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Social media users were left scratching their heads after former President Barack Obama referred to Scotland as “the Emerald Isles” in a speech Monday.
Obama made the gaffe at the United Nations COP26 summit in Glasgow, leading many to conclude he’d mixed up Scotland with Ireland – the latter of which is often called the Emerald Isle. The term British Isles refers to the island formation that includes Ireland and the UK.
“Since we’re in the Emerald Isles here let me quote the Bard, William Shakespeare,” Obama said in comments about climate change.
“‘What wound,” he writes, ‘did ever heal but by degrees?’” Obama said, quoting from “Othello.”
“Our planet has been wounded by our actions,” he went on. “Those wounds won’t be healed today tomorrow or the next but they can be healed by degrees if we start with that spirit.”
The comments sparked Twitter, with some social media users having fun not only at the apparent mixup but also criticizing Obama for quoting England’s Shakespeare instead of Scotland’s bard Robert Burns.
“Barack Obama referring to Scotland as being part of the ‘emerald isles’ and then proceeding to quote Shakespeare is just so American,” one Twitter user concluded.
Some sarcastically embraced the new moniker for Scotland.
“As a citizen of the Emerald Isles, I would like to thank the former President of Canada for his kind words today,” one user said.