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BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English

Allan C. 08 Oct 03 - 02:50 PM
John MacKenzie 08 Oct 03 - 03:01 PM
greg stephens 08 Oct 03 - 03:07 PM
Bill D 08 Oct 03 - 03:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Oct 03 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,MMario 08 Oct 03 - 03:15 PM
greg stephens 08 Oct 03 - 03:18 PM
Murray MacLeod 08 Oct 03 - 03:27 PM
MudGuard 08 Oct 03 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Wolfgang 08 Oct 03 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 08 Oct 03 - 03:40 PM
jacqui c 08 Oct 03 - 03:41 PM
Morticia 08 Oct 03 - 03:43 PM
gnomad 08 Oct 03 - 04:13 PM
Alba 08 Oct 03 - 04:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Oct 03 - 04:32 PM
katlaughing 08 Oct 03 - 05:30 PM
harvey andrews 08 Oct 03 - 05:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Oct 03 - 06:14 PM
Snuffy 08 Oct 03 - 07:01 PM
artbrooks 08 Oct 03 - 07:05 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 Oct 03 - 07:37 PM
Amergin 08 Oct 03 - 07:56 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Oct 03 - 08:05 PM
Amergin 08 Oct 03 - 08:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Oct 03 - 08:37 PM
AliUK 08 Oct 03 - 09:58 PM
LadyJean 09 Oct 03 - 01:25 AM
mouldy 09 Oct 03 - 02:52 AM
greg stephens 09 Oct 03 - 03:32 AM
Murray MacLeod 09 Oct 03 - 03:45 AM
GUEST 09 Oct 03 - 03:56 AM
Dave Bryant 09 Oct 03 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,Santa 09 Oct 03 - 05:04 AM
sian, west wales 09 Oct 03 - 05:15 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Oct 03 - 06:29 AM
Noreen 09 Oct 03 - 06:35 AM
Linda Kelly 09 Oct 03 - 06:53 AM
Noreen 09 Oct 03 - 07:16 AM
Teribus 09 Oct 03 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Noddy 09 Oct 03 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,T-boy 09 Oct 03 - 08:10 AM
harvey andrews 09 Oct 03 - 08:36 AM
Grab 09 Oct 03 - 08:51 AM
Bassic 09 Oct 03 - 09:04 AM
John MacKenzie 09 Oct 03 - 09:27 AM
Bill D 09 Oct 03 - 09:44 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Oct 03 - 10:54 AM
Morticia 09 Oct 03 - 01:21 PM
Bassic 09 Oct 03 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 09 Oct 03 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,Red Eye 09 Oct 03 - 07:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Oct 03 - 08:05 PM
Noreen 09 Oct 03 - 09:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Oct 03 - 11:02 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 09 Oct 03 - 11:07 PM
LadyJean 09 Oct 03 - 11:58 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Oct 03 - 12:59 AM
sledge 10 Oct 03 - 02:50 AM
Grab 10 Oct 03 - 06:12 AM
John MacKenzie 10 Oct 03 - 06:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 07:16 AM
greg stephens 10 Oct 03 - 07:56 AM
Dave Bryant 10 Oct 03 - 07:57 AM
Trevor 10 Oct 03 - 10:10 AM
Dave Bryant 10 Oct 03 - 10:55 AM
sian, west wales 10 Oct 03 - 11:10 AM
Dave Bryant 10 Oct 03 - 11:36 AM
Bill D 10 Oct 03 - 01:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Guest 10 Oct 03 - 05:40 PM
Peter T. 10 Oct 03 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Ed 10 Oct 03 - 06:50 PM
GUEST 10 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 07:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 07:12 PM
Gareth 10 Oct 03 - 07:34 PM
Noreen 10 Oct 03 - 08:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 09:07 PM
Peter T. 11 Oct 03 - 11:09 AM
sian, west wales 11 Oct 03 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Kelly 11 Oct 03 - 06:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM
Kelly 11 Oct 03 - 06:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 03 - 06:35 PM
Kelly 12 Oct 03 - 11:16 AM
The Walrus 12 Oct 03 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Wotcha 12 Oct 03 - 12:54 PM
Noreen 12 Oct 03 - 01:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Oct 03 - 01:36 PM
the lemonade lady 12 Oct 03 - 02:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Oct 03 - 02:53 PM
Penny S. 12 Oct 03 - 05:34 PM
Dave Bryant 13 Oct 03 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Can Johnson 13 Oct 03 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Can Johnson 13 Oct 03 - 04:51 AM
Geoff the Duck 13 Oct 03 - 06:28 AM
Micca 13 Oct 03 - 06:38 AM
Geoff the Duck 13 Oct 03 - 06:54 AM
artbrooks 13 Oct 03 - 07:20 AM
Keith A of Hertford 13 Oct 03 - 07:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 03 - 07:46 AM
artbrooks 13 Oct 03 - 08:06 AM
Morticia 13 Oct 03 - 08:32 AM
Roger the Skiffler 13 Oct 03 - 08:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Nigel 13 Oct 03 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 13 Oct 03 - 12:55 PM
Keith A of Hertford 13 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 03 - 02:13 PM
Allan C. 13 Oct 03 - 04:17 PM
jeffp 13 Oct 03 - 04:28 PM
John MacKenzie 13 Oct 03 - 04:37 PM
Bassic 13 Oct 03 - 04:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 03 - 04:49 PM

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Subject: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Allan C.
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 02:50 PM

I'll be leaving the States in a very few hours to begin a new life in England. What with all the foreigners I'll be encountering there, I thought it might be prudent to ask the Mudcat for pointers on learning the language and tribal customs. (For instance, I've just learned to my horror that they don't have graham crackers there!) I'm sure we have had a few threads on some of the aspects of this challenge. If anyone remembers some of them, please post some clickies here.

