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Americans vs Brits

(350 Posts)
WeirdHandDryers Sat 24-Nov-18 22:50:03

What’s the difference? Because there is a massive difference but I can’t put my finger on what it is! I love America so this isn’t an American bashing thread, would just love to know if anyone else sees the massive difference between the average Brit and the average American?

gotmybigbootson Sun 25-Nov-18 19:50:22

Waiting for a flight to Florida this year we were held up in a snow storm so saw 100s of troops coming in (biggest troop hub in the States) and it made me shed a tear at the older veterans (some in wheelchairs) that were standing in a line to meet the young kids coming off the planes and shake hands with them all.

Pimpernell Sun 25-Nov-18 19:51:53

4nonblondes, that's reminded me of another difference between the US and UK. Foreskins!

gotmybigbootson Sun 25-Nov-18 19:54:05

The foreskin thing is changing. Slowly but I'd say only 50% of 5 year old ds's friends are cut. Still way too fucking many obviously but it's getting better.

And of the friends that did circ they are now regretting it.

SilentIsla Sun 25-Nov-18 20:00:00

Being lovely to the troops is rather sweet.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 25-Nov-18 20:03:44

That would have choked me up too, gotmybigbootson - was it at Pensacola?

It was near there that I attended a do where a local, returning serviceman was stuck on the back of a trailer and paraded round the ground to wild applause, with someone on the tannoy yelling "HE IS AN AMERICAN SOLDIER!!!!"

The British reaction to that might well have been "yes ... and?", but as Spudlet said it's all so different

Inin Sun 25-Nov-18 20:25:36

I work with lots of Americans and my boss is in the US. My thoughts are:

There is a lot more superficiality now the US (everything has to be great., or no admission that things are difficult)
Relationships tend to be made more quickly with US people but are deeper (in general) when made with someone in the U.K.
Humour is completely different
Higher level of self confidence (in general) in the US, but higher level of practicality in UK

SenecaFalls Sun 25-Nov-18 20:41:41

lack of history

I really do have to chuckle a bit at this. I am writing this post from a state in the US that is named for a British monarch. And I am in a town whose main thoroughfare is named for a Prince of Wales. It leads eventually to yet another street that is named for a royal duke. There is an old cemetery on the outskirts of town where British soldiers are buried.

Your history is my history, too.

QueenCity Sun 25-Nov-18 20:49:47

I agree with the person upthread that states Americans do not say please and thank you as much even though an American disagreed with it. In restaurants they say "I'll have a...." or "I'll get a ...." with no please on the end.

The other day a waitress asked my son if he wanted another drink and he simply said "No thank you." She couldn't get over it and kept saying what lovely manners he had and I even heard her telling another waitress about him. It was very strange!

gotmybigbootson Sun 25-Nov-18 20:52:22

* higher level of practicality in UK*

Bloody codswallop. DH built, wired and plumbed our house from scratch. Many friends have done the same.

Most people here raise, catch, hunt their own meat to some degree.

Most people grow their own food.

Not a single person I know eats ready meals, ther aren't really sold.

Most everyone I know can knit, see, bake, fly planes, drive boats.

I go back to the UK and am surprised at how totally incapable and unpractical we've become as a whole.

gotmybigbootson Sun 25-Nov-18 20:54:16

* There is a lot more superficiality now the US (everything has to be great., or no admission that things are difficult)*

That's utter horseshite too. All I see is my US friends moaning on Facebook about how terrible our government is and how the environment is in trouble. And health care and social support is difficult, I see not one person I know not just admitting that but being very vocal.

MrsDylanBlue Sun 25-Nov-18 20:57:02

Class and style.

gotmybigbootson Sun 25-Nov-18 20:58:29

Style? My American friends pretty much exactly the same as my British friends.

Or are you saying Americans have no class or style? hmm

Goldenbear Sun 25-Nov-18 23:44:36

Gotmybigbootson, do you not think you're being rather disingenuous there, the USA are in the top ten of countries in the world to consume the most fast food and have an obesity problem to match.

MonsterTequila Mon 26-Nov-18 00:17:51

The use of the word ‘please’
Openness & willingness to show emotion (us reality shows are always filled with people crying)
History regarding slavery and race segregation is very different
Average IQ

MrsDylanBlue Mon 26-Nov-18 00:22:32

or are you saying Americans have no class or style


gotmybigbootson Mon 26-Nov-18 00:28:25

@MrsDylanBlue where in America have you spent extended amounts of time?

Or are you just a classless, judgemental asshole?

gotmybigbootson Mon 26-Nov-18 00:29:10

Nobody in America has class or style? Okaaaay then. confusedhmm

gotmybigbootson Mon 26-Nov-18 00:30:18

Luckily none of my American friends are judgemental, xenophobic pillocks.

SenecaFalls Mon 26-Nov-18 00:38:00

History regarding slavery and race segregation is very different

The history of the US and of the UK regarding slavery is closely linked: the legacy of British involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and early British settlers who owned enslaved Africans continues to this day. Consider why so many African Americans have British surnames.

