Q. I work for an art publisher, and all our books include a list of the artist’s exhibitions at the end. In general, to save on space, I do not specify the state or country when the location of the city is well known (New York, Boston, Paris, London, Athens, Zurich, etc.), but my colleague has suggested that this policy is elitist and inconsistent and hard for others to follow because there is no list of “well-known” cities to consult.
A. CMOS agrees with your thinking, which is why we recommend the use of editorial judgment in this matter. The idea that all states and countries must be provided whether or not the reader needs them seems overly rigid, and the suggestion that to do otherwise is “elitist” is specious.