Thanks,

Allan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:01 PM

Surely the election of Arnie is not so much of a disaster that you're leaving the country?
I can't tell you anything about learning to be English, as I'm a Scot and therefore feel that it's not a fit subject for discussion. *BG*

Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:07 PM

Learn about football, forget about folk. Use really boiling water to make tea. If you find someone drinking beer, do not offer to pray with them to help them address their problem. That's about it, really.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:08 PM

well, you sure need to learn a LOT of interesting colloquialisms and spellings *grin*...'butties' are NOT small cheerleaders, and may safely be nibbled!...At least you will have a live-in teacher who can help you adjust..*smile*


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:10 PM

There was an very helpful thread on this.

It gave excellent advice to visiting Americans such as, "Ignore those rumours they might have heard about people driving on the left in this country", and "Never tip a taxi-driver or waiter, because they would be mortally insulted"....

(And there was an equivalent thread for visitors to America.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:15 PM

I've heard that 'digestive biscuits' may be a semi-acceptable substitute for graham crackers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:18 PM

I should have mentioned, there is no ham in Burmingham or war in Warwick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:27 PM

MMario is correct, McVities digestive biscuits are the nearest equivalent to Graham crackers (and IMHO a superior product).

When in Britain, try not to refer to well known cities followed by their country, e.g. do not talk about "Paris, France" or "Madrid, Spain" and especially not "Glasgow, Scotland". The assumption is that everybody already knows knows where these cities are.

Best of luck and welcome to Britain.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: MudGuard
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:36 PM

Allan,

what in US is called 2nd floor, is 1st floor in UK.

And in GB, they don't drive on the right side of the street, they use the wrong side ;-)

Have a good voyage!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:37 PM

Search for thread titles: "British-American cultural differences" 1, 2 and (at least) 3. Can't copy and paste at the moment, so I don't give the links.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:40 PM

Change your name from Allan to Alien


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: jacqui c
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:41 PM

The most important thing you will need to know is where to meet fellow Mudcatters and folk groups. If you already have a guide go with them, otherwise I'm sure if you give your location there will be plenty of invites to local sessions. We are, despite rumours about our reserve, actually quite hospitable on the whole. It's also a way of learning the local culture, which, as in the States, varies widely from area to area. Don't listen to Greg - we're not all football fanatics and, as a foreigner, you'll be forgiven if you don't have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game. As for forgetting about folk - Greg, wash your mouth out!!!

Welcome to England Alan - may your stay be a long and happy one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Morticia
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 03:43 PM

I've lived here most of my life and I still don't really understand the English although I've got tea down pat ( the Irish do it better anyway), kind of know the squire from the bagman and have a loose idea about translating geordie ....just don't ask me about cricket.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: gnomad
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 04:13 PM

By all means try to understand the English, but don't try to be English, we've got a whole set of islands full of assorted Brits, and most of them are English in the broadest sense.

I'm sure your own cultural identity will be far more interesting, exotic even, to the people you meet. You will also be more natural, and nobody will assume you are taking the p*** out of us.

If you do get to understand us please write a guide book; we don't understand ourselves as a rule and it would surely sell like mad.

Welcome aboard, I hope your stay is a happy one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Alba
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 04:17 PM

No tips AllanC, just be yourself, that way you shall be Special, Unique and Different! Best Wishes to you and to Morticia. I wish you both nothing but Happiness.
I am a Scot so like Giok, I will not forward any advice regarding England or Her Culture but then as also stated previously, you have a very good Live In Teacher where your going so I think you will fair well in the advice department!!! If however you both decided to go North of the Border I would be delighted to pass on some Cultural Pointers..*BG*...
Be Well, Be happy and I wish many Blessings for you Both.
Ain't Love Grand!:>)
JD
Oh and Mc Vities Digestives are definetly a Graham Cracker replacement..in fact they are much better!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 04:32 PM

Reemember, just because someone is not friendly, it doesn't necessarily mean they are unfriendly. This is the country where people say such things as "They were really good neighbours. You'd never have known they were there."


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 05:30 PM

About time!! Dee-Lighted to hear things are moooving along for you, darlin', both o'youse! With your built-in Guidess, I don't think you'll have much trouble...there's always Micca and the others to fall back on. Congratulations and safe passage to you!!

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: harvey andrews
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 05:54 PM

Whatever the situation, say "Sorry" a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 06:14 PM

And in supermarkets there's an endless successsion of "Thank you"s.

You hand the check out person the card to pay, and they say "Thank You" Back it comes for you to sign, and you say "Thank You". Probably twice, because they'll likely have to hand you a pen. Then it's "Thank You" from them when you hand back the signed chitty, and probably "Thank You" when you hand back the pen.

And of course there are the shopping items as well. There'll probably be a few "Thank You"s as you pass them along and retrieve them. And for the packing, that always involves a few, whether you do it yourself or they do. And finally as you move off.

Sometimes some of the "Thank You"s might be "Thank You Love" or something similar. But not if you're a bloke and it's a bloke at the check-out.

And don't expect to be told "Have a Nice Day". If you are, count your change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 07:01 PM

We Brits would never presume to instruct someone else as to what sort of a day to have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: artbrooks
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 07:05 PM

If in doubt, consult the dictionary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 07:37 PM

It's perfectly ok to be addressed as "love" by another man, but only in Yorkshire; don't return the greeting in kind, though, unless you have a local accent. Other things to watch out for:

"Fags" are cigarettes. "Faggots" are a kind of small, skinless haggis (but with a lower cereal content, and often served in gravy). "Biscuits" are what Americans call crackers; or, if sweet, cookies. So far as I can remember, American "biscuit" is more like what we'd call Yorkshire Pudding, though of the dense rather that risen variety.

