Sunday, November 14, 2004

from lands end to lowestoft

Having ripped the piss out of Lowestoft's easterlyness being its primary selling point, it's struck me that geographic extremity is the sole selling point for Lands End and John O'Groats. Yet those places aren't ridiculed, and they're part of even the most basic general knowledge and stretch beyond that into metaphor.

It's all the more peculiar cos while John O'Groats is the British mainland's most northerly town, Lands End is actually the most westerly. The southernmost is Lizard. So shouldn't Lands End be partnered with Lowestoft on an East-West thing?

Or is it because Lands End and John O'Groats are the furthest apart? If so, do we make a bigger deal of this cos we're on a long island?

Do more round countries like Macedonia or France not bother so much?

In which case, are the extreme ends of Chile a really big feature of Chilean national thought?

Is 'from New York to LA' a turn of phrase like 'Lands End to John O'Groats', or is it just a song title?

The Lands End/John O'Groats thing is for Great Britain, yet misses out Wales entirely. Do they, as would seem likely given their strong sense of national identity, have their own equivalent?

In general, do other countries have similarly well-known places at their edges?


annwen said...

Actually in welsh-speaking Wales we have the phrase "O Fon I Fynwy" which means from Anglesey to Monmouth. It occurs in the welsh version of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land". I'm not sure if the phrase predates the song lyric but it gets used commonly.

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karambos said...

I live in Germany and as far as I know there isn't really a german one in regular usage. You could say "von Muenchen nach Hamburg" which is quite a long way.

I presume this is because of the borders shifting around so massively in the last 200 years. Germany stretched to Russia not long before the 1st world war (or was it afterwards) and then shrank shedding a large part of itself that is now Hungary (or is it Poland) and so on. It's bonkers, mate, bonkers is what it is.