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January 20, 2006 9:21 AM   Subscribe

"Were there U.K. publications?" Hilton responded: "No... there is stuff in London." Hilton's lawyer, Larry Stein, jumped in: "London is a U.K. publication." Her retort: "Right. U.K. Whatever."
posted by The Jesse Helms (58 comments total)

 
The essay on the leisure class looks to be rather interesting. The news that Paris Hilton is a bit dim, less interesting...
posted by jack_mo at 9:29 AM on January 20, 2006


"It is like a weird Greek name. Like Douglas."
posted by smackfu at 9:34 AM on January 20, 2006


What percentage of Americans would you guess don't know what the U.K. is? Colloquially, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is almost always referred to as "England" in the US. Maybe "Britain" or occasionally "Great Britain".

I'd put it at about 50%, myself. Which is no excuse, I suppose, but it provides a bit of context...
posted by mr_roboto at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2006


The Hilton parents must be so proud.
posted by teece at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2006


That is so hot!
posted by blue_beetle at 9:50 AM on January 20, 2006


I'd guess a great percentage of Americans would think UK and England are synonyms, and would know that London is a city there. Which doesn't help Ms. Hilton's case at all.
posted by smackfu at 9:51 AM on January 20, 2006


Hilton swore she never saw a republication of the article: "I was in Europe the whole summer, and all there is is like French -- I didn't see anything because I wasn't in America."

There's a new Paris/Paris hookup in town.

That's right. I said it.

Gratz, PP. She's a keeper.
posted by quantumetric at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2006


As an American, I'll admit that I frequently get the distinction between England, Britain, Great Britain, The U.K., and the British Isles confused. I do know that London is in the U.K.
posted by justkevin at 9:55 AM on January 20, 2006


In comparison:
"USA" & "America".

It's not rocket science, kids.
It's geography.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:56 AM on January 20, 2006


It's geography.

And why would you expect the Hilton hotel heiress to have studied geography?
posted by NationalKato at 9:57 AM on January 20, 2006


Heck, even as a Londoner I'm confused about the distinction between Great Britain, the UK and the British Isles.

Are we part of Europe? And what the heck is the Soviet Union up to these days?
posted by chrismear at 9:58 AM on January 20, 2006


Man, she must be a Bush-voter.
posted by wakko at 10:01 AM on January 20, 2006


a weird Greek name. Like Douglas

or Todd Lokken!
posted by matteo at 10:04 AM on January 20, 2006


Hilton...was admonished several times to use the word "no" instead of "huh-uh"

Uh-huh.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:06 AM on January 20, 2006


Heck, even as a Londoner I'm confused about the distinction between Great Britain, the UK and the British Isles.

Good point.
posted by 13twelve at 10:18 AM on January 20, 2006


mr_roboto, chrismear:

The conflation of "UK" and "Britain" with "England" actually extends into academic circles--I work in the history of Empire and the "English" character of "Britain" is rather hotly debated. So it's by no means a clear delineation--especially when "UK" meant different things at different historical moments. So I've been willing to give the "England versus United Kingdom"-confused a little slack. Very little, but a little. Then again, I had college seniors (at a Big Ten university) labelling Germany as "France" on maps, so...
posted by trigonometry at 10:18 AM on January 20, 2006


"Britain" is a geographical term that encompasses an entire island, derived from an ancient ethnic term for some of the aboriginal inhabitants of the island. Strictly speaking, this is "Great Britain", with "Little Britain" in the north of France, formed during the early Middle Ages as an ethnic enclave by aboriginal refugees fleeing Germanic invasions following the withdrawal of Roman troops.

"United Kingdom" is a political term that describes a sovereign union of several nations and dependencies within a constitutional monarchy. Not all of the political components are geographically continuous. The UK has existed in its current form for 90 or so years, and its predeccessor (also the "UK") existed from 1801-1921.

These days, I find it amusing that of the four nations within the United Kingdom, 3 have some measure of self-rule (Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland) and that England alone remains without its own devolved government.

