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By the Time They Will Have Got to Nottingham

Sometimes these stories embarrass me. This is one. I hate looking dumb in front of people, which is weird because it happens so often. But I especially hate it when I'm trying to look competent.

Back in my WebMD days, before my good friend Alicia stepped in as SEO of the UK site, Boots WebMD, I was handling the SEO for both the UK and the US sites. I had two or three main contacts in the UK for their site, and every Friday I sent a status report -- a weekly roundup of trends in search in the UK health sector. 

All well and good. 

Except on one email exchange, in some sort of context I don't remember, my UK contact said something like "It won't matter by the time they will have got to Nottingham." 

Pause here. I like the UK just fine. I find their history interesting and their literature lovely. My favorite authors are from there. However, I admit to not really knowing much about their geography. I mean, I know where England/Ireland/Wales/etc are. I do not, however, know many of their cities or where the cities are located on a map. 

And as far as I knew, Nottingham was associated with Robin Hood and that's about it. Specifically, the Disney Robin Hood, which is the only true Robin Hood in my mind. 

You have a very loud thumb...

Needless to say, I was confused at the reference to Nottingham. So, thinking this must be something I didn't understand, I asked something to the effect of: 

Is "by the time they will have got to Nottingham" a common British saying? 

I thought perhaps it was a colloquialism like "Speak of the Devil."

Nope, the Boots WebMD headquarters was actually located in the city of Nottingham, which is where "they" were travelling. 



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