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ethnically specific national demonyms
Posted: 16 June 2010 03:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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SL’s point, I infer, is that he finds it a little more incongruous to call a “black” person “Welsh” than to call one “English”.

Exactly (although I am actually a she!)

Reminds me a bit of a current US candy commercial that shows an ethnic-Korean father and son dressed in kilts, speaking in Scottish accents, and eating the product (Starburst, a candy described as being “solid, but juicy"), described as “one contradiction eating another”.

George MacDonald Fraser, the author of the Flashman novels, wrote a number of very-lightly-fictionalised reminiscences of his experiences as a junior officer of the Gordon Highlanders in North Africa immediately after World War II. One day a new recruit, a black Glaswegian, produced a bagpipe proficiency certificate and asked to join the regimental pipe band, and Fraser describes the angst caused among the officers and senior NCOs by this request. The pipe-major agreed that he was a good enough piper; nobody wanted to hurt the lad’s feelings; all accepted that as a soldier of the regiment he should be employed in whatever role he was fitted for - but all instinctively felt that a regimental pipe band with a black face in it would just look wrong.  (For the record, after much heart-searching they did put him in the band, and Fraser said he didn’t remember his presence ever being remarked on, indeed couldn’t even remember the sight of him in the band ever striking him as odd.)

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Posted: 17 June 2010 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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"I tend to avoid Briton except to refer to the Celtic inhabitants of the island who were driven out of England by the Anglo-Saxons, but that’s the medievalist in me coming out. “

And the depiction of Scotland is what happened when the Scottis arrived…

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Posted: 19 June 2010 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Syntinen Laulu - 15 June 2010 08:13 AM

it’s a given to me that the English are a completely mongrel lot, but I have this image (quite inaccurate, I realise) of the Welsh as a bunch of ethnic Celts.

While I think of myself as English, at least 10 of my 32 G-G-G-grandparents were Irish, which I suspect is about average for most English people. But the English are no more mongrel, I suggest, than the Pictish/Scoto-Irish/Strathclyde British/Viking/Anglian people of Scotland. Or the Gallo-Roman/Frankish/Breton/Basque/Viking people of France. Or the Celt-Iberian/Phoenician/Vandal/Berber/Arab people of Spain. Et cetera.

On the original subject of ethnically specific demonyms, from what I understand this is in part the problem behind the battle over whether the South East Asian country should be called Burma or Myanmar, with the name Myanmar seen as excluding many of the country’s ethnic minorities, although if I understand the Wikipedia article properly, both Burma and Myanmar are derived from different versions of the name of the same group of people.

Edited to give proper url link

[ Edited: 19 June 2010 02:02 PM by zythophile ]
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Posted: 19 June 2010 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Zythophile - 19 June 2010 09:17 AM

Syntinen Laulu - 15 June 2010 08:13 AM
it’s a given to me that the English are a completely mongrel lot, but I have this image (quite inaccurate, I realise) of the Welsh as a bunch of ethnic Celts.

While I think of myself as English, at least 10 of my 32 G-G-G-grandparents were Irish, which I suspect is about average for most English people. But the English are no more mongrel, I suggest, than the Pictish/Scoto-Irish/Strathclyde British/Viking/Anglian people of Scotland. Or the Gallo-Roman/Frankish/Breton/Basque/Viking people of France. Or the Celt-Iberian/Phoenician/Vandal/Berber/Arab people of Spain. Et cetera.

On the original subject of ethnically specific demonyms, from what I understand this is in part the problem behind the battle over whether the South East Asian country should be called Burma or Myanmar, with the name Myanmar seen as excluding many of the country’s ethnic minorities, although if I understand the article properly, both Burma and Myanmar are derived from different versions of the name of the same group of people.

What is the politically correct equivalent of Burmese, is it Myanmarese?

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Posted: 19 June 2010 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Why does Zythophile’s “Wikipedia” link (also as quoted by Senning) have a mailto: prefix?

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Posted: 19 June 2010 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Zythophile must have used the email button accidentally (it’s to the left of the url button.)

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Posted: 19 June 2010 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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aldiboronti - 19 June 2010 11:20 AM

Zythophile must have used the email button accidentally (it’s to the left of the url button.)

I did, sorry: I keep doing that, being an idiot, although most of the time I spot it before I hit “submit post”. Now corrected.

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Posted: 19 June 2010 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Senning: I don’t know what the politically correct version is, but the national adjective for Myanmar is Myanmar.

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Posted: 20 June 2010 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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A lot of people would say the politically correct version is “Burmese.”

For example, from the US State Department web site:

The Union of Burma is ruled by a military regime called the “State Peace and Development Council” (SPDC). The SPDC changed the name of the country to “Myanmar,” but some members of the democratic opposition and other political activists do not recognize the name change and continue to use the name “Burma.” Out of support for the democratic opposition, the U.S. Government likewise uses “Burma.”

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Posted: 20 June 2010 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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A lot of people would say the politically correct version is “Burmese.”

Including me.  I’ve said this before, but it boggles my mind that so many people are willing to kowtow to the preferences of a collection of murderous thugs who happen to be running the country at the moment.  As soon as they get kicked out, the country will revert to the name that sensible people have been using all along.

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Posted: 09 August 2010 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Syntinen Laulu - 15 June 2010 03:53 AM

For me, the statement “Shirley Bassey is Welsh” carries a faint tinge of incongruity that “Moira Stuart is English” doesn’t.

That’s odd. As someone of Anglo-Welsh/Irish descent who lives in Wales, I’ve never been able to think of Shirley Bassey as being anything other than Welsh (and British, of course), she seems so much part of our culture. On the other hand, I’ve always thought of the BBC newsreader Moira Stuart as being Scottish. It’s the name I suppose. I know she speaks with a rather plummy English RP accent, but so do quite a lot of Scots who’ve been educated privately in England. I’ve never checked her birthplace, her family background, or indeed her education — but that name sounds so very, very Scottish!

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Posted: 09 August 2010 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Perhaps not so odd. Living in Wales, you have naturally a more realistic picture of the mixed origins of modern Welsh people than I have.

FWIW, Moira Stuart featured a while back in the genealogical TV programme Who do you think you are? from which it transpired that although brought up in London, her parents came from the Caribbean, and among her West Indian ancestors were some from Scotland - hence her name.

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