Tag Archives: Scotland

British Bugbears

4 Jul

I’m going on an Open Day tomorrow. Visiting the University (and by definition, city) of Cambridge. And I am quite excited (I promise to take photos and post them). But that’s not the main purpose of this post, more of a forewarning-hopefully I’m going to have lots of photos!

I actually wanted to talk (briefly) about one of my interwebs pet hates. Mainly, the fact that when any accent from the British Isles is referred to in conversation, it’s always called a “british” accent.

Well, there’s no such thing.

Miniature history lesson: In 1603, Elizabeth I, Queen of England died, and James VI of Scotland (her cousin’s son) took the throne of England, hence uniting the nations (England already had control of Wales and Ireland. Although whether it actually had control of Ireland is a completely different post). Essentially, it was this (and the Act of Union 100 years later) which created “Britain”. Since then, Ireland has left Britain and Northern Ireland remains in it-although Scotland is going to vote in the next 2 years on whether they too want to remain.

So, when you say “British Accent”, what you most likely mean is an “English” accent. What you’re covering is a very, very large range of possibilities. And yes, of course these are all “British Accents”, in that they are various accents of Britain, but we all know that that’s not what people mean. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales make up Britain, but they are also individual countries outside of it.

On a completely separate side note, England is currently going completely mental over the Olympics. I had some Jelly Mascot sweets earlier-wine gums in the shape of the (really strange) official mascots. It was quite surreal. We also have a huge countdown timer in the middle of Trafalgar Square (which broke the first day).

Rule Britannia?!