UK-US: Unity in Diversity…? Think again!

BBC’s Paul Reynolds writes about the diversity in language and unity of thought between US and UK in Analysis: Divided by common language

George Bernard Shaw, who said that “England and America are two countries divided by a common language”, would have had a field day with the two reports just issued on Iraq and the missing weapons of mass destruction.

The reports, from the US Senate Intelligence Committee and from the British inquiry headed by Lord Butler, had similar messages – that intelligence about Iraq was a mess.

But one was delivered like a trumpet and the other like a flute.

And while the one said that all were at fault and all were to blame, the other said that all were at fault and no one was to blame. […]

[…] Decoding British officialese is an art form and getting it wrong can be dangerous.

Once in Brussels, with tongue-in cheek, I advised a European diplomat never to be optimistic if a British official said in a meeting that he “could not completely agree with” such and such a proposal.

This meant, I said, that he completely disagreed with it.


Hilarious. To say the least.


PS: Thanks Sid, as usual… ­čśë