British Place Names Board
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|This article or section may be Overly British. Americans may not understand humour, only humor. Canadians and Australians may not understand anything at all. Don't change a thing to remedy this.|
The British Place Names Board is an agency of the British Government within the Ministry of Administrative Affairs, charged under Royal Warrant of 1306 with "the regulationn, creation, mortiffication and multiplycation of Good Names for Places under the Royalle Sway".
In other words, it's job is to make the British place names as obscure and difficult to pronounce and navigate as possible, thus limiting Yankee tourism to the main cities and London. In addition, a hopelessly disoriented American is hilariously funny. And also, in the event of any war with America, like it could be any easier already we would easily be able to tell out American spies by merely asking them to read our road signs. For example, just say, Yorkshire. If they freaking laugh, or chuckle or gaffaw, then ... aw b'addy 'hewl jus' 'art 'alking an' see ih they' 'art laughing.
The Board is not actually a board, nor has it been since 1454 when it became a desk under the Home Office and later a table, gaining a permanent Chairman shortly thereafter. In fact it now is a sprawling complex of office towers outside Barking after having been chased out of Wapping by Rupert Murdoch. \Note: you are reading this article.
The Board is responsible for providing official names for places so that people and the Royal Mail can find their way with dignity and direction, consistent with heritage and public sentiment. In practice, if a place name does not make an American Tourist snort tonic water all over the interior of his hire car while attempting to navigate off the M1, it is worked upon until this is achieved.
It is generally agreed that the Board's greatest triumph came in 1974 when three hamlets outside Barking were named, respectively, Upper Piddling, Middle Piddling, and Piddling-upon-Avon. Buckets were found to be necessary for the official testing of these names.
The Board works closely with Ordnance Survey, and a shared aim is to produce a series of maps covering all of Great Britain at a scale of one inch to the smile.
How this one survived the Thatcher Government is a mystery. Possibly the location of the Board's offices at Bottom Nonesuch had something to do with this, combined with the exemplarary performance of a detachment during the Falklands Conflict when direction markers in Spanish were forcibly inserted into Argentinian troops who had been made to eat their own maps.
Public protest, complaints and torture
The Board works closely with the public, as do all organs of British government.
Self-congratulation and awards
Each year the Much Wanking Award for Naming Excellence is given in a quaint ceremony to the civil servant responsible for producing the most amusing British placename. Past winners include: