Great Britain-- adjective for --Great British?

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GWB (President Bush) once said,


And I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British [sic] company. {White House website, 2006--as cited by Liberman}

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It was an obvious error. But what's the correct form? (This puzzling ssue was raised by Mark Liberman in his Language Log.
Language Log: W's Conundrum )

Two ways to go [as noted by Liberman] (neither works here, I think, following Liberman).

1. For adj + noun for a country/region/city, add 'ish' [or similar] --that is, turn the noun to adjective: "Northern Ireland"==> "Northern Irish"--
"It was a Northern Irish custom to say xxxx.":thumbsup:

My example:

Oceans and Aquatic Ecosystems - Volume II:

isbn:1905839065 - Google Search

Eric Wolanski - 2009

Overall, 12 of the Lesser Antillian species are derived directly from South America and 8 species were derived from the Greater Antilles. :thumbsup:

Lesser Antilles ==>Lesser Antillian :thumbsup:

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2. For adj. + noun for a place, leave the noun as is--make the name, as is, serve as adjective:


Greater Anglia guards and drivers vote for strike action - BBC News :thumbsup:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-41242485

Sep 12, 2017 -

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Neither approach seems to work for Great Britain Why? What is correct? (What should GWB have said?) "I want [someone]...to explain why ...a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than an {Great Britain} company."
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The usual answer is, as Keith Bradford says, plain 'British'. Liberman says either this or 'a company from Great Britain', but the latter is clumsy.

    When he tries to explain why, Liberman concludes:
    this particular fact of usage apparently has to be learned by rote
    Personally, I do not see why 'Great British' should not be acceptable, by analogy with 'North British' (a term for Scots who favour the Union).
    It is simply a fact that 'British' without the 'Great' has come to be the accepted form.
     
    There seem to be examples fitting Wandle's suggestion:

    BBC iPlayer - Great British Menu
    BBC iPlayer - Great British Menu
    Watch TV programmes from the Great British Menu collection on BBC iPlayer.\

    Some are ambiguous, of course, e.g.

    the great british celebration - Station de ski Les Arcs
    the great british celebration - Station de ski Les Arcs
    The Great British Celebration, what's that? It's a brand new made in Les Arcs event aimed at putting the spotlight on British culture! During the 4 days of festivities ...

    The Great British High Street | Celebrate the High Street
    thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/
    Welcome to the Great British High Street. A celebration of the fantastic people that live, work & play in our towns & cities across the country.

    Great British Sunday Lunch | RAF Benevolent Fund
    Great British Sunday Lunch
    Hold a Great British Sunday Lunch with your friends and family on 2 April 2017 and help raise money for the RAF family. Sign up for your free lunch kit today.

    ===

    I'm curious is any British person would accept these as uses of the purported adjective "Great British".
     

    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    There seem to be examples fitting Wandle's suggestion:

    BBC iPlayer - Great British Menu
    BBC iPlayer - Great British Menu
    Watch TV programmes from the Great British Menu collection on BBC iPlayer.\

    Some are ambiguous, of course, e.g.

    the great british celebration - Station de ski Les Arcs
    the great british celebration - Station de ski Les Arcs
    The Great British Celebration, what's that? It's a brand new made in Les Arcs event aimed at putting the spotlight on British culture! During the 4 days of festivities ...

    The Great British High Street | Celebrate the High Street
    thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/
    Welcome to the Great British High Street. A celebration of the fantastic people that live, work & play in our towns & cities across the country.

    Great British Sunday Lunch | RAF Benevolent Fund
    Great British Sunday Lunch
    Hold a Great British Sunday Lunch with your friends and family on 2 April 2017 and help raise money for the RAF family. Sign up for your free lunch kit today.

    ===

    I'm curious is any British person would accept these as uses of the purported adjective "Great British".
    These are not examples of 'Great British', they are examples of British things which are also great.
     
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