They often say the English are very class conscious. Maybe they are but are they any more so than other nationalities? I’ve written some thoughts on this whole business and concentrated on the word ‘snob’. Do you know what it means? Or more to the point what about you? Would you consider yourself a snob?
to be honest, I don´t think that people were serious contradicting ever having been snobbish. It´s not so easy to overcome that temptation. You easily can prove that visiting a country in which the money that hardly suffices for a live in your homeland allows you to live that of an Earl… where you hardly have contact to the common people. And if, you know them as people who try to benefit from the opulence they expect you to own. And in fact, you spend an amount for a night in a hotel natives have for a month´s life. To me it´s easy to become snobbish then…, isn´t it?
Sorry I forgot to add Al… that as you know yourself Northern English and North East English people are generally slightly “poorer” (for want of a better word) and generally “Friendlier” like their North German counterparts.
Hamburg is obviously quite “snobby” and its Northern but generally I think the 2 countries are very similar in many ways not just in snobbery and I think this helps to explain some of the almost obsessive “competitiveness” between them.
Like they say
“Familiarity breeds contempt”
On an individual level this is the same reason you sometimes fight or argue with someone when you first meet them because sub consciously you are looking at part of yourself and you will firstly see it as a threat - even though you have a great chance of going on to become very close.
The Germans and the English are pretty much the same tribe.
I don’t consider myself like a snob.Of course there would be people with contention if I am a snob or someone else.
It is interesting that the word remained for a class of people which are ordinary.The difference is only today the snobs looks down on people who consider inferior but actually they aren’t.It isn’t a complete turnaround but a liittle bit modification.
I don’t understand about that certain professor and his book for upper class.The U-class words are words that sounds more scientific, am I right ?
Hi Jamie, I don’t find Hamburg ‘snobby’ at all. There are so many people there from so many different countries and walks of life. Every time I was in Hamburg I thought the people there are so much more relaxed and friendly than in Berlin for example.
I think the Germans have more in common with the Americans than with the English. Most Germans lack a good sense of humor, they have a hard time laughing about themselves, they seldom sing or dance. Go to a pub in the UK and you will see people engaged in all kinds of activities such as Karaoke, quizzes, joking, etc. Have you ever seen something like this in a pub that was occupied by Germans only?[YSaerTTEW443543]
I think every human being with half a brain has the tendency to act or react in a snobbish way every once in a while. It’s not a nice trait, but it is all too human. The rich look down on the poor, the educated look down on the ignorant, men look down on women (and I don’t care if they say otherwise), one race looks down on another race. Even the poor look down on the poor, the ignorant look down on . . . someone . . . if they know how, and I definitely know a lot of women who look down on women. And perhaps being snobbish isn’t just human. If a lion could speak, he would probably say, “Heh, what’s a gazelle but food.”
Perhaps it would help to go by the motto: I think, therefore I’m nobody.
P.S. Ambivalent.Lurker, consider yourself lucky that you don’t live in the Middle Ages. If you had called a Norman-French noble “English” or “Anglo-Saxon”, oooohweee! He would not have been a happy fellow! As far as I know, the Welsh did that to provoke the Marcher lords.
Well, Thank you Alan for this nice article. It is wonderful. If you mind, I have some questions to ask about this article:
1 - What does ‘it’s managed to turn itself inside out’ mean?
2 - What does ‘It started to life’ mean?
3 - Why did you use ‘in’ in ‘It started to life IN the 18th century’?
4 - What is the difference between ‘U’ and ‘non-U’ words?
Thank you in advance.
For your question at the end of the article, to be honest when I feel that I am going to be a snob, I force myself to no to be. However, it sometimes goes out of hand, and sometimes you need to be a snob. For example, when a (bad/rude) student come to you and ask some irritate questions, you must act as a snob. I think it prevents those students to do actions like that. Snobbish people have their own pride.
When I was rich, I found I ran the risk of often being pretentious. Invincible is probably more apt.
Now that I am VERY poor, I find myself to be far more tolerant of everyone.
I speak to everyone I meet, no matter rich or poor, in exactly the same friendly manner.
Now I have dozens of friends, whereas earlier I had only a few. People for the most part respond to a friendly smile and a pleasant greeting.
Having become poor appears to have become compensated in my being far happier than I ever was in my former life.
Torsten Im speaking in a context of Snobbishness which is the topic of the thread.
If you take a ferry into Hamburg you will see miles and miles(miles hehe) of mansion type homes near the waters edge that you won’t see in too many other parts of Germany. I bet you didn’t speak to many inhabitants of these homes when you visited Hamburg. Obviously the majority of Hamburg is not snobby but you could say the same thing about London but take a trip into Mayfair etc and you will see the same jewelry and snootiness you will see among the elite of Hamburg.
England has the highest number of Mansion houses in the world yet most of the population is working class - not dissimilar to Germany.
I agree but your off Topic Torsten - For your talking about the General population I am just comparing the “Snobs” of both countries - In England they say “Sir” in Germany its “Von”
The aristocracy of both Countries have a lot of connections but what got me thinking was when I worked on the Furstenhof Hotel Leipzig which was being reconstructed by a company from Munich (Alpino)
Anyway sometimes I would be just working away - then suddenly 3 or 4 Architects/Boss’s would come walking along dressed in Dark Suits complete with brollys and bowler hats and a lot of the time eating 99 Ice creams while they surveyed the work. I never really understood the Ice Cream perhaps only as an eccentric bonding for these Toff’s but they might as well have been City Gents working in the City (financial sector) of london.
thank you for evoking this issue , but I think that being a “snob” is inevitable especially when you find some peaple showing off , so i think that one should be modest with whom deserves, and snob with" arrogants