Separated by a common language - Understanding English

Everybody may well use the same language on this forum, but I find it fascinating how the use of language differs, particularly when it come to the use of passive aggressive sarcasm by us Brits. I’m Scottish, which means I can go totally off the sarcasm scale if I’m not careful.

My own particular favourites are “I’m happy to be proved wrong on that” which translates into “you’re wrong” and “with respect” which is a great way having no respect whatsoever.

What’s your favourite bit of passive aggressive sarcasm?

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In the American South, we use ‘bless your heart’, which loosely translated means “you’re a moron.”

At least that’s how I interpret the phase, having lived here for about 25 years.

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Those of us from the upper-midwest here in the States can lay claim to being fairly good at the passive-aggressive thing.

I suspect many of us are familiar with this line from our mothers: “You’re going out? You’re sure?”

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As an American who has worked with brits for 10 years, I speak fluent passive aggression. This chart may be a useful translations for non-native speakers.

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Hah, I got presented with this when I was reviewing a pull request for a colleague recently: I was guilty of the “I’m sure it’s my fault” comment.

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A few years back I horribly offended a British colleague when she had my partner and I over for dinner and I said the dinner was “Quite good.” To an American, that’s “very good”. She was deeply hurt and wanted to know what was wrong with it… :rofl:

I see.

(My favourite way to not agree with someone)

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Dining table diplomacy, right there :rofl:

That’s interesting…

(You are a maniac and I want this topic to end NOW.)

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That’s pro level _____!

  • ftp
  • w/kg
  • watts
  • speed
  • time

(your power meter / trainer calibration is off)

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It’ll be fine.

We’re probably all going to die.

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I love this thread. :laughing:

I find I use “I’m sure I’m just confused” or “it must have been my fault” in certain RL situations. I had to dispute a charge where they clearly made a mistake and would not have caught that I overpaid by nearly $300, and it was difficult not to say “ooooh, don’t double charge me for dat!”

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“Correct me if I’m wrong.”

Oops, just re-read the original post. Almost the same thing, maybe mine is the Aussie version.

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My dad’s highest accolade is alright.

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I almost had to stop an international incident when a Dutch customer tasted wine in a French restaurant, and qualified it as “it will have to do”.

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How could I forget:

“I appreciate your concerns”

(You can’t even begin to imagine how little I care)

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@themagicspanner Go back and read my posts in a voice that sounds like Stephen Seiler. That’s what I sound like. I think I’ve even apologized a few times for being “too American” on what is clearly an international forum.

Also, what nationality is @Captain_Doughnutman? I totally get his humor but I’ve seen posts where it goes right past some ppl. Shame because he cracks me up.

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