July 09, 2009
Finding Places Starting with a Particular Letter
(very useful for Scattergories)
Ever wanted to know whether there were any places in Switzerland starting with the letter X? There aren't, unfortunately. But there are two in Italy and two in Germany and over a score in France. You can find it all out at fallingrain.com (is that Falling Rain, or Fall in Grain? And Why? No idea).
This came up because we have a relief map of Switzerland hanging in our front hall (it's very bumpy, with those Alps taking up most of it). As we were saying goodbye to David this morning on his way to work, one of the kids suggested we find placenames on the map starting with every letter of the alphabet - but we were stumped by Q and X. So I looked it up...and found one Q large enough to figure on the map: Quinten, on the Walensee. Why, that's only an hour from here!
Without an X in CH (or Liechtenstein), I checked the surrounding countries whose edges are on our map, but the two Xs in DE and IT are too far off, and the several in F seem to be too small to appear on the map (even though they're all but one in the neighbouring region, Alsace).
And for your final trivia topic this morning, did you know that Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Bolivia and Chile have all been called the "Switzerland of South America?" If you follow the preceding link, you will also find out that ten different countries have been referred to as the "Switzerland of Africa" and
There are some other very funny things at that Language Log page.
July 9, 2009 | Permalink
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