13 June 2006

Dear BBC, I Have A Complaint About Your Double Dutch...

Dear EBC (English Broadcasting Corporation), I have a complaint about the Dutch. No, not the new political party promoting the dropping of the age of consent to 12, either because they have a paedophile agenda as some news agencies have described or because they intend on pushing the boundaries of free speech. My complaint is the incorrect use of the name "Holland" to describe the football team from The Kingdom of the Netherlands. Twelve countries make up the Netherlands, two of them are called North and South Holland. Neither are the biggest however combined they are. All of Europe refers to their footballing team correctly as the Netherlands, yet the BBC continue with the apparent short-sightedness of referring to them as Holland. Sincerely, Phill G.

Dear Phill G, It's a fair cop; you got us guv'nor. We have a blog posting trying to explain this and we certainly didn't mean any offence. Sincerely, The BBC.

My Comments from the Blog: It is a common mis-use in the UK that Holland = The Netherlands, just like in many countries it is a common misconception that England = Great Britain. As an Englishman proudly calling Scotland my home I would be devastated if I heard any country us the rational that we might as well call the GB Olympic team England because most people refer to it that way. Furthermore just because it's a common mistake doesn't mean it's okay (that's why I have correct apostrophe's in my post). As for the argument that the Netherlands call their team Holland, that's certainly not what it says on their badges or on the FIFA World Cup Site. Maybe BBC Four could cover the World Cup and Jullian Fellows could host it?

Most Interesting Other Comment from the Blog: Another common mistake I've heard is many commentators referring to Shevchenko's team as "the Ukraine" instead of just "Ukraine."