that all evangelicals are small minded religious extremists. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:38, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
My bad for that, but regardless, I think you probably get my point that an evangelical college will most probably have a very different culture from a place like Harvard or Yale. The dog2 (talk) 03:02, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I do (get your point) Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:57, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Tipping editsEdit

Up to 25% tip is expected? In which restaurants?

And it's never OK not to tip your waiter? How about if he throws the soup on your head and curses you out? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:30, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

My brother worked for many years as a server at various high-end restaurants in Manhattan, and while visiting me in Buffalo one day reacted with disdain as I tipped a waiter 15%. According to him, the rule of thumb is 20% for average service, 25% for above-average; 15% is an insult. Of course, that's not the case in all areas of the country, but NYC certainly sees its share of overseas tourists.
And yes, we can come up with all kinds of outlandish hypotheticals in which not leaving a tip would be warranted. But for basically all usual scenarios, there's absolutely no reason why we should be insinuating that it's okay to decline to tip waitstaff. And if a visitor really does encounter a waiter who "throws soup on [his or her] head and curses [him or her] out", Captain Obvious would indicate that's an exception to the rule.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:38, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I think 20% tips are normal in New York City, and I'll often round up to the next dollar, but the previous standard of doubling the now 8.875% tax is also common. More is solely for very good service, and then the dollar or percentage amount is purely to the tipper's discretion. But the country isn't New York City, with its tremendous expenses. I'd like evidence that 15% is too low in Georgia, West Virginia, Nebraska, etc. before changing the figures we're using.
Also, I think it's sufficient to say that tipping is expected and not tipping is offensive to the waitstaff and costs them tax dollars, as the IRS assumes they've been tipped at least 15% per transaction. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:45, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I've never had a waiter do such a thing to me. And if the waiter actually did that, I'd probably leave without even paying the bill, let alone leave a tip.
Speaking of tipping rates, I currently live in Chicago, and 15% is sufficient for adequate service. Of course, you can always tip more if you get exemplary service. The dog2 (talk) 23:51, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Ikan - Speaking as an employee in an industry where tips are traditionally expected, there's a certain threshold where "an above-average tip for exceptional service" becomes "okay, this tip is weirdly generous and I don't know how I feel about accepting it". For instance, let's say I'm driving someone home from the airport and loading their luggage in the trunk of their car. If I got a $5 bill at the end, I'd be delighted. If I got a $10 bill - unless it was a big family with six kids coming back from Walt Disney World, and Grandma and Grandpa came along too, and their suitcases took up my whole luggage rack, and I'm huffing and puffing by the end - I'd feel kind of ambivalent about it.
I think you and I are basically in agreement about the numbers. I don't think anyone, including my brother, would cite 25% as a tip for average service. I think he meant to say that in NYC, that's the upper limit of the range of what a waiter can reasonably expect to get - go above that and you're in a situation like the foregoing, where the generosity becomes excessive. Of course, in a place like Georgia, West Virginia, or Nebraska, 25% would be outlandish and 15% would be fine. And IIRC that's precisely what the article says: 15-25%, variable according to region. I'm hesitant on ethical grounds to recommend anything below 15% for any part of the country.
As for your second point, I think the passage "a deliberately small tip (one or two coins) will express your displeasure more clearly than leaving no tip at all (which may be construed as a forgotten tip)" is sufficient to get the point across to readers that declining to tip is not actually illegal - and the textbox, as well as the earlier passage "in many service establishments... customers who did not tip are often asked to pay a tip, or in rare cases verbally scolded by staff" serve as a counterbalance to indicate that not tipping is a very big deal. I'd be hesitant, again on ethical grounds, to even broach the subject beyond that, and particularly not in the way the excised text did ("you are never obliged to tip if your service was truly awful"). This is a slippery slope - what does "truly awful" mean? Do we want to be encouraging travellers to do this at all, given the fact that in some states the service wage is less than one-fifth the minimum wage for non-tipped employees, and especially after we've already told them leaving a deliberately low tip is a better way to get the point across?
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:10, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
We shouldn't encourage not tipping, definitely not. But I think that 25% is a very generous tip in New York City, and therefore probably outlandish in many other parts of the country, so I wouldn't suggest it; "15-20% depending on how high expenses are in a given place" is more reasonable to me as a customer. I do think that tipping in bars is different, though. A dollar a drink is standard except for elaborate cocktails, but I regularly tip $2 per neat pour of bourbon or rye at my favorite neighborhood bars, and they reward me accordingly with large pours and comp a drink if I stay for a while and have a few (whereupon of course I give them much more than just $2 per drink). I'll also tip $2 in other bars if they give me a nice pour. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:36, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan Kekek and The dog2. To me, 25% seems like a very large tip, and the article says "generally accepted standard rates". That doesn't need to include an amount that someone in one particular big city might give for above-average service. I think the range should be reverted to "15–20%". If necessary, we can add a note that you can tip extra for above-average service, and if New York City has different tipping customs, we can add a note saying so to the New York City article. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:41, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
