Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Does anyone fancy making programmes on traditional music for http://www.radiobritfolk.co.uk?

We (a group of pro folkies and broadcasters, who are doing this for the music not the money) aim to represent all the folk genres of these ‘Atlantic’ islands (yes I know about the ‘Brit’ bit, but that IS their name)!

Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Nurthumberland - etc, etc…

We need Main Shows featuring well-known and lesser-known players, Documentaries on specific traditions, instruments, players or techniques, and play-along Workshops - from beginner to advanced - on every instrument!

We urgently need members (members get access the special features - it’s free to listen), we need gig listings, album tracks on our ‘payola’ shop-window ‘Billboard’ and ideas and support in general.

Browse the site (specially the FAQs) and all will become clear.

Anyone fancy a bit of broadcasting?

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Hi Tom,

I know you’ve addressed this already, but don’t think the name will really take off here in Ireland anyhow. Any chance of a name re-think? Might be better for the long-haul for Irish artists. Just seems to me that the name could be cutting a potential 75% market of artists, but then again I could have you wrong, the material you may wish to promote may be mostly from England exclusively. Hope this does not offend, as it’s not supposed to sound political, but more from a common sense perspective. We have toured a lot and England and have found organisers of festivals etc to be very sensitive to such issuses, sometimes even over-sensitve… on one occasion we were doing a festival (I honestly can’t remember where in England) which happened to be in a sports hall. There was a basketball backboard and ring behind us (where the stage was) and I suppose to take the bad look of the bare basketball backboard, someone probably innocently put a union jack over the backboard, to cover it. The organiser of the festival must have caught the eye of someone in one of the bands from Ireland staring at the flag, and the organiser went completely mental, roaring in anger to "get that bloody flag taken down!" and apologised the whole way through the festival to us.

I really have no idea what to suggest name-wise as an alternative to your existing name to the radio station (I take it that it’s new?). Hope all goes well with it, and that would be my suggestion anyhow. Good luck!

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

A very fair (and moot) point!

Yes the site’s new, but the name’s been around for years.

The radio project grew out of a Yahoo group called Britfolk, to which about 150 touring folkies from all these island nations belong. We did have a long ‘discussion’ about the name, but the majority felt that as these are still called the ‘British Isles’, for better or worse…

The parent organisation is called folkWISE, which stands for Wales, Ireland (the whole island) Scotland and England - and we absolutley DON’T want only to feature English music - that would defeat the whole point of the exercise.

We do have a representative from each country on our Exec board to try to ensure a good balance - but we need more ‘Celtic’ (sorry, I’m trying to be brief!) in these early days. Hence my post.

Regardless of political feelings, which obviously we respect, we hope people will see the benefits, to all our various traditions, of pulling the strands together this way.

We’ve all influenced (and still influence) eachother’s music. Why not let the rest of the world hear what all that history has created?

Tom

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I think the name is an imitation of BritArt and I suspect it’s too late for the organisers to change it. I’m pretty sure that Republican sympathies were way down their list of considerations when trying to find a name that informed people that the music was from the British Isles. ‘These islands’ are known to most people by this name and I think any alternatives would send them looking for their atlases and having no success with most of them.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Sorry, I’m not very keen on the name either and I feel Scottish musicians and singers may not find it relevant either. I’m not offended by the term "Brit" but it doesn’t really mean that much. It’s the sort of thing you’ll hear media commentators use during sporting events; eg if an English sports player is winning, he/she is still English but becomes British if things aren’t going quite so well. However, if a Scotsman/woman is winning, they are British—as with that chap Murray at Wimbledon— but revert to being Scots or Welsh etc if they are losing! 😉

I know that the vast majority of English people don’t bear any malice towards the Scots, Welsh, or Irish at all and I’m sure that we’re just over sensitive about such things. As I say, the name "Brit" is pretty harmless as far as I’m concerned, though it doesn’t convey very much. Unfortunately, it offends many others.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Bother.

