ENGLISH VERSUS BRITISH, АНГЛИЙСКИЙ ПРОТИВ БРИТАНСКОГО
Because English culture dominates the cultures of the other three nations of the British Isles, everyday habits, attitudes and values among the peoples of the four nations are very similar. However, they are not identical, and what is often regarded as typically British may in tact be only typically English. This is especially true with regard to one notable characteristic - anti-intellectualism. Among many people in Britain, there exists a suspicion of intelligence, education and 'high culture'. Teachers and academic staff, although respected, do not have as high a status as they do in most other countries. Nobody normally proclaims their academic qualifications or title to the world at large. No professor would expect, or want, to be addressed as 'Professor' on any but the most formal occasion. There are large sections of both the upper and working class in Britain who, traditionally at least, have not encouraged their children to go to university. This lack of enthusiasm for education is certainly decreasing. Nevertheless, it is still unusual for parents to arrange extra private tuition for their children, even among those who can easily afford it.
Anti-intellectual attitudes are held consciously only by a small proportion of the population, but an indication of how deep they run in society is that they are reflected in the English language. To refer to a person as somebody who 'gets all their ideas from books' is to speak of them negatively. The word 'clever' often has negative connotations. It suggests someone who uses trickery, a person who cannot quite be trusted (as in the expression "too clever by half) (> Swots). Evidence of this attitude can be found in all four nations of the British Isles. However, it is probably better seen as a specifically English characteristic and not a British one. The Scottish have always placed a high value on education for all classes. The Irish of all classes place a high value on being quick, ready and able with words. The Welsh are famous for exporting teachers to other parts of Britain and beyond.
> Swots The slang word 'swot' was first used in public schools. It describes someone who works, hard and does well academically. It is a term of abuse. Swots are not very popular. In the English mind, scholarship is something rather strange and exotic.
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Dear KIRA, Thanks a lot for your topics, as my students have found them rather useful. However, I would be very obliged to you if you edit them a bit. For example, Your text 'English versus British' would be much nicer after your alterning the 3rd line (I mean the word 'tact'. Will you be so kind to write 'fact' instead of 'tact'?) By the way, it's a typical mistake of Russians to begin the sentence with 'Because...' Avoid it, please.
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