' Typical ' rule
'Typical !' is used in moaning rituals in many contexts, such as on delayed trains (delayed by the wy by the wrong types of leaves) or buses, in traffic jams, or indeed whenever anything goes wrong.
Along with ' nice ', ' typical ' is one of the most useful words in the English vocabulary - a generic, al-purpose term of disapproval, it can be applied to any problem:
Eavesdropping ina pub during a turbulent political period in 2003, I averheard the tail end of someone's ritual moan : "And now on top of it all there's all these terrorist threats and we're going to be at war with Iraq. Typical ! "
There is something quintessentially English about "Typical!" It manages simultaneously to convey huffy indignation and a sens of passive, resigned acceptance, an acknowledgement that things will invariably go wrong, that life is full of little frustration and difficulties (and wars and terrorists) and that onemust simply put up with it.
In a way 'Typical ! ' is a manifestation of what used to be called the English 'stiff upper-lip' : it is a complaint but a complaint that also expresses a very English kind of grudging forbearance and restraint - a sort of grumpy, cynical stoïcism.