back to article BBC clarifies location of England

The cartographically-challenged among you who might have been wondering just where England is in relation to Wales can thank the BBC for setting the record straight right here. BBC map indicating position of England relative to Wales Yes indeed, if the inset map doesn't give you a clue as to what bit of the UK Wales occupies …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Has the label not been added automatically by their mapping software?

  2. jon
    Gates Halo

    not for us

    Didn't you know? is an international site. That's why a significant portion of the site is about US politics and US finance (even before the elections and current crisis).

    Wales is a tiny place (relatively speaking) that is easy for our international visitors to the site to not know where it is.

    I'm glad that someone is reading BBC news though because the journalism is as bad as the dailymail these days. Stories with facts anyone? It's all hype and opinion portrayed as truth.

    Bill because he's also good at taking people's money by the billions and not producing the goods.

  3. gizmo23

    Our colonial cousins

    Surely this information is for those residing in the colonies who may be a tad confused over the difference between England, Scotland and Wales. I'm sure most of us at some time have heard a Scot lamenting the fact that someone from over the pond thinks they're English.

    You know how it goes:

    Scot: "I'm from Edinburgh"

    American: "That's near London isn't it? I 've got a friend who lives in London called John. Do you know him?"

    <sound of Scot grinding teeth>

  4. Pete Silver badge

    why's it only only in english?

    maybe the activists have been too quiet recently

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Well to be fair...

    ... the BBC website is hugely popular around the world. It's quite conceivable that there are some Americans reading it who might well need the hint.

  6. Neil


    Especially when the article below this one has a headline of "Paris ups sticks to London".

  7. Paul Naylor

    How stupid to they think we are?

    Well, when the BBC news in the morning seems determined to fill up as much air time as possible with the latest news from Strictly Come Wanking (or "Strictly" as they trendily call it) and are becoming more like GMTV every day, I think such cartographical explanations need to be given to an audience that get their world news from TV talent shows and Heat magazine.

    I find that in the morning that I am increasingly turning over to BBC News 24. At least the news there is provided for people with a IQ higher than a boiled potato.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, if Bush reads the BBC website

    He's no really sure where Wales is, he once asked Charlotte Church (or whatever her name is) what state Wales was in.

    This of course assuming that Bush can read.

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Wales is a tiny place?

    Surely not - it's at least the size of Wales...

    (The one without the leek in its pocket, thanks.)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Our colonial cousins

    Don't call them our cousins. I am not related to any of them. I should know. I know my family tree and it does NOT branch over to the other side of the pond, thank you very much.

  11. Sir Runcible Spoon

    BBC and England

    Knowing how the BBC likes to treat us, I'm very surprised not to see it labelled as the 'regions' or some such bollocks

  12. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Our colonial cousins

    Well, mine does, you literal-minded gimp, so put a sock in it or half of me will whup your sorry ass.

  13. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    In fairness

    There may be students reading and we all know the quality of British teaching leaves something to be desired.

  14. Liam

    hmmm - comments but generally better for me..

    wasnt it only quite recently that the majority of school leaving yanks couldnt point out the USA on a map without labelled countries? i guess we have some thickos here too...

    didnt jade from big brother think cambridge was a part of london?

    sometimes i despair at the level of devolution going on in the world

  15. Bassey

    Reminds me

    I was sat in a cafe several months ago and BBC Radio 1 was annoyingly blaring away. The news came on and opened with "Today, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister...". Even the way it was said made it absolutely clear that the person reading it out was expecting a significant proportion of Radio 1 listeners to need the extra clarification as to who this Gordon Brown bloke was and why on earth Radio 1 might be reporting on what HE was doing rather than the latest exploits in "I'm a 3rd rate non-entity who'll do anything for a tango".

    Anyway, I've noticed an even more annoying trend on the BBC news (both TV and radio) lately. They seem to have stopped reporting "The News" and have started reporting the Newspapers. Every fecking news item starts off with "The Times has reported that...", or "In today's Mirror it has been revealed...". It's as if the BBC news department has just become a news aggregation service.

