29 January 2009

Stop making me cry, British readers! (A Fun Thursday Night Post)

So, a couple of my favorite bloggers over at A Very British Dude have created lists of things that they dislike and like that have been imported into Britain from the United States. I believe that most of their points are valid. They don't want certain things from America carried into their beloved sceptered Isle. I get it. They've had a history of not liking strangers, you know. Travelgal seems to have an unabashed love for all things American (especially football, Beyonce and Jessica Alba), and I can't say I blame him. America's pretty great! (Can I get a Hell yeah?)

Don't get me wrong, I rather like Britain; I liked living there for a short while and I have even considered living there for a long while. But eventually I would have to come home even if I had all of the McVittie's digestives I could handle (Dark Chocolate, Please!). I'd need a break from tea, the tube, driving on the other side of the road, 'queuing' in lines, nonsensical punctuation rules (excepting the Oxford Comma) saying "Ta" or "Ta-ra" instead of "Thank You," and saying 'mate' for friend, and 'bloke' for 'hot guy you want to make out with in a bar. '

I'm not going to list things that I love about Britain because I don't want to be called an Anglophile. I don't think I am. I forget all of the new vocabulary that I had to learn to communicate with the citizens of that country when I lived there. There are SO many words that made no sense to me. ( I mean really, Aubergine for Eggplant? What are you, French? And it's a Zucchini not a Courgette!) I don't know where the good tea and hat shops are, nor can I afford a bespoke tailored suit like Kanye West. I can barely get around London without getting lost, I don't pretend to care about Big Brother or Neighbors or East Enders or whatever other nonsense they watch on television (not the Telly!--as the only Telly I know is Savalas).

I'm not going to waste your American time explaining that there isn't one uniform British accent. They don't all sound like Colin Firth or Thandie Newton or Kate Winslet or Hugh Laurie or (mmmmm) Clive Owen. They don't all sound like people who've gone to public school, then Oxford or Cambridge or St. Andrews or whatever.

I'm not going to explain that Wales is like a whole different place from England, not just some country outpost. And I am not going to try to explain why the Prince of Wales is the Prince of Wales. Too difficult.

I'm not going to say that Shakespeare is Britian's best export, because I believe that Christopher Marlowe is actually the best export. I mean, really folks, Shakespeare's practically as American as Jesus Christ himself.

I'm not going to say that many American last names (not SURnames) come from Britian--including my own, and I'm not going to think about how I'm probably related to a fair number of 'Academics' on that island.

And hell, I'm not the most patriotic gal in the world, but I got a little cranky reading that British blog and seeing the whining and complaining in the comments section about the Americanization (NOT Americanisation with an S) of the world. Blah Blah, no one knows who Gordon Brown is...how come American English is so popular? Why can't we all spell color and flavor with extra letters? Wah Wah, how come Hugh Laurie works on an American Television show? BOOO. How come we can't go to the States and get everything for half price anymore? Why do those Yanks like their guns so much? :(

But wait, before you get upset and cancel your Virgin Atlantic flight for this summer, the British still LOVE the American people. They love individual ones of us--especially if we speak 'good' (even American) English.

"Oh, MA" a certain Mr. JackArt will say, "you speak Excellent English."

Well why the hell not, bucko? We do okay over here.

It's what we bring with us to England, (the two) Irelands, Scotland and Wales: the hip hop, the use of "you go girl," the Jesus freaks, the loudness, substandard beers and other things. Those things are what annoy our British brethren to no end. What can we do? We are who we are. USA. USA!

What's the point of this post? I have no idea. I don't have to know. Thank goodness--because I'm an American and I don't have to know! Tell that to your Queen (most respectfully of course because she's pretty rad and I'd like to hang out with her and the Welsh Corgies one day)!


Dexter Colt said...

The British are just as annoying as Americans. You'd think we'd get along better.

rothko said...

Substandard beers? I take issue with that, Madam. And direct you to the great Pacific Northwest (oh, and Colorado) for the best IPAs ... anywhere.

finer thing said...

I'd like to make a case for William Blake as the best export :)

finer thing said...

David Hockney is also very British and pretty great.

the_real_phony said...

words like "aubergine" come from the norman conquest. thats why all "fancy" english words come from french, while plane words come from english. Veal is fancy, beef is not.

m.a. said...

Dex-- I know! We totally should.

Rothko, I'm not speaking for Americans, I'm speaking on behalf of the America haters. ;)

Finer1&2-- I agree. Both are quite wonderful.

TRP-- You're close, but not quite there. The 'English' words that aren't Norman in origin are actual Anglo-Saxon derivatives. But once you take a linguistics class in college you'll hammer all of this out.

Megarita said...

Nice pull on the Shakespeare-is-American. Although WOW is Marlowe a tougher sell in class! But we struggle onward...

The Unemployed said...

I hate how sometimes in America some people use the word "Shoppe" instead of "Shop" or "Store."

Does it somehow make the store that sells crap made in Taiwan supposedly more "classy?"

And have you noticed how on the HGTV channel that most of their hosts have British accents? WTF?