Saturday, April 4, 2009

Your Morning Smile

My absolute favourite book about Australia- "In a Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson, has a particularly amusing section about the unusual place names in Australia. On the topic, here is a favourite quote from the book; it puts a smile on my face every time I read it. 

"In the late afternoon, I stopped at a roadhouse for gas and coffee. I studied my book of maps... Then, having nothing better to do, I leafed through the index and amused myself, in a very low-key way, by looking for ridiculous names, of which Australia has a respectable plentitude. I am thus able to report that the following are all real places: Wee Waa, Poowons, Borrumbuttock, Suggen Buggen, Boomahnoomoonah, Waaia, Mullumbimby, Ewylamartup, Jiggalong, and the supremely satisfying Tittybong."

I highly recommend this book to everyone, regardless of whether or not you plan to ever travel to Australia. 

One warning: Read in public at your own risk; I've read it twice and both times had to eschew reading it in public as it unfailingly, and embarrassingly led to loud and uncontrollable fits of laughter and guffaws. But I digress. 

Reading my copy of today's Sydney Morning Herald, I was similarly amused by the following anecdote from the Column 8 section, similar to The Globe and Mail's Facts and Arguments:

"More on compass points and peculiar place names, from Stuart Prosser, of Otford. "John Flower of Potts Point may be unsurprised to learn that a friend of mine from the north-east of West Sussex was mightily amused to learn that Woomera is situated in central north South Australia."


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