Allow me

The DLR counts among its horde non-natives to this green and pleasant land. Such an eclectic variety of nationalities allows us to appreciate expressions the British have, and particularly the way the Brits ask people to do things in their roundabout, not-really-asking way .

One of our favourites is “to take this on board”, something more landlocked or land-expansive nations never had the chance to develop as an idiom. “Thank you very much for your proposal. We are returning it to you with seven annotated pages and a request for a re-write. Is this something you’d be happy to take on board?”

Even “happy to”, to a semi-non-native ear, is an odd one – in most countries, when you’re happy and you know it you clap your hands. Less than serious Christian sects are “happy-clappy”. Both suggest genuine joy. Yet, in Dalston and its wider environs, being “happy” to do something means to agree, against your own will, to take something on board a metaphorical ship, which is, of course, not at all a ship but a table you found at the Princess May car-boot sale and which you are probably hot-desking with four other people.

Is this your office? It's ours too.

The DLR also likes the humble “let me know”. Yes, I will let you be in the graced state of knowing to which you so clearly aspire. “Let me know if you would be happy to meet me for lunch and discuss further possibilities of giving me money. Is this something you’d envisage taking on board?”

The DLR takes on board all means of inserting the passive tense into everyday speech in order to slowly, slowly grind the wheels of social exertion towards a happier, clappier state of existence.

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