Leaves on the Line: What the British say … And what they really mean

By Martin Toseland and Simon Toseland

A humorous and insightful guide to what the British really mean when they speak.

In every walk of life, from relationships, to work, to politics, sport and the news, our everyday use of English harbours duplicities of meaning. We say ‘I’m sorry’ when we mean ‘absolute nonsense’, and write ‘Yours faithfully’ when we’re thinking ‘Sod you!’ Jealousy, rage, love, affection – we’re equally good at disguising them all. Leaves on the Line compiles this secret language – this ‘double English’ – in a hilarious and forthright volume exposing the doublespeak of the British language. For the first time, everyday terms  which we casually deploy to loved ones and total strangers, and have been thrown at us from the radio or TV will be ‘glossed’ (yes, we really mean ‘stripped’) to reveal the unadorned, raw truth below. The book will be over 200 hilarious phrases of common doublespeak and will be essential reading for everyone from puzzled foreigners to young people to whom the dark art of linguistic dissembling are not yet second nature. The book includes phrases and the truths behind them, such as:

Transport: ‘This service is delayed because of leaves on the track…’

Social: ‘I’m not being racist but…’

Weather: ‘Nice weather we’re having…’

Sport: ‘We’re taking each game as it comes…’

Relationships: ‘I’ve never met anyone like you before…’

Polititcs: ‘Spending on health has increased in real terms, year on year, since we were elected…’

Word count: 30,000