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  #21  
Old 05.09.2012, 14:17
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Re: What are we English bad at?

Britis are good at invention and innovation but lousy at following it up and turning it into business. Look how many great inventions were British, and look who's making money with them now.

I think this is due to our ingrained culture that we respect mavericks and oddballs, and thus leave them the space to innovate rather than hammering them into conformity, but we don't truly believe in them which is why we don't give them the support and follow-up to be succesful.

The Germans, Swiss and other European nations (and also the Asians) are the opposite. They don't like oddballs and feel everybody should adapt and assimilate, but when they smell a good idea they are able to mobilise support to make it happen.
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  #22  
Old 05.09.2012, 14:17
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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learning other people's languages rather than shouting louder and louder
If English is good enough for God, then it's good enough for the locals.
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  #23  
Old 05.09.2012, 14:41
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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I have recently changed jobs and come into contact with an unnamed nationality who are the WORST I have ever encountered at organisation/planning/structure.....(and I worked for four years in Russia, so this new nation was a massive revalation to me!)

Anyway - I was giving some consideration to my own inclination to make generalisations about nations (nice huh?) and wondered...<snip>
I kind of wonder how many people of that 'unnamed nationality' you encountered that you would deem the entire nationality as the WORST. Maybe you only encountered the worst organizers of that nationality and most of the folks are actually fine?

Also maybe the definition of proper organization, planning and structure has changed for you since being in CH? I know my definition has changed since living here. The Swiss have the organizing market cornered.
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  #24  
Old 05.09.2012, 14:50
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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I kind of wonder how many people of that 'unnamed nationality' you encountered that you would deem the entire nationality as the WORST. Maybe you only encountered the worst organizers of that nationality and most of the folks are actually fine?

Also maybe the definition of proper organization, planning and structure has changed for you since being in CH? I know my definition has changed since living here. The Swiss have the organizing market cornered.
A mathematics professor of mine once explained that the concept of sampling as the fact that you don't need to eat the whole pan of soup to know what it tastes like

I also didn't say that they were the worst in the world - just the worst I'd encountered.

And I'm not talking about the nth decimal place organisation of the Swiss, just normal stuff - showing up for meetings AT ALL, hitting deadlines etc etc
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  #25  
Old 05.09.2012, 15:36
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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And I'm not talking about the nth decimal place organisation of the Swiss, just normal stuff - showing up for meetings AT ALL, hitting deadlines etc etc
Since it's OT I can't click Thanks...so Thanks.

Also based on that little nugget, I'd say you encountered some Americans I've dealt with before.
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  #26  
Old 05.09.2012, 15:39
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Re: What are we English bad at?

Are bad at actually trying to talk (even a single word) in the local language while on Hollidays.

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  #27  
Old 05.09.2012, 15:46
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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Are bad at actually trying to talk (even a single word) in the local language while on Hollidays.
Hey. I speak perfect Bridlington.
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  #28  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:04
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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Are bad at actually trying to talk (even a single word) in the local language.

Fixed that for you
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  #29  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:07
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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Its unavoidable of course - but answers such as

* football
* dentistry
* cooking

etc - will be so utterly predictable that people will be asked to stay behind after class and do lines
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*waits for comment about food to complete the picture*
Sorry, I can't let this one go.... I mean....

"Coronation chicken"?! What the hell is that?


PS, what nationality are you talking about? I have my theory.... Just need you to confirm it.
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  #30  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:20
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Re: What are we English bad at?

The Brits aren't very good at contraception.
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  #31  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:23
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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sigh. .
see I did not say you guys were bad at dentistry, I just said you did not go to hte dentist...big difference!
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  #32  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:25
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Re: What are we English bad at?

[QUOTE=amogles;1654845]Britis are good at invention and innovation but lousy at following it up and turning it into business. Look how many great inventions were British, and look who's making money with them now.]

I often wonder to some extent this is 'in-born' or a result of the two very different education systems. In England, you do not have to be 'academic' to go to Uni/Further Ed. There are umpteen subject choices both at GCSE (exam taken at 16) and A'Levels (exam taken at 18)- which encourage creativity, like music, danse, drama, pottery, textiles, photography, design, technical drawing,IT, business, etc, etc. Students in Year 12 (16/17) only study 4 subjects, then drop 1 and study ONLY 3 for Year 13. The above mentioned subjects are all valid as choices, and will count towards your Uni application, providing they 'match' up with the course (eg you can't apply to medicine with A'levels in any of the 3 above- obviously).

