November 27, 2013

Britons asked to label the American states...

... produce results like this:



Lots more here — including more references to "Breaking Bad." And it was almost true that everyone still got Texas and California, but there's one where California is left blank, Texas is called Nevada, and Nevada is called L.A.

AND: As long as I'm at Buzzfeed, I like this list, especially #9.

44 comments:

Michael said...

And how would a map of the UK look as filled in by Americans? Cotswolds, Scotland, Wales, London,all would land where? A great number of Americans would not do as well as the Brits on the US map

Heather said...

I saw that yesterday. I thought they did rather well considering. The "Breaking Bad" references were fun.

MadisonMan said...

@Michael, I was wondering how many Americans could correctly place Hertfordshire, Devon, Cornwall, Hampshire, Essex, and all the other Counties of England. That seems (to me) a more similar test.

David-2 said...

Somewhere, Al Franken is crying. Or laughing. One or the other.

El Pollo Raylan said...

New York migrated south.

Smilin' Jack said...

At least they got Canada right.

madAsHell said...

Make it a map of Canada, and watch the Brits and Yanks fail.

Speaking of this....I learned that Canada was 10 provinces, and 2 territories in grade school. Recently, I was surprised to learn that Canada now has 3 territories.

Down with imperialism!!

Pettifogger said...

If you asked me to identify Essex and Wessex and Sussex and the like in Britain, I would be in trouble

Pettifogger said...

I could, however, do Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, and England. And I could get the Isles of Wight and Man.

damikesc said...

I find the attempts fairly charming.

chuck said...

Pretty good, probably better than most Americans would do with England. But Canada can't be happy.

Sorun said...

Very similar results with Americans labeling European countries. Comparable problem, IMO.

Original Mike said...

Is North Dakota God, or is it merely where he lives?

Original Mike said...

I'm glad I don't live in Cuba.

Sorun said...

I remember telling my American grandmother about a job I was considering in New Mexico. I had to reassure her that it was in the United States.

MarkW said...

"I was wondering how many Americans could correctly place Hertfordshire, Devon, Cornwall, Hampshire, Essex, and all the other Counties of England. That seems (to me) a more similar test."

If we're going down to the level of counties, British people would obviously do much worse. The equivalent for Americans would be to identify England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Or, really a much closer equivalent would be to ask Americans to identify the countries in the E.U.

Original Mike said...

I don't think the average U.S. student would do much better. My mother taught Middle School. The number of students in Madison who can't correctly place the Mississippi River on a map is depressing.

CWJ said...

Host a high school exchange student. We've hosted a dozen. There are three stages, and I love all three. The first is when they are amused that the American kids are so "stupid" about their country. The second is when it dawns on them that the lack of understanding is mutual. The third and best is when after they have the chance to talk about their country, they find that there are a lot of kids who sincerely want to find out more.

That's when they discover the difference between ignorance and indifference.

Freeman Hunt said...

I was shocked at how many of them correctly labelled Arkansas. Must be a Clinton effect.

elkh1 said...

Not much hope that American kids would do better. They may get rid of Canada, and put Mexico somewhere next to Texas.

Clorinda said...

I can list the counties in England, some from Wales, Scotland and Ireland, but only if I'm allowed to do the classical county boundaries pre-1972 when they swapped up the money and the borders. I might even be able to put county names in the right places for a good portion of them. I do have the advantage of being in to genealogical research and have a heavily British ancestry.

Clorinda said...

I should say "probably list".

m stone said...

North Dakota = God's country

Alex said...

LOL - so apparently people get their geography lessons from Breaking Bad now.

This is pathetic, I could place all 50 states back when I was a child. I simply spent endless hours with the geography book going through all the various maps(political, topographical, statistical) and other tables of info. Kids these days are not so curious.

JRoberts said...

"I could place all 50 states back when I was a child. I simply spent endless hours with the geography book going through all the various maps(political, topographical, statistical) and other tables of info."

Me too. Until recently, I'd always watch TV with a Rand McNally Road Atlas open in my lap to look up all the places mentioned during the news or other programs. Now, I use an iPad.

MayBee said...

I live in London and I'm not certain I could place it on a map of Europe.

MrCharlie2 said...

"And how would a map of the UK look as filled in by Americans?" Pretty good, I'll bet, assuming you sample in North East or West Coast. Otherwise, forget about it. UCK only has 4 states for christ's sake.

I think some of those Brits did really good. I mean 50 states!