If you need to buy an eraser, try to keep a straight face and ask for a rubber. It will be easier in the long run.

Never talk about "pants" except as a joke. Be very careful how, and to whom, you use the word "fanny".

You probably know all that already, but it's amusing to mention it anyway. On the whole, I'd say make the most of being a wee bit foreign; people rather like it as long as you don't mind queueing and never say things like "you Brits", or imply that things are better back home (even if they are). Most people quite like Americans (most of us have family there), but we do moan about them, on a generic sort of basis; don't take it personally.

Things like Marmite and proper beer are only appreciated with practice; be patient if you haven't already had the groundwork in that. It will come. We have a better selection of bread than we used to, but do buy the more expensive orange juice in order to avoid too much culture-shock.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Amergin
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 07:56 PM

Tell them loudly about the misfits your ancestors ran off...back to england....tell them that thatcher is the best leader the us has ever had....tell them that the queen reminds you of an ugly transvestite male who hit on you in san francisco...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 08:05 PM

Don't worry. There are only a few cultural habits that might get you killed; most of them involve driving, so it's a lot safer not to do it at all. Another is looking the wrong way when stepping off the curb/kerb. You're used to looking left first; you've got to learn to look right. The rest you can learn as you go along, and you will have fun doing it.

On the whole, Brits seem to know a lot more about American culture than Americans know about British culture. I suppose it's because they've seen so many American movies and TV programs. Even when you don't understand them, they will probably understand you. If you make a mistake, they will make allowances.

Here ya go. Happy browsing.

BS: British/American cultural differences.
BS: British/American cultural differences 2.
BS: British/American cultural differences 3.
American Cultural oddities.
Cultural curriosities II.
What is it with the English?.
BS: No such thing as British... .
BS: Great British Pubs.
BS: American vs British slang.
BS: USA vs British rude & other gestures....
BS: British vs. American names.
BS: Explain the British system of Government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Amergin
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 08:08 PM

or say loudly in a pub...so this is where all the australians came from....


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 08:37 PM

And then term "Brit" is very much disliked by a lot of people.

On the other hand people rather like Americans saying "You Britishers", though they'd never use the term themselves.

Calling people "Sir" or "Madam" or "Buddy" would probably go down well. People like having their stereotypes confirmed in ways like that.

It probably won't apply in your case - but some Americans have seriously blotted their copybook by saying how they adore Lady Thatcher. Or Tony Blair.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: AliUK
Date: 08 Oct 03 - 09:58 PM

Never say Vacation as you will be laughed out of the saloon bar. We use cocktail sticks and not toothpicks ( they are used to spear very small sausages and helpless chunks of pineapple and cheese instead of being used to clean your teeth). On a persoanl note, when I went back to the UK in 2001 after 8 years here in Brazil I actually forgot that you don´t usually kiss female friends on the cheek and shake your male friends hands as we do here. My actions caused a few raised eyebrows I can tell you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: LadyJean
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 01:25 AM

I visited England in 1986. I learned quickly that, if you use the American word for something, they'll tell you the "right" word for it immediately. They will also tell you everything else they don't like about the United States without any provoction at all. They hate Americans in Oxford, not dislike, hate. You'll be refused service in places, and insulted regularly. One female had some choice remarks to make while we were waiting for Sunday services at Christchurch Cathedral!
Ethnic jokes are perfectly OK in England. Bigotry is not something of which to be ashamed. Don't think English tv is all "Masterpiece Theater". There is some impressive schlock on British television. If you're served ice cream with whipped cream on top, eat the whipped cream and ignore the frozen library paste underneath. The gardens are beautiful. There are some wonderful old homes. The theater is marvellous, and I love pub lunches. But the English themselves are small minded and mean.
Mother was a young woman in the 1940s. She admired England and the English enormously. She would tell us stories about their amazing courage during the war.
Then she went to England.
The stories stopped.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: mouldy
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 02:52 AM

At the risk of repeating myself from an earlier post, remember that in a lot of the old towns, roads are called gates (eg Highgate), gates are called bars (as in York - Micklegate Bar = Mickle Road gate), and bars are called pubs (pubs CONTAIN bars).

And a bum isn't a vagrant, either. Butts are the remains of fags (UK version) or something beer comes in. It's also something made of straw that you shoot arrows at. This being real arrows from bows, not the darts used in pubs. If something is a real fag to do, just persevere with it, and you'll get it over and done with!

But you've been here before anyway, so you've at least half an idea of what you're up against!

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 03:32 AM

Ladyjean: your insights are fascinating. Could you be a little more specific? I know Oxford fairly well, which precisely are the places that refuse to serve Americans? And are you absolutely sure they refuse to serve Americans, perhaps they just refused to serve you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 03:45 AM

Lady Jean, your comments are, not to put too fine a point on it, a load of bollocks. There is no establishment in the UK which will refuse to serve Americans. Apart from anything else, it would be highly illegal.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 03:56 AM

I think Lady Jane's experiences in England are more to do with the personality of Lady Jane than the fact she is American. My own experiences of Americans over the last sixty years are that the vast majority are very nice, polite people but there are a tiny minority who are rude, loud and obnoxious who will quickly bring out the worst in the locals. Also as far as ice cream is concerned you get what you pay for and plenty of American brands are on sale everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 04:11 AM

Allan, I don't think you've actually said whereabouts in England you're coming to, or what sort of folk music you're interested in. We'd probably be able to suggest some venues for you if you do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 05:04 AM

Well, I've heard more than enough stories about the rudeness of some of the English towards Americans, or Australians, and heaven help the French or German! That such people do exist is true and visitors should be warned. However, I don't think that they are representative, just be polite back and it will drive them mad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: sian, west wales
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 05:15 AM

Learn to queue (stand in line) politely. On the odd occasion when someone has the unmitigated gall to queue-jump, react with a stiffening of the spine, elevation of chin, and a steely-eyed stare rather than verbal abuse (although this may be rural/semi-rural; urbanites may perhaps be more vocal?)

