0503: "Terminology"

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SpitValve
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Re: Terminology

Postby SpitValve » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:20 am UTC

Pifreak94 wrote:See, this is what happened. Japan and New Zealand got together, and BOOM! Nova Scotia.

(It'd help if you were from Canada, or at least knew about each province.)


...a province that has apparently turned into an island? At least according to Randall's map.

'course if you look at google maps, all three look very different - except that they're long and thin and angled NE/SW.

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Meng Bomin
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Re: Terminology

Postby Meng Bomin » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:23 am UTC

What bothers me most about the terminology has already been touched upon by several others and that is the Eurocentric nature of the designations as well as the vagueness and the apparent disregard for the continent of Africa, which is to the south, not the East of Europe. The Americas which includes us in the U.S. is also part of the "West" or the "Occident". In reality, it's merely a way of distinguishing between European cultures and non-European cultures.

As long as we're on the topic of European geographic paradigms, I'd like us to stop calling Europe a "continent" and start treating it like the peninsula it is. India and the Arabian peninsula have a much better claim on being continents than Europe. At least they have their own tectonic plates (a concept utterly unknown when Europeans came up with the idea of continents).

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Re: Terminology

Postby phlip » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:32 am UTC

SpitValve wrote:except that they're long and thin and angled NE/SW.

And have a longish major island, with a smaller island to its north, and assorted other islands scattered around...

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Re: Terminology

Postby Papaya » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:34 am UTC

Geography is probably my worst subject. I had a friend try to explain the location of New Zealand over MSN using Wikipedia maps. He first pointed me to Australia. I was like, is that underneath Canada? So he then tried underneath Japan, but all I saw was water. Then he gave me a map op Australia and pointed out that New Zealand was at it's right. But all I said was that the country above (turns out to be New Guinea) looks like a dinosaur. ^_^
After I finally found New Zealand and agreed it looks a lot like Japan, I noticed something else on the xkcd map. The Netherlands and Great Britain kiss. <3 Isn't that just adorable? My friend then muttered something about a cuteness overdose and pulled himself back into the shadows.

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Re: Terminology

Postby Diadem » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:35 am UTC

I really thought Randall was more intelligent than this. To see even him fall for stilly American arrogance is shocking.

Asia is the east of its continent, Europe is the west of its continent. Simple and logical. Just like east coast and west coast in the Americas.
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Re: Terminology

Postby filecore » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:39 am UTC

Papaya wrote:The Netherlands and Great Britain kiss. <3 Isn't that just adorable?


If you want to read even more into it, think of the UK like an old lady holding a baby (Ireland). Which part is the Netherlands kissing? Clue: the part that produced London. Second clue: I'm not a fan of London.

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Re: Terminology

Postby Diadem » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:42 am UTC

Papaya wrote:I noticed something else on the xkcd map. The Netherlands and Great Britain kiss. <3 Isn't that just adorable? My friend then muttered something about a cuteness overdose and pulled himself back into the shadows.


You're overestimating the size of The Netherlands. Which, admittedly, isn't hard to do!

That's not The Netherlands that England is kissing. It's not even Belgium. It's the north of France.
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Re: Terminology

Postby Papaya » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:44 am UTC

filecore wrote:
Papaya wrote:The Netherlands and Great Britain kiss. <3 Isn't that just adorable?


If you want to read even more into it, think of the UK like an old lady holding a baby (Ireland). Which part is the Netherlands kissing? Clue: the part that produced London. Second clue: I'm not a fan of London.


Ok, I know this one! :D It's uhm... Well... It must be... *googles* ... No comment. xD
And did I mention I'm no good at geography? :oops:

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Re: Terminology

Postby filecore » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:50 am UTC

Diadem wrote:That's not The Netherlands that England is kissing. It's not even Belgium. It's the north of France.


Diadem is right, but nobody ever remembers Benelux countries correctly except those who live there...

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Re: Terminology

Postby Baxter » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:51 am UTC

Nevermind NZ and Japan, Korea (both of them combined) is blatantly just an upside-down England.
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Re: Terminology

Postby harmonixer » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:52 am UTC

It will all make sense when the Earth's magnetic poles switch and we have to turn all the maps upside down.

