19 Aug 2010


A nation of tea drinkers, we also like our biscuits but shock, horror! .......

It seems that the end is nigh for the good old English biscuit. According to those in the know no longer popular are the humble RICH TEA, CUSTARD CREAM or DIGESTIVE for while sales of 'basic' biscuits fell by 4.5 per cent over the last 12 months, sales of gourmet biscuits increased by as much as 20 per cent in the same period.
Jenny Rea, a leading supermarkets chief biscuit buyer said "In these tougher times people are working harder than ever. They feel they deserve a better biscuit and only the best will do." 

Supposedly a difficult language to learn, what do you think is the most commonly misspelt word in the English language?

Would you be surprised to learn it is 'separate'? The eight letter word came top to to the regular placing of an 'e' where the first 'a' should be. Second in the list was 'definitely', which often falls victim to a string of mistakes including mixing up the second 'i' with an 'a'.
A spokesman for the market research company OnePoll.com, which carried out the study on a sample of 3,500 said "There seem to be some words which we always struggle to get down. A common mistake is writing a word the way it sounds which leaves us muddling up one letter with another and getting it wrong."

Known for our reserved ways, many of us Brits shudder at the mere thought of greeting each other with a kiss, much preferring the good old handshake but what is the key to a good handshake?

A firm squeeze, a cool and dry palm and three shakes. Yes, no surprise that scientists have come up with the formula for the perfect handshake.
More than 70 per cent of people said they lacked confidence when it came to performing the gesture according to a survey.
On average people will shake hands 15,000 times in a lifetime (I want to know who counted) but the poll found nearly one in five, or 19 per cent, hated the act and was unsure how to do it properly. Problems included sweaty palms, limp wrists and lack of eye contact.
Professor Geoffrey Beattie who devised the equation said "The rules for men and women are the same: right hand, a complete grip and a firm squeeze ..... a cool and dry palm, approximately 3 shakes with a medium level of vigour, held for no longer then two to three seconds, with eye contact kept throughout.

All articles courtesy of the Daily Telegraph.


Arti said...

I definately see to it that I write the correct english spellings..
Oops! Well, I mostly am right too;)
As far as handshakes are concerned... We Indians make it with a 'Namaste'... :)
A fun post... Enjoyed reading it!
Anyways, how's Lisa doing?
Have a wonderful day!

chitra said...

I too had problems with separate. But I got over it since I started blogging:)
Handshakes reminds me of a funny thing.While teaching students about body language, I once offered my hand to a student to teach how a good hand shake should be. He just crushed my hand. From that day I just stick to our traditional namaste. I have to be careful about my bones.:)

R. Ramesh said...

hey good post buddy...ya spellings.. even after working as a journalist for 27 years i still make silly errors.but to avoid them i always keep OED with me..cheers friend:)

susan s. said...

Oh, I definitely hope they don't do away with those biscuits in the next 18 months as our choir will be coming to England in July next year and I was so looking forward to the lowlier biscuit versions with my tea!

Darlyn said...

This is very good post!I love reading about it. But really, tea always make me feel like very English.LOL

Anonymous said...

I almost always spell definitely wrong...

Kelly said...

When you posed the spelling question "definitely" was the first word that came to my mind!

I didn't realize you were supposed to shake three times in a proper handshake. I really prefer just one shake. Nothing worse than the person who crushes your hand with too firm of a grip!!

Dorte H said...

My students would definitely agree that definitely is a horrible word to spell. I very rarely have one who can´t spell separate, however, but that is because the Danish spelling is "separat", and the way we pronounce it, it is very easy to hear that the second vowel is an "a".

Heather said...

I love these little tidbits that you come up with. Digestive cookies (we don't generally use 'biscuit' in Canada) are one of my favourites.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Why would someone be afraid to shake another person's hand? People who have a phobia for germs I can understand...but everybody else, no, not really.

I find I use English spellings a lot more "toilette" and "theatre" are two big ones. :)

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Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

"Definitely" is one of my favourite words.
I was surprised at hearing those well-known biscuits are no longer popular.
Hope you're having a lovely Sunday!

Big hugs,
B xx

Alexia561 said...

I keep messing up 'separate' and 'definitely', so thank goodness for spellcheck! *L*

Always learn so many interesting tidbits on your blog! :)