Is it the Persian Gulf, or the Arabian Gulf? It depends on who you ask.

But Google’s map makers are finding that it’s hard to stay impartial to political conflict when putting a name on a map can cause international tensions to flare. Who gets to name something anyway?

Linguist Daniel Midgley explores names and naming on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Show notes

A quick read from the BBC:

and a really good article from the Washinghton Monthly: “The Agnostic Cartographer”.

How does Google label the Persian Gulf? It doesn’t.

It’s been called the Persian Gulf for a long time.

It’s weird that conflict would arise between Korea and Japan. Ordinarily they get along so well.

Barack Obama showed neutrality by referring to the “Malvinas”. (Okay, he said “Maldives” but you know.)

Even Apple had to fight for the iPad’s name.