Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Do you speak British?


This is a snippet of an article I read in the Times a few months ago.
I found it so funny I took a picture of it and am now sharing with you especially in the light of my previous post about hipster baristas and Heidi's post about tea on Adelaide Villa.


It's funny because it's true.
 

My personal favourite is "Sorry" which means many more things that stated here but the editor must have had to limit the various possible interpretations.

But the Times isn't always so astute.
Following this article was a "Style" advice column.

 
 
They pretended like they could explain "casual chic" without any pictures at all and in a paragraph and somehow squeezing in Asos.  Then another clueless reader was looking for a pair of smart everyday loafers for a budget of £300.  They answered once again with no pictures.
I think Rupert could afford to give the journos either a raise or raise the budget to include some pictures already?


53 comments:

  1. So funny!!.. and alot of truth to it
    The.. "Two sugars please.." - i'm a manual labourer, really made me laugh

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    1. Mind you I used to take two sugars! It's funny bc I now take one but most of my builders have stopped with sugar!

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  2. So true. Politeness hides a lots of things.
    Style advice must include pics.
    Don't even get me started on Rupert.

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    1. Politeness is a social cushion that at time requires a lot of interpretation...I can't wait for a HBO miniseries on Rupert!

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  3. I'm having a problem with the images loading, only the second one is coming up… but laughed at it, as it's so true. There's a twitter account called Very British Problems that this kind of reminds me of that Here's a telegraph summary of some of their tweets that made me laugh http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatpicturegalleries/10793723/Ten-very-British-problems.html?frame=2894977
    Any clothes advice requires photos. We have a column like that in The Australian newspaper, and I always wonder what the point is - style is very much a regional thing in Australia, and they tend to give advice as if everyone is a Jet setting Sydney-sider who is extremely cashed up. I tend to think the questions are all made up so the responder can instead show off about what they'd wear in that exact situation.

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    1. I have pinned the images FYI. Sorry bout that but can't figure how to rectify! Yes very British problems are so funny. I think the columns are just a waste of space and doesn't even do a good job at selling stuff. And I do wonder why the times lets this past the edit!

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    2. Now they're showing up - not sure what was going wrong?! But laughed a lot at the Tea ones in the first column…

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  4. Sorry sorry, that is so good esp the rich gits who went to Eton.
    Yes need photos, maybe with the person writing in, put a team onto it and make it into double page spread...but no one listens to me...slinks away...

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    1. I am glad an experienced journalist concurs!

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  5. .Den whipping Boy Hugh Grant could give a perfect demonstration of these.

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    1. He's the best there is at beta male mealy-mouthed self-deprecation...just love his hair...

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    2. I see your HughGrant, and raise you a Leonard Rossiter!

      Elucidate with a small portion of 'The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin', to see the master, nay the creator, of 'Sorry' at work.

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    3. He is good! Thanks Curator!!

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  6. love it!

    sorry....

    In Canada we are unfailingly polite as well. Just add eh and you are good to go here. Although if truth be told, we ignore the old new money thing altogether except in very restricted circumstances...

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    1. I have noticed Canadians do say sorry a lot too!

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  7. I'm so relieved didn't go for the sugar in my tea on our last visit to London! Hahahaha! This is fantastic...gave me a good chuckle today. Thanks for mentioning the spam thing on my blog. I will continue to check. I went in and was able to add your comment in today. Yay! "sorry" about the WP thing. Hopefully we'll get it figured out!
    xx, Heather

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  8. Politeness vortex. That is so funny. Americans are so different. Around here we get often get caught in a TMI (too much information) vortex. Loved this post.

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    1. I laughed out loud at that too! In japan it's even more pilot and you could now for days!

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  9. Are they really that uptight?! The few I have met in my travels seemed like a lot of fun...of course they were fond of a drink but I do not judge. No coffee. No tea. What am I? Remember, be polite.

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    1. Uptight? Oh yes...this is the country that elevated queueing to an art form!

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    2. Yes very uptight and I only notice it when I come back from holiday!

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  10. Ha, it's like reading the script of an Ealing comedy!
    Kind Hearts and Coronets to be precise.

    Who in their right mind would write to The Times for style advise.
    Whiffs of complete journo fabrication.

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    1. ...might have been 'Disgusted in Tunbridge Wells' Curator

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    2. Disgusted in tun bridge wells is considered trolling in them parts.

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  11. I love these nuances between US/UK culture - we are always mere moments from a snotty derisive sneer!

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    1. ...my derisive sneers re Hugh Grant have far more menace than 'snotty' could ever hope to attain.

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    2. Yes it can go downhill pretty quickly can't it hence the drink is needed so alcohol can be blamed...

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  12. Thank you for these, a smile after a gray day here!

    The Very British Problems man has published a book, which is a delight.
    Another favorite (favourite?): Watching the English.

