Northern Ireland = British?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Whisky con ron, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. Whisky con ron Senior Member

    Scotland
    Venezuela / Español
    After having read, posted, read more and given up in the thread about using "American" as an exclusive term for a native of the USA, another question occurred to me (and the "link" between the two is the word "United" in the title of both nations)...

    A person from Northern Ireland is considered a UK national, but he/she shouldn't be called British (because Great Britain is only Scotland, England and Wales). Irish is no good either, since that probably means from the Republic of Ireland.

    I know they have to put up with being called "British" (at least in the passport), because there is nothing like UK-donian, or UK-ans....

    Is there a better solution, maybe? Anyone from Ireland that wants to give us some light in this?

    Ta.
     
  2. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    Hi Whiskey,

    We've had some recent discussions about this in the English Only forum. You might want to take a look here and here. Hopefully, many of your questions will be answered. I still have to refer to them from time to time, because the matter itself is a bit confusing.
     
  3. Whisky con ron Senior Member

    Scotland
    Venezuela / Español
    Hi GenJen.... thanks for the link. Here's another confusing fact for you: "Whiskey" is the Irish one, "Whisky" (like my nick) is Scottish....

    ;-)
     
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Northern Ireland citizens/subjects are British.
    They are entitled to carry British passports.
    They live in the British Isles.

    Northern Ireland citizens/subjects are Irish.
    They are entitled to carry Irish passports.
    They live in Ireland.
     
  5. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    I'm hoping that these are implicit questions, rather than declarations.

    I would hope the latter would come from those from Northern Ireland.;)
     
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Cuchu,

    Thanks for pointing that out.
    I very, very deliberately avoided commenting on those value-judgements.

    There are NI people who relish being British and deny their Irishness.

    There are NI people who relish being Irish and deny their Britishness.

    There are NI people who wish that the politics would get the hell out of the way and allow them to relax into being Irish in the entirely delightful sense of that word without others immediately assuming it is a political statement.

    I don't "put up with being British" in any pejorative sense - any more than other UK subjects "put up with being British".

    I have no difficulty in claiming that I am Irish, because that also is my right. I was born in the island of Ireland.

    You see this fence I am sitting on?
    It is not exactly comfortable, but I am not alone.
     
  7. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    It is by far the most complicated for you guys, but you are not alone. Being "British" means nothing to me - I am English and do not feel I share anything more with you Panj for being Irish than I do with Cuchu for being American (other than subsidising your taxes obviously OUCH!:p ) - yet I also must put up with "British" in my passport.
     
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Timpeac has reminded me of the point I was about to make at the end of my post when I accidentally clicked on send.

    The sentiments I expressed would be shared from a slightly different perspective by people who are British and also English, Scottish or Welsh.

    Each country has its own series of axes to grind about being British.
     
  9. Whisky con ron Senior Member

    Scotland
    Venezuela / Español
    Hi. didn't mean any "judgement" by using the verb "put up" in my question. It was the closest I could find to "conformar".... So, I will use my scape card and blame my poor English.

    I guess, in my ignorance, I had not thought of Ireland being part of the "British Isles", and I just assumed that because they are not part of Great Britain, then they are not British. The point brings another perspective.

    My first experience with Irish/British etc was not long after I moved to Scotland, when I met an Irish guy and I said something about him being British. He took great offence.


    So I assume that, if we look at it from the perspective of the British Isles, citizens of the Republic of Ireland can call themselves British...

    Saludos
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ~chuckle~
    For a few moments I thought you'd got it right:) - that bit is definitely not right, but considering the information you've been given so far, it is not a surprising slip:)

    There are many people from Northern Ireland (British and Irish) who would resent being called British.
    There are also many who would resent being called Irish.
    The citizens of the Republic of Ireland, although they live in the British Isles, are not British citizens - not British.

    And of course there are some who don't particularly mind being whichever suits them at any point in time.
    I chose to use the label Irish in these forums because I know that much of the English I use, and the way I use it and pronounce it, is characteristic of Ireland. That, and it seemed the right kind of whimsical thing to do that day.

    I realise how confusing this must all seem
     
  11. Gustavoang Senior Member

    Venezuela / Castilian
    What about this: "güisqui" is in Spanish :D

    This is not a joke, take a look at the DRAE definition of "güisqui":
    Cheers!
     
  12. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Just to give foreign speakers an idea of what us British may or may not understand by "Irish", although I was also confused at some of the details above, when Panj first joined the forums and I read "Irish" in his place of origin, I did not automatically assume he was from the republic of Ireland, but I did wonder whether he was NI or ROI, apart from anything else there are some differences in pronunciation matters (although as he says, it is more important to know someone is from the Isle of Ireland, but not which bit, than not know whether they are from NI or England). I think. I'm going for a lie down now...
     