  16. nbc

    @Sarah Bee

    Would you like vaseline or valve grinding paste with that whupping?

  17. Elmer Phud

    How big is England?

    The BBC is missing a bit more info:

    "England, about the area of (n) Wales's"

    " I 've got a friend who lives in London called John. Do you know him?" - not a phenomenon unknown to Londoners (or anyone else from a city).As a Londoner I've been asked by English people where the 'bus station' is as most towns have one at the centre.

    Most Little Englanders have no idea how big the U.S. is, even the concept of having more than one time zone in a country leaves yer average Brit foaming at the mouth and twitching due to having to think. They can't even get their wee heads round the idea that New York (state) is bigger than Blighty.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Erm, no. The international version is international, and comes with advertising. The UK version comes with no advertising, is what I look at when I read the news, and still comes with a map pointing out the location of England wrt Wales.

  19. Sceptical Bastard

    @ Colonial cousins; @ Sarah

    Quote: "I know my family tree and it does NOT branch over to the other side of the pond, thank you very much."

    What bollocks. If you're a caucasian person in Gt Britain and Ireland whose family has been here more than a few generations then you are very likely to be distantly related to many white (and many mixed race) Americans. In fact, judging by the intellectual content of your post, I bet you are close family with Dubya.

    Quote: "... me will whup your sorry ass." You're on a winner there, gal! A lot of us perves would pay good money for that!

  20. rhydian


    We have our own Welsh BBC news site thanks....

  21. Simon.W

    Well... the BBC is

    obviously up to speed with how well Labour are doing at dumbing down the UK education system.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Re. Our colonial cousins

    In my world, we're ALL brothers, brother (and sister).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I know you know where England is...

    Not everyone in the world knows (or gives a crap) where England is...

    I'm sure you do, But its not the britain wide web... its the World Wide Web...

  24. John PM Chappell
    Thumb Up


    Yay for the moderatrix! That is all. :¬)

  25. umacf24

    Literal-minded Gimp

    Class prose like that explains why I'll never make it as a writer.

  26. Tom

    American geographical knowledge, and the lack thereof

    A few years ago I was working with somebody from the US of A, and spent ages trying to explain how England was playing Wales in the 6 Nations. He just couls not seem to get it in to his head that Swansea is in Wales, not in England. Luckily has were watching rugby, and not football, there was no trouble with him cheering England.

    Of course the England/Wales things is nothing complared getting him to understand the rules of rugby.

    Dw i'n byw yng Nghymru!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most unfair!

    The tone of this article is most unfair.

    Quite obviously it is not aimed at us English, or our Welsh cousins. It is intended for the colonials over the Atlantic, the ones who think England is somewhere near London and Wales is a fish.

  28. flobadob

    Whinging moaner

    Someone should now tell the BBC where Scotland is. They clearly don't know.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 21st October 2008 09:53 GMT

    Dear Colonialist Cousin,

    You might be surprised how DNA travels, and how closely we humans are all related. By one measure, we are all at least cousins.

    Now that the Beeb has got the location of Wales sorted, perhaps you could tell me where I might find my friend Jones...

  30. Anonymous Coward

    @I know you know where England is...

    Well if that's the case fuck off and read a US only site if our Britishness offends you. After all,

    "The Register is produced by Situation Publishing Ltd, a UK registered company based at...."

    Cigarettes are truly evil as it's their fault we decided to settle your horrible inhospitable land!

  31. Law
    Paris Hilton

    RE: Our colonial cousins

    "You know how it goes:

    Scot: "I'm from Edinburgh"

    American: "That's near London isn't it? I 've got a friend who lives in London called John. Do you know him?"

    <sound of Scot grinding teeth>"

    Could be worse - I was getting a tour of Stirling by my wife, as it was her granny's final place of living before she died - and so we went up to see the William Wallace monument. We were there feeling all proud and such (even though I'm actually English) and then we heard this shrill american lady stand back and go "Oh wow - all this for a movie" - then cue conversation of how it compares to other things, such as the palace at disney world. It took all my strength not to push her over the wall and to her death... obviously screaming FREEEEEDOMMMMM whilst doing it.

