“There has been a tendency on the part of writers to mix a good deal of sentiment with their history of the West. Because of the peculiar difficulties to be overcome there, the West has been a land of adventure, of hardship, ar.d of novel experience. There is a glamour about it that is hard to dispel, that eludes analysis and simple statement. It does not make a writer popular to speak of the shortcomings and deficiencies of a country, and to do so is to bring down upon one a local storm of adverse criticism. Even the scientist has to apologize for designating certain regions as arid or semi-arid, and some of them have used the term u sub-humid” in order to shield themselves from the local critics.
Major J. W. Powell says he adopted the term “sub-humid” to keep from offending those who object to the terms “semi-arid” and “arid.”