  13. Whisky con ron Senior Member

    Scotland
    Venezuela / Español
    Not a "slip", just a counter-argument.... ;)

    Saludos.
     
  14. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Aha, you're right of course, I apologise.

    I missed the point the first time around - iit was too subtle for me as I rushed out the door.
    Sure enough, from a geographical perspective, anyone living on the island of Ireland is also living on one of the British Isles - and might therefore justifiably call themselves British:)

    Just to add to the endless potential for confusion, the term British Islands has been used by the UK government since the Interpretation Act 1978 to collectively denote those lands within the British Isles which are inhabited by British citizens, i.e. the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
     
  15. gian_eagle

    gian_eagle Senior Member

    Peru - Castellano
    So, it's a neverending story... or Am I wrong? O.O
     
  16. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Care to make this a bit more clear?
     
  17. rob.returns

    rob.returns Senior Member

    Phil
    Philippines-English, tagalog, spanish, chavacano, tausog, visaya, ilonggo.
    wow. This thread really opens up eyes..

    I can't believe that it's that confusing for some people to identify what or how they really are, citizenwise.

    I feel blessed.

    Did you ever encounter some major problems, regarding about this conflict?
     
  18. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There is no confusion at all for those of us actually involved. It is only confusing for those on the outside who try, for some bizarre reason, to understand.
     
  19. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Linked from this thread.

    Let me sort out some of the confusion from a Dublin perspective (I was going to say Irish but that only complicates things :D).

    Anyone from the island of Ireland is Irish, if only in the geographic sense. I think even militant Loyalists would accept that.

    People from Northern Ireland can be both British and Irish at the same time - if you hold a UK passport this is how you'd be defined. It can get even more complicated though as Ireland is not part of the island of Great Britain* therefore I prefer UK citizen in this instance but I think the law would describe you as British.

    You can also be from N.I. and be nothing other than Irish - anyone born on the island of Ireland is entitled to an Irish passport and if you hold an Irish passport alone, as many in Northern Ireland do, I certainly wouldn't class you as British.

    As ever in these situations, there is a complicated mix of religion and nationality. Describing someone from Northern Ireland, without knowing their political persuasion, as solely British or solely Irish is risky in the extreme.

    *Indeed the term British Isles means nothing here so people from the Republic of Ireland cannot be described as British, even if only in a geographic sense. If only the British authorities had to have had the foreisght to see the disaster that would result from bribing Grattan's parliament into voting for its own dissolution in 1800 we might never have had to endure all this rubbish, unfortunately Irish history rarely pans out in a logical manner.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  20. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    What about British Overseas Territories (Gibraltar, Fawkland Islands, Bermuda, British Antilles, etc.) and Crown Dependencies (Channel Islands, Isle of Man)?

    Natives of the Crown Dependencies have been long considered British Citizens, right? The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands have been considered to be British Islands and are a part of the UK, right?

    From the UK legal point of view, not always and not all the citizens of the current and past Overseas Territories have been British or fully British, right? Are they nowadays?
     
  21. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are part of the United Kingdom for the purposes of the 1981 Nationality Act, but not for other purposes.
    They are not part the European Union. So the islanders have British citizenship, but not EU citizenship.
    UK taxes do not apply on the islands.

    Ordinary British citizens need a residence permit to live on the Channel Islands - a different permit for each island, and work permits on the Isle of Man.
    People from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man do not have the right to live and work in the EU, unless they have a parent or grand parent born on the mainland, or have lived on the mainland for 5 years.

    People from the Channel Island and the Isle of Man have passports which look like UK passports, but do not have European Union on them.

    It's all very complicated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
  22. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    Spanish
    One thing I figured out when I was in Derry last summer ( Northern Ireland ) is that the banknotes are completely different from the banknotes issued by the Bank of England.

    Why does it have ( NI ) different banknotes if it is the sterling too ?
     
  23. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    The same thing happens in Scotland. They have sterling pound bank notes issued by the Bank of Scotland. Well, after all there's no Bank of Britain or UK central bank known as such, right? The Bank of England is the one.
     
  24. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Because certain private banks in Northern Ireland and Scotland have the right to issue sterling banknotes.
    Very often, these notes are not accepted as legal tender in England which only accepts - or likes to accept - Bank of England banknotes.

    If they joined the Euro it'd make things a hell of a lot easier from an Irish perspective but there you go.
     
