Ireland is the fantastic convergence of the parochial and the ultra-modern. While a small portion of it citizenry (the ones I know, mostly) are total digerati, the vast majority (and in particular the rural population) are still stuck somewhere in the mid-fifties. So, they haven’t quite got this Internet thing down yet, particularly outside the technology industry.
This was brought home to me while I was walking home today. I saw a woman carrying a large paper bag on which was written Baggot Cleaners.ie Baggot, by the way, is a street. Anyhow, as anybody who’s surfed the Web a bit knows, you can’t have spaces in URLs like that. So, I expect the conversation between the bag printer (no doubt called O’Leary’s and Sons) and the drycleaner went something like this:
DRYCLEANER: Right, so, we’d like the bags to say Baggot Cleaners dot IE.
PRINTER: Dot IE? What’s that about now?
DRYCLEANER: I haven’t the foggiest. My son’s told me it’s all the rage.
PRINTER: So, you want it to read D-O-T-I-E.
DRYCLEANER: Heaven’s no, I want it to read dot. As in period. As in full stop. Then an I and an E. Okay so?
PRINTER: Jaysus, that’s feckin’ madness if you ask me.
DRYCLEANER: Can’t stand in the way of progress you know.
PRINTER: Right. Ha ha ha.
DRYCLEARNER: Ha, ha, ha.