четверг, 19 мая 2011 г.

The world's worst vice

Can you say the phrase "the world's worst vice" without twisting your tongue? It's not easy. What is vice? According to the definition found on dictionary.com vice is an immoral or evil habit or practice. Generally the word "vice" is used to describe something extremely immoral, but it can also be used humorously. In a neutral context you can simply use the expression "bad/worst habit."

What's your worst habit? Reader's Digest Magazine (June/July 2011) has published the results of a poll conducted in 16 countries asking people what their bad habits were. Two major bad habits that people named were procrastination and overeating.

Procrastinating was #1 in:
  • Russia 50% :)
  • Australia 45 %
  • Netherlands 41%
  • United States 40%
  • Canada 36%
  • Germany 36%
Overeating was #1 in:
  • Brazil 53%
  • China 42%
  • Philippines 42%
  • Mexico 35%
  • India 34%
  • Spain 33%
  • United Kingdom 33%
  • South Africa 31%
  • France 30%
Not one country ranked smoking as its overall habit.

Looking at the two lists I think that some countries were afraid of confessing their bad habits out loud. For example, it surprises me that 34% of people in India thought their worst vice is overeating! And India, as well as China, by the way, is one of the countries suffering of the lack of food. My other surprise was that not many Americans see overeating as their problem, only procrastinating (which is also unexpected because most Americans tend to work even in their sleep). Of course, any poll is bound to have its margin of error, so we have to consider that as well. What do you think?