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Re: OT: Spatial thinking (WAS: Re: Letf / Right,was Re: Count andmass nouns)

From:Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Date:Thursday, January 22, 2004, 8:08
Lucky Australians ! I France we have to memorize 95
"départements" and their codes are numeric, not
01 = Ain (looks odd, but it's true !)
02 = Aisne
03 = Allier
04 = Alpes de Haute-Provence (formerly Basses-Alpes)
95 = Val d'Oise.

(This does not include Oversea Departments and
Territories, which have a 3-digit code).

This number appears on car plates, so you can wave at
your coutry fellows on the road. We even use to say
"hey, look, a sixty-eight !", meaning "a car
registered in the Département of Haut-Rhin (68). (But
this system will soon change because car plate number
possibilities will soon come to an end).

And more: it's getting common to say "le Neuf-Trois"
instead of "le Quatre-Vingt-Treize" (Département of
Seine Saint-Denis = 93).

This number-based system is not very clever, though.
Originally the départments were ordered by
alphabetical order, but when we had to make new
départements (dividing over-populated ones into
smaller ones), the system didn't work any more. That's
why "Essonne" is 91, when "Yonne" is 89. An
alphabetic, mnemonic code would have been much more
logical and practical.

(Not to mention that, when we divided 20 = Corsica
into 2 Départments, we called them 2A and 2B, so that
all computer programs handling département codes as
numeric had to be modified !!!)

--- Tristan McLeay <zsau@...> wrote:
> On Wed, 21 Jan 2004, Nik Taylor wrote: > > Typically I find that road maps are labelled. If I > wanted to know where > Kansas was, I'd turn to a map of the entire US and > hope they wrote the > states out in full because otherwise I wouldn't know > if I was looking for > KA or KS. If that took too long, I'd turn to an > index, though I have a > rough idea of where I'm looking (unlike with, say > Ohio) so I'd probably be > fine. Fortunately in Australia we only have six > states and two territories > of similar status to memorise
===== Philippe Caquant "Le langage est source de malentendus." (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!