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Subject: Culture differences between the UK and US rss

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Terry Kirk
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I enjoy learning about the cultures of other people but never really thought about the US being that different from the UK until I was talking to a friend online who pointed a few out.

The biggest seems to be enthusiasm. In the UK, especially up north, everything is just 'ok'.

Do you know of any others?
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Billy McBoatface
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Based on my (limited) experience, small hotels/inns are very different. In the UK it seems not unusual for a pub to have a few (sometimes 2 or 3) rooms upstairs where you can stay. The rooms seem almost like afterthoughts, like somebody constructing the building thought "Well, let's put a few rooms up here just in case somebody finds a use for them." In the US, I've never heard of somebody doing a hotel/inn that small, there's always either at least one hallway with rooms on either side, or a row of rooms facing a parking lot. Small B&B's are fairly common in US vacation areas, but I've never seen one with just 2 or 3 rooms, and the room is the main focus of the business. Often there is no pub or bar at all, just a breakfast room.
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Wendell
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Self-promotion or talking yourself up is more acceptable in the US (not to say COMPLETELY acceptable, just more). British tend to more self-deprecation (though of course they might think they are just fantastic).

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Cagey McCageface
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Americans may come off as more entitled because we have very different norms. However, we also have different norms within our own country.

examples:

In the US...

Electricity is "cheap". Ice is everywhere. We expect any restaurant to put ice in the water/soda they serve. Air Conditioning in every hotel room. (Soda, pop, coke.. it's called something different in different parts of the country, as are other things)

Public restrooms are everywhere. You don't have to always be a customer or pay to go.

Food is cheaper. Especially American food that is considered an import to the UK (a bottle of Aunt Jemima's was like $10 equivalent in a UK store).


So when a tourist goes to a country where we take "simple" things for granted and they are not available, we may come off as arrogant or a complainer.
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Scott Russell
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I notice that in mystery/thriller books and shows that murder is taken a lot more seriously in UK.
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Matt
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If American sitcoms and BBC America are accurate representations:

Gun ownership
Drinking socially
Fish eaten per week
Dry vs. broad humor
Traffic circles (roundabouts)
School structure (starting around high school)
Conduct of vacations (holidays)
Amount of contact with extended family

I think this is it. Everything else is exactly the same.

When I visited England a long time ago (Manchester/Liverpool area, in 1990) I had mild, but persistent, culture shock the entire time. Everything seemed ALMOST the same, but every little thing was just different enough that it felt surreal. From tiny details in the way sidewalks are structured, to different flora, to age distribution and people's attitudes in various normal encounters (cashiers, waitstaff, bartenders). It would have been unnerving except that I stayed slightly buzzed for the whole trip. So it was fine. thumbsup
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Verdigris97 wrote:
If American sitcoms and BBC America are accurate representations:

Gun ownership
Drinking socially
Fish eaten per week
Dry vs. broad humor
Traffic circles (roundabouts)
School structure (starting around high school)
Conduct of vacations (holidays)
Amount of contact with extended family

I think this is it. Everything else is exactly the same.


You forgot school uniforms, prefects, and muggles.
Other than that, well done.
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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The one thing that I couldn't believe, in England, was that you don't go to a football game dressed in the opposition colors unless you are willing to sit in a small guarded area with other supporters:



I asked a guy who had bought us tickets what would happen if I just bought a general admission ticket and sat in the middle of everyone else but cheered for the other team?
"You'd get pounded, mate. You don't want to do that."

Meanwhile, back home, anyone can sit anywhere and cheer for whatever team that they want, with no fear of reprisal of any kind.



No matter what sport it is.

People in the UK (Europe in general) take football WAY too seriously.
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Andy Leighton
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MABBY wrote:
The one thing that I couldn't believe, in England, was that you don't go to a football game dressed in the opposition colors unless you are willing to sit in a small guarded area with other supporters:


Well not always that small. A club must allocate 10% of their seats to away fans, up to a ceiling of 3000 seats. Some clubs offer more than 3000 to visiting fans. FA cup it is a plain 15%. At least one club has a neutrals stand. BTW the same sort of rules on segregation apply for international football.

Other sports for example rugby (both codes) and cricket the fans are totally mixed throughout the ground.
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Agent J
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I feel like if you attend a sporting event, you shouldn't have to worry about getting beat up over what team you support no matter where you are, but apparently assault's okay as long as you're watching a sport wearing the wrong colors. I guess it's another case of being entirely in the right while still going away in an ambulance.
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Jasper
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Jythier wrote:
I feel like if you attend a sporting event, you shouldn't have to worry about getting beat up over what team you support no matter where you are, but apparently assault's okay as long as you're watching a sport wearing the wrong colors. I guess it's another case of being entirely in the right while still going away in an ambulance.
Hey, look on the bright side, at least no one will shoot you.
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Brian Baird
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Jythier wrote:
I feel like if you attend a sporting event, you shouldn't have to worry about getting beat up over what team you support no matter where you are, but apparently assault's okay as long as you're watching a sport wearing the wrong colors. I guess it's another case of being entirely in the right while still going away in an ambulance.


