And the topic this week? The joys of British humour!
(And yes, I will spell it with a “u”. That is the correct spelling.)
I will make no secret of the fact that I am horribly biased. My YouTube feed is always filled with comedians, almost all of whom have lived in the UK.
Sarcasm is our stamp upon the world – and frankly, no-one does it better.
To be completely honest, a part of me thinks we’re compensating for our weather. Sure, it’s raining, but let’s lighten it up a little.
To those unfamiliar with it, British humour is confusing. It is built on the ability to read between the lines, upon sarcastic sly comments, and sentences laden with irony. I mean, obviously, we’re going to tell that story of you doing that stupidly embarrassing thing that one time on holiday.
We will judge you, and ourselves, all in the same breath. And we’ll do it with a deadpan look on our faces, just to add to the atmosphere, so you’ll never be quite sure if we mean it or not.
We’ll employ the use of innuendo and do it with pride.
The most important thing to remember though, is that we don’t really ‘switch it off’. British culture is inherently underlined by a subtle self-deprecation.
Think about it.
We are the nation that tried to name a research vessel “Boaty McBoatface”. Now, to some people, that just seems juvenile.
And it is. But that is the beauty of it.
British people are forever looking out for the underdog. We dislike pompous and self-assured statements that indicate a bloated self-confidence. We enjoy deflating egos, and undermining authority. You gave us the responsibility of naming a £200 million research vessel? Fools. And just to rub it in, let us demonstrate how ridiculous that idea is, by choosing the stupidest name we can think of.
If we can mock it, we will. We have TV shows dedicated to doing this, for crying out loud.
To be honest, that’s probably why so many of us are confused by – or just plain dislike – Americans. You’re all so optimistic about life.
We like understatement. We celebrate failure.
We are a sarky, sassy, and pessimistic bunch.
And we’re fabulous at it.