Saturday, April 07, 2007

On the Ignorance of Yanks

"Do you have television in England?" an American lady once asked Mrs Brit.

We Brits (and Europeans and Australians and everybody else) like to have a laugh at the ignorance bred by America's media isolationism.

But then, when they can kick our arses into oblivion whenever they like, and given that we Brits are, essentially and sensibly, America's poodles, it is important to our psychologies that we can have a good laugh at things like this.

It's like Ahmadinejad 'choosing' to release the sailors.

14 comments:

Duck said...

It's easy for Americans to wonder what language they speak in England, especially if you have first-hand experience with a Brit whose accent you cannot penetrate.

I was walking in a mall in California once when I was in the Marines, and was wearing the green sweater that Marines call the "wooly pully", which was something we adopted off of the Royal Marines. A man who was asking passerbys whether they wanted to sign up for a store credit card remarked to me something that sounded like "bee-tengln". I asked him to repeat it at least four times and he finally sounded it out. "Have ye been to England?"

My father tells the story of a neighbor in the old neighborhood who hailed from Scotland. He spoke in the most unpenetratable guttural tongue imaginable, so it was only natural for my father to ask him "what language do you speak in Scotland?"

Brit said...

No, the question the American should be asking is: "If that's English, what language do I speak?"

The clue's in the name. (Dozy yanks).

But seriously, asking "What language do you speak in England?" goes way beyond understandable American insularity. The question betrays a lack of awareness of her own American history and identity that is surely quite alarming.

Peter Burnet said...

Oh c'mon, Brit. Think what a stale and tedious world it would be if every summer we were deluged by tens of thousands of incredibly well-informed Americans. Me, I like them disarmingly naive and ever ready to take on the bad guys.

Brit said...

True enough, I suppose.

But it's still hard to understand how Americans can be so patriotic, yet so ignorant about what America was for in the first place.

David said...

A place to send convicts until you could get around to discovering Australia?

Peter Burnet said...

Wow, Brit, that's a new one for the "I really like Americans, but..." crowd. (Collect the whole set!) I can hardly wait to drop "The problem with Americans is they don't really understand what America was for" at our next dinner party.

Brit said...

The point of America was not being English any more. Surely they teach that at some point in your schools?

David said...

You do understand the irony of that question, right?

Erin O'Brien said...

So, um, do you have television in England?

Brit said...

We have telly. It's like your TV, but better by an order of magnitude.

David said...

So long as you like to watch strangers digging through the attic looking for flowers to use to redecorate the place.

joe shropshire said...

Is that what they're doing? So hard to tell, none of them seem to speak any English.

Peter Burnet said...

And what is worse, they all seem to have mastered irony to the nth degree but have completely forgotten what England is for.

Brit said...

England isn't for anything. It just is.