Greenland - places

Paul Eggert eggert at
Mon Sep 25 04:04:26 UTC 2000

Oscar van Vlijmen <o.van.vlijmen at> writes:

> Why not using the Greenlandic place names in the Europe file?

When I originally chose the names, the old-fashioned Danish names were
in more common use in English than the newfangled Greenlandic names.
This may have changed since then; I haven't checked.

> Thule: Qaanaaq

At the height of the cold war, Thule had maybe 10,000 people in it
(the exact number was a secret); it was a giant city by Greenland's
standards.  But now the nearby native village is a bit larger than
Thule itself.  I think this explains why some sources refer to Thule
as `Qaanaaq' and others `Pituffik'.  If we rename Thule, we'll have to
pick the right replacement name.

By the tz rules we should still stick with Thule, as I think it's
still much better known in English; but this may change in the future,
I suppose.  It's even conceivable that Thule will become a ghost town.

> Godthåb (or even worse: Godthab, yes I know, Posix 1.0): Nuuk
> Scoresbysund: Ittoqqortoormiit

Nuuk would be an good name, but Ittoqqortoormiit is too long; it
exceeds 14 chars.  (Maybe we could remove all the duplicate letters. :-)

> If one doesn't like those names as zone names, just add them as a comment
> (#).

That has already been done in the latest tz sources.

> Especially Ittoqqortoormiit could be a bit problematic. Although this is the
> official spelling as far as I can tell, I already found two other spellings,
> one of them was an error (Ittoqqortoormiut) and another was probably the
> wrong Inuit dialect (Itseqqortoormiit).

In the current tz comment, it's a different spelling yet:
Ittoqqortoormit.  I'll change the spelling to agree with the Danish
postal code web page.  But this is another hint that perhaps we should
leave the tz Zone names alone, at least for now.

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