I'm not sure about FTM 2010, but in 2011, you can definitely maintain a single place name with multiple descriptions. An example, "Manhattan, New York, New York, USA". I have many occurrences of this city, with various street addresses in the description field. But when I go to "Places", there is only ONE occurrence of "Manhattan, New York, New York, USA". So, I know it can be done.
And as I wrote, I did try using "Replace with other place name". I altered the one I wanted to keep so that I knew which one it was. Didn't matter. I still ended up with two identical place names. That should have worked, but it didn't (even when I deleted the data that was in the description field). I was hoping there was a "merge" that would fix this.
Anyway, I appreciate your feedback...
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