    Thinking I'd seen everything, I got back to the b&b, and the kind lady who owned the place told us of another time when some merkins booked a room there, and said they would arrive by midday. The day they were to get there, it got to 8pm, and no show, so she let the room out as it was peak season. At 10pm there was a knock on the door... turned out they thought they could just hop on the tube in Euston and get to Stirling in less than a few minutes.

    Sad thing is, the ones who actually know there is a London, a Scotland and an England are actually the smart ones! :'(

  32. Chika
    IT Angle


    Perhaps, when they finish doing that, somebody would like to tell HMG.

  33. Michael
    Jobs Horns

    @ Our colonial cousins

    Err.. I DO have cousins in the US and Canada especially actually.. They may be distant cousins but they are still cousins.. The only problem here is the un-inherited trait of selfdenial and world domination that they all seem to have?

  34. Derek Bradshaw

    Lies all lies

    The BBC need this info for themselves 'cos they have no idea.

    I sit in an office in the home counties but cannot get streaming news 24....

    BBC think I am a foreigner cos this particular company has its pipe pour out onto to t'internet in Germany somewhere.... Even after registering and telling the BBC exactly where in the country I am.

  35. Anonymous John

    @ How big is England?

    The first time I went to the USA (early 1970s), it was hard to avoid the following conversation.

    "Where ya from?"

    "Wallasey - near Liverpool "

    "Gee! D'ya know the Beatles?"

    I did know Jacquie & Bridie though, but nobody ever asked me that.

  36. Kevin O'Connor

    Geography lessons

    I was on Holiday in Egypt recently when one of the First Choice reps preceded to tell everyone as part of a dances of the world routine, "last but not least, Ireland, the most favourite place to visit in the UK" - He left the resort the following week to come home and start teaching (I kid you not...).

    I met two English women in Cape Town a few years back and they were adamant that Ireland was part of the UK, I had to show them my Irish Passport and that I had Euros with me before they believed me. I'm afraid to say not everyone has had great geography lessons....

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Further help for the still confused

    Shouldn't it also have an arrow pointing left to show where Wales is relative to America? And one sort of north, north west to show the all important geographic Cambrian relationship to Iceland. Not to mention one pointing sort of south so I can locate Wales' position from Tristan da Cunha.

    Bloody dumbing down of the BBC...

  38. Tony


    'We have our own Welsh BBC news site thanks....'

    For the benefit of those outside of Wales, here is what the map looks like on BBC Cymru:

  39. Markie Dussard
    Thumb Up

    Once upon a time in California ...

    ... when I first met my American girlfriend (now ex-wife) she seriously believed Wales was an island.

    Of course I probably didn't help matters by explaining that, while it was still attached to the mainland, quite a lot of English folk wished it was a feckin' island!

  40. Chris Hamilton

    I can understand some of the confusion....

    We, as a nation (the UK, that is), have no real identity.

    British Isles - An archipelago in North Western Europe. Including Great Britain, Ireland, Hebrides, Shetlands, Orkneys, Man and others (does not include the Channel Islands, no matter what the jersey tourist board say). The term British Isles is controversial in Ireland though, as it implies UK ownership over the whole archipelago.

    Great Britain - Not a country, but the largest island in the British Isles. Includes Scotland, England and Wales, which together make up 3/4 of the United Kingdoms constituent nations.

    Ireland - Not a country, but the second largest island in the British Isles. Includes the nation of the Republic of Ireland and also the Northern Ireland part of the United Kingdom (which is technically the sole surviving part of the Kingdom of Ireland).

    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (or UK) - A nation made up of the whole of Great Britain, plus the northern part of the island of Ireland. It's capital is London, the head of state is HM Queen Elizabeth II, and the Prime Minister is Gordon Brown.