  25. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland prefer their own notes to Bank of England notes for reasons related to their internal accounting.
    In days gone by these notes were often refused in England.
    It hasn't happened to me for years.
     
  26. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Interestingly enough, I was in a bank up North a few days back where I was told that if I went to England I should exchange my Northern Irish notes for Bank of England ones as they "prefer to see the Queen's head on the notes over there".
     
  27. elirlandes

    elirlandes Senior Member

    Dublin & Málaga
    Ireland English
    Note - although British people can be classified as subjects of the crown (i.e. they are accepting of their subservient position to a monarch). Irish citizens are not "subjects". As a republic, the concept of being subject or inferior to another person is anathema.

    No - British refers to the nationality of those from the United Kingdom. British Isles however is a geographical term which is perfectly acceptable to Irish (nationalist / republican) people to refer to the collection of islands of which Ireland is one.

    Aqua vitae (latin) = Water of Life (English) = uisce beatha (Irish) [pronounced "ishka baja" for a spanish speaker]
    The first word of this, Uisce (water) was eventually anglicised as whiskey, from which "hispanified" as "güisqui".

    This would seem to make perfect sense.
    British Isles = a geographic term for the whole collection of islands
    British Islands = those islands in the British Isles which are British (i.e. under the sovereignty of the crown)
    You could also imagine a term "Irish Islands" = Islands which are constituent of the Republic of Ireland.


    As we always used to say to foreigners when I was a youngster -
    If you are not confused, you haven't understood.


    Another confusing element comes with the Olympics.

    You may notice that at the Olympic games, there is a team from Great Britain - they wear "GB" on their tracksuits, not "UK".

    This is because the Olympic Council of Ireland represents the people of the Island, not the Republic of Ireland (although in practice, the flag and anthem of the Republic are often used to represent them). Most sports in Ireland are organised on a whole-island basis, without making a seperation for the Republic and the North.

    Even soccer. The IFA which rules over Soccer in Northern Ireland was the governing body of soccer in Ireland prior to the division, and for quite some time purported to be the sole representative body on for the whole island.

    People from Northern Ireland of a British persuasion may choose to represent Great Britain at the Olympics - certainly there have been various who have done so. Dame Mary Peters from Northern Ireland one gold for GB for example. That said, you will also find Northern Irish people from both sides of the divide who opt for a green Irish shirt. For those of an Irish/Nationalist persuasion this is not unusual - they are likely to hold an Irish passport as well. For those of a "British" persuasion, it could be because they are representing the Irish association (athletics, rugby whatever) which runs the sport on an all-island basis, or simply because, despite having a strong feeling of British-ness, getting on to the UK team might be more difficult as there is more competition for places, so opting for Ireland is an easier route to international competition.

    Generally, despite the old rivalries, people from the Republic will be supportive of these "Irish" athletes where there is no representative of the Republic involved.

    A final further confusion is the reverse of all of this. Any Irishman (North or South, Catholic or Protestant, Unionist or Nationalist) who plays cricket aspires to play for England... :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  28. Kevin Beach

    Kevin Beach Senior Member

    To clarify the complication even more, I am British because I was born in England to British parents (well, my father was born in Canada of British parents, but that's another story). However, my mother's parents were born in Northern Ireland. Under the constitution of the Irish Republic (i.e. southern Ireland), everybody who has at least one grandparent born anywhere on the island of Ireland (i.e. north or south) is entitled to Irish citizenship. I could therefore apply to be recorded as a citizen of the Irish Republic and to receive an Irish passport (as well as my British one) even though I have been to the Republic only three or four times and have never been to the north!

    Now, that's an Irish clarification.
     
  29. curly

    curly Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    Which is, I believe, why we have such inconvenient laws regarding the right to vote. If I wish to vote I have to return to Ireland to cast the ballot. If we let every citizen of the Republic register a postal vote from outside the country, there could potentially be more votes from people that have never lived there than there would be resident Irish people. Strange strange country...
     
  30. elirlandes

    elirlandes Senior Member

    Dublin & Málaga
    Ireland English
    The same is true in reverse. As many many people in the republic had grandparents born before independence (and therefor in the United Kingdom) they could all claim British citizenship as well. If I am not mistaken, you need to be resident in the UK to vote in British elections.
     
  31. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    It isn't acceptable to me, nor to the Irish government, which does not recognize it as a valid legal term.
     
  32. carlosch Junior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Español
    I see this very clearly, Irish are the people of the island (Ireland). A citizenship imposed by a foreign country by way of invasion does not change your genes, a paper does not change your genes (even though some people think it does). Northern Ireland could have been invaded by Japan and they could have been japanese citizens carrying japanese passports and Belfast the 13th province of Japan but that historic accident would have not turned Irish people into Japanese.

