I never regarded the PNA as more than an indicator as more than providing a prompt that something might be wrong. In the case of the UK, there is a distinct dearth of places in any event unless there has a been a great expansion since FTM2011 and then they might well be wrong.Most English counties are actually shires, with shire appearing as part of and at the end of the name, but it is often not used, Somerset is a prime example. Of those which are actually counties by name only one, my own uses county as part of the name, normally shown as Co. Durham, but for those few places that actually appeared 2011 and earlier the PMA insists on showing Durham which is the county town, not the county.
I couldn't agree more about context. If someone is not going to publish on line or however, it is fine if they want to abbreviate by missing out all the vowels or using the abbreviation for New Brunswick for Nebraska etc . But if you do then someone looking at a place needs to recognise it, even if they have to google to see where it is, as I did with Arnold for example, when reading an newspaper article.