Differences between America and England?
June 12, 2008 10:28pm CST
As those of you with whom I have been in a discussion may have noticed, I am indeed English. Being as one of my biggest ambitions is to move to the north west of the United States of America, it has always fascinated me how different we are in the way we live our lives and just how much I am going to have to adapt to learn the culture and not stick out like a sore thumb. One of the largest differences, aside from our political system - and the fact that America is a lot more capitalist than England, is the education system. There are a lot of Americans who haven't quite gotten their head around the idea of leaving school at 15 or 16, and starting high school at age 11. Similarly, it confuses me to no end to think that when I was 16 and studying in sixth form college preparing for university, a lot of Americans of the same age were still in high school and two years away from even graduating. Another difference: we don't graduate high school. Second of all, the language. Because this is a vital means by which to communicate, you cannot avoid the differences, especially with regards to accents and dialects, but also in the way that language is structured. Ways in which we would phrase certain things in England may differ in America. For example, to emphasise how good something is, we use the word "dead" or "proper" as an adjective. "Oh, that film was dead good!" The same way you call things "sick" and I'm like, what. The culture is another point that I would like to raise. The way in which we conduct ourselves in one country might be totally unacceptable in another. This worries me the most, as I would not like to feel that my actions would cause offence in another country. Not to mention that America is a lot more religious and some have very strong beliefs, which is somewhat unorthodox in comparison to England, where atheism is most common. We also drive on the other side of the road and gas is not something you put in your car. What do you think of these differences? Are there any others you can think of? What fascinates you? Americans, what do you like about the English culture and what stereotypes do you associate with Brits? Discuss!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jun 08
I had to laugh when I read the bit about how american's refer to something as "sick," I was born and raised in the US and I'm still all "What?" when someone uses the term. Of course, I'm 32, and I think you have to be under 23 or your not allowed to use the term. That's okay though, I have "cool", "hot," and "gnarly" already, so why do I need yet another word for "good"? (okay, no says "gnarly" anymore, either). I wouldn't worry about "sticking out" by being too english. Americans love the accent, and any unfamilar phrases you drop in conversation will generally only endear you further to them. They'll get what you mean most of the time, just from context if nothing else. Except, do they still call big trucks lorries (lorrys?) in England? That's one of the few that almost always trips us up, because it is completly unlike any term we use for any automobile.