Lionel
Topic Author
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US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:52 pm

Recently, I got a letter from a not too small car rental company in the US because of some kind of traffic violation. The adress was correct but the country was wrong. They wrote Sweden instead of Switzerland.

As far as I know this is a common mistake that occures in the US. Does anybody know why? Is it so hard to see the difference between those two countries?
 
baylorairbear
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:57 pm

World geography isn't out forte. At the same, you have to realise we only share borders with two countries, whereas in Europe, many smaller countries are in close proximity.

On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

BAB
I'm just skipping stones...
 
ANother
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:02 pm

I once orded something from the US and asked 'how much to ship it to Switzerland'? After (quite) a few minutes I was told ... 'To ship it to Swaziland will be $50'. I hung up.

PS - Aren't you impressed with the Swedish/Swiss PTTs? They got the letter to you even though the country was wrong. Guess there aren't too many Zurichs in Sweden!
 
stlgph
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:24 pm

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

not necessarily.

a lot of Geography departments across college campuses give a "comprehensive world knowledge" test at the beginning of the year. usually to scope out overall student knowledge of states, Canadian provinces, countries on each continental, major bays, seas, and rivers and/or mountain ranges here and there. the test is given by a map of the world with correspondening numbers, to which you reply accordingly on the answer sheet, which is just simply numbered with lines following.

anyway, getting back to the 50 states part, nationally, less than 1% can name all 50 states on the first try of the exam. after that, the figures are pretty much an embarrassment. an 85% majority of the people taking the exams can name a maximum of about 20 states correctly.

in instances where the student usually gets their own home and/or neighboring state WRONG, states such as Florida, California, New York, Nevada, Hawaii, and Alaska are ones that are most correctly identified.

as a Reporter, i've covered some school districts where one of the grade levels (usually 5th, 6th, or 7th) made it policy for the passing of the 50 states and capitols test before the student can progress to the next level. in a few instances, the test -used- to be given in the spring about a month before school let out for the summer....after these districts starting doing the test....the test is now given for the first time as early as late October.

just some fun factoids you pick up at Geography educator conferences.
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Lionel
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:27 pm

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

That may be true but I don't think anybody would mix up two different states. The only exception is Washington and Washington D.C. but thats a little more simular than Switzerland, Sweden and Swaziland.
 
IAH777
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:34 pm

We in the US can hardly be expected to keep up with all those underdeveloped Third World countries.

That being said, statewise, I'm always confusing Tamaulipas with Quintana Roo.  worried 
 
Banco
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:36 pm

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

The states aren't countries though. How many British counties, French departements, German Landers, Swiss cantons can you name?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
rootsair
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:42 pm

Quite a few times I've been surprised in the USA.

I have told people I lïve in Switzerland and they ask me if I speak Swedish...worse twice if I speak Swiss.

But the worst example comes from a time I told this girl I am from Costa Rica. She aked "Where's that?"...I answered CENTRAL AMERICA
"Oh I see its some town in Kansas!"
(P.S I have heard of a guy who thought Uruguay was a town in Texas because it is in South America")

Quoting ANother (Reply 2):
I once orded something from the US and asked 'how much to ship it to Switzerland'? After (quite) a few minutes I was told ... 'To ship it to Swaziland will be $50'. I hung up.

When I was in Swaziland, I was told there is a place where many postcards are exposed...all which were supposed to go to Switzerland !!
A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
 
damirc
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:48 pm

Quoting ANother (Reply 2):
PS - Aren't you impressed with the Swedish/Swiss PTTs? They got the letter to you even though the country was wrong. Guess there aren't too many Zurichs in Sweden!

Now imagine the Slovenia - Slovakia dilemma  Wink There is a lot of mail that gets to the wrong country; but what is worrying is the fact that a lot of the mail that is in the wrong country is actually from within Europe :/

D.
 
Thom@s
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:03 pm

Quoting Damirc (Reply 8):
Now imagine the Slovenia - Slovakia dilemma

Not to mention the Iran - Iraq dilemma. (The reason they had a war was they got fed up going across the border to each-other with mail that had got sent to the wrong country.)

