Are they interchangeable or different?

Damian in Edinburgh   Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:06 am GMT
You're welcome, Kef.

Yes, Pitcairn, in the Pacific, was settled by Brits, mutineers off the British ship HMS Blighty, and their descendants still live there. English is the Language.

Tristan da Cunha was disccovered by the Portuguese, hence the name, but they scarpered when the Scots arrived, and the capital of the island is actually called Edinburgh, although more people live on my road than do on the whole island. Language - English.

Ascension, also in the Atlantic, was claimed by Britain in 1815, and is now an important staging post. Language - English.

Lundy Island is a rocky island off the coast of Devon, England, and is a seabird colony, is home to herds of goats, has a few houses, a church, a shop and....most important of all...your typical English pub....and it issues its own postage stamps. Language - it's obvious, but the few people who live there are mostly transients, and come from all corners of the UK, and even further afield.

Brits have a strange affiliation with islands - we are drawn to them mainly because we live on one, and in any case many hundreds of islands make up our country.

Brits can no longer comprehend living in a country bordered by other nations, but I reckon all EU countries can be considered to be "as one" now, seeing that you can drive in and out of all other Continental EU countries freely and unimpeded by border controls. The only exception to that is the UK - as ever - you still have to pass through UK Border Controls, and show your passport, even if you've just nipped over from Calais or Zeebrugge to buy a scrumptious lamb shanks hotpot and strawberry mousse at Marks and Spencers Food department.
Amabo   Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:14 pm GMT
"Why doesn't Canada have an official full name?"

It used to be "The Dominion of Canada" but, since 1982, is now simply "Canada."
US rules   Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:07 am GMT
<Why doesn't Canada have an official full name?>

It does. ALC "America's Little-brother of Canada".
furrykef   Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:48 am GMT
I suppose it's because there's really no reason to give it a full name. You say "Canada" and everybody knows what country you're talking about.

The U.S. is an odd case because you can say "The U.S.", "The United States", "America", or "The USA", although we don't say "The United States of America" except to be emphatic or when the complete name is called for (e.g., official documents).

- Kef
Geoff_One   Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:34 pm GMT
There is also "Commonwealth"
as in the Commonwealth of Australia.
Guest   Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:53 am GMT
Yes the Commonwealth of Australia.