If you're staying in a B&B and someone asks Your Beloved what time she wants to get knocked up in the morning ... it isn't what you think.

What I'd call 'hikers' back home seem to called 'ramblers' or 'walkers' in Britain.

Enunciate.

Buy rounds.

Understand that you're never going to win the graham cracker/ digestive debate. Never.

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 06:29 AM

"Bigotry is not something of which to be ashamed."

From the tone of her post, I get the impression LadyJean actually means that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 06:35 AM

Allan, you will be fine.

I'd be prepared to bet that in a few weeks time you'll be reporting back with the exact opposite of 'Lady Jean's opinions. People here will react helpfully to your sensitivity, thoughtfulness and your intention to get on with people.

I know many people who are delighted to meet up with new people from a different culture to swap experiences. I hope you & Mortie will make a trip up here when you've settled in.

Of course you will also come across some obnoxious people over here, but the English don't have the monopoly on that characteristic...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 06:53 AM

We moan-a lot. We have a National Press that does not represent the views of the nation, which in the general sense of things wants fairness and justice. It is a rule of thumb to thank the driver when you get off a bus. We appreciate irony. Perhaps Lady Jean mistook this for something else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 07:16 AM

We moan a lot... particularly about the weather. We always watch the weather forecast even though we know it's a highly contrived work of fiction- which is why my washing is out on the line, wetter than when I put it out, having been rained on...

Electric kettles are a Good Thing :0) (but don't put one on the gas hob to boil as a friend did once after a drinking spree- smell of burning rubber brought him to his senses....)

I look forward to swapping stories from the other point of view after my trip to America!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 07:25 AM

Hi Allan, pity you didn't mention where abouts you were going to.

I hope that you enjoy your stay, just be yourself and I am sure that you will have a great time.

All the best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Noddy
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 07:42 AM

If you find you you stand being in England dont worry it is natural. All the best places are in Scotland Where you will be made most welcome as long as you NEVER NEVER SAY OR THINK THAT SCOTLAND IS PART OF ENGLAND. If you do ..YOUR DEAD.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,T-boy
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 08:10 AM

Oh, and learn to read and write the date with the day and month in the right order, or you will be saying 'Sorry' a lot, like HA said above.

And pronounce it 'Sorry', or they'll think you're saying 'Surrey'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: harvey andrews
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 08:36 AM

And you can always tell the Scot from the Anglo, like Noddy they have an irremoveable huge chip on both shoulders!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Grab
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 08:51 AM

Only women have a fanny over here, but everyone has a bum. And a bum over there is a tramp over here, and a tramp over there is a tart over here.

Service in restaurants in general isn't as good as in the States, but service in fast-food places is much better in Britain. I think we've got a better grade of minimum-wage burger jockeys. :-) In particular, you can often get decent fast-food at roadside burger/kebab vans (although this can be risky, as some are merely food poisoning transporters).

In general, American food tends to be sugary whereas English food tends to be salty - this applies particularly to bread and other savoury foods. We don't do "high-fructose corn syrup", but that's a good thing health-wise bcos it gives you diabetes. Oh, and the best peanut butter is made by Duerrs - again, peanut butter is less sweet than the US variety.

The US seems to have picked up many European foods such as pumpernickel. This kind of stuff is difficult to get. Some supermarkets (particularly more expensive ones) have selections of foreign food like that, but generally you can't get it.

As far as supermarkets go, there's a few big chains. Asda is the cheapest and nastiest. Tesco's is next up (cheap but OK). Sainsbury's is next in line (more expensive but better stuff). Top-end is Waitrose (expensive but good). There's also some other ones. The Co-op is variable depending where you are (some are good, some are bad), but generally tends to be smaller local shops. Spar is another one you generally find as smaller local shops - it used to be the only one open late hours, but most supermarkets are open late now. Morrisons is a north England one which is coming south.

Wine isn't expensive over here - you can get a good bottle of wine for £4-5, and cheaper rough stuff for £3 or less. Waitrose generally has a better quality of wine for the same price as other supermarkets. Oh, and liquor stores are called "off-licenses" (or "offies") over here (so-called bcos they're licensed to sell you alcohol to be drunk off the premises, unlike a pub).

There are very few brewpubs over here, in fact the term simply isn't known. Most pubs have a single main brewery that they get their draught beer (bitter) from, plus sometimes guest beers from local small breweries. Plus Guinness, and lagers could be from anywhere, and there'll often be stuff in bottles as well. There are some beers that are nationwide bcos the big breweries have pubs all over, but smaller or medium-size breweries will often have the trade sewn up in the area around where they are.

Re the date thing, if you always write the month in words (or three letters) then you're guaranteed to be OK whichever way round you write it. After working on a project for a US company for 3 years, I do that automatically now.

Any paper with a red top (Sun/Star/Sport/etc) is only suitable for wiping your arse on. The Mail is for ppl who want to read a red-top paper without looking dim. Telegraph and Observer are for Conservatives (right-wing), Guardian is for Labour (left-wing). You can still get decent news from the latter three, so long as you know the political bias to expect.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Bassic
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 09:04 AM

From all accounts if you carry on being "you" then you will fit like a glove! A big warm WELCOME from Hull and get yourselves up here SOON and visit all your Yorkshire Mudcat friends again. A weekend that fits round the first Sunday of the month is a good time to catch the Hull crowd "en mass" at the session in the Sun in Beverley, East Yorks. Which is also an excellent place to start acquiring a "taste" for the northern variety of what we call beer over here. I am sure "Sir Roger de Beverley" will personally want to supervise your apprenticeship on that score! Have a look for yourself.

