British Culture, Society & Languages
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British Culture, Society & Languages
Esoteric articles of general interest, with a focus on British culture and developments related to the English language.
Curated by Robin Yu
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14 British Cultural Quirks and Eccentricities that May Take Visitors by Surprise

14 British Cultural Quirks and Eccentricities that May Take Visitors by Surprise | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Britain's eccentricity is well-known. Here are some of the odder cultural habits and quirks that visitors might not be expecting.
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Campaigners wield marker pens in war against punctuation cull

Campaigners wield marker pens in war against punctuation cull | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Missing apostrophes filled in after Cambridge city council had them removed from street signs to help emergency services Reports of councils culling punctuation from street signs has prompted a grammar expert to warn that "if they take our...
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Royal Ascot: a Berkshire tale of bars, betting and an elusive bygone era

Royal Ascot: a Berkshire tale of bars, betting and an elusive bygone era | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
The annual race meeting is weird, performative, mannered and regressive but tremendous fun, says Zoe WilliamsAscot is a bit like a Buckingham Palace garden party, except that there's booze there, and the Queen looks as though she's enjoying herself.
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How to make tea correctly (according to science): milk first

How to make tea correctly (according to science): milk first | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Dean Burnett: The British love to argue about the best way to make tea. Science has some answers, but they can just make it even more confusing
Robin Yu's insight:

Cuppa time.

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‘Run,’ a Verb for Our Frantic Times

‘Run,’ a Verb for Our Frantic Times | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Why “run” has surpassed “set” as the word with the most meanings.
Robin Yu's insight:

What does it mean to know a word? Do you know the word "run"? Do you know 645 verb-form meanings for it?

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What are your fingerprint words?

What are your fingerprint words? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Not too long ago, I was forced to come to grips with something terrible about myself. I use the word iteration a lot. More than any human being should. If I had put a ballpark figure on it, I'd set the over/under on daily utterances at five.
Robin Yu's insight:

Iused to say "To be honest" far too much. The Japanese call them "kuchiguse" which translates as "mouth habits". What are yours?

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Video: What makes a word “real”?

Video: What makes a word “real”? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
One could argue that slang words like ‘hangry,’ ‘defriend’ and ‘adorkable’ fill crucial meaning gaps in the English language, even if they don't appear in the dictionary. After all, who actually decides which words make it into those pages? Language historian Anne Curzan gives a charming look at the humans behind dictionaries, and the choices they make.

Via Pascual Pérez-Paredes
Robin Yu's insight:

Vocabulary - a different take on the question of what a word is.

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Pascual Pérez-Paredes's curator insight, June 18, 2014 3:57 AM

Thanks to John Lawler for sharing this

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Is the UK unusually fond of lamb and potatoes?

Is the UK unusually fond of lamb and potatoes? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
The US ambassador to London is fed up of being served the dish. Do Britons have an exceptional taste for it?
Robin Yu's insight:

What about the mint sauce?

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Should teachers 'promote' British values?

Should teachers 'promote' British values? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Robin Yu's insight:

"The phrase "British values" is used to mean contradictory things. For some, it is about British as opposed to foreign values, reflecting the traditional conservative instincts of the population. For others, it is about shared values of tolerance and broadmindedness within a multicultural society, a progressive ideal."

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75 Simple British Slang Expressions You Should Probably Start Using

75 Simple British Slang Expressions You Should Probably Start Using | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
75 British slang expressions to spice up your everyday vernacular.

Via Katja Kranjec
Robin Yu's insight:

Lol.

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The London Public House

The London Public House | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Kingston University School of Architecture and Landscape Vertical Project 2012 'The London Public House'
Robin Yu's insight:

Those people behind the proposal to make the London pub a protected UNESCO type put together these videos of pubs.

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Know your granny slang from your Jafaican? Or does it leave you in a hot mess?

From buff to butters, YOLO to amazeballs, slang is ever-changing and continues to shape how people communicate.

In the fourth edition of Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, Tony Thorne, Language and
Robin Yu's insight:

Listen to an explanation of the different types of slang at play in contemporary Britain.

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How British are you? Try our British values quiz

How British are you? Try our British values quiz | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Tea-drinker? Anglican? Find out if you share the 'British values' that Michael Gove wants to see taught in UK schools
All schools must promote 'British values', says Gove Continue reading...
Robin Yu's insight:

Humorous but I was still upset by my answer...

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It makes liberals nervous but good English is about social mobility, not Ukippery | Suzanne Moore

It makes liberals nervous  but good English is about social mobility, not Ukippery | Suzanne Moore | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Most of us think language skills are a vital part of Britishness, according to a survey.
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The History Of The English Language In One Chart

The History Of The English Language In One Chart | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Triangulations blogger Sabio Lantz recently put together this rather clever diagram showing how the English language has evolved over the past 3,000 years.
Robin Yu's insight:

Nice.

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English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet

English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Linguists are recognizing the delightful evolution of the word "because." 
Robin Yu's insight:

Because languages evolve. Or...because evolution.

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What kebabs and train tickets can teach you about Britain

What kebabs and train tickets can teach you about Britain | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Paul Mason: British life can be confusing for new arrivals, so here is my advice. Step one: buy a late-night snack
Robin Yu's insight:

The barber shop felt a little middle-class but otherwise I thought there was a lot of truth in this humorous piece.

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Who said Britons were drunk, dirty and deplorable?

Who said Britons were drunk, dirty and deplorable? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
A Portuguese writer named João Magueijo, that’s who. He has lived in the UK for 25 years and says it’s a joke – but a fair joke. But, asks Archie Bland, is it?
Robin Yu's insight:

A few stereotypes rehashed here. There's often truth in stereotypes, though.

 

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Do accents matter in modern Britain?

Do accents matter in modern Britain? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Hugh Muir: A report has found evidence of 'accentism' – discrimination against people because of how they speak

Via Pascual Pérez-Paredes
Robin Yu's insight:

Accents matter.

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Pascual Pérez-Paredes's curator insight, July 14, 2014 7:02 AM

Thanks to Michael Pace-Sigge

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Who Owns London?

Who Owns London? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Qatar, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and possibly the Vatican.
Robin Yu's insight:

Find out who owns the land our houses are built on.

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Advice for foreigners on how Britons walk

Advice for foreigners on how Britons walk | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Robin Yu's insight:

When in London, walk as we Brits walk - slalom style.

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English Birth of a Language (BBC Documentary) - (Ep. 1) - YouTube

English Birth of a Language (BBC Documentary) - (Ep. 1) The Adventure of English The Adventure of English is a British television series (ITV) on the history...

Via R.Conrath, Ed.D.
Robin Yu's insight:

Melvyn Bragg's book on English is great. Try this for easy access.

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Should the London pub get Unesco World Heritage status?

Should the London pub get Unesco World Heritage status? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
A group of architecture students have lodged a bid to protect the humble boozer from characterless renovation or demolition. Do you think it's a worthy cause?
Robin Yu's insight:

French food, Argentine Tango, Korean tightrope walking, Japanese food. They are all UNESCO cultural heritage. What about British pubs?

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