This must be the place

Over the weekend, my friend and former colleague Brian Russell asked this on Twitter: Which do you prefer to describe our region? RDU, RTP, RDCH, Triangle?

I’ve run across this question in my travels over the years. Just what do we call the multi-county area in North Carolina that includes Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill?

Many people have heard of Research Triangle Park and think that it’s the same as the region. It isn’t; it’s just part of it.

RDU is the code for the airport. I’ve never seen RDCH used.

The stylebook of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill likes “Research Triangle.” I vote for a simple “the Triangle,” and apparently so did most of the people who responded to Brian’s question.

Please, no “Raleigh-Durham” — that’s the sure sign of an outsider. “Tobacco Road” is a cliche. And don’t forget that the Triangle is not the same as the Triad.



  1. I’ve found that people not from the area think there is actually a city called “Raleigh-Durham.” It’s horrifying.

    I second “the Triangle.” That’s what the locals call it.

  2. I am an outsider and I always use ‘The Triangle’.
    As an aside, in Western North Carolina we Floridians are known as ‘Flatlanders’. I am sure it is meant to be a insult, but we take some pride in the name.

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