For what it is worth, I just treat tipping as a 20% meal tax in America and leave it at that. There are exceptions (above and below) that amount, but why ruin the travelers' dining experience with ambiguity and anxiety at the end of a meal? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:43, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
There does seem to be an unfortunate tendency to allow things to creep in the direction of palms outstretched for ever more generous tips and gratuities (regardless of whether the service is any good or not) and in the direction of an ever-increasing list of occupations which formerly were not routinely being tipped now feeling entitled to this extra money. I suppose we have the duty to warn the traveller that this is common and widespread, but we shouldn't be actively encouraging the "entitlement" to keep increasing from 15% to 20% to 25% to, well, the sky's the limit - as throwing around all of this extra free money only breeds the attitude that vendors are unconditionally entitled to it, raising expectations (which presents a problem for the next voyager) but doing nothing to improve the quality of the service, the food or anything else. It just becomes an excuse for employers to pay workers badly.
When I see text like "Some tipping at a cafeteria or buffet is expected since the wait staff often clears the table for you and provides refills of drinks and such" I do a double take. Buffet, that's one thing, but cafeterias? Those are those institutional captive food service joints which are no better than fast food and are entirely self-serve; the patron loads a tray with whatever garbage is being served, takes it to a cashier for payment, then seats themselves. Hardly above-average service (as it's usually restaurant table service or food delivery only where it's considered acceptable to solicit gratuities) and not normally an appropriate venue to panhandle tips. What' s next, tip your grocer? K7L (talk) 02:40, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
In response to my compatriot K7L's comments, I am compelled to resurrect the old joke about the difference between a Canadian and a canoe being that a canoe tips. ;-) Ground Zero (talk) 05:05, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In cafeterias where you clear your table by yourself, you do not need to tip, but if the staff clears your table for you, then you do need to leave a tip. Regardless of what one feels about the practice of tipping (and note that I come from a country where tipping is not practised), American service staff expect to receive tips, so denying someone a tip because you don't tip back home and disagree with tipping culture is really going to make you look really bad regardless. The dog2 (talk) 03:01, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Precisely. Wikivoyage's job is not to make judgments about whether tipping is something society should do, and if so, when. Our job as regards this issue simply consists of determining when and where tipping actually is expected in American society, and imparting that information to our readers. If the practice of tipping is creeping into ever more numerous domains of customer service, it's going to happen regardless, and us few dozen Wikivoyagers are neither responsible for the fact that it's happening nor do we have the power to stop it. What we do have the power to do is to help our readers get along the best they can while travelling, and we ought to stick with doing that. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:02, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Right, but I think that also means reverting to 15-20% for tips for waitstaff. 25% is not a generally accepted standard rate, even if some waiters wish it were. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:26, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
If we train up our readers to be above-average tippers, what could happen except that they have a better time on their American vacations than readers of other publications? However, I understand that's not the consensus established in this discussion, so if you want to revert to 15-20%, I won't make an issue of it. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:55, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think we should aim to train foreigners to be exceptionally good tippers. What I think we should do is inform people how much the average American will tip, and let foreigners know that the same will be expected of them. The rule of thumb I follow when I travel as far as tipping goes is to do what the locals do. Speaking of which, my understanding is that you are expected to tip at least 18% in New York City, and 15% elsewhere, so perhaps it could be mentioned somewhere, maybe in the New York City article that a higher rate would be expected in New York City. The dog2 (talk) 19:07, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I believe large groups are often charged an 18% service charge in New York, but I haven't been part of such a group for a few years. Credit cards left overnight in bars are charged a 20% tip on drinks, but nevertheless, that isn't the standard tip for drinks in a bar. If there are no objections, I will revert to 15-20% as a standard rate for tipping, but maybe it should indeed be mentioned that 15% is a little low in high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:13, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm happy to have it reverted. And I remember that in New York City, when you get the bill, if they print the suggested gratuity, it starts from 18%. On the other hand, in Chicago, it starts from 15%. I'm not sure if my hunch is right, but that could be indicative that people expect a larger tip in New York City than in Chicago. The dog2 (talk) 22:55, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Edited. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:00, 12 December 2017 (UTC)


