A Proper (Noun) Term

A self-identifying Welshman who was born in London (England), educated in Cambridge (England) and lives in the Gloucestershire (England) has declared that he doesn’t often “use the term ‘England’” because he thinks that it’s “racist”.

“Homestyle consultant” and former Changing Rooms presenter Laurence Roderick Llewelyn-Bowen told Cotswold Life:

I don’t often use the term ‘England’ because I think it’s racist. You have to understand that the English all come from just outside Amsterdam, which is why they tend to be ginger and tall. Whereas ‘British’ can be used in the way that ‘To be Roman’ didn’t mean coming from Rome at all. I like that… And this is me speaking as a Welshman – an aborigine of the island. I’m very pleased to welcome you all in, obviously.

It’s a quote that just has me thinking that he’s a bit if a moron, but the fact that it’s so obviously moronic I wonder if he’s  just told a joke that no-one gets.

A lot of news outlets were reporting that Larry said that describing yourself as English is racist.  I suppose it kind of is, in that it relates to a very particular race.  And with the recent outrage about the alleged size of someone’s penis, surely saying that every English person is ginger and tall is racist too?

Assuming he did mean “English” given later references to “British” and being “a Welshman”, the whole things feels like he’s maybe a little muddled.

However, the part that piqued my interest was his use of “the term” to describe England.  It doesn’t quite work for me, calling a proper noun a term, especially when the proper noun refers to a country.  I just don’t get it and I’m not sure whether it’s right or not.

When the meaningful words,
when they cease to function,
when there’s nothing to say.
When will it start bothering you?

Requiem by Killing Joke

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