How the terms overlap

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A place but not a locale

A locale but not a place

These suggestions for the use of place-words do not fall into a neat hierarchy: The different words do not divide up some largest class of areas the way raccoons, lions, rabbits, and so on, divide up the class of mammals. In some cases the same area can be described by more than one of the terms, but they still make useful distinctions.

Some areas are locations and some are not. Some areas and some locations are locales and some are not. Some areas are places and some are not. All locales are locations, but not vice versa. Places are not all locales, nor locations, nor areas, because they can be junctures of many kinds. Most often, though, they will be continuous areas of real space, and these may be locales that have a unified character.

Here is a diagram illustrating the relations I have set up among the different terms for designating places.