Ch-Ch-Changes

18 Apr

Since you’re reading this post, I’m going to go ahead and guess that you know what the internet is.  And if you’ve been on the internet then maybe you know my friend Google, too.  You see, I’ve been beating him like he owes me money lately.  He’s been working hard on searches for me and I only repay him by making him do more searches. 

Some of the search results he’s provided have looked a little bit different since I’m trying to find out about foreign countries.  Where American websites pretty much always end with “.com”, a British website might have “.co.uk” instead.  They aren’t the only one with their own domain either.  You just know that the other countries had to get in on the personalization tango.  So France is “.fr”, Belgium is “.be”, Italy is “.it”.  Then Netherlands is “.nl”, Austria takes “.at” and Germany takes “.de” which makes sense if you remember that the German call their country Deutschland.  Every other country calls Germany something else like the Dutch say “Duitsland” and the French say “Allemagne”.  But what is really goofy is that Switzerland is “.ch”.

What the what?  Those letters don’t even appear anywhere in “Switzerland”.  What gives?  To get the answer I had to learn some history and now you might learn it too.  No pressure.  When the Romans were busy conquering most of Europe there existed a group of people where Switzerland is today.  They were called the Helvetians and they fought with Julius Caesar.  When the first three cantons (similar to states) decided to join up and become a confederacy they kept the name of Helvetian and became the Confederacy of Helvetica in 1291.  That’s where the CH comes in.  Well, then why is it called Switzerland?  One of those first three cantons was called Schwyz.  If you can’t make the leap from Schwyz to Switzerland then you’re going to have to do your own research.  Mama is tired.

My familiarity with Helvetica was more along the lines of the font.  I went to mock up an example of my blog name in Helvetica to show you how wonderful it really is.  Unfortunately, I’m on a PC and Windows has chosen to work with Arial instead.  I’m sure that involves cost, somehow.  Instead I made my little bitty graphic protest and I hope you enjoy it.

Lastly, it would be pretty sad to go on and on about domain names without giving you some fun foreign ones to check out so here they are:

http://www.jailhotel.ch/ –  a hotel made out of… a jail.

http://bouchard.be – arguably some of the best chocolate in the world.

http://www.fcbayern.t-com.de/ – we’re hoping to see a game of football in Munich.

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One Response to “Ch-Ch-Changes”

  1. The Mister 2011/04/18 at 23:06 #

    You’re a great writer, baby. Keep it up! ps – can’t wait to see The Continent with you!

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