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Anyways, that reminds me. Back around fourth grade, they used to test our knowledge of the capitals of states and ... child know one city in each large political entity, even if that city is not culturally significant. Is that it?

Perhaps it was intended to be a first step in forming a web of associations involving the world outside their community. When they hear of an earthquake or a Nobel prize or a hockey team they will have a chance of associating it with a real place.
Maybe the whole thing was a tricky way of getting kids to remember where countries and states are located. But ... payoff. Did I get some great benefit without realizing it? And why do they not use the most significant city?

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany

"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward" (Email Removed) Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com
A lot of Americans recognize Norway, Sweden, and Denmark as countries in the North of Europe where a lot of Scandinavian immigrants to the US came from.

Some of us know at least a wee bit about Scandinavia: Nobel, Ibsen, Grieg, Svendsen, Strindberg, Andersen, Munch, Amundsen. Not to mention all those great athletes, particularly in tennis and hockey. And no historically aware Jew will ever forget the Danish reaction to Nazi antiSemitism. People who are generally ignorant will also be ignorant of Scandinavia. People who seek to be cultured will have at least some understanding of the region and its great historical figures.
I have also had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of many native Scandinavians over the years. Some I liked better than others, but on average they are as fine a group as I can claim to have known.

Bob Lieblich
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Volvograd? Are there any cities in Denmark using 'grad'? Over here in Washington state, we have a 'Thorp'.

But that's not a quaint and romantic survival of its name in Old English, is it? Surely the dorf is named after somebody named Thorpe.

Possibly that well-known German professional wrestler, Octo Thorpe?

Bob Lieblich
Who confuses easily
Thorp, Washington is right next to Ellensburg, Washington. We also have a Medina, Washington. So you can see why I'm ... York City might call it "The City". For more, although not relevant, fun, we have a town called George, Washington.

For a while a town in Eastern Montana was named Joe. They gave it up when nobody visited anyway.

Bob Lieblich
Thorp, Washington is right next to Ellensburg, Washington. We also have a Medina, Washington. So you can see why I'm ... York City might call it "The City". For more, although not relevant, fun, we have a town called George, Washington.

What is this? You don't see the Volvo-as-in-Volvo-grad Sweden? Ikea-as-in-furniture Sweeden?
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
It is a shame that Tom Reagan's and Martin Rowe's article about the Nobel Prize for literature was spoiled by such a stereotypically dumb Americanism.

Are all the staff of the IHT Americans? If not, how do you know that Messrs. Regan and Rowe are Americans? Actually, do we even know that they are staffers? This is the only item that Googling on
"International Herald Tribune" Regan Rowe
turns up that involves either Tom Regan or Martin Rowe, which makes it look like a contributed one-time op-ed.
Looks like a brain fart that the copy editor should have caught.

John Varela
(Trade "OLD" lamps for "NEW" for email.)
I apologize for munging the address but the spam is too much.
It is a faraway place about which we know little. ... to be among the best educated people in the world.

Fine, and not argued with. How many, though, of those people are journalists and copy-editors on what purports to be the world's most prestigious international newspaper, most of the contents of which are culled from America's two newspapers "of record"?

Zero, is my guess.
That, surely, was Simon's point.

'The people of Norway often cite the United States of America as the place where people think either Norway or Oslo is the capital of Sweden. It's a standing joke. I thought it was, anyway.'

Charles Riggs
Email address: chriggs¦at¦eircom¦dot¦net
Charles thinks I am anti-American, but I have nothing on the kids these kids are representative of (the next generation).

You are not a kid, almost all of whom have even more to learn than you and me. Nor are you denying, I'm happy to see since I appreciate honesty, that you are anti-American. (Have we been down this road before?)
If America wants to see the decline of anti-American sentiment, America is going to have to help its own cause. Eye-rolling stories of Americans thinking that Norway is the capital of Sweden are a small step on the way.

I've heard so many fables and falsehoods from Europeans, educated ones included, about America, I no longer roll my eyes on hearing another. Still, one of my jobs, I feel, is to politely set these furriners straight.
I wouldn't have written to a newspaper, had I encountered personally a person (of any nationality) as ignorant as the ... eyes at Norwegians not knowing the name of the capital of the US. But I don't recall having met one.

Do me a favour, if you will: take a little survey. My guess is you'll be flabbergasted. If he gets the name right, ask him where it is located. Then ask him where Washington state is. If half those you interview get the last two right, it will be me who is flabbergasted. Ask people of all ages and of both sexes. Don't try for a third sex, we've established they're too difficult to locate.

I'm half-Norwegian myself; I find I'm even less inclined to be anti-Scandinavian than I am anti-European in general, i.e, not a bit, the Welsh and Belgians excluded, of course. I certainly have no bias against Norwegians in particular, but I don't make any claims they are without major gaps in their knowledge either, especially about things that concern them very little.
My current gripe in this country is the impending death of the semicolon.

We have loads of fully-alive ones in America so you need not worry they'll become extinct.

Charles Riggs
Email address: chriggs¦at¦eircom¦dot¦net
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Thus spake Charles Riggs:

It is a faraway place about which we know little. ... Not all by a long shot, you can be sure.

Is this "joking aside"?

It is. Which part was funny or odd?
All the time people in Ireland ask me if I ... to be among the best educated people in the world.

Er... Ireland is populated by paddies. Nuff said.

So you're prejudiced against them as well? Who, beside your family and your new Norwegian friends, *do* you like?
I used Ireland as an example since I live there now. I lived in Germany four years, have visited most of the countries of Europe, at least the fully-civilized ones, and have found the level of ignorance, for lack of a nice complimentary term, much the same.
Americans are a hell of a lot smarter than you give them credit for, the election of George W not withstanding.

I agree.

You agree you haven't been giving them enough credit? Sound.
P. T. Barnum's maxims, "every crowd has a silver lining", and "the public is wiser than many imagine" are true. The place he said them was America.

One place, even Japan, is pretty much like another, in my experience. The veneers are very different, it is true.
Half the threads you start are there to make fun of Americans.

I would dispute the statistic.

Would you believe 37.8%?
Most of us already know what Franke's problem with America is, what is your excuse?

Answering this again, I would be repeating myself.

I feel like that fellow pushing a rock up a hill. I'll have to begin reading your posts over again, and again, and again...

By God, Simon, someday I'll actually be able to understand you!

Charles Riggs
Email address: chriggs¦at¦eircom¦dot¦net
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