Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Rust Belt Thesaurus Entry

Regular readers know I consider the term "Rust Belt" a pejorative, a word that bites those who live to where it refers.

I offer this thesaurus entry for writers looking to avoid this bad word with some other alternatives.

Great Lakes Region -- Joel Kotkin recently wrote about various regions of the country.  I'm a Kotkin fan but less enamored with his tendency to use the "rust belt" term.  He avoided it in a recent article that was, probably, begging him to write it.  Instead, he used Great Lakes to refer to the steel and automotive area of the country.

Industrial Midwest -- When manufacturing was in vogue and before the steel and automotive industries succumbed to foreign competition like they did in the 70's and 80's, this was the more common way to refer to the states that now have the less PC term branded.  It distinguishes this part of the Midwest from the grain belt parts of the Midwest.

America's Metals Heartland -- You can Google this term and find more frequent uses of it.  It makes sense.  This is a very viable alternative that includes places not normally thought of as Midwest like Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

There's three viable options.  Take your pick.

Goodbye, Rust Belt.  Good riddens.

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