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Are You Immapperate?

October 28, 2012
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Thoughts From The Corner

As a Private English teacher I am used to fending off weird and wonderful spellings from students but here we have two beauties from our guest blogger Professor Serendip – ‘Mapperate’ and ‘Immapperate’. Linked together with Phillip’s Street Atlas of London, Euston Station, Mornington Crescent and the Museum of Culinary History those two wonderful words thread their way through his post.

One again we pause to consider the tragedy of book culls by our major libraries.

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Excerpts from

Books that have been unnecessarily culled by libraries

Books that have been serendipitously encountered

Books that need to be saved for browsers


Phillip’s Street Atlas of London

Michael Huxley, who was the founder and first editor of Geographical Magazine, said that Mapperate people were those who not only could use maps as tools but enjoyed endless browsing over maps and atlases. The Immapperate are sad folks who just cannot plan a journey using a map and find no pleasure in the shapes of the states of the U.S. Mapperates can tell you from memory whether China and Afghanistan share a border in any way.

Some have said that an ability to grasp geographical spaces is a mark of intelligence. London taxicab drivers are alleged to maintain spatial aspects of intelligence longer or better than we do. Some anecdotal urban myths here perhaps.

But here we have an opportunity to learn how serendipity helped a Mapperate browser. A journalist who frequently writes on the history of food and cookery has often bemoaned the lack of an institution or museum dealing with foodways. Recently he was waiting in the reception area of a manufacturer when he saw an up-to-date Phillip’s Street Atlas of London. He chose to take a quick browse at pages showing the area north of Euston Station. He found the details a little confusing but was delighted to home-in on Mornington Crescent. “I often wondered where that was; then I saw that not far away was, of all things, the Museum of Culinary History.” Quite a pleasant surprise for our student of foodways!

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‘Mapperate’ and ‘Immapperate’. Can’t wait to use them in my next one to one English tuition lesson!

From → Books

  1. Billie permalink

    Haha that is so funny! I suppose I am a mapperate person so, I also enjoy spending time traveling through maps and atlases and such. I just wonder though if it’s meant to be written with one p as in the blog post title or with double p as elsewhere in the post?

    And it’s brilliant to see how some words pop up, especially with teenagers who take on language as a culture of its own and create their own new words. I swear to god, my teenage niece is sometimes using words I have never ever heard in my life! 🙂

  2. Thank you for your comment. It’s double ‘p’. Strange, no matter how many times I check and edit, small (but annoying) mistakes often get under the radar. You are right about new words. Thankfully our beautiful, rich language is in a state of flux. It may change slowly but but it does change. I guess reading Shakespeare opens our eyes to this.

    • Billie permalink

      No problem at all; when I write new posts I find myself returning to update grammar and spelling regularly also. And yes, Shakespearean language is a whole lot different from our current English!

  3. I must be mapperate, too, as wherever I go, I love having a map with me, and even look them over at home just for fun. I thank my Dad for that. Mapperate, he definitely was. Must be in the genes.
    As for new words, it’s the new techie acronyms that really get me, and they are becoming words: LMAO, IMHO, BFF, etc. How can anyone who doesn’t text keep all these straight?

    • Thanks for taking out to comment. I’m with you on the text thing. Don’t know what the acronyms mean that you used and don’t really care!

      TTFN (Ta Ta For Now – used by an ex-DJ on a BBC radio station) Did I just use two acronyms in the brackets?

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