Monday, April 26, 2010

Are you trying to say something, or is it just innocent?

Many people are guilty of saying "England" or "English" when referring generally to Great Britain or British. This is not just outsiders, but also those who live in England. It seems a small thing, but it irks those who live in Scotland or Wales, or who are originally from those places.

This is not to give excuses, but one might be a little more forgiving to outsiders (Americans who say that, at least) when you remember that 82% of the population of the UK lives in England.

12%, incidentally, of that, lives in the London area. Give or take.

I'm not making excuses for the English, though. Sometimes (as an outsider) I get the hint that it may go deeper than just a slip of the tongue.

DOES it go deeper than just an innocent slip of the tongue? Give me some inside stuff. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy St. George's Day

Happy St. George's Day to you all. I'm sure you went to the parade.

For those Americans reading this, St. George is the patron saint of England. And, boy, do they really celebrate! (He's the one who chased all the snakes out of England. Like that Irish guy who killed the dragon.)

Anyway, St. George's Day is quite a bit like our Independence Day, only much different.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Explaining Cricket

One thing I have learned by having this blog is the fine art of cricket. Before I started this blog, I didn't have the least idea how the game was played. A lot of you have written in and asked me to share my knowledge about the rules (laws?) of the game of cricket. Sure.

1. The first thing everyone will tell you, and I agree, is that you should never compare cricket to baseball. There is no real comparison and it just makes it too confusing.

2. Cricket is a lot like baseball, only with the following differences:

a. There are 5 bases in cricket, and the runner runs counter-clockwise.
b. There are 3 pitchers in cricket, so it is harder for the batter to concentrate.
c. Cricket uses 311 innings instead of nine, but there is a 4-day time limit.

3. I would say that the most obvious difference between cricket and baseball is that there is no way to score in cricket. This alone takes much away from the game, in my opinion.

4. There are many umpires in cricket. Also, fans are allowed to come out of the stands and umpire at will. Rules are flexible.

5. If you pick up the ball (called a "squash") and run with it, you are probably playing rugby instead of cricket.

6. If you can use your mallet to knock the wooden ball through the wicket, and you also hit another player in his ball, you can send it.

7. Bats in cricket are flat.

8. Each time the batter swings and misses the ball in cricket, the pitcher gets to come three giant steps closer to him before the next pitch.

9. Cricket players are mostly from India and Brazil, whereas baseball players come from Japan and the Dominican Republic. Other nationalities can participate, of course, but not professionally or in front of an audience.

10. There are 12 players on each side in cricket. But only 11 can play. As an unimportant aside, I have always wondered why there are not 178 players on each side, and only 11 can play. It boggles.

11. There is always a wicketkeeper and a bowler (I forgot to tell you that in cricket, the ball is pitched to the batter on the ground.) The other 9 players are there mainly to distract the hitter and may assume actual positions or simply mill around. The captain tells them where to go, but compliance is not mandatory.

12. Tactics are decided upon after taking into account a number of variables.

13. If any player is caught playing another game, such as marbles, while the cricket match is in progress, the umpire gets to tell him, "That's not cricket!"

Those are the 13 rules of cricket.

Fun facts about cricket (you may not have known)

Cricket was invented only recently, in 1971. It got its name because it rhymes with "lick it".

The Prince Charles likes to play cricket. He uses a long hammer for a bat and rides a horse. It is his trademark.

Only 3 Americans have ever attended a cricket match. (Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe)

Only one American was fool enough to actually try and play the game:
Due to the vagary of cricket rules, unexpected accidents have been know to occur:
I hope this post has been of some help in clearing up any confusion you may have had.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An analysis of English govermental entities

In the USA, the governmental units are pretty straightforward: we have states and they are divided into counties.

There was probably a time when it was that simple in England too but not so simple today. This post attempts to analyze the governmental units in England.

First of all, England is a country within the UK.

Under today's system of governmental breakdown, land in England is either

1. Located in an area called Greater London, or
2. Located outside the area called Greater London.

The land that is located inside the entity called Greater London consists of

1. The actual City of London, and
2. 32 other boroughs which surround that inner city, called London Boroughs

The land that is locate outside the entity called Greater London is divided into counties. These counties are further classified

1. As Metropolitan counties, if that county mainly consists of a major city, or
2. Non-Metropolitan counties.

There are (as of this writing) 82 Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan counties. Of these, six are Metropolitan Counties, each with a typical population of between 1 and 3 million.

Non-Metropolitan counties are either

1. Shire counties, or
2. Unitary authorities.

There are 28 shire counties. A shire country has multiple districts within it. A shire county does not have to have the word "shire" in its name.

The remaining counties are of the unitary authority type. A unitary authority type of county does not have districts, but only one council for the entire county.

The whole of England is divided into 10 government office regions used by the central government. These large regions are separate from the counties themselves, and are superior to the counties from a governmental standpoint.


Related Posts with Thumbnails