I was hoping people might be interested in a web radio station playing good music with informed commentary, which would help to fill the void kindly provided by the BBC (What did that first B stand for, again?)

If people think the name is more important than the content then the project probably deserves to fail.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Tom,
I will listen, especially as I enjoy all foms of traditional (and otherwise) music to a greater or lesser extent and not just Irish music. However, I’m also well that a lot people can be very parochial about these things—and I’m not specifically referring to The Irish here but The Scots, Welsh, Manx, even Geordies and people from different regions of England. I’m just trying to see things from their point of view.

Anyway, I will check out the station and might even make the odd contribution. I even used to be a hospital radio presenter. Good luck with the project. I don’t the name will cause the station to fail but many people might see it as having a more English appeal.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

It seems sad that such a potentially great idea only has to stick it’s head above the parapets and people are saying it won’t work because of 4 letters in the name.
Unfortunately those letters carry a lot of historical baggage, like it or not. It’s not just a matter of perceived geographical inaccuracy, like it being called ‘YorkshireFolk’ and people in London not seeing the relevance to them, though that is bad enough. Imagine it being called ‘Eirefolk’ - it would seem an odd name for a station equally featuring Scottish, Northumberland, Welsh, Cornish traditional music, wouldn’t it? Britfolk as a banner smacks a little of cultural imperialism.
Sorry
Mark

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I find it great to have this new internet radio programme. At the moment I’m listening to Jez Lowe’s music of the north-east and enjoying it.
My 2 cents as a ‘continental’: yes, the name could be a drawback but I can’t think of a better one to express that it’s all about music from every corner of the Bristish (yes ,still) Isles.
Seen from the middle of Europe you could call it the North- Western Isles. I’m afraid it wouldn’t make sense to you , though.
Keep up the good work ,Tom.

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Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

As an Irish man I really don’t care about the name. The quality of Vicki Swan’s short programme on Scottish Small Pipes was really well presented.

Keep up the good work.

By the way, the worlds greatest website has "British" in it’s name - who cares, well done BBC too!!

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Yes, you should probably ignore the above by me. I was brought up to loathe anything that smacks of British patriotism, so I probably am too twisted to be objective.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I’ve been living in Australia for nearly 20 years but I thought the term "British Isles" had already died a death back then. I can’t believe the term is still being used with any degree of relevance apart from an acknowledgement of the temporary occupation by a foreign power. I hasten to add that those who know me would hardly consider me a raging nationalist but I do value accuracy in words.
Having said all that I would certainly acknowledge that the BBC has done a lot for Irish Trad Music over the years and deserves praise for it’s efforts.

Now I feel better I’ll just step down off my soap box 🙂

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

If the project deserves to fail, it will no doubt fail.

But it could hardly fail simply because of the name ,
rather from lack of content,
from lack of support,
perhaps because of the name.

MTC"s
WB

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I must say I’m not too keen on the name either, but I did listen to the program on mandolin and it was great…I even learned a tune. So the content is worth having.
The trouble with the word "Brit" is all it’s historic associations. I’m not a nationalist at all but I’m not comfortable with it. The fact that it has come up so strongly in this discussion really ought to be listened to if you want the project to be a success. If you’re trying to attract people to the site, a name which puts them off won’t help. The project is a fantastic idea, and you’re really to be commended for starting it up, but names are important. In the advertising world, millions of pounds are spent in coming up with the right brand name for products, so people are attracted to them by the name. This is what your project’s name should do too.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I hear what you’re saying. I’m alerting the team to this discussion. It’s a trial site - and there could always be a decision to rebrand. It would be a group decision again.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I’m going to take it a step further and be even more blunt. If it keeps the name it’ll fail. There you go, I’ve said it. Never been one to mince my words, you know that 🙂

