Researchers at the City University of Hong Kong have found that the stereotypical belief that accountants are boring has a real scientific basis, according to today's Daily Telegraph.
John Flowerdew, of the university's department of English and communication, analysed the language and communication of tax accounts in a major company and found that the "dull and uninspired, jargon-heavy language", is partly responsible for accountancy's turgid image.
"They sat together as a group with their desks facing each other while the tax manager had her office apart from the tax accountants," he writes in the journal Writing in English for Specific Purposes.
"On that particularly rainy day the accountants started their morning by checking e-mail and quietly eating their breakfast at their desk.
"For the first hour that the observer was there, the accountants worked quietly at their desks seemingly unaware of each other, busy computing through tax computation schedules, fidgeting with calculators and putting data into their computers.