US set to claim West Sea, East Sea

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Following South Korea's campaign to rename the Sea of Japan to the Korean-favored 'East Sea', the United States is set to do the same. While the rest of the world may call it the Pacific Ocean, the United States will simply call it the 'West Sea'. The Atlantic Ocean will be referred as the 'East Sea' as well, which may cause some confusion.

The United States Board on Geographical Names (BGN) has ruled that "while the international community has the right to continue using the historical terms 'Pacific Ocean' and 'Atlantic Ocean', we feel it is our right to rename these bodies of water in whatever way we want. Besides, these waters have been washing up on American shores for hundreds of years - isn't it time to change the name?"

A BGN spokesmen speaking on condition of anonymity remarked, "it isn't unusual for inanimate objects to change names. In fact, it's surprising the international community has used 'Pacific Ocean' and 'Atlantic Ocean' for so long."

Canadian and Mexican officials declined to comment, although one Canadian official stated "We're tired of being called 'the 51st state'" within earshot of this reporter.

Changes should take place in United States textbooks starting next year, and new maps have already been printed showing the new names.

In related news, China has threatened to stop loaning money to the United States if the Pacific Ocean is not renamed the 'Eastern Sea of China'. This leaves the Pacific Ocean with a potential multitude of names. A spokesman for the United Nations stated that Australia has filed a petition to have a "significant portion of international waters" dubbed the 'Australian Ocean'. "India has its own ocean - we just want to rename our ocean as well", remarked the UN spokesman.

Dr. Alan Waterway, director of the non-profit Naming the Water Organization, suggests a compromise. "It's quite simple, really. To make everyone happy, there are two options: use a neutral name that references neither direction or country, or include every country whose borders reach the waters in question. Thus, 'Pacific Ocean' works, as does 'The Ocean Northeast of Australia, West of Chile, North of Antarctica, West of the United States...'"

When this reporter awoke from a half hour nap, Dr. Waterway was busy working on the second option's acronym.

This is satire. It's not real. The United States and all countries mentioned in this story respect the names 'Pacific Ocean' and 'Atlantic Ocean', and have no plans to change them. Korea's campaign to change a body of water's name is silly, and people should focus their attention on more important things. Countries do not own oceans, and have little right to name international bodies of water.

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe - 2010

This post was originally published on my blog,Chris in South Korea. If you are reading this on another website and there is no linkback or credit given, you are reading an UNAUTHORIZED FEED.



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