Sunday, July 15, 2018

Literary Corner: England, My England!

Trump's redecoration of Air Force One, as reported by (update: fake, this is a known bad source).

In his interview with the so-called newspaper The Sun (via CNN) the other day, Emperor Trump was musing on how England doesn't seem to be England any more, at least toponymically: "You don't hear the word 'England' as much as you should. I miss the name England. I think England is a beautiful name. And you don't hear it very much anymore. But (the football team at the World Cup is) playing as 'England'. That's very interesting. That's good." Apparently not aware that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland field teams (none of which made it to the Round of 36, like the US, this year) as well. Then, during his exclusive tarmac interview aboard a grounded Air Force One with the hack Piers Morgan for the Daily Mail,
Under the TV are three digital clocks. They permanently display the same three times – Washington DC, local time and time in the next destination [I assume the displays of the local time and next destination are not permanent but change, in fact, as the location and intinerary of the plane change]. To the right of the TV was a brown leather sofa. Two hi-tech phones were behind it.
‘Can I pick one up and call someone?’ I asked, reaching down to phone Lord Sugar and boast about where I was.
‘NO!!!!!’ exclaimed another aide. ‘Do NOT touch those phones… please. Thank you, sir.’
The President’s staff all exude an air of delightfully polite menace. Next to the phones was a black leather bound menu containing that night’s culinary fare [as opposed presumably to the entertainment options and the locations of the emergency exits].
as Trump worked to slide away from revealing that he doesn't have any idea what Britain's industrial products might be, in advance of making a trade agreement with that ancient and distinguished country in which the United States might replace the European Single Market in Britain's economy, he got into toponymy again, but that turned out to be a dangerous subject too:

A Lot of People Don't Know That
by Donald J. Trump
We would make a great deal
with the United Kingdom
because they have product
that we like.
I mean they have a lot of great product.
They make phenomenal things, you know,
and you have different names—
you can say “England”, you can say “UK”,
you can say “United Kingdom”
so many different—
you know you have, you have so many
different names—Great Britain. I always say:
“Which one do you prefer? Great Britain?"
You understand what I’m saying?
You know Great Britain and the United Kingdom
aren’t exactly the same thing?
Right, yeah. You know I know,
but a lot of people don’t know that.
But you have lots of different names.
The fact is you make great product,
you make great things. Even your farm product
is so fantastic.
Note the exquisite job Morgan does of pulling Trump back from suggesting that England and the United Kingdom are the same thing, which Trump in fact believes, and how Trump falls happily into the game: he doesn't even know what Morgan has just saved him from, but he's telling the audience he knows more about it than they do. "A lot of people don't know that." And then it occurs to him that some of the principal products of Britain are probably agricultural in nature—perhaps he noticed some fields, surrounded by hedgerows, as he flew in across the Home Counties—and he gratefully comes to a rhetorical landing.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

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