Daily Rumination No. 25: Belgian is Belgium is Belgian

Whilst it can sometimes be unclear what constitutes Belgian chocolate Belgian (other than where it’s from), really, who doesn’t love it? Whether in the form of Guylian seashells or delicious hot beverages, it’s generally rich and super-delicious.

Unfortunately, its popularity doesn’t mean that everyone is entirely sure about how to name it. Notice that I wrote Belgian chocolate. The word ‘Belgian’ is the adjective that describes the origin and type of chocolate. Pretty clear, right? More often than not, I see shops and cafés advertising it as Belgium chocolate instead. With the use of the country’s name, it’s almost as if the particular snack on offer has official, governmental backing. It is the chocolate of the nation!

As much as I rolled my eyes over this in the past, it is such a common error nowadays that I have tried not to get too cranky about it. I’d rather not die young as a result of grammatical stress.

Today, however, I saw something different at David Jones, which may reintroduce my aforementioned health risk. See if you can find it in the picture that I took below.

Did you spot it? This Godiva chocolate is not from Belgium… it’s from Belgian! This could simply have been an overlooked typo by the retailer but it has reignited my concern that people:

  1. Don’t know the simple difference between nouns and adjectives; and
  2. Have no clue about what Belgium actually is.

I am uncertain as to whether this is only an issue in Australia, however I do believe that increased funding should be directed immediately to English and geography courses across all public and primary schools, just to be safe. There is no time to waste.