RE: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands

Subject: RE: the Netherlands vs. The Netherlands
From: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 18:27:55 -0700

Joe Malin wrote:

> The *real* import of this thread is that legal names, accepted names,
> and commonly used names can all be different even among those who
> consider themselves "experts". Your choice of "standard" should be
> guided by many considerations, including the needs of your audience.

I'm trying, but I can't imagine an audience that would need me to
use country names other than those approved by the US government
and ISO. Did you have an example in mind?

> Some country names are relatively easily to deal with. Although its
> official name is "The United States of Mexico", I suspect that most
> Mexicans would simply say "Mexico."

But you don't have to "suspect"... With the appropriate reference
tools -- e.g., the CIA World Factbook, ISO's website, etc. -- you
can look up the official long form of the name ("United Mexican
States" in English, "Estados Unidos Mexicanos" in Spanish) and
also the local short form... Which, indeed, is "Mexico".

> The Netherlands is a bit more difficult, since (at least in English)
> the country is "The Netherlands" but the people are "Dutch". Even
> worse, in the USA (United States of America), the "Pennsylvania
> Dutch" are not of Dutch descent but German!

... and the Germans call their country Deutschland! And I had a
high-school teacher named Tony Deutsch who taught... wait for it...
English! And "English" is what the Pennsylvania Dutch might call
an American of Dutch/German descent who'd never even BEEN to
England! OMG it's anarchy!

> The worst (as we USAers discovered) is China; the mainland country
> is the (or "The"?) People's Republic of China, while the island of
> Taiwan is residence of The (or "the"?) Republic of China.

Lower-case "the" in both cases.

> Personally, I live in the state of Confusion .

Yeah, I know what you mean... I'm in The Silicon Valley, too.


=== Andrew Warren - awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com
=== Synaptics, Inc - Santa Clara, CA

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