Paris Hilton got an earful (or at least an eyeful) last year when her plane touched down in Bogotá and she tweeted, “Just landed in Columbia. On my way to the hotel.” [Emphasis added]
As Dan Molinski notes in the Wall Street Journal, Hilton had not left the airport when the reactions to her faux pas came flooding in: “PARIS, IT’S COLOMBIA, NOT COLUMBIA!!!!” read one of the tweets. (You have to wonder whether the author meant that to be read, “Paree, it’s Colombia…”.)
Now, tens of thousands of Colombians are fighting back by linking up with a movement called “It’s Colombia, NOT Columbia.”
Hilton’s mistake proved to be a bonanza for Carlos Pardo, a digital-media executive, who spearheaded a campaign to correct the error, complete with t-shirts.
In the interests of international harmony, LU will comply with the request. We will continue to write the university and U.S. federal district as Columbia. Henceforth, however, we will pronounce both as “kuh-LOHM-be-ah.”