My wife and I spent a night in the coastal town of Shellharbour. Similar couples spent a similar night in a similar coastal town, Victor Harbor.
Australian English overwhelmingly prefers –our spellings to –or (most style guides specify –our and Pages for Mac’s Australian English autocorrect changed Victor Harbor to Harbour), but usage has swung back and forth over the years. Around the time Victor Harbor was officially named, –or spellings were in favour, so that official spelling was given and has been retained; likewise with the Australian Labor Party. (For more about these spellings, see Wikipedia in general, about the Labor Party. Basically, the –or spellings reflect the Latin original and the –our spellings reflect French –eur.)
Note also that Shellharbour is now one word, while Victor Harbor remains two. I guess running four syllables together is just too clunky.
Today I sub-edited an article about “entertaining cheeses”. My first thought was of them singing and dancing for us. My second thought was of us singing and dancing for them. My third thought was of us chatting together, while eating the cheeses and drinking a nice bottle of red.
And I didn’t know until today that Camembert and Brie are towns in France.
During the week I edited an article which quoted a company spokesperson talking about the company’s pizza which included an “Edam, mozzarella and Cheddar” topping. Edam and Cheddar are real places (in the Netherlands and England, respectively), and their cheeses originally had an upper case letter (and often still do). Mozzarella is not a place; the name is derived from the Italianmozza, a slice. So do I really have to have that mix of upper- and lower-case letters? Fortunately not. The Macquarie Dictionary styles edam and cheddar (the cheeses) with a lower-case letter, so the magazine will have “edam, mozzarella and cheddar”.
Various food and drink products have “protected designation of origin” status; for example, only sparkling wine from that region of France can be called (upper case) Champagne. There is, in the European Union, at least, no such thing as (lower case) champagne.Continue reading →
I spent rather too long last night thinking about making alphabetical lists of things rather than, you know, actually going to sleep. I thought about making a list of interesting cities/towns I’ve been to, but decided to start with the biggest cities/towns. I got about halfway through last night, then had to do a some extra searching (for cities/towns and populations) this morning. From this list, it’s obvious where I’ve lived or travelled. In some cases the ‘going to’ has been quite brief – a matter of hours.
Busan (SK) (or Bangkok, Thailand if you count one hour at the airport)
Christchurch (NZ) (367,000), honourable mention to Canberra (Aus) (356,000) and Cardiff (Wales, UK) (341,000) – I thought they might be similar sizes. (Our overnight stop was at a motorway motel outside Cologne, Germany but we didn’t even see the city in the distance, so I won’t count that.)
Echuca (Vic, Aus)
Hong Kong (SAR of PRC)
Kalgoorlie (WA, Aus)
London (Eng, UK)
Melbourne (Vic, Aus)
Newcastle (NSW, Aus)
Orange (NSW, Aus)
Queanbeyan (NSW, Aus)
Rockhampton (Qld, Aus)
Townsville (Qld, Aus)
Victor Harbor (SA, Aus)
Wollongong (NSW, Aus)
X – none. There is one place name in Australia – Xantippe, WA, which is 300 km north-west of Perth and which Google Maps shows is located in the general vicinity of Rabbit Proof Fence Rd and Struggle St. Either I plan a trip there, or central China.
Z – none. There’s about 20 place names in Australia, the most notable of which are Zetland (Syd, NSW (I’ve been under it – Green Square railway station is located in one corner)), Zillmere (Bris, Qld) (located off the major arterial roads, so I haven’t even passed through it) and Zeehan (I haven’t been to Tasmania at all). Maybe I can stop off at Zhengzhou on my way to Xi’an.