Robert Comsol wrote:
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.
How is that a retcon? The plaque says, "Starship Class". Not "Class Starship". Not "Class J Starship". And not "DY-100 Class" or "DY-500 Class" and certainly, not "NCC-1700 Class".
The simple view strictly looking at the plaque then it is a "Starship Class" which does suggest a USS Starship somewhere in the fleet.
I would imagine a "DY-500 Class" would likely have a DY-500 somewhere in the fleet as well.
This is the retcon - that the "Starship Class" suggests there be a USS Starship. Why? What on-screen reference or dialogue from any TOS episode proves that the class name is the same as the first ship in that particular class? As already noted, there is historical evidence that naval vessel classes are not always named after the first ship in that class.
So, again, why does "Starship Class" suggest there to have been a USS Starship? Without any direct evidence to corroborate your point of view, all we are left with is opinion.
A rigid interpretation that the name of the class HAS TO, MUST, or ALWAYS be the same as the first ship in the class must have some basis for support.