Watching the English
读书笔记 THE MONEY-TALK TABOO
sordid subject of money
A frustrated American immigrant told me that she had ‘finally figured out that it is best to do all the financial negotiating in letters or emails. The English just can’t talk about money face to face, you have to do it in writing. In writing they’re fine – they don’t have to look you in the eye and they don’t have to say all those dirty words out loud’. As soon as she said this, I realised that this is exactly how I have always managed to get round the problem myself. I am typically, squeamishly English about money, and when negotiating fees for consultancy work or trying to get research funding I will always try to put all those dirty words – money, cost, price, fees, payment, etc. – in writing rather than say them face to face or even on the telephone.
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