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[freeciv-data] Re: natural city names changed

[freeciv-data] Re: natural city names changed

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To: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: natural city names changed
From: Thanasis Kinias <tkinias@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 08:58:24 -0700
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

scripsit Cameron Morland:
> La 2002-05-01, Miguel Farah skribis:
> > I've been away for some time - as a matter of fact, ever since natural
> > names were being first discussed. I am ready now to take care of the
> > rulesets I made, and am a bit confused over the intention of the
> > feature: I seem to remember that natural names were supposed to be used
> > for city names that clearly identified some terrain condition. For
> > example, a city called "Montefr=EDo" ("cold hill") should be marked as a
> > hill city because of its name, whereas "Barcelona" couldn't be marked as
> > a coastal one because its name doesn't say "coast" anywhere, even if the
> > city actually is. Am i right?
> That was my intention with the patch. If others don't agree, they are free =
> to implement things differently.

The examples given in the source show "Washington (ocean, river, swamp)"
and "New York (!mountains)".  Those examples strongly contradict the
idea that natural city names apply only to the various mounts, havens,
fords, etc.  There's nothing (some citizens' political views
notwithstanding) particularly swampy about Washington, and there's no
particular reason a town in Colorado couldn't be called New York (New
New York, maybe?).

There are also cities like Dnepropetrovsk.  The name means, loosely,
Peter's Dnepr City, Dnepr being a river in Russia.  The name makes sense
only if the city is on the Dnepr--provided you know that Dnepr is a
river.  However, like many old toponyms, there's nothing (AFAIK)
immediately `riverry' about the word Dnepr, and it could just as well be
a rock; that would make Dnepropetrovsk a good name for a hill-town near 
Dnepr rock.

All that having been said, I have found that matching towns to terrain
is not an easy thing to do, particularly with such coarse terrain
classifications as (Free)Civ offers.  Take Kiev:  it's definitely on a
river, but it's just about at the edge of the steppe.  Is it forest,
grassland, or plains?  The only thing for sure is that it's !mountains.

I think I'm coming to favor Miguel's "Montefrío (hills)" style over the
classify-every-city-by-terrain style on the basis of KISS.

That, and Russia is so lousy with waterways that almost every single
place inhabited by humans could arguably qualify for the "river" designation.

Thanasis Kinias
Web Developer, Information Technology
Graduate Student, Department of History
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.

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Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul

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