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The Shetlands (what's your take on this term?)


turrifield
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Guest Anonymous
Fair enough if you get confused with some of the channel isles, Skye & the Hebrides, or find that Orkney is a bit of a blind-spot. However, surely the most northerly point of the UK should be of common knowledge? Especially when we’ve got the biggest oil refinery in Europe and hold the worlds biggest fire festival.

So what? I expect the majority of the world would not know what a fire festival was!! It is certainly not on the itinary of Oxford or Cambridge university yet as far as I am aware (not that I went to university)

 

My girlfriend knew where Shetland was and she’s from Toronto. Maybe some people south are just ignorant?

Big deal - if she is your girlfriend then I would be surprised if she didn't know!

 

No, they are not ignorant. They have no idea where the Shetland Islands are (please note description and use of plural) because on television they are not mentioned, especially in England. In the weather forecasts there is always 'no weather' over the islands and in all road maps the Shetland Islands are in a little box to the right of Aberdeen. The only ignorant ones are the people on this forum who seem to think that because they know where The Shetland Islands are, then the whole world should know.

 

KOYAANISQATSI has the right idea - life is too short, and if debating whether the shortened version of the Shetland Islands should or should not be 'The Shetlands' , then you need to get out more.

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Of course the bigger issues I spoke of, were those concerned with Shetland gaining world supremacy, at what time there will be no need for eye rolling anymore and the confusion shall be cleared up when the rest of the world is our colony we shall rename it the Shetlands because it shall belong to us, while we retain the name Shetland.

A manditory death sentence for those who do not know their place should help prevent any further mix ups.

 

 

 

 

and yes I do need to get out more.

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KOYAANISQATSI has the right idea - life is too short, and if debating whether the shortened version of the Shetland Islands should or should not be 'The Shetlands' , then you need to get out more.

agreed ... and a bit of fun piece on top:

With or without that little "s" on the end Shetland seems to be better known in the world than the neighbouring Orkney or Orkneys with some fantastic US super scholars adding a clima diagram from the South Orkney Islands to the Orkney (Scotland) pages in other wikipedias than the en:WP.

Look here ...

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orkney ;-)

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  • 3 weeks later...
Is there anybody from Shetland who doesn't see cringe when they hear or see the term "The Shetlands" used instead of Shetland or The Shetland Isles?

What should we do about it, grin and bare it or, try to correct it at every turn?

 

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!!!!!

 

I spent ages insisting to my flatmates at uni that you DO NOT refer to it as the Shetlands because it just sounds wrong. This is where an English degree comes in useful. Talking about one of the islands by itself, you would not refer to it as 'a Shetland', so don't pluralise. The flatmates all used the excuse that it was quicker than referring to them as 'The Shetland Islands' but then they could still just say 'Shetland', could they not?!

 

I also despise people calling the dialect 'Shetlandic'. I don't know why, I just don't like that word. One of my flatmates is from Turriff and told me she'd heard someplace that this was the 'proper' word for it - to which I replied that no one I know refers to the dialect with this term.

 

Anyone else agree/disagree?

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What does it matter? Its essentially the same thing, and Shetland is a series of many islands, thus plural= Shetlands

 

Maybe you're from the Scillys :wink:

 

But seriously,there is only one "Shetland" or one group of "Shetland Isles", to say "Shetlands" implies there are several "Shetlands", which there are obviously not. But there are several islands in Shetland's archipelago, note the apostrophe.........

 

........and now i'm going to quit while i'm ahead, before i start confusing myself... :P

 

Now that you mention it, that's more the point I used to give to the flatmates.

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Shetlands, Shmetlands! Just be happy they know an approximation (and a close one at that) of the goddamned name! Wonder how many Brits know where the Scillies are? Or the Isle of Man (without referring to a map).

 

Puh-leeese, as my man Koyanisqaatsi advises, go with the flow, mellooooow and enjoy life. If you get you panties in a bunch over a matter of a few letters, then I'm gonna start a life assurance firm up here. It'll be a gold mine! :roll: :wink:

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The two main islands there are East Falkland and West Falkland, which makes the term 'Falklands' at least grammatically explicable, though I think it is still incorrect.

I have read somewhere that although 'the Shetlands' is absolutely and always wrong, 'the Orkneys' is actually gramatically correct. But I can't remember where I read it, and I can't think of any possible reason why it might be the case. Also, Orcadians I know object to 'the Orkneys' just as much as Shetlanders to 'the Shetlands', so I suppose, right or wrong, it shouldn't be used.

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  • 1 year later...
No, they are not ignorant. They have no idea where the Shetland Islands are (please note description and use of plural) because on television they are not mentioned, especially in England. In the weather forecasts there is always 'no weather' over the islands and in all road maps the Shetland Islands are in a little box to the right of Aberdeen. The only ignorant ones are the people on this forum who seem to think that because they know where The Shetland Islands are, then the whole world should know.

 

Blimey, you might be surprised to learn then that us peasants down in London do actually get Lerwick shown on the BBC weather forecast map. Apparently, London is going to be 1 degree on Monday the same as Lerwick ...

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There is a geographical convention for naming island groups using the singular (e.g. Shetland) or the plural (e.g. The Scillies):

 

If the land area of the main island is greater than the total land area of the smaller islands then the singular is used i.e. Shetland.

If the land area of the main island is smaller then the plural is used i.e. The Scillies.

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