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Matthew Wilson

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Why does Bing think I've gone home?

November 24, 2009

In the interests of fairness - not to mention my dislike of unchallenged monopolies - I decided to give Bing a chance. Only problem is, it thinks I've gone home. Could it be my grammar?

As an émigré from the UK to Australia, I am très content with my home of the last decade and a half, and have adjusted in a number of important ways: a tolerance of cold beer, an equal despite of both sides of politics, and most particularly the ability to ride my bike just about every day of the year. Do I miss the Yorkshire weather? I think not!

Nonetheless, there are a couple of snags to my assimilation. First, as someone who doesn't eat former walking things, I don't own a barbie, and have no skills to lend when the communal barbie is being manned. (And, yes, the masculine "manned" is apposite here: Australian society is strictly delineated down the sexual divide when it comes to the roasting of meat.)

My only other serious lack of fit pertains to the use of the, ahem, English language. I'm constantly getting into scraps with my Australian friends, wife, sons, et. al. as I attempt to parse their puzzling grammatical and linguistic idioms - plural issues, the weird footballers' tense, confusion between acronyms and initialisms, use of ize for ise, and so on - all the while dodging the answering blows, books, barbs flying back at me, from people (rightly) aggrieved at the pompous prig in their midst. I just can't seem to get it through my thick head that I'm living in a country that speaks en-AU, and not en-GB. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm trying real hard.

So it was with glee that when I hit www.bing.com from my home (Sydney, Australia) today that it offered me the world, or the world from the United Kingdom. Check out the screen shot.

My question is: How did they know?!

 

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