Given the tangled history of the development and abandonment of the "British Empire" and its relationship with the "UK", the question of how to legally define "British" has resulted in a great many distinctions and a tortuous succession of laws.
posted by meehawl at 10:20 AM on January 20, 2006


Paris Hilton's Pose.
posted by ericb at 10:23 AM on January 20, 2006


Part of the problem is that people use UK, Britain and England imprecisely to vary their speech. A Londoner on holiday might say he's looking forward to returning to the UK, but that doesn't mean he cares about how close he is to Wales.
posted by QuietDesperation at 10:25 AM on January 20, 2006


Dear God, she looks like a man in drag. I have never understood why anyone finds her remotely attractive or interesting.
posted by Western Infidels at 10:34 AM on January 20, 2006


This is a pretty good stab at making the whole U.K / Britain / British Isles mess-up somewhat comprehensible...
posted by Jon Mitchell at 10:37 AM on January 20, 2006


QuietDesperation: "Part of the problem is that people use UK, Britain and England imprecisely to vary their speech. A Londoner on holiday might say he's looking forward to returning to the UK, but that doesn't mean he cares about how close he is to Wales."

I might say I'm looking forward to returning to the USA, but that doesn't mean I care about how close I am to Alabama.
posted by Plutor at 10:42 AM on January 20, 2006


I highly recommend reading through the entire deposition if you have time to kill. PDFs are available through the first link in the post.
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:47 AM on January 20, 2006


I highly recommend reading through the entire deposition if you have time to kill.

Some people obviously have way too much time on their hands.
posted by caddis at 10:52 AM on January 20, 2006


"but that doesn't mean I care about how close I am to Alabama"

Ummm..... Have you spent much time in Alabama? I think any reasonably intelligent American should always have a certain level of concern about being close to Alabama. You know science is outlawed there don't you? And bad-mouthing slavery can get you beat up. Seriously. For your sake I think you should care.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:55 AM on January 20, 2006


I have an appointment at 4 (EST), and it's about two o'clock now -- so I'm in a computer lab killing time. And I must confess I'm only on page 40 or something, but so far it's been entertaining, and I can't imagine the fun stops later. If you like this kind of dumb-celebrity stuff, it's at least worth sampling the original text.
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:55 AM on January 20, 2006


pretty good stab

Except that Ireland is not in the "British Isles". "Britain" and "Ireland" are in the "Islands of the North Atlantic". It was the Greeks that classified both major islands as simply Pretaniké. Soon, though, the Romans categorised the islands as Brittania, Caledonia, and Hibernia. The aborigines, of course, had their own terms for each ethnic region, and there were great manhy of tehm.
posted by meehawl at 10:56 AM on January 20, 2006


The island of Caledonia?
posted by the cuban at 11:11 AM on January 20, 2006


I it makes our Usanian friends feel any better: I just recently understood that the capitol of the US not the city Washington AC/DC in the state Washington.
posted by jouke at 11:12 AM on January 20, 2006


I might say I'm looking forward to returning to the USA, but that doesn't mean I care about how close I am to Alabama.
Don't get the connection. A better analogy would be "I'm looking forward to getting back to the NAFTA states."
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:16 AM on January 20, 2006


She looks like an overbred dog.

posted by Smedleyman at 11:18 AM on January 20, 2006


meehawl I suggest you read your own first link.The British Isles DO include Ireland, but it is a geographical term and not used politically for obvious sensitive reasons.
Getting away from Ms Hilton. The definition of the UK, England etc is very simple. The UK is the name of the Union of the countries of England, Scotland and Wales plus the province of Northern Ireland.
So you can be a Londoner, English and from the UK, which politically is like being from Dallas, being a Texan and from the US. What’s hard to understand about that?

