As someone who administers a number of databases, I’d say to anyone that you need a damn good reason to put non-standard values into a field.*
Today’s curse is sorting out the “Counties” field, which is supposed to be used to show British counties. To add insult to injury, people have to select from a drop-down menu, and if they try to type in a value that doesn’t exist, they are specifically asked if they mean to add that value (methinks the database is not locked down quite tightly enough, but I can’t control that bit at the moment).
People, let me tell you, from even basic general and geographical knowledge: Austria, Australia, BD20 0DX, Bahrain, Brentwood, Brighton, Jacksonville Canada, NW10 0HD… none of these are British counties, nor were they ever, nor will they ever likely be.
* That good reason doesn’t exist. The same goes for towns, titles, gender, and a whole host of other fields with clearly defined standards.
I’m sure a wise man would have once said: where there is a database field, there shall be crap.