British or Scottish? How do the press describe him?


The idea Andy Murray is British when he wins and Scottish when he loses is wrong, a linguistics study has found.

Ben Dickson, from Stirling University, said: “I was determined to put this issue to bed once and for all. My research shows the result of Andy Murray’s matches does not affect the way the UK-based press refer to his national identity.

“What has been identified, however, is that nationalism is key to the language of sports reports in the UK.”

According to the BBC, Dickson analysed UK press reports of Murray’s Wimbledon matches from 2005-2014.

He found Scottish newspapers referred to Murray as Scottish twice as frequently as they referred to him as British. In the UK, broadsheets were more likely to refer to Murray as Scottish, while the tabloids called him British but none of the descriptions tended to change with the result of the matches.

The study found the press “consistent” when describing the Olympic gold medallist’s national identity, whatever the result.

Related Posts