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Re: Terminology

Postby Papaya » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:53 am UTC

filecore wrote:
Diadem wrote:That's not The Netherlands that England is kissing. It's not even Belgium. It's the north of France.


Diadem is right, but nobody ever remembers Benelux countries correctly except those who live there...


You know... I actually live in The Netherlands. 8)

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Re: Terminology

Postby filecore » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:59 am UTC

Papaya wrote:
filecore wrote:
Diadem wrote:That's not The Netherlands that England is kissing. It's not even Belgium. It's the north of France.


Diadem is right, but nobody ever remembers Benelux countries correctly except those who live there...


You know... I actually live in The Netherlands. 8)


Oh, that's wonderful... so I should have said "but nobody ever remembers Benelux countries correctly, including those who live there"?

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Re: Terminology

Postby Panjer » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:59 am UTC

It's okay people, Papaya is a bit absent-minded in the geographical department (Or any department, really) but I will cure her someday!

*retreats back into the shadows*

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Re: Terminology

Postby cleverdan » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:00 pm UTC

Papaya wrote:Geography is probably my worst subject. I had a friend try to explain the location of New Zealand over MSN using Wikipedia maps. He first pointed me to Australia. I was like, is that underneath Canada? So he then tried underneath Japan, but all I saw was water. Then he gave me a map op Australia and pointed out that New Zealand was at it's right. But all I said was that the country above (turns out to be New Guinea) looks like a dinosaur. ^_^
After I finally found New Zealand and agreed it looks a lot like Japan, I noticed something else on the xkcd map. The Netherlands and Great Britain kiss. <3 Isn't that just adorable? My friend then muttered something about a cuteness overdose and pulled himself back into the shadows.


Wow. Didn't you think to look 'down under' the equator? Australia's massive. And the subject of a soon-to-be released feature film.

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Re: Terminology

Postby Papaya » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:04 pm UTC

filecore wrote:
Papaya wrote:
filecore wrote:
Diadem wrote:That's not The Netherlands that England is kissing. It's not even Belgium. It's the north of France.


Diadem is right, but nobody ever remembers Benelux countries correctly except those who live there...


You know... I actually live in The Netherlands. 8)


Oh, that's wonderful... so I should have said "but nobody ever remembers Benelux countries correctly, including those who live there"?


It would have made more sense. But I'm just about the worst example there is. No worries. ^_^

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Re: Terminology

Postby dracos » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:08 pm UTC

filecore wrote:With reference to Scotland/England, there are many differences including:
- different laws (you can get married at 16 in Scotland, for instance, but only at 18 in England;
Not true; under 18s in England/Wales need parental consent, but with that you can marry at 16.
filecore wrote:- different police forces
I don't know what you mean by different here - different in the same way the Met is different from Bedfordshire? http://www.police.uk/forces.htm
filecore wrote:- different histories (the two nations only united in 1707 and there was a failed rebellion in 1745)
That's a silly difference - Manchester has a different history to Sheffield!
filecore wrote:With reference to flags, the British flag (often called the Union Jack) is actually made up of all four component flags of the United Kingdom - you can see the red and white + of the English flag on top, the white and blue x of the Scottish flag, with the red and white x of the Welsh flag behind it. The Northern Irish flag is the same as the Welsh one with the exception of having a star and the Red Hand of Ulster in the centre, but that's not shown in the British flag.
The NI flag is the same as the *English* flag, but with a star and red hand in the centre; the Union flag is made up solely of England, Scotland, and Ireland (not Northern Ireland). Wales was implied in the English flag, and I have no idea what you're referring to by the "red and white x of the Welsh flag" - the red and white x is the flag of St Patrick. Have a read of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Flag

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Re: Terminology

Postby filecore » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:20 pm UTC

dracos wrote:Not true; under 18s in England/Wales need parental consent, but with that you can marry at 16.


