Friday, 6 September 2013

With the greatest respect...



A handy guide to understanding what the British really mean when we are being polite...

WHAT THE BRITISH SAY WHAT THE BRITISH MEAN WHAT FOREIGNERS UNDERSTAND
I hear what you say I disagree and do not want to discuss it further He accepts my point of view
With the greatest respect You are an idiot He is listening to me
That’s not bad That’s good That’s poor
That is a very brave proposal You are insane He thinks I have courage
Quite good A bit disappointing Quite good
I would suggest Do it or be prepared to justify yourself Think about the idea, but do what you like
Oh, incidentally/ by the way The primary purpose of our discussion is That is not very important
I was a bit disappointed that I am annoyed that It doesn’t really matter
Very interesting That is clearly nonsense They are impressed
I’ll bear it in mind I’ve forgotten it already They will probably do it
I’m sure it’s my fault It’s your fault Why do they think it was their fault?
You must come for dinner It’s not an invitation, I’m just being polite I will get an invitation soon
I almost agree I don’t agree at all He’s not far from agreement
I only have a few minor comments Please rewrite completely He has found a few typos
Could we consider some other options I don’t like your idea They have not yet decided

Read more in The Telegraph

4 comments:

  1. This clears up many things. I'm still unclear as to, Bugger and or Buggering?

    I worked with an English lady who would always respond or answer everything beginning with a pause and then, "Emm..." She was very annoying and we made fun of her. I now see that her, "Emm" was meant as, "Stop talking to me and go away".

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    1. "Bugger" is one of the greatest interjections in the English language - as a noun, a verb or an adjective, it is indeed a staple of our vocabulary...

      Jx

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  2. and here i thought we spoke the same language.

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    Replies
    1. "We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language." - Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost

      Indeed. Jx

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