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I’ll qualify that and say "fail" in terms of what it was supposedly set up to be.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I’ll declare a vested interest before we start. I’m one of the ten directors of FolkWISE - all of us working folk musicians and in it for the music, not the money. Alongside Tom Bliss and super-programmer Phil Snell and several other people who came together because of FolkWISE’s Britfolk e-mail list, I’ve been putting a lot of (unpaid) work in to making Radio Britfolk a brilliant platform for the music of these few small islands, and now…

I can’t believe what I’m hearing here. Let’s think GLOBALLY. Internet radio is international. From just about everywhere else in the world, except from inside a few of your heads, Radio Britfolk describes what we do and where we come from _perfectly_. If any of you decide not to listen and contribute programmes because of its name, then that’s your loss, but Radio Britfolk will still continue to do what it set out to do in the first place and that’s promote the music of Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England to the whole world.

As Tom has pointed out, Radio Britfolk’s parent organisation is FolkWISE (Wales Ireland, Scotland. England) and we try to eliminate all prejudice from our thinking. That includes prejudice against the English as well. At the time of the Highland Clearances, my great-grandparents were sweating and dying down Yorkshire coalmines. We Engish didn’t always have it that great, you know.

Those of you who insist on proliferating political baggage should put your energy where your e-mail is and produce us some great radio from a Scottish, Irish, Welsh (and English) point of view, not to mention the People’s Republic of Yorkshire.

Please think generously, be big hearted and open minded. We’ve done all we can to make this a success, now it’s up to you. Please judge the content and not the name. Think globally not locally.

Jacey Bedford.
Artisan
FolkWISE
Radio Britfolk
People’s Republic of Yorkshire (I wish.)

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Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I don’t suppose you could call it Radio FolkWISE then? That would be a great name, and everyone would be happy (FolkWISE has a nice ring to it)!
Was a time when the Folk music movement was proud of it’s ‘political baggage’ Now everything is smiley happy shiny in Blair’s brand new Brit World - with Brit Art, Cool Britannia ad nauseum.
You can’t be surprised that some of us old farts don’t like that sort of name!
I think what you are doing is fantastic. I want to be big hearted and open minded. But I also want to be honest, and personally I wanted to help by pointing out that I thought that the name would raise barriers. I think some of the posts above show that that is correct. You people from the People’s Republic of Yorkshire claim to believe in plain-speaking, so please don’t complain when we speak our minds. This website is a very small pond, and I don’t think that comments on here are going to influence the success of your enterprise in any way(!)
All the best
Mark

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Where does that leave Simon Scardanelli or myself? Should we go for a Euro-name then? 🙂 Naah, the thing that binds us is that we make music in and of this geography, irrespective of whatever influences we each carry. As such, the term "BritFolk" is the simplest one that can represent this geography and body of music, in the world conscience.

Note that I said "geography" and not "nation", "country" or anything that represents man’s imposition of rules and limits on natural domain. At the end of the day, I am not British either. So what.

Greekily yours
Zorba’s Little Brother

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

You know Simon Scardanelli, George?
I was playing Hobohemia in the car yesterday - It’s a small world.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

> "be big hearted and open minded"…

Personally, I was being "big hearted", "open minded" BUT most importantly realistic, to take the time to address this issue in the first place, to ensure your radio project would reach it’s full potential and not be doomed to failure as some people have put it. I was taking an opportunity to suggest that it may be feasable to buy a new domain name for a mere $9 (US dollars), which works out as approximately £5.14 (pounds sterling), and the domain name can be very easily re-directed to your existing server space by "super-programmer Phil Snell".

> "I can’t believe what I’m hearing here. Let’s think GLOBALLY. Internet radio is international. From just about everywhere else in the world, except from inside a few of your heads, Radio Britfolk describes what we do and where we come from _perfectly_."

