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Rule Golden (Damon Knight) - Two British Slip-Ups
In the middle bit, where the alien and the human who's helped him escape are in Europe (I think both of these errors occur when they are on the ferry from England to France), Knight made two errors which revealed that he knew little about British geography or culture.
1) He says that "England is only about 400 miles long, from Land's End to John O'Groats." The first bit is (more or less) correct -- but John O'Groats is not in England! It's in Scotland, which adds another 400 miles or so to the length of Britain. (I thought only the English confuse England with Britain -- the Scots certainly don't.)
2) He has a BBC announcer say "In Commons today...". No Brit would say that; we don't have the American habit of dropping the article, so we would say "In the Commons", and a BBC announcer would more likely say "In the House of Commons".
Special Requirements:
Any anthology containing the Damon Knight novella "Rule Golden"
Avg. Rating:    6.3 of 10 - (3 votes cast)
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Contributed By:
Eboreg Onxre on 05-16-2000
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Annette writes:
I agree with #1. If you were measuring the entire island, John O' Groats to Lands End, it's 847 miles. If you're just measuring England, it's 400 miles. See this website for proof:
2 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Disgruntled writes:
I'm sure some might do it the way it was done in the book. I'm sure not everybody does this the exact same way. I don't think that proves he was "ignorant", because this seems to be some really picyuane stuff.
0 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes

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