    Northern Ireland people are Irish with UK citizenship and passport, but they remain irish (nationality), that is my point of view.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  33. Kevin Beach

    Kevin Beach Senior Member

    I'm afraid that's too simplistic, carlosch. More than half of the population in Northern Ireland is still descended from Scottish and English settlors, who were moved there by the English government in the 16th and 17th centuries. They identify themselves as British even though their families have been there for ten or more generations. In the extreme, they regard the Republic of Ireland as a foreign country and republicans in Northern Ireland as traitors to the British crown.
     
  34. carlosch Junior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Español
    Hi kevin, i have not studied to what extent there was substitution of population from outside by the English gov., if it was as great as you say then it can radically change the basic structure of that society (language, race, traditions...) and can indeed break the spine of what we call a nation, sustitution of population is classic colonialism, Hawaii is a good example of a substitution of population to such high degree that Hawaiians are a small minority now in their own homeland.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  35. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Saxony-Anhalt
    German
    Hello carlosch,

    back in those days Ulster (what we now know as "Northern Ireland") posed the greatest threat to the English. This province resisted most to the English invaders. That´s why the crown decided to plant some loyal (and Protestant) settlers there.

    Wikipedia has some interesting facts:
    36% of the present-day population define themselves as Unionist , 24% as Nationalist and 40% define themselves as neither.[32] According to a 2007 opinion poll, 66% express long term preference of the maintenance of Northern Ireland's membership of the United Kingdom (either directly ruled or with devolved government), while 23% express a preference for membership of a united Ireland.[33] This discrepancy can be explained by the overwhelming preference among Protestants to remain a part of the UK (89%), while Catholic preferences are spread across a number of solutions to the constitutional question including remaining a part of the UK (39%), a united Ireland (47%), Northern Ireland becoming an independent state (6%), and those who "don't know" (7%)

    Note: Unionist=Pro-British, Nationalist=Pro-Irish
     
  36. elirlandes

    elirlandes Senior Member

    Dublin & Málaga
    Ireland English
    Just to be hyper-correct, "Ulster" and "Northern Ireland" are not exactly the same thing. Ulster is one of the four traditional provinces of Ireland. It is made up of 9 counties (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Derry, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Cavan, Donegal & Monaghan). At the time of the partition of Ireland which created the political entity of Northern Ireland which remained part of the United Kingdom, the last 3 of these counties (Cavan, Donegal & Monaghan) were ceded to the new independent Free State, and as such, two thirds of Ulster is in Northern Ireland, and one third now forms part of the Republic.
     
  37. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Saxony-Anhalt
    German
    I know but I wouldn´t make it more complicated ;)
     
  38. Kevin Beach

    Kevin Beach Senior Member

    To be even more hyper-correct, pedantic even, Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught are the four old kingdoms of Ireland, not provinces. The six counties of Ulster that are in the UK form a province of the UK, being detached from the rest of the UK and situated on another land mass.
     
  39. Jocaste

    Jocaste Senior Member

    Français
    Whatever about their former status, of which there were actually five (Meath or Mide included), there are today 4 provinces of Ireland which are used, amongst other things, in electoral sub-divisions and as representative bodies in sporting competitions.
     
  40. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    And because there were originally five provinces, the Irish word for province is cúige which means "fifth part".

    Literally, in Irish they are called the Fifth of Ulster, the Fifth of Muster, and so on.
     
  41. curly

    curly Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    One also has to take into account the fact that the frontiers of Northern Ireland were deliberately drawn to include the largest area over which Unionists could maintain a majority. Some areas, such as Co. Fermanagh and Co. Tyrone had a nationalist majority, but were included because the large unionist majority in other counties could maintain, when taken together, a Unionist majority.
     
  42. Smithy73 Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Perhaps it is correct if you consider that Ireland is a part of the British Isles.
     
  43. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    I don't know how many people would agree with you! It also raises the question of why they are called the British Isles; is it purely geographical, meaning the group of islands of which Great Britain is the largest, or is it political, meaning the group of islands over which Great Britain claimed sovereignty?!
     
  44. curly

    curly Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    I for one, and the government of the Republic of Ireland, for two, do not accept the term British Isles.

    It's not a point of political touchiness for me, simply that most countries are lazy with the way the term British Isles is used.

    It leads to confusion and inconvenience on my part that people having lived in Les iles brittaniques for more than a year, cannot give blood in France.

    That's the term that's used on the form, but the problem is that they mean the UK. I live in the Republic, and people having lived a year in the UK are also excluded from giving blood in Ireland. Which means that because someone lazy French person decided to phrase it that way, instead of the accurate way, I was almost excluded from giving blood without reason.

    It's a term which I don't think should exist, because it leads to ridiculous confusion for people unacquainted with Ireland.
     
  45. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    In my humble and Spanish opinion, I find most useful to have a term (Islas Británicas, in Spanish) to define the isles of Britain, Man, Anglesey, Wight, Ireland, Shetland, etc. where most of their unhabitants speak English as their mother tongue and are citizens of either UK or Ireland.

    I could be wrong but "British Isles" were named because of Britania (the only land the Romans knew from the continent) and not because we think that British people have any right over Eire. I think any poll in Spain will show more simpathy for "la verde y católica Irlanda" than for "la pérfida Albión".

    Moreover, in Spain we use to name all British as "ingleses" (English). If they are from Scotland, N. Ireland or Wales is (apparently) unimportant to us in casual and not so casual speech. The word "británico" is almost unused (in Google, 5.7 m hits -mostly "official" use- against 65.9 m "inglés").

    In the same way, we call all netherlanders as "holandeses". Though I am aware that people from Zeeland or Brabant are not exactly happy, no major conflict has arised (since 1715). Our "fraternal" previous relationship had not any connection with naming.

    Of course, I understand that this is a discussion on the use of terms in English, but they were just my dos pesetas.

    Edit: No offense intended against Irish, Brabanters, Zeelanders, Hollanders, Netherlanders and people from NW Europe as a whole.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  46. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    :thumbsup:

    I have run into precisely the same problem in France, and complained, only to be later told, interestingly, that les iles Britanniques did not actually include Ireland and I was allowed to give blood after all. I'm sure the lady just told me that as she was running low on supplies :D

    The British Isles is not a recognized term in Ireland, and nor should it be. It's geographically unsound, and politically unacceptable. It's time it was consigned to where it belongs, the dustbin of history.

    You're quite welcome to use the term British Isles to refer to islands under British sovereignty. Most Irish people wouldn't accept being labelled British, or English, however, so the term is clearly unsound, and unjustified, when extended to include us.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  47. Smithy73 Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    I think it is more that, in general, Irish people are totally opposed to anything "British". This is probably due to the illustrious history that we (i.e. Britain) have of slaughtering Catholics in Ireland, and stealing all of their food. I'm sorry for saying "all Irish people hate British people" as it is a generalisation, and I try to avoid using those, but that is why there is this "touchiness". My grandmother (born in NI as a Catholic) has a British passport, she is happy to call the British Isles "the British Isles" and has lived in England for around 50 years.
     
  48. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Saxony-Anhalt
    German
    Oddly enough the term "Britain/Britannia" is of Celtic origin. :D

    Geographically Ireland is for sure part of the British Isles while the Channel Islands are not.

    Quite often, depending on the political climate, countries suddenly appear in another region, e.g. Russia (Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia), Poland and Czechoslovakia became East European countries during the Cold War.

    So the North is a British isle and the Republic not? :D
     
  49. curly

    curly Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    I am perfectly willing to admit that I have an aversion to the British style of government, in the same way as I dislike certain other countries' governments, but they don't have anything to do with me, so I generally don't care in any concrete non-abstract way. It's when it presents practical problems that it bothers me.



    It would be a mistake to assume all Catholics feel Irish and that all Protestants feel "British".

    Now, feeling British as she does, living in Britain as she does, why would she have any practical reason for caring about this issue? It has no consequence on her life. It surely matters to her only slightly more than whether that country to the east is still called Yugoslavia or not. But to me and to other Irish people I'm sure, it has had and continues to have annoying and sometimes worrying consequences when people mistake/insist upon being right about what country you live in.

    How can one call it petty/overly touchy to correct someone's mistake, when such a mistake can create ridiculous problems? You may find the idea of someone calling/insisting that you are say, American, risible. But imagine if someone with any sort of authority insisted it was true and started applying the rules differently as if you really were American?
     
  50. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Technically, yes. Which just goes to show how absurd the term is.

    If one started labelling Germany as part of the ''French landmass'', or Denmark and Finland as part of the ''Swedish Isles'', one can see how similar misunderstandings might result.

    The British Isles has always been more a political than geographic term, and its reintroduction into English was by an English cartographer, John Dee, who was also a committed imperialist and wished to justify England (later Britain) having an empire abroad.

    Now when Ireland was part of the UK, that was fine. However, nowadays we're not and haven't been since 1922. Hence, the term is outdated and no longer valid. Much like other terms which were once popular and are now considered archaic like negro, Deutsches Reich etc.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010

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