Talk:Barnstable County, Massachusetts

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WikiProject United States / Massachusetts / Cape Cod and the Islands / Counties (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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This article is supported by WikiProject Massachusetts - Cape Cod and the Islands (marked as Mid-importance).
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This article is supported by WikiProject U.S. counties.


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Yeh, well, this is a tough page to design. The reason is that all the entities you might want to put on it are fixed-width. The code is not accessible. That design feature is a design non-feature as far as I am concerned. What design? We have to accept all the constraints. I certainly am NOT going to give any advice as I know what the typical WP response to advice is, but if someone should happen to be a programmer for WP and if that someone should support the concept of more design flexibility, then it seems to me it might be an enhancement to evaluate whether the capability of entering width parameters should be coded as a rule.Branigan 12:53, 29 November 2012 (UTC)


I'm not sure if it's correct to say that Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Cod. Parts of Bourne and Sandwich are on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal, and therefore are not part of the Cape.

No, there are a number of regions, such as Cape Cod, Cape Ann, and many others that have no legal definition. They are just traditional regions. What I've been doing for the pictures anyway is make them into holding categories for the towns and cities in them. In articles, I think we should say "Cape Cod includes ... and parts of ...." Other regions are at the village level, such as Hyannisport, which is far more famous than Hyannis. Still, it has to be under Hyannis.Branigan 12:45, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Cape Cod is coextensive with Barnstable County. The act establishing the Cape Cod Commission begins:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: SECTION 1. The general court hereby finds and declares that:

(a) The region commonly known as Cape Cod, comprised of Barnstable county, including all geographic areas to the jurisdictional limit of the commonwealth, possesses unique natural, coastal, scientific, historical, cultural, architectural, archaeological, recreational, and other values; there is a regional, state and national interest in protecting, preserving and enhancing these values; and these values are being threatened and may be irreparably damaged by uncoordinated or inappropriate uses of the region's land and other resources.
Geologically speaking, Cape Cod is not defined by the canal, though nowadays most people consider it to be. Eric talk 02:44, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Page design[edit]

Whew, I did the best I could to produce a compact and good-looking page without the ability to vary widths, as these tables and graphs are all coded with fixed widths. I managed to keep everything that was there. Of course if you can do a better looking page, please do. An article consisting of lists of lists I do not find too appealing. By the time you get to the bottom you forget what the top said. List articles are distinct and say list at the top. This isn't supposed to be one.Branigan 13:00, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Discussion of the history section[edit]

We are fortunate to have a second editor on this to back me up. I think however he goes a bit far, so discussion of his mark-ups is going to be necessary. Doesn't bother me| I think the result will be better with two pairs of eyes on it. In this section I will discuss the changes.Branigan 21:03, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Bracketing out the subsection. I plan another section on the settlement of Barnstable County, short I hope. You can help me to keep it short. Meanwhile I am putting the subsection title back in.
  • "whetting a competitive interest of the other monarchies of Europe in establishing claims to the lands north of New Spain.[citation needed] The geographic details of these lands were unknown except for scattered reports of private voyagers, but not for long.[citation needed]" These were intended as transitional sentences - you state the obvious to retain the thread. However, we could condense by cutting them out. Note that you do not necessarily have to place a tag to get my attention. I'm developing this section now so I'll be on it until done. If you want to suggest something in the discussion, fine, or even help to write it. I may do some condensation myself.
  • The shoals, the cape, the coast of Maine. These are all covered in the ref, which I guess you did not have time to check. WP provides the named ref for such cases, which I will use, but you know, it only multiplies the footnotes. Say, you know, this is getting interesting. I'm glad you are along. I'll be doing this for the county series where warranted so if you want to tag along as my watchdog that is fine with me. I sort of feel validated and I am sure it must make you feel good too.
  • Coast of Maine. That is the prevailing view. You have that suggestion of original research just a few words from the ref! However, I will allow you some mistakes. We can't be perfect editors. I suppose it seemed suspicious to you on first reading. It might be better to check some refs, but I appreciate having suspicious-looking material tagged also. Now, there are minority opinions that the cliffs and pine forests were near Plymouth. It is a minority opinion because the coast of MA does not look like that and the author skipped right over Boston and Cape Ann. I guess it could have been Cape Ann. What we can do if you don't want to just accept the prevalent view is mention the author by name: "according to so-and-so..." or state that there are different views and list some locations. Each one of those will take a ref. It's up to you. You can either do it yourself or state here what you would like.
  • Name of Cape Cod. I have not has a chance to put the ref in. It will be there.
I noted several phrases which express conjecture without indicating who is expressing it. The reader can only assume that it is Wikipedia that is conjecturing, i.e. presenting OR. Even if the conjecture is supported by the source we need to write it so it's clear that it comes from the source, i.e. "which, Joe Doe says, must be the coast of Maine" or use a direct quotation "is clearly referring to the coast of Maine"[1] with attribution. Jojalozzo 21:42, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the interest in the article. I'm pulling out of it now. I know I said I would be with it, and I did intend to be, but the situation has changed. I noticed that a coastline of Barnstable County is given. It is not in the cited ref but I did find it in a book. I wanted to reference the ambiguity of coastline figures so I checked some material on the Richardson Effect under Coastline I had written in 2008 and found there a situation leading to my current decision. You can read it on my UP and discussion pages. Nevertheless I think this article was improved by me. Do what you think best. Luck.Branigan 17:00, 5 December 2012 (UTC)


The phrase "3.6% spoke English" is using a very low number. This might be vandalism for 93.6% — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:04, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

A more accurate figure appears now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

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Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Barnstable County, Massachusetts and Cape Cod be merged into a single article. The reason is because the two places are coextensive with each other. I don't have an opinion on which of the two names I prefer. (talk) 17:59, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Disagree, for reasons that one represents the county government, the other a geographic feature. By this logic Formosa should be merged with Taiwan, the Pioneer Valley should merge with Franklin County, Hampshire County, and Hampden County... and Suffolk County should be Boston. These two should remain separate for formality's sake.--Simtropolitan (talk) 20:52, 31 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Disagree for the same reasons as Simtropolitan. Jokullmusic 16:37, 5 January 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jokullmusic (talkcontribs)
  • Strong disagree as above. J 1982 (talk) 22:48, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Disagree. Understandable proposal, but seems better to leave county government article separate from geo/cultural one. Eric talk 01:43, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Disagree as per above, although recognize this suggestion was made in good faith. "Coextensive" =/= "identical."Bigturtle (talk) 01:46, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Disagree. The county consists of Cape Cod and associated islands. So not exactly coextensive; the cape is a subset of the county; albeit a very, very large subset. – wbm1058 (talk) 04:00, 22 December 2019 (UTC)