|Pont - The Importance of Tea|
'Watching the English" analyses the characteristics of the English through the eyes of an anthropologist, Kate Fox. It's a marvellously amusing and perceptive read. Particularly accurately, she finds the English 'the most socially inept race on earth', covering up their permanenent state of embarassment with attempted humour and mock-ironic observations.
"She puts the English national character under her anthropological microscope, and finds a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and Byzantine codes of behaviour. Her minute observation of the way we talk, dress, eat, drink, work, play, shop, drive, flirt, fight, queue – and moan about it all – exposes the hidden rules that we all unconsciously obey.
The rules of weather-speak. The Importance of Not Being Earnest rule. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex-apology rule. The paranoid-pantomime rule. Class indicators and class-anxiety tests. The money-talk taboo. Humour rules. Pub etiquette. Table manners. The rules of bogside reading. The dangers of excessive moderation. The eccentric-sheep rule. The English 'social dis-ease'.
Through a mixture of anthropological analysis and her own unorthodox experiments, using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig, Kate Fox discovers what these unwritten behaviour codes tell us about Englishness".
I have a feeling that Kate Fox would appreciate the accuracy of Pont's observations