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alai
946392.  Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:12 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Would that be Lewis / Harris? I went there once; you'll never guess what, but it was raining in Steòrnabhagh.

I'm shocked, simply shocked! Yes, that's the one. I imagine the various "peninsular islands", like the Black Isle, are named on the basis of similar logic, and The Long Isle is sorta like two peninsular islands glued together...

Quote:
I'm not sure how many genuine inshore islands there are in Britain.

There are several decent-sized islands in various Scottish lochs, most excessively in Loch Lomond, which has a positive plethora of them.

 
Efros
946394.  Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:16 pm Reply with quote

Loch Leven in Fife has a few as well. Townhill Loch in Dunfermline has what I believe is a man made island, I certainly don't remember it having one when I was a kid.

 
alai
946402.  Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:04 pm Reply with quote

Efros wrote:
Townhill Loch in Dunfermline has what I believe is a man made island, I certainly don't remember it having one when I was a kid.

Looks very reminiscent of the euripus of the Circus Maximus (yes, I had to that up!). I suspect uncoincidentally, given its use as a water-skiing centre.

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
946505.  Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:33 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Steòrnabhagh.


A great word for The Pronunciation Challenge thread.

 
suze
946525.  Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:08 pm Reply with quote

Actually, it's quite easy - although it won't make sense from the spelling unless you know Scottish Gaelic.

STYAWN-a-vah.

The first syllable is like the way that English people say the Swedish name Björn, but with st- instead of b-.

Most people in that town in fact call it by its English name Stornoway most of the time, but it is the policy of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (formerly Western Isles Council) that the "official" forms of placenames are the Gaelic forms and not the English forms.

 
alai
946591.  Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:49 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Most people in that town in fact call it by its English name Stornoway most of the time [...]

One might argue that they're being Germanic Originalists, and aren't humouring this new-fangled Celticisation of the town name, and its mangling to conform to the vaguarities of Gaelic phonology!

 
suze
946592.  Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:24 pm Reply with quote

And in Steòrnabhagh, you'd probably find someone who actually would argue thus.

Well hey, it's only about nine hundred years since the leaders of Clan Mac Neacail went native and switched from Norse to Gaelic. Scarcely even yesterday, the way they think in those parts ...


More seriously, today only about half of the population of the town can speak Gaelic. In the rest of Lewis / Harris the proportion is rather higher, and approaches 100% in villages like Barabhas and Càrlabhagh.

There are reckoned to be about five hundred households in Lewis / Harris in which Gaelic is the "easy tongue", but probably only about twenty of those households are in town. (In almost all cases, elderly single or widowed women.)

If you hear teenagers or young adults talking on the street in Steòrnabhagh, they're doing it in English. But in those rural townships, they just might be doing it in Gaelic.

When we went into a pub in Steòrnabhagh, we did not hear the locals switch to Gaelic in the way that locals in rural Wales sometimes switch to Welsh. The only place where we did hear that happening was Dunvegan on Skye.

 
alai
947144.  Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:47 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
When we went into a pub in Steòrnabhagh, we did not hear the locals switch to Gaelic in the way that locals in rural Wales sometimes switch to Welsh. The only place where we did hear that happening was Dunvegan on Skye.

L&H were a ferry (and likely several more buses) too far for me, but when I visited the Uists, I observed much the same there. On Skye I merely felt I was perpetrating atrocities of placename pronunciation, but on the Out Isles it really seemed more like disobliging the locals from the default language entirely. (To be fair, we'd lucked on a "weather window" what was maybe about two months before what passes as a tourist season...)

On Father Ted II -- sorry, I mean, the series of An Island Parish notionally featuring Barra, but also spilling over to South Uist quite a bit -- there was a significant bit of code-switching happening, even with a film crew not merely present, but fairly actively inserting themselves into proceedings at times.

