Some funny observations about British speaking mannerisms, by an American singer/songwriter visiting his in-laws. An excerpt:
Fervent apologies and extravagant expressions of gratitude for trivia are just about the only occasions where British people seem comfortable and unembarrassed by overt demonstrations of emotion -- if "emotion" is the right word for what is really (I think) mostly a histrionic application of some mysterious standard of formal civility. I'm not sure if you'd use "emotion" for the heavy, gloomy, resigned "we're all doomed and there's no point" manner that most Brits seem to affect around 80% of the time: within every man, woman, child, banker, Queen, beggar, glamour girl, or bus conductor, there seems to lurk an inner Morrissey that doesn't have much trouble taking hold of the host organism in most circumstances. Other than that, though, the Brits have the unique ability to be embarrassed by just about everything.