Greatest British contribution to the world ?

What is/are Britain's greatest contribution(s) to the world?

  • The English language

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Universities (Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College...)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Scientists & philosophers (Bacon, Locke, Newton, Darwin, Russell...)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Mechanical inventions (railway, gas turbine, jet engine, automobile, etc.)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • The agricultural & industrial revolutions

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Economics (mercantilism, free trade, capitalism, liberalism)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Parliamentary monarchy

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Games (snooker, croquet, bridge, whist...)

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Sports (tennis, badminton, cricket, golf, rugby, boxing...)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Children stories (Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, Harry Potter...)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Crime fictions (Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes...)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Literature & Poetry (Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte's, Kipling, Dickens, Elliot...)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Politicians (Walpole, Disraeli, Gladstone, Churchill, Thatcher, Blair...)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Teas, jams and biscuits

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Negative & colour photography

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Architectural styles (Norman, Tudor, Georgian, Regency, Victorian...)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fashion (Burberry, Dunhill, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, FCUK)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Luxury cars (Roll Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Lotus, Aston Martin)

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Pop music (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Robbie Williams, All Saints...)

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • The Commonwealth of Nations

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters
    5
Definitely the humour! It is possibly the best thing about the British, the ability to laugh at themselves.
 
BBC, broadcasting to 100 countries around the world. It was only source of reliable information in many countries under regimes, or so poor that didn't have their own radio or tv station.
 
And not just those living under dodgy regimes. The BBC World Service was the only link to the outside world for anyone living in remote places and communities. It is not quite so significant now with satelite access virtually everywhere, but not so long ago it was the only way of hearing any news for a great many.
 
Anglicanism is just another form of Catholicism

Agreed.

HOBNOBS I agree!!! YUMMY!! One can get addicted to them.....

Oh god how I hate hobnobs. :rolleyes:

as tempting as it is to say the English language, it is not properly a British contribution. It's as much an imposition of the Anglo-Saxons and Normans on the native British. It's kind of an anti-British contribution.

Um, I presumed people were talking about modern "British" peoples here, not the extinct ethnicity. :useless:

Ah but is it something unique about the English language, or is it that it’s so widely spoken because of what the British did?

After all, any language in which a persons nose runs but his feet smell can’t be all that great!

It's flexible. It's obvious you're subtly advocating Welsh here by the way.

Don't forget the Rover

Rovers were awful, I didn't mourn their death. MGs were better, but not by much. Rover's have a bad image, they're only bought by old people and pakistanis in England itself.

Land Rover, Jaguar, Bentley and Aston Martin are all more worthy of praise, and the rebadged Opals - Vauxhall.

I heard they stole that idea from a territory that they conquered. They should have credit for promoting it, but I don't think they get credit for inventing it.

No, I believe it was stolen from China actually, the plants were smuggled out since the Chinese tried to keep them for themselves. They were then grown in India and a trade established.
That's basically what happened with rubber in Brazil - it was monopolised by them and the British broke the monopoly by smuggling the plant out and planting it in Malaya, indirectly killing the Brazilian economy at the time.

English? I'm surprised to see English getting so many votes. It's not an easy second language to learn from what I understand. It has lots of inconsistencies and exceptions. Consider the time it takes french high schoolers to learn different languages to the same standard of proficiency:
2000 hours studying German
1500 hours studying English
1000 hours studying Italian
150 hours studying Esperanto
English didn't do too well in that study.

What do you expect? German and English are Germanic, those other two are Romanic - of course the last two will be easier! :confused:
 
Certainly not the women, British and irish women are by far the least attractive (and also fattest) in europe (average-wise). British men arent any better either.
 
What do you expect? German and English are Germanic, those other two are Romanic - of course the last two will be easier! :confused:

English is by far the least germanic of the germanic languages, I would put it in borderline category just like french (bordierline latin/germanic slighty leaning towards latin) and romanian (borderline latin/slavic, slighty leaning towards latin). When listening english language at first I can recognize a lot of similar phonetic to french, Which I dont get slighty at all when I listen scandinavian languages, dutch or german.

And about the Brits Behaving like other germanic people...

