street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby DwarfLord » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:26 am

A friend from Mexico just told me that street signs there typically capitalize the leading letter. So even there it would be "El Camino Real" not "el Camino Real". Middle articles are different, you might have "Plaza del Rey" for example. But leading "el" and "la" are capitalized.

So, when it comes to Spanish "el" and "la" in US street names, my approach will be to capitalize when they lead, unless there's evidence that the locality for whatever reason has systematically embraced the opposite. I've yet to encounter such a locality but maybe one is out there :?
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby JennRairy » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:25 am

In American English street names are proper nouns (specifically proper names) and the general rule for proper names in English is to capitalize them. Using a non-English word as a street identifier makes the name a proper name regardless of the translation. All street names for roads in the US should have first letter capitalized.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby kentsmith9 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:04 pm

I agree that I have never seen a lower case Spanish (or English) word or name on a street sign.

Therefore the only exception I think we have in our naming of a road is when we start with "to" as in the wayfinders.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby kentsmith9 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:14 am

sketch wrote:Wayfinders were never supposed to have "to". Something got lost in translation from proposal to wikification. Having Waze show you "to I-55 / Jackson" when you're already on I-55 heading towards Jackson is misleading and confusing. I made clear in my initial proposal for wayfinders that this was the one instance where "to" is not used on a ramp segment.

Are you differentiating between
* ramp wayfinders
* freeway splits
* Wayfinder segments
The ramp splits for exits need the "to I-280 N" and "to I-280 S" in the ramp names. If you are only commenting on whether the "to" is needed on a freeway to freeway split, then I am open to that conversation.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby kentsmith9 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:38 am

sketch wrote:My definiton of "wayfinder" encompasses only those situations where you're already on a given road and need guidance as to how to stay on that road. A "ramp-to-ramp split" is not a wayfinder.

Maybe we should start with just this. If you are on a ramp (not freeway) and the ramp splits to two ramps, what do you call the message or sign you get for which side of the split to take?

Do you use the term pathfinder separately of wayfinder, or are they interchangeable to you?
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby kentsmith9 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:06 pm

sketch wrote:
kentsmith9 wrote:Maybe we should start with just this. If you are on a ramp (not freeway) and the ramp splits to two ramps, what do you call the message or sign you get for which side of the split to take?

Do you use the term pathfinder separately of wayfinder, or are they interchangeable to you?

I use them interchangeably. As far as I can tell, "wayfinder" was the name agreed upon by most of us for what I introduced as "pathfinder". They serve the same function as reassurance markers, but on big green signs on gantries rather than little shields on the side of the road.

To answer your first question second, I call that either the "big/little green sign" or the "navigation instruction", depending whether we're talking about real life or Waze.

OK. If I may summarize I hear you say that named freeways and other roadways that split can have wayfinders (or pathfinders) in the naming of the segments that help the driver. For ramp-to-ramp splits that may connect these freeways and other roadways, they do not have wayfinders or pathfinders. Instead they just have the BGS or other signage and it is only in these segments that you would include the "to I-280 S" directional information.

I was not constraining the definition of a wayfinder/pathfinder to only the roadways and not the ramps. If yours is the general community consensus, I can take a shot as making the changes to the Wiki to reflect this, but I think most users will not really understand the distinction or reason to separate them.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby PhantomSoul » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:31 pm

Street names are proper nouns, which, in English should start with a capital letter. Also, US DOT is now requiring that replaced signs have correct title case names. That being said, however, if an official street name somewhere starts with a lowercase letter, we should be able to reflect that. We should, however, also remember that official names and names on actual signs can often diverge, especially in places where the name of something may have changed and the local sign authority uses a more conservative approach to replacing signs.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby Riamus » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:36 pm

I think Waze should use the same case as what is official for the street. I know most street signs are in all caps, but you may be able to find official documentation that shows the correct capitalization. If no such documentation exists, I'd opt for what would be correct based on the language. I don't think we have to make the first letter capital "just because."
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby Riamus » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:04 pm

dbraughlr wrote:If we were making a Spanish language map, then we would enter the names in Spanish. If they aren't English already, then they should be translated into English. Given that these are the names that English speakers use and read, they are obviously English.


There are MANY foreign language words used on street signs in the US. US citizens don't just "translate" the official street name into English. They use the official name. If the name is EL CAMINO, then that's what they call the street. They don't call it "The Way." The question is how to write EL CAMINO. The signs will be in all caps, so you can't go by the signs. If this was in Spanish, it could be written as el Camino. There isn't an English way to write the Spanish words because they are not English words and you aren't going to translate it into "The Way." So... do you use the real way of writing that based on the language it comes from or do you always capitalize the first letter no matter what? This has nothing to do with translating anything or in what it would be in English because it's not in English. It's in Spanish or French or some other language even though it's in the US. Personally, I think that if this would be written as "el Camino" in Spain, it should be written the same here. We should have a standard way of writing names for the entire world and not have the same name written in different ways depending on where you are. After all, it is the same name regardless of whether you're in Spain or the US.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby Riamus » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:38 pm

dbraughlr wrote:The official names with the city are capitalized.


As I mentioned in my earlier post, IF there is a verifiable official capitalization available, we should use that. If there is not any official capitalization that can be found (street signs are all capital, so those don't help), then I see no reason not to use the language's capitalization. Do we know that every single road in the US is officially capitalized on the first letter? If so, then that's fine. But I'd imagine there are roads in the US that the official spelling uses a lowercase letter at the beginning. This would be most likely in states near to Mexico or Quebec. I personally do not know one way or another, which is why I said that we should use the official capitalization if available or the language's capitalization if there isn't any available official capitalization present. And in neither case should we use a blanket statement that every road must be capitalized unless there is proof that no roads anywhere in the US are lowercase for the first letter.

dbraughlr wrote:Juneau rhymes with canoe.


Not quite. The ending of Juneau pronounced with a long "o" rather than a long "u" -- [joo-noh] vs. [kuh-noo]. At least that's the pronunciation in Alaska and the dictionary. Maybe Pennsylvania says it differently. But pronunciation isn't really the topic. After all, words are pronounced differently all over, even within the same state. Capitalization on the other hand is the same for any individual road no matter who writes it down (for that specific road and not necessarily for similarly named roads).
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