Wednesday, 5 June 2013

By 'England' I mean 'the United Kingdom'. By 'he' I mean 'he or she.' Death to inclusive language!

Dear readers, please note, for the avoidance of doubt that by 'England' I almost always mean 'the United Kingdom'. By 'he' I mean 'he or she'.

I mean absolutely no disrespect to Scotland, a great Catholic country that I love with all my heart and hope one day to visit. But England has been used far more often than Great Britain (or worse Britain)  to mean Great Britain or the UK since 1707 when the two countries merged and therefore England is slightly more correct than Britain. Disraeli signed the Treaty of Berlin as 'Prime Minister of England' and Churchill always spoke of England not of Britain. So did almost everyone until forty years ago. 

I hate the false pedantry of people who think England used in this sense is wrong. They are the same people who pronounce data to rhyme with martyr and call Peking Beijing.

Only Northern Irish Prods and brown skinned people are British. When the newspapers refer to Britons I imagine a druid with a long white beard performing a human sacrifice.


  1. I always say England and always say he. I never
    say dartyr but always say Beijing.

  2. Beijing is alas pardonable these days. Well done overall.

  3. Thank you and well done too. (may I say too instead of also)?

  4. Very good I say or should that be 'say I' ? Cheers.

  5. When I talk about the United Kingdom I am always referring to arrogant, imperialist, ramshackle and self-deluded England. When I talk about my home, I talk about Scotland.

    Ronnie Smith (not 'Anonymous' as assigned to me by this idiotic profiling system.

  6. Ronnie I am delighted that you read my stuff. I mentioned you - not by name in my recent post about Jesus. Someone else said I was 'an irritating prat and by prat' he meant any other similar epithet. Or something. VERY rude - one expects better of an Etonian and he did not have the excuse of being Scotch. He is Irish.

    It is not so much that I dislike pedantry but that I am pedantic. England can and should be used to mean GB but not where it would cause any confusion. Unfortunately due to devolution this is more often the case. If Disraeli and Churchill did not understand the meaning of the word England who does? Certainly not modern English politicians.

  7. Dear PVE what a wonderful lucky dip of the important, the serious and the sheer barking mad you assemble in your blog.

    This one is hysterically funny. England does not equal great Britain, nor does it equal the United Kingdom, whatever Disraeli might say (or think - not necessarily the same thing in his case).

    I live in Scotland and am proud to be Scottish (not scotch - that's a drink), but I am also proud to be a subject of the United Kingdom and a holder of HM's Commission in her armed forces. I could and would never agree to be English.

    Would you call a German a Bavarian merely because that is one of the constituent kingdoms of Germany?