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George Mikes

Hungarian-born British author

George Mikes (19121987) was a Hungarian-born British author, best known for his humorous commentaries on various countries and their citizens.


How to Be an Alien: A Handbook for Beginners and More Advanced Pupils (1946)Edit

  • An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.
  • Continental people have sex life; the English have hot-water bottles.
  • In England everything is the other way round.
  • On the Continent people have good food; in England, people have good table manners.
  • Television is of great educational value. It teaches you while still young how to (a) kill, (b) rob, (c) embezzle, (d) shoot, (e) poison, and, generally speaking, (f) how to grow up into a Wild West outlaw or gangster by the time you leave school.
  • The trouble with tea is that originally it was quite a good drink. So a group of the most eminent British scientists put their heads together and made complicated biological experiments to find a way of spoiling it. To the eternal glory of British science, their labour bore fruit.
  • When people say England, they sometimes mean Great Britain, sometimes the United Kingdom, sometimes the British Isles, – but never England.

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