See you in Banbury.

(You are excused learning to speak and spell in "Hullish" for the first 12 months but after that you need to have a note from a parent or guardian :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 09:27 AM

Not only does our press not represent the views of the people, neither does the government, but then with Jeb Bush and his hanging chads you'll be used to that. We never elect 2nd rate actors to high office, we elect their children and in-laws instead. The reason we don't say London England etc. here is because usually there is only one town with that name in the UK, and it's usually the originator of the name, we didn't name it after somewhere back in the old country.
If you stop somebody in the street to ask for directions they are always strangers.
AND. If you're up in Scotland come visit.
Welcome....Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 09:44 AM

well, I believe I have learned a lot from reading this! I do know that that "thank you" and "sorry" bit seems to be a major cultural difference,*big grin*..in certain parts of America, (south, mostly), there ARE lots of built-in politenesses, but not in most bigger cities. I am sure that shopping and food will be an interesting change for you, Alan, but then you have lived in both city & rural areas here, and will no doubt adjust fine. I do note with interest that there DO seem to be more 'national' brands, store chains and newspapers than in the US, where there are lots of regional differences.

I think I will re-read some of those England/America threads noted above, and see if I can absorb more of the 'flavor' of what the differences really are. I think that Great Britain, having many hundreds of years more continuous history, has a few more cultural 'rules' than this big, new frontier in "The Colonies" (though those rules vary in different areas, most everyone seems to be aware of what they are when moving from Yorkshire to Hull to ...even Scotland.)

I, for one, will certainly look forward to reports, like Naemanson's reports from Guam...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 10:54 AM

"Telegraph and Observer are for Conservatives (right-wing), Guardian is for Labour (left-wing)." I think Grab might have typed Observer where he mean Times. The Observer is a Sunday paper, and basically it's the Sunday edition of the Guardian. Sort of Labour/Liberal.

If you find some English people to be less than friendly, it isn't because you're American. It's how they are, and it's mostly intended in a sort of friendly way, on the assumption that people would sooner be left alone. It's called "reserved".

If you ever read Fungus the Bogeyman you'll understand the way of thinking better. Sadly, I get the impression that things are changing in the direction of people trying to be bright and cheerful, and that doesn't really suit the English temperament too well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Morticia
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 01:21 PM

I 'spect we'd like to take you up on that sometime,Bassic and Noreen....we can talk about it more when you and RC take your turn on the Hangover Helper Squad in Banbury *G*....( I did mention you were Duty Back Up, didn't I?)

By the way,LadyJean, I went to university in Oxford where, to my knowledge, American tourists are treated with the same courtesy and respect that they might expect anywhere else in the British Isles or at home, come to that. I simply don't believe that any visitor is refused service, especially in a city that is accustomed to mad and the worse for drink students. If you really were,I shudder to think what you were doing to cause such offence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Bassic
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 01:33 PM

Morticia! I thought you said we had the first places on the ER...I mean (N)HS waiting list!! No one mentioned shift work........ is it time and a half btw? (Time = 11.00pm, half of 11 is 5 and a half, 11pm + 5 and a half hours is 4.30 in the morning. Hope this is Mudcat time!!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 03:16 PM

Do Brit women shave their pits & legs?

Even more important, is there a good Jewish deli in London?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Red Eye
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 07:33 PM

Do the follwing and you'll fit in great.

When making tea, warm the pot first. It is still ok to drink it out of the saucer. Tea can be drunk at anytime of the day. When workmen do jobs in or around your house, offer them a cup of tea, guaranteed a good job done. always use best china.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 08:05 PM

always use best china. They don't give a bugger about that. Just don't use a tiny cup. Proper tea comes in pint mugs, and pint mugs normally aren't best china.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 09:01 PM

I've never seen anyone drink tea out of the saucer...!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 11:02 PM

My uncle Ralph did. He also dunked biscuits (hence the overflow) but my mother disapproved, wisely it seems. Ralph lost his teeth at an early age; an awful warning to dunkers and saucer-drinkers alike, perhaps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 11:07 PM

heloo=my cat useec to drinking tee out of a sorcer, but he dieed, im was think of get anothern one, but i think i will get a gold fish callled carlie instead.john


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: LadyJean
Date: 09 Oct 03 - 11:58 PM

My mother, who was by anyone's definition a perfect lady, made reservations at the Trout. We took a taxi out to the restaurant. (It's very nice, really, right on the river. If you're English, I reccomend it highly.) It's a good distance from the town, as you know. When we arrived, we were informed that they had no reservation for us. Another American couple had the same experience, the next night.
We were advised, by a don from the College of Medieval and Rennaissence Studies, to stay out of the Eagle and Child, because they wouldn't serve Americans. Visiting England had long been a dream of mine. I wish my experience had been better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 12:59 AM

So do I; it is bitter, and hard, to be disappointed. Oxford is not typical of England, though it is perceived as such in other countries. I haven't been there for twenty years or more, but I can't say I'd recommend it to a visitor, except for its architecture. You would have had a far better experience almost anywhere else. English people are pretty much the same as any other; there are good folk and bad, and most are not quite either; but most mean well, and behave with kindness and decency; though, it is true, sometimes with a reserve that can be mistaken for coldness if it is not recognised for what it really is; shyness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: sledge
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 02:50 AM

I was born and raised in Banbury, just 20 Miles down the road from Oxford, the only reason I ever went there was for gigs at the Appollo theatre, this was years before the Mill arts Centre in Banbury really got going. If anything kept me from going on a more regular basis it was the students who I then percieved as noisy and arrogant (sorry Morty). But as I was a bit of a country bumpkin my exposure to them was a bit of a shock, now that I've travelled a bit I don't give it a seconds thought, their behaviour was no better or worse on a night out than many other cities in the UK.

