10 Things Americans Do That Drive Brits Nuts

Stars and stripes forever... until they rip your plate away. (Canadian Press via AP Images)

American people are some of the loveliest you’ll ever meet and make us expats feel all warm, cuddly and very welcome. But just occasionally they do or say something that we Brits find a tad… eccentric.

1. Saying “I love your accent!”
Before I moved here, I never imagined that my dreary London burr made me sound smart or lovable. At first the compliments were nice, but then a New York tiger mom asked me to talk to her snoozing two-year-old in the hope that it would rub off. A bit much, I thought.

2. Putting last names first
The fashion for inflicting quirky monikers on babies started with American parents giving their kids surnames as first names. Remember Sex and the City’s Smith? Absurd. Then last week at the launderette I got chatting to “Anderson.” Could not take him seriously.

3. They take your plate away too soon
Americans love to please, and nowhere is this more evident than in restaurants. If I want a side of pickled kitten lungs or a splash of spaniel milk in my coffee, then by God they’ll make it happen. On the flip side, over-eager waiters will whip away an individual diner’s plate the second it’s empty. In my case, that’s long before anyone else at the table has finished. And people are like, “Seriously, did you even chew?” No. No I did not.

4. The relentlessly sincere cheer
If I’m having a bad day, or a good day – make that any kind of day – I do not want people in shops whom I’ve never met to swaddle me with their sticky, earnest, exaggerated niceness. In America, actual humans say things like “Ma’am, you have been an awesome customer today,” just because I bought a box of tampons from their store.

5. Their overzealous patriotism
We get it, you’re proud to be an American. It’s not like Brits are immune to nationalism, but perhaps we’re better able to separate feeling glad (I was lucky enough to be born in a country with democracy and Kit Kats!) from feeling proud. Shouldn’t the second one be reserved for my actual achievements? Oh, and to your average Brit, hanging a giant flag from your house is a tiny bit creepy.

6. They treat their pets like people
Recently, at a flea market, I saw a woman pushing a buggy. Nothing strange about that, until I looked inside and noticed that her baby was a dog. One of those petulant micro-yappy types who thinks just because it’s short you should love it. I’ve also seen twin pugs out for a winter walk dressed in a full-body knitted suits and ties. And a friend of a friend’s cat is on Prozac.

7. Insisting that turkey is tasty
There’s a good reason why Brits only eat this galumphing fowl once a year, then bitch about it behind its carcass. No matter how many saltwater baths you give your bird, turkey meat is dry, insipid and stringy. Yet Americans put the powdery poultry in everything – from burgers and chili to meatballs and lasagna – and make it the culinary centerpiece of not one but two celebrations.

8. Spelling words the wrong way
I might as well pry the letter “u” from my keyboard for all the good it does me in over here. (But you know which letter made it big in America? “Z”! Only, they pronounce it wrong.) My point? Remembering to remove ‘u’s from words like “colour” and replace “s”s with a more abrasive “z” is a headache and I resent it. So there.

9. Pretentious pronunciation.
Americans, please note: saying “erb” instead of “herb” and pronouncing “fillet” without the “t” is not clever or sophisticated. You are not French. Make an actual socialist your president and then we’ll talk.

10. Saying “panties,” “fanny” and “bangs”
We’re all aware from watching Americans onscreen that these are the words for knickers, a bottom and a fringe. But when you live here, occasionally you’re forced to deploy these abominations in real life sentences. Only the other day, I said, “Can you trim my bangs, please?” I felt dirty afterwards. But “panties” is much worse, somehow infantilizing and oversexualizing ladies’ unmentionables. No word should do both these things.

What other American quirks make you want to scream? See also: 10 things BRITS do that drive Americans crazy

Writer Ruth Margolis will be discussing her piece this Friday (August 23) at 1 pm/et via @MindtheGap_BBCA on Twitter – tweet using ‪#‎MindTheChat‬.

Ruth Margolis

Ruth Margolis

Ruth is a British freelance journalist who recently swapped east London for Brooklyn. She writes about TV for Radio Times and is working on her first novel.

See more posts by Ruth Margolis
  • Erica

    This is funny. When I lived in London I felt the exact same way, but reversed. At the pub way way too many guys tried to bait me by asking if I liked their accent (my reply was always: I live here, I’m over it), I thought attendants in stores were so rude and snobbish, and I was completely floored when I learned that no one hangs up a flag (even on St. George’s Day!). On top of that I hated the way everything needed an extra “u” in it’s spelling (and honestly, zed? Zed? What is that!?), I thought that English pronunciations were pretentious, and I almost had a heart attack every time I heard someone say they were going out for a “fag break.” I think our countries will always have these little things to bicker over, but I absolutely love it!

    • Jill Merrall

      Totally agree….Lived in England with my English husband for 2 1/2 years…you summed it up perfectly!

    • Dee Robles

      You’ve said it all, so I’ll just say thanks! Just recently found out what a nounce was, probably spelt it wrong, it’s a perv. It just doesn’t convey they same meaning when you say it. Perv works for me. lol

      • Rory

        Er, a nonce is a paedophile.

      • karen

        A nonce is not a perv or paedophile. A nonce is hmm a flowery chav. Means they are slightly feminine and stupid, is the best way i can describe.


          Nonce is an acronym. Not On Normal Courtyard Exercise. So not just paedophiles, all manner of sex offenders that might get killed in prison.

    • England Blows Balls

      is anyone else unimpressed by the bullshit this author posted? each and every one of these arguments is actually a point why england is shittier than America. Your spelling is old and outdated, get over yourself we have a more advanced language…. If youre not treating your pet like a person you should not own a pet you insensitive cunt. Now go back to your ugly ass women, crooked teeth, and tea with shit crumpets…

      • Jen K

        Why are you at this website? Go away, you’re horrible.

      • Carruthers

        Wow, thats some advanced language you’re using there. You should keep typing ‘cunt’ and subjecting everyone to your old and outdated stereotyping before they remove your diabetic limbs. I’ll keep using mine to eat crumpets with my crooked teeth.

      • Ash Hebdige

        is this guy for real? Just maybe a little over-reactive I’d say.

      • Rochester

        To “England Sucks” and all the other thin-skinned sourpusses here who actually seem to take offense at this tongue-in-cheek article: Lighten up. There’s quite a bit of silliness in both countries.

        “Fablos” article, Ms Margolis

      • Brummie

        In answer to England Blows Balls our spelling is just fine if you want to spell words differently then go ahead but don’t have the nerve to call it English be a good chap and call it American….
        As to treating pets like persons why does the US have some of the highest cruelty rates towards domestic animals than most western countries and other half 40% of your population take great pleasure in running round the forest trying to kill anything that moves…

        • Wow

          What is up with this? Why would someone write this article? The only thing any one of you have seen is on TV! I don’t treat my dog like a person, I write how my teachers taught me, I hunt but only for overpopulated animals that would bring a harm to themselves and ecosystem. I also like tea and crumpets even though we call them cookies. Most of you believe more what’s in movies and in the news. Stop being so narrow minded. I love my country but I also have been serving to protect it for 12 plus years now. Stop badgering us. We live in excess of 3500 miles away from each other, there’s going to be vast differences. Do you want us to turn into you guys? I thought we won the war?

          • SazzyMCH

            A crumpet IS NOT A COOKIE!

          • Complete Agreement

            I agree with the person who used the moniker “Wow”. I understand that this was supposed to be an attempt at humor but it came of as simply bitchy. I have relatives through marriage in Britain and also have relatives who were raised British citizens in other countries. My mother complains about things like spelling, but anyone who is even moderately acquainted with American history would understand patriotism. After all, according to you Brits, we were supposed to be a spectacular failure. Oh and BTW it would seem we HAVE elected a Socialist. More’s the pity. I did manage a smile at some of the more ridiculous things mentioned, but I’m afraid things like treating pets as people and naming your children foolishly are world wide phenomena, not limited to the US. I think I have seen more than a few British cat ladies…and please let’s not get started on the tasteless food. If not for the multitude of Indian restaurants in GB a person with taste buds could starve there.

          • Jonah

            “Stop being so narrow minded. I love my country but I also have been serving to protect it for 12 plus years now. Stop badgering us. We live in excess of 3500 miles away from each other, there’s going to be vast differences.”

            In response to you, Mister.. “Wow,” as you put: We live in excess of 3500 miles of each other. Exactly. Get over it. This article is meant for a few playful laughs. I love my country too, and I think it’s odd that Brits choose not to rig up flags, but who cares? I’m patriotic, and that’s my own business. As you so clearly said, “there are going to be vast differences.” Way to eat your own words on that one, slick. You are immature and narrow-minded.

        • California Latina

          Here, here! Fantastic points! I’m American and I’m ashamed. :/ I was married to an English man for 5 years, dated for 2. And I LOVE British culture. I was born and raised in Southern California, and I do feel that Americans are over-zealous indeed.

      • MikeB

        be gone before someone drops a house on you.

        • Governor Odius

          How tired and “gay” is that remark. It’s simpler just to drive back to Kansas.

      • Ralph Malph

        Lovely attitude. Nothing like putting up the cliche “ugly American” bs on a British site.

      • Chris K Magnusson

        Some of what the person is Sub/sub Culture even to us American’s. Such as the “Z” thing. How that got into the article speaks volumes on what the knowlege of the writter has on the subject. Turkey, is another poor pic to put in the article. Why because some people don’t eat read meat. Fish and poultry, is their protein intake. The writter really seemed came accross some phonys. And yes, even as an a American, some of what the writter wroute about is too much for me in my own country.

        • Chris K Magnusson

          Some of what the person came across as a writter is Sub/sub Culture even to us American’s. Such as the “Z” thing. How that got into the article speaks volumes on what the knowlege of the writter has on the subject. Turkey, is another poor pic to put in the article. Why because some people don’t eat read meat. Fish and poultry, is their protein intake. The writter really seemed came accross some phonys. And yes, even as an a American, some of what the writter wroute about is too much for me in my own country.

          What may have been a good one to mention is when getting into a American Elevater, pushing No. 1 going down does not always bring you to the ground floor! You have No.1 “G” and “M” all buttons could represent the Ground floor!

          • Chris K Magnusson

            Some of what the person came across as a writter is Sub/sub Culture even to us American’s. Such as the “Z” thing. How that got into the article speaks volumes on what the knowlege of the writter has on the subject. Turkey, is another poor pic to put in the article. Why because some people don’t eat read meat. Fish and poultry, is their protein intake. The writter really seemed to come accross some phonys.

            And yes, even as an American, some of what the writter wrote about is too much for me in my own country.

            What may have been a good one to mention is when getting into a American Elevater, pushing No. 1 going down does not always bring you to the ground floor! You have No.1 “G” and “M” all three buttons could represent the Ground floor!

          • James C coincidence

            Mate, what’s with “writter”, “accross”, and “phonys”?

            :S … Surely, “writer”, “across”, and “phonies”?

            Please don’t make your country’s language any worse than it already is… ;-)

          • California Latina

            Ah! Chris, please stop, you’re digging an even deeper hole for yourself! And you are shaming Americans even more with your HORRIBLE spelling!! hahahaha

      • Marianne

        Do what you like with the language, but please just call it American instead of murdering correct English. I must add though I am disgusted with the new generation of English who cannot string a proper sentence together. What are they learning in school. mis use of the personal pronoun is the most grating import from USA. Yes I live here and love it nevertheless.

        • Brittany

          Marianne, that is just silly. First off, no doubt many of your fellow Brits would claim Americans were being arrogant and were too “thick” to come up with our own language if we tried to call what we speak “American”, instead of “English”. Secondly, why would we call the English we speak “American” just because we don’t speak the same English you speak? We simply speak different dialects, not another language altogether. Should you stop calling the English you speak “English” because modern day Brits don’t speak the language the same way in which it was originally spoken? The language has changed in Britain, too, you know. In fact, a lot of the things that Americans say that Brits consider “Americanisms” are actually just words or phrases that Brits don’t use anymore. Example: the word “gotten”. That’s not an American word; it has just fallen out of use in Britain. If Brits have such a problem with Americans “changing the language”, blame your ancestors for colonizing other countries and spreading “your language” all over the world. The British lost exclusive rights to English when it colonized other countries and made it THEIR native language, as well.

          • karen

            Gotten has not fallen out of use in UK, thats for sure

          • Robert

            It’s not the British that have a problem with the way Americans talk. Of course Americans are going to inject their own personality into the way they speak and by enlarge the Brits appreciate the diversity and breath it gives the language. No what they object to is Americans telling the Brits that the way Americans use the language is better than the way the British do, That the English, who’s language it is ‘speak funny’ because they don’t talk with an Anerican accent. The Brits don’t go round saying Americans talk funny because they can’t pronous certain words properly or they call thing by a different name. No they accept that’s the way Americans do it, just as the Australians have their way and the Canadians have theirs. The language varies up and down the length of the British isles, someone from the south of England sounds totally differant to someone from the north. Scots, the Irish and the Welsh sound totally different again. So the British are use to hearing different accents and terminologys it’s the Americans that find it strange and weird and can’t help commenting on it all the time.

        • Elizabeth

          Oh my god, this is such bull. Not all Americans are like this at all. Thanks for the stereotyping.

          • James C coincidence

            Damn, Robert. Your spelling and grammar is atrocious – fellow Brit. Take it from me, this guy’s a veritable thicko.

        • Patricia

          From studyenglishtoday.net: “There are some well-known spelling differences between British English and American English. Many of these spelling differences result from French influence on English. British English has a tendency to keep the spelling of many words of French origin. Americans try to spell words more closely to the way they sound phonetically and they tend to omit some letters. ”

          Therefore, we are not “murdering” English. We simply have a different way of spelling things. Yes, it should be specifically referred to as American English, at least in text form, as should British English be referred to as such. But neither of them are right or wrong. Remember, please, that when people were first learning to write, there was no definitive way to spell things. This was doubly so for America, where there was not access to as great a library of history. People had to spell things how they spelled them; and if you look back at old documents, even British ones, there are some very interesting spellings going as recently back as a hundred years ago. Spellings we would not in any form consider “English” today.

          So do not say we are murdering English. Our written English simply evolved differently from yours, as we were an ocean away from the rest of the world. It is the same way with accents. The general American accent – so I have heard – is actually closer to what an average Englishman would have sounded like back during the colonization of America.

          There are a lot of things on this list that bother me. I am aware of most of the differences in the cultures of England and America, and honestly, I believe they shouldn’t make that much of a stir when it comes to dealings in every day life. Sure we’re different, but we all come from common place, and even before everyone was in England, we were all somewhere else, ancestrally.

          Honestly. We need to get over ourselves. Everyone does. Accept other people’s cultures for what they are and realize that we all come from the same place in the end, whether you believe in a creationist beginning or an evolutionary one. Get over yourselves.

          • bimbola

            Very well said.

      • Andy

        @England..balls: Seriously? You’re actually THAT shallow?

      • Rory

        The American capacity for taking a joke reaches new heights with you, doesn’t it?

      • Emma

        That’s just rude. Seriously, you are the epitome of all things we hate about America.
        Go away, you’re not welcome here.

      • Brett shadow

        Basically this is a reply for the twat who wrote the comment headlined ENGLAND BLOWS BALLS. There are a few things that fuck me off with it. Now im not bothered about your saying america is better than england because you would say that but its the fact that you said YOUR language is more advanced, its called english because its from england you dont have a language so you took ours and changed it a bit because most americans are thick as fuck and cant spell or speak. The other things is the last few comments about the ugly women and shit. you have obviously never been here but its nothing like that in the slightest yeah we do eat crumpets and tea is the best thing ever but i would much rather be part of that awesome tradition than having a history thats about 300 years old, eat cheeseburgers and saying yeah man all the time and being know as the most obese county in the world. fuck off you are the real cunt america may be a bigger county and a bit more powerful but you have never had an empire, you have never owned us as we have you and you have nothing over us what so EVER!

        • Brittany


          1). America did not “take” English from England. English people emigrated to America and brought their language with them, hence the reason we speak it today. Is that not common sense? Also, we changed “your” language because we’re “thick”? I don’t even want to know what type of logic you used to come up with that one. The language has changed in America for the same reason the language has changed in England. Are you speaking the same English that Shakespeare used to speak? English has evolved and changed in America in the same way English has evolved and changed in England. Furthermore, America is thousands of miles away from England. Do you honestly think it’s realistic to expect that we would speak the same way as you? Also, before stating that more than 300 million Americans can’t “spell or speak”, you might want to check your own use of the English language. Clearly, being English does not guarantee that one will use the English language properly.

          • Jennifer PH

            Well said. Thank you.

          • Erica

            Wanted to add to this. A lot of Brits fail to realize that English spoken on the U.S. was changed due to other immigrants from different countries. The number one heritage in the U.S. is German, then Irish. Throw English, Scottish, and Scandinavian in there….plus of all the years of regional seclusion, and that is how you developed the American dialect. Listen to German, Scottish and Irish language and accents & you can hear a lot of similar tones, pitches, and emphasis more similar to American dialects than British dialects. To say to Americans that it is WRONG is purely arrogant. It isn’t wrong, just different and people need to get over that.

        • Brittany

          2). A lot of Brits like to bring up the fact that America is a young country as an insult. However, it’s actually something that we’re proud of; to be such a young country, yet to also be the most powerful country the world has ever seen. Additionally, the UK sets no standards. Just because we don’t have a history as long as the UK’s doesn’t mean we have no history or traditions at all.
          3). Let’s not get into stereotypes, especially regarding food. Typical British food is far from being healthy – not to mention that the fact that many American chains are successful in the UK means you guys like a good cheeseburger yourselves. The US may be the fattest country in the world, but the UK is not far behind, as it’s the fattest country in Europe and one of the fattest in the world. Let’s not be hypocrites, now.
          4). America is “a bit” more powerful than England? Now, I’m not one to boast about America, but I can’t help but point out that this is a HUGE understatement. America is infinitely more powerful than the Britain. America is more powerful than Britain was even when Britain had an empire and ruled over 1/3 of the world’s population. America has the world’s largest economy and the world’s most productive workforce. America spends more on its military than the other top 14 countries combined and it accounts for over 40% of the world’s military spending. America has an amount of nuclear weapons matched only by Russia. America also has unmatched air and naval capabilities. There is a reason that, despite America’s many controversial actions, no country has dared attack it or any of its allies since WWII.
          5). Lastly, it’s hypocritical of you and some of the other Brits here to attempt to combat ignorant comments by a couple of Americans here with even more ignorant comments and generalizations about more than 300 million Americans. You’re just as bad.

          • Brett shadow

            I have just read that and yeah its pretty much true what you are saying. Comments like crooked teeth or yellow teeth get my back. Every american I have ever spoken to says these stupid comments and its just not what Britain is about I mean you need to take a look at some of the outer edges of London I think you would be in for a shock of how not traditional British it is (not that I am saying it should all be like that). I just think its bad because in schools over here we learn all kinds of history whether its ours or others but America only ever seem to do about there’s which basically three things 1. the Boston tea party 2. independence from the British 2. the civil war between the north and south. I think it just makes a lot of Americans unaware of what other countries are about and what they have done and things. I am not normally like this tbh just wanted to write a load of shit down because his comment pissed me off. just got to be proud of what county your from I guess. Also just so I can get this clear, this is not a surrender which I know is something that the Americans do not understand just being nice ha

          • Robert

            ‘America’s a bit more powerfull than Britian’ a bit of an under statement? Yes it is. America is the most powerfull country on Earth, well yes. It’s got the an armed forces equal to the next eighteen countrys. Maybe. But who is it going to fight? Are eighteen plus countrys going to rise up as one and invade America? I don’t think so. So why does it feel it needs such a large armed force? If it’s armed forces are so superior why is it it’s never won a war without aid from it’s alies. Every conflict it enter alone as turned out a disaster. It’s got the nuclear deterrent. So has a dozen other countrys around the world. Ar but America’s got more than them. So? At the hight of the cold war it was estemated that the USA could distroy the world ten to thirty times over and that the USSR could just about equal that. Were as Britain the third largest nuclear power could only distroy the world once with a few missiles to spare. But how many time do you want or need to distroy the world?
            This vast massed armed force make America more powerfull that the British Empire ever was. Well yes if you want to distroy, but any nuclear power can cliam that. But the Empire wasn’t about distroying, it was about building, uniting the world in trade. A trade that made Victorian Britian very rich. Yes. But the unity it formed lives on in the Commonwealth. Commonwealth countrys stand together unity, odd ones drop out now and then, or are expelled, but they are keen to rejoin again. Where’s Americas commonwealth? Just about every country America try to subjugate hates America now and is either run by a corrupt dictater or the communist. If that’s what it takes to be the most powerfull country you can keep that honour.

          • James C coincidence

            … not one to boast….

            12 lines later…. !

            Yep, :-S Right THERE, – the American stereotype -!

            PROUD AND DUMB! And a riveting bore on naval capabilities, and such-like!

            Gimme a break! *yawn

        • Psage7

          Brett shadow
          Nice vent but a little over done. This is how people start on a path that leads to resentment. Yes, the guy had it coming. He was rude and disrespectful. But see now you have moved to attacking everyone in the country even if you didn’t mean it and your comments lose their meaning. Yes we speak an American style of English, because that is the language of the people that started our country. Not unlike Australia, Canada, South Africa, and many other countries. But come on don’t paint us all with a negative brush.

        • James C coincidence

          Has it not occurred to anyone that the author of that post might be an Englishman? Even if not, no need to respond – look where this thread is heading – to the pits of a YouTube slanging match re. eg. national anthem or military video. Yes, just be a little more wary, ffs, and a little less reactive. It’s like throwing a bone into the kennels! :/

        • James C coincidence

          Rory, you reactive prick – get a hold of yourself and stop foaming, saddo…

        • ChimmyChanga

          We do have a language… English. We speak with an accent, as do your neighboring Irish and Welsh. Do you act this way to Canadians, South Africans, and Australians? Hardly any of us act in the way you and your fellow haters describe.

      • ANN


        • lainey

          another hateful person…what’s with you?

      • Psage7

        Really, and you think In ANY WAY YOUR POST is a shining example of what we are. I am ashamed of your post. You are rude, disrespectful and insulting. I hope they ban you from further post. I mean seriously. You piss me off. It was a good article and it was fun. The little differences are what make us unique. Try going to Australia, Canada, even South Africa. They all have their little differences and that makes them charming. And yes I am a 43 year old American male very proud of my country. And to her article I would say England needs more patriotism, they need to be proud of being British.

      • Psage7


        Posted June 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

        to: England Blows Balls

        Really, and you think In ANY WAY YOUR POST is a shining example of what we are. I am ashamed of your post. You are rude, disrespectful and insulting. I hope they ban you from further post. I mean seriously. You piss me off. It was a good article and it was fun. The little differences are what make us unique. Try going to Australia, Canada, even South Africa. They all have their little differences and that makes them charming. And yes I am a 43 year old American male very proud of my country. And to her article I would say England needs more patriotism, they need to be proud of being British

      • Marion

        Wow you are having a bad day aren’t you? I suggest you keep calm and carry on, sit down and have a nice cup of tea and have a crumpet……..Asshole!

      • richard

        At last, in print, the comments of someone with an IQ lower than that of my cat. Lighten up……. the world gets along without any help from you.

      • lainey

        Are you the epitome of the Ugly American? What a nasty person you are.

      • Ron


      • Betty

        OMG! Go with the humoUr flowing here, Buddy. Get over yerself.

      • Richard Lewis

        This kind of comment is typical of how I see those Americans that have never left their neighborhood. Rednecks, racists, and Proud to be Ignorant. They fly their flags yet would never consider enlisting or serving their country in any way. They go to church on Sunday mornings and to the Liquour Store that afternoon. They swear, beat, and degrade their spouce but quite quick to deduct them on their taxes. Americans are not all assholes – but this guy definetely is a Typical American Ass. Ta ta.

      • Olivia

        Thank you so much for reinforcing the “ugly American” Stereotype. Please, don’t tell others you’re an American. It gives the rest of us a bad name. If you’re asked, lie, say your French or something, everyone hates them anyway.

      • LAKate

        your untrue and grossly offensive commentaty offends me and Im an american citizen. As for Tea & Crumptes nothing better than Earl Grey and little cakes with a bit of cream

      • pete dicks

        What’s been forgotten are:
        Too many TV ads spoiling any progamme

        Thinking they are the best Nation in the World

        Having a completly misunderstanding of their own history (ie the FRENCH won Independance for the 1/3 of Colonists who actually WANTED it)

        Thinking Empires are bad, whilst forming their own!

        etc etc etc

        • ChimmyChanga

          The last time I checked, we are not invading anything. And we are pulling out of the Middle East in approx. 2 years. Please pull yourself into the news, we are not invading. I do not think that I live in the best nation, as our economy is slowly recovering from being shit, we have a terrible education system, and we have extremely high obesity rates. We are better than a few other countries in some respects, but not better in others. I don’t watch TV. I listen to the NPR.

      • Keith Hitchings

        I only hope you are not English. If you are then you are putting us english to shame. you should go back to the gutter where you belong.

      • Human Being

        Arguing on the Internet is like the special Olympics….even if you win, you’re still retarded.

    • Jean

      I KNOW!!!! How about referring to the hood (or is it the trunk) of your car as the ‘bonnet’. Worse is when I heard ‘I’m going over to knock her up’. I’ve never gotten hot under the collar about our lingual differences but my British step-son-in-law has, rather than laugh about it all. I just about love all things British!!!!

    • York

      You know it’s because the two countrys are so similar, that we feel so at home in each others back yard as it were that we get so hung up on the differences. The Brits ‘if only we could get a decent cup of tea’ and the Americans ‘if only they knew how to make coffee’ attitude. What’s it matter you’re just as likely to get bad tea and coffee in both countrys.
      That ‘I just lov your accent.’ is meant as a compliment and by an large British visitors take it as such and are quite flattered by it. But if you’ve been in the country for sometime and you get it from every other person you meet it get’s a little wearing.
      Putting surnames first; who cares, the person who wrote the above seams to but no body else. It’s not as common but it accures in Britain as well.
      Over zealous waiting staff who clear away your plate before you’ve got the last spoon full in your mouth. Well I know some Americans who get upset at that. You go out for a quite meal and a chance of polite conversation. You don’t want the waiting staff interrupting all the time hustling you through your meal.
      Sincer cheer, ‘have a nice day’ When Brits first came across it they were quite taken by it. ‘Ho! what nice polite people.’ but now they’ve got use to it. They see the smile is only in the lips not in the eyes. The person saying it no more means it than they’d give you a $100 bill. It’s just something they say like do you want frys with that and to Brits that insincerty is worse than surly service. At least that’s honest.
      Over zealous patriotism. There’s numerous reasons why Brits are uneasy with that. One they’re a little jealous, ‘how can Americans be so proud when Britain is best’ but they know that’s elogical but it still’s irritates. They see over zealous patriotism in them selves and fined it disturbing. To much over flag waving they see it as right wing politics, not right of centre but way out nazi right wing, and it disturbs them. They’d love to fly the flag for Britain more often but fear they’d look like fascist if they did and they can’t help but be a little suspicious of people that do wave their countries flag at every opportunity. Memories of nineteenthirties Germany.
      Treating pets like people again it’s something they feel guilty of when they do it and are embarrest about. A case of they do protest to much when they get the chance to have a go at others for it.
      Turkey don’t know what the writers problem is. It’s a personal taste. You can take it or leave it. Turkey’s turkey the world over.
      Spelling. The British spell according to a words origins, Latin, Saxon, Norman ect and maintain with a degree of authority that they spell correctly. America is a large country and was settled fairly quickly. Civilisation had a job keeping up with the expantion west and education of early settlers children was somewhat of a made do method and some errors slipped in, spelling becoming more phonetic.
      Pronunciation. Brit tend to pronunce a word as one, the syllables running into one another with no gottle stops or pauses regardless of the length of the word. So they find it strange and a little disconcerting when certain states accests pronunce each syllable in a word as if it was a separate word and give each syllable equal tone. Say in Britain Birmingham is just that one word spoken as one word. Were as in Alabama Birmingham becomes Birm Ing Ham, three small words each said with equal stress which is how Brits teach children to spell but don’t expect them to speak like that.
      That leads on to common thing we have different words for. They tend to be object that didn’t excit before the revolotion. The Brits tended to be more traditional and looked to previous language that discribed object that fulfilled a similar function were as Americans discribed the function it surved. So in Britain a pavement being path made of flat stones, because in geology flat stones are know as pavements, and the walkway at the side of a road is made of flat stones also becomes the ‘pavement’. But in America it’s the walkway at the side of the road so it becomes the ‘side walk’. Early stagecoaches the storage for luggage was known as the boot, so Brits call the luggage space on a car the boot. Early american cars didn’t have a boot, they hung a cabin trunk on the back so Americans call the luggage space on a car the trunk and so on. Neithers right and neithers wrong . Pants to an American Pants are trousers, to a Brits Pants is short for underpants, Fanny to Americans Fanny is your ass, your backside, to a Brit if it’s not a girls name it’s a womans genitals so there is scope for unintended embassing confusion. But there’s no course to get angry or upset about it, it’s just what happens when you’re devided, for two hundred years, by the Atlantic Ocean. With modern communications, cheap quick airflights, exchange of films and TV programs, the internet ect theses differances will fade and we’ll all spell the same and talk the same, all with the same accent. Will that be a good or a bad thing?

      • Shannon

        I think these articles are highly entertaining. @ York You hit the nail right on the head ( do we share that saying?) because of the similarities we nit pick the differences.
        As far as telling people to have a nice day, I do and I really truly mean it.
        Treating animals like children is creepy no matter what, and those people who do are usually scarred by some emotional trauma, or just nuts.
        Turkey? That was just funny.
        Overzealous patriotism is ridiculous no matter what country your from.
        The spelling is just plain funny, I get a kick out of those differences.
        I did spend a summer in England and I loved every minute of it. The people were friendly and made me feel welcome. A man started singing Chicago at a pub when he found out where I was from, I laughed along with everyone else. I loved the differences as well as the similarities.
        We watch a lot of British tv in our house and it is fun to learn all the slang and my daughter is developing skill with all the different dialects.
        People need to lighten up and not take this stuff so seriously.
        So what about the ten things Brits do that drive Americans crazy?

