The FT’s Don Sull reviews Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club, Michael Lewis’ Moneyball, and Deborah Coen’s Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty. He says he finds them all “quite interesting”, and then quickly adds this caveat:
Note to English readers: When Americans say “quite,” they mean “very,” while interesting implies they want to hear more. In England, “quite” means “not at all,” “interesting” equals “I can’t think of anything nice to say” and calling something “quite interesting” indicates the speaker is desperately searching for the nearest fire exit.
For myself, I find the disjunction between British and American usage to be, uh, quite interesting, actually. Really!