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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Friday, 16 October 2015

I'm so excited

As Kate Fox points out at great length in Watching the English we are, on the whole, a reserved lot.  We find introductions awkward; we are entirely capable of holding a  stilted conversation with a stranger at a social event without introducing ourselves or bothering to find out the other fellow's name. In fact we don't care what their name is - it makes it easier to ignore them next time round. By instinct we are masters of understatement, pessimists, inverted snobs, turn everything into a joke, and are easily embarrassed by overt displays of  "enthusiasm" or emotion. We must drive the natives of other nations bonkers.

So now explain to me a convention that I've observed developing in the academic twittersphere.  It now seems de rigueur to tweet something along the lines of: "So excited to be sharing a platform with (fill in the name of a very serious person)" or words to that effect. Excited? Really? Are there any signs of somatic arousal? Has your pulse quickened? Breathing got shallow? Having trouble controlling bodily functions? No? I thought not. The English do not get excited by the thought of going to an academic seminar. Let's get real, half of the audience won't even be listening, they'll be too busy telling all their friends where they are.

So here we are again, self-puffing bullshit. The English are not modest. They just do self-promotion in a different way.

Which is all in the way of an excuse for a bit of Pointer Sisters.

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