There seems to be some sort of a disagreement on hotel housekeeping. I remember that when I first visited the U.S. as a tourist, I was told that it is customary to tip housekeeping in U.S. hotels and motels. Of course, tipping is always optional in theory, but my understanding that in the U.S., you are basically expected to tip, and not tipping housekeeping will really make you look bad to hotel staff. The dog2 (talk) 15:41, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

I agree with The dog2 here. Again, the text already does a fine job of indicating that tipping is optional. If we're going to belabor the point one way or the other, we should err on the side of "not tipping is a really bad idea" rather than "technically speaking, you don't have to if you don't want to". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:52, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I have to say, my parents never had any idea that anyone would leave any money for housekeeping and thought it was a bizarre thought when I saw it recommended online (probably on this site or, rather, the former site). They considered housekeeping as part of the cost of a room. I do think it's a good idea to leave something for them because a lot of them are undocumented and they tend to be paid like shit and treated badly (it's been mentioned that sexual assault and harassment are chronic for them). But I really doubt that leaving a tip for housekeeping is anywhere near as universal as tipping waitstaff. Andre, you've worked in the hotel industry. What percentage of customers do you think leave a tip for housekeeping? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:23, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Housekeeping wasn't my department, but from what information I've gleaned, tipping housekeepers is not as universal as tipping restaurant waitstaff, bartenders, or cab drivers, but probably equally or more so than e.g. airport shuttle drivers, concierges, bellhops, hair stylists, and many of the other occupations on the list. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:49, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I've never worked in the hotel industry, but for what it's worth, I think of tipping waitstaff, bartenders, cab drivers, hair stylists, and bellhops as mandatory (not legally mandatory, obviously, but required by US custom), but I've always thought tipping housekeeping was a personal choice. I'll defer to others' opinions on this issue, though. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:00, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Marriott tried this in 2014, putting envelopes in hotel rooms soliciting gratuities. The reaction was mixed at best: [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. Housekeeping is not paid a sub-minimum wage (the way waitstaff are paid peanuts on the assumption that the client can be guilted into making up the difference) and there is concern that, if companies like Marriott continue to "push the envelope" on this, the next step could well be to lower the base wage on the assumption that paying the staff is somehow the client's problem instead of the employer's job. No obvious consensus on this point. K7L (talk) 11:56, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
The first link says "Unlike bellmen or bartenders, maids are lucky if customers leave a few dollars twice or three times a month. Some of Rosales' co-workers have gone six months without a tip." That seems to strongly confirm my impression that Americans consider it optional to tip housekeeping at hotels. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:28, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
K7L: if Marriott "tried th[at] in 2014", they were late adopters. The Choice Hotels group was doing it at least as early as 2011 (albeit not with envelopes; the setup was a plastic tray with a 3x5 card on it reminding guests to tip). Your concerns about tip creep are well-noted and arguably valid, but Wikivoyage is not the place for them: our duty is to report things as they are, not to advocate for the way we would like them to be.
Granger - My hotel experience runs the gamut from dirt-cheap roadside motels through mid-range airport chains up to swanky high-rise properties in downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls, so I can speak with some authority when I say that if you were to chart out the propensity to tip (whether it be housekeepers, bellhops, shuttle drivers, etc.) on a graph, it would form a bell curve. Folks who stay at places like Econo Lodge or Super 8 have a tendency to be (not to put too fine a point on it) ignorant of and/or apathetic to basic human etiquette, let alone tipping etiquette. Not to mention the fact that most of the time the reason they're staying at Econo Lodge or Super 8 is precisely because they don't have a lot of extra money to throw around. Meantime, those who stay at high-end chains like the JW Marriott, where Sonia Rosales from K7L's first link works, tend to assume (rightly or, usually, wrongly) that employees are paid commensurately with the number of stars in the hotel's rating, and thus "don't need" to be tipped. It's in the mid-range where hotel employees can most reliably expect tips. (Interestingly, the same bell curve applies to "complimentary" WiFi, breakfast, etc.: low-end places often don't offer such amenities at all; high-end ones do, but know they can get away with making guests pay extra for them.)