Sargent: "Right men, load up, we're going to Iran!"
Private: "Eh sarge, don't you mean Iraq?"
Sargent: (pause) "Bah what the hell, the rest of the platoon are probably joining us soon anyway... Next stop Iran!!."

Thom@s  stirthepot   Wink
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
don81603
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:06 pm

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

I'll take that bet. I have been in some US cities, and asked a local about a street (I found out later) was 5 or 6 blocks away, and they have no idea.

It seems American schools teach little or nothing about history or geography outside the 50 states. I used to live in Thunder Bay ON, and at least 10 times a summer, we'd have people drive up from Duluth MN (4 hours tops) who thought we all lived in igloos, and traveled around in dog sleds, and assumed we knew "Bob", since he was from Canada.
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
eric
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:46 pm

Ha,

it reminds of a time in school. A girl from New York had her friend visiting. My room mate, who is from Jersey, GB, was asked where he was from so the story goes like this.

NY-girl: So, where are you from?
J-boy: Jersey
NY-girl: (Very excited) Really, my mom is from Jersey
J-boy: Really?
NY: Yeah, New Jersey
J-boy: No, the real Jersey

(funny if you were present)
n
 
columba
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:50 pm

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):

On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

It depends what kind of Americans and Europeans you ask.
There are many Europeans who havo no idead about European or American Geography but most well eductated Europeans will have no problem to name you all states of the E.U. and the USA.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
eric
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:00 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

The states aren't countries though. How many British counties, French departements, German Landers, Swiss cantons can you name?

To defend the Americans - that is not exactly the same. Each US state also contains counties.

The US is a monetary and political union. The EU is a political union. Thus, what separates the US from the EU is that, unlike in the EU, there are no trade barrier, all member states [indirectly read countries] share the same currencies and all the other things that follow such unions.

This is why you will find different laws at different levels of the state, much like a law issue can be appealed to the EU-courts.
n
 
rootsair
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:02 pm

to resume....
in the U.s most people hzave only studies US history or geography.
From Weast to East the world begins in San Francisco and ends in New England and from north to south, it starts in niagara falls and ends in El Paso
A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
 
Banco
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:10 pm

Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
To defend the Americans - that is not exactly the same

No, it isn't, but it's the nearest comparable example.

Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
The US is a monetary and political union. The EU is a political union.

Er, no it isn't. At all. It's not even a complete monetary union. I assume you accidentally transposed the two?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
northwest_guy
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:17 pm

I'm a product of U.S. education (albeit private education) and I feel like I have a rather good understanding of geography both inside the U.S. and abroad. On more than one occassion, in more than one grade our class was required to memorize the states and their capitals, as well as countries of the world, their capitals and major cities, the continents, major land marks, etc.

When I am in the US the people I associate with seem to have a pretty good understanding of US and world geography. I think this is because I'm usually around college students though.
 
AirCop
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:22 pm

I did some grading from the California High School Exit Exam, shocking at the number of kids that thought the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas was in California.

Quoting STLGph (Reply 3):
anyway, getting back to the 50 states part, nationally, less than 1% can name all 50 states on the first try of the exam. after that, the figures are pretty much an embarrassment. an 85% majority of the people taking the exams can name a maximum of about 20 states correctly.

I believe that.

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
How many British counties, French departements, German Landers, Swiss cantons can you name?

To be honest, I couldn't name one.
 
eric
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:23 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 15):
Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
To defend the Americans - that is not exactly the same

No, it isn't, but it's the nearest comparable example.

No, it is not. A state is a state, a county a county.

The EU is not a complete monetary union, there still exist bilateral trade agreements, multilateral trade agreements, and a handful of EU states do not use the same currencies either through choice or not able to satisfy the fiscal regulations. This includes legislatures such as economic transperancy or fiscal deficits.

The US, on the other hand, have 50 member states who satifies their own requirements. Each state, a former state in its own right, have joined up to the union that created the USA.
n
 
Banco
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:27 pm

Quoting Eric (Reply 18):
No, it is not. A state is a state, a county a county.

But the construction of a country varies from nation to nation. The US has states, Britain does not. British counties are not comparable with American ones. However, Germany does have the equivalent of states as does Australia as does Switzerland. You are taking one part of the point being made, US states are not in any way, shape or form the equivalent of European countries.

