Hark to Mexico's new name: Mexico
Mexican President Felipe Calderon is clearly a fan of lexical clarity – last week, he put a motion to congress to change his country's name from the United Mexican States to, simply, Mexico. It would put Mexicans in a select group of countries without the need to point out that they're an Independent Democratic Republic of Whatever (well done, Canada, Malaysia, Georgia and others).
So which other countries could do with a nominative trim?
Well, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea can probably drop the first bit now, having been independent for 37 years. And the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is both unwieldy and fooling no one. Meanwhile, in South America, the Oriental Republic of Uruguay and the Plurinational State of Bolivia take the prize for most wonderful, if a bit lengthy, state names. Well done.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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