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An island is any piece of land that is surrounded by water. That’s all there really is to know about islands.
Except of course, ”no man is an island", as said by John Donne. This is strictly true, because technically no man can be a piece of land surrounded by water. They can be surrounded by water easily enough, but it’s the land thing that makes it tricky. So there is really no reason why everyone can keep quoting him. It wasn’t anything special. I mean, if I say “no woman is a landmass”, people won’t call me a wise thinker, will they?
But then I suppose there is Dawn French...anyway, I digress.
Comes from the Old English “island” meaning land that is surrounded by water. It is interesting because it is one of only two English words to have a silent "s" after an "i". The other word is "erotisca". At least I'm pretty sure that's right.
The French word for island is "île" and no one is sure where that comes from. France, probably.
Types of Islands
Medium islands tend to be larger in nature than other smaller islands. They do however, share the same characteristics as smaller islands, as in they are completely surrounded by water. Britain, Iceland and Madagascar are all medium islands – so large they have their own country sitting on them.
Small Islands are slightly smaller. The distinction between Small and Medium is quite difficult to distinguish. For example, is Taiwan a Medium Island because it has its own country sitting on it, or is it Small because it is only a small country? I would say it was a Small Island. Most of the Canadian islands are Small Islands, except the Medium, Very Small, or Very Very Small ones, obviously.
Very Small Islands
Very Small Islands are actually a bit of a misnomer because they are actually pretty bloody massive. No, I’m joking. Very Small Islands are, well, pretty small, as you would have gathered if you had two brain cells to rub together. Obviously, if you were rubbing brain cells together, it would probably mean that your brain had fallen out. Or that you have very sharp fingernails and had an accident whilst scratching your head. But I digress...
Very Very Small Islands
Think desert islands, or Micronesia.
Very Very Very Small Islands
Do you see where I am going with this? Think islands in the middle of lakes, perhaps. In fact, Very Very Very Small Islands present one of the most interesting scientific debates of some time (other than the Big Bang, evolution and the meaning of life). The question is: Why are Very Very Very Small Islands called Very Very Very Small Islands? Some say it would be far simpler if the Medium Islands were called Large Islands, and everything was moved up a rank. Others say that that would upset the natural order of islandologists, and possibly threaten life itself. No seriously. Hey! Don't laugh. You'll be sorry when you're extinct. Well, obviously, you won't be, you'll be dead, and therefore unable to feel emotion, but still. Oh God, I've digressed again.
Islandology is the study of islands, including their formation, history, habitation and geological patterns. It also incorporates the study of John Donne, even though, as stated earlier, he is completely unrelated to the subject of the physical islands. All he did was say "No man is an island". As an islandologist myself, I find the fact he is part of the West Yeovil University Islandology syllabus disgusting, which is why I chose to stay at home in Serbia and attend the Serbian university, Jkheltasjkelta Institute, and take a Joint Honours, Islandology with Film Studies. The Film Studies is actually quite tough, by the way. I am doing my thesis on LazyTown, and it is impossible. But anyway, I digress.
A Short Digression About My Family And How I Came To Write This Wikipedia Article
In fact, I would just like to take a brief moment to explain why I keep digressing from the topic of Islands. The reason is this: Islands are incredibly dull. No, seriously, I managed a few sentences without getting bored, so I'm impressed, but Jesus Christ! It would have been easier to have written an article on Grass, or Corn Flakes or something. But no. I mean, I don't know anything about those subjects (well, except Corn Flakes). And if I don't know anything about them, I can't write a decent, respectable Wikipedia article on them, can I? Obviously not.
Added to the fact it's incredibly boring, I also have to write this all in English, which isn't my native language. That would be Српски (or Serbian). On another note, I thought that this site was called "Wikipedia" in English. I didn't know they had changed their name to "Uncyclopedia". Anyway, I hope they have just changed their name and I haven't got the wrong site or anything.
In case you are wondering why I took Islandology in the first place, when I find it so boring, I can explain. It is family tradition. My family, the Ixladovic-Studionov family (literally, Island Studies family), have been world-leading pioneers and professors of Islandology for hundreds of years, even before the world actually cared about the fact there were islands, and even before they knew you could pioneer Islandology. So, I didn't want to let my family down, and entered what we call "the family business". In fact, in Serbja, our family is a respected city family, and in the small (actually very very small) field of islandologists, even more so. If I had shamed the family by becoming, say, a doctor, I would be disowned. And I don't want that.
Apology For That Short Digression
Yeah, I should stop digressing. I promise I won't do it again! Please don't remove my article, Wikipedia!
However, on another note, I thought that the Wikipedian logo was blue? In Serbia, where it is called Википедија, it is bluer and more round. Maybe it's just my imagination. Anyway, I digress.
Dammit! Dammit dammit dammit!
Okay, I promise. It WON'T happen again.
Back On Topic, History of Islands
Islands have been around since the time of Pangaea, when the world was only made up of one super-continent, completely surrounded by water. Actually, wait, no that can't be right. Surely that would mean that Pangaea was an island? Huh? Maybe-maybe-
Hold on, I've had an idea.
My Absolutely Amazing, World Shattering, Island Idea
What if the continents are islands too? Like North and South America, essentially, it's just one massive island, isn't it? It is! If you think about it...(which you shouldn't, but, if you do...) WOAH.. The continents, Eurasia, America, Antarctica they are islands as well! So that's why the categories start at Medium! I AM A GENIUS!! Literally, why did I never think of this before?! I'm right, aren't I?! I know it.
