Great Britain

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Great Britain

Post by pingpong fan » Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:26 pm

Many phone-in punters say Britain is not "great anymore". It is evident ignorance of the etymology of this name handed to us by fate. Does this annoy any other of my countrymen or women out there? Frank
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Great Britain

Post by Bobinwales » Sat Jun 04, 2005 8:03 pm

I fully agree with Frank. The sentiment that Briton is not great any more does show ignorance, and he is also right that these people will not take telling.

If I might paraphrase Frank, Brittany, which is now part of France is Lesser Britain, which makes the UK mainland, Great Britain. Just to emphasise the point, if Northern Ireland is included, we become (just) Britain, and if you include the Irish Republic as well, we become the British Isles. Complicated?

It is no wonder that many people now use UK.

Speaking as a Welshman (did you know I was Welsh?), it is irritating in the extreme to hear people call the whole country “England”, when the clearly mean the UK, and as a general rule, they will not take telling either.
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Great Britain

Post by haro » Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:48 pm

Bob, there's a similar confusion with 'Holland,' which is often used for the Netherlands, although S. Holland and N. Holland are only two of the twelve provinces of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. The same sloppy handling of the term can also be observed in German, Greek and other languages.
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Great Britain

Post by pingpong fan » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:55 am

I naturally assumed the erudite contributors would know why GB is so called anyway. PF
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Great Britain

Post by Phil White » Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:37 pm

To correct Bob slightly, it becomes the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland if you include Northern Ireland (just look in your passport). This is generally abbreviated to the United Kingdom or UK.

As Bob pointed out, the term Great Britain was originally used to make the distinction between Britain and Brittania Minor, or Brittany, in France. Great Britain was only used as the official title of the nation after King James VI of Scotland also became King James I of England and Wales in 1603. Full legal union between Scotland and England, however, only happened in 1707.

The United Kingdom was born in 1801 with the Irish Union. Subsequently, most of Ireland (the southern part) gained independence in 1921. This gave birth to the Irish Republic (or Eire) and turned the United Kingdom into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The British Isles is a purely geographical term of no legal significance and includes the two main islands of Great Britain and Ireland as well as the Shetlands, Orkneys, Hebrides and the Isle of Man (and presumably other odd scattered rocks such as St. Kilda and Rockall - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A755787 - although I'm not certain).

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (the independent States of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark) are not part of the United Kingdom. They are crown dependencies with their own parliaments and legislative and taxation systems. Peculiarly, the Channel Islands are members of the EU along with the UK, but the Isle of Man is not.

All this chaos brings with it a linguistic issue. Citizens of the UK have no adjective to describe their nationality (UK-ish). While most English are happy to call themselves "English" or "British", many natives of Scotland or Wales prefer to call themselves "Scottish" or "Welsh", only using "British" when filling in official forms. The situation in Northern Ireland is clearly more extreme, where many Republicans would under no circumstances call themselves "British", preferring "Irish" and where many Loyalists are similarly unwilling to call themselves Irish.

Generally, it is at the very least a faux-pas, and often regarded as insulting, to call a native of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland "English", and one should be aware that some citizens of the UK dislike being called "British". My own experience is that even the affectionate "Brits", so commonly used among ex-pats, falls far more readily from the tongues of English ex-pats than it does from the tongues of Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish ex-pats.
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Great Britain

Post by sandx » Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:01 pm

Generally, it is at the very least a faux-pas, and often regarded as insulting, to call a native of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland "English", and one should be aware that some citizens of the UK dislike being called "British". My own experience is that even the affectionate "Brits", so commonly used among ex-pats, falls far more readily from the tongues of English ex-pats than it does from the tongues of Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish ex-pats.

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Traditionally the english objection to `brit` because `brits`refers to the native inhabitants and pre-dates the `english` invasion of our islands
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Great Britain

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:03 pm

.. English ?? .. British ?? .. they're bloody to and froms mate ..

WoZ of Aus 09/06/05
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Great Britain

Post by sandx » Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:28 pm

Wizard of Oz wrote: .. English ?? .. British ?? .. they're bloody to and froms mate ..

WoZ of Aus 09/06/05

Are they? I thought the poms were only english.
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Great Britain

Post by pingpong fan » Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:18 pm

I raised an issue on this forum which I specifically addressed to my fellow countrymen/women who might like me care about this subject or hopefully care to contribute some germane comment. Helpful and interesting comments have made interesting reading for me a newish
contributor trying to learn the ropes from you older hands. (PF)
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Great Britain

Post by pingpong fan » Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:35 pm

[quote]Originally posted by sandx
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Traditionally the english objection to `brit` because `brits`refers to the native inhabitants and pre-dates the `english` invasion of our islands
As an English person I do not like the term "Brits" because it is an ugly abbreviation not because of ancient invasions by whoever invaded wherever whenever.
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Great Britain

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:58 pm

All the Britts I know are Swedish.
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Great Britain

Post by Phil White » Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:31 am

Frank,

I suspect WoZ's response was motivated more than anything by
1. a sense of humour
2. a dislike of the introduction of overt politics into the forum

I personally have a lot of time for WoZ. He really does very creditably despite the misfortune of his place of birth.
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Great Britain

Post by Phil White » Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:32 am

Oh, I suppose I'd better put a smiley after that in case anyone misunderstands me. Here it is:
;-)
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Great Britain

Post by pingpong fan » Sat Jun 11, 2005 8:35 am

What was political about this subject? It was word meaning-based and geographical. Your contribution dealt with the theme so well I have edited my poor effort off the thread you may notice.
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Great Britain

Post by Phil White » Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:28 am

Just a comment about passwords, since Frank raised the issue. The administration team cannot read the passwords. They are strongly encrypted.
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