GraveTalk 38: Australia – Country or Continent!

One of the things I keep hearing is how Australia is both a country and continent. Well, it’s not it’s a country. This was a quick one wasn’t it! But let’s dive into this GraveTalk and finally put this nonsense to bed for good.

Firstly, it seems to be more Americans (Well they seem to have an American accent in the videos, I’ve watched) who use the term “Australia” to describe both the country and continent. Now, Australia is the country, oaky? Australasia is the continent, or you can also use Oceania (This is not the new “lost” continent that they are saying New Zealand is part of) as this is used because New Zealand (and they have a point) think Australasia is too much like Australia whereas Oceania references both countries better! (Never say New Zealand and Australia accents sound alike to a die-hard Kiwi otherwise you may wake up in a hospital bed!)

Getting back the original point and I think the reason why Americans use Australia for both is because Australasia is just too hard to spell! And because of the spreading of Americanisation in Britain, British kids are now thinking Australia refers to both.

They even have a Wikipedia page that says it’s both and when you try and correct it, they change it back. What is the point of having an online encyclopaedia if they fill it with false information. Wikipedia does have many false information in its articles, but this is a massive one and you can’t even change it. Basically, what Wikipedia is saying is how Australia is just like Europe – except with fewer countries!

I have a Harper World Atlas (from 2006) and it splits the maps up into continents and Australia and New Zealand are listed under Australasia and Oceania. This is common knowledge but as is the norm today, people are changing facts to suit them – just to not confuse the kids. Confusion is part of education and through learning you become less confused. There is no need to update or re-classify terms to suit the modern world better.

This is not a rant against education or modern life, but if we go around changing everything then what is the point in learning and facts as the information could just keep changing every year. But, as with all statements let’s talk about the other side and let’s mention the reasons for Australia being a country and continent.

A continent is a large landmass. Okay, then why isn’t Greenland considered one? But let’s be honest Europe and Asia (and technically Africa – as the Suez Canal is man-made [sorry human-made… nah screw that!]) are all connected so instead of Europe and Asia it should be Eurasia or Eurasica (including Africa). Australia is a large landmass, however, is it really that large enough to be classed as a continent, as Antarctica is into double figures in size comparison whereas Australia is under 8m km squared.

If you go down the route of the continents being named after the tectonic plates (and there are 7 covering the large landmasses, then you could say Australia (continent) is named after the Australian plate.

Nevertheless, going back to my original point and it is how you were brought up and what you learnt in school. If you were brought up with the original seven continents and nine planets (yes remember those days – I, still think you’re a planet Pluto!) then to you Australia is a big island country and Australasia/Oceania (I call it Oceania, you’re welcome my New Zealand friends) is the continent. Like many things, with each generation knowledge changes with the advancement of technology but the basics remain the same, therefore there are six large continental landmasses and one continent containing a collection of islands.

School textbooks aren’t exactly right but they aren’t exactly wrong. They are printed for certain levels of education so the facts are watered down, but what you read online isn’t accurate either and with more sites becoming more user-friendly with options for users to edit pages (like Wikipedia) facts will start to be stretched, exaggerated and just made-up because online pages are monitored and (most) edits need approving before going live. The online world is sort of a dictatorship and information, involving countries (to give an example) are limited to what changes you can make. I mean, I can’t put down how “the UK is governed by a load of greedy, stupid bunch of monkeys” even though that is a true statement.

Again, this has been, yet another GraveTalk where people will differ with opinions, however, like most times – I am right this time! It has been quite hard to make this one as long as it is (as you can see, I have waffled a bit). GraveTalk’s have now moved onto being over 1500 words long not under 1000. This one is one off the list, as I started it back at the start of August just as I was getting my laptop back together after a reboot.

I hope you enjoyed it and if you did; make sure you take a look at the next GraveTalk, which will be either about the standard of British driving or how to make good arguments/statements. (I could just do the long-awaited American GraveTalk – I have been waiting to do that for about a year now, but it just keeps getting pushed back!)

Thanks for reading!

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