Yes, I know it's about parental consent, but I felt I would be boring people by splitting hairs too far. I'm sure all the others here don't care too much. However, some of the inconsistencies are funny - at 16 you can join the Army and get married (without consent, in Scotland), but since film classification is national, you can fight in wars and have children, but aren't allowed to watch an 18-rated film containing sex and violence.

dracos wrote:
filecore wrote:- different police forces
I don't know what you mean by different here - different in the same way the Met is different from Bedfordshire? http://www.police.uk/forces.htm


Different legal and judicial systems aside, the Scottish Police Federation is an independent entity encapsulating all the Scottish police forces. I suppose it's autonomous in the way that the Scottish parliament is; it's still part of the major UK organisation, but doesn't operate as a single entity except in times of need. (Also, for the benefit of Americans, the Scottish police have never had the traditional English "bobbie's helmet").

dracos wrote:
filecore wrote:- different histories (the two nations only united in 1707 and there was a failed rebellion in 1745)
That's a silly difference - Manchester has a different history to Sheffield!


I meant, different histories as independent nations, with different rulers, politics etc - Manchester and Sheffield have both been English for a lot longer than the UK has existed. At least, I don't recall reading about Manchester and Sheffield having been independent, but I'll admit I don't know all that much about English history.

The rest of this aside, there are keen cultural, social, linguistic and historical differences enough between Scotland (or Wales, or Northern Ireland) and England to justify not referring to all of the UK as England, which was kind of my point, now that I've dug it out of the pile of nitpicks.

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Re: Terminology

Postby Vasily » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:28 pm UTC

Seems like no one has mentioned the western pole1 yet.

1 - Posted in Israel.
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Re: Terminology

Postby craagz » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:30 pm UTC

Image

New Zealand - Dr. Jekyll
Japan - Mr. Hyde

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Re: Terminology

Postby tom_s252 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:33 pm UTC

You see, the world revolves around London, just the way it should :)

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Re: Terminology

Postby chapstick » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:36 pm UTC

If you want really confusing terminology, in Vancouver BC there are neighbourhoods called: West Vancouver, Westside, and West End.

On an unrelated note, in most cities I've visited Uptown is actually higher in elevation to Downtown. That is if there is a difference.

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Re: Terminology

Postby craagz » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:38 pm UTC

harmonixer wrote:It will all make sense when the Earth's magnetic poles switch and we have to turn all the maps upside down.

Actually Earth is already upside down as seen from Space and all modern maps are drawn upside down, thanks to Ptolemy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversed_map

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Re: Terminology

Postby RetSpline » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:41 pm UTC

Okay, all you people going around, losing respect for Randall, or calling him a "silly American" and whatnot really need to think before jumping to your assumptions and stereotypes. He is not saying, "I am here, therefore relative geographic terms should be centered around me.", he's saying, "I am here, therefore relative geographic terms that are centered around a different location are confusing to me." Imperialism or whatnot has nothing to do with it.

Then again, what everyone wrote might just be sarcastic; my sarcasm meter's been on the fritz this morning.

filecore wrote:Stuff about the United Kingdom not being England, which, really, isn't all that hard folks.


Wait, so the United Kingdom is made up of different cultures and different groups and different people?

Like the United States?

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Re: Terminology

Postby Ari » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:42 pm UTC

Here, I've fixed the "WTF" factor for those of you who prefer a Europe-centred map. ;)
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Re: Terminology

Postby smallfried » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:46 pm UTC

I would like to point out, that not only taking the Americas as the center is arbitrary, so is using the north = up convention. If you're in Aotearoa you might see maps like this one that make more sense for that location (the normal to the earth's surface being more south than north in that part). Although things do not tend to get easier this way :)
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Re: Terminology

Postby MadamDefarge » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:46 pm UTC

It started with the Brits, which is refreshing because it's one less mess we (USers ) don't have to clean up (as in after ourselves). :roll:

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Re: Terminology

Postby filecore » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:50 pm UTC

MadamDefarge wrote:It started with the Brits, which is refreshing because it's one less mess we (USers ) don't have to clean up (as in after ourselves). :roll:


I'm waiting for some troll to jump in and say "Yes, because you have enough of your own messes to clean up as it is, and I don't see you making much of an effort with those", but I'll just make the comment myself instead, and earn a reputation as a troll.

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Re: Terminology

Postby craagz » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:51 pm UTC

Meng Bomin wrote:In reality, it's merely a way of distinguishing between European cultures and non-European cultures.

