Rules of Englishness

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A shortlist of the main hidden rules of English behaviour. From "Watching the English" by Kate Fox

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Rules of Englishness

  1. 1. THE RULES OF INTRODUCTION Awkwardness Rules The No-name Rule The ‘Pleased to Meet You’ Problem The Embarrassment Rule THE RULES OF ENGLISH GOSSIP Privacy Rules The Guessing-game Rule The Distance Rule The “print exception” Sex Differences in English Gossip Rules The Tone Rule The Feedback Rule BONDING-TALK Female Bonding: the Counter- compliment Rules Male Bonding: the Mine’s Better Than Yours Rules THE LONG GOODBYE RULE RULES OF TALK
  2. 2. HUMOUR RULES THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT BEING EARNEST RULE The ‘Oh, Come Off It!’ Rule IRONY RULES The Understatement Rule The Self-deprecation Rule
  3. 3. PUB-TALK THE RULES OF ENGLISH PUB-TALK The Sociability Rule The Invisible-queue Rule The Pantomime Rule The Rules of Ps and Qs The ‘And One for Yourself?’ Rule – and the Principles of Polite Egalitarianism Exception to the Pantomime Rule & Other Rules of Regular-speak: Greeting Rules The Rules of Coded Pub-talk The Rules of the Pub-argument The Free-association Rule
  4. 4. HOME RULES THE MOAT-AND-DRAWBRIDGE RULE NESTBUILDING RULES CLASS RULES HOUSE-TALK RULES: The ‘Nightmare’ Rule Money-talk Rules The Awful Estate-agent Rule Improvement-talk Rules GARDEN RULES Your Own Front Garden, You May Not Enjoy’ The Front-garden Social-availability Rule The Back-garden Formula
  5. 5. RULES OF THE ROAD PUBLIC TRANSPORT RULES The Denial Rule Exceptions to the Denial Rule: The Politeness Exception The Information Exception The Moan Exception The Mobile-phone Ostrich Rule COURTESY RULES ‘Negative-politeness’ Rules Bumping Experiments and the Reflex-apology Rule Taxi Exceptions to the Denial Rule – the Role of Mirrors QUEUING RULES The Indirectness Rule The Paranoid Pantomime Rule Body-language and Muttering Rules CAR RULES The Status-indifference Rule Car-care and Decoration Rules Courtesy Rules The Ostrich Rule
  6. 6. WORK TO RULE THE MUDDLE RULES HUMOUR RULES The Importance of Not Being Earnest Rule Irony and Understatement Rules THE POLITE PROCRASTINATION RULE THE MONEY-TALK TABOO THE MODERATION RULE MOANING RULES The Monday-morning Moan The Time-moan and the Meeting-moan The Mock-moaning Rule and the ‘Typical!’ Rule OFFICE-PARTY RULES
  7. 7. Reading Rules The ‘Shopping as Saving’ Rule Pet Rules and ‘Petiquette’ Games Etiquette The Underdog Rule Pub Rules The Rules of Round-buying You Are What You Drink The Rules of Drunkenness RULES OF PLAY
  8. 8. DRESS CODE RULES FOOD RULES RULES OF SEX RITES OF PASSAGE OTHER RULES
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