Ask Sally: A lot of hot air over fooking Fartplan

Taste for Travel’s agony aunt Sally Slaughter answers queries on travel etiquette, ethics and modern manners in her column, Ask Sally. Inquiries: info@tastefortravel.com.au

Dear Sally,
I have just returned from Scandinavia, where they speak Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and a very melodic English. Copenhagen is a lovely place, and the countryside, spread over green islands in the Baltic sea is a particularly wholesome world. However, I have found with dismay a linguistic dissonance. At every ferry station, railway station and many bus stops, I was confronted with an such an ugly word, their word for timetable. They call it Fartplan. Do you think a petition to the Nordic Council could succeed to have them use our English word Timetable?
Thor Hiredaahl

Dear Thor,
I also have a great fondness for Scandinavia. Every time I walk into an IKEA store, I feel the love. It then takes me 30 minutes to find my way out and by then, I’m so over it. You think the Nordic countries have a problem with names? What about the poor old Austrian village of Fucking? It’s pronounced fooking, as in booking, by the way. It’s not very melodic, but WTF. The village has a population of only 104, but due to its interesting name, it has attracted a great deal of interest. Until 2005, when the village decided it was sick of tourists stealing the Fucking sign and made it theft proof, it was a popular souvenir. As for Fartplan, you are welcome to petition the Nordic Council, but I have a feeling they might tell you to fook off.
Graciously yours, Sally.

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