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Laughter is a great ice-breaker, especially in an emotionally-charged situation like a date, and humour is one of the most commonly used arrows in the British quiver of social interaction. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. Every January, international schools start to search for new teachers for the following academic year at job fairs.
The atmosphere at these somewhat daunting and chaotic events is like speed dating for teachers keen to find the perfect job, according to one who has been through the process. But there’s a fine line between engagingly funny and being laughed at for the wrong reasons, so here is a guide to British humour that should help keep the conversation flowing.


Restrain yourselfAs far as the British are concerned, a sense of humour is like a good Martini: the dryer, the better.
If you expect your date to be able to take a joke, you had better be willing to make them at your own expense too. Sir George Sitwell had a sign in his mansion requesting that guests should not contradict him, lest it interfere with his digestion and prevent sleep. He also created a miniature pistol for shooting wasps, so your hidden passion for classic Doctor Who or The Boat Race is small beer (sorry, real ale) by comparison.4. Load a punThe British also love nothing more than a good pun, and examples of these are all around, particularly in the high street.


I once saw a tanning shop that gloried under the name U-Rang-A-Tan, presumably without stopping to think that any kind of visual link between their prospective customers and a wrinkled orange ape might undermine what the business owners hope to achieve. The British have a long history of talking about sex without talking about sex (in pantomimes, Carry On comedies and saucy seaside postcards from your Nan).



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