The British are very pragmatic. This has good and bad effects.
For example, a good effect is that many things work pretty well, such as the government. This also helped industry develop.
A bad effect is that they sometimes settle on local minima forever. Examples:
  • as of 2020, they are still using imperial units in everyday life, rather than International System of Units, which was setup by the French, who are much more idealistic, and can therefore can break from such insanity more often.
  • the persistence of the insane system of colleges of the University of Oxford
  • the incredibly late date of the decimal day in 1971, and that was partly due to the advent of the computer. That one was too much, even for the Brits, or maybe it helped that the greedy financiers were involved
  • the British train system as of the 2010's, which is completely not unified, each part operated by a different company with different standards. Private and public unification efforts are ongoing, Trainline being one of the best/only private buy from any line unification approaches.
  • Church of England priests can marry, which reduces the proportion of pedophiles. Also women were accepted starting in the 1970's in certain dioceses (non uniform rules as usual, typical of English pragmatism), including for bishop
If it ain't totally broken, just let it continue forever! See also: Section "History of the University of Oxford".
If you ask for something, and they don't want to do it for whatever reason, they won't say no. They will say "I could do it, sure, no problem" and just never do it, nor explain why they don't want to do it!
And then if you don't understand that this actually meant "no" and push things further, they might eventually say "no", but they might become offended that you didn't understand them at first!
Please just say at least "yes" or "no". And if you're feelig specially nice, say "why no" which helps a lot the asker sometimes, though that's optional since people are entitled to their privacy. Just don't waste our poor foreigners' time with "bhlarmeh"!
Perhaps East Asia is a similar and more severe case of the same problem. But at least in their case it is so obvious that you already expect it.
The polar opposite apparently beign Germen and the like.
Why we can't find more bibliography on this?
  • "Why are British people so indirect?". Now deleted body with some fixes, bullshit deletion procedure they have:
    I've worked with people from all over the globe, but its when i work Work with British people it's always frustrating.
    From conversations to communicating what they would like me to do for them in notes. Never direct. Confusing and unclear. When I ask politely what they are asking me to do I get some patronising passive aggressive BS.
    Most times I don't even have to ask questions or clear things up. I try to make sense of everything, but sometimes I have to ask. In my job its important that I have the exact facts. I need 100% clarity from colleagues, so decisions I make don't come back to bite me on the ass. My clients don't have time for British behaviour like that. I don't have time for that.
    Why are Brits do indirect and passive aggressive in the workplace?
    The best comment:
    Brits do tend to be a bit passive aggressive, but we're also generally quite logical and reasonable creatures. Be direct and just say 'look, cut the bullshit, tell me your honest opinion, I won't take offense' and they should open up more.
    Nice try Johnson, I'm not falling for that trap.
  • Things that mean "no" by "Very British Problems":
    • Yeah, could do
    • I'm easy really
    • Well, yes and no
    • We'll see
    • Maybe
    • If that's what you fancy
    • I'll see how I feel
  • "Talking with the Brits - the problem with indirectness"
Video 1.
How I Faked Being American interview with Jack Barsky
. Source. The former East German spy undercover in the USA says:
I had learned to speak English and write it as well as anybody, but I hadn't become an American culturally.
My behavior was still very German.
Having now learned the difference between the German style and the American style, I have been trying to adjust and soften the way I'm approaching things.
Germans are in your face, they will tell you what they think even if you don't ask for it, and they will criticize you at any chance they get.
And that was me.
And there's still a residue of that left.
Americans will be a little more passive, sometimes passive aggressive, and they wrap everything, every piece of bad news, in some kind of a velvet cloth so it doesn't hurt that much.

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