Anyhow, regardless of any of the foregoing, the fact remains that it's already made clear by the text in the article that there's no actual requirement to tip under any circumstances. A parenthetical "(optional)" next to housekeepers would be redundant.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:38, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it's redundant. Tipping waitstaff and hairdressers is technically optional but absolutely expected in US culture. It's obvious from the links that K7L provided that the same is not true of tipping housekeeping. We should indicate this in the article somehow, if not with the word "optional" then at least with a note saying that many Americans choose not to tip housekeeping. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:01, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I'll defer this to people who have actually worked in the industry since I don't, but I wish to point out that news articles like that are hardly the most reliable sources for information on tipping. For instance, I have seen so many travel articles say that tipping is widely practised and expected in Hong Kong, but this couldn't be farther from the truth. Having been to Hong Kong multiple times and interacted with the locals, I can assure you that the locals in Hong Kong usually do not tip unless there was something extraordinary about the service. Likewise, I have seen articles (on CNN Travel, among several) advise tourists to tip at restaurants in Australia, which I think is misleading because having lived there, I can say with certainty that tipping is generally not part of Australian culture. I'm not going to take sides on this debate as I am not qualified to do so, and I have already stated what I've been told in the first post, but I'm just saying that I'd be very careful about trusting sources like that without careful verification.
And as a side note, the first time I ever set foot on U.S. soil was in 2000, so the practice of tipping hotel housekeeping did not start that recently. Even back in 2000 I was advised by the tour guide to do so. The dog2 (talk) 01:28, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
"...if not with the word "optional" then at least with a note saying that many Americans choose not to tip housekeeping" - There's absolutely nothing that serves the traveller in encouraging them not to tip where appropriate. Sorry, I'm not going to be convinced otherwise. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:47, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Although this is just a personal opinion, I will say that in the U.S., I'd err on the side of tipping for occupations that lie in the grey area. Even if it is true that a significant number of Americans don't tip housekeeping, why risk upsetting people? A significant number of Americans do tip housekeeping too, so it most certainly would not be odd for you to do so. In any case, if you can afford to travel to the U.S. as a foreign tourist, tipping a few dollars probably isn't going to make you go broke. The dog2 (talk) 17:27, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Precisely my point. And, conversely, what will not tipping do for a traveller? They'll make few friends, they'll get poor service, and if they're particularly unlucky, they might end up on the receiving end of one of those verbal scoldings the article warns about (they're not uncommon!) Worse yet, they'll contribute to the enmity among foreign travellers that people in tipped professions already feel, so that poor service and disinclination toward friendliness will carry over to future tourists as well. Really, I can't believe we're even having this discussion. The choice, essentially, is between telling tourists to be selfish assholes and telling them not to be selfish assholes; how is it even a matter of debate which of those is preferable? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:53, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I normally leave a tip for housekeeping in the room when I check out, so I get no benefit in service from tipping. However, I tend to be friendly with housekeepers during my stay (though not in such a way as to get in the way of their work - they are usually quite busy!) Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:36, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
Some people do that; others leave a little bit for every morning of a multi-night stay. Given that a certain hotel room might not be assigned to the same housekeeper from one day to another, employees tend to prefer the latter. And there's still the matter of the next tourist down the line - for whom the reader, and his tip or lack thereof, has played a role in establishing an advance reputation. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:56, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
I remember one visit to the US where I was severely jetlagged on arrival, and really had no idea why the hotel concierge who brought room-service looked so mortified when I just thanked him (with no tip). It dawned on me the next morning!
AFAIK, most of the world thinks that tipping in the US is a very bad way to compensate workers, but regardless tipping 20% or so is the convention for most services. Can we just not make it easy and advise to tip a standard rate for restaurants, and like 5-10 dollars for things like housekeeping? Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:45, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There are countries I have been to like Thailand and Vietnam where the locals don't tip, but some establishments (which are typically tourist traps, and not restaurants that a local will typically visit) ask tourists for tips because they are seen as "rich" and a source of "easy money", and I typically do not tip in such scenarios. Of course that's clearly not the case in the U.S., where tipping is very much a part of the local culture. But in any case, for now, I think the figures suggested are reasonable. If the average figures go up some time in the future, we can always edit the article but as I previously said, our job here at WV is to inform potential visitors about how much a local would typically tip, not to advocate for or against tipping culture. The dog2 (talk) 00:18, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