    Scotland - A constituent nation of the UK, taking up the northern 1/3 of Great Britain. Many, many miles from London. Has devolved powers, and is self-governing in respect to domestic policy. Immigration, defence and foreign policy are still handled by the UK gov. Also includes most of the islands on the northern and western coasts of Scotland.

    England - A constituent nation of the UK, taking up the southern 2/3 of Great Britain. This contains London, though London has many devolved powers and is becoming increasingly self-governing.

    Wales - A principality of the UK, on the western side of England. Was annexed by England long before the act of union, and has only been recognised as seperate to England in the latter part of the 20th Century. Is largely self-governing, with a strong gaelic speaking community and identity.

    Northern Ireland (or Ulster) - A province of the UK. On the NE part of the island of Ireland. Is populated by a majority of Scots protestant descendants, which is the primary reason why it did not gain independence at the same time as the catholic dominated Republic.

    Republic of Ireland (or Eire) - A sovereign nation, taking up most of the southern and NW parts of the island of Ireland. Has not been part of the UK since the early part of the 20th Century.

    Isle of Man - Not a part of the UK, but a self governing Crown dependency.

    Channel Islands - A chain of islands of NW France. Not a part of the UK, but a group of self governing Crown dependencies.

    Now, try explaining that to our colonial cousins.

  41. Chris

    There is is place called wales?

    What do they use it for? rearing sheep?

  42. Remedial Gash


    "Wales - A principality of the UK, on the western side of England. Was annexed by England long before the act of union, and has only been recognised as seperate to England in the latter part of the 20th Century. Is largely self-governing, with a strong GAELIC speaking community and identity."

    We speak Welsh or Cymraeg luv, which is more similar to Breton and Cornish than Gaelic, Scots or Manx.

    It's summit to do with P & Q goedelic if I remember tidy.



  43. Michael O'Malley

    What's the problem?

    The map focused on an important country, Wales. As people might have idly wondered what the unimportant landmass beside it was called, the BBC told them. Apart from its inhabitants, most people would not care, of course.

    Makes sense to me, and I don't understand the discussion.

  44. Cap'n wotsit
    Thumb Up

    @ Most Unfair AC

    Go back to school dumbass, a whale is not a fish, it's a mammal.

    @ chris hamilton, nice one for pointing out that wales is a principality, not a country, I was going to do it myself, but you beat me to the punch :)

  45. John Savard

    Various notes

    Eire is certainly not part of the UK, but, as noted, Northern Ireland is. And people over here certainly to get confused when they hear people referring to either England or Scotland as a country. A country is something which mints coins, issues postage stamps, and has an army, an air force, and possibly a navy (if it's not landlocked, a problem definitely not experienced by Britain, whose navy long "ruled the waves").

    So, naturally, because Her Majesty Elizabeth II is often referred to as the "Queen of England", and in other ways England is called a 'nation' or a 'country', it's not at all surprising that they come to the conclusion that 'England' must be another name for the UK.

    I've been told I'm mistaken about this, but I do remember hearing the term 'Britain', as opposed to 'Great Britain', the large island including Scotland, England, and Wales, being used to refer to just the territory formerly held by the Welsh - that is, Great Britain exclusive of Scotland, or England and Wales. Just to add to the confusion noted above.

  46. Anonymous John

    When t comes to being geograpically challenged,

    the Lads from Lagos are in a class of their own. London covers most of the British Isles, which explains addresses such as Edinburgh, London, England.

    I've also come across West Indies United Kingdom, but my favourite is "Northern Ireland Channel Islands, England in the United Kingdom". Although to be fair, the sender was lying dying of cancer in an intensive care unit with tubes sticking out of her at the time..

  47. Nano nano

    Shortly arriving at London - Prestwick ...

    And I thought it was Ryanair that needed geography lessons ...

  48. Law

    RE: Gaelic?

    "... which is more similar to Breton and Cornish than Gaelic, Scots or Manx."