British in common use, means the peoples of England, Scotland and Wales plus some inhabitants of Northern Ireland

Now can anyone explain why citizens of the USA refer to themselves as American, when presumably that term should include citizens of al the countries of North, South and Central America
posted by bluefin at 11:19 AM on January 20, 2006


Can anyone explain that pose to me? Is it supposed to be alluring? It's not even flattering with that beagle nose of hers... she just looks like a moron.
posted by stenseng at 11:22 AM on January 20, 2006


I highly recommend reading through the entire deposition if you have time to kill.

Oh wow, thanks for pointing that out to me. Vastly entertaining.
posted by smackfu at 11:29 AM on January 20, 2006


What percentage of Americans would you guess don't know what the U.K. is?

Well I know! I even own a couple of their great flashlights, er, torches!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:46 AM on January 20, 2006


I wonder if she knows where Paris is....
posted by wavespy at 11:52 AM on January 20, 2006


Now can anyone explain why citizens of the USA refer to themselves as American, when presumably that term should include citizens of al the countries of North, South and Central America

Ha. I was trying to explain this to my five-year-old daughter the other day. I was tempted to say, "well, because Americans are dumb or selfish - take your pick" - but of course that would be wrong.

In all seriousness, is this covered in USian grade school? How is this explained?
posted by stinkycheese at 11:53 AM on January 20, 2006


Now can anyone explain why citizens of the USA refer to themselves as American, when presumably that term should include citizens of al the countries of North, South and Central America

Because we are only country with the word "America" in our name?
posted by karmaville at 12:06 PM on January 20, 2006


"Were there U.K. publications?" Hilton responded: "No... there is stuff in London."

is actually, in the deposition:

"Were there U.K. publications?" "No. Like Us Weekly and In Touch. And there is stuff in London."
posted by smackfu at 12:07 PM on January 20, 2006


Paris could single-handedly turn the populace from uber-rich adulation. God bless her cause.
posted by Busithoth at 12:07 PM on January 20, 2006


Freedonia, what about Freedonia? Where is it?

Are its whereabouts any more or less important than whether some celebrity flunks basic geography?

This is a pretty sad thread, being just an excuse to poke fun at someone whose lights are dim. Not nice.
posted by caddis at 12:09 PM on January 20, 2006


Hail, hail Freedonia!
Land of the Free and brave!

posted by zaelic at 12:13 PM on January 20, 2006


Weeell, speaking as a UKsian, I'd imagine that America is the shortened form of United States of America & off you go. I don't think it's that bad calling the residents Americans as it is the only country in the Americas that has the name of the continent in the country's name.

And I'd like to add my name to the 'Seriously, Paris Hilton is way ugly' roll call.
posted by i_cola at 12:14 PM on January 20, 2006


The British Isles DO include Ireland

Sez you, matey. I prefer "Hibernian Isles" meself.
posted by meehawl at 12:23 PM on January 20, 2006


Now can anyone explain why citizens of the USA refer to themselves as American, when presumably that term should include citizens of al the countries of North, South and Central America

Survey (Wikipedia) Says:

This may be due, at least in part, to the fact that the phrase "United States" does not easily translate into an adjective or descriptive noun in English. While Spanish-speaking peoples in Latin America use the word estadounidense (literally, "United-States-ian" or "of the United States"), calling someone a "United States-man" or "United States'er" or other such constructions sound awkward in English. This has led to the use of the word "American".

Somos todos americanos.
posted by sellout at 12:25 PM on January 20, 2006


Isn't the hot Paris story the one about peeing in the taxi?

Paris Hilton Publicists Fight Peeing & Stupidity Claims

Blech. (Good hed, though)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:42 PM on January 20, 2006


This is a pretty sad thread, being just an excuse to poke fun at someone whose lights are dim. Not nice.

No, this is poking fun at someone who has purposefully put themselves in the spotlight in ways that intentional give off the exact level of her stupidity (ie. the TV show called "The Simple Life"). She's dumb, she knows she's dumb, she makes money off being dumb, and we're making fun of her for being dumb.

