Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Ireland and Romania, but no other states of the European Union and surprisingly few worldwide. What?
Answer: Much ingenuity in comments, but I was thinking of something a lot simpler - Ireland and Romania are both (and surprisingly rarely) countries with one-word official names ("Ireland" and "Romania"). Particularly strange in the case of Ireland because it's regularly referred to as "The Republic Of Ireland", much more often than, say, "The Kingdom of Spain" or "The French Republic" are referred to by their actual official names. Presumably it comes from the need to distinguish the football team from NI; the Federal Republic of Germany is the only other country that gets this treatment at all.
It was suggested in comments a few times that Romania and Ireland are also unusual in having a large block in a neighbouring country who want to unify with them, and presumably this is all tied up with the name thing, as country names are often used to express political opinions (cf the Imperialist Definite Article). It is worth taking the trouble to get Ireland right in my experience - in all honesty the only type of person who will correct would be a) a very nationalistic Irishman who b) had taken a dislike to you for other reasons anyway, but I suspect that constantly referring to "The Republic of Ireland" or "Irish Republic" in conversation would set teeth on edge and mark you out as ignorant. If you're interested in the history, here it is, at length, although not at anything like as much length as the (Former Yugoslav?) Republic of Macedonia.
 I see from the Wikipedia page that stylebook for every British media organisation except the Economist is to be ignorant. Also that if you're planning on serving an extradition warrant in Ireland from Britain, you'd do well to bear in mind that apparently the Supreme Court is made up of nationalistic Irishmen who have taken a dislike to you anyway.
Update: Congratulations to ML who sneaked under the wire and got the right answer while I was typing that in!
this item posted by the management 2/12/2010 12:25:00 AM