Geographical Pedantry

Responding to a geographical naming discussion in another thread

It is kind of a funny name, but it is widely used, despite the apparent redundancy. Such terminology is not so well defined, or even consistently used, but I think a phrase like “Northwestern USA” would typically include the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, whereas “Pacific Northwest” would usually refer to just Washington, Oregon, (sometimes) Idaho, and often at least part of southern, coastal British Columbia, given the cultural ties across the region.


Actually, both of these phrases (“Atlantic North East” and “Gulf South”) are already widely used:

These are distinct from other related concepts:

Note that in a manner similar to the phrase “Pacific Northwest”, the phrase “Atlantic Northeast” often includes parts of Canada, while “Northeastern United States” only includes parts of the USA (but also adds New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey).

Note that the concept of the “Southern United States” extends quite far north and away from the Gulf Coast, due to historical and cultural reasons, and the phrase “Southeastern United States” excludes Texas.


If you want to be pedantic about it, wouldn’t “Northwest USA” (pacific or not) actually be Alaska? :wink:
It is the most “Northwest” place of the continent (not only just the USA) and in the Greenwitch sense of defining the map it is the most “Northwest” place of most maps made or used in the world. And half of it is looking at the Pacific, so that fits the bill of “Pacific Northwest” too.


Geographical labels, especially relative spatial concepts like “North”, "West’, etc. are heavily biased by historical and cultural perspectives. Apparently, some people do even include Alaska (and the entire Canadian pacific coast) when using a phrase like “Pacific Northwest”. However, the usage of all of these terms are somewhat inconsistent and loosely defined.

It is also quite common for people to simply ignore Alaska (on account of its remoteness and lower population) and use such relative spatial terms only in the context of the 48 contiguous states.


And in Panama you’ve got the Pacific South East entrance of the canal.


Once upon a time, in the colonial period, Northwest Territory referred to Ohio westward, where a few would-be settlers were infiltrating the land of the Shawnee. The term was codified in the Ordinance of 1787, which designated “The Territory of the United States Northwest of the river Ohio” (George R. Stewart, Names on the Land).

By the way, I have never heard of “Gulf South.” Everyone I have ever talked to, including natives, say “Gulf Coast.”

No Alaska is part of Russia

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Nah, they had a referendum :rofl:

Not anymore, but up until 1867 Alaska was Russian.

What is now Alaska has been home to various indigenous peoples for thousands of years; it is widely believed that the region served as the entry point for the initial settlement of North America by way of the Bering land bridge. The Russian Empire was the first to actively colonize the area beginning in the 18th century, eventually establishing Russian America, which spanned most of the current state. The expense and logistical difficulty of maintaining this distant possession prompted its sale to the U.S. in 1867 for US$7.2 million (equivalent to $140 million in 2021), or approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km2).


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And thank God that happened before the cold war!


A cultural aspect also comes into play when discussing Native American cultures. The geographical Northwest has part of the coast, the Rockies and the Plains, but because the Nations along the coast, the mountains and the plains have different ways of living and different material cultures due to the different topological and climatic conditions, it makes sense to distinguish the Pacific Northwest from the non-pacific Northwest. The southern coast of Alaska is part of that too, but not the coast facing the Bering strait and the Arctic sea.


I’ve always suspected Korea doesn’t exist.


Oh no! They have them girt :rofl:

Hey! That’s Australia’s thing!


Good strategy to have them surrounded from four directions


Do you mean the 4-4 and the 16-16 points surround the Tengen from four directions?

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Korea is attached to an unconditionally alive country, so…

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This is a topic about pedantry so I have to say that as you wrote that sentence without any punctuation you are 100% correct and indeed “No Alaska is part of Russia” just like “No Alaska is part of Greece” :stuck_out_tongue:


This reminds me when the World Amateur Go Championship was held in Vladivostok, and someone commented “For the first time, the World Amateur Go Championship will be held far away from Japan, China or Korea”.