I agree with you guys. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:36, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

State MilitaryEdit

I know this is a minor thing, but in the "Government and politics", I thought it might be worth a brief mention that individual US states sometimes maintain their own state military separate from the US military. If my understanding is correct, this is fairly unique as Australian states and Canadian provinces are not allowed to maintain their own militaries. The only other similar case I know of is Malaysia, where the state of Johor is the only one with its own state military that is separate from the Malaysian Armed Forces. AndreCarrotflower disagrees with this, so I thought I'd just like to clarify the situation. From what I know, Texas has the Texas State Guard, New York has the New York Guard and the New York Naval Militia, California has the California State Military Reserve, and so on. To my knowledge, these units are maintained by and answer only to their respective state governments, and the federal government has no authority over them whatsoever. I know that not all US states have state militaries, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe these units qualify as state militaries separate from the US military. I know this is anecdotal, but I recall hearing from my peers back in Singapore military that when they had a bilateral exercise in Texas, they noticed that the US Army was constantly under the watchful eye of the Texas Army throughout the exercise. The dog2 (talk) 17:23, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

This is exactly the sort of minor detail that travellers don't need to know about and we don't need to argue over. The article is not diminished by leaving it out. There are lots of other articles out there that need our attention more. Whether or not states have the constitutional authority to raise a militia will not affect a traveller's journey in the U.S. Please move on from this article. Ground Zero (talk) 18:10, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
Sub-national units having their own military fotmations is not that uncommon. For what it's worth, a certain Austrian corporal was a volunteer in this Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:04, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
Anyway, The dog2 has misunderstood. This isn't pre-Civil War America. the National Guard is ultimately answerable to the Federal government and cannot be used to fight other states or take independent action to attack foreign countries. Many National Guard volunteers were transported at the order of the leadership of their branch (Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.) to Iraq or Afghanistan or both, and quite a few died. If you want to read some basic information about the National Guard, there's a Wikipedia article about them. I see no reason to mention them in this _travel_ article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:08, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm not referring to the National Guard. I'm referring to the State Guard or state defence forces, which unlike the National Guard cannot be federalised. This is the Wikipedia article about what I'm actually referring to. I understand this is not essential, but if these qualify as state militaries, it could just be an interesting tidbit about the US that the Constitution protects states' rights to the extent that individual states can raise their own militaries if they wish. This is something you don't see in many other countries. Even in Malaysia, Johor is the only state that has its own army; the other states are not allowed to. But anyway, this is just a minor thing and leaving it out is no big deal either. The dog2 (talk) 01:37, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] The fact that I've never heard of these might be some indication of how widely-known and newsworthy these forces are. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:53, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
The Texas State Guard actually made the news before. Here's the news article. Of course, the fact that Texas is allowed to maintain its own state army does not mean the constitution allows it to wage war with the federal government, but it's an interesting footnote nonetheless. The dog2 (talk) 19:24, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
I've lived in New York all my life and had no idea we had a New York Guard and a Naval Militia. It is interesting trivia, but it's just simply not at all relevant to travelers. It's barely relevant to residents. Powers (talk) 22:27, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Major retail chainsEdit

The removal of the major retail chains section was proposed by @Andrewssi2: on Oct 29 as part of a larger discussion on reducing the ever-growing length of this article. There was no objection over the following six weeks of discussion until @AndreCarrotflower: made the proposed deletion.

It restored today by @LtPowers: without discussion and with an edit summary "Please discuss on talk if there's disagreement". It should not have been restored without discussion.

I object to restoring this section. It isn't needed, and there is already lots of information in this article that is more directly useful to travellers. We don't give preference to national chains over local or independent businesses elsewhere in Wikivoyage, and shouldn't here. Ground Zero (talk) 22:39, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

