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Old 03-11-2013, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,605 posts, read 25,685,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by french user View Post
Yes, the french word "pays" has different meanings depending of context: either "country" (in the meaning of sovereign state) and "land" or "region". But I have to say that the second meaning is not really used outside of some regional namings such as "Pays de la Loire" (the part of the Loire Valley where I am is not "pays de la Loire" but the region "centre", which actually is not in the center of the country but more in the north-west quarter).

There were other meanings for "pays": I remember my grandmother saying "je vais au pays" to mean going to the village/town....
Often the reference to "pays" as a region is in reference to a famous person:

"au pays de Marcel Pagnol" = Provence

"au pays de Félix Leclerc" = île d'Orléans, east of Quebec City

Sort of like how Americans refer to Illinois as the "land of Lincoln"
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,198 posts, read 22,419,879 times
Reputation: 8560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post

Britain means the same thing as Great Britain - one is just a shortened version of the other. Britain does have a geographical reference. See map above.
Virtually never. Britain is applied to the UNITED KINGDOM, not the island. When someone says 'Britain' in a newspaper or on the TV, they are most certainly referring to the UNITED KINGDOM and not Great Britain inclusive. Some people may, foolishly, think Britain is interchangeable with Great Britain but it certainly isn't, and I have never, ever, EVER heard anyone use Britain while referring to the island of Great Britain, unless they are politically incompetent and aren't aware Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. It's almost as ludicrous as using the word Britain to refer to the British Isles, or implying that people in Ireland are British because they live in the British Isles.

Look at that map, it clearly states 'counties of Great Britain' and NOT Britain, because Britain, as a geographical reference, is virtually never used, and I have yet to hear anyone use it as a geographical reference.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:47 PM
 
2,818 posts, read 5,161,934 times
Reputation: 3758
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don_Caballero View Post
Because all the British isles ethnicities look alike.
...and they're disgustingly dark.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:14 AM
 
Location: The Silver State (from the UK)
4,663 posts, read 7,132,097 times
Reputation: 2862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
No you are not being picky at all you are quite correct. It's an American thing and this is predominantly an American forum. Seriously not meaning offence here but a lot of Americans haven't got a clue about this stuff, so its easier to just say 'British'. People I know here may have a vague idea where Britain is, ie 'somewhere over there' but don't understand how its divided up. A lot of them have no idea that Britain is next to France etc. I'm not being critical here. Before I moved to America, while I knew where many of the states were, particularly the ones at the 'edges', I didn't know all of them and didn't really learn them properly until my son had to learn them at school. It's just sort of a 'need to know' thing. Until you need to know you don't necessarily learn it. I don't know why Americans have taken to refer to English as British instead of just using English. But because they do, it's an easier life not to correct them. I guess its like referring to British as Europeans. It's not wrong, its just a bit of a sweeping category. It's not something I get offended by. Technically it should be referred to as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' which includes the countries England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 'Britain' does not include Northern Ireland but the United Kingdom does. Britain refers to the island itself so really people should say 'from the UK' if they want to include Northern Ireland.
The British Isles however is a geographical term which refers to both islands comprising Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) and Ireland, as well as surrounding smaller islands.

Edit: Very confusing now that I think about it. No wonder Americans just go for the easy option. I can see why!

BS. England, Scotland and Wales are not countries in their own right, which is why people from all regions are British - hence "British citizen" in your passport. I bet you don't know the internal querks of every country in the world do you? Why do you expect Americans to understand the people within the UK like to 'think' they all live in different countries, even though none of which have any individual global relevance?? Little arrogant I might say..
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:16 AM
 
Location: The Silver State (from the UK)
4,663 posts, read 7,132,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenc View Post
Quebec is not a country.

Is Scotland? What would be the difference?

Actually, neither are but you should at least think about it..
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:00 AM
 
Location: Burnsville, Minnesota
2,702 posts, read 2,043,369 times
Reputation: 1455
England has a lot more people than Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland combined.

I live in Minnesota, which has more people than Wales and Northern Ireland combined and has about the same population as Scotland.


England is more well known.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:04 AM
 
Location: Burnsville, Minnesota
2,702 posts, read 2,043,369 times
Reputation: 1455
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian6479 View Post
Is Scotland? What would be the difference?

Actually, neither are but you should at least think about it..
Scotland is a country which is a part of the UK, which is a sovereign state.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:41 AM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
20,695 posts, read 18,611,524 times
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There is a difference scotland was always a country quebec was never ever a country ever.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:26 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
5,871 posts, read 3,370,347 times
Reputation: 3995
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Virtually never. Britain is applied to the UNITED KINGDOM, not the island. When someone says 'Britain' in a newspaper or on the TV, they are most certainly referring to the UNITED KINGDOM and not Great Britain inclusive. Some people may, foolishly, think Britain is interchangeable with Great Britain but it certainly isn't, and I have never, ever, EVER heard anyone use Britain while referring to the island of Great Britain, unless they are politically incompetent and aren't aware Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. It's almost as ludicrous as using the word Britain to refer to the British Isles, or implying that people in Ireland are British because they live in the British Isles.

Look at that map, it clearly states 'counties of Great Britain' and NOT Britain, because Britain, as a geographical reference, is virtually never used, and I have yet to hear anyone use it as a geographical reference.
Its true, everyone does use 'Britain' as a shorthand version for 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' which is obviously a mouthful. I wouldn't argue with you about that. I think I said that before somewhere, nor would I argue anyone in the UK referring to themselves as British.

'Britain' is an ambiguous term. I'm giving the historical version, you are giving the modern, widely used one. Britain historically was named for the Britons that lived there, which was the large island only. You said yourself: "Britain' refers to the United Kingdom, similar to how America is applied to the United States, even if it is incorrect."

Maybe this guy says it better than me:

Quote:
Definition: Britain is the largest island in Europe and is located off the north-west coast of the continent, close to France and Holland. Britain contains the countries of Wales, Scotland and England. These were united as Great Britain in 1707 and are currently unified, along with Northern Ireland and several islands, as one state called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The term ‘Britain’ is often used as an easy shorthand for the Union, and although this is technically incorrect, it’s very commonplace. Quite what constitutes “British” history – the history of the island - or what constitutes the history of the constituent countries, is a matter for often passionate debate.
Britain - What is Britain
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:38 AM
 
2,818 posts, read 5,161,934 times
Reputation: 3758
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian6479 View Post
Is Scotland? What would be the difference?

Actually, neither are but you should at least think about it..
The difference is legal. None of them are canonical political nations, but Scotland's official status within the UK is that of a constituent country while Quebec is a province. Outside a historical context though the difference is mostly anecdotal.
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