      • demelzabunny

        Oy, people, the plural of “country” is “countrIES,” not “countrYS,” no matter if you’re from the UK or the U.S. And that goes for “terminologIES” as well, from a previous post: when noun ends w/a “y” and is preceded by a consonant, the “y” changes to an “i” and you add “es” to make it plural. Did you all go to school when you were kids or what?
        And to the author of the article, I have news for you: adding a “u” in the words “colour,” “behaviour” and the like as the British do is FRENCH! So is calling the letter “z” “zed.” As is the American pronunciation of “herb” and “fillet.” So we’re all doing froggy stuff.
        If you haven’t had good turkey (it’s a talent to know how to prepare it well), you must come join us for our Thanksgiving celebration: my aunt cooks a terrific roast turkey.
        As far as I know, many British treat their dogs as members of their families, just as many Americans do. It depends on the individual and has NOTHING to do w/nationality.
        And lastly, it is a well-established fact that British dentistry leaves much to be desired, and many British do have yucky teeth. I think that in as advanced a place as the UK, there ought to be a push/general education effort about the advantages of taking care of one’s teeth. Poor dental habits and ignorance of the advantages of orthodontia can lead to many illnesses and diseases, not the least of which is heart disease, never mind put a damper on one’s love life: yucky teeth can be a real turn-off.

    • Counties_Gal

      As a Brit living over here for over 20 years I have to say none of these bother me. I do wish I had a dollar for every time someone says “I love your accent”! The last name thing is no biggie, it happened a lot in school. I am over here because I want to be. I have adapted because I have chosen this to be my home. I do NOT expect America to BE England. If it bothered me I’d go back to England. I do miss certain British things (sadly mainly some foods!) but I also have embraced a lot of American ways. I feel blessed as I have the best of both worlds. I have not turned my back on England, it is still my country of birth, but America is now my home.
      There is only one thing that annoys me, when someone asks me if I am from Australia! I understand that is like asking a Canadian what part of America they are from!

    • Richard

      Bravo, Erica! Who wants to hear some snobby, upper class Oxford accent mispronouncing all the time? We make fun of people in the USA who say Americ-er for America and Africk-er for Africa. Hey, we Yanks won our independence from you blokes lomg ago, then saved your bacon in two world wars so leave us in peace to spell and pronounce words correctly without giving us a superior upturn of the schnozz.

    • Jackie

      When I first came to the USA in 1971 and heard Americans talk about their “back yards”, I envisioned their properties to have pathetic bits of concrete behind their houses. To me a yard was paved, (courtyard, Scotland Yard, school yard). When the Americans asked me to described my home, I said it had a large, pretty garden. “You have a garden?”, they would quip. “What are you growing?”. “Well, you know, trees and grass,” I would reply with a querying look. I’m over it now, but the word ‘yard’ still doesn’t sit well with me. I sell luxury real estate in Honolulu and choose my text carefully. :)

    • SteveF

      Sadly, it has been pointed out to me that Brits and Yanks are two people separated by a common language. As an American I can assure you that english in any form is rarely spoken here at all.

    • Jordy

      It was “zed” looong before it was ever “zee”…so there :D

  • Roger

    I am marrying an American, and moving to Tacoma next year. I may be British, but I agree with Erica. I like American patriotism and the “service with a smile in stores. My fiancee still picks me up on my “British” pronuciation though!
    I do have to say, Turkey is not tasty!

    • Clarissa

      @Roger: Small world! My husband’s from the Midlands and we happen to live in Tacoma as well. There aren’t very many of ya in this little section of the world, I have to say, but think you’ll come to really like T-Town :)

      • Toni

        Parkland library has some very nice staff from England. They are a little bit outside Tacoma city limits. As for Turkey the only way I’ll eat it is in turkey noodle soup with enough pepper juice to drown the flavor. I eat it once or twice a year and then complain for the rest.

        • Lisa

          My husbands from the West Midlands and I’m from the Kitsap Peninsula! But I’m a PLU alum, so regular visits to T-town are a must!! His favorite is the Red Hot on 6th Ave. I love Tacoma, I really miss living there. Nothing beats the PNW!!

        • expat253

          A very small world indeed. I am an Englishman, married to an American, that has lived in the ’253′ for the past 9 years. I love it, too. Although I can count on one hand the amount of other Brits in the area that I have met, despite constant rumor(see, I adapt!) that there are quite a few of us around.

    • ANN


      • Jamie

        I don’t like much red meat in my diet, so any recipe that would call for beef, I used ground turkey instead. I think it tastes just as good. I’ve been feeding that to my Brit husband for the last 8 years, and I haven’t heard him complain yet!

      • Milly

        After a two-week tour of the U.K., I must agree. Brits cannot cook. It was the worst food…but don’t we all know that already.

        And I felt the Brits and Scots were sour in nature. Polite enough but they definitely seemed unhappy in general.

        What I enjoyed was less pressure to “be” anything, especially done up, made up, dressed up.

      • Robert P’Due

        Please find your “Caps lock” key, press it and never touch it again. After 25 thanks-givings I’m so very tired of the bird. I do agree with you that if it’s dry and stringy than it’s just been overcooked.

  • Elizabeth

    Turkey is delicious. You’re cooking it wrong. Also: FILLAY, PANTIES, COLOR.

    I agree with you about the creepy flag thing, though. And the smarmy fake cheer. And the humanizing of pets. I’m sorry, “humanising”.

    I’m visiting the U.K. for the first time in the fall. Can’t wait to find out if my accent (“Southern drawl”) is charming or annoying!

    • Erika

      No worries, they LOVE the southern accent!! I have been over there twice, and hearing the word “y’all” was like I was coming from another planet!! Going over there was the complete opposite and I agree with Erica, but I am guilty of a couple of those things.. I mean, who doesn’t like a good last name as first AND a good southern double name where they put “Mary or Anna” before the name like: “Anna-Bradley or John-Davis”!!
      Gotta love the American/Southern way of life!

    • Paul

      I think you meant Autumn, not fall

      • claire blake


    • Dan

      If your visiting London very few of the people there are British.

      • Anna

        Have you actually been to anywhere in London outside the tourist spots? Very few people at Piccadilly Circus are British, it’s true, but only someone who knew nothing about the place would claim that’s true of the rest of the city. Unless you just have a very narrow definition of what constitutes ‘British’?

        • Tom

          Just a guess, but you recently lost your sense of humor. That’s like the joke that if you want to meet NY’ers try Florida.

  • david

    Just heard someone complain that they had to clean the fag butts outside their house. Well whatever floats your boat mate but I’d use a hose pipe, a wire brush and bleach if I was you.

    • jsky2

      David, I laughed at your above comment. It is about changes in language over time no matter which country one lives within. My last partner is Australian. As I visited 7 times the country–not just as a tourist but wishing to see how people live differently (if so) from Americans? I mistakenly made a comment about *rooting* for a sport team. It brought out many laughs which at the time I had no idea what I said had been wrong ( to them). It is as many have said, one has to have a sense of humor or humour as they spell. It takes differences to make the world the unique thing we live in.

  • Sydney

    My cat neurotically overgrooms herself until she’s bald and bleeding in places. If Prozac helps her to quit hurting herself, let her be on Prozac.

    And “fillay” and “erb” are how the words are pronounced. It takes a special kind of arrogance to go “I like this word you’ve got here, but the pronunciation doesn’t match my drapes. I’ll still *use* it, because my language hasn’t got any words that quite fit the situation like yours does, but I’m going to change it around a bit.

    Finally, roast turkey is one of life’s perfect foods. I don’t mind that you don’t like it; that means that there’s more for me in the world.

    • colin

      These French words have been in the English language for a thousand years (Norman-French) so of course they are going to change,are we supposed to pronounce all Greek words,Scandinavian,German,Dutch,Latin words all in their respective accents,also Americans are butchering English what could be more arrogant?

      • Tom

        There are more Americans speaking English than Brits so since we are democracies the correct pronunciation is how we pronounce it. Sorry, but you lose. ;)

        • York

          As the English have spent two thousand years developing the Language and Americans have only been using it for just over two hundred years that’s a bit like a toddler telling it’s parents how to talk. America as contribute some to the language and in the future will contribute even more, as will Austalasia, Canada and other English speaking Peoples around the world. Given time it may become the language of the entire planet and nolonger be know as or reconised as English. But that day is not here yet.

          • demelzabunny

            “ITS,” not “IT’S!!!” No apostrophe needed for possession. Oy, it’s like I’m teaching my ESL class here.

          • robert

            o.k. first.. if we are discussing forms of goverment, then actually the u.s. is older than jolly england.

            Let that sink in for a second.

            Now we mix saxon with norman french, we call this english.. it has been spoken for oh 700 years or so total. for nearly 500 years of that time frame it has been spoken in america. Now certain words are a further mixture of french and english. Proper spelling is a interesting thing. It has changed much in both areas, colour vs color.. this change occured here in the early 1900′s still hasnt in england, and may never, as long as common usage makes the spelling of a word prevelent, then it is correctly spelled.

            now who’s right then, bloody well we both are. Common usage in each region allows us to have different forms in each. Another example.. Shakespheare is generally pronounced these days shakes pear, instead of shaks fear which is how it was most likely pronounced when he was around.

      • Brittany

        Colin, the fact that those words have been in the English language for a long time doesn’t change the fact that countless words in English are either bastardized versions of words from other languages or words that were taken in their entirety from other language and only the pronunciations changed. “erb” is the correct way to pronounce “herb”, as it’s a French word, not an English word. Same with “LEFtenant” instead of “LEWtenant” for “lieutenant”. Also, Americans are butchering the language? Please don’t try to pretend that everyone in England speaks the language properly and/or in the way that the language was originally spoken. Modern day English people are far from being modern day Shakespeares, and many of you speak broken English. Additionally, what you speak today is virtually unrecognizable as English as it was spoken in England hundreds of years ago.

        • Robert

          You are partially right and partially very wrong but as you say english is a bastard language it’s origins many and varied. All to often what was once universally thought to be the correct pronunciation of a word, because we thought it originated in one culture, turns out to be wrong when historians find evidence of it predating that influence. It as been found that some local dialects that we were brought up to dismiss as bad and slang and poor English are infact closer to the oridginal than modern speech. So we can’t dismiss someone because they have an accent. They have an accent because that’s how English evolved in their part of the world and some of their words and terms maybe closer to the oridginal than your’s. Modern English or to give it it’s title ‘Received Speech English’ is that that what was used by the BBC in the early days of broadcasting and is what we use as a reference point when we want to define the correct pronunciation of a word or the correct syntax of grammar. But that is only to make English more universally understandable and clear. It doesn’t make someone who speaks with a New Castle, Birmingham, Yorkshire or West Country dialect a bad English speaker. Or for that matter an English man a better speaker than an American, Candian, Austrialia or anyone else but by the same token it doesn’t mean Americans speak better that the English. American English is not more modern as British English is also evolving as well. You only have to listen to recording of speech in Britian in the forties, the fifties, sixties etc to hear how it’s changed in one life time. It is however still the language of the English, they gave birth to it whatever the origins of indevidual words maybe, they strung them together and made them into a language.

      • Xander

        Funny how I always hear Brits talk trash about Americans pronouncing Foyer like it’s spelled, instead of Foy-ay. So much for that ‘You’re not French!’ argument, eh?

    • Pete

      “For example you say ‘erb’ and we say ‘herb.’” Because there’s a fu—-g H in it.” -Eddie Izzard

      I agree, it’s just the way the words are pronounced. It’s not pretentious, when McDonald’s is using it.

      • Gareth

        You at correct about accents.
        My cousin laughed ( lafed?) when I said ” toona “‘meaning tuna , Meaning “tuuna” .

    • Jamie

      I can’t speak for others, but I do try to pronounce foreign words the way they are said in the foreign language. Take, for example, the way Spanish has infiltrated American daily language. I don’t pronounce ‘quesadilla’ as “kway-sa-dill-a”, as it’s phonetically spelled. I say ‘kay-sa-di-ya’ as it’s mean to be said in Spanish. I think it shows respect for the origins of the words to say it properly as it would be said in the home country. Thus, I see no problem with saying ‘fill-ay’ instead of ‘fil-let’.

      English has been evolving for hundreds of years, and the beauty of our shared language is the ability for it to adapt and add new words. As it was mentioned before, the English went out and colonized the world, and gave/brought the language to the locals. And now some are getting angry when those ‘old colonies’ have taken the language and it made it their own? I’ve got news for you folks that are angry over it: languages evolve. So move on and let’s nitpick on other differences.

  • Skip

    My wife, a northern Brit, tells me that” you lot don’t speak proper like what us does”. I must agree.

  • Pretty Brit

    The time I heard an American taxi driver yell out to a dawdling pedestrian “Hey lady – d’ya wanna fender up yer fanny?” I almost fainted. As for saying fanny pack in UK, well, forget it – conversely belly bag or bum bag sounds weird to Americans – hard to keep it all straight sometimes, or a straight face at least. Yesterday a friend at a picnic told me her uncle had brought cucumbers to a potluck. Cucumbers? I asked, intrigued. Yes, bread and butter, she responded. Bread and butter? I queried, more perplexed than ever. Yes, they were very tasty. Turns out she was talking about pickles !

    • Xander

      Pickles are what happens if you PICKLE cucumbers…Hence the name.

  • JillA

    Gotta agree – if you don’t like roast turkey, you’re making it wrong. And that’s how we pronounce those words. Hey if there’s an article on what drives Americans crazy, can we talk about the floors of buildings starting at 0? :-) But I love ya, Britain. Can’t wait to go back.

    • MikeC

      Floors don’t start with “0″ in the UK, they start with “1″, but, yeah, Brits just don’t like turkey, and it way overpriced there. Well seasoned and prepared (there’s more to seasoning than salt, you have some great chefs, listen and learn). Besides turkey being a very American bird it has, pound-for-pound more protein than most any other meat, and its low in fat, so it’s a very nutritious bird. I wrote a long bit on turkey when I was working in London once and the woman who edited my tiny, in-house newsletter had the same comment, “Yes, but it’s a very dry bird that needs a bit of mustard or something.”

  • deanna

    one thing Brits do that drive Americans nuts…….tip poorly!!!!!

    • Ian

      That’s because we expect our service staff to be properly paid

      • Cala

        Tipping is a good way of ensuring that the wait staff cares about your service. It is not much different than the idea of a commission–you get paid proportionally for the job that you do. I have been in many establishments in the UK where the servers could have used some incentive to care a little more; and yes, I understand that plates aren’t cleared as fast and that you need to be much more forceful about getting the attention of your server as they tend to leave you alone for the most part.

        Furthermore, the few times I’ve visited the UK, I’ve tried to familiarize myself with the tipping customs. I became aware that over-tipping could be considered as an insult as if you were stating that they don’t make enough money. In that same vein, I would expect that when Brits come to the States, they would follow the our customs on tipping seeing as our waitstaff generally works on tips alone.

        • Anna

          I understand that wait staff in the US are paid peanuts and that tips go to make up the difference, but find it hard to shake off the British idea that a tip should be a reward for good service, not ‘a good way of ensuring that the wait staff cares about your service’. After all, isn’t providing adequate service the bare minimum? Why should we pay more for that?

          (I should add that I really don’t have any problem with giving a good tip when the service has been good, and in my experience so far in the US, it usually is far better and friendlier than in the UK. But when the person serving us is surly or tardy or just uninterested, I do resent being expected to leave 20% of the bill for that.)

          • Britanie

            I’ve been a waitress here (in America). I made $2 an hour. So yes, you pretty much live on tips as a waitress. Otherwise I would only make $16 in an eight hour day. It was worse when I worked as a car hop at sonic because people don’t generally tip at fast food places and yet I still only made $2 an hour because I was supposedly making tips. (I’m not sure if they have car hops at any places in England but a car hop is a waitress/waiter that roller skates out to your car with your food and Sonic is a fast food place.)

      • Jen K

        Gosh, don’t we know it? Those of us who have traveled (one L, I’m American, we did it on purpose to annoy you two hundred years ago, doi) really wish there was some kind of cafe culture here in the US but, because our servers work on tips, we can’t manage it. So we came up with stupid Starbucks. Shut up, you love it too.

        And yes! Our family is notoriously bad at cooking turkey but any good restaurant or deli will make it juicy and delicious. You’re definitely doing it wrong.

      • MikeC

        I agree, Ian. It certainly is a different culture of eating out. Spend 2 hours on a proper night out in a restaurant, being served by someone serving 10 tables, seeing your server infrequently and then signalling him/her at the end for your bill before you leave, or being waited upon by someone who needs to act as your personal slave serving 3 tables, filling your glass every two minutes, asking you if you’re enjoying your meal 15 seconds after you’ve received it, as well as a visit by his supervisor who goes table to table as a quality inspector for his underlings, snatching empty plates, all in hopes that you’ll furnish him/her with 80% of her/his evening’s wages. Its quite different, the way we two approach dining out.

        • JenC

          Appalling service in U.K. Brits feel service is beneath them.

      • Milly

        However, you are in the states – a very different culture. Respect the cultural differences and tip according to custom.

        By the way, I had a British B&B owner chase me out to the car to make sure I had tipped her cleaning staff upon leaving. Clearly, her pay to staff was not enough. (I had tipped, by the way.)

  • Gilly P

    I have been in the States nearly 20 years now and just love living here. I enjoy the expectation that you will do everything in your power to be happy and not remain, “in your place”.
    I respect that nearly everyone I know is in school to improve themselves, to gain knowledge and self worth.
    I am frustrated that this is such an amazing country and so few Americans will take the time off work to vacation. We only get two weeks each year and a number of my co-workers do not even take that two measley weeks. I have taken every second of my vacation time and have travelled far and wide with it.
    The translation thing, I was initially amazed that we even thought we spoke the same language. “fag breaks”, “faggots and gravy”, “chips and crisps”and what ever is an English muffin?
    Most alarming was the first time I was told a child was full of “spunk” and while I wanted to call child protection the mother was apparently pleased…. that was a confusing conversation.
    Coffee cake does not taste like coffee and I only drink tea at home since thats where my tea pot lives.
    Yet if we did not love the differences we would all stay home!

    • MizzEm

      Coffee cake isn’t supposed to taste like coffee, it was created to be consumed WITH coffee, for a breakfast treat or as a morning or afternoon snack. Your teacakes don’t taste like tea, either – and most bear little resemblance at all to any item USAians would call “cake”!
      An English muffin is a small round, flat but thickish (maybe 3-5 cm depending on brand), yeast-raised bread that is cooked on a griddle so that it is browned on both sides. The batter has a high yeast and water content so there are many large holes inside, and is wet enough that it must be confined in a ring on the griddle. They are split and toasted (they are very nasty un-toasted, as the interior is quite mushy), and then can simply be eaten with butter, jam, honey and suchlike toppings, used as one would use toasted bread under things like Welsh rabbit/rarebit, or as the base for many sandwiches and snacks such as the infamous after-school snack “English muffin pizza” (in its most basic form, a toasted English muffin spread with tomato sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella, then baked or even microwaved to melt the cheese). It’s a little bit like a crumpet, but less rich and cake-y, and the holes don’t go all the way through. Wikipedia says that in some parts of Britain they are called “bread muffins”? The object known simply as a “muffin” in the USA is a small round cake-like bread leavened with baking powder, similar to a cupcake but not as sweet.
      On the vacation issue… First, most USAians don’t GET paid vacations, and can’t afford to take unpaid time off unless there is no other way to avoid it. For those who are lucky enough to get paid vacation time, it’s often quite difficult to get it scheduled with one’s employer, especially in this period of intentional short-staffing – “you can’t take two weeks – or even one whole week – off, this-this-and-this all need to be done and we need you here to do it”. Many employers would rather have the employees stay on the job and pay them the vacation time as a chunk of cash at the end of the year than have them out of the workplace. If there are multiple working people in the family, it can be a nightmare coordinating time off between the different employers, and if there are children in school, it’s even worse. It is Greatly Frowned Upon to remove one’s child from school for “frivolous” purposes (which is really anything but illness or funerals); parents are expected to do these things on the scheduled school breaks. Unfortunately, there are millions of other parents also trying to do the same thing at the same time (most schools schedule their week-long breaks within the same two-week blocks in February and April – ditto with college students and their March break), which means that it’s even more difficult to get the days off, desirable vacation destinations are swarming with people, prices have gone sky-high to burn the tourists, and travel becomes even more of a nightmare than it already is. In addition, many people have to use up their vacation time a day or half-day at a time for not-fun things like taking care of an ill child or family member, or even for their own sicknesses if they’ve used up their “sick days” allowance. If they’re lucky enough to have it. Fewer and fewer jobs have even these minimal benefits, forget the good stuff like healthcare coverage, pensions, and so on.

      • MizzEm

        I did actually put paragraph breaks in there, but they seem to have been eaten in the posting. My apologies for the single block of text.

  • Casey

    Wow, you sound like a complete ass. I am sorry that I even read this article. If this is how you feel about the country that is about as close to being you as any other, I would hate to hear what you think about every other country.

    • Lauren

      Really Casey? Get over yourself. You sound like you could be the poster-child of “The Ugly American”. Please stay home.

    • Tom

      Chill out, Casey! As an American I can see exactly how someone from Britain might feel that way. And they are definitely right about our over-zealous patriotism. America isn’t exactly the most wonderful country in the world. Don’t forget that it was Britain who stood alone against Hitler for a year while we whined about not wanting to get involved in Europe’s problems.

    • Marcia

      I am an American and guess what,,, America reminds me more and more each day as still the Wild West,,,, have to agree we are not too cultured here,,,, but then we are a HUGE country,,,some parts of the country like just seem like another country,,,,ever try to understand an American Southerner,,,,I do not like Republicans. And I am a Socialist 100 per cent,,, and there ARE way too many guns over here,,,. This is a very violent place to live,,,,,, not easy to survive here,.., I am. a second. Generation American. ,,,,Italy and Eastern Europe background and always did wonder how did I end up here. LOL,…but you gotta admit good ole USA bailed your British a$$e$ out big time in WW2 or did you forget and become ungrateful,… And geez where did all your POP CULTURE come from. In the last 50 years,,,, where was all this rock rooted from,,,,, ask Mick Jagger and by the way I can’t help it how power hungry and millitristic we are. I am not.,,,,. By the way I treat my cat better than any human. I know.


  • Raymond

    And there are serious differences in sense of humo(u)r as well, apparently! I can claim to live in the mid-Atlantic, so I’m fairly neutral here. And I think the Scots invented the last name-first name syndrome – Anderson, Campbell, Maxwell, Farquar, etc. And “fall” is an archaic English term from Devon/Cornwall which fell out of use in the 19th century.

  • itledevill

    Ex pat living here (USA) for 30 yrs often thought about opening a restaurant and having a truly British meal.. Peas Pudding and Faggots followed by Spotted Dick and Custard and giving a free Fag after every meal

    • Lisa

      To ITLEDEVILL, What a great idea, please open the restaurant in New Jersey. i will be your first customer

    • MizzEm

      I saw Spotted Dick *in tins* in the supermarket just the other day, right next to boxes of Bird’s custard mix. The stock clerk did not understand why I was laughing. (And I’d do any number of bad things for some decent bangers and finnan haddie and a meat pie…)

  • davemorris

    What’s wrong with pronouncing French words correctly? You Brits forget which country backed us in our war of independence.

    • Richard

      The problem is that you are not spelling OR pronouncing this word correctly. The French spell this word “herbe” and when they speak it they drop the “h” and pronounce the rest of it something like “airb”.
      You are not doing this. You are simply hacking off the “h” and pronouncing the rest of it something like “urb” as in “curb”.
      This is an Americanism. People use it not because it’s accurate but because they think they sound clever saying it. They don’t, they just sound irritating.
      As Eddie Izzard said “You say “erb” … and we say “herb” …. because there’s an effing “h” in it!

      • sue


      • dw

        “erb” is actually the original British pronunciation. “herb” was like “hour” or “heir”, beginning with a silent H.

        • ANN


      • spittingkitty

        Oh, okay. You say “herb” because there’s an “h” in it? So you continue to spell words with a “u” that serves no purpose because…

        People don’t pronounce it “erb” because they think they sound clever, you pompous dog’s behind. They say it because that is how we are taught to say it.

      • Paul

        I’d say that the American dropping of the h in herb has less to do with an attempt to render its pronunciation more faithfully to the original French word than with a general American tendency to drop the h in certain words. I think Americans are more likely to say an hotel than a hotel, for example. But British people, I think, say an historian – at least that’s how it’s often pronounced on BBC radio and printed (with an as opposed to a) in British newspapers. And, after all, none of us pronounces the h in hour, another word from French.
        I know it’s tongue in cheek but the argument against using z in the suffix -ise/-ize is incoherent. The s is voiced and thus pronounced as /z/, which is why Americans spell it the way they do, with the exception of the word exercise. On the subject of u, my Latin teacher never tired of telling the class that American omission of the letter kept the word more in line with the original Latin word from which it derived.
        Btw, the author should be aware that the Oxford dictionary now uses -ize as its default spelling, informing the reader in a parenthetical note that -ise is an Anglicism.

  • JillA

    No, we’re saying it that way because we’re taught in school to pronounce it that way. And believe me, it makes no sense to us when we learn it, but that is our formal pronunciation. It has nothing to do with pretension, at least not this many generations later.

  • Layla

    Ive lived in America all my life and most of my family lives in England and I’m from Tennessee and I agree saying y’all there is like being from another planet but saying all those things about us make britts look like asses when they’re really not and if I had to choose who had the accent it would be the British they don’t pronounce the whole word look Instead of saying hi how are you they say hi how ah’ youw boom see Americans can say there r’s

  • Duane

    I’m an American and I live in Hawaii, the only state in the US that includes the Union Jack in our flag.

    Knowing something about tea culture, I understand how it may irritate some Brits when they ask for hot tea in an American restaurant and it comes served with lemon, instead of milk.

  • Cobber

    I say never go to a country that doesnt enjoy vegemite or Coopers Sparkling Ale. I do not understand why you need to tip people it the US, particularly when their service is rude and they have a distinct lack of manners.

    • Savannah

      It’s because, since tips are expected, employers are able to get away with paying waiters less than minimum wage so they live off their tips. A normal tip is 15%. If the service is particularly bad, pay less. It better be pretty terrible for you not to tip at all, though.

    • Tom

      Service rude in the US? You are joking right? The best service I ever had in Britain was still worse than the drunk cashier at McDonalds in Times Square.

    • JenC

      You are right not to travel. It is not for you. Stay home and be happy.

  • Michelle Lewis

    Ruth, great piece! T was right, you did make a funny. It made me laugh to read the comments from Americans who got defensive about turkey and flags and pronunciation. And somebody ALWAYS has to bring the French into it. Hope you guys are both well across the pond, I had a good trip to Philly last week, but was baffled by the sheer amount of choice in restaurants. Nothing like being a stranger in your own country. x

  • Scott

    “Two nations divided by a common language…”

    As for “Things that drive Americans nuts” how about the fact that the Brits have accents on their speech that make them mutually unintelligible?
    I will never forget getting lost in London while looking for the American Express office. I asked a very kind woman in an apothecary shop for directions, and she brightly said, “OW! Iss easy, luv. Ya gow dun ‘ere pass sum poles, tike a lef’, go trey blokes, tike anudder lef’ an’ iss rot dare!”
    I ended up at the American Express CORPORATE offices, two blocks away from the customer services office, because I couldn’t understand that “sum poles” was actually “Saint Paul’s” – so, instead of making a “lef’” at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, I went an additional two blocks and turned “lef” at a large scaffold which I figured is what she meant by “sum poles”.
    In “the Colonies” we have accents as well, but – even in the deep South, or the most hard-core areas of South Boston – they aren’t so far removed from the common tongue as to be unintelligible. I’m originally from the State of Nebraska, where we have a flat (almost nasal) generic accent. Part of my family is from Bayou country in Louisiana, where the Cajun accent is thick enough to stop a bullet. But whichever part of the family I’m with, I still carry on a fully understandable conversation.
    In England, I couldn’t make it from Piccadilly to Queen Anne’s College without a translator! Gods help me when I took a weekender to Wales, where my maternal grandfather was born.
    Still, despite all the “foreign” languages in England, the month I spent there was wonderful. The only problem is that I’m an unconscious mimic. I came home to the States with an East-Ender’s accent – now imagine the fun my cousins in Louisiana had with THAT!

    • Savannah

      I must object. My mom’s family is also from the bayou and it took my dad *years* to figure out what they were saying with some confidence.

    • sue

      Scott – I see, or rather, hear, the accent thing in reverse. I’m from southern England. When I worked in a hospital in Georgia, I sometimes really couldn’t understand the strong, southern accent some rural patients had, and needed to ask a local person to translate. On the other hand, and this I found incredulous at the time, some of the locals couldn’t understand me! I realised that it’s all about what you grew up with as your “norm”.
      I’ve also worked with “Geordies” from Newcastle who speak what might as well be a foreign language to me!
      Each of us thinks it’s everyone else who has the accent! :-)

    • claire


    • Carol Kayye

      I’m British born and an American citizen and I just love your comments

    • Carol Kayye

      I’m British born and an American citizen and I just love your comments

      I also spent some time in Scotland near St Andrews and was very bemused thinking the local b and b landlord was talking about ducks when he was actually telling us about local pubs

  • Sk

    Almost as funny as the one million things Brits have up their arises

  • 36arbiter

    the classic ,deep American male voice,for example,Michael Ironside,james earl jones,is,it has to be said,the absolute bollocks.it is the sound of leadership,strength and courage.in stark contrast,American women seem to be desperately trying to see who can sound the most like an unmuffled 50cc two-stoke on tickover.

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  • Lauren

    The “fanny” definition is a funny bit of business. It brings to mind a summer visit from an 18 year old Brit friend. She sat on a leather car seat that had been backing in the sun and jumped up immediately. “What’s the matter, did you burn your fanny?” asked my mother in all innocence. My friend turned 6 shades of red, and it wasn’t from the car seat!
    I agree about the overzealous patriotism. We’re fortunate to have been born here, or immigrated to this country. So Americans, be pleased and feel fortunate, but remember “pride” goes before a fall (and I don”t mean autumn).

  • sarah

    Dave – why do Americans insist on bringing up the war of independence all the time? living as a Brit in the US I am constantly subject to comments such as “here come the red coats” or ” i guess you dont participate in 4th July celebrations”.

    Are you guys not over it yet? May I remind you this was over two centuries ago and even then no one in Britain was bothered except for the king! please find some new insults, it’s old…. 1783 old. but then I guess it could be something to do with your lack of your history. p.s I love your country, this is just one thing that drives me nuts!