I apologize for not seeing the previous discussion. But of course we do give preference to national chains; see Fast food in the United States and Canada for instance. Is it not useful for travelers to have some idea what a store sells before walking in? Powers (talk) 22:43, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
If this were a "Shopping in the USA" article, I wouldn't argue, but in the article for the whole country, the "but it's useful" argument is how we get to an article so long and unwieldy that it isn't useful at all. We don't list hotels chains, we don't list restaurant chains, we don't list gas station chains, all of which have a clearer link to travel than the retail chains listed (per WV: relevant). And I wouldn't want to see those added here because this article should not attempt to be a compendium of everything you might want to know about the United States. Ground Zero (talk) 23:05, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Ground Zero on this. Fast food in the United States and Canada is an article about a specific kind of business that is mostly by nature a chain. That doesn't equate to giving preference to those chains; as a matter of fact, the main impetus behind the creation of that article was precisely so that we could relegate the information about those chains into a single article and excise it from just about every other article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:00, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Wouldn't - with that in mind - a shopping in the United States article make sense? Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:51, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:32, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Any such article should mention independent shops, too. For example, "antiquing" is a big deal in parts of the country. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:33, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
The "Places for shopping"" and "major retail chains" subsections would be a good basis for such an article. I would support that. Ground Zero (talk) 02:42, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
While I agree that we should not be touting here, letting people know about national and regional change in some for could be useful information for travellers, provided it is done in a fair and neutral way. For instance, saying that Nordstrom generally caters a richer clientele than Macy's and hence, tends to carry more luxury brands, would be a fair statement. And I agree that if someone is will to plunge forward to create the Shopping in the United States article, that would be useful.
Speaking of which, on to a separate issue, I actually think that we should expand somewhat on the section about banks. It may not be that relevant for tourists, but if you are travelling to the US to study or work, then the first step to getting settled would be to set up a bank account. Even short-term business travellers who travel to the US regularly, who are clearly within our scope at WV, could potentially find such information useful as such people might actually want to open US bank accounts for convenience sake. While we should not tout, I think providing information about the largest banks would be useful, but with the caveat that we should state that no bank has a presence everywhere in the US. This is actually in contrast to places like Australia, where ANZ pretty much has a presence in every single town, even in more remote areas. The dog2 (talk) 04:45, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
What kind of stuff are you thinking of adding to the banking section? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:23, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
I was thinking of adding back what the big six banks are (Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, US Bank and PNC), and that these are found in multiple locations in the US, though no single bank has nationwide coverage, and some areas completely lack the presence of large banks (eg. Hawaii). And perhaps also a mention that every area also has some small local banks, without having to mention what those banks are. The dog2 (talk) 06:55, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
How is this information useful? By the way, Chase has little to no presence in areas of Upstate New York that I visited a couple of summers ago (not to mention in Montreal). Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:14, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
I'd say it's analogous to information about banking in other countries' articles, as business travellers to the US may want to know what the large banks are if they need to travel to multiple cities, as the large banks are more likely to have branches in multiple cities. But in any case, I think we do need to point out that no bank has nationwide coverage, and that in some areas small, local banks are your only option, even if the consensus is not to list any specific banks. This is unlike many other countries where the large banks tend to have good coverage nationwide. The dog2 (talk) 07:35, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
I understand. This is making sense to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:50, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
Would be interesting to know how a non US resident can get service out of a US bank? With the exception of using credit and some debit cards in an ATM I have had little success getting any other service from them as a tourist and for business must use US registered company and employee. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:10, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
Depends on which banks, but at least as far as I know, the large banks like Wells Fargo, Chase and Citibank will allow foreigners on tourist visas to open personal accounts. Of course, the large banks are probably better set up for accounts with foreign addresses than a small local bank. If you're a business traveller, a US personal account might actually be useful as it will allow you to store money for your personal expenses in the US, especially if you travel to the US regularly. The dog2 (talk) 08:34, 25 December 2017 (UTC)
This is all useful information, but too much for the main article. How about creating separate articles for this info so it's available for those who need it, but doesn't overwhelm the USA article? Maybe a "Working or studying in the United States" article would be a useful addition. This could also capture some of the visa information that we have in the main article. Ground Zero (talk) 12:29, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Working and studying articleEdit

I've created the Shopping in the United States article. What do people think about a Working and studying in the United States article? Ground Zero (talk) 14:16, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

There's already an article about universities called Touring prestigious and notable universities in the U.S. and there's also a section devoted to the United States in the Studying abroad article, so I won't mind combining information from both of those into an article specifically about studying in the U.S. Working is a separate issue though, and if created, should have its own article.
Regarding banks, it's not just relevant to people studying or working. The large banks allow tourists to open bank accounts too, and it would not be inconceivable for a tourist to want to open a bank account. The US is not like Japan, South Korea or Taiwan where you need to have a local address and long term visa to open a bank account. If you travel to the US regularly, or even if you are doing an extended tour (which you can for up to 90 days without a visa for VWP nationals, and 180 days if you have an actual visa or if you are Canadian), a bank account would most certainly be useful as you won't need to carry large wads of cash with you. The dog2 (talk) 00:54, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
Good tips on where to pull information into a new article. Thanks.
Although working and studying are very different issues, they are both covered in the same article now, aren't they? Moving them from the USA article to a "Working and studying" article would allow us to keep some information, like banking, in one place.
While few general tourists may decide to open bank accounts, almost all people working and studying in the US would want to do so, so wouldn't it be more useful to put banking info in the working and studying article (or articles), and put a pointer to that information from the USA article for those general readers who do want that information? That way we avoid loading more detailed information into an already long and cumbersome general article. Ground Zero (talk) 03:21, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
If the information is easily accessed, then I won't mind moving it to a different article. While it is true that most casual tourists in the US will not want to open a bank account, the fact is that that is an available option should you wish to do so, so I think we should have the information readily available for those who wish to exercise that option. Let's wait and see what everyone else says before we do anything though. The dog2 (talk) 22:38, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
We should always put prominent links to direct readers to supplementary information, e.g. See also: or Main: at the top of a section.
I've looked at this further, and I agree with your suggestion of having two articles:
We might be able to move some of the visa information from the USA article to these articles.
I would put the discussion of bank accounts in the Working in the United States article, and link to it from United States of America#Money and Studying in the United States. Ground Zero (talk) 15:02, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
There has been previous talk about the Touring prestigious and notable universities in the U.S. as problematic. Maybe it's time to unarchive Talk:United States of America/Archive 2013-2015#Separate Study in the United States article, whose last post was actually made in December, 2016 by me. I'll go ahead and do that. Also see threads in Talk:Touring prestigious and notable universities in the U.S.. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:00, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Unarchived below. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:03, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing that discussion forward for those of us who are still relatively new here. I think that Touring... and Studying... are very different travel topics, and should be kept separate (but linked). Students will be focused on academic qualities of a university, while touridts will be more interested in the architecture and grounds (I'm generalizing, but I don't think I'm wrong here).
I know someone with MBAs from India and Canada who, for vacations, drags his family around to campuses in the northeastern US. People do that. Rolling that article, however problematic it is, into other articles who do a disservice to a segment of the travelling population. Ground Zero (talk) 16:14, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

