In April 1977, as a joke, the British newspaper The Guardian published a seven-page supplement about a fictional island nation called San Serriffe. It fooled quite a few readers, which is surprising, since it’s essentially a series of bad puns about typography:
- There are two main islands, the Upper Caisse and the Lower Caisse. The capital, Bodoni, is linked by highways to the major ports, including Port Clarendon, but Arial in the Lower Caisse has grown in importance during the personal computer era.
- Natives are called Flong, and the descendants of colonists and known as colons. Those of mixed race are called semi-colons.
- At independence in 1967, the country was led by General Pica, a military strongman.
- Cultural highlights include the Ampersand String Quartet and “Times Nude Romances.”
- The islands hold an annual endurance challenge race, known as the Two Em Dash, that now attracts international participants.
The island’s alternate name, if it needed any, is Hoaxe.