Dear US Postal Service (and your staff),
Here’s a quick guide to the United Kingdom (AKA Great Britain, British Isles, UK or GB — yes, many names, and not all meaning the same thing).
If I’m sending a parcel to England, it’s England in Great Britain. If I’m sending a parcel to Wales, it’s Wales in Great Britain. Same for Scotland.
Great Britain is made up of England, Wales, Scotland. Those countries plus Northern Ireland come together to form the United Kingdom. Imagine them as four states forming the USA.
When I bring in my parcel, neatly addressed to my friends in Wales, Great Britain and you write ENGLAND across the bottom, you are wrong. And you make me look like an idiot. I can just imagine what people must think – Ha! Lorna’s been in California so long she’s forgotten that Wales isn’t part of England!
And please don’t lecture me across the post office counter that I have addressed my parcel incorrectly.
I am from the United Kingdom, Great Britain, British Isles, UK or GB. I know the name of my country and how to write it on a parcel.
Can you imagine if you were sending a parcel to Vermont and I wrote Vermont, NEW YORK on it? Would that make sense? No.
So when I send a parcel to Wales or Scotland, please don’t write ENGLAND across the bottom. And I beg of you, please listen to me when I try and tell you it’s wrong. I’ve got that whole funny accent thing going on so maybe you should think I know what I’m talking about.
After all, I am both English and Welsh and from United Kingdom, Great Britain, British Isles, UK or GB.
Is that clear enough?