What The British Say And What They Mean

Photo: Today I Learned Something New

I checked the office twice, no one here is British so I can't confirm exactly how accurate this is. That being said, I am picturing all my favorite English movies and characters and it plays out pretty well. Like Simon Pegg from Shaun of the Dead or Stanley Kubrick from A Clockwork Orange or even Harry Potter from.. well you know. I don't know about you guys but I read this out loud (without thinking) and in my best British accent. My favorite line is probably "could we consider some other options."

Any English followers out there that can confirm this guide?


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Yes, this list is fairly accurate - the tone of voice is the important thing, British people use a sort of dry, understated humour in, uh, well, most conversations really. If the tone of voice sounds ever so slightly like it might be being said by Batman's Butler Alfred, it will usually mean the opposite of the literal meaning. Having lived with Americans, I always found this was the thing that perplexed them, not the superficial linguistics differences (pants vs trousers, lift vs elevator, etc).

For an excellent guide on this kind of thing, have a leaf through Kate Fox's book 'Watching The English' - it's readable anthropology - not bad at all!
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