This is not making fun of the slow kid in school.
posted by Kickstart70 at 1:06 PM on January 20, 2006


Whatever I write on MetaFilter, it doesn't mean anything. It is just words I write.
posted by sour cream at 1:08 PM on January 20, 2006


In any other era in any other culture she would have been left to die of exposure.

....although considering the homograph there, death by a thousand cuts perhaps.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:33 PM on January 20, 2006


I realise that the use of the term "American" derives from "The United States of America". That's apparent, thanks.

It's also clear to me however that calling someone from "The United States of America" an "American" implicitly suggests that other people living in America (which of course includes people living in many, many other countries) aren't American. That's why it's "considered offensive in some areas of Latin America".

sellouts' quotation from the following paragraph is worth reading in full:

Whether usage of America or the Americas is preferred, many people living in the Americas refer to themselves as American. However, most of the English-speaking world (including Canada), use the word to refer solely to a citizen or resident of the United States of America. This may be due, at least in part, to the fact that the phrase "United States" does not easily translate into an adjective or descriptive noun in English. While Spanish-speaking peoples in Latin America use the word estadounidense (literally, "United-States-ian" or "of the United States"), calling someone a "United States-man" or "United States'er" or other such constructions sound awkward in English. This has led to the use of the word "American". Nevertheless, calling a U.S. citizen simply americano or americana in Spanish is considered offensive in some areas of Latin America. Some Latin Americans, however, will use "americano" or "americana" to refer to people from the United States in colloquial speech while still considering themselves "American", just as Germans or Spaniards would consider themselves "European".

This is really about branding, power and demographics. What I see here is a pretty strange explanation for the simple fact that people from the USA started calling themselves "Americans", and most everybody else went along. The only explanation here for why that happened is that an "adjective or descriptive noun" does not easily translate" and/or sound awkward in English".

If you don't come from the US of A, but one of the other few dozen-odd countries that make up the Americas, this can be an emotional issue, as the citation suggests. Espescially because the USA is such a divisive country, and such a powerful one. If you're from one of these countries and are ever asked, "are you American?", what can you say? Geographically, a Brazilian, a Mexican, a Canadian, a Peruvian, a Argentinian - as sellout says, these are all Americans. Except, of course, they're not.

It's telling that Wiki's page on Use Of The Word American is disputed; here's some Wiki disputes on the subject (warning: Wiki talk link). And I realise this is a massive derail. Sorry about that.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:45 PM on January 20, 2006


In any other era in any other culture she would have been left to die of exposure.

ummm, spoiled children of the aristocrats have been with us pretty soon after hominids started farming... i think the last era she could have been darwinized is probably somewhere around the ice age.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 1:47 PM on January 20, 2006


The essay on the leisure class looks to be rather interesting.

hyuck! that's a funny as a paris hilton deposition.
posted by 3.2.3 at 2:09 PM on January 20, 2006


hyuck! that's a funny as a paris hilton deposition

well, it is a book, not an essay,, if that's what's so funny ... still, many consider Veblen to be the greatest American economist, so yeah, the book's pretty interesting.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:38 PM on January 20, 2006


I wonder if she knows where Paris is....

ha!
posted by londontube at 4:17 PM on January 20, 2006


As mentioned briefly in the Wikipedia link stinkycheese provided, the term "American" predates the founding of the nation. We're just the only ones still using it, probably because (as everyone else points out) it's part of our country's name.

Maybe a better question would be, "why don't the residents of any nations apart from the US call themselves American?"
posted by cali at 8:02 PM on January 20, 2006


Smedleyman: I think you're thinking of Claire Forlani.


posted by Meredith at 8:23 PM on January 20, 2006


Maybe a better question would be, "why don't the residents of any nations apart from the US call themselves American?"

Many do, of course. USians just refuse to recognize their right to self-identify -- whether out of arrogance, cultural chauvenism, or simply its seeming inconvenience, we have established that we are not certain.
posted by Embryo at 6:26 AM on January 21, 2006


I think we just don't care. Really, "USians"? Quite a laugh, that.
posted by smackfu at 12:36 PM on January 21, 2006


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