Message from discussion Is LISP dying?
From: s...@rmovt.rply.ce.chalmers.se (Stefan Axelsson)
Subject: Re: Is LISP dying?
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
X-Trace: nyheter.chalmers.se 934465055 9466 184.108.40.206 (12 Aug 1999 13:37:35 GMT)
Organization: Chalmers University of Technology
NNTP-Posting-Date: 12 Aug 1999 13:37:35 GMT
In article <slrn7r56r4.9sr.s...@ara.ii.uib.no>,
Stig E. Sandø <s...@ii.uib.no> wrote:
>If I am not totally wrong and/or been taught the wrong things in school,
>the scandinavian countries are Norway, Sweden and Denmark. It is often
>confused with the term 'Nordic countries' which includes Finland, Iceland and
>Færøyene. The finns however do not share the same language background as
>the other nations, despite swedish attempts to teach them..
Well, it's interesting to see that crop up here, it's been a main
course on soc.culture.nordic some years ago. I've included a verbatim
quote from the soc.culture.nordic FAQ below. See:
for the complete FAQ, which contains more than you ever wanted to know
about the history and culture of the north.
>I am quite fond of Holland myself but to classify it as a Nordic country
>would probably be wrong.
There are many similarities, but for the wrong reasons. So no, they do
emphatically not belong with the "Nordic countries," if that term is
to maintain any useful meaning.
And to the original poster, no doubt trying to stir some animosity,
between us Nordic brethren, it really won't work. The aforementioned
FAQ puts it nicely as:
"The Nordic countries are, in spite of everything, like a family;
not a One Big Happy Family of Nations, no, just any old family with
its small quarrels and fights. They just tend to grow out of
proportion when we have no real problems or crises to fight about.
There are no great feelings of hatred between the different
nationalities, few historical traumas, our prejudices about each
other are pretty harmless, and so forth. We might have some Big
Brother or Little Brother complexes -- at least we like to accuse
each other of suffering from them -- but mostly we just like to make
some noise and get some attention."
Since this discussion really doesn't belong here, I'll confine my
remarks to this posting.
2.1.3 What is "Scandinavia"?
The word "Scandinavia" presents a bit more difficulty. In Nordic
languages, the meaning is quite clear:
Sweden, Denmark, Norway (and sometimes Iceland)
-- the ancient lands of the Norsemen.
The Scandinavian peninsula, on the other hand, is usually simply
understood as comprising Norway and Sweden, despite the unclear border
to the Kola peninsula. The northernmost part of Finland is of course
also situated on the Scandinavian peninsula.
But in English, alas, there seems to be no standard usage. This is
mainly due to the fact that English lacks a simple and clear term for
the five countries, and the word "Scandinavia" tends to be used for
that purpose instead. The term "Nordic countries", in its current
definition, is a rather recent invention, its meaning is still a bit
obscure especially to non-Europeans, it's awkward to use and to some
people it carries unpleasant connotations of the Aryan "Nordic
race". Therefore, you will find that it's quite common to define the
word "Scandinavia" in English like this:
[Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English]
1. of the countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland
in northern Europe, or their people or languages.
On the other hand, it is not uncommon to use the word "Scandinavia" in
its more limited definition. An example:
[The Concise Oxford Dictionary]
1. a native or inhabitant of Scandinavia
(Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland).
And some encyclopaedias put it like this:
[The Random House Encyclopaedia]
1. region of northern Europe consisting of
the kingdoms of Sweden, Norway and Denmark;
culturally and historically Finland and Iceland
are often considered part of this area.
Despite the term being rather clear for the Scandinavians themselves,
disputes remain about how the term would be understood and derived in
English. If the word is understood as a geographic term, how can then
Denmark be included - as most do. If instead it's deduced from the
area where the languages are quite similar North-Germanians, should
Iceland logically be excluded?
At the risk of disturbing some people's sleep, we will use "Nordic"
and "Scandinavian" interchangeably throughout this FAQ, for practical
reasons. You have been warned. :->
Stefan Axelsson Chalmers University of Technology
s...@rmovt.rply.ce.chalmers.se Dept. of Computer Engineering
(Remove "rmovt.rply" to send mail.)