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Back when I was Countries Editor at Economist.com, one of my little jobs was fielding the complaints over maps. The most frequent ire was drawn by the body of water which Korea calls the East Sea, and Japan calls the Sea of Japan, and no one else besides mariners cares about; no matter what we printed, there were surprising numbers of angry people who had taken time out of their busy day to demand that we alter a map. One of my old colleagues has expanded upon the phenomenon for a column.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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