“Talk to the hand”

16 03 2007

I just finished reading “Talk to the hand” (by Lynne Truss; it follows her very successful book on punctuation, “Eats, shoots and leaves“).

The subtitle says it all really: Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life (or six good reasons to stay home and bolt the door). To quote from the blurb: “… Talk to the Hand is not a book about manners or etiquette. It is about the rudeness of the modern world, and the sense of outrage that infects us every day as we discover other people are – generally speaking – crass, selfish, and inconsiderate…”

While this is a quick read, and reasonably humorous for the most part, it’s also a bit depressing to realise that what she has to say about behaviour in her part of Great Britain is just as applicable to urban life in Australia (my experience) and likely elsewhere.

As I was reading it, I was reminded of the BBC TV series Grumpy Old Men and Grumpy Old Women – initially, I found the episodes in those two series very funny, then I stopped watching as I found I was relating too readily to the comments I was hearing. And that was depressing… to learn that I was rapidly becoming a grumpy old woman myself!

As far as this book is concerned, it’s a quick read and worth borrowing from the local library (which is what I did). Don’t be surprised to find yourself agreeing with a lot of what she has to say – and that’s sad. Sad, not for agreeing with her, but that personal interactions between humans – especially those who don’t know each other – have become much more unpleasant.