The panel acknowledges the following contributions from Utania:
The UNITED DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF UTANIA is a unification of two independent nations after the break-up of Guwimith, Horn of Olives and Luka, and the unification of four semi-independent provinces under the Guwimith Dependencies Act, 266ap, namely Horn of Olives, Guwimith Wide Shore, Duck Egg Shore, and the aptly titled "Mountains". These four provinces, once collectively known as "Point South", are now states within the UDR of Utania.
[Remark of the Panel: Point South was also the name of a city in what is now southern Rovens, see map.]
Old_white-bearded_Professor /a/ Geographic.Vexilli.Net
Provisional Panel on Geographic Names,
Geographic Society of Vexillium
From: Erica Vines,
June 12, 303 AP.
We thank you for your letter of June 10th regarding our continued use of the
name "Eras" in our publications, particularly in Vexillium This Week, June 9th.
Our use of the name "Eras" (pron. /Eh/r(a)ss/ where (a) is short, as in "cat")
comes from the common regional usage that the Utanian Cartographic Society, as
we understand it, is hoping to submit to your esteemed body for consideration.
To quote from the UCS's own publications --
"The term 'old continent' is not only cumbersome to the tongue and the written
word, but entirely Eras-centric. It assumes, in its very nature, that the
centre of the Vexillium is that continent. By refusing to be referred to by
name, the 'old continent' declares itself pre-eminent amongst the continents:
'that which is unnamed need only be called THE continent'. Instead, it uses a
description to be referred to: that which is old and a continent. It is the
linguistic equivalent of a person who is alone on a desert island needing only
to refer to him or herself as 'me' or 'I'. However, what is very clear is that
this continent is not alone.
"It is the opinion of this body that a name be given to this continent that is
neither cumbersome to use in speech, nor on the written page, that is a
distinctive enough term around the Vexillium, having no synonyms, easy to
remember and having some form of representative meaning.
"The word 'Eras' is substantive against all criteria. It is simple,
distinctive, unique and contains some meaning at least. It is an ancient word
whose origins are long forgotten to its indigenous users in this region. To
the Utani, Pataki and Kpothan peoples, to name but a few, all agree, 'Eras',
or a local variant', is the ancient name for 'all the lands, but not including
the islands', that is, other continents. In other words, it is the regional
name for the so-called 'Old Continent'."
The term has been in local indigenous use for some time, and has since received
government approval as an alternative term for local use. Given the recommend-
ation from the UCS, and government endorsement, the Zeitgeist Corporation has,
with several other media outlets, agreed to help the UCS push the idea of
renaming the "Old Continent" to "Eras". Therefore, the Editor-in-Chief has
authorised editors to utilise the term "Eras" in our various publications with
bracketed explanation following.
We support the UCS application to have the term recognised, and urge all nations
worldwide to use a term that is more elegant, straight-forward, unique and
embedded in some meaning. If not "Eras", then we strongly recommend the body
find another term.
Okay, now the REALLY hard part: explaining where it REALLY came from. Hard only
in the accompanying embarrassment factor. :-)
Like many of you, my playing in Vexillium is far from my first foray into
fictional countries. Buried, as I said above, in the very distant past, so we're
talking the mid-1970s here :-O my very first nation, to memory, was a continent
smacked into the middle of, and dominating, the Pacific Ocean -- what else is
all that ocean for?? -- with a single massive nation of, I believe, a billion
people. That was after I learned what a billion was, of course. :-)
Anyway, needless to say, that Pacific continent was called "Eras". I have
yet to come up with a more suitable name for Vexillium's Old Continent, and
would be honoured should it be a more widely accepted term for the continent
without a name.
Yes, I do acknowledge the history behind the name "Old Continent", that it
is the name in use since Vexillium's inception some almost-six years ago, that
the continent was the origins, was the first, thus the oldest. Yet, I don't
think that the locals, the Vexilli-ites themselves would call something by that
name, unless they were from there, of course. It sounds too much like a term of
Imperialism that would be rejected by the Vexilli-ites, just as Americans (all,
not just the US) don't still refer to themselves as "New Spain" and so on.
Well, that's just MY thoughts. I welcome debate on the idea. I'm not wedded
to the term (The Utani are, of course C-: ). I did think "Gondwana" might be
useful, but.... (It's the name for the 'original' continent from which most
others emerged those billions of years ago.)