Thursday, 11 December 2008

Watching the English:The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour

Morning. Nice day isn't it? Ok, ok, I'm not actually asking! Its just that if you asked someone what was a defining characteristic if the English, they would most likely mention our obsession with the weather! This book aims to discover a general identity for the English as a people,which naturally involves exploring the aspects of the English behaviour that are peculiar to us. It explores many aspects such as an obsession with queues, moaning, privacy, class divisions, which appear to be endemic throughout all behaviours, and many others. In summary, this book claims we all live by a series of rules that govern everything we do, from conversation to flirting! And even when we fell we might be breaking rules we do so in a very prescribed way, confirming to another set of rules! For example there is a hilarious description of the complex queue system that takes place at an English pub, even though it looks like there is no queue.

I enjoyed this book immensely, but it has caused me a problem. It means that I'm very conscious of what might actually be happening in any conversation i might be having and find it difficult not to smile and try and break the rules to see what might happen! Lol. I haven't done this yet, but its so tempting. I find myself watching and listening all the time and applying the rules described in this book! One day I will disagree with someone when they start a conversation about the weather( which is apparently just a greeting, so you are expected to agree),or bump into someone to see if THEY apologise!

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