03 March 2007

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Britain

Part of the mental machinations that led to the post below were set in motion by my surprise, in reading Think of England and viewing this clip, that the English think that there is such a place as "Britain." Americans, in my experience, don't. We don't think of Wales at all and when we think of Scotland, we either think of men in skirts with blue faces eating shortbread and drinking whiskey or, if we are a particular kind of descendant of the Scots, we think of brave Celts held in bondage by the Sassenachs.


Brit said...

Yes, contra Orrin, there is a great, Great Britain.

There's an England too, but we are capable of holding more than one idea in our heads at the same time.

Unionism is perhaps more prevalent generally in England than in the Celtic nations, but where it is held in those nations it is very strong.

Immigration, of course, strengthens the idea of the Union, since immigrants always think of themselves as British rather than English.

Duck said...

And "Brit" is a better moniker than "Eng".

Brit said...

That was slightly satirical. Only the Americans really call us 'Brits', so I used it because I was always on American blogs.

Which, given David's thesis in the post, is...somewhat ironic.

David said...

But you think that we think that British is something other than a synonym for English.

And what about Scottish independence? Aren't the Scots going to forming a republic any day now? Leaving just you and the Welsh?

Brit said...

Your guess is as good as mine on the Scots.

But I am aware that Americans have no idea of the various subtleties of being English/British. Not that I blame them in the least, since it is highly confusing and we debate it ourselves ad nauseam.

(Though some American ignorance is unforgivable. On American Idol recently a disgruntled reject said of meanie Englishman Simon Cowell: "He should just go back to France or wherever.")

Duck said...

We could call you "Enga".