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Picture of BobHale
posted
Question for whichever American friends are still around.

I have watched a number of videos reacting to differences in US and UK culture by a guy named Tyler Rumple. He introduces each one by saying that he is "just a typical, average American" but he certainly isn't typical of the Americans that I know.

He claims not to understand all kinds of things that I suspect most Americans would have no problem with but maybe I'm wrong.

Some examples.

He says he has always believed that England, the UK and Great Britain were interchangeable terms.

He is astonished that vest, pants, tank top, suspenders and braces all have different meanings in the US and UK.

He claims not to know that in Britain when we say "fancy dress party" we don't mean come in a Tuxedo we mean what Americans call a "costume party".

He says that he didn't know that portion sizes in British fast food restaurants are typically about half the size of the same meal in the same chain's restaurant in the US.

He says that he had no idea that what you call a "fanny pack" would here be a "bum bag" which is plausible but he also says that he had no idea that this is because "fanny" does not mean here what it means there.

He seemed bewildered by the idea that London is both the capital of England and of the UK and that Scotland and Wales have regional capitals.

Most surprising (to me) was that he simply couldn't seem to grasp the idea that we can't just wander into a shop and buy a gun and not only that but we don't want to.

He says he has never heard of B&B (Bed and Breakfast) accommodation - even when the video he is reacting to explains exactly what it is - which is odd as I have stayed in exactly that kind of place in the US.

And among the people he says he has never heard of were Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.

He didn't believe that in the UK you don't have to show ID to buy alcohol or that the legal drinking age is 18 not 21.

So, American friends, is he

a) typical and average
b) just a bit thick or
c) lying for effect?
d) all of the above

(He also has an annoying habit of pausing every few seconds and saying "What?, Wait, what?" before repeating the thing he has just heard.)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 9421 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BobHale
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Actually he did say he had heard the name Winston Churchill but had no idea who he was and no idea that he was our most famous Prime Minister which is a bit like me claiming that I've heard the name George Washington but couldn't tell you whether he was a baseball player or a film star.

What really surprises me is that for everything he says, I always know almost all of the American things where he knows literally none of the British ones. This is especially true when he is talking about vocabulary where I know every single one of the American equivalents to British words that baffle him.

Honestly the fifteen year old Chinese kids I taught knew more about the world than he seems to. I refuse to believe that typical Americans know so little.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 9421 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Kalleh
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It must be c), Bob, because most of these are pretty simple. He has never heard of Winston Churchill? Are you kidding me? The only one that would confuse me would be "fancy dress party."
 
Posts: 24735 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BobHale
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
It must be c), Bob, because most of these are pretty simple. He has never heard of Winston Churchill? Are you kidding me? The only one that would confuse me would be "fancy dress party."


I suspect it's a mix of b and c, but I've given up watching any of his videos. The final straw was his reaction to a video showing a series of British PSA ads about things like fire safety, child abuse and motor neurone disease. These ads are far more disturbing and graphic than anything you would be likely to see in America but they really punch their message home with force. However he will interrupt a minute long ad up to ten times to say that he doesn't understand what's going on. Of course he doesn't understand - he has a smaller attention span than the average goldfish and can't go for ten seconds without hearing his own voice.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
Posts: 9421 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree, Bob, that b and c are likely. As for how thick Americans are, consider how many believe a certain orange-colored liar. In the USA, all too often belief trumps reason.
 
Posts: 6169 | Location: Muncie, IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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For decades there have been circulating videos illustrating the insularity and unawareness and naiveté (not to say stupidity) of "the" American (usually student), who doesn't know whether Indiana is east or west of the Mississippi, or whether in WWII the Japanese were the good guys or the bad guys, etc. I suspect your poster is not as bad as that and is mostly writing creative fiction to prove a point; on those old videos it was usually to show the inadequacies of our educational system. The number of people this describes does, however, seem to be growing too rapidly for comfort...
 
Posts: 6267 | Location: Worcester, MA, USReply With QuoteReport This Post
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