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If I ever judged the UK by what I saw on TV when I lived in the US

(490 Posts)
Tee2072 Tue 03-Sep-13 10:09:16

Everyone in the UK would either speak with a Cockney or RP accent.

They would all either live in an over crowded terrace or a huge country estate.

All the schools would be crap.

The populace would spend their entire lives in pubs.

Now, I never believed any of that, being a relatively smart human being.

So am I being unreasonable to wonder how come I'm constantly battling US TV stereotypes here on MN?

It's a thread about many many many threads.

mummytime Fri 06-Sep-13 20:18:34

Well when I was a kid, I knew people who lived in a certain posher suburb 5 miles away from where I lived.

reggiebean Fri 06-Sep-13 17:24:41

MadeOfStarDust There are a few quite distinct accents, but nothing like you have here in the UK. I still find it amazing that you can be live 20 miles away from someone, and sound completely different.

I'm quite proud of myself for learning some of the accents here though... When I'm back in the states, and I hear someone from the UK, I never ask, "Where are you from?". Instead, it's, "Oh, you're from New Castle?" or wherever, and everyone is always so pleased that I didn't think they were from London (unless they actually are grin)

MadeOfStarDust Fri 06-Sep-13 17:11:57

I didn't realise the different accents that there were - brought up on Hart to Hart - so thought the hired help said things like "moyda" for murder and the posh folk spoke with a mild mid atlantic accent.... all over the US....

wamabama Fri 06-Sep-13 16:58:23

If you go by films and TV programmes alone then Britain is actually just England and England is actually just London. We're all stuck up toffs and the only humour we know is sarcasm. We all have mansions or exquisite London apartments and sit around drinking copious amounts of tea all day.

American's are loud, brash, over the top drama queens that live in beautiful big houses with huge gardens. They eat a lot of junk food, laugh too much and all have big happy families. They all own guns and are either super skinny or morbidly obese.

kickassangel Fri 06-Sep-13 15:23:53

LAZYJANEY not every job increases the amount of leave. in fact, dh has never worked for a company that did that.

and New England is lovely. Where we live is as well, just starting to get fall colors and the first cider is in the stores.

MrsHoratioNelson Fri 06-Sep-13 07:40:51

Upstate NY really is beautiful. We spent our honeymoon there in October - we followed to leaves changing as we travelled south from Niagara Falls (well, you've got to really, haven't you? grin) and ended in Manhattan.

Driving down the Manhattan Expressway in a huuuuge white Cadillac, with the sun shining and that song Empire State of Mind on the radio is something I will never forget grin

Lazyjaney Fri 06-Sep-13 07:38:46

Americans have less holiday when they start a job, but it builds up. I did note that everyone sloped off on Fridays after lunch like in New York, especially if there was just a sniff of the possibility of snow.

Tee2072 Fri 06-Sep-13 07:36:31

Scone Upstate to a New Yorker: anything north of Yonkers. grin

For non-NYers in the audience: Yonkers is directly north of the city.

Tee2072 Fri 06-Sep-13 07:34:49

HRN every job I ever had in the US started at 2 weeks holiday, no matter my level. But, again, that was over 10 years ago that I last worked there, things may have changed. And they have to take babies that young. Most women don't get more than 6 weeks maternity leave with pay. The US has the lowest amount of maternity benefits in the world, I think.

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 06-Sep-13 02:58:23

coming Upstate usually means the more northern parts of a state. It is used most commonly in New York to refer to pretty much any part of the state that is not NYC or environs.

HerRoyalNotness Fri 06-Sep-13 02:32:29

I just went for an interview in the US where they were offering 3 weeks ( incl sick leave) off. After 5 years, it went to 4 weeks. It was also up cor negotiation as i wasn't a green new college hire. The company I work for now give us 4 weeks and we can buy a week (out of our gross) for a total of 5 weeks. dH and I did wonder if it was more the non professional jobs that get screwed with 2 weeks off only, as if they didn't like it, someone else would want the job.

I am gob smacked that the nursery/preschool I am looking at for DS2 take children from 6wo. I do find that sad. I haVe had a mat leave in UK and one in Canada, the Canada benefits were fantastic! But of course you must pay more taxes for the benefit.