Separate Study in the United States articleEdit

I'm thinking to create a Study in the United States article in order that all the detailed information about studying in the United States can be collected. This would help the main United States article by shortening the overall length as well as removing information for something that isn't actually a core travel topic and therefore not relevant to most travelers.

It has also been suggested to merge the content of Touring_prestigious_and_notable_universities_in_the_U.S. into this new article as well.

Any thoughts or comments appreciated. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:38, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Just that I'm in support of this. I doubt a lot of people have been doing a search by using "Touring prestigious and notable universities in the U.S." as a search term. Whatever can be salvaged from that article for your proposed article and for good content for local articles (like info about Salve Regina University for the Newport (Rhode Island) guide) should be merged as appropriate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:45, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Sure thing. I will wait a week or so before doing any serious work on this, just because interested people may be away from WV for the holidays. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:23, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I also support this. There's probably a lot of information that isn't being covered but should be, such as general timetables (when to take standardized tests, when to submit applications, arranging visits/tours, etc.). --Bigpeteb (talk) 19:03, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Be bold, plunge forward and do it! Purplebackpack89 20:53, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Just a second thought, could I merge into the United States section of Studying_abroad ? Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:51, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Yep. And separate it into a different article when it gets too long. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:59, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Done. There may be some redundancy in the new article so would be great for someone to check it out. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:02, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
That's all good, but before the Touring_prestigious_and_notable_universities_in_the_U.S. can be deleted, some person or persons have to go through the article and copy all useful information to relevant local guides, where some of these universities may be good to put in "See" sections. It would be a good thing to do, but it will also take a lot of work. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:36, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
We never got around to dealing with this. Anyone want to participate in moving content in Touring_prestigious_and_notable_universities_in_the_U.S. to local guides as relevant, so that we can merge the eventually blank topic to Studying abroad? What would be the best way to coordinate efforts? Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:18, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Unarchived from Talk:United States of America/Archive 2013-2015 for ease in reading, now that the topic is again being discussed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:03, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
I definitely support this idea. The information from Touring_prestigious_and_notable_universities_in_the_U.S. can most certainly be merged with Studying abroad#United States. And we can add in information about application deadlines, procedures, standardised tests and the like. We can even add information about different types of tertiary institutions like religious colleges, historically black colleges and so on.
With regards to people who are interested in touring famous universities, I think a redirect would suffice. I highly doubt the first thing you will searching for is "Touring American Universities". So in any case, I think that searching for "Studying in the United States" makes a lot more sense, and people can decide for themselves whether they actually want to apply, or if they just want to visit the university as a tourist. The dog2 (talk) 01:55, 31 December 2017 (UTC)


The sports section is, I believe, not just long, but disproportionately long compared to other subjects covered here. I made a bunch of edits, that I can defend:

