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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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Britain's diversity was lauded during the Olympics. But no longer

Britain's diversity was lauded during the Olympics. But no longer | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
John Harris: There's a glaring gap between the cant we heard at last summer's Games and where Britain has subsequently arrived
Robin Yu's insight:

The times, they are a changin'

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Margaret Thatcher never liked her country | Frank Cottrell Boyce

Margaret Thatcher never liked her country |  Frank Cottrell Boyce | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it

Thatcher may have draped herself in the flag, but she didn't understand what really made Britain great One Sunday during the Thatcher era, I was on my way up the aisle to communion. My little son was toddling along in front of me.

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Ngozi Odochi (Godwell) Nwokocha's comment, July 18, 2013 11:29 AM
Who liked England?
If she did like her country, she would not have entered politics. Back in the day creating change was the main reason many entered politics.
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English rude word goes German

English rude word goes German | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Germany's standard dictionary includes a vulgar English term, used by Chancellor Angela Merkel among others, as an acceptable German word.
Robin Yu's insight:

How language comes and goes around.

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No, the working classes do not 'need' the middle classes | Ellie Mae O'Hagan

No, the working classes do not 'need' the middle classes | Ellie Mae O'Hagan | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
People can fight back against global elites themselves – they don't require the middle classes to act as some kind of buffer One of my favourite quotes on British society comes from Nick Cohen: "To say that class doesn't matter in Britain is like...
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David Mainwood / EFL SMARTblog's curator insight, June 21, 2013 5:36 AM

Quite agree.

My experience of UK state education is that it is full of patronizing middle class Guardian readers "safeguarding" the workers and "saving them from themselves"  "Every Citizen / Child matters" being a prime example.

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The Thatcher effect: what changed and what stayed the same

The Thatcher effect: what changed and what stayed the same | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
From the right-to-buy scheme to social attitudes, James Ball examines how life changed in Britain under Margaret Thatcher Datablog: Thatcher's legacy – Britain in 1979, 1990 and today Perhaps the only undisputed facts of Margaret Thatcher's...
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The 10 most scandalous euphemisms

The 10 most scandalous euphemisms | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Mark Sanford returned to politics after "hiking the Appalachian Trail" became a euphemism for infidelity. What other scandals enriched the lexicon?
Robin Yu's insight:

How the English language has been shaped by political scandal here and abroad.

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The Queen’s Speech: Power and Majesty

The Queen’s Speech: Power and Majesty | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
The State Opening of Parliament offers a chance to broadcast a message about the balance of power between crown, judiciary and legislators, says our home editor.
Robin Yu's insight:

A bit of background to the nature of the Queen's Speech, as well as some contemporary news.

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The foibles of four countries

The foibles of four countries | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
American insularity, French insecurity, Canadian unexcitability, British embarrassment - Adam Gopnik on the foibles of four countries close to his heart.
Robin Yu's insight:

The condescending British? What do you think?

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Should Britain let go of London?

Should Britain let go of London? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Is London's success dwarfing the country to the point where the rest of the UK would actually be better off without its capital?
Robin Yu's insight:

An interesting hypothetical debate that highlights differences between London and the rest of the country.

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138,000 speak no English - census

138,000 speak no English - census | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
The number of people living in England and Wales who could not speak any English was 138,000, latest figures from the 2011 census show.
Robin Yu's insight:

Information from the 2011 census (mostly about languages but with some other details thrown in).

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Why have the white British left London?

Why have the white British left London? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Something quite remarkable happened in London in the first decade of the new millennium. The number of white British people in the capital fell by 620,000 - equivalent to the entire population of Glasgow moving out.
Robin Yu's insight:

White Brits are now a minority in London. It's a story of aspiration an success.

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Could a new phonetic alphabet promote world peace?

Could a new phonetic alphabet promote world peace? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Backers of a universal alphabet say it will make pronunciation easy and foster international understanding. Is this the route to world peace?
Robin Yu's insight:

An interesting pipe-dream.

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The real roots of multicultural London English

The real roots of multicultural London English | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Post-cockney inner London speech is much more than imitation Jamaican
Robin Yu's insight:

It shouldn't be called Jafaikan really. This is a link to an 18-minute video on the origins of young people's London English.

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British sport: we are the champions

British sport: we are the champions | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
For years we have watched our sporting stars crash to defeat. Not any longer. From the Olympics to the Tour de France, we've grown used to victory. Tim Adams asks: 'Can we deal with success?'
Robin Yu's insight:

Interesting opinion piece on the British culture of losing at sport placed within a broader cultural context.

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Supermarket etiquette: a guide to modern manners

Supermarket etiquette: a guide to modern manners | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
This week Sainsbury's apologised for an employee who refused to serve a customer until she stopped talking on her mobile. But what is acceptable behaviour when you're out shopping?
Robin Yu's insight:

How to shop in a UK supermarket!

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Why we all need the middle classes | David Boyle

Why we all need the middle classes | David Boyle | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
The middle-class way of life is disappearing, leaving society divided between a wealthy elite and a sprawling proletariat I bought a flat for the first time when I was 28 in the then rather neglected south London suburb of Crystal Palace, half a...
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Rachel Cooke on food and social class

Rachel Cooke on food and social class | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
If anything is a good indicator of social status, it's food. But even that can be tricky. After all, I prefer Tunnock's Tea Cakes to quinoa
The BBC's recent class survey struck me as completely barmy.
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Citizenship test has become a bad pub quiz, says academic

Citizenship test has become a bad pub quiz, says academic | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
US immigrant Dr Thom Brooks says Life in the UK test is inconsistent in what it requires new citizens to know
Robin Yu's insight:

The test has been an embarrassment for many years. #britishculture

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The people who hate other people's bad grammar

The people who hate other people's bad grammar | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Grammar is back in fashion at schools. But why does it make adults so cross when other adults break the rules?
Robin Yu's insight:

Get your grammar right and you are more likely to find a match!

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Just how bad is bad grammar?

Just how bad is bad grammar? | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
A new awards ceremony sets out to shine a light on examples of bad grammar.
Robin Yu's insight:

The arguments about grammar roll on. This is a 9 minute video discussion of the subject.

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The all-new British citizenship test – take the quiz

The all-new British citizenship test – take the quiz | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
The new citizenship test for aspiring Britons, intended to place more emphasis on British history and achievements than previous versions comes into force this week.

Via David Mainwood / EFL SMARTblog
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10 changes thrown up by the General Lifestyle Survey

10 changes thrown up by the General Lifestyle Survey | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
The general lifestyle survey is 40 years old. What does the first survey tell us about how life has changed?
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Sounds Familiar? Accents&Dialects of the UK

Sounds Familiar? Accents&Dialects of the UK | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Regional accent, language change and variation in the UK...

Via raulteguise, Robin Yu
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Why speaking English can make you poor

Why speaking English can make you poor | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
A controversial theory by a US economist says the grammar of the languages we speak can determine how much money we save, and how healthy we are.
Robin Yu's insight:

How language shapes decisions.

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America’s Slippery Slope Into Britishisms

America’s Slippery Slope Into Britishisms | British Culture, Society & Languages | Scoop.it
Snippets of British vernacular — “cheers” as a thank you — that were until recently as rare as steak and kidney pie on these shores are cropping up in the daily speech of Americans (particularly, New Yorkers).
Robin Yu's insight:

How American English is being invaded by British English.

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