    Hey - don't bring Manchester into this!! Mahd four it.

    I for one welcome our Cymraeg overlords.....

  49. Colin Asquith

    ...but BBC news is worldwide!

    I met quite a few people from the US who thought that Scotland was in England, Scotland *was* England, England was the capital of Britain and Wales was joined to Ireland etc. I am sure that for it's overseas readers it's safest to point it out!!

  50. Anonymous John

    @ When t comes to being geograpically challenged,

    I can spell, honest!

  51. Pat Volk

    To us yanks

    The map kind of makes sense, because you English types get your princes from Wales. And then they get stoned on scones or something... knowing the Scottish food, that ain't suprising. That would also explain the tooth stereotype if you think about it...

  52. Neil Cooper

    Judging by where the dot is...

    It looks like England is somewhere near Kidderminster.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Elmer Phud

    "...New York (state) is bigger than Blighty" - Sorry Elmer but not everything this side of the pond is as big or great as 'merkins like to think!! NY State is a mere 1/5th the size of Blighty.

    A Brit in Texas getting sick to the back teeth of "Oh Gee I lurve y'alls accent!'re from England - is that near London?"

  54. RW
    Thumb Up

    I approve of the BBC's map

    It doesn't assume the reader knows where England is.

    And forget not that the same map may be generated in who knows how many other languages: does the average speaker of Lower Slobbovian necessarily know what the geographic relation of Wales to England is? Thought not!

    In point of fact, the maps on the BBC website are among the best to be found anywhere on the web. Some of their stories are too "popular", but cartographically they're about the best to be found anywhere.

  55. Kenny Swan

    American Idiot

    I agree with the general consensus here that it's for the readers over the pond that somehow stumble onto the site. I am a Scot and upon a New Yorker hearing my accent, I was asked which part of Ireland I came from. (Swing and a miss). I then told him I was from Scotland and was then asked which part of Ireland that was (Another swing at thin air). I explained that Scotland wasn't in Ireland and then he asked if it was near London. (Strike three, you're outta here.) The most powerful nation in the World? It's scary, that many idiots having so much collective power.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    "....whup your sorry ass."

    What on earth has his poor load-bearing animal done to deserve that?

    Or do you mean his arse?

  57. Sam

    Schum Mishtake Shirley

    On the map, "England" is in larger type than "Pontypool".

    Sloppy work there.

  58. Chris

    Err, no.

    RE:Re: Elmer Phud:

    "...New York (state) is bigger than Blighty" - Sorry Elmer but not everything this side of the pond is as big or great as 'merkins like to think!! NY State is a mere 1/5th the size of Blighty.

    OK, first which one is Blighty? That one was not on Chris Hamilton's list. Is it the whole UK, or just Great Britain, or only England, or something else entirely?

    In any case, the area of NY State is approximately 50,000 square miles (between 47,654 and 54,475 depending on the source you listen to). The entire UK, on the other hand, is less than 100,000 square miles, according to

    Where I come from, although it is indeed greater, 100,000 is not even close to 5 times more than 50,000. NY state is by no means the largest state in the US. It isn't even the largest state east of the Mississippi.

    In Blighty, whatever it may actually be, you really don't have a clue as to distances over here, and how we regartd them. Us Yanks think nothing of hopping in the car for a 3-hour trip to the beach or other recreation spot, just for the day (i.e. another 3 hour return journey that night). Some of us do it every single weekday, commuting to work.

    Google Maps indicates London to Edinburgh is 404 miles, or about 7 hours, which is roughly the distance from NY City, on the eastern side of the state, to Jamestown, NY, near the western boundary. That's a bit much for a day trip, but no problem for a long weekend, say. Much more than that would almost certainly be undertaken by airplane, except by students and the unemployed, who have more time than money.

  59. Scott Silver badge

    UK residents need geography lessons too.

    I Live near Birmingham in England. This is about 100 miles from the south coast. I think it is about 250 miles from the Scottish borders and about 600 miles from the north coast. Why am I continually told by the locals here that this is the "Midlands". They keep telling me that this is the north-south middle of 'the country'.