Ladyjean, are you saying that restaurant bookings are never messed up in the USA, I'm sure there are also bars in many US cities that it might be best to avoid. Pretty feeble basis on which to run us down.

Allan, great that you are moving over, lots to see and do, Hope you have a blast.

Cheers

Sledge


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Grab
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 06:12 AM

Thanks McGrath. Doh! :-)

Oh yes, milk comes in "skimmed" (no cream free), "semi-skimmed" (half cream removed) or "normal" (all cream left in). I've still not worked out how that compares to the US "1% fat" kind of system.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 06:14 AM

The Trout isn't all that special, a bit quaint, and the fish in the river that come to be fed are Chub and not trout. There are nicer places to go round Oxford then that.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:16 AM

Is it possible the Don might have been having you on. The Bird and Baby hasn't ever been down on Americans that I've heard.

It's a smallish pub, so if a coachload of Americans or any other variety of people turned up, looking for the place CS Lewis and Tokien and company used to drink at, they might not have been too welcome.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:56 AM

This don is a bit suspicious,lady jean. Someone might be having you on. I'm familiar with quite a few of the colleges at this venerable seat of learning, and the College of Medieval and Renaissance Studies is not one I've ever been aware of. Mind you, there are one or two iffy establishments down the Cowley Road catering for foreign students, it might conceivably be one of those.
   The Eagle and Child (Bird and Baby), as McGrath points out, is unlikely to be wildly anti-American. In fact I have drunk in there with Americans myself, and experienced no difficulty whatever. And Tolkien and CS Lewis were sat there in the corner, pipes, Harris tweed jackets with leather patches, reading out their latest extracts from Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books, and a good time was had by all. Mind you, I'm going back a bit now.
   As for the Trout, well you could be right. Might have been full of golden-haired boys, straw-boatered and blazered, caressing their teddy bears lasciviously. Might not have been any space for American diners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:57 AM

Linda and I found a wonderful pub called "The Old Bookbinders Ale House" in the Jericho area of Oxford - it was a quite zany place, and we had a wonderful time singing to a great audience on afternoon. They had a regular jazz club there and one bar had instruments all round the walls.

Martin - there are plenty of Jewish delis in London especially in areas like Golders Green, Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill etc. Once upon a time the main Jewish area was in the Whitechapel area of the East End, but most of the Jewish population have got affluent enough to move into North London now and their places have been taken by asian immigrants now. There is still a famous bagel bakery at the northern end of Brick Lane though. I expect most ladies who really need to, do shave the areas which you mentioned. Essex Girl is not exessively hirsute and therefore does not bother.

Finally, we're still waiting to know just where you will be residing in this country, Allan, and also when you will be arriving.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Trevor
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 10:10 AM

"Do the women shave their pits....?"

Another linguistic hint - round here 'pit' means bed - if you ask a woman if she likes being kissed in the pit.....well, I don't know, try it. Oops, sorry Morty!

I remember in Cincinatti, being asked by the waitress if she could "take our balls". She meant, of course, the crocks in which our salad had been served.

Try and get over to us in the Shropshire faction at some point - beautiful place, loads of music, plenty of room.

Bon voyage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 10:55 AM

I've heard 'pit used as an abreviation for armpit on many occasions over here - the younger generation in particular, would much rather user an american term than an english one. Mind you I much prefer the word "Oxters".


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: sian, west wales
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 11:10 AM

Ummm ... is he ready for the advanced stuff, like defininitions of Essex Girls, White Van Man, etc?

(I remember having to ask what 'wanker' and 'slapper' meant, although I'd pretty well worked out the generalities through context ... maybe this is PM kinda stuff?)

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 11:36 AM

My definition of Essex Girl is the lass who shares a bed with me - Linda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 01:32 PM

words are funny...words attain weight and power in a culture. They often mean much more than just 'reference', they can convey overtones of how the users think about things. Depending on the context, they can be anything from light-hearted to deadly serious. There are words, especially swear words... and words referring to sex and bodily functions and 'delicate' topics which can offend one person, and barely elicit a huh? from someone who doesn't get the context or referrent. It takes awhile to let 'foreign' terms like 'W.C' and 'Loo' and 'knickers' and 'wanker' attain their relevance in my American head, as those phrases are just not in my daily conversation...and those may not even be the best examples *grin*...

I guess this internet thing has done a lot to blend and blur the language distinctions and make it a bit easier to visit another country, but stuff we have known from childhood is set pretty firmly...it takes a bit of forebearance to make it all work...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM

It's pretty safe to say that, even if you don't understand the language the English use, they'll understand the language you use, because of the movies and the telly.

And if they then correct you and tell you what the proper word is, if they didn't do that it would be unhelpful and discourteous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 05:40 PM

I guess Allan won't know the difference between England and Britain as half of the mucatters commenting on this thread seem confused. I would advise giving England a miss and head for the continent instead .. France, Germany, Spain .. Europe is so much more exciting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 06:33 PM

Recent soundings:

(1) There are now only about 2 hours during daylight you can go onto Hampstead Heath and not be very surprised.   

(2) English newspapers have degenerated, and are now filled with what can only be called "Little Englanding". If you want to find out what is going on in the world, you have to tune into the World Service of the BBC or read the New York Times.

(3) Never eat in a railway station.

(4) Go to the English National Opera, it is cheap and good. If you have the patience, you can stand in line for cheap tickets on the day for the National Theatre. If you go to a West End Theatre at any time, do not dress up: the seats are very small, and the theatre is always overheated, you will be very unhappy.