Certainly British(including the english) and also the Irish are quite alien culturally in many ways compared to continental europeans and scandinavians, they also dont have the typical germanic aurea which is peaceful and relaxed in terms of sexuality, brits always like to appear aggresive/threatening (even from highschool ages) and they are way more agressive sexually speaking, they flirt a lot compared to real germanics, and you see how there is accepted for men to pay the bills, there is still a lot of gender disparity where the men is supposed to hunt women, I dont see german/dutch/scandinavian men acting that way, they dont hunt women in that way, and most men would refuse to pay the bills for women, neither those women would like to feel lower than men accepting that. Also british men like to show who is more agressive and more manly when they are with their counterparts, which is frowned upon in germanic societies where there is not social pressure to show/prove how masculine you are. Also we could start about how many brits are suffering from social-class inferiority complex, which reminds me a lot how the french are, which in real germanic countries is practically absent. Many brits care a lot to confirm that they belong to certain social class ( be it middle-class, upper-middle class, working class, etc).
 
English is by far the least germanic of the germanic languages, I would put it in borderline category just like french (bordierline latin/germanic slighty leaning towards latin) and romanian (borderline latin/slavic, slighty leaning towards latin). When listening english language at first I can recognize a lot of similar phonetic to french, Which I dont get slighty at all when I listen scandinavian languages, dutch or german.

This is obvious to me when I look at French or Italian too, but most of the basic words are still Germanic. I once set myself the task of seeing if I could write a paragraph using only the Romance (French, Latin, etc..) words in English. It failed because basic vocabulary such as "and" and "the" are still Germanic.
There's a group of amateur linguists who've attempted to replace all non-Germanic words in English, they call it "Anglic". It probably wouldn't be too hard to do the opposite with English, to replace all non-Romance vocabulary whilst borrowing a few things from Norman French to fill in the gaps in the basic core vocabulary.

Certainly British(including the english) and also the Irish are quite alien culturally in many ways compared to continental europeans and scandinavians, they also dont have the typical germanic aurea which is peaceful and relaxed in terms of sexuality,

That's largely due to the influence of the Puritans, English Civil War and Victorian ideals about morality. Similar ideals would have existed in Europe once but Britain is just more conservative.
Taboos are breaking down, but when debating whether the Brits are like other Germanics, I don't really think sex is relevant.

brits always like to appear aggresive/threatening (even from highschool ages) and they are way more agressive sexually speaking, they flirt a lot compared to real germanics, and you see how there is accepted for men to pay the bills, there is still a lot of gender disparity where the men is supposed to hunt women, I dont see german/dutch/scandinavian men acting that way, they dont hunt women in that way, and most men would refuse to pay the bills for women, neither those women would like to feel lower than men accepting that.

We're in a position where women ask for equal rights and yet expect such things whether they are contradictory or not. Britain is probably more culturally conservative as I said.

Also british men like to show who is more agressive and more manly when they are with their counterparts, which is frowned upon in germanic societies where there is not social pressure to show/prove how masculine you are.

I don't tend to notice much. I think there's a fear of becoming effeminate, men and women still think and act differently on the whole no matter how equal they are. This stems from the very nature of the genders and some differences are a positive thing.

Also we could start about how many brits are suffering from social-class inferiority complex, which reminds me a lot how the french are, which in real germanic countries is practically absent. Many brits care a lot to confirm that they belong to certain social class ( be it middle-class, upper-middle class, working class, etc).

Class exists but is not as strong as it once was. I think the Normans brought class to Britain, you have to remember that England has rarely witnessed the sharp changes seen in Europe. Here for example, we had a revolution a long time before the French - the English Civil War. The outcome was dramatic and stricter values were imposed by the Puritans. Then it was reversed, the monarchy was restored and the brief republic ended. The French revolution on the other hand had a much great impact.



The whole debate as to whether we're more similar to French or Germans, Romanics or Germanics has been done many times before and ultimately ends with a result biased towards the particular feelings of the individual person.
Personally I see France, Belgium and obviously Ireland and the Anglosphere as most similar to us. The Germans and Dutch don't feel as close as those others but this may just be my perception. Within Belgium I'm more drawn to Walonia, but that's just my own views.
 
The whole debate as to whether we're more similar to French or Germans, Romanics or Germanics has been done many times before and ultimately ends with a result biased towards the particular feelings of the individual person.
Personally I see France, Belgium and obviously Ireland and the Anglosphere as most similar to us. The Germans and Dutch don't feel as close as those others but this may just be my perception. Within Belgium I'm more drawn to Walonia, but that's just my own views.

I do agree, I put Northern French people ( the fraction above paris) and Belgian wallons as the closest matches to British people. I'd say anything from paris to south is more latin/romance influenced than brits are, and anything north of wallonia is more germanic (flemish people have a lot of dutch in them, although with more central european inputs). It is not even considering the Irish whom culturally are obviously the closest to the Brits (even considering the english alone).
 
What about Alan Turing, the father of computing. If you read up about him you will see what a wonderful contribution he has made to the world
s
 
Boxing wasn't invented by the British, it was invented by the Ancient Greeks, and Tennis was invented by the French.
 
Britain's greatest contribution to the world is America (USA) -LOL!

and of course....A Clockwork Orange and The Sex Pistols
 
Britain's greatest contribution to the world is America (USA) -LOL!
Hey, no kidding lol You got my vote. I've already called America a new and improved Europe 2.0 in one of the threads.
I"m sure many Serbs and Arabs are spitting reading our posts, lol. Unfortunately, it is also a sentiment of many highly nationalistic people all over the Europe. They remember only America's mistakes.
 
I'd say team sports, because they were deliberately created and structured in a way that encouraged young men to maintain physical fitness and pursue individual brilliance with the parameters of a team game
 
I have added a new poll as the old one got deleted during the move from vBulletin to Xenforo.
 
English is by far the least germanic of the germanic languages, I would put it in borderline category just like french (bordierline latin/germanic slighty leaning towards latin) and romanian (borderline latin/slavic, slighty leaning towards latin). When listening english language at first I can recognize a lot of similar phonetic to french, Which I dont get slighty at all when I listen scandinavian languages, dutch or german.

And about the Brits Behaving like other germanic people...

Certainly British(including the english) and also the Irish are quite alien culturally in many ways compared to continental europeans and scandinavians, they also dont have the typical germanic aurea which is peaceful and relaxed in terms of sexuality, brits always like to appear aggresive/threatening (even from highschool ages) and they are way more agressive sexually speaking, they flirt a lot compared to real germanics, and you see how there is accepted for men to pay the bills, there is still a lot of gender disparity where the men is supposed to hunt women, I dont see german/dutch/scandinavian men acting that way, they dont hunt women in that way, and most men would refuse to pay the bills for women, neither those women would like to feel lower than men accepting that. Also british men like to show who is more agressive and more manly when they are with their counterparts, which is frowned upon in germanic societies where there is not social pressure to show/prove how masculine you are. Also we could start about how many brits are suffering from social-class inferiority complex, which reminds me a lot how the french are, which in real germanic countries is practically absent. Many brits care a lot to confirm that they belong to certain social class ( be it middle-class, upper-middle class, working class, etc).

Brits aren't Germanic or atleast I don't see them as such. I'm a little puzzled as too why Scandinavians were looked upon as something superior. You Germans are guilty of this also.
 
The British left a huge impact on the modern world. The Industrial Revolution was an event that transformed the entire planet. The mechanical and scientific contributions were relatively short-lived. Britain was overtaken by Germany in the 19th century, followed by the US. As for culture, Britain was never a country of philosophers, writers, painters and composers, at least compared to continental Europe. Not saying there were no British contributions in those areas but they are minimal considering Britain's former imperial might. It's strange how a country that produced one of the greatest writers of all time (Shakespeare) has a literature largely composed of dime novels and could never compete with French, German or Russian literature. The reason may have been that the British were always strictly practical people, just like the Americans today. Science and culture are only interesting as long as they're profitable and applicable. The other obvious impact of world signifance is the creation of colonial settler societies, the so-called English-speaking world. The still dominating power, the US, is a British creation and it is via the US that the English language became the world's lingua franca.
 

This thread has been viewed 296537 times.

Back
Top