 
WordLover
947525.  Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 am Reply with quote

alai wrote:
It's not hydrologically stable for a lake (sorry, I mean, loch!) to have two independent outflows on either side of a watershed, so in theory a landmass should "never" be subdivided by water in such a manner.
Loch na Davie on Arran is exactly that unusual phenomenon. It is on a watershed and has an outflow each side. Iorsa Water flows southwest and meets the sea at Dougrie (also spelt Dougarie). Easan Biorach flows north and meets the sea at Lochranza.

alai wrote:
(Though I understand that hydrologists consider the Great Lakes a small temporary glacier meltwater phenomenon, so "not stable" may be a somewhat relative concept.)
That is taking a very large, long perspective!

alai wrote:
there is a small amount of water that straddles the "continental divide" in North America, which is otherwise a more striking largescale watershed than most. Does that split the continent into two smaller (though both honkingly large) "islands"?
My instinct is to say no, because the water is not all at the same level.

 
alai
947530.  Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:45 am Reply with quote

WordLover wrote:
Loch na Davie on Arran is exactly that unusual phenomenon. It is on a watershed and has an outflow each side. Iorsa Water flows southwest and meets the sea at Dougrie (also spelt Dougarie). Easan Biorach flows north and meets the sea at Lochranza.

Intriguing! Not the best-documented phenomenon... I did find articles on the German (and only on the German!) Wikipedia, for the loch and each burn, and the following trip report:

Verbal@www.scottishhills.com wrote:
It was a disappointment to say the least, no bigger than a small swimming pool and no deeper than a knee, it did'nt look as if it was draining in either direction, more a stagnant pool in a inhospitable glen. We did see a pair of of golden eagle on the way back, so not all wasted and I`ll never forget Loch na Davie, even if its a warning in my soul never to return

I only hope they weren't actually buzzards. :)

WordLover wrote:
My instinct is to say no, because the water is not all at the same level.

That seems reasonable to me. I'm also a little sketchy about the islandosity of some relatively large pieces of land where they're set off by relatively shallow and narrow tidal straits, but I might have to file them under "very nasty, but we can't touch you for it".

 
WordLover
947591.  Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:25 am Reply with quote

Not much of a lake, then.

I thought I had found a better example in the enticingly named Two Ocean Lake in Grand Teton National Park, in Wyoming. Unfortunately, it isn't; it's on the Pacific side of the watershed. However, not far to the north-east is Two Ocean Pass, which contains North Two Ocean Creek, a river which is hydrologically interesting in that it splits into two distributaries, one of which flows into the Atlantic, and one into the Pacific.

 
alai
947603.  Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:59 am Reply with quote

That's the case I was referring to in my post of Oct 18. :)

 
WordLover
948422.  Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:03 pm Reply with quote

alai wrote:
It's not hydrologically stable for a lake (sorry, I mean, loch!) to have two independent outflows on either side of a watershed, so in theory a landmass should "never" be subdivided by water in such a manner. (Though I understand that hydrologists consider the Great Lakes a small temporary glacier meltwater phenomenon, so "not stable" may be a somewhat relative concept.)

Though... there is a small amount of water that straddles the "continental divide" in North America, which is otherwise a more striking largescale watershed than most. Does that split the continent into two smaller (though both honkingly large) "islands"? It's a more contiguous "body" of water than the Scottish case, though at its height it's only inches deep.
If you're prepared to regard a landmass which is surrounded by natural water to be an island even if that water is not all at the same level (because some of it is rivers), then how about the island which is a north-eastern part of Brazil, an eastern part of Venezuela, and the Guyanas and Suriname. It is bounded by the South Atlantic, the Guainía, the Negro, the Amazon, the Orinoco and the Casiquiare Canal. This last is not a canal, but a distributary of the Orinoco: it branches off to the left/SW, a little to the west of La Esmeralda, Amazonas, Venezuela, taking a small part of the Orinoco's flow. Then, after acquiring the flow of a few tributaries of its own, it joins the Guainía at Chapazon, Venezuela, which in turn flows into the Negro, which flows into the Amazon.

 
Butterfish
950885.  Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:50 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Having a look at Google maps the Northern part of Mainland Scotland North West of Loch Ness appears to be an Island.
Between Fort William and Inverness is a continuous waterway including Loch Ness and Loch Lochy via Fort Augustus. This forms a line. The North West of it is an Island.


You can't always rely on Google Maps - the Caledonian Canal is carried by at least two aqueducts, so the Northernmost part of Scotland isn't cut off at all.

That part of the country is remote enough as it is without adding island status. And I speak as someone who lived in that part of Scotland for 13 years.

 
Jenny
950890.  Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:09 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for that nice piece of info, Butterfish :-)

 

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