(5) If you like museums, go to the Wallace Collection. No one ever goes there, but it is one of the best museums in the world. You will have the place to yourself. Why this is, I do not know.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 06:50 PM

Peter T,

England does not solely consist of London, as your post would suggest.

We also have Hull ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM

Never eat in a railway station.

You've obviously never been to Stalybridge station. The black peas are splendid. (Good folk club too)

As a general rule, you're right. Most station food is really bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:11 PM

Who reads newspapers on holiday anyway?

If you have to, The Telegraph, Guardian and Independent are pretty good on world news, at least as good as The New York Times. Even the Times is sometimes, though it's really gone down in recent years. The rest are basically for wrapping chip.

But you'd have a much better time with Private Eye and The Oldie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:12 PM

Who reads newspapers on holiday anyway?

If you have to, The Telegraph, Guardian and Independent are pretty good on world news, at least as good as The New York Times. Even the Times is sometimes, though it's really gone down in recent years. The rest are basically for wrapping chips.

But you'd have a much better time with Private Eye and The Oldie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Gareth
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:34 PM

Just remember - Us Celts, in the west - thats alomg the M4 and over the Bridge - You may see us and look down when the Captain says "We're are comencing our descent into London" don't like being called English !

Remember - " It' another triumph for Great Brittain - or - England looses again !"

Gareth


"If you ever come to Wales,
You must try our Brains Pale Ale's,
If you want to drink on Sunday,
You do have to wait till Monday !"

" have you ever saw etc ....!
Continued for 700 verses !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Noreen
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 08:47 PM

McG, Allan's not coming on holiday, he's coming over to stay!

And do you really mean to say, Mr Bryant, that you've missed the news that Allan's coming over to be married to the wondrous Morticia? I thought you got the news first!

In fact, he should be posting on this thread from the right hand side of the Atlantic at any time now....


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 09:07 PM

I'd got that, Noreen - but the thread was drifting into advice for visitors too, and not reading the newspapaers for a bit is one of the great pleasures of travel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 11:09 AM

I had no idea he was going over to stay!! In that case -- invest in central heating, and find somewhere that has some water pressure so you can have a decent shower sometime.

If you can find the album of Gerry and the Pacemakers where they sing the live version of Billy' Joel's "Don't Go Changing" that will (a) put you in good stead for marriage; and (b) sums up a whole universe of British music making that if you go to Blackpool or most anywhere you will be exposed to at some time, so it is best to be prepared.


yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: sian, west wales
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 05:29 PM

Gareth, don't confuse him with Tips on Learning (to be) Welsh. He's got enough to cope with, without "tidy", "butty", "tampin" and (heaven forbid) "faggot".

I did come across another one in the supermarket this evening. I was told that something that I was looking for was in Aisle 9 "down the bottom". This one still catches me out, even after 23 years! I was half way down the aisle, looking at the lower shelves, when I remembered that "down the bottom" means "at the end". This may be Welsh, but I'm sure that I've heard it in England too. If you ask directions to somewhere, someone usually say "you go down to the bottom here and turn ..." This does not always mean "the end"; sometimes it's the bottom of the hill or whatever. Often a very local reference so that you don't really understand if you don't live locally, and if you lived locally, you wouldn't be lost.

Used to drive me mad when I first moved here...

Oh! But you can use your accent to good advantage. I lay on my thickest Canadian when I'm looking for a parking spot during Boxing Day sales. Some traffic wardens can be REALLY nice! Also got out of driving the wrong way on a one-way street with the same tactics. Got a bit awkward when the Very Nice Policeman asked me if I might know his Aunty in Vancouver but I just asked her name and then told him 'probably not'.

Oh. And Boxing Day = Day after Christmas.

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Kelly
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:18 PM

*chimes in*

Allan is my pops (as some know) and yep, he's in England all permanent-like, and living with the lovely Morty, so no apartment hunting required.

Without being overly specific, he's living west-ish of London but not right ontop of things (if Im reading my map correctly.)

And he did arrive most safely and soundly :) I'm sure he'll be posting in the near future, so keep those suggestions coming!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM

You mean you don't have Boxing Day across the Atlantic?

Otherwise known as St Stephen's Day, but only when you are singing Good King Wenceslas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Kelly
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:29 PM

Nope, no Boxing Day here. The day after Christmas is just.. the day after Christmas. Usually a day of bloated bellies, sandwiches made from leftovers, and lots of naptime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM

But I note from this website about Canadian holidays that they do appear to keep Boxing Day, even if their benighted southern neighbours don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:35 PM

Here's that Canadian holidays link


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Kelly
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 11:16 AM

Oh, another key feature of December 26th in the US is MAD MAD MAD shopping! After-Christmas sales are an American tradition of capitalism that millions take advantage of. lol


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: The Walrus
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 12:00 PM

Allan,

There is one point that will probably strike you immediately - be assured it is not your hearing and it is not a local phenomenon; The worst speakers of English in the World are the English (closely followed[1] by the rest of the 'Home Nations').

Best Wishes

Walrus

[1] As in, 'you can hardly get a cigarette paper between them' close.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Wotcha
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 12:54 PM

As Monty Python pointed out many years ago ..."Are you embarrassed easily? If so, don't worry; it is all a part of growing up and ... being British." This might explain British "reserve" but not necessarily the reverse affection felt for the flag (the British like to put it on everything from tea towels to underwear/pants): in South Carolina, they'd have a fit.


