Assumptions on Mylot lead to misunderstandings
By Judy Evans
April 19, 2017 7:28pm CST
I think most of us would agree that we've learnt many things from myLot. Being Australian and belonging to a site where most members are predominantly from other countries, I have had my horizons very much widened. After over twelve months here, I'm only just starting to realise that I shouldn't 'assume' anything. As I commented this morning 'another assumption down the drain'. And that is perhaps where assumptions belong. Things that are commonplace to me have been queried by readers. And I've puzzled over some terms or read through all the comments for 'clues' that would save me looking silly by asking about something which is obviously well-understood by others. The most common assumption I see about Australia is that it is full of dangerous creatures. And it is – so spread the word and let's keep Australia for Australians – except for any myLotters of course. And because I'm on a quest to not 'assume' anything, and I can't 'assume' you'll know I'm telling a fib, I must point out that the above paragraph is meant to be funny. So don't 'assume' anything. Have you had to put any assumptions down the drain recently? Photo is of a kangaroo on our road. He has had his ear injured, probably in a fight.
63 people like this
• El Paso, Texas
I stopped assuming I knew what someone meant when Jabo politely explained that using the word 'bugger' is actually foul language in British. Up til then I never knew there was such a huge different between English in America and English in the UK and evidently Australia. It was an eye opener. As for those who do not speak English as a first language that I can understand, I've dealt with that most of my life because so many Army wives were foreign born so going to school with their kids I learned what they had to do to help their moms cope with English. Also, my community is over 80% hispanic, many of them do not speak English at all.
8 people like this
• Anniston, Alabama
About a month ago I did, someone assumed I was attacking gays because I said Bruce Jenner is not a pretty woman but it had nothing to do with gays, just one ugly man/woman. I wish I could come to see your country, I think its awesome from what I read, now Africa is supposed to be dangerous.
If you want to visit Australia, you are more likely to transit in my country. Hope you can spend a few days here. My country is generally safe, except for mosquitoes that can give you dengue fever! Though it sure is a guaranteed way to lose way, I doubt anyone wants to suffer through a week of dengue fever.
• Oxford, England
I always did assume Kangaroos hopped along the main roads in Australia and Koalas hung from every tree. But then I also think all Scottish men wear a kilt and that Queen Elizabeth wears her crown to breakfast as queens wear crowns. For some reason I always think of cricket the moment I see an Indian poster and as for the US....I assume they eat donuts for breakfast. Meanwhile I cannot assume all Africa overun by lions as they were all in the lion park when I visited Harare. I assume that Kangaroo knows what it is doing. Actually the fun in Mylot is finding out all these cultural things that we would not otherwise know. By the way, it is not always raining in London.
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
@Jackalyn Oh drat, you downed my one assumption of London, always raining. Love your list of assumptions - it's only the police officers who have donuts for breakfast every morning. It's the standard joke for them.
Wow, if this kangaroo stops in the middle of the road in front of my place, he will hold up the traffic for hours! It seems strange that sometimes, you see Mylotters from some developing countries complain about the difficulty of hiring and keeping servants, and asking the Mylotters from developed world about how to deal with it. The problem is that hardly any Mylotters from developed countries can afford a full time live-in helper. This surely is one aspect of Mylot that we do not expect when we join.
@JudyEv That depends. In Indonesia, many middle class family has live-in servants or servants who come in every day to do the housework. Many of them do not have washing machines at home, because the servants do the laundry by hands. One household usually has 2 or 3 servants. Over here, many middle income family hire foreign live-in maids to do housework, take care of children or aged parents. That is the norm here.
• Paso Robles, California
We occasionally hire gardeners to mow our lawns and people to do house cleaning, but most of us don't have the money to hire regular household help and do the chores ourselves when we are still in good health and young enough to do them.
• Gainesville, Florida
I will admit that the stigma of Australia being a place of dangerous creatures is pretty prevalent here in the US, but not to the point that I think people would be afraid to visit there! Americans love Australians (we especially love your accents), and you have some of the most beautiful and pristine natural areas in the world! I've always wanted to visit Australia to go surfing, as well as Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef!
It seemed to us that Australia (South Australia mainly) had very few predators. Mostly marsupials it seemed. Maybe I was making an assumption there. But we saw kangaroos on the side of the road and nothing even seemed to come and eat them. Here, when a deer gets hit, it is eaten and picked clean within a couple of days. That is mostly by birds, but coyotes etc. help.
• Bunbury, Australia
We have very few predators. Dingoes are mostly seen more in the outback areas. Otherwise it's just birds. Roadkill would mostly be eaten by eagles and other birds, and perhaps goannas, so it takes a long time before it is cleaned up.
• United States
I think a lot of the U.S. perception of Australia was formed by those Crocodile Dundee movies. Not to mention the Nature specials showing the snakes, etc. I've lived around snakes in the southwest U.S. and seen very few, but the idea of snakes, especially cobras, still scares the bejeezus out of me. And lizards. Definitely scared of those big lizards. Goannas. Brrrrrrr.
It's okay to ask to be clarified on things being said , my friend. I always do that. If ever some would find me so ignorant by doing so, then i don't care. I just want to be clarified well about something before I make my comment. Better safe than sorry, right?
• Bunbury, Australia
I don't think I really worry about it much but sometimes when I don't explain something in the discussion I might need to explain it over and over in the comments - which is okay too but I'd save myself a lot of typing if I got it right in the text.
• Bunbury, Australia
Mostly it's thinking a term or phrase might be well known in other countries when it actually isn't. 'Spekky' (spectacular) is one word that I often have to explain and chooks (chickens) is another. There are others too but I can't think of them at the moment. I can't imagine vanny letting you get away with much.