If anything can go wrong, it will.

But… What If I Really Do?!

In my internet travels today, I’ve found quite a few blogs that I’m really enjoying, one of them being Britrish. The most recent post, “How to piss off a Brit“, naturally piqued my curiosity, so, I clicked through to read what the Matador Network had to say. Suffice it to say, I was amused.

As I’ve mentioned, for the most part I prefer the British spelling of words such as “humour”, “colour”, “favourite” and “neighbour”. So, even though there’s a gentle sort of teasing between Alex and I (he corrects my spelling!), I completely understand why it would get old to have American grammar/spelling Nazis attempt to correct you.

As an American with manners, I also understand why someone jumping ahead of you in line (or, rather, queue) would be irritating enough to make you forget your manners and scream & shout & call them horrid names. I mean, I would. I’ve screamed & shouted & called someone horrid names for cutting me off in traffic, which I feel amounts to about the same sort of rudeness, but with the added bonus of danger to one’s health & well-being, as well as the health & well-being of one’s car.

As for food, well I understand that there was recently a big to-do on the subject of Scotland’s independence, however, I do believe that the end result is that they’re still part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so, still British, yes? I have just one word and that word is haggis. With that said, though, I firmly believe that the best way to experience any new place is to be willing to try everything, and to make sure you get out of the tourist areas as much as possible. So, I concede the point about food, too.

Primness and propriety? Hah! Nay, nay, my dear Brits, your cover is blown. Of course you’re not all prim and proper! Just like not all Americans are obese, lazy, possessed of a red neck, or insufferably rude.

But, what if I really do love your accents? What if I understand that there is not a singular British accent, but I really enjoy nearly all of them? I may not be able to listen to a Brit and distinguish where, exactly, they are from, but I can hear differences. I may not hear a person and be able to point and say, “Ah hah! She’s from London”, or “Listen! He’s from Liverpool”, but I can hear differences! (Actually, Liverpool is a bad example, that one is really recognisable to me.) And what if I love them all? I can’t tell you so? Is it rude of me to appreciate something I find charming about you?

6 Responses to But… What If I Really Do?!

  • Generally speaking, no one minds compliments about themselves. Tell me you like my accent and enjoy visiting my city, and I will not complain. It’s only when people criticize that the skies grow dark and words like “prejudice”, “offence”, “racism”, “sexism”, etc. begin to be muttered. So, of course, it is perfectly acceptable for you to find us “charming” and any other positive adjective.

    That said, Britain, as you note is not a unified nation. It contains four major nationalities (English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh) and two smaller ones (Manx and Cornish). Relations between these are not always smooth and visitors who show favour to one or who refer to the Irish, Scots or Welsh as “English” are likely to incur displeasure if not outrage.

    Anyone who finds the above confusing may care to consult my little essay Britain and the United Kingdom.

    • I’m definitely pleased to see that essays such as yours are out there, where you are happy to explain to those who don’t understand how and why “English”, “U.K.” and “Britain” are not precisely interchangeable terms!

      I try to remember that I never appreciated being picked on about my Southern (U.S.) drawl when I was younger, and to not be condescending or rude about accents.

      I also try to remember never to make assumptions about exactly which accent I’m hearing, and to just ask “Where are you from?” when in doubt.

      Thanks so much for your input!

      • There is a myth held by certain people that there is one and only one correct English language (the one they themselves speak) and that any variations from this are “incorrect” and denote that the speaker is ill-educated or stupid or both.
        This, of course, is untrue. “English” is in reality what is called a family of languages and it is correct to talk about “Englishes” rather than “English”.
        My beloved Tigger comes from the West of England whereas I was brought up by a Lancashire mother in the SE. We speak different Englishes but, happily, we understand one another. It would never occur to me to correct her when she uses a grammatical form that I would not, much less accuse her of being “incorrect”. Her language is correct for her as mine is for me.
        Let’s not worry about whether you have a Southern drawl and I have a mixed-up Lancashire-Sussex accent and simply enjoy the fact that we understand one another!

        • Excellent point about “Englishes”. Alex and I love to tease each other, but it’s always all in good fun.

          As for simply enjoying the fact we understand one another? Sounds perfect to me!

  • Glad to hear that you are enjoying the blog!

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