These ditches are called Punic not because they were invented by the Carthaginians (Punic is the adjective for things from Carthage, don't ask me why), but because they were incredibly brutal, and Rome's early wars with Carthage were so horrific, they became a byword for anything eye-wateringly cruel like this.
Basically, Latin version of Greek version of Phoenician.
England is particularly good (if that's the right word) at these but it's not alone. If you're from Buenos Aires then you're a Porteño (because it's a _port_). If you're from Christchurch then you're a Cantabrian (because of a historical association with Canterbury in the UK). If you come from Rio de Janeiro then you're a Carioca (from the name of a tribe that lived there before the Portuguese invaded).
Since English has chronic trouble mapping sounds, especially vowels, that are fundamental for Russian, ‘Muscovy’ is in fact a rather reasonable approximation. ‘Moscovia’ would be better, but alas. It's like we're seeing different fundamental colors―which we sort of do with English ‘indigo’ and Russian ‘light-blue’ (the latter being close to Newton's ‘blue’).
> Newton divided his color circle, which he constructed to explain additive color mixing, into seven colors. His color sequence including the tertiary color indigo is kept alive today by the Roy G. Biv mnemonic. Originally he used only five colors, but later he added orange and indigo to match the number of musical notes in the major scale.
So, the concept of there being uniquely-important indigo (and orange!) points on the hue spectrum were just, kinda... made up, as a bit of numerological whimsy, by Isaac Newton. And everyone else in the Western world just followed his lead, because he seemed to know what he was talking about.
I would note that no English-speaker actually seems to describe anything as “indigo” in practice. People do tend to describe plenty of things as “light blue”, though! We get taught “ROY G BIV” in kindergarten, but we basically ignore it, because it doesn’t actually fit anything else we get taught. (I don’t even recall any children’s picture books that bother with examples of “indigo” objects.)
IMHO, there’s also a much more fundamental distinction made in English-in-practice, between three kinds of green: yellow-green (“spring green”, “olive green” when desaturated), “green green”†, and blue-green (“sea blue”, cyan, turquoise.) Many people will insist that, if orange is a separate color from yellow or red, then yellow-green and green-blue are separate colors as well.
Quote of the day:
"poems by the Anglo-Saxon scholar the Venerable Bede translate more successfully into Geordie than into Standard English"
The Venerable Bede will for evermore have a Geordie accent.
I also like to call people for Norfolk, Norfolk (as in folk), I don't think that's standard though.
The claimant attended the wedding with her partner in September 2014. They decided to leave the celebrations at around 11:30pm and make their way back to their on-site accommodation. The claimant was required to walk across the manor garden in order to reach her room. Unfortunately, there was inadequate lighting along the route and they found the lawn to be in darkness, with only a small light in the far distance to guide them. Due to the poorly lit area, the claimant walked from the lawn and over the top of a brick wall, falling 3 feet downwards into the grass area of a 'ha-ha'."
> The presiding QC judge, Alastair Campbell, deemed a ha-ha wall to be outside the scope of the law regarding obvious dangers, such as cliffs or canals, where an occupier is not required to take precautions against a person being injured. This was due to it being an unusual man-made feature that the public would be very much unaware of, especially across a wide lawn.
which I find an odd decision. I didn't know what they were called (so I followed the link curiously) but certainly I'd expect one at a house such as that. Unusual for the average dwelling, sure, but not 'across a wide lawn' or at a property with a wide lawn for it to be across.
Source: my wife is a landscape archaeologist, specialising in post-medieval parks. We visit a lot of stately homes.
Interestingly, if this is accurate, it means that the front/backness of the vowel in hehe/haha/hoho correlates with its size.
God I miss Pratchett's satire.
The diagram at the top does get the idea across though.
Contributing to Wikipedia is quite fun and not enough people do it. You don't even need to make an account.
I contribute to Wikipedia already by improving maths articles, so I know the process. Your comment appears to have incorrectly assumed certain things, and worse still, you've tried to educate me in a rather patronising manner. I don't think that's in the spirit of HN.
