Author Archive


The English and schadenfreude

The English feel schadenfreude even about themselves. Martin Amis Favorite0


I was very grateful that I didn’t do the British stiff upper lip

And so I was very grateful that I didn’t do the British stiff upper lip, but I went straight to a therapist. And she was wonderful and helpful, and I went for about two years. Lynn Redgrave Favorite0


Empire built with a Bible in one hand, a pistol in the other

The Germans are called brutal, the Spanish cruel, the Americans superficial, and so on; but we are perfide Albion, the island of hypocrites, the people who have built up an Empire with a Bible in one hand, a pistol in the other, and financial concessions in both pockets. Is the charge true?


Britain, Onanistan and malakas

This is a letter I received from a reader ages ago: Since you are a linguist and seem knowledgeable on the subject, could you explain the actual “provenance” of Onanistan to me? I am personally satisfy with the following explanation but for the sake of Truth you might shade some light on


Thatcher simply did not give a shit about people

Thatcher was not a strong or formidable leader. She simply did not give a shit about people, and this coarseness has been neatly transformed into bravery by the British press who are attempting to re-write history in order to protect patriotism. As a result, any opposing view is stifled or ridiculed, whereas


Is that sign language you’re talking?

This is a story as related to me by a Greek student in the UK. She had been to a coffee place with a friend of hers who was Italian, and kept chatting away with her the Mediterranean way. At a certain point an English young man approached and asked them, in


The British class system revisited

Recently the BBC came up with a test (with the pretentious name of “Great British Class Survey”) so that every Brit could be able to ascertain the class they belong in. To start with, I could find it hard to imagine any other people or nation (especially when the initiative comes from one