You're not actually going to get beaten up, unless you're being an arse about it. You'll get heckled for sure, and possibly escorted out by the police/security - seen that happen a bunch. The rules are the way they are because of the violence in the 80s. It's better now, unless you're going to a big important game or derby game, then the atmosphere will likely be different.

Here's an odd bit of cultural difference that drives my wife crazy - we wash/dry dishes totally differently.

http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2012/10/the-cultural-d...
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In Australia constantly leaving the tap running to rinse dishes is a crime against humanity punishable by death. There's a drought on mate. Don't waste water. And if you even think about watering your garden after 10 o'clock in the morning...
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Billy McBoatface
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Why have a separate basin for rinsing? I rinse with hot water, over the wash basin, so every rinse makes the water level higher. I start with a wash basin with just a little water, wash small things (knives etc.), then as water is added move on to progressively larger items. No water wasted, no soap on the drying dishes. Yes, I really am that brilliant.
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JP Ginley
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After Brexit Terry, I think Enthusiasm will be the least of your problems.
My main culture problem is writing the Damn (Darn) game rules in spelling english language words such as Colour(Color)and Centre(Center) etc,for my new game. After receiving bottom of the class 6% result in French language exam first year in secondary (high)school my Mam easily convinced teachers to point this language failure in a different direction.

Now this educational failure has come back to haunt me...German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and the other 20+ european languages....it really is very difficult! Meanwhile, many Irish people happily converse here at home in Gaelic.....try writing strategy game rules in that language !
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Tom Patterson
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There's some interesting language differences.

For instance, in the U.S. we call it an "elevator" and in the U.K. they call it a "lift."

What we know as cookie, they call a biscuit.

Other differences?

In American it is called a "cat," in the UK it's a "mewmewfuzzywutsits."

We call it a "sandwich," but they call it "breadnommies."

While we call them "car horns" they call them "toottootbumbleshoots."

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James Arias
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Hmm, Rube Goldberg vs. Heath Robinson?
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Americans

What are "pants"?

I got myself into trouble and strife with this one in the uk.

Er. Nudge nudge wink wink etc.
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Society of Watchers
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kirkatronics wrote:
I enjoy learning about the cultures of other people but never really thought about the US being that different from the UK until I was talking to a friend online who pointed a few out.

The biggest seems to be enthusiasm. In the UK, especially up north, everything is just 'ok'.

Do you know of any others?


As an American, I often get surprised by how excited people get about things. I say something's OK and they ask me what's wrong with it. Nothing's wrong with it. It's OK. But, I just don't get excited about things. Of course, my medication may have something to do with that too. whistle
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Christopher Dearlove
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TommyP wrote:
There's some interesting language differences.

For instance, in the U.S. we call it an "elevator" and in the U.K. they call it a "lift."

What we know as cookie, they call a biscuit.

Other differences?


Many. I'm not even going to try to list all those that instantly occur. Tap/faucet, pavement/sidewalk, bonnet/hood, boot/trunk, dual carriageway/divided highway, fortnight/two weeks, torch/flashlight, curtain/drapes. And more.

And spelling differences. Not just the ou/o thing but also doubling letters and s/z in some words.

But all dwarfed by that attitudes are different. British people notice that Germans are foreign, they speak another language and think differently about some things. But although Americans almost speak the same language, in many ways they think even more differently, but many Britons who haven't been there miss that.
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TonyKR
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mileser wrote:
kirkatronics wrote:
I enjoy learning about the cultures of other people but never really thought about the US being that different from the UK until I was talking to a friend online who pointed a few out.

The biggest seems to be enthusiasm. In the UK, especially up north, everything is just 'ok'.

Do you know of any others?


As an American, I often get surprised by how excited people get about things. I say something's OK and they ask me what's wrong with it. Nothing's wrong with it. It's OK. But, I just don't get excited about things. Of course, my medication may have something to do with that too. whistle

Bear in mind that it's entirely possible that their medication has something to do with it...
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Adrian Hague
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TommyP wrote:
There's some interesting language differences.

For instance, in the U.S. we call it an "elevator" and in the U.K. they call it a "lift."

What we know as cookie, they call a biscuit.

Other differences?

In American it is called a "cat," in the UK it's a "mewmewfuzzywutsits."

We call it a "sandwich," but they call it "breadnommies."

While we call them "car horns" they call them "toottootbumbleshoots."


This was my biggest headaches when visiting the fine city of Chicago:
"Let me get this straight: Crisps are 'chips', and chips are 'fries'?!?!"
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Matt
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AdrianPHague wrote:
"Let me get this straight: Crisps are 'chips', and chips are 'fries'?!?!"


Relevant FoxTrot: http://www.gocomics.com/foxtrotclassics/2013/04/13
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Dearlove wrote:
But all dwarfed by that attitudes are different. British people notice that Germans are foreign, they speak another language and think differently about some things. But although Americans almost speak the same language, in many ways they think even more differently, but many Britons who haven't been there miss that.


I think this is the crux of the differences. There are attitudes, viewpoints, and outlooks that are absorbed by growing up in a particular culture, and when you interact with someone from a culture that looks similar but isn't, it's even more jarring than interacting with an obviously "foreign" culture.
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