I noticed here on Chowhound, people refer to gas or electric ranges. (this is my primary source for food/cooking info other than cookbooks, no magazines or TV shows) and I wonders if that is a newer or more fashionable term for a stove.
Today, I glanced at the newspaper sales fliers to look at stoves since my oven died an my landlord will be replacing it. The stores (Sears, Lowes) call the kitchen stoves ranges as well. I was interested enough to look up the words and the definition of the word range only came after 13 other uses for the word. Wikipedia stated that the appliance is the stove and the cooktop is sometimes called the range. I call the cooktop just that. It seems, however that general use of the word does not only refer to a separate cooking surface such as in a kitchen island.
I am in New England and we have all sorts of stoves: pellet stoves, wood stoves, coal stoves, camp stoves, cook stoves ( wood stoves made for cooking) and regular old stoves in the kitchen.
Is this regional, age related, fashion? I am 46, grew up in NJ, lived in NH for 28 years and am not a big consumer of food news and/media - do cooking tv people call it a range? To me the freestanding appliance in my kitchen that has an oven on the bottom and a cooktop on top is a stove. I don't thing I have heard anyone I know refer to it as anything else. How about you?