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The invisible Scot

First, there is 'domination by omission'. A map appeared in the Observer newspaper in May 1989 under the heading 'Britain's Dirty Rivers'. It showed only England and Wales. Janet Swinney says: 'What is the meaning of this illustration? Does Scotland have no rivers or no dirty rivers, or has someone simply used the word Britain to mean England and Wales?'

Second, she points out the common use of England/English to mean Britain/British: 'When I went to Turkey a few years ago with a group of Britons, most of the English were happy to record their nationality on their embarkation cards as English, and saw nothing offensive about it. It's not unusual, either, for Scots to receive mail from elsewhere in the UK addressed Scotland, England ... Last year, works of art from the Soviet Union intended for display at the Edinburgh International Festival were sent to the City Art Gallery addressed Edinburgh, England'.

Read the text and try to identify what does the term dominance of England mean?


The dominance of England



There is, perhaps, an excuse for people who use the word 'England' when they mean 'Britain'. It cannot be denied that the dominant culture of Britain today is specifically English. The system of politics that is used in all four nations today is of English origin, and English is the main language of all four nations. Many aspects of everyday life are organized according to English custom and practice. But the political unification of Britain was not achieved by mutual agreement. On the contrary, it happened because England was able to exert ( ) her economic and military power over the other three nations.


Today English domination can be detected in the way in which various aspects of British public life are described. For example, the supply of money in Britain is controlled by the Bank of England (there is no such thing as a 'Bank of Britain'). The present queen of the country is universally known as 'Elizabeth the Second', even though Scotland and Northern Ireland have never had an 'Elizabeth the First'! (Elizabeth I of England and Wales ruled from 1553 to 1603). The term 'Anglo' is also commonly used. (The Angles were a Germanic tribe who settled in England in the fifth century. The word 'England' is derived from their name). For example, newspapers and the television news talk about 'Anglo-American relations' to refer to relations between the governments of Britain and the USA (and not just those between England and the USA).

Read the text and speak about national loyalties.


Date: 2014-12-29; view: 1373

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