This glossary exists to elaborate on a few subjects whose understanding may be useful in the lecture of my expedition reports. If there is anything about my reports that is unclear to you, feel free to drop me a message and I'll comment on the subject here.
Now, is there a deeper meaning and/or reason behind this fact? Erm... of course there is! Ahem. Two, even.
First, it's comfortable. At least at the day of the hash, sometimes my feet figuratively kill me the day after. And second, I sometimes forget to check terrain maps.
Cantons are the Swiss equivalent to British counties, US states and French regions. Except for the fact that they are so small that there may well be about eight in a single graticule – and that with no single graticule being entirely located in Switzerland. Depending on how you count, there are between 23 and 26 cantons in Switzerland.
Those cantons are rather important in Swiss culture. Every canton has its own customs, its own dialects or even languages, its own friends and its own enemies. Of course, they're never at war with each other (we're talking Switzerland – Swiss hate war), but there are certain antipathies. For example, the French-speaking cantons (known as la Romandie) generally dislike the cantons with German-related languages; the Zurichois deride the allegedly naive Argovians and the not-only-allegedly slow Bernese; and the arrogant Zurichois, such as myself, are universally despised. The arguably strongest antipathy exists between the cantons of Zurich and Basle. It has been proven to have been upheld for millenia and manifests itself mainly at soccer matches these days.
I personally think that every canton has its own beauty and that most of the clichés, such as people from Appenzell being extremely stubborn are wrong or at least have some exceptions. That didn't keep me from learning all of their dialects in order to not be recognized as a Zurichois. I horribly failed at Walser (really, really archaic) and some of the French-, Italian- and Romansh-based ones, though.
Unlike most Swiss, I never took English at school, as I preferred other languages which I considered more urgent to learn. Such as Ancient Greek and Hittite. That's why my expedition narratives look like a second-grader's "What I did last weekend" report. It's because my sorry excuse for a grasp of the English language originates directly from the blogosphere. And from an elderly neighbour (the u is important here) from Britain to whom I talk sometimes.
I do consider learning English at some point in the mid-term future, but right now, I really don't have the time. So if you don't understand something I'm trying to express, feel free to ask. Having my mistakes pointed out to me facilitates learning from them quite considerably. Or just edit my rigmarole if you think you know what it's supposed to mean.
My expedition reports are written from a third-person perspective. Don't ask me why, but telling a story and using the word "me" in it feels odd to me somehow. Thinking about it, it may be because of all that Caesar I read when I was a boy.
I am rather uncomfortable with posting pictures of myself to the tubes. Therefore I radically refrain from it.
While this prohibits me from officially claiming any achievements, I put the ribbons that I or others think I earned on the expedition and user pages symbolically. Encouraged by Jim, I have also started putting my name on some achievement pages. Please contact me if this disturbs you, and I will remove it.
I am well aware that my identity (including postal address, email and phone number) can easily be revealed by many of the people on this wiki (even a short contemplation makes me think of a lot of ways), but I'm fine with this particular human species. I just don't want to force-feed my personal data to every single Youtube-commenting creature lurking in the intersphere.
Gertrud Schmidlin, née Habermacher, lived from 1918-02-08 to 2007-06-16. She lies buried by a catholic church in Emmen, canton of Lucerne. That's all I know about her.
Ever since I hunted down 2012-06-25 47 8 to find it lying on her grave, I have felt strangely connected to her. I think of her when I climb steep mountains or lie on the ground waiting for a thunderstorm to subside. In a way, she has become a Patron of Geohashing to me.
When referring to countries, cantons, towns or other places, I will generally use the English exonym where one is available. This rule does not apply to graticules, who usually are named in the (official) language which is most common in the graticule. This leads to some minor inconsistencies: For example, the cities of Basle, Berne, Geneva and Zurich lie in the graticules of Basel, Bern, Genève and Zürich (with those funny little dots), respectively. However, the connection should be rather obvious.
I will also sometimes literally translate single toponyms once in a report if I think the meaning of the name adds something to it.
The two-letter codes after some toponyms refer to the containing canton. For example, Emmen LU is in the canton of Lucerne, and Au ZH is in the canton of Zurich.
As for demonyms, I regularly use the French word Zurichois (Zurichoise for females) for inhabitants of Zurich. Other than that, I only use existing demonyms, or a paraphrase if none exists.
I was born in the city of Zurich, grew up there, live there, study there and work (mostly) there. It is thus no wonder I feel a strong bond to the city. I write this as an excuse for the times when I start to praise and glorify it with little or no context. It isn't politically or touristically motivated. It's because Zurich is a wunderful place to live and I realize that fact anew about twice an hour.