Friday, 1 October 2010
Rainy day on campus...
The Brits have a love-hate relationship with the weather, in that they love to talk about how much they hate it. When the weather is bleak, they love to complain about it; when the weather is great, they just say "Well, it won't last!"
In Kate Fox's Watching the English, she discusses the importance of weather as a conversational opener and topic for small-talk.
"Dreadful weather we've been having today, isn't it?"
The 'isn't it?' is so characteristically British in its politeness and subtlety, as it's an invitation for small-talk that can easily be accepted ('oh, yes, it's terrible!') or politely declined (quick nod and averted eyes).
So while visitors think the Brits talk about the weather too much, there's really a lot more to the weather small-talk than it seems.