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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, January 14

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A study of language and sarcasm.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Hey, Hoddlers!

Believe it or not, but this is not the first time I’ve stumbled across a picture of Hugo Lloris spitting out his water. Guess it’s a photogenic action.

Ramble of the Day

A couple of days ago, my older sister stumbled upon a study about British phrases and how Americans react to them and sent it my way. She figured — and I agreed — that it might be worth rambling about. It turns out that the study is an interesting summary of the sarcastic and maybe pessimistic British people — and the more optimistic Americans.

As is always the case, context is pretty helpful. The study asked its participants, “If, during a discussion on the best way to do something, someone said the following phrase to you, which of the below comes closest to your interpretation of what they mean?” It probably explains why some of these phrases are definitely meant to be sarcastic, and therefore also makes the whole study a little bit more amusing.

Photo via BuzzFeed

It is pretty obvious that some of these phrases come with a negative connotation. I can’t really imagine a scenario in which “I almost agree” is followed by something entirely positive, though I do imagine there are versions where both the British meaning of “I don’t agree at all” and the American interpretation of “he’s not far from agreement” are the right ones. Interestingly, Brits tend to think that “that’s not bad” isn’t so bad, and by that I mean that it’s good. Americans, though, take a more negative view on that one even though they usually don’t in this study by thinking that would mean something is actually bad.

The context is very helpful with the phrase “you must come for dinner,” I find, because there are probably a lot of scenarios in which that is a genuine sentiment. It does make me feel bad for anyone that accidentally gets involved in that situation, though; I’m imagining right now that an American and a Brit have this conversation, and neither person wants to go to dinner, but the American feels like it would be impolite not to go, so the American goes and then both people (and the others that might be there) are involved in a dinner that no one wants. I won’t say this is anyone’s fault — the British person might’ve let it slip out because that person frequently runs into people that would interpret the phrase the same way. I’m dreading this imaginary scenario, so I’ll stop thinking about it.

One more thought before I let you go on with the rest of your day: I quite like “that is a very brave proposal,” and that’s for a few reasons. One, it’s a pretty good phrase and I may try working that into my normal rotation of phrases. Second, the phrase embodies the amusing nature of the study perfectly. It’s an exaggeration of the study results itself — Brits interpret it to mean “you are insane,” which is the really obvious sentiment from my point of view, but is obviously not what everyone thinks. Then again, it’s a really large interpretation, and perhaps a little bit harsh, but funny when juxtaposed with the American interpretation. “He thinks I have courage” is, again, to my mind the wrong way to think of this, but now I begin to understand why someone might interpret it that way. Someone could be genuine when saying that, and it’s perhaps where I keep ending up as I sort through these results.

I suppose this is mostly just a study in how sarcastic you think the other person is, which is a pretty interesting thing to unpack. I won’t do that right now, though.

tl;dr: Optimism, pessimism, and probably a lot of sarcasm.

Links of the Day

Former Leeds United and South Africa forward Phil Masinga has died at age 49 from “a cancer related disease.”

Sunday’s FA Women’s Championship match between Charlton and Manchester United was abandoned after the medical staff ran out of oxygen for Charlton’s Charlotte Kerr after she suffered a head injury.

Leeds United has apologized after manager Marcelo Bielsa sent spies to Derby County’s training ahead of Leeds’s 2-0 win on Friday.

Transfer roundup: Monaco has signed Cesc Fabregas from Chelsea; Sampdoria has signed Manolo Gabbiadini from Southampton

Today’s longer read: Tariq Panja on fighting relegation, upholding tradition, having a lot of money, and very Athletic Bilbao specific problems for The New York Times