Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Google Eire

The Google Earth data about Ireland has been updated to use the Irish names for towns instead of the more common English versions. The English version of the name is displayed in parenthesis beside the Irish ones but I'm still not happy about it.

Sure from a ideal nationalistic perspective it's a good thing to use Irish place names in preference to the anglicized ones but that view is a minority one. However the minority is more vocal than the majority and in places like Dingle, sorry An Daingean or whatever they call it this month, they force the majority to use Irish place names. Forcing Irish down the throats of school children for generations has failed to revive or even halt the decline of the dying language so instead of trying to find more imaginative ways to popularize the language they just try to force it down the throats of adults as well.

Ironically Ireland is called Ireland not Eire, as I'm sure the Gaelic extremists would like. But just as controversially "Londonderry (Derry)" is on the map as well, Ian Paisley must not use Google or we would have heard him shouting from here.

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