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    1. I love British problems. It sounds so silly when written down but so serious in ones head!

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    2. ...unless it's a Panzer Division

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  13. Sooo funny Naomi, loved this. Sorry... sorry, here some people also say Sorry instead of Pardon Me, literally when they haven't heard something... just to throw another Sorry into the mess!

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    1. Sorry can mean about ten different things ranging from it's my fault to it's your fault!

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    2. Love all the sorries - hilarious and so true!
      "Pardon me" when you haven't heard someone properly seems to be received v differently in different countries. Mostly in Oz it's considered a bit off - and in certain bogan audiences can elicit the response "why, what did you do?"
      In some Oz professional circles, the preferred expression is "Say again". Sometimes with a hand behind the ear. Understand the correct U speak may be "What?" Pammie

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    3. Pardon me sounds so over dramatic and yet what sounds so harsh. I only use what with close friends and family and even then in an off tone it can sound so rude. But I also adore the different sorry meanings and makes me laugh every time!

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    4. Agree about "what" - only old school U people could get away with it. In a work environment, at small meetings etc "say again" works very well as it makes a point without disrupting discussion flow or suggesting fault on either side, eg that the original speaker has been talking too quietly or indistinctly - or that the listener is hard of hearing. Pammie.

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  14. I love those expressions! Witty passive-aggressiveness is an art!

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    1. Sorry? It's like when the Japanese say yes. It means yes maybe or no

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  15. This is very funny - the no no after you is a classic one i'm guilty of whether walking or gesturing the same thing whilst in the car. I just want to hurry up and get to my damn destination but something always tells me to be polite and remember my "manners"! xx

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  16. This is too funny. We women say sorry was too much and there have been some movements recently in U.S. to stop that, as it supposedly makes us less empowered. I do find the British use of sorry charming and another reason I love a country that isn't so cocky, you know? Funny your observations Naomi. Perhaps you could have been a social anthropologist! You notice all these little quirks of humankind and I love it! x Kim

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  17. The right post to begin the new year with! So funny! Have a great 2015!
    laura

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  18. Love this posting. And, yes, I speak British! I'm very good at, 'excuse me' or 'EXCUSE ME!' and similar expressions, the meaning being made clear by my tone of voice. I'm the woman driven mad by rudeness who says, 'thank you' in a loud ironic way to anyone who brushes past me as I open a door.

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  19. Hello,

    Oh dear, so sorry that we are late to the post. We must, of course, always take our turn and the queue was interminable.

    This is such fun and, sadly, apposite. One thing that we have certainly learned whilst being in Budapest is that one will never beat a Hungarian onto public transport no matter how hard you try or how long you wait! Queuing, the British national pastime is entirely irrelevant here behind the Net Curtain as we fondly refer to our adopted country.

    However, although we 'speak British' like natives, we cannot fathom the rights of 'casual chic'. What are body-con mid-rise jeans? Are we out of touch we ask ourselves?

    Whatever, we wish you all joy and success for 2015. Thank you for the kind messages which you left for us.

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  20. Dear Jane and Lance
    So good to see you back. Love Budapest but so funny about Hungarians always getting onto public transport first. A friend whose grandparents came from another member country of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire told us there's a saying that a Hungarian is someone who goes into a revolving door behind you but always comes out ahead.
    My lovely DIL comes from a Hungarian family though - and she and her family are unfailingly very polite and kind as were the people we met while visiting Budapest and other parts of the country. When we were in Gyor we entered a beautiful old church only to find a service in progress - so we stood quietly at the back and during the Greeting of Peace, two old men in the back row came back to us and took our hands to include us in the greeting. We were very touched. Best wishes, Pammie

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  21. Oh dear, too funny, especially as I was talking about a tipple in one's tea only just this morning. I do not tipple, as a rule. And Rupert, dear, could afford to pay the journalists more, throw in some pictures, and pay for the clothes and loafers for those seeking advice.

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  22. Oh my gosh, hilarious!!! Thanks for breaking it down! Now I know ;-) And I'll be listening...watching carefully when we visit in March! xoxo

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  23. Dear Naomi
    That is absolutely classic and I keep thinking how many of these little sayings and meanings ended up in my side of the world. One caveat, where I am from if someone tells you look "nice", well, that is a bad day for you...

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  24. I sometimes finding myself saying 'sorry' when other people walk past me in a corridor (even a wide one). It is an addiction, marginally better than saying 'like' after every other word.....I am currently retraining kids with a slap around the ear everytime they say it!!!

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  25. My dear, I have gone off facebook for a bit, in the interests of finishing the PhD (and also because I think I have a ..problem...with social media...). I would love to stay in contact though as I am likely heading to europe in june time. Do you think you could pop your email address in as a comment on my blog, it will be deleted and not published. :D

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Thank you for dropping by!