Quoting Eric (Reply 18):
The EU is not a complete monetary union, there still exist bilateral trade agreements, multilateral trade agreements, and a handful of EU states do not use the same currencies either through choice or not able to satisfy the fiscal regulations. This includes legislatures such as economic transperancy or fiscal deficits.

Yes, but you said "political union, not a monetary one" which I assume (and which I was drawing attention to) was a typo error.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
eric
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:36 pm

I agree that each US state does have its own laws but then you cannot compare it with the UK and a better comparison will then be Germany but I never commented on that.

And I agree most American won't be able to name all the Bundesl�nde but nor would most Europeans.

Quoting Banco (Reply 19):
Quoting Eric (Reply 18):
The EU is not a complete monetary union, there still exist bilateral trade agreements, multilateral trade agreements, and a handful of EU states do not use the same currencies either through choice or not able to satisfy the fiscal regulations. This includes legislatures such as economic transperancy or fiscal deficits.

Yes, but you said "political union, not a monetary one" which I assume (and which I was drawing attention to) was a typo error.

I stand corrected, poorly phrased, but by not including it it was meant to indicate it is not a complete monetary union.
n
 
DABZF
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:43 pm

According to an American colleague of mine (works for an european airline), Finland is south from Poland... then again, I have no idea where Nebraska is, so I guess we are even Big grin
I like driving backwards in the fog cause it doesn't remind me of anything - Chris Cornell
 
Banco
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:49 pm

Quoting Eric (Reply 20):
And I agree most American won't be able to name all the Bundesl�nde but nor would most Europeans.

Nope, they couldn't, but I bet the Germans could.

In other words, everyone knows most about their own country.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:52 pm

Quoting Lionel (Thread starter):
As far as I know this is a common mistake that occures in the US. Does anybody know why?

Because American's SUCK at geography if it expands beyond their county line - generally. There are a few of us that aren't geographically challenged, but damn few IMO. Same reason most Americans don't have passports . . .

Hell, I have cousins that think Alaska is somewhere in the South Pacific near Hawaii because that's where it is on the map in their Social Studies classroom . . . and they're confused as to why it can be -40F here but plus 80F in Honolulu yet they're so close together  crazy 

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
I think most Americans can name all American states

HA - I'll take that bet, 2 to 1 against.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
mbmbos
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:54 pm

My inlaws are from Holland. On several occasions people have referred to my "Danish" family.

Some Americans are also not very good at U.S. geography. I grew up in New Mexico and cannot tell you the times I have received mail with extra postage on it. I have also placed telephone orders where at the point that I disclosed the delivery address - New Mexico - I have been transferred to the international sales desk.

Strange.
 
Banco
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:56 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 23):
and they're confused as to why it can be -40F here but plus 80F in Honolulu yet they're so close together

Vicious air conditioning you've got there.  Wink
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:01 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 25):
Vicious air conditioning you've got there

No kidding . . .

You'd be amazed at how much mail to Alaska gets the Postal Code of AR put on it . . . AR you know - Arkansas . . . .

Can someone show me a "R" in A L A S K A.  scratchchin 

It's not just international geography with which many Americans have issues.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
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yowza
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:02 pm

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
World geography isn't out forte.

Or world politics, or world history or world anything, well except maybe the "World Series"  Yeah sure Nothing against Americans, I know a lot of smart, educated Yanks but wow there are a lot of tools.

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 7):
I have told people I lïve in Switzerland and they ask me if I speak Swedish...worse twice if I speak Swiss.

Once flying out of the states to Switzerland I was asked by the pax in the seat next to me whether I had ever been to Switzerland before? I told him I had family there he then proceeded to ask me if I speak Swiss?  Yeah sure

YOWza
 
Klaus
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:05 pm

Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
To defend the Americans - that is not exactly the same. Each US state also contains counties.

It's the same in Germany.

Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
The US is a monetary and political union. The EU is a political union.

The EU is a monetary and political union, just with a different construction on several levels and with several countries temporarily not yet participating in the common currency. One of the biggest differences, of course, is the fact that the EU has one additional layer of subsidiarity: Local, in some countries sub-regional, region states / provinces, nation states and finally the supra-national EU.

Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
Thus, what separates the US from the EU is that, unlike in the EU, there are no trade barrier,

The elimination of trade barriers has long been the explicit goal of the EU, and it is already realized to a large extent.

Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
all member states [indirectly read countries] share the same currencies and all the other things that follow such unions.

It's not that simple - in many respects the EU is a lot more similar to the USA than people think, but it will always remain fundamentally different at the same time (Europe has a multitude of very different cultures and languages, for instance).
 
ANITIX87
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:09 pm

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 7):
I have told people I lïve in Switzerland and they ask me if I speak Swedish...worse twice if I speak Swiss.

I've even been asked if I speak Swedish. A lot of times the mistake even comes after someone hears me speaking French!!! I'm going to slap the next person who asks if it's true that all the girls in Sweden are really good looking. My mom's family is from SWITZERLAND, not Sweden!!!! Haha.

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states

You'd be surprised. I can do it, but most people actually can't. Ask your friends, most will forget a few states. They might remember a few hours, or even a day later, but it's hard to do on the spot, and very few people can.

TIS
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rjpieces
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:10 pm

There was a news story a few months ago about a very small percentage of Americans being able to identify hot spots in the world, such as Israel or Iraq, on a map...
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
Twistedwhisper
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:23 pm

Name the 50 states?

Well, that's one thing... could you point them out on a blank map with only borders?
Read between the lines.
 
stlgph
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:45 pm

Quoting TWISTEDWHISPER (Reply 31):
Well, that's one thing... could you point them out on a blank map with only borders?

oh, i forgot to mention earlier that when i took the proficiency test...i got scored 100% the first time around!

i had to think a little bit on the Yellow River and the Bay of Fundy....but i did it!

 bigthumbsup 
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
Banco
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:06 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 28):
and with several countries temporarily not yet participating in the common currency.

 Yeah sure

Far be it for the democratic desires of the peoples of these countries to get in the way of the "project".
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
sprout5199
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:19 am

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 14):
and ends in El Paso

Key West. Its the southern most point.(not counting Hawaii)

And how many times have I heard that people from the EU want to go to Walt Disney World, and then the next day drive to the Grand Canyon.

Everyone is stupid in one way or another

Dan in Jupiter
 
SlamClick
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:19 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 26):
You'd be amazed at how much mail to Alaska gets the Postal Code of AR put on it . . . AR you know - Arkansas . . . .

Can someone show me a "R" in A L A S K A.

I Live in Nevada, postal code NV. More than half of the mail I get from east of the Rockies gets marked NY (New York) and some of it shows signs of having ricocheted around in that part of the world for a week or two.

Okay, silly error, but here's where STUPID comes in: It all has the correct zip code on it. The USPS is supposed to look only at that until your local carrier sorts it by address for his route. It is proof-positive for me that the zip code is a waste of effort on out part when addressing an envelope. Of course the USPS wants us to use "zip plus 4" or a nine-digit code.

Nine digits is enough zip codes for every man, woman, child, dog and cat in North and South America to have its own personal zip code.

The worst kind of stupid is institutional stupid.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
Klaus
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:29 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 33):
Far be it for the democratic desires of the peoples of these countries to get in the way of the "project".

As long as the currency is stable, it has no inherent impact on the liberties of the population. It is the rare exception that changes of the currency are done on the basis of a plebiscite, and the current discussion to that effect is merely a chimera and a diversion from the actual issues.
 
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Coal
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:30 am

I once told a chick I was Dutch. She said she heard Denmark was really pretty  Yeah sure

Worse, when telling them I'm Dutch, they ask me "where in Pennsylvania"?

Coal
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Banco
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:34 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 36):
As long as the currency is stable, it has no inherent impact on the liberties of the population. It is the rare exception that changes of the currency are done on the basis of a plebiscite, and the current discussion to that effect is merely a chimera and a diversion from the actual issues.

