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Old 07.01.2010, 10:16
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Letter from London: My American Friends

This made me smile...and a bit homesick (no matter how loud we tend to be at times). Full text at link.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/bo...Dyer-t.html?em


Quote:
January 3, 2010
Letter From London
My American Friends

By GEOFF DYER
The first thing I ever heard about Americans was that they all carried guns. Then, when I came across people who’d had direct contact with this ferocious-sounding tribe, I learned that they were actually rather friendly. At university, friends who had traveled in the United States came back with more detailed stories, not just of the friendliness of Americans but also of their hospitality (which, in our quaint English way, was translated into something close to gullibility). When I finally got to America myself, I found that not only were the natives friendly and hospitable, they were also incredibly polite. No one tells you this about Americans, but once you notice it, it becomes one of their defining characteristics, especially when they’re abroad.

Last edited by evilshell; 07.01.2010 at 10:17. Reason: Please don't quote entire articles for copyright reasons
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Old 07.01.2010, 10:45
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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The archetypal American abroad is perceived as loud and crass even though actually existing American tourists are distinguished by the way they address bus drivers and bartenders as “sir” and are effusive in their thanks when any small service is rendered. We look on with some confusion at these encounters because, on the one hand, the Americans seem a bit country-bumpkinish, and, on the other, good manners are a form of sophistication.
You mean to tell me that not everyone refers to unknown persons / elders as "ma'am" or "sir"? How rude! Same goes for thanking folks who do something for you, no matter how small.

I have NEVER had "bad" service at a restaurant here... I wonder if that is part of why?


This cracks me up:
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Granted, these visiting Americans often seem to have loud voices, but on closer examination, it’s a little subtler than that. Americans have no fear of being overheard. Civic life in Britain is predicated on the idea that everyone just about conceals his loathing of everyone else. To open your mouth is to risk offending someone.
Loud people drive me nuts, no matter where they're from. Meanwhile, you know that if Americans are saying something very quietly to their friends, you know they're being catty / judgmental.
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Old 07.01.2010, 10:48
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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Last edited by evilshell; Today at 09:17. Reason: Please don't quote entire articles for copyright reasons
As long as the source is given and clearly pointed out then there are no copyright issues, surely?
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Old 07.01.2010, 10:58
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

You know when I was traveling back to NL from Lima there were two american guys in front of me (going to Atlanta). They were pretty friendly and chatty, what made me smile was that they were actually complaining of how fatty Peruvian food was (this comming from two more than plump guys)...I could not help but tell them, errr as fatty as McDonalds, buerger king etc etc? THey said oh no of course not but we do not eat everyday at McDonalds...Ahh funny Americans...
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Old 07.01.2010, 11:07
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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You know when I was traveling back to NL from Lima there were two american guys in front of me (going to Atlanta). They were pretty friendly and chatty, what made me smile was that they were actually complaining of how fatty Peruvian food was (this comming from two more than plump guys)...I could not help but tell them, errr as fatty as McDonalds, buerger king etc etc? THey said oh no of course not but we do not eat everyday at McDonalds...Ahh funny Americans...
Yes, every day would be bad. We get our over-the-top calorie intake in many hidden forms. For example, as long as everything in our cupboard has "low fat" stamped on the container, it's healthy, right?? Take those low-fat Oreos

As a matter of fact, here is the disclaimer from the oreo company for such low fat cookies....

