I struggle every day to not be pedantic. I'm becoming more accepting of really bad English, mainly thanks to a recent Stephen Fry Podgram where the T'Internet Messiah Himself admitted he too struggled with language pedantism and needed to get over it. But there is one subject on which I cannot stop myself correcting "mistakes": Britain.
I know, the United Kingdom has only been around a couple of hundred years and is very likely not to last another decade. I am slowly accepting this. But even so I cannot stand people referring to British monarchs as "English". It drives me to distraction. Call them wastes of space. Call them German. But please don't suggest Queen Victoria was "Queen of England". Please do not even think that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, is "Queen of England". It's just wrong. I'm not being political here, although as a unionist I'm sure you know where I fall in a Britain vs. England political argument. But calling Her Queen of England is not correct. It is not true. It might make sense to some people, but I've always been more a "de jure" person rather than "de facto".
So you can imagine my disgust when my brother showed me some chocolates Mum had bought him when she went to Hampton Court Palace this week. No, I wasn't jealous of the chocolates (he was giving them to me.. mmm...) but instead was shocked by the fact the chocolates were themed on the "Kings and Queens of England". Included among the Stuart and Tudor monarchs (who I will accept had the titles "of England") were Queen Victoria, King George III and King George IV. They are British monarchs. These chocolates had educational "tidbits" on the back and I just thought, how can they be educational when they are historically wrong?
So I sent the House of Dorchester a message explaining that it was wrong. And I feel bad about it. No, not about pointing out their obvious mistake (made no doubt by some poor soul who doesn't understand how disrespectful to the rest of the British population it is to suddenly steal Queen Victoria for England alone). But instead I worry about what that makes me. I find everyone else is so much less dogmatic and pedantic than I am about history and our monarchy. I wish I could be so flexible with the truth. I wish I could not be a pedant but embrace the St. Georges flag (note he never killed a dragon and he never came here so exactly what the heck is this Christian martyr doing as our patron Saint???) and just enjoy myself. Instead I find myself watching everyone else embracing their Englishness and feeling ever more sickened with it all.
I'm just going to have to accept that whilst I'll never consider myself English, the cause of being British is lost. Maybe I can set up a musuem. Where the chocolates have British monarchs and English monarchs and even, imagine, Scottish monarchs. That would be a hell of a lot of more educational.
And Dear "Foreign" Constant Reader do me a favour. Next time you here someone talking about the Queen of England (and not refering to Queen Anne or someone earlier) correct them. Just do it for me. Please. And I'll make sure people over here know Sydney is not the capital of Australia, that the United States of America is not full of idiots and that Holland is just a small part of the Netherlands.
This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist