Given that about half of all visible stars are binary (or more) stars, the Battle of the Binary Stars isn't actually a natural name for an important space battle.

Of course, this might simply be a lack of research by the writers. Other than that, is there any explanation as to why this battle was given this seemingly ambiguous name?

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    Then the Battle of the Bulge must also be the result of a lack of research by the writers. Not all events are given unambiguous names. – BSteinhurst Aug 11 at 3:32
  • @BSteinhurst I didn't mean to say it was a lack of research, just that I didn't want that as an answer. I hope my edit reflects that better. As for the BotB, I'll read a bit about it before getting into it. – Jasper Aug 11 at 12:28
  • I guess most space battles take place in the vicinity of stars with habitable planets. Do we know if half of those are in binary or multiple star systems? – user14111 Aug 11 at 13:25
  • Unambiguousness is extremely hard to achieve even when you give a location (e.g. there were five Battles of Heligoland and at least four Sieges of Moscow), so whoever named the battle probably figured that people would disambiguate their battles by context. – Eike Pierstorff Aug 11 at 15:20

Because significant battles or even wars tend not to get specific unique names except in retrospect when it has to be clarified what battle or war is being referred to.

Example: until sometime after 1939, World War One wasn't called the First World War, World War One, or anything. It was simply The Great War. It was only when a similar conflict arose that people felt the need to be more specific. "Great War" was quite sufficient.

Other times, the battle is considered so iconic that there's no need to get more specific about the battle because everyone knows the one battle that is being referred to.

Another example: the Battle of Britain. The Battle of the Atlantic. There's been many battles that have taken place in Britain, many that have taken place in the Atlantic Ocean. Yet when you mention those two battles, it's understood you are talking about the Luftwaffe vs RAF in 1940, and the Allies vs the Germans in 1939 to 1945.

This is despite the fact that in 1914-1918 it was the same combatants in the same areas, fighting similar conflicts. Doesn't matter, they only refer to World War 2.

Others: Battle of the Pass (sometimes the Battle of the Defile, depending on how the Arabic is translated). Battle of the Frontiers. The Night Attack. Battle of the Ironclads. Battle of the Iron Bridge. Lots of battles have taken place in mountain passes, on frontiers, at night, between armoured ships, and at bridges made of iron. Yet those names all refer to specific battles.

So the Battle of the Binary Stars, as the first battle of the war, gets first dibs on the name. There may be other battles in other binary systems, but they get other names. When someone mentions The Battle of the Binary Stars, everyone knows what battle is being referred to.

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    The first use of the World War I expression was in setember 1914 – SJuan76 Aug 11 at 11:59
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    Hm... all the examples you've given still refer to a place unambiguously (except for The Great War, which doesn't refer to a place at all). The places can be big and multiple battles may have been fought there. Yet, BotBS seems closer to "The battle at the river" if you ask me (though I suppose less than half of all battles were near a river) – Jasper Aug 11 at 12:22
  • @SJuan76 Looking at the context of the quote, it appears that ‘first’ was used to describe that one like it had not come before, not that another was coming. It’s more a predictor of the US joining than that a second would be had. – Imperator Aug 11 at 14:29
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    @Keith Morrison Because of multiple meanings of "great", "The Great War" was not a good name for World War One. It should have been called "The Bad War", "The Terrible War", the Horrible War", "The Lousy War", "The Bloody War", etc. To go with the big and large scale meaning of "great", it could be called "The Big War", "The Vast War", "The Huge War", "The Immense War", etc., in order to avoid calling it anything which might be mistook for "The Wonderful War". – M. A. Golding Aug 11 at 16:20
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    @Jasper: Battle of the Pass (sometimes the Battle of the Defile, depending on how the Arabic is translated). Battle of the Frontiers. The Night Attack. Battle of the Ironclads. Battle of the Iron Bridge. Lots of battles have taken place in mountain passes, on frontiers, at night, between armoured ships, and at bridges made of iron. Yet those names all refer to specific battles. – Keith Morrison Aug 11 at 19:39

To add to Keith Morrison's great answer, if the fact that the star system is a binary system is an important component of the battle it will be even easier for such a generic name to stick.

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