Jeopardy category question

Every now and then, Jeopardy has the category “Countries of the World.” Every time they do, my wife wonders why they feel they have to specify. Would contestants consider countries on other planets? If they intended fictional countries like the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, wouldn’t they specify that? What are your thoughts?

it’s a broader category than “European Countries”

And I have also seen them use “Fictional Countries” as a category. So yes.

IIRC, that particular category refers to the current globe. If they wanted to ask about the Soviet Union, or the countries involved in the Hanseatic League, I don’t think they would be in this category, but the writers have only so much space to express “Countries you would find on a map updated as of this taping.”

But shouldn’t “Countries’” be the default, and then “Fictional Countries” or “Maps before WWI” be the exceptions?

I actually wondered the same thing. Why specify “World Countries” when you just mean “Countries that aren’t the USA”, it could just be Countries and don’t use USA as an answer.

Same for World Capitals, though I understand that one a little better, I suppose they could call it Country Capitals. If you leave the US are Country Capitals still called World Capitals?

But that differentiates it from state or regional categories.

The problem with World Capitals is that it’s not specific enough. It could refer to provincial capitals, for example.

I actually remember Trebek making a comment about this once. He said something like “Countries of the World. Odd title because where else would they be.”

I think it just sounds better for tv.