Ancient Britain was a peninsula until a tsunami flooded its land-links to Europe some 8,000 years ago. Did that massive wave help shape the national character and its language?
Many believe Britain’s island status has also led to Britain’s rather detached attitude to Europe today, which is still often referred to as “the continent”. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are hardly any European flags to be seen in Britain, unlike in continental Europe.
As already mentioned in some of my IDEAL-blogs, the world-famous British humour, though has been building many bridges over the British channel. It is filled with irony and heavy sarcasm. If it were pouring outside, the joke would be to comment on the “lovely weather” (an English classic). The delivery of British humour is almost always deadpan which means that there will be no sign in red neon lights telling you: “This Is The Joke”. There is a lot of reading between the lines to be done and so, as a result of this, you might find yourself in situations where you just cannot tell if it was harmless banter or a serious conversation that you were having with a British friend. They are a breed of people who express abhorrence for something by saying: “It is a bit much for my taste”. Utmost excitement normally bears the ever so popular adjective “very nice”. A pleasant walk in the park is often referred to as a “very nice experience” as well – the same applies to last year’s world trip and last evening’s bingo game.
Don’t be misled if a British person describes somebody as “interesting”. That person, after all, is most likely to be quite boring and not full of life, fun and positive characteristics.
We, at IDEAL-language and culture in Brighton/UK, will guide you through the complex and hilarious world of linguistic euphemisms which add so many spices to the world’s number one language! Our English Language Courses, include a general and business english course and a special english course for Agribusiness.
If you know of any English “misleading” words or phrases, please send and share them with us and the rest of the IDEAL-community.
P.S. Britain is not synonymous with England. Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales.