What country do we live in?


I was born in Britain. So were about 60 million other people. I thought I still lived there, but it turns out I was wrong. I now live in “the U.K.”

You would think someone had passed a law banning the word “Britain”. For about a year now I've noticed that everyone – except me – calls the country “the U.K.” often using contorted turns of phrase to make it fit in the sentence.

Maybe I'm living in the past; but certainly for the first thirty or forty years of my life “the U.K.” was the American name for Britain. America was also the first place where people from Britain were called “Brits”. Now we call ourselves Brits, and we live in the U.K.

Now American culture's a wonderful thing, and we have gained a lot from contact with the USA. But when it comes to what we call ourselves shouldn't we be the judge? Polish people don't call their country “Poland”, they call it “Polska”. Why should we be different?

I'm wondering if there's some perverse political correctness in this. Just because the BNP go around waving the Union Jack, does the name “Britain” have right-wing overtones? Personally I don't use the name in a patriotic way; it's just a geographical and political abbreviation for “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” which is a bit of a mouthful to say all the time.

We've already claimed back the Union Jack from the right wing in several ways; maybe it's time we claimed back Britain as a handy short name for the country we live in.


Unuaj vortoj


Kaj kiu estas tiu "isto"? Nu, nomo - Geoffrey King, brito, n. 1947.07.17, bibliotekisto, vidvo, 2 plenkreskaj filinoj, eksa londonano nun loĝanta en kampara provinco Suffolk.

Kaj kial? nu, pro persvado de kolego; kaj kun espero, ke mi povos skribi ion utilan aŭ interesan.

Pli konkrete, mi laboras en la Biblioteko Butler de Esperanto-Asocio de Britio, do multaj komentoj rilatos al libroj, aferoj bibliografiaj aŭ bibliotekaj; sed sendube aperos ankaŭ meditoj politikaj, muzikaj, pensoj pri la rura vivo, pri la suno kaj la pluvo, do tio, kio venos al mi en la kapon. Kaj se venos komentoj de la legantoj, la tuto estos per tio pli gaja kaj vigla.

Enestos cetere iuj partoj anglalingvaj; do sekvas mallonga minprezento en tiu lingvo.

So what's all that about? Well, if you stick with this you may hear a lot more about Esperanto, but for now I'll make do with introducing myself, Geoffrey King, born London 17/7/47; widower, two grown-up daughters, semi-retired librarian.

Most of these postings will be in Esperanto, but where something needs saying in English, that's how I shall say it. Being a librarian, I shall write depressing often about books, bibliography, library matter, and so on, but, especially in the English bits, you can expect some politics, some music, some rants, some philosophising, and whatever else comes into my head.

More of this in due course; I've set the ball rolling, so let's see where it goes


P.S. 2010.03.21. I have moved on from here to Wordpress. So my personal website is now>

Esperantistoj: vi trovos ĉion rilatan al Biblioteko Butler, tute en Esperanto, ĉe:
Proprajn retpaĝojn en Esperanto mi provizore ne havas, sed mi aperas de tempo al tempo en Wordpress, en Ipernity, kaj en