    • Brittany

      Lack of history? Just because our history is not as long as the UK’s does not mean we don’t have a history. How arrogant. Also, it’s an event that stands out to us because it was when America became a nation. Naturally, it’s a big deal to us. We don’t care if you don’t care. We do! If you’re a Brit living here, it’s just something you’ll have to endure.

    • demelzabunny

      Yes, don’t forget the American War of Independence was a highly unpopular war w/the majority of the British populace, because is dangerously drained the gov’t coffers.

  • Jess

    Funniest thing I ever read. I live in Miami (if you can call Miami the USA) and enjoyed every one of the points on the list. Especially taking my plate away too soon!

  • Vince Tucker

    I can’t believe their backwards dates were not in the top ten !

    • demelzabunny

      Most countries of the world write their dates day/month/year; it is we Americans who are bucking the trend (just as we refuse to join the rest of the world using metric measurements).

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  • MIke

    Yep! spelling words the wrong way makes a person look like they never got past the 4th gradeVERY annoying.

  • apple

    The funny thing is if you click on the other link- 10 things that americans hate about brits, you will see that its written by the same BRITISH author . So its all heavily biased towards the brits (shocker) yet we are supposed to believe it is the counterattack to her first article. It is clear that she is yet another socialist european who is bitter towards americans because she is jealous.
    Im sorry, since when is CUSTOMER SERVICE considered a bad thing. In the UK there is zero service. In fact, I find myself having to kiss up TO the service if I even want a CHANCE of getting anything. No one will go out of their way to help you, unless you are at an american company. The other day a friend of mine was told by the manager of a restaurant in london “this is not america, here the customer is always WRONG, we don’t care if you are unhappy.. you can leave”
    this is TYPICAL in the UK

    second, no one says fanny anymore.. you are clearly out of the loop

    third, americans are friendly

    fourth, brits like yourself are hypocritical and pretentious… “get yourself a socialist president” – my response to that:
    a) we already have one
    b) its sickening how many brits like you are so quick to label, stereotype, and judge and then pretend yourself to be liberal and socially conscious etc… how does that mesh with the fact that, as you just admitted, you barely look at a stranger on the street- if they say hello to you you give them a look like you feel violated…. the average brit (much less the well-off brit) is classist and pretentious – its ironic that you call out americans for being proud… isn’t that better than being a snob and looking down on people who don’t have as much money or didn’t go to a fancy school? Do you know how many times since I have moved here I have heard the word “working- class” or “elite” used to describe a group of people? That would never happen in america. Get over it, you may have a kindg and queen but its 2012.

    Re: your comment about the service: Aside from the fact that it was ridiculous to pretend over service is better than crap service… how about the fact that over in England you treat anyone in a “service” capacity as if they are beneath you? Also something that makes me sick

    I could go on but Ill stop at that. next time try having an American to write the counter piece…. might help your credibility

    • Robert

      Touched a nerve there. It’s only a bit of fun, see if the stero types still fit anymore. Are the Brits still regarded as stand offish, proud of the empire, stiff upperlip elitis snobs and are the Americans still regarded as loud loutish, ignorant we won the war, the world owes us, slobs. No! but some stero types do persist and having fun with them, bursting the bubble of pomposity, help dispell them. Lighten up.

    • roscoe

      three cheers or englaand

    • Paul

      Wow! Having a bad day? The piece is meant to be humorous. Btw, if you think Obama is a socialist, then you’ve been watching way too much Fox for your own good!

    • Tom

      Obama a socialist president? Ha ha! Obama is too far to the right to be a conservative in Britain.

  • Dee Robles

    We don’t have to leave the states to hear about our accents, from one state to another and your nailed. I’m from NYC, moved up state and forever hearing ‘you’re from the city aren’t you?, I can tell by your accent. In the 80′s I was in California, “oh, you’re from NYC, I’m so sorry for you, no one LIVES there, they just exist”. This from people who’d pontificate endlessly every time I ordered white bread or sugar. Needless to say, they were sorry, NEW YORK CITY STYLE for trying to tell me what to eat! :) In Louisiana, I was a “Yank”, so you don’t have to cross the “pond” for accents, just cross a street. Love my Life:)

  • Grant

    I agree with turkey not being appetizing. I don’t agree that Americans are spelling/pronouncing words wrong. That’s just false British hubris talking. Language is an ever-changing form, and “original English” would be Old English that no one even uses anymore.

  • L

    I love your accent! (that I imagined as I read your words)

  • David

    A few things:

    “Jolly old England” still grates away after 30 years.

    Studied ignorance of the rest of the world. Who here knows anything of Canada? It’s always surprising.

    Much of the country in this scientific age still believes in the literate truth of Genesis 1, and equates Darwin with Satan.

    The pervasive self-promoted pseudo-authority; and general distrust of anything intellectual

    The preoccupation with race.

    Having a handgun to “defend” yourself from someone with another handgun, whose sole purpose is to kill your fellow man, is somehow considered a divine right. Meanwhile, a million Americans have died of shooting since 1962. And yet, meaningful discussion is nigh impossible.

    But there are a great number of things that are right.

    • demelzabunny

      Right on all counts!

  • SporkLover

    I didn’t realize the UK was so ethnocentric.

    I consider these things (and the reverse for American observations of Brits) to be the fun differences to explore and observe…. Certainly not bothered by it though. Maybe this falls into the endless sincere cheer.

  • American

    I love how you follow “Spelling words wrong” with “Pretentious pronunciation” …. hypocritical idiot.

  • Jsoleil

    If your turkey is crap then you’re making it wrong. But not surprised a Brit that isn’t Gordon Ramsay or Nigella Lawson wouldn’t know how to cook a decent tasting turkey.

    This is how you do it: Get a pound of pancetta or bacon, chop it up fine in a food processor with some good full fat European style butter, sea salt, garlic and sage. Rub the concoction under the skin all over – not just the breast, wrap it up tight, put it in the fridge and let it sit over night. Roast the turkey with nothing but an onion and some herbs in the cavity atop a mirepoix (pronounced meer-pwaa) – carrots, leeks, celery. Baste with melted butter mixed with white wine.

    And for God sakes, don’t overcook it…take it out for a rest when the temp hits 160-165.

    Now, as an American, I will agree with you on every other item you list besides turkey and….the whole silly name thing. Really? You Brits have no room to talk, just ask Peaches Geldof.

  • England Sucks

    This article really just outlines what is so shitty about England. Adding ‘u’ to words, are you kidding me? We progressed, our language is more advanced end of story…. This is why America is better than your shitty royalty-centered shitstain of a country

    • Lisa

      HEY you SUCK

    • Dan

      Your funny – as American you might have to learn english comedy to appreciate my comment there.

    • Tex

      Don’t hold back ‘ENGLAND SUCKS’ let it out, let the world know all your xenophobic prejudices, let the world laugh and confirm it’s belief that Americans are small minded racists.

      • Daws

        Not excusing what ENGLAND SUCKS said at the end there. But what the heck did racism and xenophobia have to do with anything he said?

        Unless you think “British” is it’s own race… which of course would make you way more divisive than us, and thus sort of undoes your own statement.

    • Carol Kayye

      wow you are really taking this to heart haha

    • demelzabunny

      Nasty comment, to be sure, but I do personally agree that the royal family (whose really last name is Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderberg-Beck-Glucksburg, by the way; sound German?) are a bunch of overindulged parasites. And this is in no way meant to disparage those from among them who conduct themselves w/dignity (a minority, to be sure).

    • j

      I would say that it is people like this that drive brits, and indeed the rest of the world, nuts. The only thing he forgot to add was his, no doubt, customary ‘America Rulez’.

      Anyway, regarding the list. As a brit I do find the butchering of the english language a pet peeve. And the pronunciation of z as zee.

      Being english, running through our psyche we have this assumption that we are God’s chosen people. Its quite harmless I assure you, but it leads to an instinctive assumption that we are…., for the lack of a better term, better than everyone else. Again, its not as bad as it sounds. But when our language is changed it leaves you with a feeling akin to somebody walking into your front room, putting on your slippers and sitting in your arm chair. I think we still have somewhat of an empire attitude.

      Regarding patriotism, we dont do it over here. Maybe its the fact that we have had more time as a nation to grow and mature and are more comfortable with our place in the world. Maybe it has to do with the self depreciation that runs through the british way of life. We love our country for sure, we realise how lucky we are living here and when we are gone we pine to return.., yet we love a good moan about this place. One of the quirks that makes us us i suppose.
      But i digress.

      Personally, every American i’ve ever met has been warm, friendly and utterly contrary to the picture painted of them in stereotype. One thing i find odd though is the need for melted cheese on so many different foods?

  • Robert

    It’s not that either the US or the UK way of doing things is the right or the wrong way or the better way of doing anything. It’s the way you’re brought up and what you’re lead to beleave. You tend to beleave that the way you were taught from a child is the correct way and any other ways are strange and alian and open for mocking so what seams natural to you can appear weird to someone else. You can find differences in families. I’ve visited families that I thought had strange ways of doing things and visitors have point out things we do different to them. What’s good is that we accept our differances and find friendly humour in the confusion that may arrise from them.

  • 36arbiter

    wow! that’s the spelling equivalent of the st.Valentines day massacre.I cant stop laughing.I would like to broach,if I may,two questions.will Disney ever concieve an original story?,and,will Fox ever report on a subject other than food?.

  • Lee Crain

    Your comment: “Their over-zealous patriotism”
    My ancestors came from England, escaping the religious zealots and Bishop Wren. That was 1626. We haven’t spelled color with a u since then. My other ancestors were already here, maybe as long as 10,000 years. I have no idea what they were running from. I have often mused that if those ancestors had been better armed, and had better communication, we might not be in the mess we’re in today.

    • Robert

      Lee Crain it’s a common miss conception that the early settlers came to America to escape religious persecution when in fact the reverse was true. They left because they felt the state was getting to liberal and tolerant allowing tomany different ideas of religion. They wanted somewhere they could be isolated, to practice their beliefs, away from the corrupting influences of opposing ideologies. So if anyone was intolerant and zealot it was the early settlers not the country they left.

      • Tom

        Absolutely true. Anyone who wasn’t a Puritan found themselves kicked out. That is how Rhode Island ended up getting settled. The Puritans believed in freedom of religion only for themselves.

  • rehabber

    We already have a socialist president that is trying to turn us into Europe. Enjoyed the article, thanks goodness for differences.

    • Tom

      Turn us into Europe! If only we were that lucky.

    • Daws

      Oh god….Brits, you can take this one. Please.

  • Jayson

    I would have to admit that some of these items are legitimate, but some are either examples of extreme nit-picking, or they simply are not so, as is the case with the supposed ‘fanny’ usage (someone else noted this as well). I for one love British culture, though it must be said that the UK has changed dramatically from how most Americans think of it. One need only reference their less-than-freedom-loving laws, their embrace of multiculturalism and the riots of last summer, to name a few. And in reference to your number 9, we do indeed (I’m rather fond of the word actually) have a socialist president, or if you prefer, a Marxist. However, perhaps this is relative to what they are used to in the UK and Europe.

  • Cizzarries

    Hell….Having differences is what makes the world interesting. There’s already been a lot of changes in the way people dress so that theres a lot of commonality. It’d be a damn boring world if everyone started to look, sound, and act like so many of the movies and tv shows from the west.

  • george

    God what pretension!!

    Get over yourself.
    You dont like last names first? How about your habit of ignoring first names and calling everyone by their last name.

    You dont like turkey? Every one with a brain knows turkey is just an excuse to eat gravy. And to top it off you have a lot of damn gall telling any country their food sucks. English food? There is an oxymoron for you.

    Friendly service? I have had all the surly assholes I need waiting on me on Britrail. They are more mean and nasty than the French.

    Patriotism? Well we did win the war against you. TWICE!
    And then we had to come over there and keep the Germans from invading.

    And last but not least your women are the uglyest on the planet.

    • roscoe

      three cheers for england

    • Cizzarries

      So I take it you’re a writer for greeting cards right? Never been to England myself, but as an American trucker who get’s all over the lower 48…..We don’t have much room for pointing at other countries bad behavior…..We have the bad behavior market in aces…..

    • Tom

      Your history of WWII is a little messed up. The British stood against Hitler for a year alone. It was the USSR that defeated Germany. Ever hear of Stalingrad?

      • York

        Tom your a little out there. At the beginng of the war Hitler and Stalin had a none aggression packed which Hitler didn’t break until Gorring lost the Battle of Britain. So from the fall of France until Operation Barbarrossa Britain stood alone, as the only combatant nation opossed to the Nazi’s, for over a year. When Gorring lost the Battle of Britain Hitler ordered the invation of the USSR to distract Germans from the defeat they’d suffered against British and he took the Soviets tolally off gaurd and drove them back almost to Moscow but he didn’t allow for the Russian winter, got bogged down in the snows, his troops weren’t equipt for the cold and in the spring they were still bogged down in the mud of the thaw. This gave Britain and it’s allies chance to ship in supplies to the Russian Army and for the Russian Industry to manufacture vast quanties of T34 Tanks so the Russians could mount a counter attack. Stalingrad was a side show. Stupidity on both sides. It served no purpose other than to waste lives and equipement on both sides. The main body of German advance went round and bypast it all to geather. It was Stalins vanity that he ordered the troops within the city to fight to the last man and the last bullet to protect the city that bore his name. Likewise when the tide of war changed and the Red Army came to take Stalingrad back Hitler gave the same order to his troops in the city. The main defeat the germans suffered and turned the war infavour of the soviets was the tank battle at Kirsk. The Soviets had rows and rows and even more rows of tanks going back miles across the Russian Steps. The Germans would fight through one line of tanks and there was another waiting for them and behind them another and behind and so on. It was, and probably still is, the largest tank battle ever fought. But Hitlers first defeat was against the British and Britain did stand alone, with aid from America and the Commonwealth in the form of liberty ships bring much appreciated supplies, for a year.

    • demelzabunny

      The comparative form of “mean” is “meanER,” not “more mean,” and the comparative form of “nasty” is “nastIER,” not “more nasty.” And the superlative form of “ugly” is “uglIEST.” Learn to spell, I don’t care where you’re from!!!

  • Matt

    I’m an American and 2, 4, and 6 drive me crazy too. However, there is a tradition in the south to give the first son the mother’s maiden name as a first name. If that is the last name you use as a first name, you get a pass.

  • pdxtran

    I’m an American who has visited the UK three times, and some of the things that bother the author about the U.S. bother me, too, such as the chest-pounding patriotism and the use of surnames as first names (especially for girls–when you call your daughter “Taylor” or “McKenzie,” does it mean that you really wanted a boy?), but there are things that bother me about the UK, too, such as the ridiculously high charges at laundromats.

    What’s this with £2.85 to wash and £1 per 12 minutes to dry? At home I pay $1.25 to wash and $1.25 for 45 minutes of drying.

    The way your intercity trains are priced is as crazy as the way airlines price their tickets. London to Bath at £9 on a prepaid ticket and £46 on same-day fare?

    Oh, but do you know what really bothers me about my fellow Americans? The fact that so many of them toss around phrases and lame jokes that they hear on political talk radio without understanding what they mean. I see a couple of examples in this column.

  • Suunto

    My wife is British; we’ve been married 17 years and still occasionally find ourselves chuckling about differences between British and American English. She likes turkey (locally farm-raised) and I like marmite; not to mention clotted cream and real ales. About every other year, we pop over to England to visit her family and have a great time.

    • Carol Kayye

      how can you like marmite or even bovril

  • Tom

    I’d have to agree with the over pronunciation complaint. For example, “Computers are my strong point or forte’”. This comes from a strong hope for Americans to sound so sophisticated and French that they are mispronouncing an old English word! The traditional pronounciation is “fort” like Fort Benning, or Fort Knox. It means strong position, like a….FORT! For any Francophiles out there, I’m told the French pronounce it with a silent ‘e’ as well. Please correct if I am wrong.

    Not all English pronunciation is perfect either. We pronounce “school” as “skool” and so do you. Why then is “schedule” pronounced “shedule”? How about some English consistency? Either pronounce it “shool” or pronounce it “skedule”.

    As for Turkey, I’m American, 52 and have had it cooked many ways, but 95% of the time it’s pretty dry and tasteless. That’s why God invented gravy! But then again, English cooking has never floated my boat either. Boiled pig’s knuckles? Really? Other than fish and chips, what noteworthy food item has come from England?

    And your beer? Yes most American beer has been designed so that we can drink casks of the stuff and not feel full. This is due to the fact that most of our large cities sit at or below the latitude or Rome. American beer has been made to be an alcoholic version of lemonade. As for your beer or ale, your water is so rotten that you literally have to burn the hops just to get the yeast to ferment. What’s left is a brew more akin to your peat bogs than to any libations from the Pilsner region of the Czech Republic (where modern beer was first brewed.)

    The one point that I will always love about England is the wry and yet crazy sense of humor. I was raised on Monte Python reruns on PBS. I rented the DVDs from whence my children learned. In my opinion, telling someone off in a way that leaves them thinking you just gave them a compliment is the height of good humor. It’s also much more fun than “Oh yah, so’s your mother!”

    • Robert

      You’re tap dancing on quick sand trying to fathom vagarys of the spelling within the English Language. What you have to remember is English is a mongrel language, it’s origins are many, from the Ancient Britains, through latin from the Roman occupation, then the Norse and the Saxon to the Norman invation. Since then words taken from the French, the Dutch, the Spanish and the Germans. New words made by combining Latin and Greek. Then there’s words imported from the Empire, India, Africa, China, aboriginal words from Australasia and yes even the Americas. English is almost as diverse as language it’s self so rules of spelling don’t work when so many words have different origins.
      Ho and by the way the abbreviation of mathematics is Maths (plural) not Math (singular) you can’t do anything with one unit you need at least two. So to say ‘I’m going to do my math homework’ or ‘Do the math’ doesn’t make sence.

      • demelzabunny

        Oy, this is atrocious!!! Regardez:

        - ITS without an apostrophe for possession
        -”there ARE words”, not “there’S words”
        - “it’s self?” Come on!!! ITSELF. You probably think there’s a possessive pronoun spelled “hisself!” Jeepers!!! If the Grammar/Spelling Police every got a hold of you all, you’d all be hauled off to the Old Bailey.

    • Dan

      I’m English and I pronounce it skedule, if English people don’t they have picked it up from tv.

    • York

      Tom Your comments on beer, you know not what you speak, as is the case of most Americans when they talk of beer. For a start American beer and German and French is not strictly beer. That is not a critisism it’s a technicality. In beers the sediment floats on the surface and is skimed off before barrelling. American uses the German (as do the French) method of deep sedimentation where it’s left at the bottom of the vat. These are know as Ales and when stored to age slightly are Largers. Now Ales and Largers are pasturised so they will keep but this means they are dead and fizzy but also means you can chill them for a refreshing hot summer drink.
      Beer on the other hand tends to be darker in colour, have a higher gravity and if traditional,(some modern beers are not) unpasturised, so doesn’t keep as long or travel well, because it alive and as to be kept at a constant temprature which is cool but not cold. So American servicemen stationed in Britian and used to chilled American Ales moaned about warm British Beer. But they where just showing their ignorance. If they’d asked for a cold larger they’d have got something more like what were used to. But many dispite their ignorance and prejudice got a taste for British beer, some didn’t. Ho! and the largest brewery in Britian is Bass at Burton on Trent and it’s owned by Coors but theres still plenty of smaller british own breweries and there’s hundreds of varieties of different beers each and everyone different.

      • Daws

        Have to nitpick, what makes a beer is more than that, it’s more about what they’re made with and how, not what you do with it after. Lagers and Ales then are just subsets of beer.

        Of course it might just be a difference in how our cultures categorize things. Here, what you describe as a beer sounds like what we’d call a stout, maybe a porter?

        Which of course to us are just other subsets or kinds of beer.

        • YORK

          Doesn’t matter what you call it or caterories it as. What matters is there is a difference between beers brewed in different places according to the local custom and to judge one beer that you are not familiar with, by comparing it with one that you are, when the two are totally different beverages, shows a lact of understanding, an intolerance to the unfamiliar and a resitance to new experiences. You wouldn’t compare a whisky to brandy yet they are both spirits. You may say you prefer one to the other or that one is not to your liking. You might even say you can’t stand the taste of one. But you don’t say that one is rubbish, shit, foal, discusting, when you know that many people would disagree and take offence. It’s all a matter of taste and if it’s to your taste so be it but you don’t have to insult people to make your point.

  • Butch Knouse

    As far as accents, Americans have a great variety among themselves. In WWII, there was a ship that was crewed by Louisiana Cajuns.
    They were assigned a Captain from Boston. They literally couldn’t understand each other.

    Finally, they brought in an officer from Iowa, to translate between the Captain and the crew.

  • Butch Knouse

    About half of the things on the list bug me too, and I’m American. New York was mentioned. A New Yorker opened a pizza parlor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He said in an newspaper article that he expected his customers to eat his pizza “New York style”, which is, fold the slice in half, with toppings inside, and then eat it.

    Sorry, I’d rather taste the toppings. New Yorkers are like that. If anything or anybody is big in NY, they assume that this is a nationwide trend.

    • Anglofile

      You been waiting a long time to vent about that pizza hey? Hope you can breathe a little better now.

      • Robert

        Interesting note about pizza. The Brits picked up the love of pizza from the Americans. The Americans adopted it from the Italians. However the best selling ready made pizza bases, in Italy, are imported frozen from England.

        • Carol Kayye

          I thought pizza was swedish

        • robert

          pizza as we know it goes back to naples, italy. However without the poison fruit, from the americas it would be quite a different thing.

      • YORK

        BUTCH KNOUSE says he can not taste the topping if he folds his New York style pizza. As he tried chewing it?

    • demelzabunny

      I beg to differ, sir. “New York Style” pizza means that it has a relatively thin crust, as opposed to Chicago deep dish. I’m from New York and neither I nor the vast majority of New Yorkers I know eat their pizza the way you describe. Only ignorant prols eat their pizza that way! Humph! Why don’t you actually ask the pizzeria owner what he means by New York style pizza instead of inventing your own ill-informed interpretations?

  • Rich R

    America and Britain – two countries separated by a common language!

  • Emma

    As a Brit living in the U.S. I agree completely with everything on this list, had a good laugh at a lot of them. Quite agree with the language thing, if you want to change it fine, but don’t bloody well call it English, drives me nuts.
    As for all the defensive, arrogant, American responses, its people like you that have me counting the days till I move back to Europe. This was meant as a joke, a few differences that Brits find annoying about Americans, LAUGH at it for goodness sake, and stop taking yourselves so seriously, no one else does!

  • surrey

    I’m English through and through, though I’ve lived in the USA for 20 years. There’s some truth in both sides of these arguments, from both sides of the pond. Folks need to keep a sense of humour!
    However …
    Turkey is only dry if not cooked properly. I love it!
    I’m sick of hearing the US et al insulting British food.
    It irritates the hell out of me to be referred to as “you guys” in a restaurant, by a waiter less than half my age, however friendly and efficient that person is! (I will still tip well though… )
    Have a nice day…

    • demelzabunny

      I’m American, and I agree w/the “you guys” thing; it’s pretty annoying. And: I actually like British food! Esp. the oatmeal, tea and jam. It may not be haute cuisine, but it’s pretty darn good.

  • Linda

    Today in Port Isaac, Cornwall, I saw a lady pushing a spaniel in a stroller. So much for Americans being the only ones to treat their dogs like babies. When I asked her politely if the dog were ill or hurt, she said that the dog was elderly and couldn’t manage the ups and downs of the harbor. The dog had my sympathies. I was having trouble with the slopes myself!

  • Tom Burns

    As a frequent listener to the venerable BBC 3, I am always amused how they pronounce the name of Debussy. Many Americans follow the French pronunciation. And I won’t bring up what they do to the names of American jazz musicians and composers, but I am a loyal radio 3 listener and let music does the talking. Cheers

  • spittingkitty

    Brits eat pancakes for dinner and steak & kidney pie and you’re going to take issue with turkey?

    • Robert

      Brits don’t eat pancakes all that much, well not nearly as much as the Americans, they do have them on occasion yes at no specific time or meal, just as the mood takes them. It is however traditional to have them on Shrove Tuesday the last day before Lent.
      What’s wrong with Steak and Kidney Pie? It tastes beautiful, Golden shortcrust pastry, cubes of succulent steak, pieces of kidney in rich thick gravy with potatoes and vegitables of choice. What’s not to like? When you think of some of the things Americans call food.
      As for turkey; I love it, even when it is dry, Turkey at Chistmas, Thanksgiving, turkey and stuffin sandwiches, cold turkey salad, turkey curry……..
      Grits; now who thought that was food?

    • demelzabunny

      I could eat pancakes for brekkie, lunch and dinner!

  • Gayle Chawa

    While I respect the author’s right to her opinion. and even agree with a couple of them, I just wanted to say that it is bad form to criticize someone when you are visiting their home.

  • xinunus

    What an arrogant piece this is. Brits are idiots and whining babies and this piece proves it. I am boycotting the BBC.

    Anyone that thinks that having a Socialist President is a good thing is living in a hole in the ground. That is why the US economy is in the tank, WE HAVE A Socialist President you idiot, His name is Obama.


    • roscoe

      wrong americans are whinning babies

      • demelzabunny

        “whiNing,” not “whiNNing.”

        Get w/it, peeps: if ya ain’t gonna spell right, no one’s gonna take ya seriously, ya know?

    • Dan


    • Munrow

      ‘THE BBC CAN GO TO HELL’ it’s already been and got the documentary footage, where was Fox News or Sky?

    • demelzabunny

      If only our country were MORE socialist; there would be much less inequity in all spheres of life.

  • Mary

    I totally agree with everything, how refreshing it is for somebody to be totally honest about how they feel. Some of the comments are good and bad but the one from England Blow Balls is disgusting language and this should be removed. I do wish they would not say ass, it’s arse, get it right!!

  • Rob S.

    Can’t believe nobody (as far as I read) mentioned fried turkey. All of y’all are doing it wrong. ;-)

    I’ve spent a week in Glasgow and a day in London. Everybody my partner and I encountered were very nice. The shopkeepers in Glasgow were interested in where we were from and why we weren’t staying longer. Would give anything to go back.

    BTW, it’s SOCCER. Football comes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the fall and winter.

  • Rob S.

    Oh, I’m trying to work in “Cheers!” more and more.

  • Jeremy Branham

    Some of these are funny to read. However, I disagree on some of these. There are two that stick out to me – turkey and patriotism.

    If all you’ve ever eaten is dry turkey then whoever is serving it to you doesn’t know how to cook it. Turkey is DELICIOUS!!!!!! I could eat one every day. Find someone who knows how to cook it and eat it when it is moist. YUMMY!!!

    I am not a flag waving American who flaunts my patriotism in the face of others. As a traveler, I like and respect other cultures and countries. There are many things that other countries do that I wish Americans would do. When traveling, I often shake my head at the behavior of some Americans. With that said, there is something about patriotism here that I don’t think you get. We were a country that came from other nations. We’ve forged our own identity and have had to fight to establish who we are.

    Honestly, it’s not an arrogance thing but there is something about being an American that is different in terms of our patriotism. It DOES NOT make us better than any other country. However, there is something about our patriotism that is hard to put into words.

    And honestly, I am quite the Anglophile. I watch British TV shows, long for the UK, and love so much of the culture. Yet I am still proud to be an American. I guess it’s hard to explain unless you grew up here.

  • 36arbiter

    America sucks,Britain blows.dream team.

  • Joseph

    I agree with Jeremy, turkey is delicious (of course, when cooked properly). One thing that annoys me to no end is the overuse of “cute”

    • Robert

      Joseph the over uses of “cute” is just a passing phase, like ‘sweeet’ ‘sic’ and ‘cool’ they’ll go the way of ‘ rad’ ‘noway’ and ‘respec’

  • @Seanjacko

    I don’t usually post, and so long down the list, no one will see it anyway. BUT. Points 8 & 9 are at serious odds with one another. To complain about the ewe and the zed, and then reel about pretentious pronunciation displays a classic piece of misinformed British snobbery. I have tried stamping this out. I want the zed back in English English and I’m glad that it appears to be happening. It’s only pointless snobbery keeping it out. We only started uses esses in the ealry 20th century becasue we fell out with America and wanted to be seen as more sophisticated and European, like the French, so bingo, esses instead of zeds, and a shit load of pointless Us inserted all over the shoppe.

    • demelzabunny

      Here, here!

  • 36arbiter

    There is something that I would like to point out to any Americans that are not familliar with the history of the British isles.the U.K. is made up of four nations.wales,scotland,northen ireland and england.the welsh and scots are the indigenous peoples of these islands,the true britons.our islands have been invaded many times over the centuries,the romans,the saxons,the engles(germanic tribes)and the normans,to name but a few.although the scots were never conquered,they have continued to suffer a slow strangulation by the the english.the welsh did not fair nearly so well.the english took our land,our sons,our religion,they tried, with unremitting cruelty,to eradicate every part of our culture,our history and our independence.even now,the english still consider themselves our masters.therefore, when we hear other countries,and even the english themselves,refer to britain as england,it makes our blood boil.America,of all countries should understand the importance of freedom.the english are the bastard sons of brutal conquest.they are the fat cuckoo in our nest.

    • Angela

      “America of all countries”??? If you feel bad when they refer to britain as england, we (south americans, central americans, canadians, etc) feel even worse when people from the US are called americans and even worse when ‘they’ refer to America as a country!

