The ramblings of someone you’d find by themselves in a hospital eating flies

5 December 2005

Was looking through the Times Literary Review earlier today at work and came across a review of The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin, edited by Christine Casey. Skimmed through it and read that Dublin is one of the greatest cities in the British Isles.

And I just couldn’t help it, my hackles went up, cause we aren’t part of the British Isles.

Only, well, we are. Because geographically speaking Ireland and Britain together form the British Isles. Still, if you ask most Irish people they’ll say that we aren’t, because of history and the political associations, and all that crap.

And I know this.

When we were studying the Dewey Decimel System a lot of people were giving out about various issues, and stuff that could do with updating, like the religions and why christian religions are quite prominent whereas paganism is relegated to something like the occult[1] and one of the other complaints was regarding The British Isles. At the time I do remember saying that it didn’t really need updating because it was purely geographical. And yet.. still it rankles.

I blame brainwashing at school ;)

Now, enough of this rubbish, go listen to Ricky Gervais’ podcast. Its frickin’ hi-larious.

– “If you haven’t bungee-jumped by the time you’re 78 you’re not going to do it, you know what I mean -”
– “Your hips’d come off”


  1. or something like that, I don’t really remember much from that oh-so-boring-year

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10 Responses

  1. A Briton came up with the idea of IONA – 'Islands Of the North Atlantic' instead of the 'British Isles'. I like his suggestion.

  2. simon says:

    IONA is not bad but those it really matter

  3. sally says:

    I wonder if this, “If you haven’t bungee-jumped by the time you’re 78 you’re not going to do it, you know what I mean -”
    – “Your hips’d come off” what the bungee jumping industry people say to prospective jumpers?

  4. Fence says:

    Isn't there already an island called Iona? In his history book Norman Davies makes up names for the various regions at the start, because, as he says our names todat didn't exist. And he uses the term The Isles, which is also the title of the book.

    Does it really matter Simon? Well no. that's kinda the point I was making :) that it is an unimportant detail but I still don't like reading it.

    Sally if it isn't on their disclaimers it will be soon :D

  5. Heather says:

    You know, I'm an Irish descendant and it raises my hackles too. I would never claim to be Irish, only that I have the blood and the temper ;) but it bothers me too.

    Of course, the USA, Canada, and Mexico make up the North American continent…but of course, I have nothing against Canada and Mexico. They didn't try to stamp out our whole ethnicity like Britian did. So, you should only have to claim something if you like them, right? :)

  6. Heather says:

    I wonder though…does it bother the Canadians and Mexicans that the word America is part of the phrase North America? Should it be the Northern Continent of Amecanexians or something?

  7. Fence says:

    Well I would see the whole Canada/America/Mexico issue slightly differently. After all America really refers to the whole continent, North and South, whereas the US is just this little bit in the middle. So, saying North America when refering to that half of the continent is more accurate than saying America and meaning just the US, imo, of course.

  8. LiVEwiRe says:

    I'm still laughing at your post title! Hopefully you'll at least come to my hospital, right? (I'll show you where all the good flies are…) =)

  9. Fence says:

    Tis a line from the Ricky Gervais podcast. everyone should listen, its a little bit mad

  10. anne says:

    It's brilliant. :)