    The British Midlands are somewhere in the Lake District and even the middle of England is somewhere towards Manchester.

    It't not just people from the USA that have no idea about British geography.

  60. Peter Lawrence

    @ Chris

    I've had friends from the UK that have said that we in Canada and the US have a better highway system than in Europe (with the exception of Germany), and as such can actually do a decent speed. We drove across the Rocky Mountains, from Calgary, Alberta to Spokane, Washington, a trip of about 800km/500mi and it took us a little over 8 hours (including approximately 30 minutes of waiting at the Canada-US border). A similar trip, through a similarly populated area in Europe would have taken, I have been told, almost 50% longer. I guess that's why we over on this side of the pond are willing to drive a little further.

  61. kain preacher

    To the UK readers

    that think yanks are idiots for not knowing your geography , Can you locate every one of our states on a map ?? Can you name all of our protectorates/ territories ??

  62. Daniel B.

    Other languages rarely use "UK"

    In Spanish, "Inglaterra" (England) is more commonly used than "Reino Unido" (United Kingdom), though you can say that the UK is lucky in actually having a translated term for the proper country's name. The Netherlands are called "Holanda" (Holland)...

    Anyway, anyone who has seen "Braveheart" and *doesn't* know that Scotland is a country must've been sleeping during the movie. Sheesh.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re Colonial Cousins

    Unfortunately Canada and the Midwest are infested (literally) with distant branches of my family . I think the local Laird dumped them there during the Clearances, and they bred like rabbits.

  64. Matt

    @Chris Hamilton

    Just to add to the mix:

    Ulster <> Northern Ireland.

    The island of Ireland has 32 counties (26 in the Rep., 6 in NI).

    Also contains 4 provinces. These 4 are Leinster, Connacht, Munster and Ulster. (Might recognise some rugby teams named after these!).

    Ulster is made up of the 6 counties of NI - Fermanagh, Antrim, Tyrone, Down, Armagh + Derry/Londonderry (last one's name depending on who you are), *plus* 3 counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan from the Republic.

    So to say Ulster meaning NI, while it is done, (e.g. "Ulster says No") isn't strictly correct.

    Another aside:

    If you want to further wonder about all this look at sports:

    Soccer - national teams for England, Scotland, Wales, NI, ROI

    Rugby - national teams for England, Scotland, Wales one team "Ireland" - which is ROI+NI

    Athletics - Team GB (England, Scotland, Wales + NI - should probably be called Team UK) and Team Ireland (ROI only)

    Why all the differences??

  65. Law
    Paris Hilton

    RE: To the UK readers

    "Can you locate every one of our states on a map ??"

    Yep, I can, although it really is a pointless question since the majority of American's can't even name all your own states. That fact even made it into Friends, when Chandler and Ross tried to do it over either thanks giving or new year and they couldn't do it.

    Now, can you please name all the states that make up the EU.... because I haven't a clue. :(

  66. Tony


    'Us Yanks think nothing of hopping in the car for a 3-hour trip to the beach or other recreation spot, just for the day (i.e. another 3 hour return journey that night). Some of us do it every single weekday, commuting to work.'

    Perhaps you should start thinking about it Chris.

    Historically American cars are famous for getting some of the worst fuel economy in the developed world.

    Your petrol prices have been kept artificially low for a long time, but those days are over.

    You are going to have to get used to travelling less and it costing you more.

  67. Markie Dussard

    @kain preacher

    So, what is your point? Being able to name states and state capitols because your education system requires you rote learn them is not hugely useful, even for Americans. To be honest I have a reasonable idea of where Nebraska is in relation to Missouri, or Florida to Idaho, yes. Plus I have cheerfully driven around the West and South West of the US, so I know where Arizona nd New Mexico are. I've even driven around the Rockies a bit. But then I also know where Laos and Cambodia are, which is a little geographical imprecision Americans are well-noted for.

