July 23, 2005

err…Hi, my name's Dan…

Writing about web page http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0340818867/qid=1122112107/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_11_1/202-5277313-1366244

"In fact, the only rule one can identify with any certainty in this confusion over introductions and greetings is that, to be impeccably English, one must perform these rituals badly. One must appear self-conscious, ill-at-ease, stiff, awkward and, above all, embarassed. Smoothness, glibness and confidence are inappropriate and un-English. Hesitation, dithering and ineptness are, surprising as it may seem, correct behaviour.

Introductions should be performed as hurriedly as possible, but also with maximum inefficiency. If disclosed at all, names must be mumbled; hands should be tentatively half-proffered and then withdrawn; the approved greeting is something like 'Er, how, um, plstm-, er, hello?'.

If you are socially skilled, or come from a country where these matters are handled in a more reasonable, straightforward manner (such as anywhere else on this planet), you may need a bit of practice to achieve the required degree of embarassed, stilted incompetence


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