Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a word that describes an item in the set {northbound, eastbound, southbound, westbound} as distinct from an item in the set {north, east, south, west}?

Washington (place) → Washingtonian (demonym)

West (direction) → Westbound (???)

Bonus points for figuring out where clockwise and counterclockwise fit.

share|improve this question
1  
Why are they not directions? –  Lynn Dec 7 '12 at 4:39
2  
They could be qualified as directions of travel –  Jim Dec 7 '12 at 7:12
    
Sounds much like an exam question to me. May not be, though: it's about framing the question than its import per se. On the face of it, the two examples do not quite fit one model either. –  Kris Dec 7 '12 at 8:44
add comment

3 Answers

Direction of movement or travel: Westbound, northbound...

Cardinal direction: West, north...

Here is a quote from a NY Times report of an accident: An investigator for the railroad, Chuck Randolph, said the corners of the two lead cars ripped each other, and the steel side of the eastbound train seven seats back. The side of the westbound train was ripped back five seats deep. Thirty-five passengers were in the three-car eastbound train, while 100 were in the two-car westbound one.

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/01/19/us/7-are-killed-as-commuter-trains-collide-in-indiana.html

As regards clockwise / anticlockwise move is concerned, imagine that you are moving in a car in a near rectangular closed loop. If you were moving in this order: Eastbound to the first corner of the near rectangular circuit, then Southbound to the next corner, Westbound, and finally Northbound to the fourth corner, then you would reach your bounds clockwise.

On the other hand if you were moving in this order: Westbound to the first corner of the near rectangular circuit, then Southbound to the next corner, Eastbound and finally Northbound, then you would reach your bounds anticlockwise.

share|improve this answer
1  
Please complete the answer with at least one reliable source citation. Linking to a good online dictionary is fine. –  MετάEd Dec 7 '12 at 5:25
    
@ MετάEd: Here is a quote from a NY Times report of an accident: An investigator for the railroad, Chuck Randolph, said the corners of the two lead cars ripped each other, and the steel side of the eastbound train seven seats back. The side of the westbound train was ripped back five seats deep. Thirty-five passengers were in the three-car eastbound train, while 100 were in the two-car westbound one. nytimes.com/1993/01/19/us/… –  Essen Dec 10 '12 at 5:04
1  
I may not have been clear. Please complete the answer means please edit your answer to include the information. Comments are temporary and should not contain an answer or a part of one. –  MετάEd Dec 10 '12 at 16:52
add comment

One might refer to them as "vectors" (a geometric construct with direction and magnitude)

If you are trying to fit clockwise into the set, they might be called "transformations": the primary transformations being translation, reflection, and rotation.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Heading:- The course or direction in which a ship or aircraft is moving.

share|improve this answer
2  
Actually, heading is only where the aircraft is pointing, it may or may not be the actual course or track depending on the winds aloft. –  Jim Dec 7 '12 at 7:11
    
That's one use of the word, i.e., where the compass points to. Another use is for actual direction of travel, e.g., "Where are you heading?" The direction doesn't even have to be strictly a straight-line affair, e.g., "We're heading to the shops" –  Chris Dec 10 '12 at 2:49
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.