The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Puppet on a String
"Puppet on a String" is the Eurovision Song Contest-winning song in 1967 by British singer Sandie Shaw. It was her thirteenth UK single release; the song was a UK Singles Chart number one hit on 27 April 1967, staying at the top for a total of three weeks. Al Hirt released a version of the song in 1967 that went to number 18 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #129 on the Billboard Hot 100. Shaw had performed the song as one of five prospective numbers to represent the United Kingdom in the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest on The Rolf Harris Show, she had never been taken with the idea of taking part in the contest but her discoverer, Adam Faith, had talked her into it, saying it would keep her manager Eve Taylor happy. Taylor wanted to give Shaw a more cabaret appeal and felt that this was the right move - and felt that it would get Shaw back in the public's good books as she had been involved in a divorce scandal. Of the five songs performed, "Puppet on a String" was Shaw's least favourite. In her own words, "I hated it from the first oompah to the final bang on the big bass drum.
I was instinctively repelled by its sexist drivel and cuckoo-clock tune." She was disappointed when it was selected as the song she would use to represent the country, but it won the contest hands down, though it has always been felt that this was due to her existing popularity on the continent. As a result, "Puppet on a String" became her third Number One hit in the UK and was a big worldwide smash. In Germany, the single was the biggest seller of the entire year, reaching sales of over 1 million copies. Globally, the single achieved sales in excess of 4 million, making it the biggest selling winning Eurovision track to date; some estimates suggest this makes the track the biggest selling single by a British female artist of all time. Shaw recorded "Puppet on a String" in French, Italian and German. Shaw re-recorded "Puppet on a String" in early 2007 in honour of her 60th birthday; this took place after Shaw visited her friend, musician Howard Jones, found him playing some chords on his keyboard and humming a melody.
He encouraged her to continue the melody and before long she realised that it was in fact "Puppet on a String." They recorded the new, slow-tempo electronic version of the song and sent it to producer/mixer Andy Gray who put the final touches on the song. Shaw stated that she loved the new version and released it for free download from her, Howard Jones', official website on 26 February, it was available for free download for sixty days. As a result of its popularity, Shaw continued to put out new songs on her website for download for the remaining months of her 61st year; the song was covered in over 200 versions in over 30 languages. Bulgarian - by Маргарита Радинска Chinese: Betty Chung A Singaporean singer Lara Tan Malaysian singer Sakura Teng Dutch: title: Speelbal in de wind by Reggy van der Burgt by Anneke Grönloh Finnish: by Maarja-Leena, title: Sätkynukke Lithuanian: by Violeta Riaubiskyte under the title Lele. Norwegian: In 1967 Bente Aaseth released the single Sprellemann on His Master's Voice.
The Norwegian lyrics were written by Juul Hansen. Portuguese: In 1967 by Simone de Oliveira released her version, entitled "Marionette". Spanish: In 1967 by Lea Zafrani released her version, entitled "Marionetas en la cuerda", with the same lyrics as Shaw's, witten by Manuel Clavero. Tamil: In 1969 by Nantha Balan SelvanayagamIn 1990, the song was covered by Ana Faria as Feira Popular and performed by children/teenpop group Onda Choc; the song is about an evening out at Feira Popular de Lisboa. It's featured on their eighth album with the same title Hungarian: 1967, Zsuzsa Koncz as Paprikajancsi Russian: 1968, Emil Gorovets, title: Я не кукла Slovak: In 1967 Slovak singer and actress Tatjana Hubinská released the single Ako malý psík just a next Day after Eurovision Song Competition. Ako malý psík was covered by Jana Procházková Swedish: Sprattelgumma, by Siw Malmkvist, 1967 Mantovani made an instrumental version on the 1968 release The Mantovani Touch There is a rocksteady version by Ken Boothe on the Studio One label Lady Marmalade released a version entitled "Puppet On A String" Lily Allen released a track "Alfie" which uses the melody of'Puppet' but none of the lyrics Dutch group Mrs. Einstein released an English language version just after appearing in the Eurovision Song Contest 1997 In Poland this song "Ale Marionetka)\' was sung by Halina Kunicka Sandie Shaw personal website
A phonograph record is an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. At first, the discs were made from shellac. In recent decades, records have sometimes been called vinyl records, or vinyl; the phonograph disc record was the primary medium used for music reproduction throughout the 20th century. It had co-existed with the phonograph cylinder from the late 1880s and had superseded it by around 1912. Records retained the largest market share when new formats such as the compact cassette were mass-marketed. By the 1980s, digital media, in the form of the compact disc, had gained a larger market share, the vinyl record left the mainstream in 1991. Since the 1990s, records continue to be manufactured and sold on a smaller scale, are used by disc jockeys and released by artists in dance music genres, listened to by a growing niche market of audiophiles; the phonograph record has made a notable niche resurgence in the early 21st century – 9.2 million records were sold in the U.
S. in 2014, a 260% increase since 2009. In the UK sales have increased five-fold from 2009 to 2014; as of 2017, 48 record pressing facilities remain worldwide, 18 in the United States and 30 in other countries. The increased popularity of vinyl has led to the investment in new and modern record-pressing machines. Only two producers of lacquers remain: Apollo Masters in California, MDC in Japan. Phonograph records are described by their diameter in inches, the rotational speed in revolutions per minute at which they are played, their time capacity, determined by their diameter and speed. Vinyl records may be scratched or warped if stored incorrectly but if they are not exposed to high heat, carelessly handled or broken, a vinyl record has the potential to last for centuries; the large cover are valued by collectors and artists for the space given for visual expression when it comes to the long play vinyl LP. The phonautograph, patented by Léon Scott in 1857, used a vibrating diaphragm and stylus to graphically record sound waves as tracings on sheets of paper, purely for visual analysis and without any intent of playing them back.
