UK and America are two countries separated by a common language, UK and US Q&A

(1000 Posts)
Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 20:23:43

Continuation of the previous thread where posters from the UK ask questions like 'what the hell is going on with the gaps in US toilet doors'; and posters fro the US ask things like 'what is with wearing stripes'

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/a2149133-to-think-there-is-something-wrong-with-Americans?msgid=48969042#48969042

wobblyweebles Mon 18-Aug-14 20:29:36

To start with some controversy, I am in America, over 40, and wear Converse. But I also (when not going to the gym) sometimes wear trainers with those socks that you can't really see.

Is this acceptable?

Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 20:29:47

This is what I think of as a tank top in the UK.

OneDrop You ask if things are more expensive - going which way? UK to US or US to UK.
Personally I found the prices much the same.

Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 20:31:37

I wear my Cons with what are called 'trainer socks', or 'trainer liners'.

Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 20:36:40

So in the US do you not have squash or cordial as a drink at all?

IAmNotDarling Mon 18-Aug-14 20:36:55

Hi - Brit here.

Can I ask what the deal is with knives and forks? I've seen US people cut their food up then move the fork into their right hand to eat (rather than cut as they go and keep cutlery in their hands).

Is this acceptable table manners or just sloppy habits?

Also, what about atheism/agnostics? Is the US really full of closet atheists too afraid to declare their non-religious beliefs?

Bogeyface Mon 18-Aug-14 20:37:28

Thought of another one.

In films TV etc people either live in apartments or massive houses. I am sure that there must be a middle ground where everyone else lives? Obviously I know there are deprived areas just as there are here, but I am thinking of the equivalent of terraced 3 up 2 down type houses that are prevalent in the UK.

PeresteckBalveda Mon 18-Aug-14 20:38:45

oh i can answer the cordial one. we had my american in laws over and i offered the 5 year old nephew some black current cordial, cue perplexed looks from my brother in law as he thought I was suggesting an alcoholic drink

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Aug-14 20:42:21

No, no squash here. And black currants were illegal for awhile so it's not something we have. Everything purple here is grape flavored.

There are people who are in the closet, atheism wise, maybe. But I know quite a few people who are atheists or agnostic and up front about it if asked. Most people I know have some form of religious belief, however.

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Aug-14 20:43:49

Bogey I think houses are bigger in general given the styles of house and just having more space, maybe?

Ours is 1300 sq feet and is a small house for this area.

AlpacaMyBags Mon 18-Aug-14 20:44:02

So in the US do you not have squash or cordial as a drink at all?

Not really. I have to buy Ribena in the international goods section at Meijer for $10 a bottle! sad You can get Kool aid crystals which you mix with water, but it's minging.

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 18-Aug-14 20:44:45

I think the thing about prices had to do with infant formula, but not sure.

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Aug-14 20:45:15

Yes Kool Aid is gross! Loved it as a kid though smile

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 18-Aug-14 20:49:23

Is the US really full of closet atheists too afraid to declare their non-religious beliefs?

More closet agnostics probably, but yes. And I wouldn't say afraid to declare, but more just don't volunteer the information on a regular basis. And no politician will admit to being non-religious.

Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 20:49:24

And black currants were illegal for awhile

What the actual fuck? I've got three back current bushes in my garden, can I sell them on the clack market?

lettertoherms Mon 18-Aug-14 20:50:48

No, we just have bottled juice.

We have some instant drinks - there's kool - aid, which is just flavored sugar, and you can buy frozen juice concentrate, or powdered lemonade (which is not a carbonated beverage).

Housing types depend on area. In general I think our houses are bigger everywhere than comparable UK houses. Some cities will only have apartments and very expensive houses. More suburban areas will have the typical 3 bedroom houses everywhere.

I find the opposite regarding atheism - it's not "cool" to admit you have a religion or are in any way spiritual right now.

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 18-Aug-14 20:51:49

I live in a "townhouse" so similar to a terraced house in the UK. It is 1600 square feet.

Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 20:52:11

On the subject of atheism, I loved this video of a tornado survivor.
www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/wolf-blitzer-atheist-tornado-survivor_n_3316312.html

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Aug-14 20:53:06

Pipbin because of white pine blister rust, a fungus carried by the bushes. Damaged a lot of forests.

Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 20:55:39

We had some Americans visit my work. They couldn't understand why all the doors in a row of terrace houses had different coloured doors until I explained that each door was for a different house. My old terrace house was just 9ft wide!

They also couldn't understand the concept of a beach hut. Actually when you explain them they don't make much sense really.

Pipbin Mon 18-Aug-14 20:56:38

Thanks Cheerful, here was me thinking you could get high on the them or something.

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Aug-14 20:56:54

I think the atheism thing depends on where you are. I live in a small town in the Midwest and have sincere religious beliefs, as do most people here. The churches are well attended as are summer bible school for kids, etc.

My friend lives in a much larger city and it is "cool" to be religious as long as it's not a mainstream Christian religion. Quakers are having a large resurgence and I have quite a few friends who are merely "spiritual" but definitely have supernatural beliefs. Also Buddhism is big.

tabulahrasa Mon 18-Aug-14 20:57:07

Oh I've got a drink one...what is cider? I've seen people on TV give it to children, is it just some sort of Apple juice rather than an alcoholic drink like it is in the UK?

Onedropoflove Mon 18-Aug-14 20:57:29

Yes I was talking about formula milk. I had to buy some for a friend and nearly fainted at the price. Do poorer people get coupons for it?

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 18-Aug-14 20:57:38

The switching fork thing is the American style of eating. It is actually older than the European method (something to do with knife usage that I can't remember)
and is one of those things (like saying "fall" and "gotten") that was brought to the colonies and did not change.

But many people, especially if they have lived outside the US for any length of time, use the European (usually called continental style) as here and both are acceptable.

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