Monday, February 21, 2011

Being Correct and Being Technically Correct

About a day ago on Twitter I saw the following post in my feed:

I was amused that someone would say that it would drive him or her bonkers if Queen Elizabeth II was referred to as the Queen of England. It was a sentiment that was echoed by a couple other people. Personally, I don’t really care whether the Queen is referred to as the Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or “that rich old bag lady with the dogs.” Well, at least informally.

I wrote back saying “I dunno. Maybe because saying the Queen of Canada or Queen of Australia sounds odd.” The fact is that many people will refer to Queen Elizabeth II, that old bag lady, as the Queen of England. It’s not to say that she’s the queen of only England or to insist that it is her proper title. No, it’s just to identify a person that is being talked about. When someone says “Queen of England” most people know exactly who you are talking about. Using the proper designation or even saying something like the Queen of Britain doesn’t have the same… ring to it.

I think what was assumed in this whole thing was that saying the Queen of England is a symptom of the belief that England and the UK are synonymous. Yes, they are used interchangeably and in those occasions -inappropriately. I am not advocating that view nor do I have it.

When Japanese whispers said this:

I pounced on it because he said “country of 4.” Now using the same reasoning as Grodag, should I be going bonkers because he is saying that the UK is a country? The answer is yes, because the UK is not a country. It is a sovereign state comprised of four countries. Don’t believe me? Here it is right from the Prime Minister’s website and in the Queen’s own language. Also from the British Embassy in the United States. Or you can try Wikipedia too. "These four countries together form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which is a sovereign state." :P

Then we get into a piss off where I responded to some of quips.

But am I going bonkers Japanesewhiper saying the UK is a country? No. Am I going bonkers when people call that old lady the Queen of England? No. Because there is a difference between being correct and being technically correct.

I apologize if I seem to have come across as being a prick. Tone doesn’t travel well through my writings but I was trying to illustrate (in my own subtle way) we all aren’t getting it all right all the time--and that’s okay.


Anonymous said...

You really need to get a life.

David said...

I'm sorry you feel that way. :(