Friday, June 22, 2007

Watching the English

Title: Watching the English Author
Författare: Kate Fox
Hodder Paperback, 2005 (2004)

Since I have never had the pleasure of living in England and I am supposed to teach others about English culture, I decided to take a crash course. For me, this meant going on vacation (for the second time) to England, and , of course, buying a book on the subject.

Kate Fox humorous account was recommended to me by book store staff in England itself during my visit last summer and has actually been quite informative. The humorous tone is incidentally, quite English (at least according to the chapter "Humour rules") and I now know which seven words I should avoid if I want to seem upper-middle class rather than middle-middle class. It seems like a hassle to work out to which group I actually belong though... Something I will definitely inform my students about is the rules of round-buying at pubs (maybe something for the B-course?) so that they won't be taken for cheep bastards, the poor, generous souls. I have had monthly practise at the Pickwick Pub (Malmö, Sweden) myself with my friend Mattias who is concerned for my well-being naturally. Thank you, Mattias!

Of course, nothing beats spending time in the country if you want to get an idea of their culture. So, I am going back in! But this time, I will be a slightly more informed visitor and I will try to identify some of the cultural signifiers which have been so interestingly presented to me in Fox' book!

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