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North Magnetic Pole or magnetic North Pole?

Hi,

I found a map using the expression "North Magnetic Pole". The way I see it, the word "magnetic" should come first, as modifier, specifying that it's the magnetic North Pole, not the geographic one. Even if not, the expression should be "Northern Magnetic Pole"; I feel that the word "northern" is more of a modifier.

Could you please tell me if I'm wrong about these or not?

Answers

  • North Magnetic Pole is what the pole is called. Keep in mind that the word 'North' can be used as a noun ("My parents have moved to the north"); an adverb ("The birds fly north every year"); or as an adjective ("The north side of town is better"). Usually, the adjectives northern, southern etc refer to a bigger area (e.g. the Northern Hemisphere; Eastern Europe). In the case of the magnetic pole, it is a point on Earth, therefore small in comparison.
    You're right to consider "northern" a modifier. It is an adjective.

    Hope this helps.

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