Why is the phrase "coal country" uncountable in this sentence? Does it mean a particular region?

Were he frustrated in Congress, the president would surely fall back on areas where he has a free hand. He has already made full-throated use of executive orders and promises to harness the bureaucracy to force through his agenda. In theory he could deregulate parts of the economy, such as finance, where the hand of government is sometimes too heavy. Yet his executive orders so far have been crudely theatrical—as with this week’s repeal of Barack Obama’s environmental rules, which will not lead to the renaissance of mining jobs that he has disingenuously promised coal country (see article). It is the same with trade. Mr Trump could work through the World Trade Organisation to open markets. More probably, the economic nationalists on his team will have the upper hand. If so, America will take a bilateral approach, trade protection will grow and foreign policy will become more confrontational.

The Trump presidency is in a hole, The Economist (1 April 2017) http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21719794-and-bad-americaand-world-trump-presidency-hole

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is uncountable. Countable "country" means "nation" or "state". Uncountable "country" means "terrain", as in the phrases "open country" and "cross-country".

"Coal country" doesn't mean a specific region: it means "areas where coal is found", but it's really metonymic for "the people (or communities) in coal-mining areas"

  • Yes and I suggest it would have been better to use 'the coal country' or even just 'coal' without 'country'… Apr 14, 2017 at 20:21

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