We have only been here for 2 weeks, so far I have noted:
1) House are way too big, we are having problems finding a family home less than 4 bed, 3.5 baths, rec room, study, breakfast room and formal dining! Who wants to so all that cleaning! DH sent me a link in our budget tonight and it was 5 bed, an acre with a resort pool! Less than us400k. A worker at Williams Sonoma in her 60s told me her and her DH lived in a 5bed, just the two of them. She also gave me her number if I needed to ask about anything and offered to introduce me to her daughter if we moved to their neighbourhood.
2) 99% of people don't walk where we are. I was setting up a phone and needed a statement from the bank with Address, as she said there was a branch a block away I walked. It was probably 20mins, there, served and back. They seemed incredulous that I had walked there. And we have discovered we can't manage here with one car only.
3). Politeness to the point of ridiculousness. I can't get irate with anyone even though for eg i spent 10hrs over 4 days sorting our cellphones, which were cut off 3 times and charged a massive deposit 3 times which they have t refunded. Just no room to get a head of steam as they're so nice! Being told you're welcome 10 times in a 2mins phone call too (over exaggeration), as if that person was born to help you. It may do us good and we may become more relaxed, nicer people for living here.
4) I can't get over the strip malls, but they make sense as all people drive and they provide parking
5) parking at work and at malls is free! Which is a novelty as in Canada we had to pay through the nose
6) highways are beautifully maintained, but we pay tolls for the privilege
7) sidewalks in some neighbourhoods (older) but not the newer ones
8) towns planned on a "master community plan" basis with neighbourhood pools and sporting facilities. Seems nice but a bit soulless

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 06-Sep-13 00:33:32

scones maybe it's similar (but obviously not as historically important still living this or as heartfelt) as the war of the roses which the infinitely superior Red Rose House of Lancashire won. It's one of the few reasons to tease, etc that is acceptable nowadays in our scarily big brother society.

comingintomyown Thu 05-Sep-13 23:46:48

Ok been at work

There seems to be some conflict over a state I should visit but Colarado seems favourite !

What does upstate mean ? Is there an English equivalent like nearby or something ?

Please can someone explain about holidays too ? Only because 2 weeks a year is bothering me as I struggle with only getting 5 weeks and feel like a wimp !

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 05-Sep-13 19:56:12

HighJinx Yes, there is nothing quite like a tailgate party. And the Georgia-Florida game is supposed to be the world's biggest. It lasts for days.

On the state and regional rivalries, I remember being a bit hmm when at university in the UK, I was first called a yank. Technically speaking only New Englanders are Yankees; certainly not anyone from Georgia. grin

reggiebean Thu 05-Sep-13 19:55:07

Yay! Go Broncos! grin

Yes, Mile High will always be the real name for the stadium... That was the formal name back in the 90's, but it's been bought by a few sponsors and they've tried to have naming rights. I think right now it's "Sports Authority Field", but it'll always be Mile High grin

Oh, I'm so excited... You never find Bronco fans anywhere over here!!

HighJinx Thu 05-Sep-13 19:51:22

Yes we have a subscription to NFL online so can watch the games anytime for up to a week I think. We used to get it through ESPN America but we can't get that now (we live in Holland).

Sunday night in this house starts with us tuning in at about 4pm to the pre-match build up then watching games until we fall asleep at about 1am.

The Broncos play at the mile high stadium don't they? Very exciting when you live in a country that is mostly below sea level envy

Go Broncos. grin

reggiebean Thu 05-Sep-13 19:44:51

Lots of () I know, but I just got so excited!! grin

reggiebean Thu 05-Sep-13 19:43:47

Really?!?!? (You've just absolutely made my day!) They play tonight, it's the first game of the season (and I'm actually sitting here in my Broncos orange right now!) The game is on Sky Sports! (It's on at 1 am, but you can record it!!)

HighJinx Thu 05-Sep-13 19:39:57

Oh thanks for that reggie I will take you up on that. I think it will be next year now. DH loves American football so I think he wants to time it so we can see the Broncos.

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 05-Sep-13 19:31:22

Coca Cola originated in Georgia so, yes, it can be generic for soft drink.
DH says pop. He is from western New York.

Tee2072 Thu 05-Sep-13 19:30:10

Actual conversation over heard in New Orleans Louisiana as relayed to me by my brother:

Person: I'll have a coke.
Server: What kind?
Person: Hot tea.
Tee's Brother: hmm confused


I take those quizzes and totally confuse them. I've lived from East to West and my two best friends in boarding school were from the deep south. My accent is weird.

reggiebean Thu 05-Sep-13 19:29:52

No, we quite like British tourists (it's the accent grin) and if you tip, you're more than welcome!!

Honestly, it is the most amazing place, it is SO beautiful. I go back about once a year to visit, though I haven't lived there in about 5 years, and I still am in awe at how beautiful it is there.

When you plan your trip, feel free to message me, I'd be happy to give you a whole itinerary!! grin

HighJinx Thu 05-Sep-13 19:26:24

reggie how do you feel about British tourists in Colorado?

It is very high on our list of places we would like to visit. Do we need to pretend to be from Austin? grin

We tip wait staff 20% if that helps.

reggiebean Thu 05-Sep-13 19:21:30

ILikeBirds I took that linguistic quiz the other day... It said I was from the inner part of California! hmm so I wouldn't say it's 100% accurate!

The soda/pop/coke thing is completely correct. It's the oddest thing, when you order a Coke in the South, and they ask you what kind. confused

HighJinx Thu 05-Sep-13 19:15:20

Scone going to a College football game remains as one of the most unexpectedly amazing experiences of my life. It was like the biggest picnic in a car park ever. No-one could say that the Americans in that car park didn't take their food seriously grin And so, so friendly.

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