Tuesday, 14 June 2011

What they really mean

As an Expat, living in London and married to a man with English as his 2nd language, I have had my fair share of misunderstandings - some funny, some hilarious, some resulting in sulking and no good night kiss (and yes, I know there is the added difficulty of understanding the opposite sex). I am only slowly getting to grips with the subtleties of the English Language.  To top it all, whilst the Germans favour a quite direct approach, the English are masters in disguising an altogether different meaning behind polite probing or, on occasions, even saying the totally opposite.

Here are some examples:

"With the greatest respect ..."     You are talking utter rubbish!

" And by the way / incidentally..."   Now we come to the main purpose of our discussion!

"Very interesting ..."   I don't agree!

"Quite nice..." Not too bad!

"I'll bear it in mind ..."  I will do nothing about it!

"I'm sure it's my fault..."  It's your fault!

"That is an original point of view ..."  You must be crazy!

"This is not entirely helpful ..."  Completely useless!

"Your suggestion just needs some fine-tuning ..."  I have a better idea!

"I was a bit disappointed..."  Actually, I was annoyed!

"I am bemused..."  Actually I am at a loss, confused, bewildered


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