    It is a fairly common stereotype of the non-travelling American (i.e. never travelling outside their own continent, much like your cokehead-retard President before his dad bought him the job) having only the vaguest idea of world geography. It's no surprise to me that the connection is assumed between Obama and Osama, for example, when a fair proportion of Americans routinely confuse Austria and Australia. And when you bleated on about 'Freedom Fries' because you were sulking about how the French wouldn't join your Coalition of the Compliant, it was pretty clear that you had a pretty hazy and dim view of your own history too.

  68. Chris


    This isn't about fuel prices or mileage. It's about geography. A three hour drive is a three hour drive, whether in an SUV getting 15 mpg, a hybrid getting 50+ or something that runs on compressed air. If railroads here were an option, it would still probably be a 2+ hour train ride.

    Our country is much more spread out than Europe (including the UK). You all have been living there longer, and most of that time you didn't have anything that went faster than a horse. So mosy things are a day's ride apart.

    P.S. How do you know your fuel prices haven't been kept artificially high all this time? Gasoline in the Gulf countries is even cheaper than the US. An imperial gallon of very high octane full service leaded gas in the UAE costs less than a gallon of water.

  69. Andy

    If it's for our septic (and other colonial) friends

    I want to know when they started paying the TV license. Why should WE (cue in Dambusters music), the GREAT British public

    who work hard all day, every day to pay OUR GREAT BRITISH TV license

    so that WE, the GREAT British public, can have Eastender on weeknights and Strictly Come Dancing on the weekends

    only to find that

    WE, the GREAT British Public, are helping to fund our colonial cousins Geography Lessons.

    What happened when WE, the GREAT British public, actually went to their countries in centuries gone by and killed them for the good of GREAT Britain?

    Did they thank us?

    Did they attend Geography lessons?

    Did they willingly hand over all their nubile young ladies?

    NO! So why should WE, the GREAT British public, now fund their education by allowing the BBC to put out maps of this kind for our colonial cousins to learn from?

    A stop has got to be put to this kind of outrageous information giving. The Government of this GREAT Britain complain about the Brain Drain to our colonial cousins countries and yet the BBC is freely and publicly giving information away.

    Down with the BBC.

  70. weirdcult

    @rhydian By Tony

    Looks like they have spelt it wrong. My welsh friends repeatedly call me a cun.......

  71. kain preacher

    @Markie Dussard

    whats the point ? Simple if you are going to rip on me for not knowing you countries geography but dont know mine , that's being arrogant. Thats the same attitude that people complain about Americans. Thinking that your country is the center of the world.

  72. Wayne

    Wikipedia source of some of the confusion

    Wikipedia lists the area of the state of New York, USA as being 54,555sq miles. England is listed as 50,346sq miles.

    Elmer Phud was correct is his assertion that New York is larger than England. He was not referring the UK, Britain, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, or the Isle of Man. The UK is 94,526sq miles compared with the USA's 3,794,066sq miles. That does lend some credence to the thought that UK doesn't seem to attract further inspection. The state of Oregon is 98,466sq miles. Most residents of the UK would be hard pressed to recognize the much about the state of Oregon much less the actual counties contained therein.

    I'm sorry that your feelings were hurt that someone didn't know about your homeland, but you're not the center of the world. It may shock you but a great many people consider the whole lot of you rather boorish and uninteresting. (Except the Scots, of course)

    That said... It's a shame that more Americans don't dig the British Isles, they're a fun place to visit and I've always enjoyed the people and the land. <Personally, I like the Scots the most but they tend to be the same sort of ornery that I am.>

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is everyone arguing about..

    This is a non-story. There's a map, and it was labelled correctly. Wales is next to England. The map reflects that. Problem??

    ALL maps do this.

    Wales much like England is quite unrecognisable to most when the shape of the country is singled out on it's own. NI/Ireland of course is already on it's own (not joined to another country) so we have a clear idea of what the outline looks like, and Scotland is at the top with a very distinctively shaped border. (However, a Scotland map will usually mark out 'England' next to it if it is visible on the map.)