My family will be so pleased. I'm going to be like the Einstein of the Islandology world! Roll over Steven Hawking, (pardon the pun), I am the new King of Science! A brand new category of islands! I better ring the local news. Wait, local news? Who am I kidding? CNN!
Islands Are Great!
I'm so excited! How could I ever have thought that islands were boring? What ridiculousness was that? Well, soon, I have no doubt I will be a world respected islandologist! The Serbian news will want me, of course, but then, I can conquer the world! Barack Obama will probably want to meet me. I'm certain to be Time Person of the Year now, and probably will get a Nobel Prize. I wouldn't be surprised if with this discovery I end up on the Serbian banknotes! (Serbians are one of the only countries to put islandologists on banknotes. But then, the field of "world famous Serbs" is pretty small.) I mean, this is going to be fantastic! Maybe I should patent the idea of Large Islands? Then if anybody mentions them, they'll have to pay me! This is what I have been waiting for. My time has come! Step over the rest of the Ixladovic-Studionov family, your new star is born! I'm off to tell my parents and write my paper!
A Brief Intermission
Wikipedia articles have intermissions, right? As I'm off, I'll just leave you with a few collective thoughts on islands - 1) they are completely surrounded by water and 2) water completely surrounds them. (Coincidentally, these two facts will get you a "B" at A Level in Island Studies if you wish it). BUT ANYWAY - Wish me luck! In a few weeks time I'll be writing another Wikipedia page - about me! Nobel Prize, Time Man of the Year, Serbian King, Islandologist Supreme here I come!
Islands Are Crap!
So, yeah my parents have already thought of the "Continents are Large Islands Theory". That just sucks, doesn't it. Large Islands have already been suggested. Jesus Christ, is there nothing I can do to please my parents? Surely they realise we already know all there is to know about islands! What else can we learn? Huh? I mean, if that has all been figured out, WHAT IS THE NEXT GREAT MYSTERY TO UNFOLD (within the realms of Islandology). I mean, come on. Talking about a dying art... Does anybody actually care, anyway? I can't describe how disappointed I am.
Still, I'm studying islands for my degree, so I better write this Wikipedia article, or Uncyclopedia, or whatever it's called. Seriously, this is Wikipedia, right? I mean, I'm not quite sure. Anyway, it doesn't matter, I'll write it anyway. Sorry for digressing there.
Formation of Islands
Islands are formed by rising magma from beneath the Earth's crust, which forces through the mantle at hot spots and then rises through the sea, whereupon it changes its name to lava for some retarded reason only islandologists would know or care about. And, well, then, it cools and stuff. It makes an island.
Why anybody would be interested in this I don't know. Why you are interested in this I also don't know. I mean, a Wikipedia article, or Uncyclopedia or whatever it's new name is, on islands by a crazy Serbian student? Does it really interest you?
Well, if you're still reading, it obviously does. Either that or you are my lecturer and have to read this to grade me (Hi Jim.. I mean, Dr Stylfromrusskiwivluvmoscwleningradovich!) Let's move on to the next boring topic.
Habitation of Islands
Islands are either inhabited or uninhabited depending on their size, loc-- you know what? I don't give a damn. I have never given a damn. I am writing an article about islands when I have never really cared about them. Or the people that live on them. I mean, so what, Brits, you live on an island? Shut up, it just makes you look like loners! Oh, Greece, wow, you've got lots of islands, I'm so jealous! Oh wait, no I'm not. In fact, I'm proud to be a landlocked country! Islands suck. I don't care if my family think that I should find it interesting. They forced me into this bleeding degree, but no more. I quit. I'm leaving. They can disown me as many times as they like, but I'm going to go to Hollywood and become an actor. That's what interests me. Oh, yeah, and women. But I can't stand any more of this. I'm going to stop this article right here, and never finish it. I'm going to become famous and people will congratulate me on escaping my boring Serbian family of professors. I'm going to never complete this research or degree, and leave people interested in islands on Wikipedia completely empty-handed! And no one can stop me!
Yeah, so, that didn't work out. Bit lonely really. Who knew that my family could actually influence the Serbian government, who could persuade the people it was a criminal offence to speak to me? Not me, that's for sure. But, islands, you know, it's all good. They are, um, inhabited or uninhabited. Obviously. Primarily depending on their size, location and other geographical factors, such as abundance of edible crops and amount of suitable agricultural land. Yeah.
So. May as well finish the article. Only John Donne left. As I said before, it was he who made the famous statement ”no man is an island". And as I also said before, this is of course true, because technically no man can be a piece of land surrounded by water. They can be surrounded by water easily enough, but it’s the land thing that makes it tricky. And there is really no reason why everyone can keep quoting him.
Though I suppose maybe he went deeper than that. As in no man is an island, because no man is completely isolated from people, no man has no social contact with anybody else. That's not possible. So, it's true on another level too.
Hang on--oh shit. It can't be. Fuck you, John Donne, I've proved you wrong! You said no man is an island, but look at me! Look at me, Mr. Donne! I'm completely isolated, aren't I? Yes. Aha! That means I'm an island!! I'M AN ISLAND!! I'M AN ISLAND!!!! YEAHH!!!
LOOK WHO'S AN ISLAND NOW!?!? It's me! Oh yeah! Oh yeahyeahyeah! I'm doing a dance cos I'm an island! I'm doing a dance cos I'm an island! YYEEEEEEEAHHHHH me! :D :D :D :D :D
God Dammit, I wish I wasn't. DAD PLEASE TAKE ME BACK! But, anyway, I digress...