“As a rule of thumb, the more qualifiers there are before the name of a
country, the more corrupt the rulers. A country called The Socialist
People’s Democratic Republic of X is probably the last place in the
world you’d want to live.” – Paul Graham
(Thanks to James Miller for that one)
“United States of America”?
“United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”?
Well, it’s not the number of words, it’s the number of prefixes. So where does the name actually start?
Anyway, I have a feeling you’d rather live somewhere called something simple, like, let’s say, “Scotland”? 🙂
Interesting comment, Quentin, but I see no reason why someone from outer space would see the first two words of “Democratic Republic of X” as any different from those of “United Kingdom of Y” in the “qualifiers vs. official name” taxonomy. Funny how perceptions change if we’re involved.
Hi Frank –
Well, I guess he only meant it to be a light-hearted observation!
And I never said I didn’t think our government was corrupt, too…
Devolution for England!!