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Champagne and gin top-talking tipples

Champagne and gin have taken over Sherry and brandy to become the UK’s favourite Christmas tipples, a study exploring our changing conversation patterns over the past 10 years suggests.

Researchers from Cambridge University Press analysed thousands of recorded conversations around Christmas time comparing them to those from the 1990s to pick out our food and drink preferences.

The study revealed a recent preoccupation with Champagne and gin compared to the 1990s, when we were instead more likely to be talking up the joys of Sherry, brandy and liqueurs.

Dr Claire Dembry, senior language research manager at Cambridge University Press, said: “This analysis presents an interesting insight into how our use of language has changed over time. Our tastes in food and drink have certainly changed, but our interest in the family seems to be ever increasing.”

The study suggests we have become less self-centred in the past decade, using the words “I” and “Me”, 47% less now than in 1990. Compared to the 1990s, we talk about calories twice as much as we used to and family almost twice as much as we used to.

While Champagne and gin is moving up the Christmas rankings, tea was revealed to be the nation’s favourite drink with the word spoken an average of 255 times per million words.

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