The healthy wyrdness of the anglo-saxons

That’s interesting as clan doesn’t carry that feeling or charge to it and is used in Scotland in particular in the UK in a more positive way. The word is of course like all others and meaning is mutable depending on where it is been used. I suspect the families in those histories were often prominent in your country or nobility or similarly important. Referencing them as clans rather than houses may have been a way to diminish that. For a native English reader the term house when applied to a family will instantly make them think of a noble or royal family. Given many colonial regimes were keen to push out or minimize the role of pre-existing royalty or high ranking members of the social hierarchy that was there before them it is not surprising they would avoid the word though and substitute clan.

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See this as well Salibi:-

Although in reality the concept of Clan structure is more historical than contemporary in Ireland.

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Quhat wickit wyrd hes wrocht our wo?

That was more or less what I was referencing yes. I had to look up where you were getting that bit of Scots from though. It says it comes from Robert Charteris.

I plan to give it back to him, so it can be re-inserted in PHILOTUS.

I’ve always felt a bit Pictish, myself.

‘A Wee Free Man’ perchance? Not as highbrow a literary reference as GKC’s mind you.

No one’s brow is higher than GKC’s.

P.S. re ‘a wee free man,’ no, I had to look that up; I’m not up on Terry Pratchett as he never got much recognition here. I think I first heard about him from you, actually!

One is staggered!

Perhaps the US publishers found him too British?

He’s very popular in Russia. My mother-in-law has read quite a bit of him. He appeals to the Russian mind. I can see him not doing so well in the US, some of his stuff is very British centric in the jokes and traditions it references. The Russians have a big liking for a lot of British TV and literature, although they do sometimes have slightly romantic ideas about the UK. But Pratchett’s kind of ‘least worst’ philosophy or views he often puts forth (although simplifying it that way does the man a disfavour) appeal to lots of people.

I suppose so. There is a market of some sort for British humour, though, isn’t there? Monty
Python, for instance, seems to have found an audience of some sort, and that I’d have thought, was very British. Taste is a complicated thing, though, and success or failure at comedy is as much a matter of chance as anything.

I think Python is probably something Americans of an older generation like, it’s less well known nowadays even younger British people and is becoming a dated cultural artifact.

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You could say the same thing for something like Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy which is and was wildly popular, so yes, my theory is somewhat inconsistent at best. Since I haven’t really read any Pratchett I can’t say how or in what way it’s more British than say Neil Gaiman (who is wildly popular over here).

Monty Python is or was popular here; I don’t know if it was ever broadcast on commercial television - I know I first saw it on PBS which is non-commercial, has an established tradition of Anglophilic audiences and smaller audiences in general.

I should hope so by now! Although I still find the Marx Brothers funny even though they are a dated cultural artefact (and, no doubt, much too American).

Yes, Douglas Adams is a not dissimilar writer. Incidentally you no doubt know of the pretty good dramatised version of Gaiman and Pratchett’s collaboration Good Omens, which was released last year on Amazon and is showing currently on BBC.

Yes I watched most of it and even started reading the book. But I have to say it was more out of a sense of duty than compulsion. I’ve thought about giving it another try. (I did read Coraline recently and thought it was pretty good.)

The dedication to GOOD OMENS always makes me smile.

Speaking of M. Python, I think the writer is doing what most writers on all things English who appeal to certain Americans do. I.e. the past is all oxford, tea and the shire. Somehow it’s never the peasants digging in the dirt and perpetual war.

It was forbidden to speak Welsh in school in my grandparents’ day, and a child would be punished for doing so. Welsh was the first language of both my paternal and maternal grandparents when they were children. However, Wenglish was the dominant language of my parents – and their siblings – and, of course, of my own generation. Wenglish is the name given to the dialect of the South Wales Valleys; possessing a grammar and vocabulary of its own. There are said to be twice as many Wenglish speakers as Welsh speakers, although folk outside of the Valleys consider it to be something of a joke – bad English, spoken with a strong Welsh accent!

Some examples:

‘You don’t have no onions, do yew?’ – ‘Have you any onions?

‘E’ve made a big cawlach of it.’ – ‘He’s made a complete mess of it.’

‘Cera o ‘ma!’ – ‘Come off it!’ (Stop messing about).

‘It’s over there by yer’ – ‘That (thing) you wanted is close by.’

‘I’ll be back in a minute now’ – ‘I won’t be long.’

‘’ware teg, mun’ – ‘Play fair!’

‘IfewdodowatIdodoan’ewdodoitrightew’lbealrightright?’ – ‘Do exactly as I’ve shown you, and everything will be fine. Do you understand?’

By the way: The word Niblo is not a proper noun. It is applied to the youngest (or only) male member of the family. As in: 'Keep an eye on Niblo while I do nip out to the bakers, will ‘ew? I’ll be back in a minute now.’


Come see the violence inherent in the system. And the upper class twit of the year.

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