Links for 2005-06-10

10 replies on “Links for 2005-06-10”

That Wikipedia entry is wildly misleading. Firstly, “Great Britain” is a long-established geographical term for the island as a whole, regardless of political divisions. Secondly, the Act of Union created the United Kingdom of Great Britain (it’s referred to as such in the text); the term ‘United Kingdom’ dates from the union of the English and Scottish royal houses. So:
1707: U.K. of G.B.
1836: U.K. of G.B. and I
1916(?): U.K. of G.B. and N.I.

“Great Britain merges with Ireland”… Ireland didnt have much choice. The Irish parliament was unrepresentative (Catholics wernt allowed to vote) and even then, the so called parliament was coerced and bribed to vote itself out of existence and for a union with the Kingdom of Great Britain. I think your American friends are better off not knowing what the Butcher’s Apron (Uk flag) stands for.

Cripes, and here was me going to (glibly) suggest that some English people have no idea that the UK, Great Britain and England are different things.. 😉

While obviously a fair point, I’d like to point out that you’re talking about the actions of hundred of years ago, ten generations back, perpetrated by a particular class of people. The impact of those actions is obviously still felt today, but my point – that some of my American friends didn’t know that England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were constituent parts of the United Kingdom – still stands. All countries over a few years old have done things that their citizens must live with – for example, a couple of decades before Ireland became part of the UK, the British abolished slavery. The same act would take another fifty years to be formally undertaken in the United States. I see no reason to hide from these facts. It would seem cowardly, frankly, and to hide explanatory facts about the way the world is because they’re uncomfortable – well that would be compounding a crime with another.

…and don’t forget ‘The British Isles’—a geographical, non-political entity, encompassing the UK and the Irish Republic and their associated islands—although some people (bizarrely in my opinion) object to the name, saying we should call it ‘The North European Archipelago’. (Give us a break!)

Only in modern times has the term “British Isles” entered the English language. Because the ‘British Isles’ include the whole of Ireland, I and most Irish people see the term as an anachronism and even offensive.
Today the term British is usually used to describe people of things belonging to either Great Britain or the United Kingdom. However the whole the island of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are still commonly included in the ‘British Isles’, despite the fact that the greater part of Ireland has, since 1922, been independent of the UK as the Republic of Ireland, and that the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey are not a part of UK but crown dependencies.
The term British Isles is no longer used in Irish state documents, has been abandoned in schoolbooks in the Republic of Ireland and is being phased out of all atlases and textbooks. Its usage is also decreasing in official British state documents. Its a term we are simply not comfortable with in Ireland and its a term Waterstones had to withdraw a few months ago from one of their promotions.

As for the term… maybe “The Irish Isles” 🙂 or just “the British and Irish Isles” is simply a better term..

I know this post is old but I was travelling so I’m only catching up now, I just wanted to point out that there are plenty of Irish people who have no issues with the geographical term the ‘British Isles’. In fact I can’t understand people’s issues with it.
Geographical terms don’t imply ownership. The sea between Ireland and Great Britain is called the Irish Sea, are Welsh people offended by the fact their beaches are on the Irish Sea???

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