Don't call us the Northwest. When you talk about the upper left hand corner of the United States (and possibly the lower left of Canada), go ahead and call us Cascadia.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. The current alternative is "Northwest" or the redundant "Pacific Northwest" (as if we need to distance ourselves from the Northwest of the Midwest) is colorless. It is a direction, not a region.
2. Also, the "direction from where" question is troubling. Northwest of what? Denver? What we call our region should be centered on this place, not on some other part of the world.
3. Cascadia is just a better name. Cascadia is actually where we are. It doesn't look over its shoulder to some other place.
So, what am I missing here?
Yes, "Northwest" is dull. If we were just going with our location in the contiguous US, then "Upper Left" would be better. "Pacific NW" makes no sense except to Americans, since we're in the Pacific's Northeast.
Cascadia has a nice ring to it, and there are even people elsewhere who would recognize it, but if you're missing anything, it's the Salish Sea. Most of us live on it's shores, not in the Cascades. But I guess it's asking a lot of the general public to base their placenames on indigenous linguistic families, sensible though it may be.
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