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English/ England (General)

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Frederick The Monk
161171.  Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:09 am Reply with quote

<stands up, salutes, plays first few bars of Land of Hope and Glory on the nose flute>

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am gathering material for the England/ English show which may morph into the Victorian show and then back again (or not).

I think this show will probably work best dealing with aspects of old England – posh schools, daft accents, arcane rituals, suffocating etiquette, stupid games, dull food and an overweening desire to conquer the entire the planet – everything in fact that makes me proud to live here.

Topics I’m dabbling with and on which further suggestions would be most welcome are:

How to say ‘hello’
Where's it easier to start a riot - US or UK?

Churchill dentures to keep his lisp
The Great Vowel Shift

Table manners:
The correct way toe at spaghetti/ use chopsticks
Diplomatic precedence
Lautrec on drinking
Erasmus on Children’s table manners
Bouncing Strawberries

Stiff Upper Lippedness:
Great Escapes

Old Schools
Eton (Schools and tribe) – Abumgang

Royal Family/ Class:
Queen Mary’s Dolls House
Are you middle class?
Royal Peculiars

Englishmen Abroad:
What is Cherry Blossom?
Foreign customs
Phrase book terms

Gentlemanly pursuits
Clubs - Man in the Iron Mask – Harry Benseley
Enquire Within
Aristotle’s masterpiece
Exhibitions: - Great
Victorian job titles
Pepys and porn

English Sports:
Cricket – Eco-box (Spot the Ball)
WG Grace
Pall Mall

English as she is spoke:
Hovis/ Spitfires
English and Sexish
Location of English surnames (Cocks and Nutters)
Top ten nouns

Hippocratic oaths
Tennis Elbow and Housemaid’s knee
Bathing (Tudor)

Are you eccentric?
WG Grace
Elliptical billiard tables
Unusual societies
A. Fleming
Sir John Ellerman
Air Looms

Oh to be in England:
The Garden of Eden (Bedford)
The Garden of Eden (London)
The Garden of Eden (Bahrain)
Dorset pebble throwing
Halcyon days

All new topics welcome too.


161233.  Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:17 am Reply with quote

Some English Gen Ig:

The smallest county in England (Isle of Wight, not Rutland ... maybe)

Where is Lake Windermere (Tasmania; the one in the Lake District isn't called "Lake") (actually I hate this question, but I expect to have to overrule myself)

Why is Milton Keynes so named?

161234.  Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:19 am Reply with quote

The rigorous observation of the distinction between England and Britain is mostly a modern construct:

The correct and careful use of such terms as "United Kingdom" in any context other than the strictly legal is a recent development, dating from about the 1930s, when modern Scottish nationalism became a live political issue. Anything written before that date, even by historians, is likely to use "England". Disraeli famously signed the 1878 Treaty of Berlin as "Prime Minister of England", to the dismay of his Foreign Office advisers. And A.J.P. Taylor, in the preface to his volume of the "Oxford History of England", published in 1965, had to point out that "when the Oxford History was launched a generation ago 'England' was still an all-embracing word. It meant indiscriminately England and Wales, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and even the British Empire." As a result of this, the usual term in most foreign languages has always been "England", and will probably continue to be so for some time yet.

161235.  Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:21 am Reply with quote

The first person to be king of both England and Scotland:

F: James I & VI

A: Edward I or even Athelstan (I have details if you need 'em)

Frederick The Monk
161252.  Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:49 am Reply with quote

Splendid - I always like to get the Hammer of the Scots into a show. Something on the England/ Britian thing would be an excellent idea actually as otherwise we're bound to get a heap of letters about being all elitist over Englishness and so on.

161254.  Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:53 am Reply with quote

What about getting a welsh/scottish/N Irish guest on only for Stephen to say, "oh no, sorry we can't have any foreigners in here, it's an english show, don't you know" only for them to be replaced by an English panellist.

161285.  Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:01 pm Reply with quote

post 160946 is about Britain, but has a nice little factoid about Cruithne (the original, not the orbiting object) in it.

Frederick The Monk
161413.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:11 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
post 160946 is about Britain, but has a nice little factoid about Cruithne (the original, not the orbiting object) in it.

Lovely - would be nice to bring our old friend Cruithne back into the show.

Molly Cule
161442.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:33 am Reply with quote

oooh..... I went to the Bank of England museum the other day and have some stuff about English bank notes and currency which could be good, I was thinking Economics but England could do it.

161478.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:37 am Reply with quote

A snippet for the notes: the English Channel has only existed for 9,000 years - ie it's about twice the age of the Great Pyramid.

161482.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:45 am Reply with quote

Something I've mentioned before (post 146414) but probably applies here:

The English language stems from the invasion of the Angles and Saxons around 1,500 years ago. We have ended up naming ourselves after the Angles (though nobody's entirely sure why) whereas the people we displaced named us after the Saxons (Welsh: "Saes", Gaelic "Sasunnach").

If we'd decided to call ourselves after the Saxons, we'd probably now be living in Sexland and talking Sexlish (c.f. Wessex, Essex, Sussex).

161484.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:46 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Why is Milton Keynes so named?

Well, the New Town was named after the existing village.

Where that got its name, though, I haven't a clue. Is there an interesting tale behind it?

161488.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:55 am Reply with quote

We think that many people believe that Milton Keynes is named after Keynes the economist or even Milton Friedmann the other economist, because it's a New Town. Wouldn't have caught you, though.

161495.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:08 am Reply with quote

Milton Keynes describes the fact that the local manor was owned by the Keynes family. Or the de Caighans (sp?) family as it was.

The word Milton, denoting the manor ownership, is common.

161539.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:13 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
We think that many people believe that Milton Keynes is named after Keynes the economist or even Milton Friedmann the other economist, because it's a New Town.

Ahh, I see.

I remember seeing a big embroidery/tapestry map of an area of England dating back to the 16th century (I think it was Hardwick Hall dating to when Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there, but I may be wrong) which showed Milton Keynes on it. According to the guide, this tends to surprise quite a few visitors.

Flash wrote:
Wouldn't have caught you, though.

Aye well, I did live in the place for, oooh, far too long.

(Mind you, when you're talking of Milton Keynes, any amount of time is far too long)


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