    Kevin that isn't strictly Geography. The problem is because people in Scotland, England and Wales all use the terms UK and Britain interchangably to describe where they live, not having to remember or care whether NI/Ireland is part of it (because it's not relevant to what they're saying)

    It is used this way so much that when the time comes, it's hard for them to remember when a small country should be excluded from what part.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    the difference is the USA is practically half or a quarter of a continent. It is far too vast to expect people to have detailed knowledge about every corner. Plus, those are states you're talking about. Not countries. In fact most people know the majority of US states and can name-check a fair amount of places IN those states.

    Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales are clearly separate countries and ones that should be readily recognisable to anyone who has ever viewed a map.

    It's the same idea that most people who have looked at maps in their life know that Belgium exists. Even though it is smaller than Britain and significantly less talked about in (most of) the world.

    Why on earth would you expect foreigners to know not only all 50 states of USA, but details about those states, names of places in them, when you or other Americans don't even bother to learn the whole 4 or 5 countries that are part of Britain/UK, or the separate countries that make up Europe even.

    There are less countries in Europe than states in America!

    PS all: please don't use Wikipedia to argue facts if you want to be taken seriously. It is supposed to be used to get brief answers uickly before they are looked into more thoroughly.

    Can't you at least go to the page which is cited as a source and credit that instead??

  75. Wayne


    Separate countries? Does Wales have a representative to the UN, or does the UK's rep actually come from Wales? Does Wales have their own ratification procedure for NATO?


    When each of the principalities start signing trade agreeements and treaties as a separate faction (as Ireland does) then we will probably pay as much attention to them as we do Belgium.

    The relationship that you just described is similar to the state system in the US. Lots of self-governance and what not but lacking the ability to independently of the over-arching gov't of the UK. That is exactly how Oregon relates to the greater US.

    Regarding the relevance of size to the knowledge argument. That's a specious point at best and intentionally avoiding the point at worst. The point is, unless each of the separate member-states of the UK engage in political or economic wrangling in such a manner as to require notice by outsiders they will remain part of an amorphous political blob roughly the shape of the British Isles. Most people's knowledge of geography comes from necessity. Either a country makes itself known through political or economic means i.e Georgia, or some other national notoriety (Swaziland?). If it is given that it is unlikely that the UK will allow the Wales parliament to engage in such dealings then it is most likely that you will either have to drastically increase your tourism advertising budget (See Scotland) or be resigned to anonymity.

    I have spent a good portion of time in the UK (several 6 month stints living in the Bayswater area of London, and few trips to Aberdeen and Edinburgh) and thus I know a bit about the geography but I wouldn't ask a US peer to have any such knowledge any more than I would require my peers in Aberdeen to know where Oklahoma is. To do so is pedantic and petty.

    Not that there should be any other expectations from an Internet forum.

  76. Dave Morris

    If you like to hear teeth gnashing...

    Just ask anyone from Washington state pretty much any personal experience question about Washington DC.

    <remainder of rant canceled>

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me old-fashioned...

    ...but I quite like my maps with labels.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Typical English Arrogance

    Not everything is about England - perhaps it's because most of those in the home counties wouldn't know where Wales actually was?

    Another class peice of El Reg tabloidism

  79. ThinkingOutLoud
    Paris Hilton

    US readership

    To paraphrase an old IBM expression:

    No-one ever went bust underestimating the American public's intelligence...

    I speak from experience when saying many "real" US citizens are barely aware of our existence. As big as their country is, why should they? We should be so lucky to have access to every type of climate and landscape without needing a passport or speaking a different language.

    Doesn't stop me laughing at their ignorance, though!

    Paris because she's bound to screw up when asked about her knowledge of GB.

  80. Pierre

    To be fair to the US citizens

    Most of them know that Canada and Mexico exist. Though a significant proportion probably think they are US states. As for the non-north american world, well, why would they bother? it's far and some of the people there don't even speak american.

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