Hands Across the Water (and other curses)

Phinding a Fysician….
Once on a whitewater canoe trip in the wilds, one of my friends lost a fight to a rock in the channel at high speed. The resulting gash required stitches, so we headed for the nearest town… basically a grocery store and a few houses. Seeing no medical clinic, we went to the grocery store to inquire.

You're not from round here

The owner was kindly, but education wasn’t one of his strong points. As he helpfully opened the Yellow Pages under “D” to find the address of the nearest doctor… he suddenly drew a blank look and said none were listed. We suggested he look under “Physician“.

He flipped the page… to the section beginning with “F”.

Countries Separated by A Common Language
Looking for something on the web yields similar problems. You need to search the term that’s actually present, and it doesn’t hurt to have it spelled the same way. Unfortunately, if you’re in the UK you are sometimes hampered by evidence the colonials elsewhere can neither spell nor call things by their correct name.

If seeking legal specialists… US-based editors will likely have placed the “Solicitor” you’re seeking under “Lawyer” or “Attorney“. Meanwhile someone in Wales is searching “Barrister” with limited success.

BOTW Kicks the Yanks Out of the UK
OK, not physically, but we did decide that our customers and clients in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and the Republic of Ireland might be better served if our taxonomy didnt assume you spoke and spelled like US citizens. Simply a matter of dealing with reality. We decided to add some local color (or in this case… colour).

A new group of editors was hired to overhaul the UK & ROI portions of the directory, and the new editors are natives of the area. There is simply no substitute for firsthand knowledge of the language and idioms (or the geography for that matter… it doesn’t do to have a non-native try to handle Regional: London).

Our Thanks to Resident Magician
The credit for the work goes to a relatively small but strong UK team led by “Merlin”… and in our opinion they bring to mind the Churchill phrase once applied to the RAF… “Never have so many owed so much to so few….” Once complete it will look like everyone’s UK section would look if they’d only had a decade to think about it. Special kudos to GavinK, Robo, Rzan, Specop, and others involved in this massive effort.

Who Benefits?
Well, besides making it easier for surfers to find what they’re looking for, it probably has a benefit to our clients in making their sites more findable. Seems like a win-win for everyone. The work is ongoing, but feel free to stroll the UK area of the directory and let us know if it seems better, or if you see areas of concern. We value your input. 🙂


Rob Jones
(aka: The “good” Rob)
Proud Member of “The Nerd Herd”

1 thought on “Hands Across the Water (and other curses)”

  1. Thanks for the mention, Rob; overhauling UK and Ireland is proving to be a *huge* undertaking, but it’s a lot of fun too. Definitely an ongoing work in progress, but having been let off the leash with free reign to make the thing work, we’ll get there. Couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.

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