Site Meter Elsie's Space: I Let Go of Pluto...
Location: New England, United States

Not much to tell.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I Let Go of Pluto...

but I can't bring myself to let go of Australia.

Daughter was studying geography last night, specifically continents. "Do you know all the continents, Mom?" "Sure, I know the continents -- North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia." "No mom. Australia isn't a continent, it's a country in Oceania." "What?" "Australia is in Oceania." Now, here's where I feel really stupid. "No, sweetie, Australia is a continent." "No, Mom. Oceania is the continent. Australia is part of it. So is New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and a bunch of other little islands." Was there a big news story that I missed? She proves her point by showing me a map (printed in 2006) she got in school.

First Pluto, now Australia. Will this soon be a trick question on Jeopardy? Probably not. Those people probably know already. I feel so uninformed. Who made this decision, and how could they do it without talking to me?

"You learn something new every day, Mom." You sure do. Oceania. Sigh.


Anonymous Winston said...

For me, who made straight As in Geography way back in a previous century, Australia will always be a continent and Pluto a planet and a goofy looking cartoon dog.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I didn't know that either. And they do sums differently.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Colin Campbell said...

Well I just think that is another example of Yankee cultural imperialism and nothing short of bollocks. Australia is the same size approximately as the USA and definitely a continent.

I used to find some of these kinds of things exasperating when I lived in America. There is a different cultural reality to the rest of the world.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Elsie said...

Winston -- I, too, made all A's in Geography. What are they doing to us?

Liz -- as far as I can tell, they still do sums the same way I was taught.

Colin -- I'm not really sure that Oceania is an American thing. I'm not sure where it comes from. You may have a point though -- the U.S. shares a continent with Canada and Mexico, and maybe someone thinks that no country should be its own continent if we can't be. Thanks for stopping in.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Clare said...

I thought it was Australasia... Maybe I'm wrong too...and worryingly, I'm half Australian!

2:11 PM  

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