the Xenophobe's Guide to the English, Oval Books (2008):
Since the English rarely say what they mean and tend towards reticence and understatement, their humour is partly based on an exaggeration of this facet of their own character. So, while in conversation they avoid truths which might lead to confrontation; in their humour, they mock that avoidance. For instance:
At dinner in a great country house, one of the guests drinks rather too much wine and, without warning, slumps across the table. The host rings for the butler and when he arrives says. "Smithers, could you please prepare a room. This gentleman has kindly consented to stay the night."
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