Put on a happy face - even if you don’t mean it

THERE may be bright smiles on people’s faces, but the reality is that we are a miserable lot.

That’s according to a new survey which reveals that just about a quarter of Britain – that’s around 15 million people – feel “down” every single day.

Nearly another third say they suffer a depressing feeling at least once a week and another third plus feel the same way at least once a month.

It all adds up to fewer than one in 10 of us being the lucky ones who do not get the miseries more often than once a month.

But things could be much worse – summer is seen as the happiest time of the year with six out of 10 of us admitting that we feel most happy in this time, especially in the early evening.


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Here’s an interesting fact – the average Brit smiles 26 times a day. That’s 9,490 grins a year and 446,030 in an adult lifetime.

However, don’t think that makes up s jolly lot. The truth is, according to they study, only 53 per cent of our smiles are real – the rest are forced or faked to impress or to put on a happy “front”.

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I would always congratulate parents on the birth of a new baby, and so I do to David and Victoria Beckham.

But, being a traditionalist (records show that there have been over 10 million Johns who found their way into the UK censuses over the years), I have wondered about their choice of name as each new little Beckham came along.

First there was Brooklyn then Romeo followed by Cruz and now, with the appearance of the couple’s first daughter this week, we have a name plus a number – Harper and then Seven which is the figure David wore on the back of his Manchester United and England shirts.

Analysis of over 750 million names in the records show that there are 1,000 completely unique ones, including Flossy Nairn, whose brother was called Ora Nairn, as well as Willington Trites and Glesson Whatman.

But, celebrities apart, 79 per cent of people prefer traditional names in favour of something more unusual.

I wonder if there has been any research into the percentage of people who give their children quirky names and then misspell them. Perhaps no learned professor has thought of that one yet, or managed to persuade some moneyed university to come up with the cash to finance a study..

Getting words wrong is an on-going problem in all walks of life, of course. The Communications Workers Union is no exception. I noticed that it missed a letter in a recent press release. This declared: “Royal Mail privatisation condemed by postal workers”.

Then there was the one from the PR person responsible for publicising National Countryside Week who was obviously not familiar with Bedfordshire.

It said one of the main sponsors was a company which was based in Biglesworth. A little nearer home, it always makes me smile when another of those PR persons from who knows where takes a guess and spells Stevenage as Stephenage.

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