Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-05 > 1021072528

From: Renia <>
Subject: Re: County vs. Shire
Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 00:15:28 +0100
References: <>, <OyTC8.31374$>

John Steele Gordon wrote:

> "Clagett, Brice" <> wrote in message
> news:...
> > The stance of some (only one or two, I think) of our Brit
> > colleagues in the current debate about counties -- "That is NOT
> > (sniff) the way we do it over here," all evidence to the contrary
> > notwithstanding
> Could I perhaps suggest a middle ground here?
> Except for Washington and New York, Americans do not use the word state in
> referring to the various states of the union in ordinary discourse. We just
> say "my cousin from Massachusetts" not "my cousin from the state of
> Massachusetts." Washington and New York get special treatment because of the
> rather well known cities of the same name with which they are easily
> confused.
> But, that said, there is nothing wrong with the phrase "the state of
> Massachusetts." It's perfectly good English and in a formal context it is
> used often, such as in "The Great Seal of the State of Massachusetts." Or
> when some pontificating senator (pardon the redundancy) refers to "my
> learned colleague from the great state of Massachusetts," usually just
> before accusing him of being willing to let widows and orphans starve in
> the streets.
> So while no one would say, "I'm going down to county Kent for the weekend,"
> might they not write the phrase in some formal or legal context, such as
> "born 23rd October, 1612, in Deal, co. Kent"?

To this latter phrase, no, never.

A modern-day person would say I was born in Deal, on the assumption that the
other person knew it was in Kent. In case of doubt, the modern-day person would
say I was born in Deal in Kent. Not even Deal, Kent. On the other hand, the
modern-day person would say that his ancestor was born in 1612 in Deal in Kent.



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