Trans fat content currently is not listed on the label for many of our products. For FAQs about trans fat, click here. We are rolling out trans fat labeling, so that all packages will be labeled by the FDA's deadline of January 1, 2006. In the meantime, we are providing this information for many of our products on our website. Where a product contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the FDA requires that the content be listed in the package’s Nutrition Facts box as "0g". We use that same definition of "0g" on this website. When a label shows 0 grams trans fat per serving and lists a “partially hydrogenated” vegetable oil (such as soybean or cottonseed, among others) in the ingredients, the product may contain up to 0.49 grams of trans fat per serving. Keep in mind that ingredients and formulations change. The information shown here may vary from the content and label information of products currently in stores. For the most current information for these and other products, please Contact Us. For more information on how to read the Nutrition Facts panel, click here.
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Old 07.01.2010, 11:10
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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Yes, every day would be bad. We get our over-the-top calorie intake in many hidden forms. For example, as long as everything in our cupboard has "low fat" stamped on the container, it's healthy, right?? Take those low-fat Oreos

LOL I bought a box of low carb oreos...thought it was a great idea until I saw that each cookie has 50 calories! I think that is even more than the regular oreos!
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Old 07.01.2010, 11:14
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

I personally don't know anyone that carries guns.
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Old 07.01.2010, 11:28
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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As long as the source is given and clearly pointed out then there are no copyright issues, surely?
That's a difference between copyright and plagiarism isn't it?

I can't just reprint a book as long as I acknowledge where I copied it from . . .
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Old 07.01.2010, 11:28
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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I personally don't know anyone that carries guns.
A lot of people own them, not so many carry them around.
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Old 07.01.2010, 11:29
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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Meanwhile, you know that if Americans are saying something very quietly to their friends, you know they're being catty / judgmental.
Seems to me everyone does that.
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Old 07.01.2010, 12:24
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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I personally don't know anyone that carries guns.
I knew a few cops in Texas that did, and some of my friends had / have CHL's and exercised their rights.
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Old 07.01.2010, 12:40
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

I have a shotgun for hunting, but I certainly don't carry it on a regular
basis.
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Old 07.01.2010, 12:49
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

Thank you for posting that!
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Old 07.01.2010, 14:26
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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Seems to me everyone does that.
Yes but I mean that in the article, it seems to say that Americans don't care if they something offensive that could be overheard.

Between my friends and I, if we don't care if you hear it, we either think it's not that offensive (and you should - as Natasha says - HTFU) OR we are looking to pick a fight in the first place.
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Old 07.01.2010, 14:36
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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Between my friends and I, if we don't care if you hear it, we either think it's not that offensive (and you should - as Natasha says - HTFU) OR we are looking to pick a fight in the first place.
Or in my mother's case, she is sending a message loud and clear to everyone through her "innocent" public remarks. Why do old people think they can get away with this
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Old 07.01.2010, 22:21
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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Or in my mother's case, she is sending a message loud and clear to everyone through her "innocent" public remarks. Why do old people think they can get away with this
Ahh, memories.

My brother's first wife was from Georgia...

This video will give an idea of how being catty with her went.

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Old 08.01.2010, 04:47
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

I find that English people do not lower their voices when they are abroad because they think that others do not understand them. I have over heard some very personal conversations, you should see their reactions when I interject and say "You're English? so am I"

It always make me laugh that they think others don't understand yet expect people to understand when they want service.

It's not just the English though, that do this.

I find that Americans are very polite. I barge into them and they apologize, then I get embarrassed and have to remind myself to be more courteous.
Years of battling the tube during rush hour is is a habit difficult to drop.
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Old 08.01.2010, 10:54
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

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Ahh, memories.

My brother's first wife was from Georgia...

This video will give an idea of how being catty with her went.

That was funny! It actually made me remember being fascinated with the British comments (I don't mean anything negative here, it's just interesting -- trust me, I am a sucker for a British accent!) but basically how it would take me about 30 seconds to realize that I/someone had just been the recipient of a slightly derogatory comment. But it phrased in such a lovely, witty manner that it took a while to get it!!
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Old 08.01.2010, 14:44
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Re: Letter from London: My American Friends

I could never really understand how a population as diverse as the US can get stereotyped in whatever particular way. There are just way to many different types of people living there. I don't think there has ever been a country as diverse as the US. They (we) could be the most accepting and forgiving people in the world, hence why they (we) allow themselves (us) to be extremely uncool or extemely cool.

Bless your heart.
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