Thursday, 2002 December 26, 17:40 — history

where was the battle of Waterloo?

A recent effort to measure the ignorance of college seniors included the question, “In what country was the Battle of Waterloo fought?” The ‘correct’ answer is Belgium, a state created 16 years later.

Waterloo is in Brabant, which at the time was (? or recently had been) part of the French Empire; before Boney’s conquests it was in the Austrian (and before that Spanish, and before that Burgundian) Netherlands.

Another question in the survey is “Do you have a favorite author?” I guess you’re illiterate if you can’t pick out just one. Among those listed was Christopher Stashass; I wonder whether it was the student or a clerk who misspelled Stasheff.

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