    • Robert

      What a load of rubbish. The typical ranting of someone who’s swallowed the propaganda put out by the idiots that want to break up the United Kingdom for their own selfish gain.
      The Scots are not the indiginous race of Scotland. When the Romans invaded Britain the Scots were tribes in Ireland. Scotland didn’t excist. The land that became Scotland was home to the Pits, England was home the Angles (or Angels because of their blond hair; much prised for wigs by the Roman women) Angles that couldn’t adapt to Roman rule feld west to form Wales. The Scots moved in when the Romans pulled out; as did the Saxon, the Vikings and various other Norse and Germanic tribs. The Scots drove the Pits North to the Hebradies, and only on a few northern islands can you find the true indigious naitives of what is now called Scotland. The Vikings and other Norse tribes settled England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales inter breeding with the people already there before them. So the whole of the British Isles became one big melting pot of peoples for all over northern and western Europe. Even Persian traders from the Mediterranean set up settlements. When the Romans were in Britain they brought soldiers, craftsmen, and merchants from all over the Empire and many of their desendants stayed when the army moved back to Rome. Scotland as not been slowly strangled as you put it by the English. For the most part England left Scotland to tend it own affairs and a very poor job the Scots did of it. Inter Clan conflicts were many and frequent and far more bloody and cruel than anything the English ever inflicted. Even when there was English interest in the out come of a Battle on Scotish soil the ones doing the fighting tended to be Scots on Scots just one side having allegiancies to the Crown. But should it be them that won it was seen as an English victory and the English blaimed for any atrocities comited.
      The armys on either side were made up of mainly Scots, some English, Irish, French, Dutch and mersanries from all over. It’s just the ones that wore English Red Coats were better trained and disciplined and had an annoying habit of winning which tends to not go down well with the opposition who had an equally bad habit of bad mouthing those loyal to the crown and spreading anti English propaganda. The chances were none combatants got better treatment from the English forces than they did from the rebels.
      When both countries were ruled from Westminster, the anti English claimed it was unfare and the English are dictating how Scotland is run when in reality Scotish MPs out numbered English MPs and if anything it was the Scots, through Westminster, who were dictating how Britain was run. Even now with devolution, home rule for Scotland and Wales and the English having no say in their affairs, there is still a sizeable number of Scotish MPs in Westminster, representing Scotland in Britain but in doing so, influencing how England is governed. It’s the old old story with the Scots always claiming they get second rate treatment to the English, when in fact they get more capita per head than the English, but no matter how much more they’re given to shut them up they just keep on whining for more and blaming the English for everything wrong in Scotland. They’d blame the English for the weather if they thought there was a chance someone might believe them.

    • demelzabunny

      Well aware of all of that history. That’s why many of your fellow compatriots (the Irish, Scots, Welsh, etc.) immigrated to the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries.

      • YORK

        Well the Irish left because the potatoes failed.
        The Scotish left because their Lairds closed the crofts and brought in sheep.
        The Welsh were just looking for something better than what they had at home as did the English and just about everyone else.
        Most people at sometime or another as dreamt of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and every now and then some will actually go looking for it especially if there is nothing to keep them where they are.

  • Angela

    I don’t usually post either, and I agree that with this long list no one will see, but Americans? ya’ll still have the first world trauma. America is a continent! You are referring to the United States, therefore United Statians! I do agree with Turkey (is tasteless), flags, patriotism (super agree to what the author say) and the accent!! Pfff

    • Bailey

      United Statians? Hmm, I love it!

    • Lou

      I mean this with all due respect to you, Angela, but I have to disagree. I can see your logic, with the whole “United statians” thing. However, since the full name of the country is the “United States of America”, it also makes logical sense to call us (the people of said country) “Americans”. For example, when Germany was separated into East Germany (the German Democratic Republic) and West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany), the citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany were not called Federal Republicans, they were called Germans (or West Germans, which ever). Other countries that come to mind are The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Czech Republic, and the no-longer-a-country country of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Honestly, I thought the article was hilarious. Of course I just had to ruin it by reading the comments. (This next part is meant for the general public of both countries, and not to you, Angela) Come on, people, why do you need to harbor so much hatred? Not all Americans are stupid, pig-headed ego-manics. Some are, and they just happen to enjoy baiting any one who doesn’t see eye to eye with them. So cool it.

  • Dark Space

    I don’t know, I went to London once. A drunk bum threw up all over my feet and cussed me out for staring at him in disbelief, and pretty much everyone was rude to me the entire trip. I still loved the gloomy weather (really), don’t hold it against all the decent brits I’ve met since, and I even ride a British motorcycle.

    Filet was an odd word choice, given it’s not English and the Americans are both pronouncing and spelling it correctly (the French way) and you are not.

    Also, Angela has a good point. One thing that I’ve heard drives you Brits nuts is “Americans” inability to distinguish between the UK, Britain, and England. I move that we call ourselves United Statians from here on out.

    Turkey is the worst meat ever. But, squirrel is some of the best meat ever and no one eats it. It’s really perplexing.

  • roscoe

    britian is a woderfullcountry they are eccentric very couargeous people did you know we americans are kin to the british people we have blood relation ship in londn and all over ireland scotland and wales three cheers for lodon we dot have a queen are a king as england does. enlish people are staunch people i once was teasing a man from england about tea he said shut the F up i stopped teasing him his name was rt garber we were good frinds after that yes only englad could produce a churchill three cheers for england.

    • roscoe

      yes i live in merica but my heart is in good old england GODS coutryand the women in england are not ugly they are beatifull to me and there accent is wondertfull threecheers forengland

    • demelzabunny

      I give up!!!

  • roscoe

    england has produced great poets and actors i wish i lived in england but i cannot england produces men and women of the first caliber.

  • Lisa

    HEY Ruth, Referring to number 5, my parents are from Hastins, i was born in New Jersey. we fly both the American flag and the Union flag on our flag pole in front of the house. and on St. George day we fly the St.George Cross flag. LOVE both countries and proud of it.

    • demelzabunny

      It’s called the Union Jack.

  • Lisa

    HEY Ruth SORRY typing too fast. my parents are from HASTINGS.

  • Lisa

    HEY Ruth i forgot to say. HAVE A NICE DAY.

  • Annie

    Sir, you are cooking your turkey wrong.

  • 36arbiter

    I meant in respect of the fact that America is the worlds greatest exponent of the principle.

  • Boseph

    I agree with everything except the pronunciation and the spelling bit. That is simply a dialectic difference. To say there is one English language is sort of absurd. I’m from the western United States, listening to someone from the south (especially in the deep south like Louisiana and Florida) half the time I am convinced it is a different language.

  • marcriedler

    t sitehis is good.

  • Claudia

    Considering that there are 313 million Americans, this article makes some pretty sweeping assumptions.

    In reality, its a commentary on the group of Americans who the author knows or has had contact with – and I’m guessing it’s not 313 million.

    And, FYI, what is it with anti-American sentiment? The comment about American Patriotism alone is ridiculous – no one talks more about the wonder of their country than the British.

    Additionally, I assure you that most Americans could care less about pleasing you…just like most Brits don’t give a fig about pleasing Americans.

    First rule of Journalism – get your facts correct.

  • Dan

    FYI, any americans that read this, this is not saying what is wrong with America just what’s annoys Britains. It could be either side that is wrong. If you don’t agree then laugh.

    • Marcia

      Just one comment,,… I bet there are no “typical” Americans or British,. By the way I have a sister in law British born in South Africa and I have to admit that she has more class then the rest of the loud mouths in our family,,,LOL,,,.my MUM just loves her and thinks she is the best and yes she is,, very understated and elegant….. It is like EVERYONE takes advantage of her and.no one appreciates. Her. Not even my brother the educated lawyer,,,, I never realized that she is the best one and got kicked to the curb…..Now I get it about loud and arrogant,,,,now I see,,, saw the light,,.. Though she is too too skinny but a beautiful girl,,,,,, way too nice for America. MUM’s fav even over me……

  • Soul of Wit

    It amuses me that just as many Brits as Americans have failed to note the tongue-in-cheek nature of this article. Personally, I draw a clear distinction between patriotism (devotion to one’s place of birth) and nationalism (a sense of superiority over other countries.) I consider myself a patriotic American, though I have never flown a flag on my home.

    As for calling myself an American, that is entirely appropriate. That is how people from the United States of America are properly addressed. I am fully aware the there are two continents with that name and that all of these are named after an Italian man.

    Anyone who can’t grasp that British English and American English are different (but neither is “wrong”) is a bit slow on the uptake. I still occasionally run across a British pronunciation that floors me. I would never think of suggesting that the speaker was incorrect.

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  • Scott

    Love the article, but srsly…Herb is a guy’s name. I don’t want Herbs in my food, kthx. And omitting the ‘t’ when pronouncing fillet is not pretentious if, for all intents and purposes, that’s the only way you’ve heard it pronounced. It would be awkward to say it any other way. To put the shoe on the other foot, say out loud “the University of Notre Dame”.

  • James Williams

    Ruth, you’re entitled to not like these things. You’re also entitled to not bother coming to the USA.

  • Pauldo

    Hey, Eddie, if you have to say the “h” in herb, how about the “g” in Magdalen, the “w” in Chiswick/Warwick/Greenwich, and most of the letters in Worcester or Chalmondeley?

    • demelzabunny

      Greenwich, NY is pronounced “Green-wich,” and the local girls’ sports teams are the “Greenwich Witches.”

  • occupant12

    Wow, most of the commenters don’t have much of a sense of humour. Note the “u” — I’m a Canadian and therefore the cursed bastard child of both US and English imperialism — so I put the u in “-our” words and use the “z” in “-ize” words. And as a Canadian I get to roll my eyes at all the stupid things both the Yanks and the Brits do, knowing full well that you folks think all Canadians are doofuses and wankers.

    Re: fillet and filet. I believe it is a fillet (“fill-it”) of fish, but a filet (“fee-lay”) of beef. Two different words. And to you yanks: “zed” is the standard pronunciation for the last letter of the alphabet in every English-speaking region of the world except the USA. So it’s a case of American exceptionalism. Just sayin’.

    Hell, they even say it “zed” in French, and I know that because I’m Canadian and we all grow up reading French on cereal boxes so that’s why we’re superior and smug even when you Yanks and Brits call us bad names.

    • Carol Kayye

      you are Canadian. Weird and you don’t have a say

      just messing with you haha

    • demelzabunny

      Too true!

  • Tom S

    This coming from someone who no doubt says “courgettes” instead of zucchini or summer squash and “aubergine” instead of eggplant.

    • demelzabunny

      I like “rocket” for arugula (which is Italian, or course!).

  • EngineerScotty

    If you’re going to complain about US pronounciation, then I must ask:

    Where the hell is the F in “leuitenant”?

    • demelzabunny


    • demelzabunny

      It’s French, you do-do!

  • 36arbiter

    The english voted Kerry catona british mother of the year.they also voted Amy winehouse british woman of the year.this was the same year Katherine jenkins arrived.the riots didn’t spread to wales or scotland.give us our country back before you ruin it.cuckoo.

    • Stewart

      36ARBITER get back to the bogs of Ireland and leave Scotland to the Pits the true indigenous natives of scotland. Ho and give the bagpipes back to the Irish, the kilt and the tartan back to the English along with the haggis and the Highland Games. Ho and read some history books and stop reading SNP propaganda cause it’s bol…….

  • gregor

    Being neither from UK nor USA but having lived in USA for a very long time, I find this discussion quite humorous.

    The conflation of the British accent with brilliance is something the the Brits coming here should really enjoy, for they do not have to suffer the sort of little indignities that a non-white foreign born person has to endure in the US. Even those who are at heart open to foreigners put me off many times because of their seemingly patronizing behavior (one colleague on a 24th December: have a good whatever you celebrate).

    Take heart. The native born Americans are nasty to every one sometime or the other, though many do not really mean it.

    (As for UK, we still laugh at being directed to ‘South Hole’ by an immigrant in London when we asked for its whereabouts during our visit over ten years ago.)

  • xpostfactoid

    Cute! But Americans aren’t being pretentious when they drop the t in fillet or pronounce garage the French way. Most of us don’t know that anyone pronounces those words differently!
    I wonder whether Brits anglicized their French words some centuries after they started settling on this continent?

  • Clint

    First of all, this is classic British humo(u)r, not a petty criticism in seriousness. Get a sense of humor and get over it.

    Second of all, why all these articles about English visitors to the US? How about Scottish or Irish or Welsh visitors? When I visited the UK, to me England was very beautiful but I found the people difficult, whereas Scotland was both beautiful and congenial. Growing up in a Scots-Irish part of the country, with Scots-Irish roots, I felt right at home and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

  • Robert

    In re #7, I quote Cassandra (William Connor), from the Daily Mirror in 1953: “What a shocking fraud the turkey is. In life preposterous, insulting — that foolish noise they make to scare you away! In death — unpalatable. The turkey has practically no taste except a dry fibrous flavour reminiscent of a mixture of warmed-up plaster-of-Paris and horsehair. The texture is like wet sawdust and the whole vast feathered swindle has the piquancy of a boiled mattress.”

  • Emily

    you should try an heirloom turkey the next time you have turkey – it’ll change your mind. seriously :0)

  • John K

    If the clerks in shops are annoying with insincere wishes to have a good day (or that you’re an ‘awesome’ customer?), come to my area of Central Florida where you won’t get a thank-you for making a purchase. You’ll be lucky if someone even bothered to wait on you and, by the surly look at the end of the transaction, you could drop dead right there.

  • frank owen

    As a former Mancunian who has lived in the United States for twenty years not one of these things drives me “nuts”. What does drive me “nuts” is pretentious Brits who whine like little bitches (that great British pastime) that everything in America isn’t exactly the same as it is back home. It’s another country, for chrissakes. American usage of the English language is bound to be somewhat different. Get over yourselves.

  • mike

    I’ve noted what really irritates a lot of snobby Brits is that Americans are, for the most part, truly and authentically friendly. My personal experience in England was that the academics, the political class, and the wealthy looked down on us for precisely that reason. But the shop owners and ordinary people appreciated it and responded in kind.

  • Trucknutz Fartsack

    The language was brought here while it was still pure, before nancy boy Charles Stuart poofed it up in France. And, please, the ultimate cat fetishist in the world are found where? UK, I believe. You must eat in some real dumps, because I’ve never had a server take a plate before asking me permission. And if your eating in a busy place, its impolite to hold the table hostage. And, that passport works both ways. You can use it to leave, too.

  • Jeff Johnson

    As an American I totally agree on the over-zealous patriotism, the phony cheerfulness, and clearing plates to quickly (it makes one feel unwelcome, as if one’s imminent departure is being strongly suggested). The late Christopher Hitchens wrote an amusing piece in Slate about the infuriating habit of servers to insinuate themselves into the dinner conversation to pour the wine all around the table.

    Regarding the pretentiousness of American pronunciation of “herb” or “fillet”, it can’t be pretentious because the typical American is totally unaware that these sounds could be taken that way; we just grow up saying them that way,just as we learn to say “the” or “house” or “foot”. There is no attempt at feigning continental sophistication involved. Most Americans are totally unaware of the French origins of these words. What would sound pretentious to Americans would be to pronounce the ‘h’ or the ‘t’ in these words, unless you have a British accent, in which case the foreign sounding pronunciation could be forgiven. When people speak it is the sound that counts, not the spelling or etymology. Otherwise their might be a lot of anxiety about pronouncing words containing “gh”.

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  • Heron

    Fillet is a French word that we got directly from the French in the late 19th, early 20th century, and which most USians learned from Julia Childs’ series on French cooking. Of course we’re going to pronounce it the French way; that’s the way we learned it. Regarding “herb”, I personally pronounce it with an ‘h’ as does everyone in my family and most everyone from central or west Texas, so that’s really a regional accent thing. In general, if you listen you’ll notice that most US accents don’t aspirate their hs like the British accents do. That has led our h sounds to becoming softer and often totally silent, which is where the silent ‘h’ in ‘herb’ comes from in most US speakers. I’ll also point out this it is pretty rich that you poke fun at us for our “French” pronunciations and our lack of the letter ‘u’ when the English ‘u’ is one of the most prominent artifacts of French influence in the language. Historical ignorance isn’t very flattering and you should avoid it.

    As to turkey, if all the turkey you’ve ever eaten is dry and powdery, that’s because you and the people you eat with don’t know how to friggin cook. It ain’t difficult to make a tasty Turkey; you’ve just got to cook it the right way. That doesn’t necessarily mean brining it, though that’s certainly a good way to start as it lets the salt and seasoning really get deep into the meat (that’s what brining does btw, it doesn’t keep the food “juicy” it lets the flavorings soak in). I’m not going to explain the proper procedures to you here but I will give you a hint. Alton Brown; look him up.

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  • Anthony

    This is overall a very hostile, anti-American article. I say this as someone with English friends and family that I love, and a very, very great fondness for the UK, English literature, British humor, and so much else. I’m quite familiar with irony. But there is a very vicious edge to the author’s words that she attempts to cover up with all the ha-ha one-liners. It’s a pity for her that she moved here–it appears that she’s going to have a miserable, continually scornful and hostile, time for herself. However, since she can regularly publish anti-American articles for an international audience from inside, well, I guess for her it’s inside the belly of the beast, she’ll always be able to make a living.

  • Sandy

    This proud “Show Me” state American says Herb, loves watching the British sitcoms on PBS and came from English/Irish roots.
    I don’t understand why so many have twisted knickers!

  • Sue Cox

    I’ve read every one of these comments and enjoyed them all–with the possible exception of the really nasty one half way through. It’s easy to see though, why the original article (and its obverse) were written.

  • brompo

    Interesting read. And I agree with some of what you say, especially the patriotism thing. But let’s skip to the contentious bit. Are we Americans meant to take advice on the pronunciation of the word “fillet” from someone who doesn’t pronounce the final “t” in “trait”?
    Obviously our countries have differing opinions on how to pronounce certain vowel sounds. But look at which speakers leave out consonants and entire syllables of written words more frequently, and then let’s talk about who pronounces the language incorrectly.

  • Meg

    And here are ten right back at you from an American living in England:

    1. Saying “I see you still haven’t lost your accent!” Because your average Liverpudlian or Londoner just falls over himself trying to lose the accent if he moves to another city in the UK or, God forbid, the US.

    2. Having entire conversations – nay, ongoing relationships – with people without once ever admitting to having a name. And ignoring friendly Americans who say “By the way, my name is Meg.” Silence.

    3. A pathetic belief that Caesar salad dressing and salad cream are the same thing. You’ve come a long way food-wise, but good heavens the Caesar salads and nachos are crimes against food.

    4. The moaning. It’s too rainy, too sunny, too warm, too cold.

    5. The bizarre fascination with queuing and avalanche of self-congratulations on the ability to do it. So can the three year olds in my son’s nursery, but I’m hoping they’ll get over the whole “so-proud-of-myself” aspect by five.

    6. The Eurovision song contest. Can you stop pretending you hate it? Because you watch it obsessively and report on it as though it’s the most important thing in the world.

    7. The obsession with the “right” way to spell words. Fact is that when our countries parted ways, spelling was so inconsistent that people frequently spelled their own names several different ways. We went one way, you the other – get over it.

    8. The obsession with the “right” vocabulary. See above.

    9. What you lack in “patriotism” as Americans see it, you more than make up for with subtle superiority.

    10. Documentaries about Abba. Could you please stop making them? And nostalgic ones where people I’ve never heard of reminisce about the 70s? Because my husband can’t resist them and it’s driving me mad. Thank you.

    That said, I love living in the UK – and not least for the people here! Thanks for giving me an opportunity to vent on the ten little things that drive me up the wall…

  • hazel leese

    Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. Who would have thought that a humoro(u)s artictle could generate such a fuss? My son was bought up in Wales and danced around to the songs on Sesame Street, so we understand “Zee” there is no Z in the Welsh alphabet.

  • Erv

    Fillet? This honestly bugs you? The English use so many French words in daily life, making your comment completely invalid. Ge over it.

    Many things on your list are rather annoying, they also annoy plenty of people here as well. As for the relentlessly sincere cheer, I think you need to start leaving TGI Friday’s to meet Americans.

  • York

    Yer all getting hung up on this accent thing. ‘You don’t talk like I do there for you’re dumb’ attitude. Well that just shows how dumb you are; whatever side of the pound you come from.
    Have you never played ‘Chinese Whispers’? I assum you know what that is but if you don’t; it’s a game played at kids parties where every one sits around in a semi circle and an adult whispers something to the first child in line, who then turns and whispers it to the next child and so on till it reaches the last child who stands up and says it out loud. Then there’s fits of giggles when it’s reveled what the oridginal whisper was. Because as each child convade the message to the next in line words get miss heard and replaced with what the listner thought they heard and so, depending on the length of the line,the message can get changed out of all recognition by the time it reaches the end of the line.
    For over two hundred years America as been playing Chinese Whispers with the English lanagauge, So have Austrailia, New Zealand, Canada, many other English speaking peoples around the world and that includes the British. It’s not strange that we sometimes miss understand each other what is strange is that we can still understand each other at all.

    • Lou

      I completely agree with that. It’s funny about that game you were talking about, Chinese whispers; I always knew it as Telephone, here in the States.

  • Brittany

    It’s good to poke fun at each other and at ourselves every now and then, but the things the author chooses to take issue with are a little ridiculous. Employees at the stores are too friendly and the employees at the restaurants are too efficient? Getting upset over the fact that some people like turkey more than others, and holding people accountable for changes in language that happened long before they were born? What?

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  • Mike

    Ahh! This article is so disappointing, and proves that the author really doesn’t “get us.” First, dangling the Stars and Stripes on your house (or vehicle, or person) is not about patriotism, it’s about shaming your friends and neighbors who don’t participate. (For the record, we are fully aware that true patriotism entails things like referring to our system of governance as a democratic republic instead of a democracy, knowing the names of our presidents, states and capitols, etc., but we don’t engage in this trivial stuff.) Closer to the author’s missing the point, what we cherish more than wearing patriotism on our sleeve is calling each other un-American. Doing this to someone else automatically elevates one’s stature as an American. The best time to do this is when someone exercises freedom of speech. And to suggest that we don’t do irony? Perhaps we deserve a closer look.

    • ALJ

      Why you un-Amuhr-uh-can commie! You probably think I dun vote for that colored feller Obama cuz I’m racist when I’m jus against his un-Amuhr-uh-caness!

  • Tex

    That’s something I never understood about this country. We claim to be a democratic country, with freedom of speech and ideas, but moment anyone exercises their right to free speech they’re labled a commee and unamerican. Foreigners are regaurded as dangerous and/or weird because they do things differantly but when they have the nerve to point out thing we do differant to them we get indignant, ‘how dare these foreigners criticize us?’.

  • 36arbiter

    I was born in the land of my fathers.were you?

  • WHY

    The above ten items are just a bit of fun, they don’t really bother Brits that much, it’s just something to provoke a reaction. But do you really want to know what does get our backs up, and not just the Brits but just about the rest of the world.
    It’s the way Hollywood steals and abuses other countrys cultures, tails and exploits. It trawls through well known and not so well known, storys both fact and fiction, rewriting them and relocating them for an American audiences. From fairy storys to true life adventures, from fantasy to acts of real heroism, they all get the Hollywood make over.
    Take ‘Winnie the Phoo’ a classic childrens novel, been a much loved piece of English culture for over a hundred years. But now if we want to uses it, say for a childrens entertainment, we have to pay Disney royalties for the right. Peter Pan, J M Barry, who wrote it, left all rights to the royalties after his death to Saint Thomases Childrens Hospital London. Walt Disney took the Hospital to court to try and deprive them of those royalties. War films. History is rewriten so that campains of action that had nothing to do with any American forces are suddenly being won by gallant Americans. French Resistance are aided in the raids on the Germans by Americans that take charge and do all the heroic stuff. A British Comando Raid gets an American tagging alone who saves the day. American forces fight and win battles that in reality the Americans were nowhere near. Things that other countries did, like obtaining an Enigma Machine, are done by American special forces. The alies obtained 12 such machines throughout the war, none by the Americans. America was given one by the British. The first one was aquired, of a U boat, by the Canadians. Classic films, British, European, Japanese are remade and relocated to American settings with American characters played by American actors.
    Classic Novels get the same treatment, rewriten as American screen plays.
    Warner Brothers couldn’t get the rights to relocate Harry Potter to America and had to make it in England but where did they build the theme park to this most British of Storys, not in Britain where it was writen and set, not where the landscape that you saw in the movies is, not where the technical experteie that created the movies is, No the theme park go up in America.
    The list goes on and on, half the stuff that comes out of Hollywood is lifted from some other country and 90% of it as been so rewriten to make it acceptable for an American audience, that it’s now only bearly just about reconisable by audiences in the country from which it came.

    • AZryan

      Holy cow, you’re illiterate.
      (learn to spell some of the simple words you messed up, ok??).

      Milne, who created W. the Pooh, sold the rights to another guy for MONEY. Then 30 YEARS later, that guy sold the rights to Disney for MONEY. You’re insane to complain about what the creator and following owners did with what ISN’T YOURS in any way!?

      Try making up your own thing if you’re so offended. If you like W. the Pooh so much…well, DUH…that’s WHY Disney bought it!
      Personally, I give Disney as little of my money as possible, but I don’t say that can’t do business.

      And Barrie donated the rights to Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street children’s hospital, NOT the one you mentioned!? They owned those rights for 70 YEARS, until it fell into the public domain in 2007. That’s just the LAW.
      The dispute is ‘IF’ it remains under copyright in America (but not Europe) until 2023. The dispute was over one little book sequel by Hyperion (a Disney-owned publisher) written by two people who just wanted to make a story to make kids happy, and thought Peter Pan was in the public domain (because it appeared to BE).

      It was the hospital that got its lawyers to try to get all the profits from a work they had nothing to do with. But ‘it’s for the kids’ you might say. Well…so was the book!
      Why does the law not matter to you??

      Disney uses all kinds of Grimm Fairy Tales, but they don’t own them (for that same PUBLIC DOMAIN LAW reason). So you’re free to use them, too. But you won’t. Because you’re talentless.

      Do you actually believe that JK Rowling doesn’t get to decide every single thing she wants with regards to Harry Potter??? She owns it 100%. You act like it was stolen from her by America!?! You’re literally insane and everyone else should be warned about you.

      • WHY

        Wondered who’d rise to that one. Guess it was a little over the top and yes my spelling is atrocious always as been and no that doesn’t make me illiterate, I read fine, or stupid. Stupid is the idiot who judges someone by what they can’t do and not by what they can. So happens I’m dyslexic so writing is a burdenous chore for me so I do it to strength what little skill I have for it.
        Its not that Disney bought or didn’t buy the rights to any book or weather the copyright had lapsed into public domain or not it’s that once Disney get hold of it they make it there’s and copyright something about so that others can’t use it. Take Snow White that is old enought to be public property and anyone can use it, Rewrite it, make a stage play you can do what you like with it. Except the seven dwarf, Disney copyrighted their names so no one can use the names he used in the film, but that’s the names everyone knows them by. So if someone does a christmas pantomime of Snow White they either have to pay Disney vast sums of money to use the names every one knows or invent new ones and then the kids want to know where’s Dopey? and don’t understand when you try to explain to them Disney owns Dopey and all the other dwarfs they know so well.
        It may have been Great Ormond Street Hospital I would have thought that the more likely but I remembered it as St Thomas’s for some reason. But Barry gave all royalities to which ever Childrens Hospital in perpetuity and every publisher honoured that bequest even when the copyright lapsed, Disney didn’t. But these are just example and each can be argued for and against in turn it’s not the indevidual case it’s the shear number of them across all cultureal activities and even if everyone can be defended and justifide legally. Sharp lawers will always fined lopholes. It’s the fact that it happens so often and so blatantly that it shows a disregaurd for other nations cultures and is insensitive to their feelings as they watch what was once theirs and what they loved and were so proud get swallowed up by Hollywood given a glossy American make over and sold back to them. Hollywood is loved the world over, it turns out fantastic films, but every month Brits, Europeans, Japanese or somesuch culture reads that Hollywood is going to make one of their much loved books, legends, history tales into a Hollywood movie and a cry of despear goes up ‘no! not that can’t they leave anything alone’. Story’s that had nothing to do with America suddenly have an American protagonist, the location is changed to a convenient American location and all the terminology is made American friendly, God forbit Americans might have to look something up. The storys are sanitised and anything thought unamerican omitted.
        America is full of it’s own culture and that’s what Hollywood portrays best; very rarely when it does other countrys culture does it get it right and all to often it destroys that which it trys to imitate. Compare original Japanese films with Hollywood remakes. They are copied almost frame by frame, the Hollywood version is easier to watch if you don’t speak Japanese but it loses the atmosphere the flavour of the original and it goes without saying the locations and the characters are Americanised.
        Could go on about French Art House, Ealing Comedys, Dickins Novels, and so on. All butcher when remade by Hollywood and there’s no reason for them to do it American culture is so large and varied it’s got enough of it’s own, leave other countries culture to the country of origin.

        • Tex

          Bit over arrogant there AZRYAN; just like a Bully, when they find out they’ve inadvertently upset someone instead of apologizing they get angry and abusive at the person they’ve upset. Proved the point Americans are insensitive to the feeling of others haven’t you.

  • BB

    I went to dinner with a British friend — in Jersey City, NJ — and he indeed got annoyed when the waitress took my plate away before he was finished. I was totally fine with it!! I actually don’t like having a messy plate in front of me after I’m done eating — it grosses me out. haha. I thought he was being over-sensitive and/or trying to impress me with his gentlemanners but I guess it’s a British thing!

  • Brit…

    What I don’t understand is where do Americans get the idea that us Brit’s have worse teeth than you? You have a substantially greater selection of sweets (candy) and fizzy drinks (soda) than us. And as far as I’m aware you have to pay for dental treatment, whereas we have a NHS (National Health Service). So if anyone should have worse teeth it’d be americans

    • Tex

      It’s not that the average man in the street weather he be Bristish or American as better dental health than his counter in the other country. No if anything Brits have slightly better access to dental care but not significantly more.
      What Americans are refering to when they claim to have better teeth than the British is the extent American celebraties go to, to have their teeth straightened, whitened, laminated, filed flat and even; till their smile looks like a grand piano with the lid open. Were as Brits are content with healthy teeth the way nature intended. Ivory not ceramic white, each tooth the length nature intended it to be in relation to it’s neighbours not all filed the same length like piano keys. American audiences see their celebs plastic white smiles and think ‘Ho what perfect teeth!’ then they see British celebs, who’ve probility had as much dental care spent on their teeth but their teeth are more natural, they think, because they don’t look so artificial, there not as good and therefore Brits don’t care about their teeth.

      • Brit…

        Well all that says to me is that more American’s than Brits care more about being plastic and fake than finding happiness within themselves. It seems retarded (imo) that people spend so much time and money on becoming more “perfect” just because famous people look that way. Wanting to be like someone else is so uninventive.
        I couldn’t live in a country where being popular because you look good is important. You should want to be popular because your a good, genuine person.

    • mary

      I think it has to do with flouridated water

      In the US almost all tap water has had flouride added into it as preventative dental health measure

      This didn’t happen with much testing on the government’s part over how safe it is to actually ingest flouride regularly (recent reports indicate that it might be very bad for you indeed)

      From what I can tell, the “potentially very bad for you indeed” part is what has kept similar measures from being implemented in the UK (although I could be wrong)

      Anyway, while it is probably a poisonous carcinogen that is lowering the IQs of all well-hydrated American children, drinking flouridated water DOES have noticeable, statistically positive affects on dental health

  • Frank

    What gets me about the English (the Scots don’t do this) is their puzzling attitude to the letter R. They only pronounce it when it’s not there e.g. “Indiar is a malariar arear.” And who can cure malariar? A doctah.

