Tuesday, July 10, 2012

English/British: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Americans tend to use the terms “British” and “English” interchangeably, but Great Britain is made up of England plus Scotland and Wales. If you are referring to this larger entity, the word you want is “British.” Britons not from England resent being referred to as “English.”

1 comment:

  1. Mmm :) No actually. Great Britain is made up of only two countries England and Scotland because Wales is a principality. :)
    Great Britain is no longer the name of the nation state. Great Britain ceased to exist in 1801, when it became The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Act of Settlement. GB had two countries in the Union - England and Scotland - and the principality of Wales, along with the Dependant (or Occupied, according to one's view of history) Territory of Northern Ireland. There are also a number of self-governing member states, such as Gibraltar, The Falkland Islands (Las Malvinas!), and various other little residues of empire around the world. As of 1922, Southern Ireland - The Republic of Ireland (Eire) was recognized as separate from Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain. Nothing is straightforward, in short; which I think is a little deliberate and part of the historical sense of establishment superiority and wish to be unique.

    Eire is the Gaelic name for the Republic of Ireland, which is a separate nation state. The confusion arises because Ireland can be used as a geographical term for the island with Eire in the predominantly large south ( 26 counties) and Northern Ireland at the top right of the island (6 counties) and also because, again geographically, the island called Ireland is part of the geographical British Isles referred in the republic of Ireland as 'These islands'. So there!! :)))