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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

Don't mention the war: Tabloids in stereotype sparring match

Turns out half of all Britons have a German gene. Cue tabloid frenzy…

"Yes you did, you invaded Poland!"...
Image: Screengrab via BBC YouTube

IN WHAT HAS been dubbed ‘A War of the Stereotypes’ a German tabloid took issue with the British press’ response to a new scientific study that determined that up to half of all British people carry a German gene.

Earlier this week, when Der Speigel reported that a genetic analysis by scientists in London had revealed that many Britons carry a Germanic gene dating as far back as the fifth and sixth centuries, it didn’t take long for the pun writers to get themselves in a right old tizzy.

The British tabloid press, with more than a bit of tongue in cheek, started urging reads to “Embrace your inner Jerry!”, according to the Daily Mail with Guy Walters writing: “The Germans just seem to come here and fit in without any nonsense — and they don’t rape or pillage any more.

The Sun even published a quiz asking readers such questions as how often they wore sandals with socks and whether their favourite number was seven, eight, or ‘nein!’

Having got themselves all stereotyped-out, the German tabloid Bild retorted with a quiz of its own, where all the questions had no wrong answers. They included:

How do you most like to drink your beer? A) without a head; B) luke warm; C) by the hectoliter.

What is the correct way to shoot a penalty in football? A) wide left; B) wide right; C) over the top.

When are English women at their most beautiful? A) after 12 beers; B) after a day in the sun; C) in complete darkness.

A pretty stereotypical looking, bald, pale, overweight, tattooed, union jack wearing Englishman featured with the article to leave the reader in no doubt as to what the aim of the piece was.

All a bit of harmless banter. Just as long as no-one mentions the war…

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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