    • Tex

      They’re don’t pronouncing a none excistant r it’s just the way well spoken people tail of the A when it comes at the end of the word so that it drifts into the next word make for a more melodic speech and not the hard fractured grunts of the uneducated.

  • RyanH

    “Remembering to remove ‘u’s from words like “colour” and replace “s”s with a more abrasive “z” is a headache and I resent it.”

    At least you don’t have to “rezent” it…

  • ruby

    I am an American and I was afraid the 10 things would/could be much worse than those listed here. I am quite guilty of #1 ~ I do love your accents (most of the time ). Frankly, I don’t know anyone who uses the words “panties” or “fanny”.

    • AZryan

      You love their accent. That part’s fine, but do you actually tell people with a British accent that you love it? That’s her ‘complaint’. She’s complaining about being complimented too much.
      That and being asked to talk to someone’s kid so they develop the same accent, which you have to admit, is neither something that has often happened to this lady, nor something that most Americans do.

      • ruby

        AZRYAN…Yes I do love their accents, and yes I believe I just told someone with one, that I love it by commenting on her post. I hope she’s not too annoyed by it……

  • Dustin

    Well, first off, I must say that some of the comments on here are absolutely ridiculous. Clearly some people just can’t differentiate between malice and dislike. I’m from the mid-south region of U.S.A and I’ve only recently taken such an interest in life outside our country. If I’m honest, it saddens me that we don’t have a better understanding of one-another (speaking solely in regard to general public opinion and education). For the record, your accent is much more pleasing to the ears.

  • R. Spencer Robinson

    Sorry if this is a duplicate. I didn’t read all of the comments.

    With respect to #9, we did elect a socialist. His name is Barack Obama. And what’s wrong with attempting to pronounce French words as the French do? I know our efforts will never satisfy the French, but I didn’t expect Brits to call us on it.

    • AZryan

      Only an idiot would think Obama’s a Socialist. The most socialistic thing he did was to save the US car companies to save American jobs when the global economy imploded. How horrible!! And then he made them private companies again as fast as possible, because he never wanted them government run in the first place.
      You probably also think that ‘Obamacare’ is a government takeover of healthcare…when it’s still 100% private insurance. It just makes everyone take responsibility for themselves and get affordable health insurance. Again, how horrible!! It was the REP plan when Clinton was President, and it’s identical to Romneycare.
      Do you prefer moochers without insurance abusing emergency rooms? It was a GOP plan until it passed under Obama (who didn’t write it).

      I hope you never collect Social Security or use a library (but I can tell you don’t). You wouldn’t want to be a fool or a hypocrite would you?? Do you hate NASA and the US highway system too??

  • AZryan

    I was expecting this list to be at least somewhat clever and/or amusing, but it wasn’t either one.

    1- Saying “I love your accent!”
    I could totally agree to this being annoying to hear over and over again, except then you didn’t really say that was your actual ‘point’. Also, people are complimenting you, so it’s even more annoying to hear someone complain about being complimented. “I hate everyone telling me how pretty I am!!” ok.

    2- Putting last names first.
    This one just seems shallow. You mentioned Smith and Anderson, but are you equally annoyed by names derived from other Countries? Do you even notice those? Do you hate that NEW York is named after old York? Does the most important city on Earth insult you with its name? Again, it’s annoying to hear someone complain about Americans being influenced by British culture and some Brit, who isn’t responsible for any of that culture herself, taking offense over it. If anything, just the fact of a rare/peculiar name being off-putting is the only real point you could make here, and that’s more to do with your close-mindedness, than a American vs. British thing.

    3- They take your plate away too soon
    I think it’s FAR more a matter of what restaurant you’re actually at, than an American/British difference. You also noted that you finish eating ‘long’ before everyone else, so maybe slow the hell down? The British aren’t known for their cuisine, nor their refined eating habits, so maybe avoid blaming that on all of America? Also, why do you prefer to sit there with your plate of food scraps in front of you for some mental reason??

    4- The relentlessly sincere cheer
    A) I hate this myself, but…
    B) It isn’t ‘sincere’. It’s actually totally fake. Americans don’t inherently act so cloyingly cheerful at work. They’re ‘ordered’ to act that way. It was your chance to (rightfully) slam us for being so desperately Capitalistic. But you failed to.

    5- Their over-zealous patriotism
    Yeah, I hate this too. Extreme Nationalism, Fascism, religion and xenophobic fear are all tied up together here. But guess where we got it from? I’ll give you a hint…it’s somewhere that still has a bloodline-flowing Monarchy, a National Church, and had a great big, world-spanning Empire where they liked to throw their flags up on everything all over the entire planet. And it rhymes with ‘Shmitian’.

    6- They treat their pets like people
    This one’s silly. These people are goofy, but is this really unique to America? Maybe it is. It takes a wealthy nation to pull this off, but they’re literally replacing having too many damn kids (in a world where that’s a big problem) with taking care of pets. You’d have made a better point along these lines against America’s obesity epidemic, though Britain has plenty of fat people too, and isn’t any great symbol of health.

    7- Insisting that turkey is tasty
    Hard to ignore your ignorance of Turkey being culturally important to America. From Thanksgiving Day and Ben Franklin suggesting it be our national bird. Also is the fact that turkey ‘can’ taste great if you cook it right, much healthier than beef or pork, and again…the British are known for having the worst cuisine of the industrialized world, so it might’ve been better to just avoid any talk of food.

    8 & 9- Spelling words the wrong way and Pretentious pronunciation.
    These are both ‘highly’ debatable. You complain about us not pronouncing the ‘h’ in ‘herb’, after complaining that we don’t ‘add’ a pointless ‘u’ to other words?? Please pick only ‘one’ side of an argument. You can’t have both. We pronounce ‘Z’ ‘zee’, and you pronounce it ‘zehd’. Being honest, which ‘actually’ seems more logical to you? The one that adds a pointless ‘d’ sound? Your other point about us replacing ‘s’ with ‘z’ in words, is just a matter of creativity. Most often related to ‘fun junk for kids’. That’s just sort of knocking America for being innovative and creative. For trying something unconventional. The ‘z’ is largely useless, so we’re making better use of it than you are. That’s how ‘progress’ is made, and why America vastly overtook Britain in that regard long ago.
    You say ‘fillet’ should be ‘fill-it’, not ‘fill-ay’, because we’re not French? Well, we’re not British either. And we don’t actually ever pronounce these words as if we’re ‘putting on airs’ or trying to ‘be fancy’, so it’s as silly as us telling you that you’re being pretentious to add letters and syllables to say ‘Al-u-min-i-um’ or adding a useless ‘u’ to words that are better off without them. This actually shows far more how we do a lot of things slightly differently, yet all along the exact same lines of reasoning…or lack-there-of.
    Which also leads right to…

    10- Saying “panties,” “fanny” and “bangs”
    Panties is a silly word, but knickers is every bit as silly. You can’t possibly believe it sounds more ‘mature/proper’? Also, you’ll rarely ever hear an American say ‘fanny’ for any reason, and what the British use it for is not terribly defensible. Again…we have different slang/synonyms. Your annoyance at it didn’t come off as comical, or clever, and we have just as much justification to make the exact same complaints (but we shouldn’t). Some of our words are better, some are worse, and the same for you. ‘Bonnet’ and ‘boot’ are sillier than ‘hood’ and ‘trunk’. If we added them all up, I wonder which Country would actually come out looking better? My guess is that it’d basically be a draw.

  • Sandy

    I live in America and I loved this article! Especially #5: Overly zealous patriotism. I liked how you brought reality to this by saying, in essence, that it’s ok to be glad that you were born in the country you live in, but to act as if there is some sort of pride as if you accomplished something IS absurd! When I hear people go on and on about how “this is the best counrty in the world”, I roll my eyes and asked how many other countries they’ve lived in. It just seems immature as if they are speaking about high school rivalries.

  • Tyler

    American..and had a good laugh..thanks …I can laugh at everything on the list! Can appreciate why most of it is annoying “Insisting that turkey is tasty”, “They take your plate away too soon”, “They treat their pets like people”
    ….funny stuff :)

  • Jelene

    As a true Anglophile, I love everything about England and her people. I adored reading this list, you really nailed Ruth, well done!

    Without question there were some VERY snarky comments from some of my fellow Yanks and for that, I appologize, we’re not all like that, perhaps they shouldn’t care enough to read your papers or watch your shows! (I guess they can’t help themselves because your stuff is SO much better than ours!)

    I love the differences between our two countries, they are so vast and varied that it keeps me going back to England time and time again. Our world is becoming so homogenized that I celebrate in our cultural differences, it’s what keeps travel so interesting. With everyones borders opening up like they are, we are losing the very things that seperate ourselves from each other. I perish the thought of America speaking Spanish AND English, we’re America, we speak American English and that’s what people expect when they come here. When I travel to France I expect to try and speak and listen in French, I prefer it that way since I paid all the money to fly over there and experience all that IS France.

    I say we all remain culturally true to ourselves, stop lambasting each other and our differnece and instead celebrate them, what good would travel be if we were all exactly the same?

    Cheers, from a true and hopeless Anglo & Francophile!

  • Bob Sevenoaks

    I lived in Sevenoaks for a couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed my stay in the UK. A couple of thoughts on the article:
    1. Thank you – UK – for the relationship our nations enjoy, and the hospitality whenever I’ve been in the UK.
    2. I’m not a fan of turkey either, but you should really try it deep fried. It’s the only tasty way.
    3. I’m okay with the “u” thing except for ALUMIUM. I just can’t pronounce it.
    4. The only British-English problem I have is adding “st” at the end of perfectly fine words. (amongst)
    5. Once in England an American trainer for our company came over to teach the Yorkshiremen how to use a new computer system. She told them she was there to “teach them how to toss”… It brought the house down…:)
    6. I’m originally from Chicago and live in Wisconsin with my Dallas-born wife. We’ve lived in the north for over ten years and her southern accent STILL gets comments from the locals. So, don’t think you’re alone on that one. What’s kind of aggravating is that some “northern” Americans have to ask her to repeat herself cause they don’t understand her…
    7. When I was a kid, I NEVER thought Id have one brother-in-law named Bubba, and another that’s a NASCAR fan…
    Take care, (oops, unnecessary cheer, sorry)

  • Bob Sevenoaks

    GEEZ, I can’t even spell ALUMINIUM…

  • Gary

    I’m an American, who lives in Michigan. I think this list is hillarious and I agree with many of the things on the list! (It’s all in good cheer – or at least it should be)! I miss the days when American culture leaned more towards Britain & Canada; now it’s just a race to see what record company can exploit & profit from our most dismal inner cities – (no education; a cultural cesspool). Unfortunatly, this is smeared all over the world now…So truly sorry for the infestation!

  • Jumping Wolf

    I don’t believe this Brit has visited America in about ten or twelve years.

    10 Things Brit Do to Drive Anyone Crazy

    1) Foul breath. Teeth for that matter.
    2) Constantly talking like they got gum in their mouth.
    3) Not being able spell just about anything.
    4) Purposely trying to sound as British as possible. Words. Accents!
    5) Every local or so trying to be punk.
    6) Claiming to be best? Ever heard of Euro rivalry? Every European country things they are better than the other.
    7) Never smiling. I understand why, but it’s quite a problem. Often depressing.
    8) Always fighting over money.
    9) Music stays the same. It’s like going back in time. Not that British music isn’t good. It’s just too old and repetitive.
    10) They’re not funny. Trying too much to be witty to the point where they sound boring (however, they are funny to each other for some reason; British pride?). Their cleverness is overestimated.

  • http://www.al3afreet.com/forum/index.php?s=de026991db515fdd6ecb706526ec0657&showuser=29976 Gordon Staats

    kee up the superior do the job. someday you’ll be a rock star.

  • snaggy

    LOL…I thought it was funny …….it’s a JOKE people !

  • Broadwayfan

    I loved this piece. It’s fascinating to me how many different phrases we use. I love figuring out what a British term means.
    I watch LAW & ORDER:UK and enjoy getting meaning from context.
    I guess my fascination and study of Britain began with the Beatles.
    England was SO much cooler than America.
    As for the flag…well, that’s how we are; and proud of it.
    Which, I remember, leads us to another thing the British don’t like about us-our pride at being Americans.
    No apology there. But, I love Britain and enjoy discussions. We’re more alike than different.
    In the entire world, Britain is our best friend. Glad there’s no grudge held from 1776.
    I think there is a great link between British language and Southerners in the US.
    I have a friend in Cornwall; I love to hear her talk,and she loves to hear me talk.

    • Robert

      Having pride in ones country is one thing. There’s nothing wrong with that. One should be prood of your home. If your not there’s something wrong. It’s just the way Americans, when they do venture outside of the USA and visit other countrys they keep going on about how it’s done back in America and how everything is so much better back home, the cars are bigger, the buildings taller, the streets are wider, this is so much cheeper but that’s so much dearer. Back in the States we have this, Ho! do you have that here yet? Their like spoilt kids at a Birthday Party trying to sound superior and put the other kids Presents down. An you know what when you go round to that spoilt kids house his stuffs no better or no worse and any other kids on the block.

  • York

    Tipping. Why are Brits such poor tipper’s? It could be because they’re tight. I somecases that maybe true but not in most. It’s because they don’t know how. What’s hard about slipping a waiter a gratuity as an appreciation of good service? Nothing but howmuch is enough, how much is tomuch, is over tipping good or insulting. America as a culture of tipping and service staff become to rely on it to subsidize poor wages. Brits get that. But who’s the ones that rely on tips and who gets paid well? In Britain you only tip in upper class establishments, ie you wouldn’t tip in a greasy spoon (Dinner) whereas in restaurant you would. But some restaurant have a service charge ie the tips in the bill. Some places you tip your waiter and it’s theirs to keep, other places it as to be past on to the establishment some of whom keep it and some pool it and divide equally between all the staff. It’s bad enough trying to work out what system is in use back home in Britain. It’s a nightmare when you go abroad, so you give up worrying about it and hope it’ll become clear before you’ve upset to many service staff.
    In the war service man were shipped from country to country and when they did they were each given a little book telling them what to expect and more importantly what was expected of them when they got to which ever country it was they being station

  • Carol Kayye

    I cannot believe everyone takes these comments so seriously. Recipes given for cooking turkey!! get real everyone who gives a d**n. Its all just a good laugh at life and differences and thank goodness for them or we would all be like the Stepford wives

    • Bev

      I agree Carol, I mean what is this? Nursery School? Anger management comes to mind and I always wonder when seeing something like this whether people would be so rude when actually faced with a real person rather than typing anonymously.


    After going to Oxford U for my degree in law, most of these are understandable, except for one. As an American and a pet owner, I have on occasion treated my dog as human, but my dog never came with me on my honeymoon like Queen Elizabeth II. So just maybe the Brits are guilty of this too.

  • MAC

    Hmmm…..I guess this does point out the fact that some Americans do not posess the ability to laugh at themselves. Being born and raised in the mid-west, I found this article very FUNNY and I actually chuckled out loud at a few of the items. I’ve been to England and found the folks there to be very kind and yes, a bit more reserved than we Americans. I fell in love with the place and the people to put it frankly. We all need laugh at ourselves a bit more and stop taking everything so seriously. Life is much more fun this way. To put it in “American” speak, LIGHTEN UP!

  • Gwen

    As an American and an Anglophile, even I would like to add that pronouncing ‘herb’ as ‘erb’ or ‘fillet’ as ‘fillay’ is in no way pretentious; it is our dialect. I don’t understand why everyone is having a fit on the pronounciation of ‘herb’ when it is in no way an exception. Is ‘hour,’ ‘honest,’ or ‘honour’ pronounced with an ‘h’? The things we choose to nitpick are rather trivial and completely subjective. Even within the UK it can’t be claimed that all dialects pronounce things in the same manner.

  • Lizzy

    Hi, my name is Lizzy.
    I am ‘American.’
    I lived in England when I was two, and then all over the world until five years ago when I moved back to the States.
    I love England… always have… as well as America, in that patriotic way.
    1) I do like the way you speak. Is that bad? But I also find it dreadfully annoying when girls at my school tell the German exchange students to ‘say something.’
    2) I’ll tell Anderson not to get his feelings hurt when he goes to England and everybody laughs at him, which, in your terms, is what will happen right?
    3) I’ve never noticed this. But what’s wrong with a clean table?
    4) The first thing I would notice when I came Stateside as a kid, was that complete strangers would talk to you, in the friendliest fashion too. I loved it. Who doesn’t like friendly people? Perhaps Ebenezer Scrooge?
    But on the other side, I have heard of foreigners, from the Middle East for example, talk about how they feel like they can’t trust Americans because they throw their smiles everywhere. One never knows the measure of sincerity in a person’s friendliness. And that makes sense – if you look at it from that cultural perspective. But as an American I’m used to this attitude, and can tell the difference between fakeness and real friendship. So it’s all just culture. Nothing to bicker about.
    5) Patriotism is creepy? Please explain.
    6) I love my dog to no end. When I look at him, I don’t see a dog, I see Boomer (We got him in England. He’s lived in Cyprus and Istanbul, Turkey since then). But at the same time, I know he’s a dog, and a human life will always be more important. This does get to me in America: when people spend several thousands of dollars (just the tip of the ice-berg) on a dog or other pet, while there are very real issues of poverty and hunger in the rest of the world. So I agree with you. And I feel endlessly sorry for those small yappy dogs that are paraded around like clowns. But at least they’re loved you know?
    7) Turkey, with a generous glob of cranberry sauce… Mmm. Wash that down with elderflower cordial and seltzer water = happiness in your tummy.
    8) I see you derive your humour from exaggeration. But I also prefer the traditional ‘u,’ and I don’t resent us. So there.
    9) I don’t say ‘erb. Never have. It’s herb. I have never heard a person here say fillet without the ‘t.’ That would make singing Life’s A Happy Song rather difficult. “Life’s a fille’ o’ fish…” no that doesn’t work.
    10) No comment.

    As funny and light-hearted as this article was intended, it ineludibly puts both our countries into boxes. People aren’t meant to live in boxes. Otherwise we would all either feel the way you do, or the way the profane troll, otherwise known as ‘England Blows Balls’ does.
    Wouldn’t that be simply unpleasant?
    There’s plenty of Americans that annoy me to pieces, and plenty that I love to death. There will always be those who don’t do anything to help those embarrassing stereotypes, but that’s true on both sides.
    We all have quirks. It’s your choice if they drive you nuts. Just don’t put all Americans under that umbrella.
    In conclusion, I still love England.
    Congrats to the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee!

  • Chris

    It’s true. In America, English accents will get you places. We think it makes them sound smarter, and you should use it to your advantage.

    Of course, you’ll get a few diabetic morons telling you “we beat you in 1776, guhuh”. They think they personally fought in every American war since the Revolution, just smile and nod. They’ll be dead soon.

    • Chris

      how did i get a soccer ball avatar? lol

    • George

      Yer and that’s the biggest myth of all. The rebels did not win the revolution. The American colonies were given independence because the British Prime Minister over slept. Parliament was devided fairly equally between the government who wanted to maintain the Empire and the opposition who wanted to get back to trading with the colonies and making money. There was going to be a vote as to: Keep fighting till the revolutionaries were defeated or End hostilaties and return to trading. The vote was one of the first on the agenda that day and the Prime Minister over slept and missed the vote and the opposition won the ballot by a small majority, thus giving the American colonies independance by default, but had the Prime Minister made it to the House he could have rounded up abstentionist and swung the vote the other way; the war would have continued and reinforcesments and supplies would have been sent. Who knows what the outcome would have been then. It was coincidental that the rebels won a major battle before word reached America that Hostilaties were to cease. The outcome of the battle had no bearing on the decision it had already been decided.

  • John

    Well, speaking from an American point of view I have to say a few on the list I have never experienced…ever. On the flip-side I do love turkey in all its forms at any time of the year. Turkey burgers a fav. Have no idea why you insist on adding a “u” to color. Using a last name first is news to me. Now, I must say your accents are very interesting and I am sure you might agree all the accents here in America are interesting as well. Many restaurants do grab your plate away too soon, but we speak up and tell an over zealous waiter to leave it. Not once in all my days has anyone said anything close to “You have been an awesome customer today” so you must have found someone way out there. People do treat their pets like people, but I think that is something you will find in the UK as well. Come on….be honest. As for the erb/herb or fillet with or without the “T” it is simply the right way of saying the words. Consult your dictionary. Well aside from all the differences American’s do hold a sincere affection for the those in the UK. We are close relations no matter what. I have yet to travel to the UK, but when I do I am sure I will have a lot of questions as well. One is the usage of crisps when the world knows they are chips and your chips are french fries. Sooo odd. lol

  • Lisa

    I’m guilty, i LOVE the English accent. wish i had one.

  • Midwestern Yankee

    The Brits are right. Turkey is a dry, stringy meat. There’s much better meals with beef and pork. . . I have to admit, I am one of those people who love the British accent and usually tell them when I meet them. I will refrain in the future.

    • John

      If your Turkey is dry and stringy you need to have it cooked right. Never had it dry or stringy. Love proper turkey!

    • Surrey

      to Midwestern Yankee – don’t stop. I’ve lived here 20 years and still like having my English accent complimented! :-)

  • mario antoinette

    well , we’re actually completly different cultureswho happen to share a language. Worse thing about america? Never ending, soul crushing, car dependant, culture free suburbs where the only thing to do is go to a Mall. Theres a reason why they are the way they are you know.

  • mario antoinette

    Pretty clear Americans dont know their own history. The reasons for the differences in pronounciation are simple. English was the adopted language, but the incomers were from various places. Germany, France etc. Some ‘foriegn’ pronunciations became commonplace

  • holly

    Hilarious thread this. Americans have no real sense of humour. The article was tongue in cheek but you take your country far too seriously. Thanks for reminding me why I’ll never bother to go to the US. Zzzzzzzzzzzz

  • kara noble

    I’ve lived in CA for 13 years now, I am now,in fact, an american…but i will never bring myself to say “passed away”. So bleedin twee. Dead, mate.

  • Eileen

    On a day when I love everything British, Im sad that I have to comment on a devisive topic, but I do want to say that Brits do not understand that there is English and there is American English. We do not say H-erb any more than we say H-onor. Many words beginning with an H in the US do not sound the H. This reminds me of someone complaining because Americans do not say Al-u-MIN-e-um when we speak of the metal. Thats because our spelling does not have an i in the last syllable. Aluminum. As far as “panties,” I prefer to say “underwear” but “knickers” over here means a short pant worn by little boys or giant blowsy long underpants worn by our great-great grandmothers.We have a tremendous number of different words, pronunciations and spellings for the same thing here in the states, because we are a melting pot. I have a very strong British history in my family and am from the South. We still call the mid-day meal “dinner” and the evening meal “supper”, something that drives a lot of my friends crazy and leads to a lot of missed meal dates. So it really is not our choice in the matter–we have grown to be different from Britain and even different from each other. But its neither pretentious or an affectation. Its merely different.

  • Brittney

    Jesus. Is it really necessary for everyone to become so bent out of shape about these things. We should be able to laugh at ourselves as Americans. I think we can all agree that there is plenty wrong with our country. Perhaps if people from the U.S. didn’t take themselves so seriously, people from other countries would respect us more.

  • Wow…

    British people are the nastiest people I’ve ever met on the internet. Wow. You guys are just plain mean.

    • Tex

      Only inresponce to the nasty thing some of the Americas are saying.

  • Hunter

    I honestly don’t see why it is a problem that Americans and British pronounce and spell words differently. Really, nobody should have a problem with it. This article does make a good point about patriotism, though. Seriously, America. Get over yourself.

  • Shayrul

    I laughed through the whole piece. I actually thought it was going to be a lot worse than this. The funny thing is some of the comments are things my Brit friends and I laugh and joke with each other about all the time. So I’ve started using an extra “u” here and there and my best Brit friend now says he’s going to the “store” instead of the “shop.” So it works out. I would like to say that, here in Georgia, we know the answer to dry turkey is, of course, gravy.

  • Alec

    Vive La Difference I say. I’m an Englishman who has lived in the USA for over ten years.

    Life would be very dull if we all acted and spoke the same way. Let’s celebrate our differences and focus on the real problems in the world.

    Poverty, starvation and war are way higher on my list of things to fix.

  • jsky2

    I hadnt planned to spend my evening reading the whole blog comments, yet how entertaining they all were. I love English tv comedies which are funny unlike most American ones. Also, most of the series (dramatic ones) on BBC America or on PBS are so well written that few of ours can compare. I am an American but we have our faults as many have pointed out here. I have lived in Japan and recently in Australia. If one wishes to see patriotism just look at both of these cultures. It is to appreciate what we have while also giving others the respect they deserve for how they live. Viva la differences all unique and yet the same. BTW why is BBC cancelling MI5??? I love it even searching most times on either BBC America or PBS or A&E to find it. GRRR for its loss.

  • Nemi27

    I’m surprised by how sensitive and sour most people are who’ve commented on this article. I found it hilarious and true (the neg. extreme things in America). As an American my favorite thing about traveling in Europe is being left alone to enjoy my meal or coffee! (Not every American appreciates or even likes some coddling waiter, hostess, etc. pretending to care). But, many of you are way too sensitive! Seriously! Who cares what some silly fool says – it simply suggests their overall ignorance regarding many, many things. You do your self a favor by not reacting – it’s like the toddler throwing a fit (look away and don’t feed into it!).

    The best thing about England: comedy, sci-fi, novels/writers, tea and crumpets! I find the humor witter and more refined than typical American fart jokes. Overall, though I’m open minded and can appreciate differences everywhere – which is why I love to travel.

    As far as all the language comments on this site, no matter how “pure” we all like to pretend our language is or isn’t, there is simply no such thing – there is only the socially perceived “correct” way to speak/write/spell…. Language continuously changes (syntax, phonology, spelling, semantics, etc.) based on historical, political, economic, etc. factors… no need to fight over that! But, it is fun to talk about why these differences may have developed.

  • Britanie

    Well reading all of the comments was entertaining. Anyway…
    I’m American and I always pronounced herb with an “h” until one day I moved to a different state and people started making fun of me for saying it that way. So maybe it is a regional thing?

  • matt

    vodka coke? tripe? saying bullocks?
    calling a person a cunt?
    and yea, fanny is not camel-toe here…
    AND! we pronounce things french because LaFayette helped us kick your ass and France owned most of this continent until 1825.
    There is no Queen on our (single-colored {no “u” because I’m not union-jack}) bills
    Statue of Liberty=french guy….
    Stonehenge=english neanderthals…
    find a purpose.

    • YORK

      Hey Matt. Run off with an Englishman did she?

      Know why the French gave you the Statue of Liberty?
      The Europeans couldn’t stand seeing that stupid giant Elephant everytime they sailed into New York Harbour so they got togeather and France was choosen to give you something more tastefull to go in its stead.

  • Jon

    I’m not sure where this author is in America, but last I checked there were 50 states here and as many if not more accents from each one. If this author is eating in what they call ” trendy ” restaurants, then the blitzkrieg service is to let the next wave of poseurs in ( see added the flaming U for you ). Until we start having the dog and pony show that the Brits have in a leader being the chosen from other politicians and we bow to inbred millionaires who think they rule, then we will just be the annoying country that the author loves living in. It wasn’t until Teddy Roosevelt Americanized our language that we would still sound like Brits and all their territorial peeps. As for food, we might have lots of fast food here but it is at least palatable. You have us on rugby and football, we have you on style and pop culture enjoy.

  • Louise

    If its a reason why us British people hate you Americans its because you’re forever steryotyping us!

    1. Yes we do have dentist. In fact, most Brits have strangly white teeth.
    2.No we don’t speak like posh gits from the 18th century. We tend to speak all “yea man” and “cool bro”.
    3. No, most of us hate “Tea” and “Crumpets”. Mind you, we have a lot of multi-culrtral resturants, Chinese food for instance.

    This blog post is baiscly a smack back on the arse for America, if you can steryotype us, why can’t we steryotype you?!

    P.s: Notice im not speaking like “Your comments are truley appalling, the weather is dear to day” … Because us British don’t speak like that!!!!!!

    • Spazzticaunt

      Yup, and you just clumped every American up with the hoodlums that are being disrespectful on this forum. As an American I find that just as annoying as you find them clumping all of you British folks up.

      I think of our two countries in this light. Sibling rivalry plain and simple. Its a tit for tat thing since the beginning. And don’t say it isn’t cause you know as well as I do it is just that simple.

  • tony

    I’m a huge fan of top gear and have never had a problem with any Britts and want to visit, but why all the cheap shots against the Usa?

  • tony

    Many things have taken place since the revolutionary war, but the world would be so different if we never worked together.

  • Spazzticaunt

    What bothers me as an American is that the writer to this article must be in the wrong America because in the America I live in all that stuff is considered freakishly weird. except for putting a flag out on memorial day in honor of our vets and on fourth of July in honor of the birth of our constitution. He/She is right of course about the difference between pride and emotion. For example I love my country and I am proud of our service men and women but not so much the rest of the mess.

    I also think that treating your dog as a human is slightly odd. I love my dog and yes I have a sweater for him but he’s such a small guy and gets so freezing cold during the winter that if he don’t have something on he can’t do his do, if you get my meaning.

    The issue of spelling words, well that is usually only used in text messages and on the internet. Otherwise if they are using that spelling they are just too lazy to spell the entire word out. And yes as an American it drives me batty when folks use numbers where letters should be.

    I don’t think the English accent is “sexy” or “cute” to be honest, It makes me think of snooty rich people. (sorry but it does.) While it is true that American’s have developed their own “English” I guess you could say, All of us American’s have fun with that fact and can laugh at ourselves. Hence the redneck jokes. American’s have never claimed to be perfect in any way, shape, or form, but we enjoy walking to the beat of a different drum.

    • ZUmber

      You’re mistaking the English accent of probably the home counties. As a Geordie (someone from Newcastle upon Tyne) you’d not understand me.

  • Daniel

    just because we took the ‘u’s out of out words doesn’t make us stupid. it just means there’s no ‘u’s there, that’s no reason to be mad. and i agree some people do take having a pet too seriously. i treat my pets as friends and i count them as part of my family, but im not going to dress it up and give it a seat at the dinner table. Is there anything wrong with that?
    and allot of people aren’t over patriotic normally that people who have lost friends or family in the army, or other people who had weird backwards patriotic war hero parents. so its not just random patriotism (usually). Is there anything wrong with that?

