geographic vs geographical

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Norm, May 8, 2011.

  1. Norm Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina

    Could you please tell me the difference between geographic and geographical?

    I have to write a headline.... GEOGRAPHIC OR GEOGRAPHICAL PRESENCE?
  2. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    The American Heritage Dictionary seems to suggest that 'geographic' is the standard form, and that 'geographical' is a variant. The definitions, however, are the same. In spite of this, one cannot assume that there is no difference in meaning between 'geographic' and 'geographical', as hinted by the thread Adjectives ending with -ic and -ical.

    Approaching the problem from a different angle, it seems the collocations in question are about as common. The 21st century Google Books search results are: geographic presence - 753, geographical presence - 677. Let's see if we can find a difference in meaning by examining the top five results of each query (~ my categorization in brackets):

    (1.1) Table 4.2 Geographic presence of the leading Nordic paper industry corporations. [BUSINESS]

    (1.2) Expand Geographic Presence [section title] Law firms typically move into a new geographic area for one of the following reasons... [BUSINESS]

    (1.3) Sofinco, Cetelem, and Santander Consumer Finance SA (SCF) are the most diversified, in commercial offerings and geographic presence. [BUSINESS]

    (1.4) Geographic Presence [section title] Where data are available, we would evaluate an MFI's [microfinance institution's] geographic presence by comparing the geographic distribution of remittance recipients with the MFI's area of operation and that of all MTO competitors in those areas. [BUSINESS]

    (1.5) Also, in terms of geographic presence, Zain has expanded into 24 countries in the MENA region whereas Wataniya is present in 6 countries in MENA region and Asia. [BUSINESS]


    (2.1) Imagining a Geographical Presence: A Study of Horizon in Contemporary Painting. [ART]

    (2.2) Geographical Presence [section title] Is your organization physically located on only one site, multiple sites within a city, within multiple cities, multiple states, or even in more than one country? [BUSINESS]

    (2.3) Mexico leads the market in terms of geographical presence, inasmuch as 80 percent of the firms have proprietary offices in Mexico, and 20 percent of the firms operate through affiliates. [ECONOMICS]

    (2.4) Their concentrated geographical presence inevitably conditions their product choices because: a) it makes them responsive to the specific features of the industrial system; b) it reduces potential business volumes related to corporate finance services. [ECONOMICS]

    (2.5) Thus the geographical presence of the sons of Ishmael alongside the sons of Isaac is established by the Lord. [RELIGION]

    Assuming you want to use the term in a business context, it seems to me 'geographic' is the safer choice. As for a difference in meaning, I fail to discern one.
  3. Norm Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    Thanks a lot! you've been very clear.
  4. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  5. Norm Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    Thanks you!
  6. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    It's horrible when your mind goes blank when you're in the middle of a translation, but it happens. My question relates to whether one should use 'geographic' or 'geographical' when referring to the position of a location, followed by the coordinates, again 'geographic' or 'geographical'? Help, please!:confused:
  7. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    The bottom line is that they're completely interchangeable, at least in AE.
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Today's question has been gently shifted to the end of an earlier thread.
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Senior Member

    Queensland, Aust
    I agree.
  10. Rob Norris New Member

    Bilingual: English (UK) - Italian

Share This Page