Sunday, 24 October 2010

And now... the weather

Britain's obsession with the weather: 60 per cent admit it's a 'social prop'

As interesting and amusing vintage-inspired news items seem rather thin on the ground at the moment (I've said before that they can be like buses - none for ages then two or three come along at once) I thought I would post a link to an article about the next best thing - amusing and interesting British cultural traditions.

"It is commonly observed, that when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what each must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm."

So wrote Samuel Johnson, the great author and lexicographer, in issue 11 of The Idler on Saturday 24th June 1758. Two hundred and fifty-two years later and it is funny, yet somehow reassuring, to see that nothing has changed. Many observers, both British and foreign, have since noted that we as a nation seem strangely obsessed with what the weather is doing. It has become something of an international joke that all we seem to talk about is the climate. Now thanks to the survey mentioned in the article, we can see that not only is it actually true, but also why we do it.

Yes, we do it to be polite! What's the one safe topic of conversation that you can introduce at any level and with anyone you meet? Why, what the weather's like, of course! I do so love how these findings have sought to explain this curious little characteristic of British life and I hope it has given anyone from abroad reading this some insight into one of the many peculiar traits of the British people.

So, what's the weather like where you are?

3 comments:

  1. it seems to be raining all over the world today!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Only just found your blog! Thanks for following and listing mine. I too love the fact the weather is still a hot topic of convo in the UK. Its an ice braker isn't it?
    As for the weather here in Surrey? CHUFFING COLD!

    ReplyDelete
  3. @LandGirl1980
    Welcome and thank you for following mine!

    It's cold here today too, but I like it that way. Can't be doing with the heat of summer, myself. ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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