How is this not in the spirit of HN? Sure you might already know, but are we not to share knowledge/opinion because readers might already know it?
Plus, other people (like me) also read these comments, and they might lack relevant knowledge... educating is not a bad thing.
If the OP's comment is for the good of the wider community, it should probably not contain a friendly yet subtle insult to the tune of "rather than just criticising, get off your backside and do something about it, you might even enjoy it".
And I'd be very surprised if someone reading HN is unaware that Wikipedia can be edited...
While their language is mild and friendly, their message is utterly patronising.
To me, that is not patronizing. Just like your original comment about the photos and the original reply, this is all subjective.
That you chose to take offense to subjective, measured comments is something you may want to spend time considering.
> you could go find better examples (with a free license) or take your own and add them to the article.
> they decide to explain to me that I can edit Wikipedia!
is simply untrue. Had that been the case, I’m sure everyone would agree it was patronising.
However it does not say "you can edit Wikipedia," more like "if you think there is a problem, you are free to fix the problem."
Indeed English can be ambiguous, but I do not think that can be interpreted as patronizing.
The video obviously explains the history of this military base, but what the ha-ha "protects" nowadays is actually not a firing range but a football/cricket pitch and some other MOD sports facilities that are open to the public. I'm using them several times a week. You can also book the space for events.
So fortunately this area is not quite as scary and unfriendly as it appears in the vid. Sadly, the sheep were all scared off. No trace of them, ha ha.
The health and safety considerations cited in the Wikipedia page don't apply to the ha-ha walls that are situated in sizeable estates. The big house, the extensive gardens and the fields beyond are owned by the same family. It has all been inherited rather than bought with 'new money'. The family and the staff know where the wall is and random members of the public just don't have access to the area, in part because of the ha-ha. The surrounding fields are not open to the public either.
Others may use the ha-ha in a modern context to hide a car park in a hilly city setting but this is not a true ha-ha wall. These fake ha-ha walls are also for postage stamp sized plots of land. A real ha-ha is at the end of formal gardens that are so big that only gardening staff would need to go that far out from the house. The lawns should be big enough for erecting a marquee, having a large croquet lawn or whatever else goes with having a house that size.
In the true country setting, e.g. Gloucestershire or another English shire, there are far worse hazards. A child could fall from a hay barn onto some combine harvester. Or a sheep dip with those neuro-toxin chemicals could be a grizzly end. Normal cows or the bull in a field could get you too. Hopping over a barbed wire fence might not kill you but isn't necessarily easy. Only a stupid, trespassing city dweller who should not be in the countryside under any circumstances could possibly fall off a real ha-ha and any ha-ha that is not part of a grand estate is not a real ha-ha.
Rivers and flood prevention can also provide a good excuse for a stately home to have a version of the ha-ha. This will be a ditch arrangement with a berm, this hides the riff-raff using the riverside path and the ironwork that takes the place of a wall for keeping them out.
It's more of a discouragement than a fortification. It's not hard to scramble over it if you really want to.
Guess I was wrong. Maybe less than 100% convinced I'm wrong, but I probably just fell in love with my own explanation & I'm unwilling to fully concede.
Isn't this a term attributed to the French but exclusively used in English...?
One of their info signs mentioned that female officers were forbidden from attending a royal visit during WWII but got round the ban by standing behind a Ha-ha wall so only the tops of their heads could be seen.
I was planning to come back and look up "Ha-ha wall" but it conveniently turned out to be on the front page of HN!
John Cowan badly fractured his right ankle after falling into a ha-ha ditch at Hopetoun House on the outskirts of Edinburgh on September 5, 2008, as he and his grandson returned to a car park in the dark."
No, it doesn't: it's just a ditch. (But it's not very effective as a defensive element if not combined with a wall).
So at the very least, keeping a clean view isn’t a fundamental property of moats. But keeping a clean view is the raison d’etre for haha’s. In fact that’s how they get their name.
Unfortunately the young is left on the unfortunate side of the "wall".