I think the concept of west and east came about before coming to know that Earth is round. Ever tried looking at statements called "universal truth" "The Sun rises in the East" and "The Sun sets in the west" ? Tell that to people in Polar regions. Just too shortsighted, I think

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Re: Terminology

Postby The Running Man » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:56 pm UTC

smallfried wrote:I would like to point out, that not only taking the Americas as the center is arbitrary, so is using the north = up convention. If you're in Aotearoa you might see maps like this one that make more sense for that location (the normal to the earth's surface being more south than north in that part). Although things do not tend to get easier this way :)

No, it makes more sense to have North as up in New Zealand, because that's where the Sun is. Right?

What really bugs me about this map is that the entire of Antarctica has DISAPPEARED. Did it fall through the hole in the ozone layer?

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Re: Terminology

Postby Ari » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:59 pm UTC

The Running Man wrote:
smallfried wrote:I would like to point out, that not only taking the Americas as the center is arbitrary, so is using the north = up convention. If you're in Aotearoa you might see maps like this one that make more sense for that location (the normal to the earth's surface being more south than north in that part). Although things do not tend to get easier this way :)

No, it makes more sense to have North as up in New Zealand, because that's where the Sun is. Right?

What really bugs me about this map is that the entire of Antarctica has DISAPPEARED. Did it fall through the hole in the ozone layer?


No, it's just a bloody pain to draw. Same reason men in XKCD have invisible tuxedos.
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Re: Terminology

Postby smallfried » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:03 pm UTC

The Running Man wrote:No, it makes more sense to have North as up in New Zealand, because that's where the Sun is. Right?

But only in the summer is the sun more up than down. I guess maps in Europe would have to be written in winter if they used the up- sun - north link.

The Running Man wrote:What really bugs me about this map is that the entire of Antarctica has DISAPPEARED. Did it fall through the hole in the ozone layer?

Well, when you do equate up with north, and gravity with down, it will definitely start falling of the earth :)

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Re: Terminology

Postby macronencer » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:07 pm UTC

I think everything I wanted to say about the map has already been said, so I just want to add this:

I live in England, and everyone I know says "Middle East", not "Near East". Maybe "Near East" is a "continental" thing in Europe? Or perhaps we're just the USA's biyotch... :roll:

Anyway, when we finally get off our arses and this planet and colonize another one, we'll have a chance to do it right from the start. I wonder what system will be agreed on...
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Re: Terminology

Postby howardtj43147 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:09 pm UTC

I live in the Ohio also, and it bugs me that I am in the eastern time zone, yet we are considered midwest.

Then there is the getting to Japan, you do not fly east or west, you go north.

I think this is a case of "You can't get there from here".

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Re: Terminology

Postby saraid » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:11 pm UTC

1. I think this may the fastest flash nerdrage mob I've ever seen.

2. Center of the Earth is not on the surface. You're all wrong.

3. Cardinal directions are always in relation to yourself, or whoever you're talking to. It's as meaningful as Red State Blue State. Great for people to get uptight about, absolutely useless in reality. (One state, two state, red state, blue state. Someone finish it.)

4. Uptown is where rich people are. Downtown is where their crap flows. You know, sewers?

5. Game_boy wins this thread.

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Re: Terminology

Postby rockym93 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:16 pm UTC

Oh man, this always gets me too!
Also, on the subject of New Zealand (and Australia, which is all wonky by the way.), it always bugs me when people call them "Western Democracies" when they are actually in 'the east', which is actually to the west of the US, and to the nowhere of me...

Now I'm really confused.
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Re: Terminology

Postby bobosquish » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:10 pm UTC

What annoyed me when I lived in Southern California, is the habit of each adjacent city to use their center to determine east/west. You would be driving east on West Lincoln and end up on East Lincoln (when you crossed from one city to the next). You had to pay close attention to city boundaries - no easy feat in crowded SoCal where cities all butt up against each other without obvious boundaries.

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Re: Terminology

Postby nazlfrag » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:21 pm UTC

Image

That's how it really looks.

lefty
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Re: Terminology

Postby lefty » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:39 pm UTC

I get upset sometimes when I realize I'm not the center of the universe too...

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Re: Terminology

Postby Kibi » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:50 pm UTC

FYI - it works pretty well in Israel :D


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