So when is World Book Day?

I check out a few of the official Google blogs and today they had an interesting post. It’s regarding some work being done by various organisations and part-sponsored by Google to help improve literacy numbers. All well and good. But the article is “In celebration of World Book Day” – which according to the World Book Day website was back in March.

Then I did a little digging. The link above is the top link should you search for “World Book Day” in Google itself. Despite the use of the word “World” and the “.com” domain, it seems it’s more of a UK thing. In fact, it was kicked off by Tony Blair back in 1998 – five years before UNESCO’s version which is actually somewhat more international in flavour.

In fact, UNESCO’s version is actually more English than our own version – given that it’s celebrated on St George’s Day. This is actually one of the reasons for them picking the date. In Catalonia (a province / part / territory / autonomous community / whatever) of Spain, it’s traditional on this date for men to give a rose to their lover, who in return gives a book.

Regardless, can someone explain how we can have a World Book Day, and a World Book Day (UK and Ireland) which are on two different dates? We obviously didn’t make ours “world” enough, despite nabbing the better domain name, and we only seem to concentrate on initiatives within the UK anyway. So another chance to lead the world wasted by a pathetic Labour government. Kudos for the fantastic idea and great initiative – they just didn’t take it far enough.

However, check out the title of UNESCO’s effort – it’s formally called World Book and Copyright Day. Which, to me, sounds a bit of a gobful and slightly legalese. There’s no denying, though, that it’s more widely accepted worldwide than the UK version.

As an aside, doesn’t it gall many of the English readers that our national saint is celebrated more in other countries around the world (I’d somehow expect Georgia to have a holiday) than in our own?

6 thoughts on “So when is World Book Day?”

  1. I’m not planning on moving to Spain or Eastern Europe. Or Portugal. I think those are the places that celebrate it properly.

  2. It’s too bad that someone promoting literacy doesn’t have a large enough vocabulary to find words beyond the obscene ones with which to head his Blog.

  3. Ah, this old argument again… Will someone please explain to me why using “sweary” words automatically means that a person has a smaller vocabulary? Surely if they’re used in conjunction with more everyday phrasing, then it proves that the utterer is making use of a larger number of words than one who chooses to ignore a commonly-used section of parlance?

    Shame, though, I think they would care about as much as myself.

    In this day and age, strong language just doesn’t have the effect it used to. Can you imagine Bart Simpson saying “crap” or “pissed off” (both used over the last few years) in an animated television feature twenty years ago?

    Generally, people don’t care about “obscene” words any more. There are far more important things to worry about in this world than someone using (in this instance) non-offensively intended words. Open your eyes and ears.

    If you are so concerned about the use of so-called obscenities, I would suggest that you spend your time petitioning the likes of Hallmark Press, Penguin, Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, Transworld, MacMillan and so forth. Individually they have a significantly higher readership than my lowly little blog, and I’m sure a goodly number of the works of fiction they publish contain words that your delicate little eyes would fail to appreciate.

    You’re entitled to your opinion – a right I hold dear in this day and age – and I’m entitled to mine. I just think you need to let go, chill out and stop worrying about something which does nobody any harm.

    See? Lots of words and no cock-munching sweary fuckers amongst them.

    Oops.

  4. I was so interested in the content of the blog that the “sweary” words didn’t even compute. LOL

    I love reading blogs about topics I have an interest in. And, being a technically savvy digital-girl in a mature and free thinking digital-world, I know that going to any blog that is public and is written by an individual, that I may come across words or opinions that I don’t care for, like, encourage, blah blah blah. But, I do, however, realize that these are blogs created by other people. And I don’t ask them to conform to my sensibilities. I think I would be more horrified that someone would change their own opinions or preferences because I complained, than being horrified that I came across some “sweary” words.

    Interesting how comments can change what a particular blog topic is about, isn’t it? I love blogging. Fuckin’-A!

  5. Thanks for visiting, Sheila. Yeah, I know what you mean about blogs comments going off-topic. A bit like real conversations!

    As I said in my reply to Yehudit’s posting, he’s entitled to be offended if he wants to be. However, I won’t apologise for it. The way I look at it, it’s his choice to be offended. I certainly didn’t choose to offend him. Words can hurt if used in the right (or wrong) context, but to be offended simply by a word just for the sake of it seems ludicrous to me.

    I have the same rant about religion. I loathe it, I think it’s guilty of causing more death, destruction and greed than anything else in history and yet a huge proportion of the world’s population follow one or another of them. However, I don’t go around insulting people who quietly follow their own beliefs on their own websites.

    Spend your time trying to get that ridiculous “anti-evolution” stuff taught in schools, or convincing tribes in Africa that condoms cause AIDS and I’ll be the first to jump up and down on your philosophy.

    PS If the woman on the front of Shadows Across The Moon looks anything like you, then would you like to go out with me?

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