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Coffee House Steerpike

The New York Times on the parlour game played by Brits

12 March 2019

9:07 AM

12 March 2019

9:07 AM

While the New York Times has a reputation for being the paper of record in the US, the newspaper has a less than stellar record when it comes to its reporting on Brexit and British daily life. In August last year, the paper suggested that until a few years ago Brits were living on a diet of mutton and porridge, and has since gone on to segue Brexit into a restaurant review and suggest people are stockpiling food for 29 March.

Despite being widely mocked for its in-depth studies of British life, it appears though that the paper hasn’t learned its lesson just yet. Yesterday, in a piece on the popularity of French hip-hop artists in the UK, the author opened with a somewhat unfair jibe about Britain being an ‘insular’ place. But what caught Mr S’s eye, was their seemingly bizarre belief that a popular parlour game here involves naming famous Belgians:

Considering London is France’s sixth biggest city, Mr S isn’t sure the ‘insular’ insult really stacks up. As for the parlour game, Mr Steerpike has to confess he’s never heard of it before in his life.

Could it be that the NYT has struck upon a vital part of British life, or are their foreign correspondents simply talking nonsense once again? Mr S will leave it to readers to decide…


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