On Thu, 26 Sep 2002 11:55:56 -0400
John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Stephen Mulraney scripsit:

> > form factor), and the sorter doesn't know where the address refers to,
> > they'll put it in a mystery box, awaiting the coming of the geniuses
> > who know every townland name in Ireland, in both languages (quote:
> > "Rathnalurney? Sure that's on Tory Island in county Donegal!").

> How many of these geniuses are there?  Not many, I'll warrant.

There doesn't seem to be any shortage of them. It may be down to
the fact that many of them have been in the post office for years;
and although Ireland may have a higher placename density than, say,
the U.S., the set "all the placenames in Ireland" still is quite a
manageable amout of data to pick up over ten years or so.

> The problem is even worse in London, where no locality names are required
> at all (just the street address, "London", and the postal code) and
> the location can be in any of four counties.  County addresses are not

Four? Hmm... Middlesex, Essex, Kent... and Surrey?

I was just looking at a map of English & Welsh counties in appendix
29 (of 78!) of Norman Davies' "The Isles", and I discovered a county
Huntingdonshire, which I'd never heard of before. Counties in Great
Britain seem to have been fairly malleable entites, unlike Irish
counties which are eternal (or coterminous with the playing of gaelic
football and hurling anyway).

> required by the Royal Mail, but it's nice if they are at least correct.

Within the U.K., country addresses aren't required either, but "Edinburgh,
England" is still a bad idea.


I think the waffle quote was from fortune (6), BTW.
In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.