- Taschenbuch: 424 Seiten
- Verlag: Hodder Paperbacks (11. April 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0340818867
- ISBN-13: 978-0340818862
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 2,8 x 19,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 39 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 56.244 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Watching the English. The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour. (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 11. April 2005
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She has not only compiled a comprehensive list of English qualities, she has examined them in depth and wondered how we came to acquire them. Her book is a delightful read. (The Sunday Times)
I loved the section on mobile-phone etiquette. Shrewd . . . I liked the chapter on English humour. This is an entertaining, clever book. Do read it and then pass it on. (Daily Telegraph)
Amusing . . . entertaining. (The Times)
Watching the English . . . will make you laugh out loud ("Oh God. I do that!") and cringe simultaneously ("Oh God. I do that as well."). This is a hilarious book which just shows us for what we are . . . beautifully-observed. It is a wonderful read for both the English and those who look at us and wonder why we do what we do. Now they'll know. (Birmingham Post)
Fascinating reading. (Oxford Times)
An absolutely brilliant examination of English culture and how foreigners take as complete mystery the things we take for granted. (Jennifer Saunders, The Times)
If you like this kind of anthropology (and I do) there is a wealth of it to enjoy in this book. Her observations are acute...fortunately she doesn't write like an anthropologist but like an English woman -with amusement, not solemnity, able to laugh at herself as well as us. (Daily Mail)
The hardback bestseller now in paperback: 'An entertaining and clever book. Do read it.' -Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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I wish I'd read this book before I went. Not that I wouldn't have found a lot of American behaviour strange after reading it (I would still have done) but I would have been more aware of my cultural disabilities and how weird I must seem to them.
That's the power of this book - you can dip into almost any page, read a paragraph and say "that's me!" Kate Fox has studied the English for 10 years with remarkable acuity and she is able to identify behaviours that, to us, are entirely normal but are actually just part of our collective odd English behaviour patterns. When a man I had just been introduced to in America said "So, tell me all about yourself" I was left gaping at him in horror; `Watching The English' describes how people in the UK never share personal information unless they know someone particularly well - and in fact most people don't even introduce themselves to start with - my horror was expected and justified as I had never before been called upon to `blow my own trumpet' and it is completely counter to British reserve and our self-effacing nature. Her comments on ignoring other passengers on train journeys, on our national obsession with pets, on queuing, mobile phone use, class distinctions, dislike of fuss and bother and so many other areas rang completely true.
What I particularly liked about the book (and that I am English would of course confirm this) was that she wrote with a lot of humour and throw-away one-liners, she wasn't hugely pro-English or anti-English, she wasn't anti-American (despite them being so ODD!) and was able to illustrate her comments through the vast amount of research that she has done, including interviewing English people and foreigners and carrying out experiments herself (such as bumping into people in the street and seeing if they say `sorry' - the English generally do).
It's a surprisingly long book and not something you'd sit and read in one go. In fact I think it works best as something you dip into and that's how I've read it over a few days - opening it at random, reading a few pages, then flicking on. It's all subdivided into different headings and subheadings and doesn't really need to be read linearly to be understood. I found myself reading out vast tranches of it to anyone in earshot as it was so amusing and accurate. I read the introduction last of all, having read many comments by Amazon reviews that it was rather hard going - I found the introduction fine, but perhaps that was because by then I had enjoyed the book and found that I very much appreciated the author, her self-deprecating humour and her willingness to share her foibles and those of her family.
This book would make an ideal present for any English people out there who want to laugh at themselves (that's all of us), for anyone about to travel to a different culture (to avoid misunderstandings through others' behaviour) and particularly for those living in other countries who want to visit us without putting their foot in it at every conceivable opportunity.
The book worked on two levels for me. First, the way it was intended: as a detailed, anthropological study of the English. However, it also worked for me by being unintentionally hilarious. The ultra serious way it delved into the lifestyles of the British, undubtedly the most neurotic, starchy, puritanical bunch of snobs in the world. I howled with delight.
Along with Martha Bolton's "Maybe Life's Just Not That Into You" a HILARIOUS parody of the self help genre, I found "Watching The English" to be among the funniest books I've read recently. And educational. A great read for anybody into the Brits.
Hardly ever before have I read such a good book on the behaviour of English people. In fact, I should have read it much earlier, but unfortunately Kate Fox didn't publish her book ealier than 2005....
Being an anthropologist, she has obeserved the English in all walks of life: at work, in pubs, at weddings, on the road, queueing at a bus stop, having meals, at shops. When ever she can, she compares the behaviour of the English as to their affiliation of class. She maintains that the class system can be observed today as it could in the past.
Read an excerpt from the book, in which Kate Fox describe how English behave in a restaurant where they are totally dissatisfied with their food:
"The Silent Complaint Most English people, faced with unappetizing or even inedible food, are too embarrassed to complain at all. Complaining would be 'making a scene', 'making a fuss' or 'drawing attention to oneself' in public - all forbidden by the unwritten rules. It would involve a confrontation, an emotional engagement with another human being, which is unpleasant and uncomfortable and to be avoided if at all possible. English customers may moan indignantly to their companions, push the offending food to the side of their plate and pull disgusted faces at each other, but when the waiter asks if everything is all right they smile politely, avoiding eye contact, and mutter, 'Yes, fine, thanks.' Standing in a slow queue at a pub or cafe food counter, they sigh heavily, fold their arms, tap their feet and look pointedly at their watches, but never actually cornplain. They will not go back to that establishment, and will tell all their friends how awful it is, but the poor publican or restaurateur will never even know that there was anything amiss."
Read what Kate Fox means by the 'social dis-ease' (see quotation below) English people suffer from and what the 'facilitators' are by which the English try to overcome their social dis-ease. You'll also learn to find the subleties by which English people can determine which class one belongs to. Read about fair play, the rule of 'not being earnest', the English humour andhow difficult it can even be for Americans to understand the behaviour of English business people.
Find out the reasons why the English sitting directly at the bar are more likely to talk to you than if your were sitting in some distance from the bar. Or what is the hidden rule about round buying in a pub?
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