Britain

  • Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I'd use "itself." Britain is not a person, and is not used in an anthropomorphic context.

    On the other hand, "establish" will probably work better than "position."
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Britain is not a person, and is not used in an anthropomorphic context.
    I beg to differ. Nations are frequently referred to as the motherland or fatherland.
    I don't care for this usage, but it's common. Anthropomorphism, especially in political speeches, is frequent.

    However, for de Gaulle this was the opportunity to extend the illusion under which France has laboured since 1815, that she is a great nation. ...
    here

    Chinese people are much more well-behaved and organized than any people in other countries. China is demonstrating to the world that she is a great nation! ...
    click
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Hi all,

    Could you help me with this? Britain has positioned herself/itself as a worldwide empire.

    Thanks,
    Laura
    In former times, up to the 1960s or so, countries were always treated as if they were female.

    Gilbert & Sullivan,
    Iolanthe, 1882
    Yet Britain won her proudest bays in good Queen Bess's glorious days

    Manchester Guardian, 1941
    Mr. Churchill is clearly not comfortable about France, in spite of his welcome of Marshall Petain's declaration that she will never fight her old ally.

    Winston Churchill, 1946
    We understand the Russians need to be secure on her western frontiers from all renewal of German aggression. We welcome her to her rightful place among the leading nations of the world.


     
    Last edited:

    Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I beg to differ. Nations are frequently referred to as the motherland or fatherland.
    I don't care for this usage, but it's common. Anthropomorphism, especially in political speeches, is frequent.
    Well, truth is, countries aren't people, so "itself" will always be correct and a good safety net. It's just a cultural oddity that some people, especially in the past, would assign genders to countries and ships. Since Laura's text comes from 18th century, then you'd expect to see more of this. However, if she's writing by today's standards, I'm really not sure if assigning genders to countries is used all that much. At least, I can't remember the last time someone referred to Canada as "he/she." Perhaps that's why I personally wouldn't use it. =/
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi Erebos12345,

    Calling idiomatic usage a "cultural oddity" may be correct, but it doesn't offer much useful insight or guidance. Ships are assigned gender. So are souped up cars. In a strictly objective sense, it is wrong, but that's how the language works.

    "Laura's text comes from 18th century". Maybe. She has been a little parsimonious with context and background. All we have learned so far is that, "The context is History of the XVIII century." I agree with you that "itself" is the better choice for current style, but I'm not sure how the sentence in question is being used. From the viewpoint of an 18th century writer, 'herself' would have been more idiomatic.
     

    Laurateacher

    Senior Member
    Spanish- Argentina
    So far so good. This is what I wrote, if you don't mind reading it:(I have chosen "itself" since the text I am writing complies with today's standards, as EREBOS12345 perfectly put forward)

    Abroad, the English acquired more and more territory overseas through conquest and settlement, lands that would eventually make up an Empire stretching to every corner of the globe. When the century came to an end in 1800, although Britain was still at war with France, it had established itself as a world power, imperially rich and enviable united. In fact, it was in the 18th century that Britain laid the foundations for its worldwide empire.

    Laura
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top