  • Nathan

    To begin with, I’m Scottish. I guess i consider the way i speak “Scots” and not English as such because it’s such a broad dialect however when I write I intend to write in “proper” English, correct grammar etc. I think also everyone on this post needs to calm the fuck down, I don’t personally have a problem with American grammar and the people and I don’t find the whole “shop attendant being nice” thing overbearing but actually quite refreshing in comparison with shop attendants (etc.) here who always seem depressed. However when American spellings/grammar starts to infect my own that annoys me, I was taught how to spell things the way they were intended to be spelled from the development of English. The whole turkey thing i think is a slight generalisation (as I typed “generalisation” it’s marked as the wrong spelling, instead I was suggested to change it to “generalization” this annoys me to no end) I personally hate turkey and agree with the author in what she says though i don’t think that because it’s the staple poultry of two holiday’s in America means that everyone HAS to love it. The patriotism thing i understand somewhat as well, I consider myself patriotic and don’t consider myself “British” but Scottish so I get that sense of pride in your country but I agree that it can be incredibly over-zealous sometimes. Accents too, if an American said to me “I love your accent!” i wouldn’t be a pretentious dick and tell them where to go, even if I wasn’t in the best of moods I’d still thank them regardless as it’s the polite thing to do and compliments can be nice, if you feel the sincerity though i think the point that was trying to be made is a lot of the time it feels as if (to use a previous example) Store Attendants will just say nice things because they feel that they’re paid to do so, and it’s not sincere whatsoever.

    • Qu

      it’s all scripted… store attendants just say what they are told to. they honestly don’t care. no caps.. sorry (carpel tunnel) and i LIKE the S.. i understand it.. the z? got me.

    • ZUmber

      Nathan if you’re using FireFox then you need to download the British English language pack and it won’t correct you.

  • Keith Okie

    To the poster with the screen name “England Blows Balls,

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but your view of the English language is dimmed by the American propensity for the slaughter of proper communication. At the risk of shaking the foundation of your “mobile home” let me explain that English is not “old” or “outdated”, but a flowering, evolving language. Just because you choose to denigrate its natural beauty is no reason for you to call upon the rest of us to abandon the language of Shakespeare.

    I am a very proud American, but hearing my countrymen speak the way they do is probably the most offensive sound there is outside of dub step and hip hop.

    Please, my fellow Americans, stop taking your grammar and spelling lessons from rappers.

    • http://www.facebook.com/oghma.gem Oghma Gem

      Hear, hear!
      signed, Editor, Proofreader and Over 50

  • Qu

    Patriotism? Are you kidding american’s may fly a flag but they send all our jobs overseas, they give scholarships to athletes and not scholars. The only thing American’s seem to care about is how much green is in their pocket.
    Spelling? School don’t care which spelling you use, we are just to lazy to type an extra letter.
    Turkey? Done RIGHT, and often it’s not, it’s great. Add BUTTER when using ground turkey and don’t get 90% lean (to dry).
    Accents? We LIKE British accents because some of us have the ‘joy’ of sounding a bit like the sopranos… did anyone ever say “hey, that mob boss has a great accent?” or “wow, i wish i talked like that girl on jersey shore.” We work hard NOT to sound ‘distinct’ here in the north… we also like accents southern, californian, canadian, australian, [...] accents (should i continue?)
    um… I prefer Knickers or bloomers, or when in jest to a FAMILY member ‘dog chew toys’.
    dogs? do not go there you soulless beast… says the woman with a doggie stroller and a cute little pair of sheep PJs for her fluffy baby. ;)
    flags… ever notice the 1% fly REALLY big flags as they fire Americans and outsource their jobs.. oh and flags are also popular in woods-y areas of the south (though those are often confederate flags).. and they scare us too!
    Tea? Milk really? Biscuits I get, YUM… milk… :p
    I think American’s need to look at the ‘euro’ and realize that it binds Europe the way the dollar binds States. We are not 1 nation we are 50 independent states bound together by currency. If we were one nation, we would have ONE set of laws, education requirements, and government.

    and let’s be honest… Brit TV ROCKS…

    • http://www.facebook.com/oghma.gem Oghma Gem

      I want to agree with you about British TV. Only PBS in America has such quality programming as they make in the UK, which doesn’t insult the intelligence or play to the lowest common denominator in viewers. One must have some semblance of a brain to follow the British mysteries; they don’t telegraph the ending in the first five minutes, as American shows do.

  • LAKate

    Aww geez – flying a flag from your house is creepy? Certainly Brits fly a flag on important national holidays. Re: pets as surrugate kids, I’ve heard it said that how well you treat your pets is indicative of the level of humanity of the nation. Re: fanny – somehow fanny sounds more polite than bottom or rear. And aren’t Brits ever more polite? I wonder what the Brits have to say about the Aussie differences – But at the end of the day, our differences are like that touch of curry that is indefinable yet unique. Great job on the Jubilee!

  • LAKate

    I’m a bit embarrased – so many of my countrymen, being so rude and mean spirited over funny little article about a f ew of our minor differences – Such rude arrogance over nothing. And yes I like crumpets and Earl Grey AND bangers and mash. Not real fond of spotted dick though. And BBC America (is it BBC2?) is a great station and I’ve watched all the Jubilee programming and plan on watching / recording all the Olymic programming as well. As for you rude mean spirited folks – get a life.

    • Clarissa

      Yup, completely agree Lakate. In reality, people on both sides of the pond should feel a bit embarrassed.

  • lili

    where in america are you visting? i wanna live there

  • Clarissa

    Wow…the vast majority of the people that responded on this thread, both American and Brits, need to take a chill pill…seriously. The article is meant to provoke a bit of banter and conversation, not to start WW 3. Part of those subtle differences is after all, the reason so many Americans flock to Britain(and vice versa) when we want a vacation in a different part of the world that’s just that little bit foreign enough to make us feel like we’ve actually left the country, yet not too foreign that one feels the need to bother learning another language…Conclusion: If ya took offense to the list, I suggest ya grow a thicker skin. If ya really feel that put out by it, don’t worry; there was a list published the day after pointing out all the silly things Americans dislike about Britain…that should cool your heels a bit.

    • Amy

      this is like the third post i’ve seen telling people to chill, except like three people it’s all been pretty civil unless i’m missing a huge hunk of the chat.

  • Mark Daniel Martinez

    Where are these overly friendly retail workers you speak of?

  • Mark Daniel Martinez

    Oh, and as far as the dressing up your pets and hanging flags from you house thing goes, that creeps a lot of us out, too. Don’t let the comments section fool ya.

  • Betsy

    who the heck in america says fanny? no one. and turkey is disgusting. and a lot of these situations are kinda extreme and usually never happen, like there are only like 10 people that drive their dogs in strollers.

  • Jeff

    I like our little quirks and see how thay can get annoying. But nobody really uses the word “Fanny”, and turkey’s not THAT bad. Just like I’m sure England has their different characteristics, we do as well. But all Americans are not the same. I assume the British get there assumptions from movies or television programmes, but that can be deceiving. Believe it or not, but there are some quite down to earth Americans who treat their dogs like pets.

    P.S.- your accents are kind of cool.

  • Rich

    i love top gear uk, and dr. who, both are smart funny deeply imaginative and long looking. i dont think that english not flying flags or having different spellings of works is wrong. in america we tend to be pretty far away from people that want to do us harm unlike the UK is, and sometimes i do think the US tends to be a bit overzelous with the patriotism.

  • Cara

    Found the slight on patriotism a low blow, and I’m not easily offended. I’m very proud of my country because of what it represents and of whom it is comprised. Can one not be proud of one’s parents or proud of one’s friends or proud of one’s high school football team? I may have no part in their achievements, but I celebrate because they are my kin. When I say I am proud of my country, I don’t mean that I was born in a hospital in the state of Georgia twenty-one years ago seriously fucking enthuses me, I mean that I have a heritage of men and women who have fought and argued and reasoned and deliberated and achieved great, monumental things in the name of freedom. It is not a history without major, horrific blemish, of course, but in spite of our differences we work as one nation, indivisible. Is that not something to honour, daily? We’re not trying to belittle other countries comparatively. We’re trying to respect our history, and as we move forward, embrace an American future. If that annoys you, you’re welcome to it, but honestly, I think it’s one of the most beautiful aspects of this society that I am privileged to be a part of.

  • Skunkfarmer

    Is this the right room for an argument?

    • KL

      Ha, ha! Classic!

    • Polly

      It depends….In the words of Monty Python “Is this going to be a 5 or 10 minute argument?”

  • Brian

    Oh come on, turkey lasagna can be pretty good if done right.

  • Connie Dodson

    I had a turkey burger.

    It was pretty good, after I sprinkled it with McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning and built a sandwich with Orowheat Oatnut bread, French’s Spicy Brown Mustard and Best Foods (mayonaise) with olive oil.

    It was better than a hamburger, unless I get a truly great hamburger.

    I also like my fish and chips with Heinz Malt Vinegar.

    I must be cross-cultural.

    That said: I wanted to buy a sweater on my one and only big vacation that included UK. Everywhere the shop personnel were rude, especially really nice shops.

    I got all the way back across the Atlantic Ocean before I found out a sweater is a sweatshirt and a jersey is a sweater.

    Why can’t the English speak english?

    • Surrey

      Heinz… not Sarson’s vinegar? You wanted a jumper, not a sweater. Sorry…. read this whole thing. It’s hard not to comment ;-) I’m sorry you had such a hard time shopping.

  • Maggie

    Please, people, can’t we all just GET ALONG!

    To the fellow Americans, lighten up! Sure, the article was a bit rude, but get over it! This website is suppose to be fun!

    To the Brits, lighten up! There are always gonna be people boasting about how thier country is better than all others and, yes, they’re gonna make some unfavorable word choices whilst doing it. That is the risk of the internet. Get over it.

    Sure, there are differences in our two countries. It’s bound to happen when our countries have been seperated for over 200 years! We use different words, talk in different ways, and have different cultural priorites. One is not better than the other. They both simply exist.

    Can’t we just celebrate our luck to born into some of the planet’s top cultures? To have the resources to change the world or help out friends in need?

    Yet, instead, we’re here bickering over something we have NO control over. Shame on us.

  • Kaitlin

    I agree with the american nationalism often being a little over the top and the sometimes annoying over-happy employees in stores/restaurants but I dont understand the problems the author is having with our language use. Its just different, its not right or wrong to spell it “color” or “colour”, just simple cultural differences. Most of the article was good until she brought up all this language crap.

  • Arielle

    ‎1. Actually your accent is annoying after about 5 minutes and a bit pretentious.
    2. When you stop naming your children IMOGEN and HERMIONE then you can talk.
    3. Use your man voice and tell the waiter to go away or is that too impolite for you?
    4. It just seems like relentless cheer because you are emotionally stunted aka British.
    5. You have a grandma as your “head of state” who does nothing but collect your money and demand to be called “Your Highness.” I wouldn’t be patriotic about that either.
    6. Pets are people!
    7. I have one word for you “Haggis”. No British person should ever make a criticism about cuisine since in Britain you have none. Just like you can’t say baseball is boring because you play cricket; a game who’s excitement level is one notch above watching paint dry.
    8. There is no “U” in color and it’s “organiZed.” Go back home if you want to put unnecessary “u’s” in words. That is why we fought a revolution.
    9. Get rid of that monarchy and actually get a president and then we’ll talk. Oh an “Constitutional Monarchy” is an oxymoron.
    10. Ok not you are just making things up.

  • mary

    stop for a second
    and with an American accent – any American accent other than a Southern one, that is – try saying “herb” with an audible H sound


    seriously I’ve tried

    side note:

    why do English people pronounce pedestrian PED-estrian, but then say pedophile PEED-ophile


    but seriously why

    • http://www.facebook.com/oghma.gem Oghma Gem

      Mary, I think it is because PED-estrian and PAED-ophile (original spelling? also PAEDiatrician) come from two different root words. PED=foot. PAED=child.

  • Dekorume

    As an American (born in Texas, raised in California), I have heard many times that I have an accent. One of the fun things about living here is that we do have so many different “versions” of the same language.

    I agree with the article’s author about elevators. Let the first floor be indicated by the number “1″. “G” used to be for the garage level, now it is used to represent the “G”round level floor. “M” is for “M”ezzanine, talk about pretentious.

    We Americans can be prideful and arrogant, we look at what has been accomplished in our brief 236 year history and the influence we have had on the rest of the world (admittedly some good and some not-so-good) and like an insecure teenager (which in the historical scheme of countries, we are), we want others to recognize our accomplishments as well.

  • Surrey

    Having returned to these comments and read every one… I have to leave one final (maybe…) comment.
    In spite of their similarities, England (and the UK) and the USA are foreign countries to each other. There are many differences; in language, culture, education, history, heritage, and ethnicity. I think , perhaps, that we are so surprised by the unexpected differences and inconsistencies, that we overreact. People blame the entire country for the foibles of a few, and because their tastes differ.
    If we travelled (yes, two Ls) to Egypt, for example, we would expect to see many things we’re not accustomed to – food, dress, habits, behaviour, table manners, etc, etc. We know we’re in a foreign country so we accept these deifference with good grace (or we should), and go with the flow. We may complain about the toilets, or the fear of getting diarrheoa from the food, but we’ll cope. ( take Lomotil… trust me on this ). We expect (in our arrogance) that most people will understand and speak “English”, and become irritated when we can’t make ourselves understood. We try, hopefully, to say a few words in the native language, which the locals may laugh about, but they love us for anyway. In other words, we know we’re on foreign territory so we adapt. It’s much more fun that way! We learn about the world. We make new friends. We expand out horizons.

    So, why should we expect that visiting the USA – for Brits, or the UK – for Americans, will not be a foreign experince? Both nations are melting pots of various civilisations and cultures, all meshed together to produce what we have now; and constantly evolving! They are separate. They are different! They are not, never have been, nor ever will be, the same! Accept those differences . We’re all foreigners to each other! We talk differently. We eat differently. We dress, move, drive, work, etc… differently!

    I’m English, with an American passport. I’ve lived here with my American husband for 20 years. My children are American, but can speak with an English accent when they choose. My home is here, yet I still refer to my childhood home as “home”. I go “home” for holidays when I can. I love a lot about my new home country, and still miss my old home a great deal. I’ve adapted. Yet sometimes I still feel like a foreigner here, and strangely, also in England!

    There’s a lot to love (and dislike) about both nations; both nationalities. You can’t generalise, and you can’t stereotype. There is good and bad everywhere. People, habits ……. ignorant morons. Ignore them. Ignore the crappy stuff. Move on. Walk away. Rise above it. Take the high road. Be the better person. Find your sense of humour/humor!

    For crying out loud … or, as my daughter would say, seriously!


  • Kathleen Robinson

    Hi, fellow humans. I came to Britain once, in 1973. Did some Clear Light at Stonehenge when people could picnic in the shade of the stones, did Windowpane at the old Alley Palley when Uriah Heep played, oh, yeah, Windowpane laid out all night in Russel Square listening to the night sounds of London, traded two hitchhikers from Brighton some Clear Light for Lebonese hash (they took us to their grandmother’s house where we had fried eggs and tomatoes for lunch), all in all pulled some more bricks from the wall (I’m a teacher; we don’t brick walls, we smash holes in walls for windows and doors.) Don’t know what all ya’ll arguing about, don’t care. I’m here to say I loved England and thank Brigit for BBC America and Doctor Who.

  • Kristen

    I was shocked to see how upset some people became just because someone insulted their ancestry in an online forum. This is what the net does to people; it gives them the capacity to be vile and speak their minds with impunity. Who cares what someone thinks about you or your culture? The people with these disgusting ideas about someone different than themselves would NEVER have the nerve to say it to your face. Just let it go and ignore the idiots. Responding to them gives them the fuel to keep going.

    Regarding the article, which some completely disregard in their comments, I do agree with many of the points the author makes and then some are just downright petty. To comment about someone being nice to you in a retail setting? I have to wonder what you’re used to in the UK if politeness is frowned upon when you visit the US. Regardless, I look forward to visiting the UK and seeing how they do differ from the US, and hopefully, enjoying the differences and not feeling we even remotely have to be the same.

  • Amber

    Just because some of us American’s act this way does not mean we all do. We are a very diverse people. I don’t care what accent you have as long as I can understand you. The last name thing is kind of dumb sometimes, depending on the name itself. My plate is never taken away too soon and the server will always ask if they can take it first. If you think we’re too nice, than you should stay away from Canada, they have even more cheer than us. Yes, we’re proud to be American’s and I’m not sorry if that’s a problem. Yes I treat my cat like a person but I don’t push it in a buggy, that’s just weird. I’m sorry but I love Turkey, always have. We’re not spelling or saying words the wrong way, we just speak and spell a different dialect of English than you. And using words “panties,” “fanny” and “bangs” has to do with our culture, which, obviously, is different than yours.

    • Courtney

      Brilliant. You summed it all up, perfectly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.ellison Paul Ellison

      Noah Webster created the American english to be different from the english spoken in England. That is why Americans speak, write, and pronounce words different. He took out letters from words to be less french. Colour to Color, ect

    • Deb Chavis

      This article is completely satirical. Some of it is true. Don’t get your panties in a knot.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=760628260 Thea Allison

        You mean my knickers? I can only think of how many times I would have been laughed out of a classroom or beat up if I had used the word “knickers”. In the South, that could sound like an awful unmentionable word!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551161942 Lisa Schultz

      I was going to leave an entire comment myself, but I’ll just reply to yours, since you covered most of what I was thinking, with the exception of adding that the origins of the American-English language are (really!) 29% French, 29% Latin, 26% German, 6% Greek, etc. There’s a pie-chart on Wikipedia. I’m currently learning French and find it fascinating to see the written word, and the many similarities between our languages. I also watch a lot of British TV online. Between learning French, and watching British TV, I’m discovering there are far more differences (and similarities) than I would have ever imagined!

      • http://www.facebook.com/ronna.lester Ronna Sutton Lester

        You will find Spanish easy to pick up also, since words, not especially the grammar, are similar, sort of.

  • macman1940

    I take great delight in the differences between “Brits” and “Yanks”. I enjoy mentally translating “the boot of the car” into the “trunk of the car”, etc. There is room to celebrate our differences as well as our shared values. We all have to deal with shallow culture, paparazzi, and endless election campaigning. Long live the Queen!

    • Courtney

      Couldn’t have said it better!

      • Nancy in North Carolina

        Absolutely! I love the Brits, for the most part.
        Our history is mostly their history, after all. We
        Americans view all the royal family happenings (weddings etc.) with avid interest. We share your joys and your sorrows. It makes me sad some Brits say mean things about us, although some Americans might deserve it. I consider Brits our best friends in the world and hope that, for the most part, they view us that way, too.
        God bless you guys!

        • ZUmber

          Well personally I think American’s are great for the most part. I think the halfwits (both British and American) need to try each others cultures out a bit more.

  • ?.?

    Cheese Burger and fries. Fish and chips.
    Wild Turkey. Famouse Grouse.
    Jack Danials. Johnny Walker.
    Shelby Cobra. Jaguar E type.
    Applepie and icecream. Applepie and custard.
    New York Roastbeef sandwich. Yorkshire pudding and roastbeef dinner.
    Cop on the beat. Bobby on the beat.
    The Beach Boys. The Beetles.
    Star Trek. Doctor Who.
    Cadilac. Bentley.
    New York. London.
    Marilyn Monroe. Princes Dianne.
    Ford Mustang. 3ltre Ford Capri.
    ……… …………

    • Deb Chavis

      First, apple pie a la mode, not applepie and ice cream. Second, there is no comparison of The Beach Boys to the Beatles. The Beatles win out every time and I’m not even a fan. Third, Cadillac versus Bentley is another non-comparison. Bentley all the way and I love Cadillacs. Maybe a Jaguar X-Type versus a Cadillac CTS. Fourth, Marilyn Monroe versus Princess Diane. Really? Read this carefully PRINCESS DIANE! Yes, Marilyn Monroe is an icon of beauty but PRINCESS DIANE is and was a historical figure in a power monarch. The rest was ok.

      • Joe

        What the hell did Princess Di ever do to be historical except Di? The Royal Family is tabloid trash not historical.

        • Amy

          wow you cannot be serious about this reply. everything you said is stupid.

        • ZUmber

          The monarchy is not historical? Wow the internet just lowered it’s self to a new low.

          • lisa


      • Amy

        Bentleys are wonderful, but Cadillac has way better style. Honestly all of Europe styles cars wrong, some are fantastic, but American muscle cars just look better.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kirsten.jaster Kirsten Jaster

        I thought it was Princess Diana…

  • Lisa

    I thought this was very amusing. I am American with a wonderful adopted “family* that are English. Some stupid Americans try and copy great shows like Top Gear and Being Human. They totally do not get the reason the British version of these shows are better then the American watered down boring versions.

  • Courtney

    I always find it hilarious that people in England always want to poke fun at Americans, especially when they try to say that we’re arrogant. By continually trying to write articles that make fun of us and put yourselves on a pedestal, are you not being arrogant? That’s what I thought.

    Your “English” is not perfect either. People in America speak properly, but obviously there’s going to be those who don’t; same as over there in England. Just get off the high horse already; learn to smile! :)

  • oregon usa

    For God’s sakes. It’s meant to be funny and clever. Anyone who took offense (offence?) at this article is a nit wit. Please go have some Doritos and chill out.

  • Regina

    The hostility of this article really rubbed me the wrong way. All the points could have been made in a more amusing and less hostile, angry, and insulting way. Most of the points made were ridiculous, but could have been funny if presented with some real comedy. If this were written by an American complaining about annoying British “things”, it would be just as offensive. I did not find the article to be lighthearted and funny, but cold and truly mean-spirited. While I agreed with some things, the overall tone was too hostile. I’m disappointed that BBCAmerica thought this was appropriate for their website.

  • Lisa

    This article was a hoot! I can’t believe that anyone could be insulted by it. As for the accent thing, I’m a proud Okie and get the same reaction anytime I travel to far east or west of my beloved Oklahoma! I hear,” I just love your accent”, or” where did you get that accent.” Hell, it scored me a free meal the last time I was in CA.

  • Rachel

    *sigh* Why are people making such an enormous deal about this? Here’s how I see it, we are two different countries who are actually a lot more similar to each other than most random countries are in comparison to each other. So we fight and get in huge internet arguments about about how much we dislike the cultural and language related differences we have? Really people? Does it matter THAT much that we have different views on patriotism, food and pronunciation? Yes, we got in a war a few hundred years ago, some of you realize that this was centuries before any of us were born, right? It also had very little to do with culture, it was (please correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not a history

    • Rachel

      professor) mostly about taxes and issues with being a colony controlled from thousands of miles away, and other governmental problems. Why? Just stop fighting about stupid things, okay everyone? And since that won’t happen, just please refrain from being to mean.
      Sincerely, a frustrated teenage American, who accidentally pushed the post button to soon…

  • Robert Knihnicki

    Your so-called “Prince” (He does remind me of a whale), calls the queen “Mummy” and you are criticizing (or criticising?) americans? Funny that us New Englander types pronounce the word Aunt the way it is spelled rather than the way the sutheners, who pronounce it “ant”. Do you have aunts or ants over there? Pip pip tally ho chaps. Answer quickly now or your tea and crumpets may get cold. Some of my best friends are British. Just kidding actually. I only know one, a doctor, a good one who fled your country after medicine was socialized.

  • Dave

    I grew up as a scally in Liverpool,came to the States in “77 with a wife and two babies and $300,worked like a dog,somehow got interested in the stock market,made a fortune in the .com era and retired at age 55.Where else in the world could i have done this.This is by far the greatest country in the world and i love it here,you want to stay in England do so but it is only jealousy that makes you rant against it.

  • Nikki

    Most of the previous comments just emphasise the differences between Britain and America. It’s pretty easy to see this article wasn’t made as an attack against the American way of life, it’s meant to be a joke. The only reason Brits would actually find these things annoying is because it’s a break from the norm for us as opposed to everyone moaning all the time and being miserable. I’ve found from visiting America numerous times that change is a good thing, I’d rather have someone pretend to be nice to me in a shop than scowl at me because they have some kind of attitude problem and clearly don’t want to be there. In this way I think Americans are much more polite rather than the stereotypical ‘arrogance’ that only seems to have manifested for political reasons. There are many things in America that I struggle to understand but Britain is by no measure perfect. We have four countries united that hate each others differences and hold onto old grudges. Scotland voting for their own independent party in the elections was proof enough that they don’t want to be governed by England anymore and haven’t since Great Britain was formed. The bottom line is, you can point out all the differences in spelling or customs you want but enforcing stereotypes and getting defensive solves nothing. The problem I find with some British people is that when they go abroad they like things to be how they are at home. Ruining parts of European countries is proof enough of this, Benidorm in Spain is the perfect example. Why leave Britain to stay in another version of Britain with warmer weather? Live a little. Experience something new for a change! At the end of the day I don’t leave home to stay at home so why should I expect everyone to be the same? Difference is a part of life, you might not always agree with how people do things but it’s not your choice so deal with it. I for one can’t wait to go on my second visit to New York next month to get out of this dreary city!

  • Duel Citizen

    As someone who decided to get to know British culture out of sheer curiosity, I love seeing where the stereotypes fade away and have come to realize that in spite of the fact I use a “z” in realise, we’re a bit more alike than either side may admit.

    I often wondered why when people wanted to investigate and learn about another culture, why didn’t they ever look toward that small island in the North Atlantic that pretty much started just about everything we know?

    I already had an admiration and appreciation for British history, but there’s a lot of really great parts of modern Britain that I think more Americans should know.

    I chose to peer through the looking glass of popular culture, modern media and politics which ultimately led me to chance upon this article where I felt I needed to chime in because unless you’re someone like me who chooses to look deeper, a British person reading the words of a British writer is just going to keep being fed vague propaganda.

    This is the same silly propaganda that caused an ignorant man in an earlier post to talk about how all English people have bad teeth which caused a big row (pronounced like “cow”)…

    Bullshit flows with the tide across a sea of ignorance regardless if it is the size of the Atlantic.

    1. Accents
    Being from Chicago, I have been told I have an accent nearly everywhere I go in my own country. Now since I now live in Scottsdale, Arizona, when I travel back to Chicago and dare call a fizzy drink “soda” instead of “pop”, oh I usually hear about it. On the flipside it does get a little tiresome when you’d just like to get your receipt and leave the store, but after answering about where your accent is from the person feels compelled to tell you about family they have there and sometimes ask if I know them like Chicago is the size of a London flat.

    I tend to ignore the accent until well into the conversation as I feel is more proper to do so. For one I am sure that person is probably sick of hearing about it and two, probably equally sick of people finding them interesting based on how they sound rather than who they are.

    2. Last Name First

    I can’t remember the genesis point for the trend of using last names as first names, but I think it may have taken off or at least been nudged by “Madison” from the film Splash. I seem to remember hearing more and more baby names like Mackenzie and such popping up since at least when Splash hit cable.
    Sometimes the names can be cute and sometimes they can be “well, I guess that can go either way”, but she did cite the name “Smith” which is by far probably the dumbest somewhat “normal” last name to give a child.
    I think the writer probably needs to step back on this one as I don’t think this trend started in America and is not a “typical” American kind of thing. Names like Brad, Tad, Chet, perhaps…
    This is just yet another trend that should fall along the same lines as normal people trying to be like nutty celebrities and naming their child something off the wall. I’m personally waiting for Apple Computers to sue Gwyneth Paltrow for copyright infringement and think that people who feel compelled to name their kids something weird for the rest of their lives and aren’t a celebrity with the money to pay for therapy are just trying to draw attention to themselves and are shallow people. This is universal and found on both shores.

    Skipped 3

    4. Fake people…

    I’d like to know how stores and restaurants find these people so we can establish a demographic, round them up and send them to GitMo for a while. The best way to be is “real”… You’ll get more respect and more of a comfort level out of others by being that way.

    Across the pond, the opposite seems to be the case and I believe it was Rhod Gilbert who put it best when comparing American retail store staff to British and I think I’d prefer the disinterested, distant and otherwise unhelpful person in Britain to someone who is slathering me in bullshit sunshine.

    5. Patriotism

    I guess I have to ask again exactly where this woman was and exactly how much time she spent in this country. For the most part, the only people I’ve ever seen with a flag constantly on their house is a Veteran, older people and sometimes a police officer here and there.

    Randomly you get that super American guy that everyone finds a little creepy as well, but not because of a flag on his porch. Oh and the Tea Baggers which are all nuts, so fair enough.

    Let’s also keep in mind that we’ve got a very large military, they have families and communities and we’ve been involved in and still have people alive and kicking from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Shield, Storm and the Bush Oil Wars who love their country, so maybe we’re going to have a bit of a bigger patriotic footprint going back decades of armed conflict.

    For those who aren’t military or from those families, there are a great deal who simply like to show their support for those who carry that same flag into battle.

    As far as the flag on the house comment goes, I think she needs to get around more.

    I do understand where she is coming from when it comes to the loudmouth “yee haw I’m an American and I’m the best” kind of douchebags all other Americans hate. These are the people that unfortunately give Brits the stereotype they use against us if they don’t bother to learn beyond the lower common denominator in this country.

    Unfortunately since our media caters to fools and that’s the entertainment often shipped overseas, that’s pretty much the heart of this entire posting.

    Don’t let this writer fool you for a second to think that Brits aren’t proud of their country and not simply just glad to be born there. I think the British are quite proud of their country and actual, real BBC programming shows this quite a bit.

    I think the writer actually sells her own country a bit short, makes herself sound smug and as though she doesn’t really care about the very country she is using to compare to America to point out our foibles.

    When not considering the minority the writer is probably only basing her opinion on, I think that a country that can unite themselves regardless of differences including the classes is far better than what she paints the people of Britain out to be in that possibly badly worded entry.

    The image suggested is a culture that is smug and self-absorbed with their own accomplishments so much that they can’t be bothered to use the symbolism of a flag to come to one level saying “I’m a Barrister from South London and you’re a white van man from Manchester, but today we’re all simply proud to be British.”

    I know this isn’t true and I don’t think this is what she truly meant, but since she chooses to cite a very small portion of American culture, I’m not exactly eager to write for the defense especially since she seems to forget that the same small minority of overzealous nationalists on her side of the Atlantic took to the streets.

    I think they’re more than glad to have been born there and I’ll take a fat bloke in a tight “America the Beautiful” T-Shirt playing Toby Keith too loud in his Ford pickup over the shutting down of an entire city center so the police can kettle in a bunch of “glad” patriots.

