Saturday, 31 March 2012

Oh please! I'm British Thank you...

Us Brits. We do like to beat around the bush don't we. With that in mind, here is a selection of phrases often dropped before an insult to minimise the offence taken by the receiver.

  • No offence but...  (I am about to say something offensive)
  • I'm not being funny but...  (I am about to say something which could be construed as 'funny')
  • With all due respect... (I have absolutely no respect for you and your views)
  • Forgive me but... (I'm using naivety to get my point across)
Why can we all not just say our honest opinions without the fear that the person you are talking to might not like it? Why must we justify ourselves with these pointless phrases before making a bold statement? I'll tell you why. The intense subconscious need we all have inside us to be liked. Whether you believe this point to be true or not, ask yourself this.

If you had a very controversial view on something and felt very strongly about it, be it; the government, immigration, religion - what have you...

WOULD YOU EXPRESS THIS OPINION OPENLY IN PUBLIC? ...well you might, but the likelihood is that you would respectively keep it to yourself until you were in quieter and more trusted company.
...and why...?

Because everybody has opinions and every opinion has an opposite argument and to air your own too often would invite your points to be queried and argued thus causing friction among your peers. Why do you think Winston Churchill had no friends?

The British public in general don't like to rattle any bones. We're all so polite with our 'thank you's and 'please's. I spent a weekend in Paris once and had spent a whole week learning such pleasantries in French and was quite perplexed to find their manners were not as apparent as our own.

Although, our P's and Q's have seen the light of sarcasm and cursing. "F**k off, please." "Err excuse me but you are giving me a migraine"

If you're feeling up to taking a little survey - next time you're out, count the amount of times somebody says 'thank you' to you. And then count how many times you believe they meant it - perhaps we throw the terms around and the people of Paris only say it when it is heart-felt. They are, after all, the most romantic people on the planet. Allegedly. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. We Kiwis are even worse at saying things directly. Since you like thinking about words, I wondered if you might be interested in learning more about cryptic crosswords. If so, this is a link to a post I did recently on cryptic crossword clues that involve anagrams. Cryptic Crossword Clues - Anagrams