Summary-book-britain-for-learners-of-english-james-odriscoll (1).pdf

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Aspects of Great Britain summary Chapter 1 and 4: Country and people - Identity The origin of the adjective ‘great’ in the name Great Britain was not a piece of advertising (although modern politicians sometimes try to use it that way!). It was first used to distinguish it from the smaller area in France which is called Brittany in modern English. Geographically the two large islands (and hundreds much smaller ones) are called Great Britain and Ireland. There is no agreement about what to call all of them together. Politically speaking there are two states. One of these governs most of the island of Ireland. This state is usually called The Republic of Ireland. It is also called ‘Eire’ (its Irish language name). Informally it is referred t o as just Ireland or the Republic. The other state has authority over the rest of the area (the whole of Great Britain, the north-eastern area of Ireland and most of the smaller islands). Its official name is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is usually known by a much shorter name like the UK or the United Kingdom. But the most common term is ‘Great Britain and Ireland’. But even this is not strictly correct. It is not correct geographically because it ignores all the smaller islands. And it is not correct politically because there are two small parts of the area in the maps which have special political arrangements. There are the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man which are crown dependencies and not officially part of the UK. Each has a complete internal self-government, including its own parliament and its own tax system. Both are ruled by a Lieutenant Governor appointed by the British government. See below for the national teams in selected sports: England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland Republic of Ireland Olympics Great Britain Ireland Cricket England and Wales Scotland Ireland Rugby union England Wales Scotland Ireland Football England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland Republic of Ireland The four nations People often refer to Britain by another name, they call it England. This is not correct and its use can make some people angry. England is only one of the four nations in this part of the world. The others are Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Their political unification was a gradual process that took several hundred years. It was completed in 1800 when the Irish parliament was joined with the parliament for England, Scotland and Wales in Westminster so that the whole area became a single state that was known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. However, in 1922 most of Ireland became a separate state. Albion comes from a Celtic word and was an early Greek and Roman name for Great Britain. The Romans associated Great Britain with the Latin word ‘Albus’ meaning white. The white chalk cliffs around Dover on the English south coast are the first land formations one sights when crossing the sea from the European mainland.

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