I wouldn’t agree that "Radio Britfolk describes what we do and where we come from _perfectly_" if you are including Wales, Scotland, Ireland etc in this equation, according to the reactions of some of the people on this small page alone: "Sorry, I’m not very keen on the name either and I feel Scottish musicians and singers may not find it relevant either. I’m not offended by the term "Brit" but it doesn’t really mean that much… I know that the vast majority of English people don’t bear any malice towards the Scots, Welsh, or Irish at all and I’m sure that we’re just over sensitive about such things. As I say, the name "Brit" is pretty harmless as far as I’m concerned, though it doesn’t convey very much. Unfortunately, it offends many others." - JohnJ

"…Imagine it being called ‘Eirefolk’ - it would seem an odd name for a station equally featuring Scottish, Northumberland, Welsh, Cornish traditional music, wouldn’t it? Britfolk as a banner smacks a little of cultural imperialism. Sorry…" - Ottery

This is simple market research.

I’m not trying to stir up any kind of any anti-British sentiment here whatsoever, but simply pointing out a fact that seems to have been over-looked for the overall success of your project. Indeed why not have "Radio FolkWISE" as a name?

The facts that I was simply trying to point out are as "Norman Davies, The Isles: A History (Palgrave/Macmillan, 1999) ISBN 033376370X" put it:

Today the term ‘British’ is usually used to describe people of things belonging to either Great Britain or the United Kingdom. However the whole island of Ireland, the ‘Isle of Man’, ‘Guernsey’ and ‘Jersey’ are still commonly included in the ‘British Isles’, despite the fact that the greater part of Ireland has, since 1922, been independent of the UK as the ‘Republic of Ireland’, and that the ‘Isle of Man’, ‘Guernsey’ and ‘Jersey’ are not a part of UK but ‘crown dependencies’.

Many Irish people, as well as some ‘Scottish’, ‘Welsh’ and ‘Cornish’ nationalists, find the term British Isles proprietorial and unacceptable as being inconsistent with the modern meaning of the word British. However, ‘Unionists’ in ‘Northern Ireland’ attach great importance to their ‘British’ identity.

Hostility to the term British Isles has often been caused by its misinterpretation; this was exemplified by an embarrassing and controversial ‘faux pas’ by the then American First Lady Nancy Reagan during an Irish visit. The confusion caused by the term was also highlighted during a stop-over visit to the Republic of Ireland by then Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, when he indicated that he presumed Ireland’s head of state was Queen Elizabeth II, given that she was the British Queen and his officials said that Ireland was a part of the British Isles.

The term British Isles is no longer used in Irish state documents, has been abandoned in schoolbooks in the Republic of Ireland and is being phased out of textbooks. Its usage is also decreasing in official British state documents, out of sensitivity to the concerns of some Irish, Scottish and Welsh people and the evolving geo-political relationships.

Many have suggested replacements for the term British Isles but none has yet won universal acceptance. Sometimes, an ambiguous phrase such as "these Isles" or "the Isles" is used, thus utilising the same logic used when referring to the Persian Gulf as the "Gulf". In cases where what is being referred to is the two largest islands, the term "Great Britain and Ireland" can be used.

In the context of the Northern Ireland peace process the term ‘Islands of the North Atlantic’ (IONA), a term initially created by former Conservative Party MP Sir John Biggs-Davison, has been used as a neutral term to describe the ‘British Isles’.

A more geographically accurate and slightly less ambiguous phrase, "North-Western Europe", is starting to find favour, especially in Ireland. The phrase "North European Archipelago" is somewhat whimsical, but even more accurate. The phrase "Great Britain, Ireland, and surrounding islands", is also occasionally used, but lacks brevity.

The term British Islands is not a potential alternative; this is an official term used for the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies, i.e. all of the isles except the Republic of Ireland.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Put it this way. Suppose you had called it RadioBritSongs.

A few closed-minds would undoubtedly cry out "You’re cutting out a big part of your audience - the people who are primarily interested in tunes! They’ll think this is just singers!"

But (you’ll say) "songs" is a generic term that *most* people in the world would use to include what you are calling "tunes." If some narrow-minded purists insist on missing out on a great show with lots of dance music, well, that’s just their tough luck. They really, really should be more open-minded about it all.

