The British and the Weather
If you listen to, or read the British media often, you will be told at least once a week that the British public loves to talk about the weather. It is always said in such a nostalgic, almost romantic way. They make it out to be one of the quintessential traits that differentiates us from the rest of the world.
The good old harmless British people talking about the weather down the centuries. The housewives chatting over the garden wall; the men folk in the village pub; the squire and his serfs, all chatting about the weather, because they don’t have a care in the world…
What a charming picture!
And how untrue. People may talk about the weather because they don’t know the other person well enough to talk about anything meaningful or they may not trust them with their own views. Or they may just be too ill-informed to hold a conversation on a different subject.
However, that is by the by, what I’m really getting at is that in ordinary circumstances, people all over the world talk about the weather all the time. I speak seven languages and have lived in several countries from Thailand to Suriname and there is not one country that I have ever visited where the weather is not the main topic of conversation!
Sure, the emphasis might be different. In Thailand, people talk about how hot it is (although it is hot almost every day); Welsh people talk about the rain; Finns talk about the cold… British people are not unique in talking about the weather!
British people lap up this nonsense because most of them don’t speak any foreign languages, but why does the media constantly ram the idea down our throats?
Distraction? Feel-good factor? I don’t know, you tell me. I only know that it is rubbish of the highest order and we are fed it all the time.
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Podcast: The British and the Weather