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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Switzerland is not Sweden

An overheard conversation:

“Where’s Ms. Shields this year?” one sophomore asked.

Before I could reply, one of her classmates gave her the answer: “Don’t you remember? She got married and moved to Philadelphia.”

“Oh, yes,” recalled the first student. “She married some German guy, didn’t she?”

“I don’t think he’s German,” offered student #2. “He must be Swedish, ’cause they got married in Sweden.”

“But he’s still German,” countered the first sophomore. “People in Sweden are German. That’s because Sweden conquered Germany in World War I.”

I decided it would be better not to try to set them right, other than to point out that the guy Ms. Shields married was Swiss, and they got married in Switzerland, not in Sweden. Switzerland, Sweden, what’s the difference?

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