How would they do on state capitals?

MrCharlie2 said...

Well, yea, you could add Isle of Man as a trick question.

Broomhandle said...

That's excellent. And far more accurate than I would have believed likely.

rcocean said...

Lets see in the Bostonians do any better.

MrCharlie2 said...

"If you asked me to identify Essex and Wessex and Sussex and the like in Britain, I would be in trouble"

Wessex??? Are you into Thomas Hardy?

Kristian Holvoet said...

Has anyone watched revolution? Apparently you can
1. Walk fro Phillh to Colorado in a couple of weeks.
2. See the Rockies from the eastern border.

So I am guessing the people in Lala land wouldn't do much better.

Chuck said...

Hilarious. And delightful.

It would be embarassing, no doubt, to ask high school students from East LA or Washington D.C. or the Bronx to fill in a blank U.S. map. It might be even more embarassing to ask registered voters from Chicago or Detroit or Houston to do the same.

Fill in a map of the British Isles? Ha! Let them FIND the United Kingdom!

At least the British numbskulls are charming and witty.

The Godfather said...

MayBee said "I live in London and I'm not certain I could place it on a map of Europe."

Maybee, my friend, London isn't in Europe, it's in England. It was a sad thing when the English started to get the idea that they were in Europe.

As for those who didn't know the location of "Essex and Wessex and Sussex", Essex is the land of the East Saxons, Wessex is the land of the West Saxons (including Alfred the Great), and Sussex is the land of the Saxons who got too much into oral sex; they're gone now.

Jane said...

My middle-schoolers who homeschool attend Challenge A with Classical Conversations, and after 7th grade they can freehand draw every continent and then draw the boundaries of every country on the globe and label every country including capitals and geographical features such as rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.

Last week my 4th-grade class and I reviewed the last 6 weeks of geography and they identified European mountains, rivers, lakes, countries and cities as well as the Caribbean since our focus is on Europe and New World exploration.

I imagine in days gone by a good British classical education would have had some serious geography lessons.

Jane said...

My middle-schoolers who homeschool attend Challenge A with Classical Conversations, and after 7th grade they can freehand draw every continent and then draw the boundaries of every country on the globe and label every country including capitals and geographical features such as rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.

Last week my 4th-grade class and I reviewed the last 6 weeks of geography and they identified European mountains, rivers, lakes, countries and cities as well as the Caribbean since our focus is on Europe and New World exploration.

I imagine in days gone by a good British classical education would have had some serious geography lessons.

The Drill SGT said...

I imagine in days gone by a good British classical education would have had some serious geography lessons.

"The sun never sets on the British Empire"

or

"Remember your great aunt Roberta. What about her? She loaded the guns at Lucknow.”

tim maguire said...

Correctly placing Steven King Land makes me dubious of the whole enterprise.

MaxTruth said...

Ask Americans to fill in a map of the US and I bet the Brits did better.

Curious George said...

I think it's a fake. Too many similarities in handwriting and style.

Rusty said...

MaxTruth said...
Ask Americans to fill in a map of the US and I bet the Brits did better.

A failure of our educational system.

Clyde said...

I wouldn't do very well with a map of the U.K. I know where England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are, and I know that Kent is in the southeast of England because I had ancestors from there, several generations back. Beyond that, I wouldn't have a clue, although I could place London in about the right spot.

rcocean said...

To most English Peeps the USA consists of:

01) NYC
02) Deep south - GWTW, Blacks and Bull Connor
03) Seattle (MS and Starbucks)
04) LA and Hollywood
05) Miami and Florida (Cheap vacations)
06) Hawaii and Alaska
07) Chicago - Gangsters
08) California - SV and Surfers
09) "The West" - Cowboys, etc.
10) The Midwest - lots of farms.

Mitch H. said...

@Michael, I was wondering how many Americans could correctly place Hertfordshire, Devon, Cornwall, Hampshire, Essex, and all the other Counties of England. That seems (to me) a more similar test.

Dude, they're *counties*, not sovereign entities like provinces or American states. The British equivalent would be putting Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and maybe the Isle of Man & the Channel Islands in their proper places. (Could you put all of your state's counties on a blank map? I just tried and failed to get all of Pennsylvania's counties in place on a blank county map, missed or mis-placed about fifteen out of forty-some.)

If you asked me to identify Essex and Wessex and Sussex and the like in Britain, I would be in trouble

Especially since Wessex hasn't been a thing for about eleven hundred years or so, I think.