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David C


Member

Posted Fri Dec 18th, 2009 9:12am Post subject: QI G4: Geography

Hello Stephen,
I registered because the QI site doesn't provide a interactive part. So to discuss the items on the show we can come here? Let's go!

First of all congratulations on the success and maintaining the high standard of the show. As a non Brit living on the continent the views of you and the guests towards other people, countries and culture amuse me as much as the 'silly' facts. Especially an item concerning my own country is most enjoyable.
As a Dutchman I was treated well in the Geography episode: 2 Dutch items.
First the one on the City of Groningen, not being part of Holland (correct). Your efford to pronounce Groningen correctly went completely wrong. Without trying hard to do well, the normal English pronounciation would have been absolutely correct! Off course by starting with the Dutch G, resembling a severe throat illness (it's like the ch in loch ness).
Then the issue with the national anthem. Everything in the translation was correct. Being the oldest anthem in the world the line about the loyalty to the King of Spain is completely logical when you know the context. Even wiki got it right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Het_Wilhelmus

You have expressed your interest in us as your not well-known neighbours in the past. Wouldn't it be an idea to do a tour by London cab through all 12 provinces? Your father would also have been offered a job at Leiden university if they knew of him! Or even at the university of Groningen...


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Bishop of Attleborough


Member

Posted Mon Dec 21st, 2009 8:49am Post subject: QI G4: Geography

I'd actually shown up to comment on the meaning of William the Silent ("the father of the fatherland") professing to always have honoured the king of Spain, but David here beat me to it.

Indeed, the point of the last two lines of the first stanza of Het Wilhelmus is that William is not just some common troublemaker, but a man whom certain grievances have driven to lead a rebellion in spite of his loyalty. This tells us that the grievances are strong indeed, but moreover (as the Wikipedia entry notes), that William's quarrel is not with the king himself, but rather, with his local representatives.

"Sergeant Colon had had a broad education. He’d been to the School of My Dad Always Said, the College of It Stands to Reason, and was now a post-graduate student at the University of What Some Bloke In the Pub Told Me." - Terry Pratchett, Jingo

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David C


Member

Posted Thu Dec 24th, 2009 4:35pm Post subject: QI G4: Geography

My sincere apologies, your Eminence to be a full 3 days quicker

Reading your comment in flauntless 'The Queen's English' I asume we don't live in the same country. So I'll let you in on some quite interesting from the Dutch perspective regarding the anthem:
the frase: "Ben ik van Duits(ch)en bloed", (am I of German blood) amazed us as schoolchildren the most.
Some background: since we were neutral during WW1 and occupied by those same Germans during WW2 that was our Great War, so to say. My generation's grandparents didn't like 'de Mof' (the Kraut) and raised our baby-boom parents that way. The 1974 World Cup final loss made things worse until 1988 when the European Cup was won, with the semi-final still called 'the real final': victory over Germany with the identical numbers as in 1974 but the other way around.
The fall of Communism did the rest and we are loving neighbours nowadays and all.
Back to the anthem: being taught I was 'of German blood' was a bit uncomforting in those days especially with my family background.
I am at peace with everything and everyone now and wish you happy holidays!


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