Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Geography Is Important...
because if you get it wrong you sound like a complete idiot.
I was walking down the hall to do my laundry (laundry rooms are on the complete other side of the building from my room, meaning that I have to drag my dirty undies through the lobby unless I want to walk upstairs with them, which is unreasonable) and I overheard a conversation.
"I have a friend from England. He's from southern England which means he's Scottish."
(The boy who said this is a sophomore in college. A sophomore in motherfucking college.)
At left is a map of the United Kingdom.
Notice the red area at the top, which is known to us as Scotland, where Scottish people are from.
The top of the map is known as "north" and the bottom of the map is known as "south."
Notice that there is no place in the south of England that is called "Scotland" but there is a place in the south and east portion known as "Wales," not to be confused with the word "whales" which is the plural form of a sea living mammal covered in fat known as "blubber." People from the country of Wales are known as "Welsh."
I have a friend that was born in Cardiff, Wales. She is neither Scottish, nor English. In fact, if you call her English she'll be pretty pissed. She is Welsh, and quite proud of it.
After I heard this exchange I felt overcome by the need to educate this US American so I put my laundry down, said,
"Scotland is north of England," picked up my laundry and walked onward. I wanted to scream.
I chose not to educate him on the finer points of Geography and international politics (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are part of the United Kingdom, Scotland will be its own country within 10 years, living on an island for thousands of years and going through two devastating world wars is bad for the gene pool, and etc.) because it would have likely gone over his head.
I really wanted to see if he could find Iraq, the US, Israel, Iran and Pakistan on a map, but I really didn't have time to mess with his head that much, also if he had failed to do so (which was likely) I would have slammed my head into a wall.
The truly sad part of this exchange is that this kid isn't an art major or anything, he's an English major.
In a related topic:
9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think
I'm a Grammar Nazi as well as a Geography Nazi.