But going back to "Starship Class", well it does suggest a USS Starship in TOS
Why? Just because that’s our way to handle the issue in the 20th Century they still have do the same in the 23rd Century of TOS?
To add a ship’s name to a “class” first popped up in the “Space Seed” script and in the visualization of this primary phaser schematic belonging to a starship of a Constitution Class. The schematic was featured in “The Trouble With Tribbles” but the text was not readable and even remains so in HD today (and Ultra HD tomorrow). The Making of Star Trek
refers twice to “Enterprise Class” but as Timo suggested might have just been a “like the Enterprise
” approach (possible since “Starship Class” was the official designation). The “Constitution Class” designation was featured in a couple of fan publications (i.e. people that had not been involved with the actual TOS production).
The 14 Official Blueprints (TMP),
“approved” by Gene Roddenberry and “authenticated” by Andrew Probert steer clear of any “Constitution Class” references and instead attempt to reconstitute “Starship Class” (i.e. Starship Class II), yet the text comment makes one reference to “new Enterprise Class”.
In ST II “Enterprise Class” appears as a small text label on the bridge simulator and in ST VI Scotty is (finally…) not looking at the primary phaser of a Constitution Class starship but at a schematic of the actual vessel (i.e. NCC-1701-A). Next…well, you get the idea.
To insist that adding the name to a class should have been a procedure in TOS is obviously retroactive continuity considering the actual readible ("Starship Class") and audible ("Class J starship") information.
If you feel that should be the case on behalf of a Great Unified Theory, here it inevitably comes at the expense of TOS’ official “Starship Class” (readable) and “Class J starship” (audible) and TOS fans are therefore entitled to object (this is still a TOS thread, right?).
To enable those interested to return to the actual topic of this thread, I've started a new thread that may (or may not) rationalise why "Starship Class" is the correct and better choice: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=205531