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    Saturday, January 25, 2003

    Let's discuss the concept of the U-Turn. As defined by Merriam-Webster, the term U-Turn dates back to 1930 and its "a turn resembling the letter U; especially : a 180-degree turn made by a vehicle in a road." Given that it's 1930, I guess it applied to horses and other pre-auto modes of transport.

    "A turn resembling the letter U" only applies on left-hand drive vehicles. In other words, the U-Turn is an American thing and rightfully so, given that the first car was invented there. I am sure Henry Ford, inventor of the automobile, inadvertently invented the U-Turn as well when he ran out of road while giving his Ford a test drive and had to turn back.

    The U-Turn does not work outside North America where the rest of the world have right-hand drive vehicles. When we do what we'd call a U-Turn, we are actually making a "lower-case N-turn." Not a U-Turn.

    You will have to draw the turns out mentally. Or if you lack imagination, do it on a sheet of paper. The way our right-hand drive vehicles move forward is similar in stroke when we write the lower-case letter N. To see the U stroke, you will have to see it from the opposite perspective. But the point here relies on the stroke or movement of the vehicle; whether it is a U or a lower-case N.

    Therefore, I urge everyone to be proud of our right-hand drive vehicles and use the term "lower-case N-Turn" instead of "U-Turn" from now on. When the cops pull you over for making an illegal U-Turn, tell him that he is wrong. You did not make a U-Turn. It was a "lower-case N-Turn." Go on...I dare ya!

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