1864: "City Nicknames"

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Re: 1864: "City Nicknames"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:42 am UTC

Well, a City in the UK is an honorific status explicitly granted by the monarch (Reading is not a city, population ~230k, St Davids is a city, population ~2k - yes, two thousand… or maybe double that counting when the tourist coaches are in town for the day!) and mostly perpetual, without being automatic upon demographic attainment or even available as a self-appointment by the locality.

Though, personally, the Klaxon answer I would traditionally have given would have been that it requires a Minster (or the very slightly more upscale Cathedral - the distinction being fuzzy, certainly it isn't due to Bishops as York Minster has one of them, quite famously, nor strictly due to containing the cognately-named Monestary).

And the relative populations of the City of London (a tad over seven thousand) and the neighbouring City of Westminster (maybe 220 thousand) vs the non-city of Greater London as a whole (almost 9 million) is a useful trick question to at least roughly know how to answer... ;) Southwark, a fellow London-not-a-city district, that is also not individually a city, has a Cathedral/Bishop and 30k population, BTW!

(Universities, as a supposed sign of City Status, lost popular currency when Polytechnics/etc were 'upgraded'. And there are a number of cities/maybe-large-towns with "University Of City" (original establishment, whether a Stone And Spires older-than-America type, the C19th 'upstart' Red Brick intermediates or Plate Glass ones from the 1960s) that now also sport a City Othername University (in a mix of everything from Brutalist Concrete to Glass-Clad Steel, depending on the phases of architectural development it indulged in, pre- and post-conversion). Never mind various University Of Nebulously Large Geographic Area established afresh (or virtually so) often in one or several green-grass-and-plastics campuses made to service the nominal catchment. I recall when Preston Polytechnic (with Preston being a city of around 220k, currently) that had become Lancashire Polytechnic was threatening to take on the name of Lancashire University, to objections by the established Lancaster University (at the nymotopical county-town and city of 50k, at the edge-of-rurality northern tip of Lancashire) who feared confusion or devaluing of the name. I think it then decided upon University of Central Lancashire. I never did hear what Universty College London had to say on the subject, but it looks like they settled upon "UCLan" as their abbreviated form.)

((I was once very tempted to go to the early-C19th Lampeter University (a quiet backwater in the University Of Wales network, in the <3k populated town of Lampeter), except they didn't do subjects that mapped well with me. Though Aberystwyth Uni (late-C19th founding, town currently of 13k) in the same Welsh grouping was attractive enough for a UCCA-related visit. But enough about me and University Non-cities I Have Known… :P))

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Re: 1864: "City Nicknames"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:06 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I remember arriving in NYC on a Greyhound from (I think) Bangor, ME at like 4am. Place looked pretty damned sleepy to me.
That's an old name. The city is probably about just as noctural as it was 90 years ago, but since then the rest of the world has changed. Especially the US which were traditionally an early to bed, early to rise people.

Also were you perhaps in one of the office districts? They have a daytime population of about 10 million and a nighttime population of about 100,000.
I have the impression that the bar for citydom in the US is much lower.
The legal definition of "city" is the only exact one and it basically comes down to whatever the state government wants to permit to have the "city" type of local government (the other types of sub-governments the states can grant being counties and townships, townships are similar to British boroughs in scope).

In common usage town starts at about 5,000 people. A city would be around 200,000 (counting people technically outside the city limits).
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Re: 1864: "City Nicknames"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:35 pm UTC

Out here in California, counties are administrative subdivisions of the state; everywhere in the state is in exactly one county or another. Meanwhile cities are incorporated municipalities, as distinguished from any other kind of unincorporated community (who fall directly under county jurisdiction), and as far as I know have no lower bound in size. For example I live in an unincorporated community in the Ojai Valley in Ventura County, and the whole valley of ~40k people is basically all one continuous community for practical purposes, but only a small area of about ~6k people constitute the City of Ojai proper. Other terms like "town" are completely informal and not exclusive; I would describe the whole valley community here as a "town" collectively, but that has no legal meaning.
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