“I think the Europeans are hostile toward the English because the English have some irritating habits--the habit, for instance, of ending sentences with questions that sound like reprimands: ‘You say it's difficult for you to tell because you haven't read the survey? Well, you'll have to read it, then, won't you?’ See how snotty that sounds?
“Why do the English talk so funny? For one thing, they're all hard of hearing. All Englishmen are hard of hearing. That's why they end a lot of sentences with questions--just to check and make sure the other fellow heard what they were saying ... That's why they're always saying, ‘I say!’ It gives the other fellow a warning that they're about to say something, and then he knows to tune in.”—American journalist and humorist Calvin Trillin, Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff (2011)
(Photo of Calvin Trillin taken at a discussion at Dartmouth College, February 2011.)
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