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  1. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    12 Mar '13 15:55
    I've watched a couple of documentaries recently that have mentioned the British empire.
    But when talking about it, they don't call it 'the empire', but just empire.

    As in: Churchill was busy maintaining empire.

    Can anyone explain this?
    I can't remember noticing this up until a few months ago.
    And google can't explain it... Or I'm not looking properly.

    Thanks.
  2. 12 Mar '13 16:34
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I've watched a couple of documentaries recently that have mentioned the British empire.
    But when talking about it, they don't call it 'the empire', but just empire.

    As in: Churchill was busy maintaining empire.

    Can anyone explain this?
    I can't remember noticing this up until a few months ago.
    And google can't explain it... Or I'm not looking properly.

    Thanks.
    Don't know but suspect the docs you were watching were British, in which case empire is British. Of course, other Empires preceded the British one, but nationalists tend to be introspective.
  3. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    12 Mar '13 20:08
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I've watched a couple of documentaries recently that have mentioned the British empire.
    But when talking about it, they don't call it 'the empire', but just empire.

    As in: Churchill was busy maintaining empire.

    Can anyone explain this?
    I can't remember noticing this up until a few months ago.
    And google can't explain it... Or I'm not looking properly.

    Thanks.
    I don't think it's correct to leave out the "the" - it just sounds wrong.
  4. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    12 Mar '13 20:37
    Imperium has a nice totalitarian quality to it.
  5. 12 Mar '13 20:40
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I don't think it's correct to leave out the "the" - it just sounds wrong.
    They haven't got an empire anymore so what about it.


    The world is a better place without imperialism.

    Whether it's British, German, American, Japanese no matter.

    When one Nation usurps what is not theirs it is one of the greatest
    evils known to man.
  6. 12 Mar '13 20:40
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I've watched a couple of documentaries recently that have mentioned the British empire.
    But when talking about it, they don't call it 'the empire', but just empire.

    As in: Churchill was busy maintaining empire.

    Can anyone explain this?
    I can't remember noticing this up until a few months ago.
    And google can't explain it... Or I'm not looking properly.

    Thanks.
    The British Empire was a contentious political and economic issue within Britain for most of the 19th century, I think 'empire' is used for internal discussions concerning foreign and domestic policy as apposed to 'not empire'.

    There was some resistance to 'free trade' being transformed into 'empire' with all the military and political consequences that accompany 'empire'.
  7. 12 Mar '13 22:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I've watched a couple of documentaries recently that have mentioned the British empire.
    But when talking about it, they don't call it 'the empire', but just empire.

    As in: Churchill was busy maintaining empire.

    Can anyone explain this?
    I can't remember noticing this up until a few months ago.
    And google can't explain it... Or I'm not looking properly.

    Thanks.
    It should depend upon the context. When it's clear enough that the context is
    a historical discussion of the British Empire (not another empire) and English
    grammar allows it, then the definite article may be omitted.

    For example (this sentence is my own invention for this occasion, not a quotation):
    'The question of empire was brought into question in the (House of) Commons as
    Mr Lloyd George asked the government to respond to the report of Miss (Emily)
    Hobhouse regarding the alleged mistreatment of Boer women and children."

    Within the appropriate historical context, British writers also have referred to
    military units from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or (sometimes) India and
    South Africa simply as 'Imperial' forces. For example: 'Victory in this battle
    showed the splendid cooperation between the British and Imperial forces.'

    One wonders how the Russians could ever discuss their empire when the
    Russian language lacks definite articles!
  8. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    13 Mar '13 05:09
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    It should depend upon the context. When it's clear enough that the context is
    a historical discussion of the British Empire (not another empire) and English
    grammar allows it, then the definite article may be omitted.

    For example (this sentence is my own invention for this occasion, not a quotation):
    'The question of empire was brought into questi ...[text shortened]... ians could ever discuss their empire when the
    Russian language lacks definite articles!
    Thank you.
    That sounds pretty solid.
  9. 13 Mar '13 08:14
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    One wonders how the Russians could ever discuss their empire when the
    Russian language lacks definite articles!
    The literary scholar George Steiner (despite being a noted polyglot) didn't know this fact, as John Simon's waspish review makes clear:

    http://www.jeetheer.com/culture/steiner.htm

    “But what can you expect from a critic who, in his Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, performed stylistic analysis on a passage from the Russian on the basis of its uses of ‘a’ and ‘the,’ even though Russian has neither the definite nor the indefinite article?”
  10. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    13 Mar '13 08:43
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Don't know but suspect the docs you were watching were British, in which case empire is British. Of course, other Empires preceded the British one, but nationalists tend to be introspective.
    lulz!
  11. 13 Mar '13 12:25
    I alway preferred " the empire on which the sun never set" , in those days we could always send our working class to kill Malayans and Kenyans threatening public school plantation owners. So answering the question its "the empire" (it was always coloured pink on our school books). As an aside my mates dad said he would rather go to the glass house (military jail) than kill Malayans .
  12. 13 Mar '13 20:35
    Originally posted by kaminsky
    I alway preferred " the empire on which the sun never set" , in those days we could always send our working class to kill Malayans and Kenyans threatening public school plantation owners. So answering the question its "the empire" (it was always coloured pink on our school books). As an aside my mates dad said he would rather go to the glass house (military jail) than kill Malayans .
    An older Englishwoman of my acquaintance said that she was taught in school:
    'All loyal subjects should be proud that so much of the globe's (Imperial) pink'.

    In the Malayan Emergency, the British war against the (pro-Communist)
    Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the British were fighting against
    primarily the ethnic Chinese minority. The MNLA lost the war in large measure
    because the traditional tensions and distrust (which the British could exploit)
    between the Chinese minority (few of whom were Muslims) and the Malay
    majority (nearly all of whom were Muslims) helped prevent the MNLA guerrillas
    from (as Mao Zedong would have put it) being able to swim like fish within a sea
    of popular support. So ethnic and religious prejudices helped the British to win.

    By the way, the MNLA's leader, Chin Peng, had won an OBE (Order of the British
    Empire), which the UK government later retracted, for fighting (and helping to
    save British lives) the Japanese during the Second World War. A distinguished
    British officer, Freddie Spencer Chapman, called Chin Peng his 'true friend'.
    A 2006 documentary film about Chin Peng remains banned in Malayasia.
  13. 13 Mar '13 20:55
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    The literary scholar George Steiner (despite being a noted polyglot) didn't know this fact, as John Simon's waspish review makes clear:

    http://www.jeetheer.com/culture/steiner.htm

    “But what can you expect from a critic who, in his Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, performed stylistic analysis on a passage from the Russian on the basis of its uses of ‘a’ and ‘the,’ even though Russian has neither the definite nor the indefinite article?”
    An American woman once asked me how she would say, 'I am a Russian' in
    Russian, and I told her, 'Ya Amerikanka' (literally, 'I Russian' because Russian
    also lacks the verb 'to be' in the present tense). Later, she told me that she
    had 'taught' ('A little knowledge is a dangerous thing'--Alexander Pope) her
    husband to say 'Ya Amerikanka' too! Suppressing any inclination to titter, I
    explained why he would get an unwelcome reaction if he said that to Russians.

    Some Anglophone feminists used (ignorantly) to praise the normal Soviet practice
    of using initials (of one's given name and patronymic) to identify the authors of
    articles in Russian journals for removing any potential gender bias by supposedly
    making it impracticable to identify an author's gender. For an example in English,
    if a writer was identified as only 'J. Morris', one could not infer the writer's gender.
    (In fact, the Welsh writer named 'Jan Morris' was named 'James Morris' when
    'she' was a 'he'.) But the Russian language tends to insist on gender distinctions.
    Let's suppose that Oleg and Olga are the children of Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov, and
    the brother and sister write something together. Their byline would be: "...by
    O. I. Ivanov and O. I. Ivanova" On International Women's Day (March 8), which
    was an about universally observed holiday in the USSR, a Soviet man would take
    care to send his flowers to O. I. Ivanova, not to her brother.
  14. 14 Mar '13 08:31
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    An older Englishwoman of my acquaintance said that she was taught in school:
    'All loyal subjects should be proud that so much of the globe's (Imperial) pink'.

    In the Malayan Emergency, the British war against the (pro-Communist)
    Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the British were fighting against
    primarily the ethnic Chinese minority. The MNL ...[text shortened]... g his 'true friend'.
    A 2006 documentary film about Chin Peng remains banned in Malayasia.
    Nice post
  15. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    14 Mar '13 08:44
    I've been thinking about it and I'm still not convinced.

    The king is busy ruling England.
    The king is busy ruling THE country.

    You wouldn't dream of saying: the king is ruling country.
    Would you?

    So Empire then equates to the name of a country, rather than country itself.
    Or plural: the king is busy ruling countries.
    But then Empire would have to be as plural as sheep.

    I can't find anything online about this.
    How bizarre.