That means UK students can go on to study at Uni in relevant subjects, even if they do not have the ability to do maths, physics, 2 foreign languages, etc. This is absolutely great for many, and results in much talent in those fields. The Swiss system, and indeed those of the majority of Europe (a little bit like the Scottish system, which is in between the 2) require all academic subjects to be continued up to the Bac/Matura- and therefore 'eliminates' a great number of students who would be able to access Uni in England. And like most things, there are great advantages and disadvantages in both types of systems. Certainly the UK system does nurture inventiveness and creativity- but is far too narrow and really does not lead to a good, solid academic base. And of course 'horses for courses' and all that.
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  #33  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:26
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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PS, what nationality are you talking about? I have my theory.... Just need you to confirm it.
yeah - coz i'm just that stupid
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  #34  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:30
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Re: What are we English bad at?

I don't really get your point, Odile, particularly in relation to Amogle's piece that you quoted.
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  #35  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:31
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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yeah - coz i'm just that stupid
Brave. I'd use the word brave.
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  #36  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:31
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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I have recently changed jobs and come into contact with an unnamed nationality who are the WORST I have ever encountered at organisation/planning/structure.....(and I worked for four years in Russia, so this new nation was a massive revalation to me!)

Anyway - I was giving some consideration to my own inclination to make generalisations about nations (nice huh?) and wondered...

In a professional / business setting, what are we English bad at?

Its a serious point - if I understand what people think of us (me), it might be easier to get things done and build relationships.

Its unavoidable of course - but answers such as

* football
* dentistry
* cooking

etc - will be so utterly predictable that people will be asked to stay behind after class and do lines
I will attempt a mostly-serious answer

1. even by American standards, you are horribly provincial;
2. your "sense of humor" can be entirely misunderstood and misconstrued, especially in developing countries or cultures;
3. also even by American standards, you love to argue for the pure and instrinsic joy of arguing; and
4. you think the rest of Europe is lazy, even though you love your weekends off and your hols just as much (if not more) than the rest of the Western world.

come to think of it, all of those things above are true of New Yorkers, as well.
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  #37  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:33
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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I will attempt a mostly-serious answer

1. even by American standards, you are horribly provincial;
2. your "sense of humor" can be entirely misunderstood and misconstrued, especially in developing countries or cultures;
3. also even by American standards, you love to argue for the pure and instrinsic joy of arguing; and
4. you think the rest of Europe is lazy, even though you love your weekends off and your hols just as much (if not more) than the rest of the Western world.

come to think of it, all of those things above are true of New Yorkers, as well.
... except the point about sense of humour. New Yorkers don't have one at all.
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  #38  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:38
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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1. even by American standards, you are horribly provincial;
Despite the fact that we have been a sea faring nation for centuries and have hundreds of global influences in our language, architecture, food, culture, etc? Really? Ya think?

The Brits are a lot of things but provincial is not really something I would use to describe them.
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  #39  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:39
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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Brave. I'd use the word brave.
You say potato....

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I will attempt a mostly-serious answer

1. even by American standards, you are horribly provincial;
2. your "sense of humor" can be entirely misunderstood and misconstrued, especially in developing countries or cultures;
3. also even by American standards, you love to argue for the pure and instrinsic joy of arguing; and
4. you think the rest of Europe is lazy, even though you love your weekends off and your hols just as much (if not more) than the rest of the Western world.

come to think of it, all of those things above are true of New Yorkers, as well.
Sense of humour is a very interesting one......and I have fallen victim to that myself
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  #40  
Old 05.09.2012, 16:40
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Re: What are we English bad at?

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I don't really get your point, Odile, particularly in relation to Amogle's piece that you quoted.
I think Odile's point makes sense.

She's basically saying that the UK system provides less of a barrier. For example in Germany or Switzerland you might find yourself unable to to university because you were bad at maths at school, even if what you really wanted to study was languages (or vice versa), so the continental system is good at breeding good generalists whereas the UK system is better at breeding high-flyers in particular areas. That may lead to there being more innovations and inventions, but it may also mean that those inventors or innovators may lack the all-round skills to actually make money out of their invention in the real world.
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