Category talk:Britons

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Category:Englishmen/women[edit]

Should we merge these into something like Category:English people? I just changed the categories that were previously known as "Dutchmen", "Frenchmen" and "Irishmen" to "- people" instead of "-men", not just because there was no "-women" equivalent, but also because it fits in with all the other nationalities in having one category for all people of the same nationality.

The difference with "English people" is that both "-men" and "-women" categories do exist, and they are well-established ... Also, it's a bigger job. Do you think we should leave them alone or make the change? Cheers - Verantwortlich 20:17, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Britons vs. English people[edit]

We should probably get rid of the category English people, since it is now a subset of this category. ~ UDScott 13:53, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I have also thought this could be cleaned up, but I hesitated to offend the sensibilities of constituents of the UK in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. It might be preferable to move individuals categorized generically as "Britons" to specific countries (or Crown Dependencies, etc.) as appropriate. I have categorized people as Britons only when I was not sure what part of the UK they hail from. ~ Ningauble 15:09, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

It is the biographical inclusions and exclusions, in fact, which make this dictionary an ideal gift for the paranoiac on everybody's Christmas list. [...] What is somebody trying to tell us when T. S. Eliot is called a British poet and W. H. Auden is called an English poet?

  • Kurt Vonnegut, "The Random House Dictionary" in The New York Times. Reprinted as "New Dictionary" in Welcome to the Monkey House.
Getting rid of the category Britons would raise a number of problems. How would you categorise people with roots in two or more of the kingdoms, or (as Ningauble says) with those about whose background you're unsure? What would you do with foreigners who have taken UK citizenship? Surely they can't easily be described as English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish (which, incidentally, is probably the answer to Kurt Vonnegut's query about T. S. Eliot). Getting rid of the categories English people, Welsh people, Scots and Northern Irish people seems easier at first glance, until you look at the Northern Irish. People on the Nationalist side of the political and cultural divide would for the most part strenuously object to being described as British, while Unionists would just as much dislike being put in the category Irish people. People in Northern Ireland aren't actually in Great Britain at all, but in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, although Britain and the United Kingdom are often loosely treated as being synonyms. You see what a can of worms we've so far left unopened? I would be in favour of leaving things as they are, with the British category being kept as a useful place to put the doubtful cases. It's messy, but it works well enough. --Antiquary 19:20, 15 March 2009 (UTC)