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Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of…
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Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Kate Fox

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1,557414,707 (3.82)65
Member:AnglersRest
Title:Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour
Authors:Kate Fox
Info:Hodder & Stoughton (2005), Paperback, 424 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Sociology

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Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox (2004)

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» See also 65 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
anthropology
  coolmama | Apr 8, 2014 |
This book was great! I kept having to go into the other room and interrupt my husband's music to read passages to him. I got great laughs throughout. I read a lot of English fiction and enjoy English television. This opened up these worlds and gives new depth to what I'm reading and watching. I highly recommend it! ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Delightful trip through the English psyche. I recognised far too much of myself and everyone I know - and learnt a few things that had passed me by (as I grew up abroad). Must-read for anyone moving to the UK! ( )
  imyril | May 29, 2013 |
Very much enjoyed this again, on second reading. I had mis-remembered that it was as funny as, say, a Bill Bryson book, which it's not - quite - but nevertheless I giggled over lots of it and read many bits out to my willing partner, who plans to read it himself sometime soon.

The insights are quite striking, though as you would expect a little less startling second time round (first time of reading I remember being really taken by the idea that English people form an orderly queue of one if they're waiting at a bus stop - still true second time round, but now more of a comfortable appreciation than a startling new realization). Overall, the quotes from people she's interviewed are the best bit, with her summing-up at the end of each chapter the least interesting bit (following the essay structure of "I've told you what I'm going to tell you, and now I'm telling you, and now I'll tell you what I've told you").

Recommended for anyone English, yes, but also for anyone with an eye for cultural differences. ( )
  comixminx | Apr 5, 2013 |
This was really a fun read. I haven't spent much time in England, but from the countless novels and movies that are set there, her observations seem pretty legit.
In a lot of ways, this book did what I wished [book: Snoop] had done. The descriptions of what things like your garden plants say about your social class were priceless. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
"Social dis-ease", she decides, is the "central core of Englishness". She holds this congenital awkwardness responsible for everything from our "obsession with privacy" to our celebrated courtesy, famous reserve and infinite capacity for embarrassment. "We do everything in moderation," she believes. Fox's curiosity about English behaviour, which she attempts to reduce, in this prodigously long investigation, into key constituent parts, is matched only by her regret that we are not a more free and easy nationality.
 
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To Henry, William, Sarah and Katharine
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I am sitting in a pub near Paddington station, clutching a small brandy.
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There are of course other theories of language evolution, the most appealing of which is Geoffrey Miller's proposition that language evolved as a courtship device - to enable us to flirt. (from footnote 15)
the Edwardian rhyme "The Germanys live in Germany; The Romans live in Rome; The Turkeys live in Turkey; But the English live at home. (from footnote 31)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this volume, Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks and habits of the English people. From the most famous traits through to the most bizarre reflex reactions, she holds a mirror up to the English national character.

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