Much of which is arguable, but irrespective of that, the fact remains that in many countries the people don't want it. I know you find that utterly abhorrent to your fanatical belief in the sheer magnificence of the single currency, but it's the truth. And you have the nerve to talk about a "temporary" state of affairs is if it's a momentary aberration; a quite staggeringly arrogant attitude.  Yeah sure
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
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Coal
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:37 am

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 7):
Swiss.

It could've been Switzerdeutch

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 7):
But the worst example comes from a time I told this girl I am from Costa Rica. She aked "Where's that?"...I answered CENTRAL AMERICA
"Oh I see its some town in Kansas!"

 rotfl 

Quoting RootsAir (Reply 14):
to resume....
in the U.s most people hzave only studies US history or geography.
From Weast to East the world begins in San Francisco and ends in New England and from north to south, it starts in niagara falls and ends in El Paso

I beg to differ. I lived in Northern Florida and people didn't know jack about the cities 400 miles South of them.

But I think the geography question is more a matter of the younger generation than the US alone. When I was in Ireland last summer I was asked where I was from. I said Holland, and she asked me what part. Not to confuse her with Tilburg, I said Amsterdam. She said: "Reaaally? I thought that was in Australia!"  Yeah sure

Coal
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Klaus
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:46 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 38):
Much of which is arguable, but irrespective of that, the fact remains that in many countries the people don't want it.

You'll always find people looking for a scapegoat. The question is if there's actual substance behind it, and in almost all countries the answer is no.

Quoting Banco (Reply 38):
And you have the nerve to talk about a "temporary" state of affairs is if it's a momentary aberration; a quite staggeringly arrogant attitude.

It's merely what's codified in the respective treaties (to a varying extent - Britain has more leeway than the new members do).
 
Banco
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:51 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 40):
You'll always find people looking for a scapegoat. The question is if there's actual substance behind it, and in almost all countries the answer is no.

Wrong. There are sound economic reasons, let alone political ones.

Anyway, that's been covered a million times.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 40):
It's merely what's codified in the respective treaties (to a varying extent - Britain has more leeway than the new members do).

Indeed. And had you specifically excluded Britain (and to some extent Sweden and Denmark) you might have had a point. But you didn't.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:55 am

This is interesting. We have two letter postal codes and I live here in Iowa (IA). We regularly get mail that has been routed through Indiana (IN) Illinois (IL) and Idaho (ID). When I lived in Arkansas (AR) sometimes my mail would end up in Alabama (AL) or Alaska (AK).

In real terms, though, the subject of the original post is something of a puzzlement.

Can someone tell me in exact terms what the advantage or value (monetary or otherwise) is of some high school student in Los Angeles not knowing that Sweden, Switzerland and Swaziland are not the same thing?

Or is it, as one might surmise, intended to make some folks in the crowd "feel good about themselves"?

Well allrighty then. You've humped my leg. Whatever starts here, stays here.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Klaus
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:58 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 41):
Wrong. There are sound economic reasons, let alone political ones.

...which tend to be massively overstated, especially relative to the also present risks of a small currency,

Quoting Banco (Reply 41):
Anyway, that's been covered a million times.

...and a half! Big grin

Quoting Banco (Reply 41):
Indeed. And had you specifically excluded Britain (and to some extent Sweden and Denmark) you might have had a point. But you didn't.

Because Britain is not (and cannot be) excluded from the long-term development of the EU. The same is true for the other stragglers.
 
Dougloid
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:04 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 43):
and a half!

Quoting Banco (Reply 41):
Indeed. And had you specifically excluded Britain (and to some extent Sweden and Denmark) you might have had a point. But you didn't.

Because Britain is not (and cannot be) excluded from the long-term development of the EU. The same is true for the other stragglers.

I dunno, Klaus....that is something of an open question along the lines of "whither now, EU?"

I believe that there will be a grand case of "indigestion" brought on by trying to digest "Turkey" and "Greece" at the same dinner LOL.


 Wink  Wink  Wink
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:06 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 43):
...which tend to be massively overstated, especially relative to the also present risks of a small currency,

And benefits. Big currencies are not immune, and cross-border ones are subject to unique strains. Your cast-iron belief in the perfect immunity and total efficacy of the single currency is misplaced.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 43):
Because Britain is not (and cannot be) excluded from the long-term development of the EU.

