I recently asked a British publisher if they could send a publication to an address in Washington DC. The publication never, apparently, arrived, so I contacted said publisher again. This time they said they had sent it to

“Washington DC, United States Minor Outlying Islands”

I had to point out to them that Washington DC is the capital city of the United States, not an outlying island (although maybe it would be better off if it were!), and suggested that their version of the address might be enough to explain why copies have gone astray, such is the disfunctionality of US Mail.

Why am I telling you this pathetic story? Well, the lack of any general knowledge is not confined to the boondocks of the United States, but is well and blooming in the “United” Kingdom.

Depressing, isn’t it?

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