AhhhhThatsBass Mon 26-Nov-18 01:25:08

The British obsession with class. I live in London, am neither British nor American but I’ve always been bothered by the “know your place” attitude in Britain. Someone with an RP accent will command more respect than someone who doesn’t, the assumption that accent is somehow linked to intelligence.
I love the “can do” attitude of Americans and the pride of its people of their country. The positivity and eternal optimism of Americans is wonderful, you can be whoever you want to be in the US with hard work. They tend not to tolerate the work shy. They are not entitled. People will go and work 3 jobs if necessary, not always look for what benefits they’re “entitled to”. Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country, said the Americans. Ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can do for you, said the Brits.
Having spent vast amount of time in the US, NYC attitudes are similar to London in a lot of ways and I agree that someone from NYC will be culturally more similar to a Londoner than someone from Gatlinburg.
I would agree with those who say that Americans are generally louder than Brits.

Barryallen Mon 26-Nov-18 02:18:37

As a Brit who moved to the east coast of the USA over a decade ago I agree that confidence and patriotism are the two factors that stand out for me. Most of my friends here are not afraid to stand up for themselves or complain if they receive bad service. There isn’t an inherent class system and people strive for the best education that they can work for/afford whilst working 1 or 2 jobs even - jobs that would be seen as below most people in the UK! They are friendly, accepting and, in my experience, adore Brits and British culture. The main difference I see is in how my kids are developing as young people. Obviously I can’t say they wouldn’t have been the same way if they’d been raised in the UK but they are growing up to be very confident and articulate. Both DH and myself are constantly amazed at how self assured and independent they are compared to how we grew up.
They can make conversation with adults and are expected to advocate for themselves in school and in life. Sports and clubs here are huge and the benefits of playing a sport or being part of a club are an integral part of growing up here. There is something for everyone to be part of.
It all comes at a price though. I see the money people pay for healthcare here and the lack of social welfare and I do feel a lot of Brit’s don’t appreciate the safety net they have. I know I didn’t before I saw the flip side.

NotAYankYet Mon 26-Nov-18 03:40:01

Brit living in the US here.

In my experience, Americans are only superficially friendlier, and it tends to be restricted to a specific situation. For example, I used to regularly attend a gym class, and chat to the same few people each week. After about six months, I suggested that we go and get a coffee together after the class. You’d have thought I’d suggested a mass orgy in the swimming pool by their reactions. Also, if you’re invited to an event, eg a BBQ, between 12 and 2, then it very definitely starts at 12 and ends at 2 - no lingering for a relaxed afternoon chatting with friends.

As others have said, a lot of Americans are big into God and guns and have no discomfort in reconciling the two. It’s noticeable round here that religion and large families are very common, and it’s not unusual to see a young woman in her mid-20s with 4 kids and pregnant with a fifth.

They are obsessed with the military, to the detriment of everyone else. I live in an area with a large military population, who are frequently worshipped (I was once chastised for not allowing a serviceman in uniform to cut in front of me at the supermarket - I hadn’t even seen him!), but extra taxes to support schools, firefighters etc are seen as BAD. Likewise, there is an obsession with sports to the detriment of academics. I think this is connected with the need to get scholarships for college/university.

They do drink less than Brits, but are way more likely to drink and drive. The standards of driving are generally pretty bad.

In the area where I live, there’s not a lot of stylish dressing or home decor.

Our experience of healthcare has been excellent, but the costs are horrific.

It’s a mixed bag really. I have met some nice people, but I do think it’s very hard to make actual friends here compared to the UK.

moredoll Mon 26-Nov-18 03:49:09

Our serjeant at arms is better than their
Parliament seizes Facebook papers

OutOntheTilez Mon 26-Nov-18 04:36:30

An American here.

Confidence. Not that the British lack confidence, but in America we are taught from an early age that America is great and Americans are extremely innovative. I remember thinking in elementary school as a child, “How is it possible that the Americans have invented absolutely everything?”

Guns. We (as a people) love our guns. Not me, as I don’t own or want one.

Death penalty. We have it, and we’re not afraid to use it (think Texas and Florida in particular).

Patriotism. We fly the flag all the time, not just on the Fourth of July. And on July 4, forget it. I’m all decked out in red, white and blue, stars and stripes. My mom told me that the first time I “spoke” in full sentences was when I belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Food. We super size everything.

I’ve always thought that the British are very refined in general. Also, the Brits have made massive and lasting contributions to music in the last 50 + years. I like American bands and music, but a lot of the music I really appreciate tends to come from Britain.

Goldenbear Mon 26-Nov-18 07:13:23

'Ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can do for you, said the Brits.'
Work goals are much more alligned with personal ideals in the U.S and this is simply not the case in Britain, we are more questioning and less obediant - alot of interesting music and British fashion is due to this lack of conformity, think the punk movement, music from my teenage years in the 90's(the good stuff) was rejecting grunge and its American outlook on life. It was a rejection of Americanisation of our culture.

With that statement you're misinterpreting an outlook of Brits which is nothing to do with laziness. It is a different outlook that is arguably more existential and permeates alot of our upbringing. My Grandad was involved in the D day landings and had to lie on Gold beach from when he landed about 8am to 5pm as he was being shot at by German soldiers but when he spoke about it he never do so with pride for what he did for his country, he felt the young men on the German side like him were victims of politics. He arguably was not lazy but that outlook of my grandparents and of my friend's grandparents was similar and their morals were not tied up with their loyalty to serving their country.

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