  • There is no need to tell the reader about league teams that are outside of the US - this article is not about the leagues or the sports, but about the US. The locations of non-US teams can be covered in the articles about the sports (Baseball in the United States, American football, etc.) To reduce the disproportionate length of this section, we can leave these details out.
  • The football section covers the Super Bowl, which is the championship game, like the other league paragraphs. The Pro Bowl is football's all-star game. The other league paragraphs do not cover the all-star games, so this is also detail that is best left to the detailed article.
  • The detail about rugby splitting into league and association is only tangentially related to the United States of America. That can go into the American football article if desired.
  • The details about exactly which European countries a fraction of NHL players come from belong in the Ice hockey in North America article, not in the United States of America article. It just isn't important to very many travellers to the US. Let's try to keep this article focused on the US of A, please.
  • Telling the reader that Indycar also holds races in Canada and Brazil makes it clear that we are focusing on informing them about Indycar, rather than focusing on giving them information germane to their trip to the US. There is a link to the Indycar site for more detailed information.
  • The edits in the college sports sections say the same thing in fewer words. Long-windedness is never a virtue, unless you're getting paid by the word. We aren't, and readers are getting paid by the word to read this.
  • As far as the edit summary that "some of the new wordings are just not... proper English", I'll ask @Hobbitschuster: to explain himself there. I found two small typos: "ithe world's" instead of "and the world's", and "football player elsewhere" instead of "football played elsewhere". These typos don't warrant a reversion, let alone bothering to comment about. Ground Zero (talk) 23:25, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
It has been said, that Americans only care about other countries playing a sport if the best players from those countries come to play the sport in the US or get beat by the US in some international event. So why would a - say - Norwegian person follow US sports? Well either because it is the best league in the world in the given sport or because there is Norwegians playing in it - maybe even a distant relative or someone from the same general area. Why should we mention major sports events of US leagues outside the US? Well maybe someone wants to choose where to go for seeing a [insert big sports league here] game and is not at all dead-set on having it in the US but maybe they are under the misapprehension that Indycar is only in the US or the NFL is only ever in the lower 48. Informing about races in Brazil or the Pro Bowl in Hawai'i helps those readers. On another note, the Pro Bowl has had a semi-permanent home in Hawai'i for most of its history. Roger Goodel has seen fit to change that, but I am not sure whether any other all star game has a fixed home, so therefore this might be notable. Also, "football" is about the most unclear word in the English language, as it refers to a wide variety of sports played on foot (as opposed to horseback) and involving air filled objects originally (or still) made from leather. Virtually all codes of football are or have been played on virtually all inhabited continents. There has been a German champion of American Football every year since 1979 and American soccer has had its ups and downs, but some teams do draw admirably. And that's not even getting into Gaelic or Australian Rules Football. As for Rugby, the parenthesis about when the split occurred may seem unnecessary, but it makes it easier to contextualize the history, plus Rugby League bears some remote similarity to American Football where Rugby Union does not and we should dispel the notion wherever it arises that this isn't just two people on both sides of the pond having the same good idea (the team that was tackled should keep the ball, but for a set number of tackles unless some condition is met). Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:49, 27 December 2017 (UTC)
So if people want information about American sports taking place outside of the USA, it would make sense to have that information in articles about American sports, as opposed to in the article about the USA. It is a mistake to make the USA article a great big imponderable compendium of everything about the United States and all things American. It is challenging enough to write a good travel article about such a big country without dumping in a whole bunch of stuff about American things not in the United States. I have no objection to telling people about these things, but there is no reason why everything has to be in this one article. We have other articles in Wikivoyage too. We can contextualize the history of rugby in the American football article, for example.
I would appreciate a response to my question about my edits not being "proper English". It is only fair that you explain that. Ground Zero (talk) 01:02, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
The thing about American football not being football played elsewhere. That's wrong factually and was wrong grammatically. American football is played outside the US and plenty of people use the term "Football" for it. Germans for one. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:21, 28 December 2017 (UTC)
There is nothing grammatically wrong with "It has virtually nothing in common with football played elsewhere (Americans know that sport as soccer)."
"Football played elsewhere" is obviously a generalization, and noone would read that as meaning American football is never played outside of the USA. This is a travel guide, not a legal document, so generalizations are permitted.
Replacing "football played elsewhere" with "association football" replaces a common term with one not that is not understood in the US and Canada. Since this article is about the USA, we needn't worry about Americans reading it; we're just leaving out Canadians, but that's okay, we're used to being ignored. More to the point, I can live with change. It's not a big deal. Ground Zero (talk) 02:06, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
People who care about soccer should know the term "association football". If they don't they are not real fans. Or their English is lacking. And it is the only unambiguous term that does not send some overly provincial people into fits of rage like "soccer" does. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:35, 29 December 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, I think we should use "association football" as that's the unambiguous term. If you say "football played elsewhere", the could be ambiguous depending in where you are from. An Australian would interpret that as Australian rules football or rugby league, depending on which part of Australia he/she is from. A Canadian would understand that as Canadian football, a New Zealander might understand that to be rugby union, and so on. So even if it's not a common term, that's pretty much the only way we can keep this unambiguous. The dog2 (talk) 00:27, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
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