An Evergreen topic in British classical literature, children’s poems and everyday speech: patterns of climate in the British isles — страница 5

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coast, temperatures do not fall substantially until late September, and the summer sunshine totals are generally highest in this area. September is the first autumn month which brings more rain than summer months. It is September when British children begin going to school. But the wettest months are October and December with dark evenings and misty mornings: “I saw old autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence” (Thomas Hood); There are twelve months in a year, From January to December. The finest month of all the twelve Is the merry month September. * * * Autumn is the season When apples are sweet. It is the season When school-friends meet; When noisy and gay, And browned by the sun With their books and bags To school they run. * * * What a

rainy season! The sky is dark and grey. No sunshine anymore! No playing out of doors. However, in any particular year almost any month can prove the wettest and the differences between months are not great. There is a very good poem about months: January comes with frost and snow February brings us winds that blow, March has winds and happy hours, April brings us sun and showers, Pretty is the mouth of May, June has flowers, sweet and gay July begins our holiday, August sends us all away, September takes us back to school, October days begin to cool, November brings the leaves to Earth; December dying sees the birth of the New Year and all its mirth. So, all months are special and have their own features. That’s why, a lot of writers like to describe them in their poetry and

prose. The theme of the weather in everyday speech Still, the weather is so changeable that the British often say that they have no climate but only weather. Therefore, it is natural for them to use the comparison “as changeable as the weather” of a person who often changes his mood or opinion about something. The weather is the favorite topic of conversations in the UK. So, according to Samuel Johnson, an outstanding English lexicographer, critic, author and conversationalist, “when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather”. A lot of conversational idioms and set expressions about weather can be found in novels by English writers, some examples will suffice: - Good evening, Mr. Hunter. Rather cold weather for the time of year, isn’t it? - Yes- I suppose

it is. Have you got a Mr. Arden staying here? (Agatha Christie); * * * - “Such a lovely morning”, said Mrs. Marchmond brightly. “All my early tulips are out. Are yours?” The girl stared at her vacantly. - “I don’t know”. What was one to do, thought Adela, with someone who didn’t talk gardening or dogs – these standbys of rural conversation? (ibid); - The weather is very delightful just now, is it not?” – “A St. Martin’s summer” (ibid); - “Hullo, hullo, hullo, here I am. Good afternoon, good afternoon. What a lovely day, what? Shall I sit here? Right ho”. (Pelham Grenville Wodehouse) * * * - Morning, he said. - Morning, - Nice weather. - Beautiful (ibid). (Bernard Shaw) The weather is the favorite conversational topic in England. People talk about

the weather more in Britain than in most parts of the world. When two Englishmen meet their first words will be “how are you?” and after the reply “very well, thank you. How are you? ”. The next remark is almost certain to be about the weather. When they go abroad the English often surprise people of other nationalities by this tendency to talk about the weather, a topic of conversation that other people do not find so interesting. So, talking about the weather is always an interesting, exciting subject for British people and you must be good at talking about it. It is a part of polite conversations which may be extremely short: - Good morning, Mr. Brown - Good morning, Mr. Dickson. How do you like the weather today? - Isn’t it awful? - Yes, it’s been pouring since

yesterday morning and the outlook is not very promising. * * * Good afternoon, Mrs. Collins, nice day, isn’t it? Oh, yes, just lovely, I believe it’s a bit colder than yesterday. Yes, the mist has cleared but the weather forecast says it will be snowing later in the day. * * * - Hello, Charles - Hello, Dick. Lovely day, isn’t it? - Absolutely wonderful, nice and warm. What is the weather forecast for tomorrow? Do you know? - Yes, it says it will be bright and sunny - How nice. Good bye. * * * - Nice day, isn’t it? - Isn’t it beautiful! - The sun… - Isn’t it wonderful? - Yes, wonderful, isn’t it? - It’s so nice and hot. - I think it’s so nice when it’s hot, isn’t it? - I really love it, don’t you? * * * - Terrible day, isn’t it? - Isn’t it unpleasant?