So there.

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Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Grego,

You have entirely missed the point of this… "RadioBritSongs" would have the same problems as "RadioBritfolk"… maybe you should try actually reading what has been written?

and you sign of: "So there"… what age are you?

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

What age are you all. Only someone with a massive post colonnial inferiority complex could object to the name "Britfolk".

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

BB, the name doesn’t really bother *me* that much, as I’ve said. I only pointed out a few of the reasons why it could (and will) be a problem for others.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

BB, we’re older than you(!)

And Colonial is spelt Colonial
See me after class!

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

And Grego,
what the f*ck are you wittering on about?

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Sad, Ottery, very, very sad.

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And I hope you can spell as well in Irish as I can in my second language, namely English.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Jacey, you’re telling us to think globally and get with the times, but we are. British Isles as a term went out with ABBA. It sounds dated, condescending and exclusive. It makes a political statement to a lot of people whether you like it or not, that’s a simple fact we’re telling you, and you’re choosing to ignore it and argue the point. Your point being what? That you don’t believe us that people are going to be offended by it? That’s pretty stupid because we ourselves have proved that in our posts here. Open your eyes and ears! Making a political statement is the last thing you want to be doing if your goals are all-encompassing and inclusive as you say they are. Now "Radio FolkWISE" is an excellent name, and very clever in its Wales, Ireland, Scotland England inclusiveness. It’s also very catchy. If you have any sense at all you’ll start listening to your own market research and go with that. Radio that doesn’t listen to its own listeners is doomed to fail. Only trying to help. Take it as you wish…

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

BTW the way you people above are flaming each other and bickering like little kids is very un-session.org. Stop it now.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Hmmm.

RadioBritSongs. I was trying to make an analogy to show that it would indeed be the very same thing as RadioBritFolk.

"So there" was an attempt at humor.

Neither worked.

Oh well.

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… but Murrough and Ottery: Thanks for the feedback!

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Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Sorry BBliss and Grego,
I’d got taken by the drink!
Even the few Irish phrases I know, I cannot spell correctly.
Maybe I do have ‘a massive post colonial inferiority complex’.
I still don’t like BritFolk, BritArt, or even BritVic 😉
I don’t think it would be the end of the world if the above enterprise was called RadioBritfolk, and I’m certainly not saying I wouldn’t have anything to do with it if it was. I’m just saying I don’t like the name. I am entitled to do so.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Um, er, dependencies……?
According to my history books, back in 1066 we, the Normans, conquered you, the Anglo-Saxons.
Thus we look forward and regard the US as a colony of our colony….of course I have the sensitivity not to bring this up with my New Yorker partner too often….
This is what they call cultural baggage, certainly.
I go along with any way of trying to loose the "Brit" label, because of the inferences it carries around. The WelshIrishScotsEnglish "WISE" label seems so much better - "I’d rathet be a wise-arse than a brit".

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Pete,

Last I heard Guernsey was conquered by the Germans and then by the British. Wasn’t there something about Pimlico?

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

As an Irish person, who, like every other Irish person I know, does not like to be mixed up with the British (although I do have very many English and Scottish friends, and a few Welsh acquaintances with whom I get on very well indeed), I don’t like the name. In fact, I feel myself getting worked up, just reading the thread. And I wouldn’t consider myself a nationalist.

You might not see it as an issue, but the reality is that we are brought up to feel rebellious at the term "British". In fact, an English friend of mine, with Scottish parents, would react in exactly the same way. So it’s easy to talk about copping on and getting over it, but it’s not so easy to just drop 25 years of conditioning, no matter how much you like the music that’s being played.

I fully agree with those who are suggesting just using the Folkwise tag - it’s a great name. Maybe we are all just suffering with post-colonial inferiority complex. But there you have it.

