When Mr John Thomas posted this image on British (polite) English and what it actually means, and what we understand from it, I could not but relive my 16 months long stay in Britain.
First, permit me to post that image from FB, and then add a few of my own experiences with British English (by no means exhaustive!)
The first thing, after I landed at London Heathrow airport, the came across, I heard was ‘please!’ with a long ‘eeeeee’, and I was deeply impressed. Later, during my stay at the University of Warwick and Oxford (in the UK), I realised what they acually it mean is what’s the problem with you?’ or a bit more mildly, ‘can’t you hear me?’ or ‘pay attention!’
So, here we go:
What the British say What they mean What we think of it
Please what’s the matter with you/ what’s wrong with you What a lovely fellow!
pay attention/ careful
You are OK? Something is wrong with me? Are you fine?
Thank you You did your job so courteous!
Sorry Can’t you see me? S/he made a mistake
How rude of you! Let me forgive him/her
May I help you? What business do you have here? So kind of you! S/he wants to help me!
Amazing So boring! Absolutely marvellous!
Brilliant How stupid (your idea is!) Astounding!
If you may like Do it, you have no choice! I am free to do it
One way of doing it is This is the best way; do it! How respectfully s/he suggests!
May I request you? You have no choice S/he is graceful/pleasant
Well, this is not the end. It is only the beginning. I will keep adding. In case you have something more to share, please feel free