When insurance salesman Kevin Watson, 49, agreed to answer a questionnaire on social class, it was a decision that would change his life. Ushering the lady with the clipboard into his lounge, and offering her a seat on his sofa, he dealt his own social status a devastating double whammy.
His use of ‘sofa’, not ‘settee’, and ‘lounge’ instead of ‘sitting room’, identified him straight away as lower-middle class, said Ms Fawcett-Jones, explaining she had no choice but to relegate him.
In fact, it could have been worse, she explained. His mis-use of words such as ‘dinner’, ‘toilet’ and ‘pardon’ had threatened to place the Watson family dangerously close to working class. It was only the fact that he turned the television off during their conversation that saved him.