Oh, yes it can. It's up to us, not you. Any decision on this is actually none of your business.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 43):
stragglers.

Perjorative language yet again. You would never even consider the prospect that they could be right and you wrong. Fanaticism in any area is dangerous.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
AerospaceFan
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:17 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 45):
Oh, yes it can. It's up to us, not you. Any decision on this is actually none of your business.

Agreed, but let's keep in mind that economics is prime when it comes to certain parts of the political spectrum.

I actually think that what is happening with British Aerospace, by way of example, is encouraging from the standpoint of British independence, but you should probably acknowledge that the EU will always have its advocates, and particularly those who believe that its common market is the only wave of the future. And, Banco, that includes the ranks of a great many, indeed.

It would be ironic, I must say, if America obtained its independence more than 200 years ago, only to see Britain lose its own a few decades hence.

As for the topic of this thread, Europeans have always had a need to know geography more than Americans, so I wouldn't be surprised if American knowledge of international geography is lacking by comparison. In some sense, many Americans have believed that the world shouldn't have borders at all, so why recognize the countries divided between them?

[Edited 2006-09-12 18:21:08]
What's fair is fair.
 
Klaus
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RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:26 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 45):
And benefits. Big currencies are not immune,

Of course not. But they are generally a lot more immune for all I know.

Quoting Banco (Reply 45):
and cross-border ones are subject to unique strains.

Sure. Hence the considerable efforts to keep those strains limited.

Quoting Banco (Reply 45):
Your cast-iron belief in the perfect immunity and total efficacy of the single currency is misplaced.

Nothing is absolute (not even "nothing" ); But so far I and apparently very many others see the Euro as a necessary and useful step in the economic development of Europe.

Quoting Banco (Reply 45):
Oh, yes it can. It's up to us, not you. Any decision on this is actually none of your business.

True - once you've left the common union with us. Until then, decisions which affect the other members will always be up for discussion, even if not always for a vote.

Quoting Banco (Reply 45):
You would never even consider the prospect that they could be right and you wrong. Fanaticism in any area is dangerous.

Fanaticism is something different again.
Let's speak again after I've begun rounding up Euro-critics and building stakes and bonfires, okay?  mischievous 
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:40 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 47):
But so far I and apparently very many others see the Euro as a necessary and useful step in the economic development of Europe

It's not clear cut. Many others don't - even if quite often I consider the reasoning (i.e. the usual "prices have gone up") to be wrong.

But what I find fascinating is how you see the "you and apparently very many others" as some kind of proof in what you believe, yet you view the majority belief in Britain with a patronising shake of your head about how misguided we are.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 47):
True - once you've left the common union with us. Until then, decisions which affect the other members will always be up for discussion, even if not always for a vote.

You can discuss it all you like. No-one's stopping you. But it doesn't alter the fact that it's down to us and not you. That drives you mad, doesn't it? You'd love to be able to tell us what to do, but you can't. So sorry.  Big grin

Quoting Klaus (Reply 47):
Let's speak again after I've begun rounding up Euro-critics and building stakes and bonfires, okay?

Oh, you're half way there. Your absolute certainty in the rightness of your viewpoint, and inability to even consider the possibility that you might be wrong is well on the way. It's the feverish, bright eyes that give it away. They'll be printing T-shirts of you in Brussels before you know it.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
AerospaceFan
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?

Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:41 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 47):
True - once you've left the common union with us. Until then, decisions which affect the other members will always be up for discussion, even if not always for a vote.

You know, strangely enough, I can't really criticize that.

There are only two kinds of absolutists in the world: Realists, and idealists.

(Someone please don't tell me they don't get the joke.)

So what you say makes sense -- the British did in fact cast their lots with a bunch of Euro-integrationists who think very little of national sovereignty, and here you have British supporters of same who agree. They play the "realism" and "idealism" game equally well.

In the end, it's not the process, but the reality, that claims the prize in the end.

But, Klaus, still - and call me naive -- but I am somewhat surprised to see any naked defense of Euro-integrationism that does not pay tribute to the greater good other than through the brute power of economic reality. Surely there is an advantage to subjugation other than the glittering jewels of monetary gain?
What's fair is fair.

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