Related Posts with Thumbnails
The Book

Out now at Amazon | Waterstones

Middle Class Handbook on Twitter
Chattering Class

Prince Harry

Even republicans approve, surely?

Microwaving tea

Recommended by scientists, apparently. Disgusting

No televised election debates

Disappointing; we were rather looking forward to May vs The Sturge


Olivia Coleman = nailed-on Future National Treasure

Spring Bank holidays

Too close together! Very bad!


“I queued for THREE BLOODY HOURS at B&Q for a new recycling bin! The entire town’s in CHAOS”


To be listened to whole on a long journey for maximum effect

Using a proper paper map

Strangely satisfying

The “Flash” Flash ad

It’s back! Possibly the best ever singing dog in an advert ever

Crap tacos

Reheated, with too much chilli: middle-class kebabs, basically

Latest Comments
The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « Chattering Class: Cheers and Jeers | Main | DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK: THE ART OF SNEAKING BACK ONLINE »


    There’s always a slightly awkward moment for MCs when we need to pay for a single item or something small in a shop or café. There's an absence of script here, but we can’t just hand over our Kit-Kat to the newsagent or our panini to the Pret barista in an embarrassed silence. If the barista attempts to upsell or we're asked if we want anything else, “No, thank you” seems, oddly, too blunt. 

    The solution we’ve arrived at is to say: “Just this, please”. Saying “just” at this juncture adds a suitably middle-class hint of apology and self-effacement – “I’m so sorry to be making such a measly purchase” or “I do hope you don’t mind me taking up your time by buying something from you”. 

    Another interpretation is that it’s an assertion of virtuous self-restraint: “I’m not really a greedy self-indulgent so-and-so. I’m having just this.”

    This expression has become such a staple element in till-side transactions that it can even, quite ridiculously, accompany fairly lavish purchases. A “just this, please” referring to anything from a triple-chocolate-chip muffin with fondant centre to a £400 Dyson in John Lewis is not unheard of.

    Self-indulgence and self-effacement are never too far apart in middle-class word and deed.

    Flickr: SuperlativeQuip

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>