The Green Zone and The Pale of Settlement

David Bergdahl dlbrgdhl at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 31 16:32:16 UTC 2006

On 3/31/06, hpst at <hpst at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "hpst at" <hpst at EARTHLINK.NET>
> Subject:      Re: The Green Zone and Related Terms
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Out of curiosity is anything outside The Green Zone beyond the pale?
> Page Stephens

It depends on which pale is used as a template: Russia or Ireland.

Since Jews lived outside the pale in Russia --living within the pale
was restricted to Russians-- I doubt there are many Jews outside the
Green Zone.  I remember a New Republic article after the invasion in
which a journalist tried to discover how many Jews were left in
Baghdad--I think she located eight.  This in a city that had a
plurality of Jews in 1920.  So 'beyond the pale' as the area for
undesirables--Jews in the case of Russia in the 19th-c-- isn't a good
template for Baghdad today.  We undesirable Americans are holed up in
the Green Zone like the army fort in Indian territory, unlike the Jews
'beyond the pale of settlement.'

The other pale--in Ireland--is more appropriate.  The area of English
settlement in the east and southeast was the area of colonization:
'beyond the pale' lived the Irish.  (It's instructive that in Dublin
there's a district called "Irishtown")  If Anglo-Ireland is the
template for the Green Zone, with a nod to St Patrick!, and we are a
colonial occupier, like the English in Ireland, then everything beyond
the Green Zone is also beyond the pale.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list