Alternative place names?

Paul Eggert eggert at
Wed Sep 27 21:59:59 UTC 2000

Oscar van Vlijmen <o.van.vlijmen at> writes:

> I am NOT proposing to change the Theory rules, but I wonder: population
> count, popularity, media exposure all change, a capital hardly or not.

Actually, capitals change suprisingly often.  E.g. Kazakhstan changed
its capital in 1997, and then changed the capital's name in 1998.
(Good thing they didn't use new time zone rules too, or we'd have had
to track that mess.)  Even China, the most populous country in the
world, changed its capital twice in the last century (in 1928 and
again in 1949) and there was a period in which the location of its
capital was in serious dispute.

Capitals are political creatures, and we are trying to avoid politics
here as much as possible, so I don't want to give the "capitalness" of
a city much weight.

> Chung is a British transliteration (Wade, 1867), indeed: tch'ong is the
> French EFEO (1902) transliteration, but k'ing is the French transliteration
> for pinyin qing, whereas ch'ing would be the British transliteration.

The name "Chungking" is not a systematic transliteration; it is merely
traditional.  It's probably the weakest of the existing Chinese names,
i.e. the one where there is the strongest reason to change, as I get
the feeling that the Pinyin transliteration "Chongqing" is gaining
wide popularity in ordinary English usage.  Google reports 38k
English-language hits for "Chongqing" and 21k for "Chungking", so if
we were choosing now "Chongqing" might well be the winner.  But I'm
not sure that this is enough to change an established name.
Oscar van Vlijmen <o.van.vlijmen at> writes:

Paul Hill writes:

> Someone said there is the rule: every country gets at least one entry.
> Is this implemented in practice?  Every country including all small
> countries that share zones (like the Caribbean)?

Yes.  In hindsight this rule was probably unwise, as countries are
also political creatures.  Not sure I want to change it now, though.

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