On the dying art of conversation

On the Dying Art of Conversation
How to Be More English?
(2) On the Dying Art of Conversation

It is not true that the English talk about the weather all the time, even if it actually is a lot to talk about as it changes quite often here. However, it is believed that their  conversations often slightly 'lack in substance'. Especially compared with the Poles', who find their true vocation in talking about politics. This is usually explained as follows: in England there is a greater social distance between people and so superficial conversations are preferred. This is, in our humble opinion, total bullshit.

The whole issue hinges on the fact that, allegedly, Englishmen are more distant towards each other. Yet, we have never come across any evidence that would convince us that this is the case. Hence we do not believe in that and would be delighted to show that the opposite is true.

Firstly, if you actually bother to listen to a conversation between two Englishmen, you will unavoidably discover how many personal issues are mentioned and how many facts from their personal lives are touched.  How many times did my aunt use to brush her teeth? Will Mike manage to pull Lucy? How did my football team do yesterday? These matters are all crucial and indicate that the conversation is direct, honest and wholehearted.

Secondly, if we were forced to admit that there is a difference in the patterns of Polish and English conversation, we would only point out the fact that the English more often feel obliged to make a conversation. But this precisely shows the care for the other person and willingness to bridge the gap to him or her.

Finally, just in case you do not believe in any of the above, talking about weather can bring a real relief upon some people. Try it yourself, but remember these words: 'When people are talking about the weather, they are thinking about something else'.

What would that be?

Put the words into action

Well, obviously the rules of grammar.  Often language learners concentrate so much on correct grammar  that the actual contents suffers and they do what can be concisely described as 'talking rubbish'. And this is generally not desirable. So practice! Start to speak English with your friends. (If that is impossible, please remember that taps, washing machines, irons and other domestic appliances also make quite good, if mute, conversation partners. For instance, in the days of our youth we indulged in talking to our toothbrush while showering. It did wonders to our fluency.) Remember to go at least twice through all you have done during  the day. Then move onto your short-term and long-term plans, your greatest regrets and biggest hopes. Wrap it off with an anecdote. And make sure it is the same one every time.

Good luck! Make sure you use all the Necessary Vocabulary and check this site next week to learn that only the appropriate attitude towards others can make you truly English.

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