    6. Pets as People

    Yeah, this is some kind of American recessive gene, but I think this affliction has roots in another and happens when parents who have children who resent them and told them to piss off. Since Tippy can’t say no to being dressed up like a Keebler Elf for a day at the mall and the doggy spa, there you have it.

    I agree with the part about how you’re expected to love the yappy dog because it’s small and because the owner thinks the dog is cute and is immune to the incessant noise that this is acceptable. Again, this same affliction is one experienced by parents of bratty or otherwise undisciplined children who think society should accept the bullshit, or worse, take care of the kid for them.

    I would never hit an animal or a child, but as a proud founder of “Save a Child – Punch a Parent”, I can honestly say that it should be legal to smack someone who doesn’t have the common decency to train their pet to be good in public or train their spawn to do the same.

    I do believe that pets should be loved as much as possible, so while it is quite eccentric and a bit silly, as long as it isn’t for the wrong reasons and the animal lives a happy life, that dog or cat would probably appreciate it more and love you back a hell of a lot more than some spoiled kid.

    7. Turkey

    Obviously this woman has never had chicken and certainly has not had a properly cooked turkey. While finding a good one might be a gamble, I’d urge her to prance on down to a local Boston Market. Yes I know I will get some people saying “yeech” to me on that one, but this observation is so short sighted and seriously must be limited to only a couple occasions.

    As for the turkey burgers, meatballs and other items, about the only complaint I can say I have from a properly done turkey burger or other item is the need to over season it for the sole reason it was used in the first place. The fat content in beef gives the flavor (flavour) and contrary to popular belief there are some Americans who’d like to eat a bit healthy, but love certain food items. Personally I find this to be inventive and welcomed as long as it is done properly.

    I’ve overcooked a turkey breast or two, but while it is a bit boring by itself, it does carry more flavor (flavour) than chicken when roasted, I feel. I personally think that she simply had one too many shite turkey dinners in Britain, but never had a proper bird in the states where even our fast-food versions are not “insipid and stringy”. Again a baseless argument rooted in some truth, but I see this as a personal thing and not something that drive “Brits” nuts.

    8. Spelling

    I can understand why this would bother someone who was from the UK and had to write for an American medium, but I think that is where something that would “Drive Brits Nuts” would end. Again I see this as more of a personal thing than a collective gripe of the British public.

    Things are spelled a bit differently in some cases and without looking up the history of how this came about, it seems as though we simply did away with letters we thought were not necessary based on how the word is pronounced. This probably happened an extremely long time ago as the result of a misspelling by someone sounding out the English word. This doesn’t mean Americans these days are dumb or silly for continuing to do this and it doesn’t mean that either side is wrong or right.
    We’re two different cultures and societies that evolved separately for a very long period of time much in the same way Australia did, but I don’t take offense since Brits like to pick on the Aussies as well for other things.

    Again, this only drives the writer nuts and Brits in general just don’t care and shake their head when we talk about the Corvette ZEE OH SIX.

    Oh and here’s a tip… There is a setting on all Windows and Mac computers, tablets and other items you’re probably using to write which should already be set to “English UK”. If not then Google and ye shall find.

    Job done, eh?

    9. Pronunciation…

    I swear I’ve recently heard a bunch of this during someone’s stand-up routine like Rhod Gilbert as I mentioned before, but it might have been on the Comedy at the Apollo and can’t remember the comedian.

    With regards to herb and fillet, one could also bring up #8 and question why the English chose to “frenchify” words like “colour” and “aeroplane”, but I don’t know if anyone from this side ever cared to look the other direction simply thinking that’s just how your words evolved.

    I think it was once said that the use of “Filet” is reserved for boneless cuts of meat while “Fillet” is used for fish in the United States, but I am not entirely sure. If anything, Americans probably pronounce it incorrectly when referring to fish according to the general consensus of international chefs and yes, decades of McDonalds advertising is wrong too.

    I think that just like anything else over the years being separated from English influence and probably getting along with the French quite a bit better, those worlds could have evolved from the melting pot influence.

    With regards to “herb”, I think that came about the same way and being someone who pronounces the “h” anyway, I just think people pronounce it how they grew up hearing it. “The colonel’s secret blend of herbs and spices” was how most kids probably even first heard the word itself.

    I guess I am not seeing where Americans are out there intentionally saying something incorrectly to sound more intelligent when that pronunciation has been part of our society for countless years.

    While mostly northern, I believe it is safe to say that entire portions of British people often don’t pronounce the “h” in many words including herb. For example, if I was watching John Bishop, Jason Manford or (for our Americans here) Russell Brand, if the phrase was spoken “Turn that down, the noise is doing my head in”, whether the accent be from Liverpool (Scouse) or Manchester it would sound like “…doing my ed in”.
    Dare I even go into the weird sect of UK society that pronounces the letter “h” like “hay-ch”? I think that might be more Northern Ireland, but I’m not sure. All I remember was hearing it a few times and then seeing David Mitchell shoot someone on Mitchell & Webb for doing it.

    I don’t think any American really gives a toss about how he or she sounds when ordering a steak or piece of fish. All they do know is for a very long time this is how it was pronounced, it is grandfathered in now and to pronounce it otherwise would actually be more likely interpreted as unintelligent in this country and be a bit what one would expect Gomer Pyle to pronounce it as.

    “Gee Sarge, that fill-et I had last night sure did stink up the latrine”
    Blimey, I bet I’m going to hear about how I used the word “latrine” now…

    10. English vs. British Slang

    I think the differences in the slang terminology are quite hilarious and the various theories of where the differences came from are quite entertaining as well. I remember when first learning what the English considered to be a “Fanny” and had a laugh, but then realized why my father who was from England would crack up when my American aunt would warn us about getting a spanking on our fannies.

    Thinking back to that now, I think that if I was my father and knew the true meaning, I would have probably lost it laughing as well.
    The term “fag” is well known for being different between the two countries and I recently laughed quite hard when Ricky Gervais had to speak up over Karl to let American listeners know about the English slang for fag not being a gay man. He then proceeded to talk about a couch being “fag proof” did not mean it kept gay men off your couch. Hahaha.

    I can only wonder what would happen to a nonce if he drove past a Fanny May Chocolates store.

    In the end I have to say that the writer here just seems to be a bit up-tight about things and I don’t think they’re reserved for only American items. The topic of the article was what “Drives Brits Nuts”, but I think there are a host of things that would make an English person a bit wonky toward America and only a few of these I can agree with not only as an American who takes a deep interest in British society, but is also a dual citizen.

    I think I’d enjoy writing for the BBC.

    • http://twitter.com/jasonthehyeena Jason Leer

      As a British person, I agree with everything you’ve said.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=760628260 Thea Allison

      As an American person, I’d agree you are long winded and opinionated…and I also agree with most of what you say. Yay to protected speech!

    • Jo

      You sure took a long time to say a bunch of nothing. Everyone is different no matter where they are from. Of course when people live in close proximity to one another they will pick up each others traits. This is natural and also follows a desire not to be different. I live in the South for instance but, not all people in the South have the same traditions or values. So many people and cultures have melted into the South that it is rare to find anyone who resembles the “Old True Southerner” as we would call them. The graceousness and sincerity of the South has gone. We all, and this includes those of other nations, have lost our compasion and trust for one another. We are alike in more ways than we are different, in that we have all abandoned our desire to embrace what is good and decent in others for a false tolerance that would force others to accept that which goes against all they believe is right. How someone speaks and the words they are accustomed to using is not important, just interesting. What a person holds dear and valuable is very important. This should not be mocked. This is the greatest tragedy of our time.

  • steve logie

    Wow a lot of hate out here, from both sides. Chill out people!

  • CaptainScorpio

    I’m very sorry you’ve never had properly prepared turkey. My mom makes it the way you describe, and most of my life I also thought it was normally that way. No, you just have to have it well prepared.

    • Jonathan

      I live in America and I could never understand why people like turkey. I can’t imagine turkey tasting good and still resembling turkey.

      • http://www.facebook.com/paul.ellison Paul Ellison

        Have you ever had a whole roasted chicken before? Turkey’s look exactly the same except a little bit larger.

  • Quark

    Just want to say I’m an american and thought the article was hilariously funny and in the proper spirit. Kudos to the author for bringing humour (sic) to an issue that can sometimes be a “sticky wicket”.

  • Kate

    I’m an American and these things drive me crazy. Maybe it’s because my skin tone is more suited to a rainier climate, but I agree with all of that. Words are so much smoother and make more sense spelled the British way. In fact, I like them so much more, that I have changed the settings on my typing programme and my phone to spell things the British way, or what I like to call “correctly.” While I admit I do enjoy the British accent over the American one, Americans who bother the Brit about it are rather silly. They’re the ones who stopped speaking like that in the first place. Don’t dote. Change it. Anyway, several of the pronunciation and spelling points reminded me of the Eddie Izzard skit Cheating at Scrabble. I’m not sure if this is the actual title, but he goes on about American spelling and pronunciation versus British spelling and pronunciation. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you would enjoy the sentiment.

  • AAe

    You can not complain about the use of z and lack of u. Although very similar these are two different languages. American English was changed by the founding fathers and they wanted it too continue to change to show as much separation as possible between the two countries.

  • Naomi

    What annoys me is that I get the feeling Americans don’t realise that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all ‘Britain’, not just England. You can’t say ‘I love your British accent’ (stereotypical a bit, but people must say it sometimes) because there is no such thing as a ‘British’ accent. I get the feeling they say ‘British’ when meaning ‘English’. That’s annoying. Plus saying they want to go to Britain, when they actually mean London. Oh – and telling me I spell things wrong. I. Do. Not. :) Actually, the singing the national anthem before EVERYTHING is a little weird to me, but that’s just different, not irritating.

    • Hope

      I understand why us Americans saying we like British accents could be annoying, as most Americans mean English accents. I also prefer the way Brits spell things to the American way. It usually makes more sense. :)

  • Brandygirl

    Wow, people! This article was supposed to be joke! Americans take things way too seriously! I am an American that was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and I was so ashamed to see other Americans getting really ugly when responding to this article. Why are you on the BBC America page if you are this defensive about British humor toward Americans? Get over yourselves!

    • neat

      #7. When people started realizing that turkey is a much healthier meat, it was put into everything to reduce the meat’s fat content, lower its cholesterol and reduce the amount of salt we eat. I agree, it doesn’t taste as good as the original. Though, Turkey bacon when smoked and peppered is pretty good.

      #8.Funny, this one has gotten on my nerves too, but from reverse. I keep wanting to say, it’s labor or civilization. The one I saw recently was artifact spelled artefact.

      I think, you could add a few more to the list.
      Such as, the decimal and comma in numbers. 10,000 and 10.000 mean two completely different amounts to both countries.

      Dates too. In America, it is ususally seen as month/day/year.

    • Ly

      Do you realize you just generalized over 300 million people as being “too serious” all from 440 comments? Please don’t generalize, it makes you sound ignorant.

    • VH

      Well, if the article is supposed to be a joke, it certainly lacks any amorous nature towards Americans, with the exception of a patronizing tone in the opening “Americans are some of the loveliest people…” None of the authors examples apply to me nor the vast majority of Americans that I know so her assessment is plain and simply a result of a small, impressionable sample. Perhaps she wouldn’t like an in-kind response of Brits: their overuse of “Cheers” as a salutation, some of the most unhealthy and overindulgent breakfast items I’ve ever experienced,horrible showers, and a pompous attitude. So there, you can be summed up inappropriately too.

      I like humor, but please don’t do it at the expense of a whole population. It doesn’t endear us to you.

      • ben

        I’m sorry, but ‘unhealthy and overindulgent breakfast items’? are you mad? A full fry up still probably has only as many calories as a bowl of sugar cereal with MARSHMALLOWS in it or a pile of pancakes with SYRUP on them!

  • megawfa79

    Regarding your comments on turkey, perhaps you’re leaving the bird in the oven too long. But, then again, British turkey is a contradiction in terms. Google “trash can turkey”. Don’t worry – the can is clean and the bird is moist, tender, and to die for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brycon-Slaughter-Casey/100000371679851 Brycon Slaughter Casey

    hahahahaha, canadian here but canada is exactly the same. Heres a thought. STAY OUT OF OUR CONTINENT THEN. You are just jealous because we are richer then you and actually have something to claim (what was it about 40% of teh worlds economy?)

  • Liz

    It seems funny how many people criticize Americans but need our help for all your problems.

    • observateur

      No, you’re confusing your meddling in other’s affairs with helping.

  • Laevatein

    FO (only people typing here) GB… you doun’t see us commenting on the fact that you can’t pronounce words… so get off our ass, and play with your ‘torches’, bonnets and boots.

  • SarahJ

    Brandy girl thank you this is soooooo funny!! im american and i cant stop giggling!

  • John

    We love you Great Britain……. We don’t care what you say about US!.. tally HO…..I’m off to an absolutely fabulous therapy session with my dog Bella!

  • http://twitter.com/Metronil Metronil

    Brits seem to be a little bit emotional, insecure and bitter…Just sayin.

    • amk671

      I think your overreaction to anything that doesn’t praise American to the heavens is covered under number five.

  • http://twitter.com/DaughterMoon Nee M

    Amusing, and eye-opening in some ways… but very nit-picky in others. I’m sorry I was not taught to pronounce the “h” in herb, but I assure you it is not to sound clever nor sophisticated. It’s how we say it over here and that’s that. I’m not changing the way I say a word simply to erase the impression that I’m impersonating the French.

    Similarly, you should keep on saying knickers, bottom and fringe, and put the “u” and the “s” back on your keyboard. The world is smaller than ever before and most of us will know what you mean. For those that don’t, they can learn. Just don’t expect anyone to start saying and spelling words in a way that pleases you.

    • http://twitter.com/DaughterMoon Nee M

      Oh and with you 100% on the patriotism. It’s over the top. In my neighborhood, there’s a man that has a ginormous pick-up truck with two full sized American flags hooked to the back of the cab. I see him and I can’t help but think “douchebag.”

      • Brian

        Yes, how dare he. He must be such a jerk.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamie-White/1515213443 Jamie White

          Actually, in fairness, I’ve noticed that the ones who drive the large, bulky vehicles with lots of crap on them are very unpleasant on the road. In actual fact, the more you “mark” your vehicle, the more psychologically likely you are to be an aggressive driver (this is actually a thing, that has been proven with science. People get more territorial the more they think of the car as an extension of themselves). And I’ve noticed that the larger the vehicle (aside from Semis, sometimes), the more entitled to the road the driver seems to act. They become road bullies, assuming that they can swerve into your lane with no warning and often no turn signal, just because your car would take more damage in a crash (thus, they know you’re the one “forced” to yield). They ride your tail, trying to make you go faster via intimidation, and if you don’t, they’ll swerve around and in front of you – often honking or flipping the bird at you in the process.

          Then again, I live in the South. Our drivers are terrible to begin with.

      • KB

        But it would be OK if they were MUFC flags I presume?

  • Kenna

    I actually love this article – so true! It’s a funny article and I always love reading about differences between different cultures. So what if he doesn’t like I have *bangs* and am proud to be an American – I am! And I’m more than happy to celebrate these differences as well.

  • Deb Chavis

    This article is the best yet! I love the humor in it.

  • jane

    Why blame a whole country for a few people out of it that messed it up? I’m an American and I’m not overly patriotic? Our “over zealous cheer”, never have I ever been told “You’re the best customer ever!” for buying 2 things. Theyre two different countries and cultures.

  • phantastic.mrfox

    This is funny, especially the bang-on description of the word panties. It also reminds me of a time in New York when I commented on the “shops”. I was wryly told that “hear in America we have stores, not shops”. Don’t even get me started on my mirth when I saw a display of “fanny bags”.
    On the Spelling, most people do not realise thyat “ises” instead of “izes” in British English is a only phenomenon of the last half century. Check any older British dictionary and s is not used in such a proflific way. Although either spelling is in FACT now acceptable in most dictionaries, the Oxford English Dictionary specifically still prefers z in most cases. The only reason I have given in to “ises” is because of the misinterpretation that “izes” are American that jolts with fellow Brits.
    Oh. and on turkey, it is a definitely question of how it is cooked!

    • Glynis

      Yes, and I hate how the spellings are changing on many words. Travelling, traveller, bussing, busses, etc. Tell me, how does one justify “buses”, and why doesn’t it rhyme with MUSES, from the root word “muse”? Or fuses?

  • Joost Fricke

    If the Brits cook turkey like they do the rest of their food it’s not wonder they don’t like it…

    • V

      Doesn’t matter, none of them brush their teeth anyway…

      • ZUmber

        Well seeing as our health care is free and dentists are much cheaper. I’d have thought we’d have better of both worlds.

  • WF

    I’m American and just gave a solid rant on how the British can drive one bat-crazy, so it’s only fair that I provided the most unfettered of insight about my fellow people.

    1) Saying “could care less.” What’s the point of even saying this? To tell me you’ve cared the entire time, or to tell me that you think a grammatical contraction is just as difficult to muster as a birth contraction? Don’t indicate you care at all when you really, really wish the object of your indifference was found in the deepest trench of the Pacific Ocean.

    2) Saying “have a nice day” when you don’t know two cents about how my day’s been going! Let’s keep expectations at ground level, shall we? I myself am a busy teacher so let me just hope that I survive my day without attaching a ball-and-chain to my ankle and then subsequently throwing myself out the window.

    3) Wearing sneakers, or trainers since apparently I must translate, in public or to any place as if it’s proper dress code. Forget thinking first. I’m at the opera, let me wear sneakers! After all, the intermission was designed for me to jog around this new performance hall and check the new plaques of the donors!

    4) Not understanding sarcasm and irony immediately. Do you know much it irks me when I’ve had to say, “Oh, just kidding?” or something like that? I’ve finally weaned myself off that, but not without a methadone-like withdrawal regimen to make sure I never relapse.

    5) Thinking that everyone wants to come to America for “freedom, prosperity and Jesus.” Or whatever. Tune into the BBC or PBS and you will learn that thousands upon thousands are trying to get into Europe, often illegally. Africa on Europe’s doorstep is, I believe, a starker contrast to Mexico on America’s.

    6) And this leads me to my next point. Often presuming that someone is obligated to believe in God or a god of some kind. If one’s an atheist (oooo, silence only interrupted by a whistling wind and ruffling leaves) he’s automatically doomed in the most horrid of ways that I won’t mention for fear of being blacklisted by the BBC and any number of oppressive theocracies in the world. You don’t have to believe in any god if you don’t want. In fact, some of my dearest friends don’t and I don’t think bad things will happen to them or that there is some sort of inexorable eye-for-an-eye justice that the man above will exert on these beings!

    7) Making small talk too often or simply talking for the sake of talking. No, lovely barista, who’s told me her life story about being a teen runaway and prostitute from LA, I cannot engage in conversation with you on my way to work. Does the wrinkled Garfield the Cat look on my face not give that away in the slightest? No, Signor Plumber, who has come to fix my sink in oversize jeans that still don’t hide that bleak, hairy wasteland called your rear-end, I do not wish to hear or be sympathetic to you because your wife left you for a cult leader. The exorbitant fees you charge me do not include a donation to your mental health upkeep.

    Well, there it is and I really must conserve my rant energy.

  • Mark

    number 9 and 10 on this list are stupid. We say thing differently because we are in another place than England. We say and pronounce things differently. We don’t say “tea time” or “bollocks” or “rubbish”. Get over yourself.

  • kennedyshaffer71199

    this is sooooo funny, im american. Personally i dont care for the half the things listed here, i hate turkey, i hate the cashires that are like “have a great day, you are a great sshopper, and come again soon.” all in one breath!

  • V

    What a joke of an article. If it wasn’t for the good ole U.S. of A…you’d be part of a small province in Russia. I’d just rather you thank you me rather than try and make yourself look smart with this smut article.

  • TheAngryAmericanFemale

    Seven Things Americans hate about prententious Brits:
    1) Their pretentiousness, for one
    2) Their food, which seems to consist mostly of beef and freakishly dry yorkshire puddings
    3) (If the case is so)The horrible cockny-accents that are often displayed, which nobody can understand so we just smile and nod
    4) Their hostility and unwillingness to communicate in an at least respectful manner
    5) Their addiction to milky tea
    6)Their hatred of cats and worship of dogs( both are equal, damnit!)
    7)Their worship of a constitutional monarchy, which has been away from power for so long, that it makes no sense that the media still has intererst in them .

    So there, Ms/Mrs/Mr. Prententious List Writer, I have made my move

  • Whitney

    I’m American and really enjoyed this article. To any American that finds this article offensive, I would say get over it. This is meant to be a playful “slagging” as the British would call it. I say that as someone who is from time to time offended by the anti-American bigotry that comes from Europe on the web and in person. I love my country but if anyone thinks this article is offensive, you should read what other Europeans think of us. Ive travelled all over Europe and lots of Europeans not only hate our policies but they hate us. For example, I’m surprised at how anti-American Ireland is. Greeks in Greece dont hate Greek-Americans, Italians hardly ever hate Italian-Americans, but lots and lots of Irish hate Irish-Americans. A lot of Europeans (not all and maybe not most) stereotype all 310 million of us as the worst people on earth living in some Godforsaken backwater of a country filled with greed, violence, ignorance, and fat people. When you the Europe I’ve seen, you can just laugh off articles like this. I think some of the reaction to this article has to do with the fact that

  • bookgirl20

    I thought for sure the sacrilege of serving tea cold would make the list.

  • FrequentTraveller

    I know this is supposed to be tongue in cheek and humo(u)rous but as a Brit I don’t find this funny at all. I L-O-V-E it when Americans comment on my accent. And if only Britain had the awesome restaurant service they have in the States. I’ve never had my plate whipped away like Ruth describes. American friends, I apologise on behalf of this person’s editor who obviously said something along the lines of “got a column, to fill, needs to be in the next 10 minutes, just dash off any old c**p.” Ruth, you’re not speaking for me. To be honest this just falls into the rather embarrassing, snidey chip on our shoulder category that crops up way way too often and makes me cringe. (PS, Brits, if you want a laugh in the States just pronounce “urinal” – all my American friends fall about).

  • Anderson

    It’s called culture. Different, not wrong. I know this is a joke and is completely ignorant and ethnocentric, but some people actually think like this. Just saying.

    • Gill

      Anderson, is that your first name or last name!

  • That random American

    HA! XD i shamelessly agree with ever statement here. Woot! Driving Brits nuts is like a national pass time.

  • observateur

    aren’t you the same ‘americans’ that brand all muslims as terrorists and call them “towelheads”? then claim it’s all a joke and that muslims have no sense of humour? well, this article was written for fun. can’t YOU take a joke? ‘americans’ love laughing at others but can’t take it when the position is turned around? GROW UP!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kmischka Katie Mischka

      hey, please do not judge all Americans by the Tea Party. I’m trying to convince my cousin that not all muslims are evil. But you do have a point, a lot of Americans are stupid bigots. But please don’t judge us all by that.

      • Dizzychik

        Your own stupidity is showing,the tea party has nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with getting the people playing with other people’s money to show fiscal responsibility.And recognizing that while,all Muslims are not evil,their religion is being hijacked by extremists and that faction needs to be dealt with by someone who’s got enough gumption to do it,and protect the rest of the world if they can.

  • GBGamer

    Herb is the correct pronunciation. You were the guys who changed it after we moved here. You pronounced it the same way until (I think) the 19th century. Just pointing out. I know this article’s a joke, but I still think people should know this. Also, who the hell says fanny? That’s something you say.

  • observateur

    you are getting ‘your panties in a bunch’ over a joke. you need to be less pompous and have more humility because no individual or nation is (how do you Yanks say it?) ‘ALL THAT!

  • Elle from Vancouver

    I am Canadian and being in the commonwealth and yet so close to the US we share a smattering of both, in regards to speech patterns etc. We say “zed” and spell with the “our”. We eat turkey too but some of us don’t like it either. Now, on the patriotic thing…yes, some of you Yanks are way over the top. We Canadians are a very proud and patriotic bunch (just watch a hockey game) but we are not as in your face about it. Interesting to read that not all of you are…it is a shared assumption. We all have good and bad qualities as my Quebec country folk would say, vive la difference!

  • Angry American

    This is, frankly, a pretty stupid fucking article.
    1. “Herb” is pronounced “erb”. “Fillet” is pronounced “Fillay”. That’s how I was taught to say it as a child. Is it even possible to be “pretentious” as a child?
    2. Spelling words the “wrong” way? “Colour” is considered incorrect on my American computer according to spellcheck; and spellcheck usually doesn’t fail me.
    3. Turkey is fucking great. Fuck you.

    The only one I agree with is the Patriotism one. I hate America. I also hate Britain. I also hate this terrible article.

  • Maridine

    Hey, dickwad. I feel like you’re just describing the hard time you are having adjusting to the American lifestyle. There is a ton of shit we Americans could come up with to rag on your damn culture. Fuck off and get out of our country because we don’t need you here contaminating it. Bitch.

  • Marion S

    In the U.S., we really love our country. We really are as happy as we act. We do smile and say nice things all day long to others–and we mean what we say (yes, I’ll agree that there is a small percentile of Americans that don’t mean it). That is our way of making the world a better place to live. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have problems, it’s simply the idea that our own problems won’t be solved by burdening you with them every time we pass.

    We are not thin-skinned at all! We criticize our own selves all of the time!!! Our news reflects an overly self-critical nation. My British friends who visited the U.S. are actually surprised that we are not nearly as bad (or fat) as they had imagined from our daily news.

    Another confusing thing is “How are you?” doesn’t mean that we want to be a psychiatrist. It’s just a greeting. When a person answers, “Not bad,” that is actually a positive response.

    Being as our country is so large, we have our own differences about word choice, dialect, and pronunciation. Examples: A water fountain is called a “bubbler” in Wisconsin. Soda is called “pop” in Minnesota.

    Turkey is extremely moist when it is cooked properly. If it is dry and stringy, you had a bad cook.

    We really enjoy Brits and their accents, word choices, and phrases.

    But, sorry to say, this article is at least halfway inaccurate.

  • eekahil

    I agree so very much with #10. “Panties” annoys the flippin’ heck out of me for the reasons you give. I like to say “underpants” for males or females because it is funny and old fashionedy (even though I know “pants” is naughty ) or sometimes “foundation garments” because it is even funnier and more old-fashionedy.
    Why I Have no Friends Reasons 27 and 362.

  • kb

    Putting the last name first really bugs me too! I’m from the USA :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ariel.wyckoff Ariel R. Wyckoff


  • http://www.facebook.com/ronna.lester Ronna Sutton Lester

    Webster removed the ‘o’ from everything feasible to separate as far from GB as possible, changing other words around also, Revolutionary War stuff, you know.. I personally can’t stand undercooked vegetables such as green beens. My Mama cooked them until they melted in your mourth, the Southern way! When we lived in NYC for a bit, she hated eating out, because she said they just blanched them, the way we do to get ready to freeze them. Ugh!! So, I guess my family did retain that bit from the big move here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johnathan-Downer/75400936 Johnathan Downer

    actually, being an american myself, i agree with most of these. but then…i also think american culture has gone down the ‘loo’ in the last 50 years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1026233656 John H Harris

    In regards to #9, we did elect a socialist. His name is Barack Obama!

  • Dovakin

    A note on the patriotism… I’m in London right now and have been for the last week and I haven’t gone more that half a minute without seeing the Union Jack plastered somewhere. On cars, accessories, flyers, practically every building. It was the same when I was here in July. It was one of, if not THE, first things I mentioned. The point is, I’ve seen way more British flags in one week in London than I can ever remember seeing at any point in the US… and that includes the rural community I grew up in and the London-comparable cities I’ve visited regularly on either coast (with the possible exception of Memorial Day in Washington DC :)

    And there is nothing wrong with being proud of the country you were born in. England (and Great Britain) has a wonderful history that your ancestors were a part of and that directly resulted in you in so many ways. You don’t need to blare your national anthem out of the stereo or fly a flag off your truck (or paint it on the roof of your vehicle *cough* the mini *cough*) but you can be proud of the contributions your people have made to the world.

    • Expat253

      The amount of flags in London is not a surprise at all. For one it’s the year of the Queens Jubilee and the Summer Olympics being hosted there as well as it being tourist season.
      It’s far from a typical scene in the capital.

  • Amelia

    “Pretentious” vocabulary? I think you’ll find that Americans, probably due to its melting pot culture, doesn’t pronounce French words the French way because it’s pretentious. It’s because it’s a French word. Just like how we pronounce “Quesadilla” without using L’s. Do Brits really use the L’s in that word? ‘Cause I would laugh in their face.

    • hui

      Right on

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.talley.58 Mary Talley

    Oh honey, come down here to the South and you will learn a whole new language! LOL

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=760628260 Thea Allison

      Bless their hearts Mary, they know not what they say and do! Wanna come over for some sweet tea? he he. – A fellow G.R.I.T. <3

  • sean

    I am an american and i completely agree.

  • May

    Brits spell words wrong, not Americans. But the word panties should be removed from the face of the Earth with napalm.

    • British and proud

      You get a hint from it being ‘English’ that it was and still is our language.Brits dont spell our words wrong you do, because it’s OUR language.Its colour not ‘color’ and rubbish not ‘trash’. Americans make everything so cheesy, like garbage. And before you say America’s bigger in size, it may well be but it’s full of the most dickheads saying its Americas language.WHEN ENGLISH IS OUR LANGUAGE!

  • Joe

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will use these to annoy Brits whenever possible.

  • t tapps

    1. Herb and filet (you misspelled the word we are pronouncing) are pronounced as such due to the respect for other word origins and not the naive “we built the world British attitude”
    2. The irresistible temptation for
    English to inject their unwelcomed opinion
    to criticize 99 percent of the time.

    3. Beginning every sentence with “You Yanks always”…
    Really? Only half the county were Yanks two hundred
    years ago stop already
    4. The British Museum. A collection of all the UK’s exploits and lootings.
    5. Why not be proud of your flag. Move to another country if you not like your own.
    6. There is no point for this thread. You see?

    • Rich

      Interestingly, words being pronounced with or without the “h” is partially locality based (NYC folks typically drop the “h”) and partially age based (>60 tend to drop the “h”). In my case, my folks were from Booklyn and pronounced “human” as “uman”. It’s all in the area with which they both grew up in (they are in their mid/late 70′s).

