Where's West Africa?

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Tue Oct 25 18:17:33 UTC 2011

On 23 Oct 2011, at 07:03, Damien Hall wrote:

> By this reasoning ["Africains" in French as spoken in France excluding North African people with part Arab - or Berber, in fact - heritage, who would be referred to as "Maghr├ębins"], Michele Bachmann would have been right to say that Libya was not in Africa:  it is in the Maghreb.  I'm not suggesting or denying that that was what she meant, but this conception of Africa is one thing that could make you say something like that.

I don't completely agree. My experience with French usage of the adjectives "africain" vs. "maghr├ębin", referring to people originating from these parts of the worlds (the derived nouns are capitalized) agrees with Damian's, but nonetheless as far as I am aware French speakers would still count Lybia as "en Afrique". BTW, I also don't find more than two Google hits for "la Libye est au Maghreb" (which would be the canonical parallel to "la Libye est en Afrique". More commonly: "la Libye fait partie du Maghreb". This is not a contradiction.

Beyond that, I agree with Victor that regarding Bachman, it doesn't matter. If this was all that's objectionable about her, it wouldn't be much.

Chris Waigl

Chris Waigl -- http://chryss.eu -- http://eggcorns.lascribe.net
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