I stumbled upon this wonderful essay, “Sorry, but do you speak English?” by Terry Eagleton in last weekend’s
“Wall Street Journal.”
He’s just published “Across the Pond: An Englishman’s View of America”, a humorous look at America from an Englishman’s point of view. He writes:
“Not long ago, an American friend was driving rather too vigorously in the west of Ireland when he was pulled over by a Gard (police officer). “What would happen if you were to run into Mr. Fog?” the Gard inquired gruffly in his thick Irish brogue. Stung by this patronizing query, my friend replied with heavy sarcasm, “Well, I guess I’d put Mr. Foot on Mr. Brake.” Whereupon the officer stared at him rather strangely and growled, “I said mist or fog.”
My friend, as it happens, is an anthropologist. For one enthralling moment he thought he had stumbled upon a tribe in the west of Ireland which personified aspects of the weather, speaking of Mrs. Hailstorm, Master Sunshine and so on. But it was just another case of international miscommunication.
My husband subscribes to the Wall Street Journal on Saturdays, which is their weekend edition, and I must say, it is a very good read – not so much for the financial news, but for fun, whimsical, eye-catching and well-written stories on food, wine, travel, fashion, culture and lifestyle.
It’s the kind of reading that pairs best with a hot cup of coffee, freshly made pancakes and a morning at home with nothing pressing to do. It might be the closest thing to a good British weekend newspaper in America. I should add the Financial Times in the U.S. comes at a close second – not sure what the correlation is between financial newspapers and a good lifestyle section, but there clearly is a correlation. I also like that the financial newspapers doesn’t come preloaded with all the normal weekend tat that’s weighing down other American newspapers – coupons, sales flyers, Parade Magazine, need I say more?.
But I digress. I was a little behind on my WSJ reading and just went through the Aug. 27 paper (don’t judge…). The front page of Off Duty was this: “The Scottish are Coming.” If you never thought that the kilt would make its way to our shores, well, read on … I’m loving the tweed and tartan, the wool and the Fair Isle. They form the foundation of my idea of the perfect fall wardrobe.