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British Culture & Society
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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Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations

Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
Do you know your espresso from expresso? Your prescription from your perscription?
Robin Yu's insight:

How's your pron?

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History of English (combined) - YouTube

Free learning from The Open University http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/history-the-arts/culture/english-language --- A look at the history of the English lan...
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A fun 11-minute animated video on the history of the world's lingua franca.

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No, liberals should not be uneasy about Englishness | Sunder Katwala

No, liberals should not be uneasy about Englishness | Sunder Katwala | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
It's wrong to feel queasy about flags and national holidays.
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Interesting...

 

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The evolution of the middle class

The evolution of the middle class | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
The British middle class is facing a crisis of confidence, says Labour's leader. But in a nation famously fixated on social stratifications, what does the term actually mean?
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What the middle class is - or may be - and why British politicians are trying too woo it.

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Questions about Englishness raise more problems than they can solve | David Edgar

Questions about Englishness raise more problems than they can solve | David Edgar | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
The left wants to celebrate nationality.
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The national identity question is for the whole UK, not just the Scots | Adam Price

The national identity question is for the whole UK, not just the Scots | Adam Price | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
The future for every Briton is another country – as history shows. Give us all a referendum to find out what those countries are
It's no accident that only the Scottish are holding an independence referendum next year.
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It's time to challenge the notion that there is only one way to speak English

It's time to challenge the notion that there is only one way to speak English | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
Why do we persist in thinking that standard English is right, when it is spoken by only 15% of the British population? Linguistics-loving Harry Ritchie blames Noam Chomsky
Robin Yu's insight:

In defence of non-standard English.

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Can you conquer the hardest tongue twister ever created?

Can you conquer the hardest tongue twister ever created? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
Goodbye 'she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore', hello 'pad kid poured curd pulled cold' - quite possibly the hardest tongue twister ever created.
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The toughest tongue twister ever?

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What is the one word that's the same in every language?

What is the one word that's the same in every language? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
The only word in the world that can do its particular job.
Robin Yu's insight:

Huh? Really?

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BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Small object of grammatical desire

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Small object of grammatical desire | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
It's small. It's flat. It's black. And its numbers are shrinking. Welcome to the world of the hyphen.
Robin Yu's insight:

To hyphen or not to hyphen? That remains the question even six years after this article.

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It’s no laughing matter: Britain has become a nation of religious illiterates 'who are baffled by Biblical references in Monty Python film The Life of Brian'

It’s no laughing matter: Britain has become a nation of religious illiterates 'who are baffled by Biblical references in Monty Python film The Life of Brian' | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
The British public has such “poor religious literacy” that a modern audience would be baffled by the Monty Python film The Life of Brian – because it would not understand the Biblical references, a senior BBC figure has claimed.  ...
Robin Yu's insight:

Not sure this is a real loss (the religious illiteracy, I mean, rather than the confusion generated by Monty Python).

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How has England changed?

How has England changed? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
In 1994 Will Self wrote a long essay about English culture: how has the nation changed since then? And do the old cherished ideas of Englishness bear any resemblance to reality?
Robin Yu's insight:

Twenty years of cultural references...

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Can I have no job or money and still be middle class?

Can I have no job or money and still be middle class? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
I’m 25. I’m a graduate. I’m about to be unemployed. I’m a London suburbanite. And I have no savings. So what class am I?
Robin Yu's insight:

Class - the obsessions of the British? Or only the middle class? Or perhaps the BBC?

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Does speaking like an Aussie make you sound insecure?

Does speaking like an Aussie make you sound insecure? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
Head to head: That was the conclusion of a new study? Alex McClintock and Rae Earl debate the merits of the Australian upward inflection
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Is cheekiness a truly British concept?

Is cheekiness a truly British concept? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
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The somewhat difficult to define "cheekiness". Is it uniquely British?

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How British is Britain?

How British is Britain? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
The British identity is more attractive to younger people than the elderly, according to analysis of data from the 2011 census.
Robin Yu's insight:

Differences between identifying as British, and English or Scottish self-identification.

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Is Britain sleepwalking towards a European exit?

Is Britain sleepwalking towards a European exit? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
An Observer poll conducted in four countries reveals the widening gulf between Britain and the rest of the EU.
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Could an independent Scotland be just what northern England needs?

Could an independent Scotland be just what northern England needs? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
Would a yes vote in the Scottish referendum leave the English left stranded? Or give the north a valuable new counterweight to London?
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The 500-year-long battle to make written irony easier to understand

The 500-year-long battle to make written irony easier to understand | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
One of our most well-known experts on irony lived a life that was a mess of ironies itself: he was a married, gay High Anglican who lunched with occultists; a leftist politician who revelled in frivolous society gossip; a patriot who spied for both...
Robin Yu's insight:

Do we need a new punctuation mark?

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Johnson: Is fairness untranslatably English?

Johnson: Is fairness untranslatably English? | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
GEORGE W. BUSH didn’t actually say “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for ‘entrepreneur’.” (Wouldn’t he, just, though?) But...
Robin Yu's insight:

More on the notion of untranslatable words/concepts.

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Why the "golden age" when everyone knew their grammar is a myth

Why the "golden age" when everyone knew their grammar is a myth | British Culture & Society | Scoop.it
The why-oh-why-are-things-so-awful-it-was-so-much-better-in-my-day brigade should give some thought to why the worst language abuses come from people who have been well (often expensively) educated.
Robin Yu's insight:

As English teachers, many of us fluctuate between both sides of the points in this article. It's a perpetual war.

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