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Poll #2: Counting worlds

Which of the following statements is most true for you? (Note: Europe *includes* the British Isles for the sake of this poll.)

I am from Europe & "First World" IS synonymous with "Old World"
2(2.2%)
I am from Europe & "First World" is NOT synonymous with "Old World"
54(60.7%)
I am NOT from Europe & "First World" IS synonymous with "Old World"
0(0.0%)
I am NOT from Europe & "First World" is NOT synonymous with "Old World"
33(37.1%)


Feel free to say you're from Europe if you feel living there for a while/being raised by at least one European relative had a major effect on your relevant use of language.

Apropos of a couple comments by la_marquise_de_ on jimhines's lj.
The lazy use of 'First World' throws everything on Europe. You guys over that side of the Atlantic are the New World. And while I know that many people forget this -- and the whole world counting thing is deeply, deeply flawed and patronising and I dislike it hugely -- every once in a while I get British about it and find myself muttering 'Own your own issues, don't just blame us over here' at USians on the internets.

and
But to Europeans, it looks like us, rather than you, because here, you're the New World (2nd World), we're the Old or First World.

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Comments

kekhmet
Jul. 21st, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
It seems to me that what we have here is the conflation of (at least) two different taxonomies by people who have grown up in a world where both taxonomies already were in such common use that their origins were shrouded from the causal user. Add to that the fact the First/Second/Third taxonomy has morphed into something else, with "Third World" now being used synonymomously with "Developing Nations". All complicated by the fact that I don't recall hearing anyone use "Second World" in relatively casual conversation - not even even growing up during the later years of the Cold War... though other people's mileage may vary! I grew in a University town among politically active and aware people though, so if "Second World" had been in common conversational use in 1970s-1980s US culture I'd have thought I'd have noticed ;-)

For myself, I've always been clear that Old / New were from one taxonomy, and First and Third from another... though teasing out exactly what I parse as Third World (or what I assumed Second World would apply to if I thought about it - which I'm pretty sure I did in the past at some point) is turning out to be a bit complicated! ;-)
kekhmet
Jul. 21st, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
and it seems in not including my attempts to tease out the details of Old / New vs First / (Second) / Third for me I lost one detial of that that I think is important...

which is that my definition of the Old World / New World is pretty close to what the_alchemist mentions, but with the added element of what on I've seen used for the taxonomy of animals (Old World Apes vs. New World Apes)
Old World : Europe / Africa / Asia
New World : Americas and Oceania

and when I think without over thinking about whether countires are First or Third World, I do find that former Soviet bloc countries, no matter how grim things might have become in them, don't automatically group into "Third World". I expect partly on the basis that to me "First World" tends to mean "Industrialized" but also I suspect due to the fact that when I was forming my unconcious categorizations of those countries they would have been "Second World", so no-one would have called them either "first" or "third" world - even if I never heard anyone call them explicitly "second" world...
kekhmet
Jul. 21st, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
p.s. I appear to type attrociously
m31andy
Jul. 22nd, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Of course, it does depend on what "New World" you're talking about - New World wines include South Africa, which is Old World for about everything else!
owlfish
Jul. 23rd, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
I was wondering when/if someone would mention the complications of wine in this case! (Thank you.)