10

We have tags for many U.S. states and cities, and for the whole country. But then we have

  • (11 questions) for the continental US west of the Mississippi River
  • (11 questions) for a currently undefined area

These aren't regions, but simply divisions, and I would argue that neither is useful as currently implemented. These are huge swaths of land— so huge that the differences between them are slight. To the extent that Rhode Island and Mississippi have something in common, they have an equal chance of having them in common with Missouri or Nevada. To the extent that Illinois and Arkansas are different, there's an equal chance that they're just as different from Connecticut or Washington State. We don't benefit the visitor by grouping such vast collections of disparate areas together.

Since neither tag is heavily used— not only are there only 22 questions between the two of them, but a large proportion of the questions within them are closed— I would simply retag these questions as . Or, we could retain but redefine it as a region, rather than a division, moving the boundary line to the Rocky Mountains instead of the Mississippi River and adding , , and as its counterparts.

The main trick with the latter option is that except for , the definitions of U.S. regions are always somewhat disputed. Historically, for instance, the South began at the Mason-Dixon Line separating Maryland and Pennsylvania, but nowadays you'll find sources that group Virginia, home of Robert E. Lee, in the Northeast. If we can agree to use the U.S. Census Bureau definitions for the four super-regions and enforce it, though, at least we have a standard to adhere to.

5
  • They're doing no harm. We have plenty similar ones like Southern California, ones for "cities" and "destinations" and others. None of them are used much but they can be useful if people find them useful for questions involving travelling to several places in such an area or group such that one more specific tag is not enough and trying to use all the relevant more specific tags won't fit. I wouldn't bother trying to define them, or in the definition just write that it's vague and people don't really agree. Same goes for "Eastern Europe" but we English speakers still widely use it. – hippietrail Sep 20 '16 at 13:00
  • I wouldn't go with "Northwestern USA" because there is an existing English term "(the) Pacific Northwest", which also covers Vancouver and Vancouver island. Not sure if we have that tag but if we don't somebody would surely create it sooner or later because it's a term that's already widely used. – hippietrail Sep 20 '16 at 13:02
  • @hippietrail My point is that eastern-usa isn't a meaningful or helpful subdivision. A road trip from Detroit to Birmingham isn't identifiably "eastern" nor a Minneapolis to Oklahoma City trip significantly "western." Someone who speaks of the "eastern United States" usually refers to the Eastern Seaboard or to the Northeast, not Chicago or Nashville. The conventional top-level division of the continental US is Northeast, South, Midwest, and West; the Pacific Northwest is a sub-region. – choster Sep 20 '16 at 14:14
  • Sure but the people who created it felt it meaningful enough for them, we won't be forcing anybody to use it who doesn't find it useful. Trying to force a folksonomy into a rigid hierarchical is known not to work so well. – hippietrail Sep 20 '16 at 14:35
  • Added two answers, let's vote. – blackbird Sep 26 '16 at 17:43
10

Get rid of the tags, it's confusing and doesn't help to narrow down the area in a meaningful way since these aren't well defined areas. Let's replace with [usa], preferably with state tags as well.

1
  • 2
    These tags are completely senseless. – Michael Hampton Sep 27 '16 at 6:56
-2

Keep the tags, they're doing no harm. Even though it's not very well defined these words are used in everyday language and if people use them, we might as well have them.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .