gladis · non utuntur equites · nec residunt Brittunculi · ut · iaculos mittant
Vindolanda Letter no. 164
I call on the Italian President to apologise to the British people for the offensive and belittling language used by his countryman in the above letter. To call us Brittunculi is indefensible. I should also appreciate a lesser apology – from the mayor of Rome, say – for the disrespect shown earlier in this same letter by the term Brittoni. We demand to be called Britanni, properly spelled.
If at any time in the present century people of other nations dare to shorten the name British, or even Briton, to the first four letters, they must fear the International Court of Justice. This would bring back painful memories of howling mobs shouting “Brits out!”
It would also recall the shame of “Brit Art” and “BritPop”.
After all, no one would think of shortening the names of other respected nations to their first four letters, for example “Pakistani”.
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