15 April 2014 - Britons are 'somewhat' proud of their country
Why we're only 'somewhat proud' to be British
Staff (The Guardian)
Is Britain suffering a crisis of patriotic feeling? According to the latest British Social Attitudes survey, only 35% of Brits are now willing to say they are "very proud" to be British, down from 43% a decade ago. Another 47%, however, say they are "somewhat proud", which is an increase from last time.
What are we to make of this? Have we become slightly sheepish, as some have suggested, because of the Iraq war and the financial crisis? After the Olympics, and the national roar heard from space when Mo Farah won his second gold, that seems implausible. Could it be, rather, that claiming to be "very proud" of being British these days is too uncomfortably reminiscent of resurgent far-right parties and bonkers ale-quaffing anti-Europeanism?
For language-fanciers, the real news here is the continuing charm of that marvellously British word "somewhat", which has been used in English to mean "a little" or "to a certain extent" since the 14th century. In Chaucer's dream-vision poem "House of Fame" (c.1380), the poet hopes charmingly that the god Apollo will find his verse "sumwhat agreable", which critics have interpreted as a rejoinder to the more fame-hungry, laurel-chasing invocation of Apollo by Dante in his Paradiso. If so, then perhaps Chaucer invented the bardic humblebrag.
A more positive reading
Anna Pukas and Simon Edge (The Express)
Britain is by no means the only country in the world with a monarchy but it is the only one where the monarch is known simply by her title.
No need to add her name or that of the country of which she is sovereign - everyone knows the Queen is OUR Queen.
Some may carp about the cost or the relevance of the monarchy but the Royal Family remains without question Britain's USP (unique selling point).
That's why the crowds are 10-deep outside Buckingham Palace every morning and why Americans in their tens of thousands got up in the middle of the night to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.
Alun Palmer (The Mirror)
We may not have won the World Cup since 1966 and lost the Ashes this winter, but we gave the world football, rugby (union and league), and cricket.
But we also created everything from tennis to bungee jumping, darts, snooker, boxing and ping pong.
Even that great American summer sport, baseball, was played in Guildford in 1755, 40 years before it was played in America.
Kashmira Gander (The Independent)
The UK has the most delusional drinkers, drug-takers and ‘reckless youths’ than any other country in the world, according to a survey.
One in three dependent drinkers in the UK thinks they consume less than the average amount – a figure that decreases to a quarter when considered globally. Worryingly, one third of people in the high-risk group did not realise that they were endangering themselves.
Worldwide, 45 per cent of people were unaware of their country’s drinking guidelines. But despite being the most deluded, drinkers in the UK are also amongst the most educated about limits - with 80 per cent being aware of national guidelines.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"15 April 2014 - Britons are 'somewhat' proud of their country", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), avril 2014. Consulté le 29/02/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/15-april-2014-britons-are-somewhat-proud-of-their-country