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Phew… Must calm myself down…

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

I got frequently annoyed by Irish people persistently calling me American ("loik, you live in *North America*! That makes you American, literally speaking, you know…")

I mean, really, really annoyed. I can totally understand why people would resist being lumped together under a label that describes something other than what they are.

Maybe I’m abnormal, but I always thought the term "brit" referred to only to people from England. Like the way the term "Brit pop" refers only to pop music from England.

All that aside, the content of your program is what will draw listeners, regardless of how silly or inappropriate the name of the program is (as evidenced by CKUA’s Andy Donnelly, whose fantastic show is a raging success despite his persistent labelling of ballads as "Wee Celtic Cuddles"). It sounds like your hearts are in the right place and I’m sure, being musicians, you have impeccable taste. Your show, if it’s good, will not fail to draw in listeners.

Unfortunately, it looks like your efforts to draw contributors from corners of the "North Western Archipelago" that do not identify with the term "Brit" might fail, which would be a shame, because a lot of brilliant music comes out of those corners.

Speaking of which, are you interested in some Quebecois or East Coast Canadian music? Technically, we ARE part of the British empire so I can’t very well bitch about the name (although the Quebecois might threaten to split off again…)

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Oops, that should read "North European Archipelago"

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"British Isles as a term went out with ABBA"

ABBA was Swedish, what has that got to do with this?
I can’t believe how much bitching has been going on here! Listen to yourselves guys! Or better still, just listen to the stupid station and then complain about the program (or praise it). Or get off your backsides and make one yourselves!

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

Anna, is it really you? The blonde one? Which one were you married to again? I was in love with you when I was a kid. Ahhh, can I have your autograph? Mail me!

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"Maybe I’m abnormal, but I always thought the term "brit" referred to only to people from England. Like the way the term "Brit pop" refers only to pop music from England".

Kerri, unfortunately you’re not abnormal. Like you, many people aren’t aware of what the term "brit" means, and are too lazy to look it up. :Eye roll:

See Anna, I’ll give you bitching 🙂 You still going to mail me?

Re: Trad tunes on RadioBritfolk?

And Kerri, can’t you forgive us for thinking you’re American. You don’t even say "eh" all the time, so how are we supposed to know 😉

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"Technically, we ARE part of the British Empire"

I hadn’t realised that Canada was part of the British Empire. Nor Australia! Yes, you have the same Queen (And are part of The Commonwealth—it’s not even called The British Commonwealth anymore) but I always thought we’d given you all our independence years ago. 😉

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Hey JohnJ you’re spelling it wrong eh - it’s "Canadia", not "Canada" eh 🙂

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All your countries are belong to us, LOL 😀

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Just checked out the site, and it seems good, fair play. When the podcast comes out I’ll definitely subscribe to it - not a big fan of having to keep a browser open to listen to a radio station.

I still wish you’d consider changing the name - whether or not you’re willing to acknowledge it, with that name you’re excluding many who would listen to it otherwise, and many who would contribute otherwise. If you see "Britfolk" you don’t think "Irish trad", even if you haven’t been through the history courses of the Irish education system.

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Hm - I just took the time to look it up - it seems we’re all getting worked up over nothing:

brit also britt ( P ) Pronunciation Key (brt)
n.
1. The young of herring and similar fish.
2. Minute marine organisms, such as crustaceans of the genus Calanus, that are a major source of food for right whales.

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The politician’s idea of calling our habitation the "Islands Of The North Atlantic" made me smirk. When I did the Vikings in archaeology, this meant, besides Orkney and Shetland, Iceland and the Faeroes: oh, and Greenland. I wonder if their people have been asked if they want to be co-opted. And of course, the Atlantic doesn’t wash the shores of Wales or England bar Cornwall, technically speaking.
Should you be irritated by the above pedantry, be prepared to be more irritated by a possible solution to the name problem. As Prince renamed himself TAFKAP (The Artist Formerly Known As Prince), the British Isles could be renamed TIFKAB (The Isles Formerly Known As British).