British identity and English (only?)

Aurolyn Luykx aurolynluykx at
Thu Sep 22 16:21:25 UTC 2005

As if having everyone speak English would ensure that
all Britishers share "certain codes of manners"! I
guess this guy has never seen John Gumperz's film
"Crosstalk" (which, as far as I know is out of print.
Anyone know where I can get it?).

--- Ronald Kephart <rkephart at> wrote:

> At 10:12 AM +0100 9/22/05, Anthea Fraser Gupta
> wrote:
> >...Later in same programme, Dr Jeevan Singh Deol 
> >(scholar of Sikh history) is interviewed:
> >
> >Jeevan Singh Deol: "In the neighbourhood where I 
> >live [Kings Cross, in London] young Bangladeshi 
> >kids who've grown up in this country walk around 
> >on the streets speaking among themselves 
> >entirely in Bengali which is not the kind of 
> >situation I would have seen when I was growing 
> >up. Public discourse was in English."
> >James Naughtie: "Do you think it should be in
> English"
> >Jeevan Singh Dial: "I think it should be."
> The response I always wish I could give when I 
> read or hear an exchange like this goes something 
> like:
> "Well, gee, and when *your* English (±) speaking 
> ancestors showed up in England back in the 700s, 
> the people walking around on the streets were 
> speaking among themselves in some form of Gaelic! 
> I wonder what happened to them... Oh wait, your 
> ancestors drove them to the fringes of the 
> British Isles, and even unto Brittany, and then 
> insulted some of them by naming their fringe 
> territory Wales, from Old English for 
> 'foreigners'. Stuff happens."
> Ron

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