In the 2000s, these tracings were first scanned by audio engineers and digitally converted into audible sound. Phonautograms of singing and speech made by Scott in 1860 were played back as sound for the first time in 2008. Along with a tuning fork tone and unintelligible snippets recorded as early as 1857, these are the earliest known recordings of sound. In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. Unlike the phonautograph, it could both record and reproduce sound. Despite the similarity of name, there is no documentary evidence that Edison's phonograph was based on Scott's phonautograph. Edison first tried recording sound on a wax-impregnated paper tape, with the idea of creating a "telephone repeater" analogous to the telegraph repeater he had been working on. Although the visible results made him confident that sound could be physically recorded and reproduced, his notes do not indicate that he reproduced sound before his first experiment in which he used tinfoil as a recording medium several months later.
The tinfoil was wrapped around a grooved metal cylinder and a sound-vibrated stylus indented the tinfoil while the cylinder was rotated. The recording could be played back immediately; the Scientific American article that introduced the tinfoil phonograph to the public mentioned Marey and Barlow as well as Scott as creators of devices for recording but not reproducing sound. Edison invented variations of the phonograph that used tape and disc formats. Numerous applications for the phonograph were envisioned, but although it enjoyed a brief vogue as a startling novelty at public demonstrations, the tinfoil phonograph proved too crude to be put to any practical use. A decade Edison developed a improved phonograph that used a hollow wax cylinder instead of a foil sheet; this proved to be both a better-sounding and far more useful and durable device. The wax phonograph cylinder created the recorded sound market at the end of the 1880s and dominated it through the early years of the 20th century. Lateral-cut disc records were developed in the United States by Emile Berliner, who named his system the "gramophone", distinguishing it from Edison's wax cylinder "phonograph" and American Graphophone's wax cylinder "graphophone".
Berliner's earliest discs, first marketed in 1889, only in Europe, were 12.5 cm in diameter, were played with a small hand-propelled machine. Both the records and the machine were adequate only for use as a toy or curiosity, due to the limited sound quality. In the United States in 1894, under the Berliner Gramophone trademark, Berliner started marketing records of 7 inches diameter with somewhat more substantial entertainment value, along with somewhat more substantial gramophones to play them. Berliner's records had poor sound quality compared to wax cylinders, but his manufacturing associate Eldridge R. Johnson improved it. Abandoning Berliner's "Gramophone" tradem
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, San Marino and Vatican City, it has an official minority status in western Istria. It had official status in Albania, Monaco and Greece, is understood in Corsica and Savoie, it used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. In spite of not existing any Italian community in their respective national territories and of not being spoken at any level, Italian is included de jure, but not de facto, between the recognized minority languages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages. Italian is a major European language, being one of the official languages of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and one of the working languages of the Council of Europe.
It is the fourth most spoken first language in the European Union with 69 million native speakers and it is spoken as a second language by 16 million EU citizens. Including Italian speakers in non-EU European countries and on other continents, the total number of speakers is around 90 million. Italian is the main working language of the Holy See, serving as the lingua franca in the Roman Catholic hierarchy as well as the official language of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Italian is known as the language of music because of its use in musical opera, its influence is widespread in the arts and in the luxury goods market. Italian has been reported as the fourth or fifth most taught foreign language in the world. Italian was adopted by the state after the Unification of Italy, having been a literary language based on Tuscan as spoken by the upper class of Florentine society, its development was influenced by other Italian languages and to some minor extent, by the Germanic languages of the post-Roman invaders.
The incorporation into Italian of learned words from its own ancestor language, Latin, is another form of lexical borrowing through the influence of written language, scientific terminology and the liturgical language of the Church. Throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, most literate Italians were literate in Latin, its vowels are the second-closest to Latin after Sardinian. As in most Romance languages, stress is distinctive but, unlike most other Romance languages, Italian retains Latin's contrast between short and long consonants. All words and syllables finish with pure vowels, a factor that makes Italian words easy to use in rhyming. Italian has a 7 vowel sound system. During the Middle Ages, the established written language in Europe was Latin, though the great majority of people were illiterate, only a handful were well versed in the language. In the Italian peninsula, as in most of Europe, most would instead speak a local vernacular; these dialects, as they are referred to, evolved from Vulgar Latin over the course of centuries, unaffected by formal standards and teachings.
They are not in any sense "dialects" of standard Italian, which itself started off as one of these local tongues, but sister languages of Italian. Mutual intelligibility with Italian varies as it does with Romance languages in general; the Romance dialects of Italy can differ from Italian at all levels and are classified typologically as distinct languages. The standard Italian language has a poetic and literary origin in the writings of Tuscan writers of the 12th century, though the grammar and core lexicon are unchanged from those used in Florence in the 13th century, the modern standard of the language was shaped by recent events. However, Romance vernacular as language spoken in the Apennine peninsula has a longer history. In fact, the earliest surviving texts that can be called vernacular are legal formulae known as the Placiti Cassinesi from the Province of Benevento that date from 960–963, although the Veronese Riddle from the 8th or early 9th century, contains a late form of Vulgar Latin that can be seen as a early sample of a vernacular dialect of Italy.
The language that came to be thought of as Italian developed in central Tuscany and was first formalized in the early 14th century through the works of Tuscan writer Dante Alighieri, written in his native Florentine. Dante's epic poems, known collectively as the Commedia, to which another Tuscan poet Giovanni Boccaccio affixed the title Divina, were read throughout the peninsula and his written dialect became the "canonical standard" that all educated Italians could understand. Dante is still credited with standardizing the Italian language. In addition to the widespread expo