      The spelling of the words “wrong” is the difference between British English and American English. For what it is worth, I have to say.. Zed? Really.. C’mon now.. that just being pretentious. Like the author’s irritation drawn by their interpretation of Americans dropping the letter “h” to pronounce “herb” as “erb”, pronouncing the last letter of the alphabet as “Zed” doesn’t impress anyone. :)

      While I agree with the sense of patriotism, we US folks only have 250+ years of nationalism to draw upon. Give us another 600+ years to catch up, and I would say that our expression will probably be similar to the UK. :) Also, consider in to the equation the world we live in today in addition to what we have had to overcome (hint: something to do with the 11th.. and the month of September).

      Have to agree 100% with the use of last names as unique first names. I would like to add that this is probably not unique to the US, though. Also, using names for the opposite gender is a peeve, too. “Charly” for a girl. Really?

      The pets bit is funny. It’s unfortunately not limited to the US (it’s all over the UK, too, as well as other countries). Yuck.

      Last thing: so we train our customer service staff to be happy and treat their patron with a semblance of respect. Besides, happiness is infectious and they’d rather not foster any continued nature of being a sour puss.

      Fun article. Thanks! :)

  • James

    Hahahaha. But the funniest thing about America is that we are doing the exact same thing that we fought to be free of in the Revolutionary War.

  • amused american

    I sat here laughing while reading it. XD funny, how the most innocent of actions in one culture can turn into the biggest of pet peeves of another culture.
    Never realiSed how abrasive a “z” really was until you mentioned it…
    Hey, my middle name’s a surname, and I go by it. haha.

  • Florence

    First of all, I’m American. I admit I like British accents, but most people I know find them really annoying and pretentious. Maybe it’s different in the north but yea. Secondly, people in restaurants and stores are very polite because it’s their job – not because they’re nice and love to please. If they don’t make you feel overly sick from the amount of kindness they’re giving you, then they get scolded or fired. Also, the patriotism is a bit over the top. I don’t normally see flags unless it’s the house of a veteran or soldier. Plus, it’s not really bad to love your country. We pronounce words from other languages as they are supposed to be pronounced because it is their language so it’s kind of stupid if you don’t. Lastly, not everyone says panties and fanny. Panties is common but a lot of people say underwear or the actual type (ie; boxers, briefs). Oh, and I have never heard the word fanny used outside of old movies where they were acting stupid.

    Americans do have problems, but those aren’t it. Your post should have been about how tons of people get knocked up for extra money from the government. How practically 75% of teenagers don’t care about high school. How southerners (no offense, I am southern after all) tend to be more judgmental to people from foreign countries, other religions, and other sexualities. Maybe actual problems with Americans instead of spiteful ones that can’t be generalized to the public.

    And I hate turkey.

    • ZUmber

      Don’t worry we have girls here being knocked up for free money too and our payments are very very generous. Infact some of them certainly get more than I do and I work for a living.

  • Samantha

    What? Why are you even here? Maybe this
    is what is wrong with America. We let snobby noses come over here anytime they
    want and make fun of us. Ok so you don’t like turkey? DONT EAT IT! Americans believe in freedom. With all this freedom comes
    choice. You choose to come here; maybe it is time you choose to go back! I am proud
    to be an American! That’s right, I went there!!! J

  • KD

    Wow Ruth, you comes across like a very bitter person. Why don’t you just say you hate Americans and be done with it.

  • Egg

    Most of those are legitimate complaints, but some of them are just cultural differences and make you sound like an idiot. Learn more about how Americans speak rather than expect Americans to speak like Brits.

  • juniperowl

    This list is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. It just makes the author sound like a pretentious, insufferable assbag.
    Sorry you don’t like our good attitudes or the way we speak, but in return we’re not all that fond of someone who has nothing better to do than bitch about a culture they’re not a part of.

  • TheMagicalAri

    Personally I love the last names for first names thing. If i lost my name to marriage i could see myself naming a child my maiden name.
    But on the patriotism thing, we fought and won our country just slightly over 200 years ago, we are going to be patriotic for a long time.
    The English have been English for a quite a while, so it’s not such a big deal.
    Also if anyone who is not 6 years old or the mother of some one who is, is saying “fanny” they’re just silly.

  • TheMagicalAri

    I work in a call center and if we’re not overly sweet and accommodating we get in trouble.
    It’s a business thing, not a personal preference I actually hate everyone Who interrupts me on the phone with a burning passion, but it’s the rules.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.hopson.54 David Hopson

    I really hate turkey meat in any form. also,people that treat pets like children are freaky.especially those people that have ankle biters,trip hazards.

  • alexis

    what is so bothering about a waiter picking up your empty plate? it allows more table space. also, im american and i pronounce the h in herb and everyone corrects me.It is very annoying. they also tell me i pronounce vase wrong. also most people dont think turkey taste good its just healthier fat-wise. By the way, we find the greeters at stores annoying as well.

  • CoedK

    First off, I want you to know that not all Americans are like this. I for example, am an Irish American, and although im proud to have been born in this country I couldnt care less about where I live. I feel wierd saying the words panties, Fanny, and bangs. And am quite informed with international events. I can see where these stereotypes come from, I do afteral live here, and for the majority of people theyre true but painting such broad strokes about a country as large as the united states isnt right.

  • Louis XV

    A man from a country where they routinely ruin good fish, fowl and meat complaining that turkey doesn’t taste good. It does if you prepare it properly. And then he complains that a country of 300 million people doesn’t slavishly follow the chauvinistic pronunciations of his quaint little island! Here, we assume that French words are pronounced the way the French pronounce them. Ditto for every other language on the planet. Have you ever noticed that Brits are incapable of correctly pronouncing “Michigan”? Despite 300 years of examples they refuse to learn to pronounce a soft ch.

  • Cholly Knickerbocker

    Plenty of Brits hang the Union Jack from their houses and have pictures of the sovereign hanging above their mantle, even if the fashionable self-styled “intellectual class” find it, well, a trifle lower class. Perhaps that’s why the British Empire now runs from London to just short of the Scottish border?

    • ZUmber

      The only time I’ve seen a flag hanging from a house here in England is when there’s an important England match on. As for having the Queen on the wall too, never seen that either.

  • Sarah

    As an American, I have to say that this is pretty funny. The author is just poking some fun at us; it’s not like we don’t do it to them and other people. Refer to the article 10 Things Brits Do That Drive Americans Nuts. People seriously need to just laugh and take a chill pill.

  • Trekkie Gal

    The ‘u’ in colour, humour, neighbour, etc. serves no purpose. It doesn’t change the pronunciation or meaning of the word. So why should we use it?

  • Tyler

    I’m sorry the USA is not exactly like your country.

    And people say Americans are the ignorant ones….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515721421 Daniel Chen

    Spelling differences are fine by me.

    It’s when some Yank tries to call me stupid for spelling words like “defence” with a “C” instead of an “S” I blow my lid. American spelling isn’t the only valid spelling system in the world.

  • Billy Bob

    Don’t knock turkey! It is delicious when properly cooked and served. And when you serve it with cornbread dressing, candied yams and a fresh cranberry dish, you have a real winner.

  • AlexEconomics

    Wait… what’s the second holiday that centers around turkey? I’m an American, born and bred. And from my knowledge, Thanksgiving is the only turkey-centric holiday. Our family does goose or duck for Christmas, if that’s what the author is referring to.

    • Bethee

      Easter and some people do it on Christmas as well i know my family does turkey and ham then and we have done roast and turkey for Easter

  • Wolf

    “Make an actual socialist your president and then we’ll talk.” Ah when was this written? We do have a socialist President already.

  • Dillydill09

    11. Creating this list

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.netty.ornce Mike Netty Ornce

    I agree with almost all of it…. except for the knickers and panties issue….. PLEASE!!!!! DON’T EVER SAY KNICKERS AGAIN! UNLESS YOU ARE OVER THE AGE OF 80 YEARS OLD….Trust me… panties are much better, and no dude in his right mind (unless he’s into banging old chicks) would ever find a ckick saying knickers to be sexy.
    ?Could you imagine some hot chick sticking her knickers in your mouth during a lap dance???? gag, gag, gag….. how do my knickers taste there sonny?

  • person

    i liked number i cant stand when people do that

    • person

      number 9

  • mr.magic96


  • mr.magic96

    you brits

  • Andre Richards

    The “u” was intentionally removed from words like “color” and “neighbor” in the early days of the U.S. as part of a deliberate attempt to differentiate our version of the language in the U.S. from that of the Brits as well as to remove some unnecessary complexity in the language. So that’s not a misspelling, nor are words like “center” and “theater.” We spell them correctly. Sorry you’re unable to break with your quaint traditions. ;)

    Anyway, those changes were done on purpose. In fact, there was a strong movement in the early days to go even further with it but it never caught on.

    • ZUmber

      Nope I pronounce centre and theatre as they’re spelt.

  • badwolf

    I have to laugh because the Brits always tell us we’re wrong no matter what.

    • Polly

      No, you are wrong there. lol

  • Anaughtybear

    Actually, you can look in the dictionary and see that Brits are incorrect in their spelling of a lot of words, particularly ‘aluminum’. It has has four syllables.

    I agree on the patriotism bit. Also, we’re sorry about country music. Not all of us are that dumb.

    If Americans are in the U.K., we have an accent. If you’re in the U.S., you have an accent.

    • ZUmber

      Actually if you go 20 miles in any direction in the UK and you’ll encounter a different accent.
      I can’t agree with the aluminium though. Aloominum doesn’t sound right to me.

  • Jonathan O’bryant

    The only thing I agree with is the spelling of words, like honour, colour,ect. For some reason I’ve always spelled like that, (parents are from Ireland) Given to light I am Irish, I’ve heard nothing but bad things about the brits…. It’s common in Ireland and the U.S… Just stating. While I am an animal lover, I completely agree with the pet thing. My ma tried to tell me my dog was like my brother once… I told her to shag off. The only thing pretentious is your god awful attitude, and us Americans are PERFECTLY HAPPY not living in a social nanny state. I have an accent, it’s mixed, but I don’t mind when people compliment it. Turkey is good if you know how to prepare it, but i wouldn’t want to make it a steady diet. How’s this for over zealous patriotism? Kiss my American ass and get me a beer ;)

  • Marlene

    i love the brits but we some how are always doing wrong and they say we should be more like them.STRONGLY DISAGREE!!!


    Most of this isnt true,dont you think if i went to the uk peole would be fascinated by my acent.This so affensive you should be a shamed, i dont go around making fun of other people who live in diffrent parts of the world because they talk diffrent or they like my acent.HERE LET ME WRITE IT SO YOU WILL UNDERSTAND YOUR AND BEASTLEY LITTLE TWIT!!!!!

  • Justin

    Pretentious you say? Hah! I’d say take a look in the mirror. You seem rather ignorant, just saying.

  • Sharon

    Your ignorant price of shut move back to England than!

  • Stacy J

    I’m an American and I spent my summer in Oxford and London. Everything you listed above I witnessed happening to me when I was in England. Every where I went people were coming up to me telling me “I love your accent” and kept asking me to say different things. I noticed the spelling difference when I was there and had to adapt when I was writing papers. I did it and I didn’t complain about it because I realized we live different lives, we have different but similar cultures and it was very interesting to see all of this. I loved my experience over there and I would go back in a heart beat. Everything listed above happened to me in England and I didn’t mind it at all (except the “I love your accent” thing got a bit annoying).

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.mar.9 Beth Mar

    Wow. And I thought Brits were nice and accepting. Just.. wow.
    Tolerance is key when you’re in a different culture, just FYI.

  • Bethee

    I like food!

  • Matt

    As someone who used to live in London for 2 years, there are a few things that REALLY annoy the fuck out of me after reading this…

    #4) give me a break. you are paid to have cheer in a shop when you work there no matter what country you live in. If you’re rude to a customer and he/she complains, chances are you will be fired.

    #5) COMPLETE BULL SHIT. Americans are no where near MORE patriotic than the British (English, Welsh and Scottish). They have just as many flags as we do, and they are EXTREMELY patriotic about everything. Worst of all, sports. The welsh and the scottish hate the english. And the english hate the welsh and scottish. Try going to a England v Wales rugby match…. I’m sure you will see no patriotism there.

    #6) I have seen the same thing over there. Mind you they were gay men, but still. In a baby carriage.

    #9) FUCK… THAT… Pretentious? The word Fillet is french. Hence, why we pronounce it that way. The same goes for the word Buffet, which oddly enough, the british pronounce the same way we do… WEIRD.

    #10) So we say panties…. They say pants, knickers, scivvies etc. Its just the way the cards fell. How is one way better than the other? And bangs…. My wife is british. Literally born and raised in Wales. I have visited there numerous times. Everyone of her friends say bands says both Bangs and Fringe. How is fringe better than bangs? And furthermore, they throw the words cunt and twat around like it’s no big deal. Men call women that they don’t know those words everyday. How can you say you feel dirty after saying the word “bangs”?

    • Matt

      and another thing about the way we pronounce things. When you guys say any word with “er” on the end of it like “wanker” you make it sound like “wankah”. Ridiculous how you think saying “herb” makes us pertentious. Or how about how no one pronounces the letter “t” when it is in the middle of a word. Like “water” becomes 2 words almost: “wau’ah”

      Having said all of this, I still love the british. I think this author needs to get a life

  • Bill Murray

    *spoken with an utmost proper and unoffensive British accent*

    Why thank you for this delightfully uplifting piece, you crusty, cantankerous bitch.

  • Guest

    this made me laugh so hard god we’re so annoying

  • griit lyf

    real men are ruff neck and we dont want mask or a happy happy joy joy version of thingz we ike the gritty side of thing we love went the subway smalls like piss so it keep the rich spolid people out

  • Kate

    I’m American and have always pronounced “herb” with the “h.” I didn’t even notice that Americans pronounce it differently until recently, and everyone thinks it’s weird that I say it like that.


    Ruth Margolis- how do you consider yourself intelligent if you can go to new york city, see a few odd people, then assume thats how all americans are? that would be like me saying i saw a british person in tokyo shit their pants, then convincing myself that all british people enjoy shitting in their pants. see the logic here? new york city is a melting pot of all cultures from across the globe, new york city is IN america, but even here we view it as a totally different world, because it is nothing at all like the rest of america. there are well over 8 million permanent residents, a few million undocumented aliens, and not to mention the extra 10 million or so that go to that city to work every day, and the millions of visitors. so next time you want to insult america, go ahead and do it (we enjoy those with their own opinions here) just make sure you actually know what you are talking about when you do it, so you don’t make yourself out to look like a bumbling munter. it’s funny that you people think you are more intelligent than us, but you are so stuck-up that you can’t even see past your own nose to see who we really are. open your eyes, we americans didn’t like how you looked at the rest of the world, so we murdered thousands of your people, left that oppressive dungeon, and then beat your worthless redcoats back across the atlantic(with their tails tucked between their legs like cowards) when you tried to take our freedom away. and after all that, we still came to your aid when winston churchill came groveling at our feet, begging like a starved dog for us to send our AMERICAN weapons to YOUR soldiers. whether you like it or not, without our aid, britain would have fell to nazi germany. you may not have needed the tens of thousands of our people that bled to death defending you without question, but your people begged us for help, and without it, you may not be there reading this article right now.

    now back to your worthless analysis. here are some REAL facts about REAL americans.

    1:most of us find your accent to be utterly grotesque.

    2.most of us think people who use surnames as first names should be flogged.

    3.if they take away your plate too quickly at a restaurant, it is usually because they don’t like you, and want you to leave quickly.

    4.nobody says “you were an awesome customer” they do say “thank you for your business”, or “have a nice day”, but that is just to be polite, because trust me, nobody here cares about you, your bloody snatch, or your baseball bat sized tampons.
    5.we as americans earned the right to be proud through death, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, but since you people are so stuck-up, you can’t even look past your own nose to see what makes us proud.
    6.some bag lady babbling to her dog in the corner of a flea market hardly represents how americans treat their dogs. most of us see them as.. you guessed it…. DOGS!
    7.turkey is a symbolic part of thanksgiving tradition, and just because you stupid arse redcoats can’t cook a turkey properly, and have no real sense of taste, doesn’t mean turkey is bad, just that you people can’t cook. turkey is never dry when cooked right, quite the contrary, it can be as moist as a pot roast when cooked correctly. only a retard can mess up cooking a turkey.
    8.aren’t british people supposed to be intelligent? if so, you would know what the word dialect means, and why american engish varies from the king’s english. we do not spell our own words wrong.
    9. we do not pronounce our words wrong either, i will say again that you can find the definition of dialect in any one of your dictionaries.
    10. if you are still as much of a rube as you were when you started reading this, see numbers 8 and 9, then sodomize yourself with the dictionary you are reading.

    i just wanked to that photo of kate’s tits, and spunked on a photo of the queen while waving an american flag and eating a nice turkey leg!

    • the YANK

      spotted dick??? are you serious???? if you ask an american to come to your house to eat spotted dick, they would think you wanted them to perform fellatio on a man with genital herpes.. and “puffing on a fag” makes you sound like you like to suck gay dicks all day long. if you limey, island monkey, crooked toothed, redcoat pussies don’t like america, stay over there where you belong. i am proud to be a yank, because we wiped the floor with you wimpy little pussies, and now we don’t have to live within smelling range of her majesty’s royal snatch(5000km upwind)

  • Norm

    It’s the way our culture has evolved since we became the melting pot over 200 years ago. We’re not you and we’re not anyone else so get over it and be thankful our country and yours are allies. If I had my way I’d force our school systems to teach multiple languages so we could communicate better with others when giving them our money while on vacation.

  • Jaime

    I, too, was taught to pronounce ‘herb’ with a silent ‘h’ and ‘fillet’ with a silent ‘t’. We aren’t doing it (at least not now, anyway) to sound french, though we might embellish it a bit if we’re actually trying to sound french (for fun, as some people enjoy doing impersonations), but rather because we were taught that it’s how its supposed to be pronounced.

  • Brewing

    Sound like you are in a permanent bad mood as most Brits from that dreary place. There are worse things than acting cheerful, saying they love your accent and thanking you for patronizing their store. Jeez… I find these examples so silly in the face of the real problems that are here like gun control or something like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.sarmento.3 John Sarmento

    Culinary comments from the country that puts ketchup (catsup?) on eeevvvrrryyything…..
    Good fun

  • Erliche

    I guess a guy coming from a country that eats “Bangers and Mash” and “Spotted Dick” would think our way of talking is strange LOL!

  • Daimon

    How do you complain about -ize, yet misspell sexualise and infantilise in the later example?

  • Kelly

    i find this very mean. i’m american myself, and saying that we like your accents is a complement. blame the government for the spelling stuff! not the people! i was almost going to cry after reading this. i could be brittish and do all of the same things you just listed! and not all americans are like that. only one women did that not 3845639536 people. i’m sorry that us americans drive you personally nuts. we have our own customs that we do. and britian has theres too.

  • Lauren

    To address some of these “American quirks:”
    I personally do not make big fusses over British accents. In fact, to us, your accents make you sound very pretentious in all honesty. And it really depends who you have as a waiter. Some will take the plate away too fast, others will forget you’re even there. And the majority of us DO NOT have a relentless cheer about ourselves 24/7 (I’m the opposite — I have an attitude 24/7, then again I’m a New Yorker). Not everyone treats their pets like people, at least I don’t because that’s creepy. Turkey IS good, you probably just don’t cook it properly. And the way we pronounce herb and fillet is just how we were taught. And I have NEVER, ever, ever, ever (10x ever) used the word “fanny” in my entire life. I always thought you guys used that word. I get that this article is how some of you feel, but what I have said above is how some of us feel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamie-White/1515213443 Jamie White

    Wait, so “panties” is “infantilizing”, but “knickers” isn’t?What?

    One is a tiny pair of pants, sure, so it’s cutesy I suppose if you aren’t used to the word, but “knickers”… man, that doesn’t even sound serious. At all. I always thought people were being (or attempting to be) goofily saucy when they used it. But now you tell me, that’s just their (sorry, “your”) word for ladies’ briefs? Seriously? That’s… I’m sorry, that’s ridiculous. At least every bit as ridiculous as “panties”. “Fringe” sounds weird to me because my dialect just doesn’t use it in that context (more like in the context of rugs or buckskin jackets), but at least it sounds like something an actual adult would say.

    Also – regarding “fillet” – you do realize it is spelled “filet”, and it is in fact not a native English word but rather a French loanword used in a specialized and exclusively culinary sense? “Fillet” (with the double L) means something rather different, being that it’s a carpentry term! People are pronouncing it correctly! And I will honestly take an attempt to pronounce a loanword similarly to the original, over butchery like “kamakazzi” (from the Japanese “kamikaze”, which is pronounced more like ka-mi-ka-zeh for the record). Don’t even get me started on the horrid action-movie-originated mistranslation/mispronunciation “mano-ay-mano, man-to-man”, what is that I don’t even.

    Really, though, that’s simple stuff. Nothing big. Nothing that really irked me. This, though, I take legitimate offense to:

    “If I’m having a bad day, or a good day – make that any kind of day – I do not want people in shops whom I’ve never met to swaddle me with their sticky, earnest, exaggerated niceness. In America, actual humans say things like “Ma’am, you have been an awesome customer today,” just because I bought a box of tampons from their store.”

    And you know what retail workers would love to do? Actually react like normal people. BUT WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO.

    That “sticky, earnest, exaggerated niceness”? That there is FORCED on us. Retail workers in America – especially in major chains! – have a horrifying rate of “job stress” and depression, in part due to crappy wages, sure, but really because we get crappy wages and then have to fake cheer our way through the day, no matter how we actually feel, and no matter how poorly we’re treated by jerk customers or unpleasant management, etc. Oh, and we have set scripts we have to follow! At my work, I’m literally supposed to react cheerfully and super-helpfully to EVERY customer that comes within my sight… within 5 seconds of spotting them. Literally! “Within 5 seconds”, that is the CORPORATE mandated time-frame. Not just “acknowledge them”, mind – actually go through a whole script of “Hello! How are you doing today? Are you finding everything you need?”, etc…. even if it’s clear they’re just browsing or don’t want to be bothered, even if I’m with another customer, and oh yes, I’m supposed to walk them to whatever they’re looking for (assuming they even are looking for something specific) instead of giving directions or pointing, whether it’s one aisle over or all the way across the store, and with no consideration for whether I’m already in the middle of helping someone else or even if I don’t know where it actually is or if we carry it! With a super-duper-upbeat smile the whole time! :DDDDDD

    And oh, I’m sorry, they aren’t “customers” – they are “guests”! And we’re not “employees”, we’re “team members”! You see what I’m getting at here – normal people don’t talk or act like this. But we’re not expected to behave like “normal people” – we’re a “team” that serves our “guests” slavishly, going above and beyond any reasonable measures, with relentless, perky concern for their well-being! Never mind that we’re working for minimum wage and helping two other people, or that the person in question is looking for something literally a minimum two-minute walk if you’re brisk about it, that we know absolutely nothing about. No, see, you’re supposed to magically and devoutly help every single customer as if they were the Queen, or possibly the Second Coming of Christ, and also, to know everything about everything or damn well find out. Even if nobody in the goddamn store at the moment knows a damn thing about Whozits, you will damn well help that “guest” find herself the perfect Whozit, from halfway across the store, while somehow not abandoning every other “guest” who needs your cheerfully upbeat attention. Oh, and don’t forget to ask about mailers! Do you get our coupons in the mail? Would you like to? Are you sure? Because they’re really good coupons! In the mail! Also, on your phone! Oh you don’t have a smartphone? Well, regular texting phones work too! Also, there are flyers! Here, take one, even though there’s absolutely nothing the coupons will be good on because they always time the sales so the good stuff isn’t eligible! Did I mention you can get our coupons in the mail? COUPONS! :DDDDDD (I’m only slightly exaggerating. We really are supposed to ask EVERY “guest” we’ve harassed, er, “helped”, whether they are on our mailing list or not. It’s obnoxious, but we get chastised if they catch us NOT doing it)

    Seriously, you complain here as if this is something all American shopworkers do unintentionally and without realizing what they’re doing (or possibly, that it’s something they do intentionally to spite you) and that surely, if you point out how annoying it is they will have a Eureka Moment and stop! But they won’t. BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO.

    The moment the cheer drops, either some entitled customer gets a bee in their bonnet about it and complains, or management notices and gets huffy about it. I’m sorry, but if the choice is “fake concern and niceness for bitchy customers” or “lose my job that allows me to pay rent”, I’m obviously going to go with paying rent!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wooden.thomas Wooden Thomas

    1. I don’t say that, nor do I love most British accents.

    2.I really don’t have a problem with the last name for a first name thing. Common names are boring.

    3.I see what you’re saying there.Sometime the wait staff just has to keep moving and lose awareness.

    4.I don’t mind positive energy even if it’s shallow. As long as it’s sincere.

    5.I agree. Humility is knowledge.Dissent is true patriotism.

    6.All creatures are equal , Animals should be treated with dignity, I’m not sure how dignified putting one in a baby carriage is…

    7.I’m a vegetarian now but what I miss the most is the dark turkey “drum stick” or leg. Do you call it a drum stick over there?

    8.Do you mean when we say Elvis Prezley?

    9.We pronounce Fillet the French way. it’s not pretentious. We pronounce Garage the French way too.

    In most regions the word herb, is pronounced with out the h. Do the British not say ‘ead when they mean head? and ‘ello when they mean hello. it’s not pretentious.

    10. I don’t understand what you mean here, are you saying short hair that hangs over the forehead is called Fringes?

  • Spencer

    I’d just like to point out that it’s you Brits who are pretentious in your pronunciation by making every single foreign word common in English conform to English pronunciation, as if English is the best language ever. It’s indicative of that annoying superiority complex you guys have had going since the Victorian Era. Vincent van “Goth?” Really? You know that’s not how he would have pronounced his name, right?

  • Maggie

    Sweetheart, you’re way too young. I learned to say ‘erb’ instead of ‘herb’ in the U.K. as a child. Until you mentioned it I never thought of ‘bangs’, instead of ‘fringe’ as being a sexualized word. I still tend to put in my ‘u”s in words like ‘colour’ and spell ‘theatre’ rather than the American ‘theater’. However, i don’t lift ‘the bonnet’, but the ‘hood’, and don’t open the ‘boot’, but the ‘trunk’. And while ‘hood’ brings up picture of Little Red Riding or the neighborhood gang hanging out, ‘bonnet’ brings up pictures of Little Bo Beep and Miss Muffet.

    As to our heartiness, agreed. As to our patriotism, agreed. On the other hand treating pets like children, well, there are more dangerous eccentricities in which one can indulge.

    And as for tendency to weird and wacky names, agreed.
    Whatever happened to John & Mary?

    Hey Ho, Giles!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1542286705 Katherine Wolfe

    So you guys will really hate the phrase we use when one team has really trounced another – we say they “waxed their fannies.” Ouch!

  • Donna

    Wow, LOL, this is bloody rubbish since Brits have these exact same flaws!

  • Juliean

    wow is it me? Or did everyone really take this rant a little to seriously? I’m American but I’ve had the privilege of living in the UK for several years and I can’t help but wonder if if everyone has lost the ability to read “tongue in cheek?” Seriously??!!

  • biffula

    Wow, what a bundle of joy the author is. Now I remember why we ditched British rule.


    We still like you and will be very nice to you–it’s how we were raised. We sincerely don’t care if you put an extra “u” in “humour”, we get it and it’s charming. Don’t hate us because we’re dorks. We didn’t know that “panties, fanny or bangs” meant something naughty :)

  • Taylor

    I’m American, sadly, and I find most of these things annoying as well. Mostly the ‘panties’ bit. I hate that word. That and the word that’s used as a term for women’s privates, and men who seen as weak. i refuse to say it, it’s just gross to me.

  • Brandon

    in other words you could say the letter “u” is “useless” ^_^

  • Tara

    Let me tell you folks the secret to making turkey taste good………FRY IT.

    I mean…that’s the secret to making anything taste good though, right?

  • AmericanMade

    Ruth…I can appreciative your perspective. However, as a born and raised citizen of the United States of America , I can tell you without even a little guile…get over it.

    Your perception of spelling, for instance. It may seem harsh to you to read a Z instead of an S (and for the record I neither know nor care who decided to do it that way or why), but it can be equally distressing to others who see that the incessant use of the letter U serves only make a word longer with no change in pronunciation. In other words, I’ll type a Z, you type an S and between us we’ll both still realize/realise what the other is saying.

    As for your assertions on accents and pronunciation…you will find no less than 20 different ways to say the same thing within our country…so why fight it? This is also true in England. While I can appreciate and do LOVE, LOVE, LOVE every Londoner’s accent, I can barely understand some of the people from Cornwall or Wales or Scotland, especially if they’re hopping mad or have had too much to drink. How do you reconcile your delicate sensibilities on accentuation and pronunciation within your own kingdom if ours bother you this much? Besides, unless you add the accentual flourish, ‘erb’ doesn’t even sound French. So just call it oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, or whatever, and everyone will know what you’re trying to say. You say ‘shed-yool’, I’ll say ‘skej-ool’ and my neighbor Dolly Whittington will say ‘agenda’. Again, we can all figure out what the other is saying without the need to let minor annoyances dig under our skin.

    For the record, I don’t know WHOSE turkey you’ve been eating all these years, but the ones my family makes are not dry or stringy or insipid. If there’s a cuisine we regularly screw up in this country it is the cooking of veal, lamb, duck and goose. Turkey is something we do right in my neck of the woods, so feel free to stop in and have some any time you want juicy fowl. A fair warning though, should you decide to take me up on my offer, you will have to pass under a normal sized flag of my country on your way to the front door. Not twelve…just one. I don’t have them hanging from every tree limb, from the car, or tattooed all over my arms. My residence isn’t trying to double for a courthouse square on Independence Day. But there is ONE and it will wave to you happily on a breezy day.

    For all that I have disagreed with you I DO agree with you on the ridiculous naming trends, the lightning-quick removal of my dinner plate (because I tend to eat fast too), and the over-the-top insanity and prevalence of “pet worshippers” in this country—a side note on this, you only saw dogs in the stroller…wait until you see the dog in a stroller and the little kid crawling BEHIND it…then you’ll really flip. I too hate the words “panties” and “fanny” and have never, ever, EVER had to use either in any conversation in my life, but “bangs” is totally legit and I proudly wear them.

    And while I’m glad you decided to live here, let me say that perhaps it’s New York that’s got you down on Americans. Take a visit to a more normal place and you might enjoy more of what you see and hear. :)

  • Dux

    Like really? I’m like, truly amazed! Like what does Brit mean? OMG this is so, like, funny.

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