If you are dragging kids to the UK, they won't be swearing allegiance to a flag except maybe to some football (soccer) team. The good old "O" and "A" Levels standards have been supplanted/watered down by a National Curriculum (no local determination in schools) but are still better (IMHO) than anything you'll find in the States ... If you drive (no matter what lane you choose)in central London, you'll pay Red Ken (the Mayor, when he's not making the headlines for non-mayoral activity) for the privilege ... Doing someone a favor,in a union run workplace, could be cause for industrial action (strike) or unrest: "Demarcation" of tasks can be quite a problem.


Probably not a good idea to remind folks how many times Uncle Sam has bailed Europe out of various conflicts ... It'll be another sore point when Bosnia erupts again in a couple of years when the EU takes over ... just watch.


Britain is not part of Continental Europe (or the Euro yet), so be careful when referring to someone in Britain European ... some are still smarting after the 1975 referendum that changed geography and got Britain into to then Common Market.


Have a great time and don't forget to bring a brolly or raincoat whenever you go out.

Cheers,

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Noreen
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 01:08 PM

A lot of ignorance dressed up as inside knowledge there from Wotcha- I suppose American tourists in London would get the impression that we put the Union flag on everything from underwear to tea-towels, but I would say that's the only place in the country you'll see such things.

Demarkation disputes were a thing of the 1970s- things have changed rather a lot in this country since then. I could go on but won't waste my time.

I'm sure Allan will take other things with a pinch of salt too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 01:36 PM

Driving in Central London is a mug's game anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 02:11 PM

Wear socks with your sandles.

Eat with a knife and fork.

Don't end all sentences with a question mark.

sal


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 02:53 PM

Eat with a knife and fork.

But not when it's breakfast cereal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Penny S.
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 05:34 PM

Going back quite a way - icecream. There are a number of small local concerns producing excellent stuff. Roskilly's in Cornwall, and another, Rocombe (I think), in Devon. There's a very good one just outside Bicester, too. These can't be the only ones. They just happen to be where I have been. And you can get Ben and Jerry's. Wall's Carte D'or isn't bad, and many supermarkets have own brands with very good ingredients. Marks and Spencers, Sainsbury's and Waitrose are good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:41 AM

Whoops Noreen - I just hadn't realised he was that Allan. Ah well, he won't need anyone to show him around or introduce him to venues etc. Now I realise that he's just coming over here to steal one of our beautiful women, I can start being rude to him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Can Johnson
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:49 AM

You can order any type of essay or tern paper at this site:


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Can Johnson
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:51 AM

You can order essay or term paper on this site

http://www.essayfabric.com


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 06:28 AM

Allan - go to see a Panto this Christmas. If you understand it - You've got the problem cracked (oh no he hasn't! - Oh yes he has...). If you don't - keep going back each year until you do!!
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Micca
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 06:38 AM

It may help also to bear in mind that the Archytypical English person is Not Christopher Robin, or the irritatingly optimistic Pooh Bear, but much much closer in attitude and thinking to Eyore!!!! or Marvin , the paranoid Android, his literary and spiritual sucessor ( in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy).


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 06:54 AM

Many English also resemble Arthur Dent, also of the Hitch Hikers Guide - well meaning, but confused and bewildered.
If you, as an American can learn to also be bewildered about the World, you will make friends of us easily.
What we don't like is people who tell us they know what is happening, because, quite frankly We Don't Believe Them, and wouldn't trust them as far as we could throw them!
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 07:20 AM

Don't forget, Allan...if it all gets to be too much for you, you can always log on to Mudcat and the rest of us will help you forget all about the silly gits (I think that's idgits in UKish).


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 07:39 AM

Re ice cream. When last in US I was always asked to choose between ice cream and yogurt. Frozen yogurt appeared here for a while but never caught on.
We say yog as in dog, not as in Bogle


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 07:46 AM

"gits" is standard Englsh, more especially Northern; "twits" is more contemptuous than hostile, and is more typically Souther. "eejits" is Irish, and is often quite friendly.

More than one variety of "Typically English". For example football hooligans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 08:06 AM

Ah, but "idgit" is American (you sound the "d")


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Morticia
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 08:32 AM

well, he's just survived Banbury Folk Festival, meeting assorted Mudcatters and Shellbacks as far as the eye could see.He also very calmly ate black pudding on Sunday morning with barely a blink as a massed crowd of folkies, dressed in little policeman helmets erupted into The Laughing Policeman in a transport cafe....I think the assimilation is going very well....of course, I have taken the cautionary measure of hiding his passport *G*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 08:34 AM

Don't forget to try out the echo in the British Museum Round Reading Room in the new Great Court: yodelling works best.
You'll find single person urinals on many street corners, some are red and some have glass sides. Dial 999 to flush.
London cabbies hate to be tipped and love you to haggle over the fare.
Want a free meal? The Queen runs regular Garden Parties at Buck House, just go along and join in.
Bringing your hunting rifle? Try potting the pigeons in Trafalgar Square.

RtS
(Don't thank me, just enjoy....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM

"gits" is pronounced with a hard g; no connection with "idgits"


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Nigel
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 11:45 AM

"Git" : one derivation "Girl In Trousers"


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 12:55 PM

One way to understand the English is to study their proverbs, especially the ones that never caught on in America:

It can't be helped.
A change is as good as a rest.
Lie back and think of England. (Advice to a girl on her wedding night.)
…as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses. (Anything is permissible as long as it's done quietly, in private—but more and more these days, it's being done loudly in public.)
Where there's muck, there's brass. (Translation: Where there's shit, there's money - from Yorkshire, I think.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM

Lie back and think of England was the advice to a daughter about to be raped in one of the revoting colonies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 02:13 PM

I love a cartoon I once saw. The picture was of a door marked "Department of Philosophy", and a man was coming out of it saying "Oh well, it can't be helped..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Allan C.
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for all of the advice! I've been getting on rather well so far, much to my surprise. Quite honestly, I am starting to realize I have learned much more on the 'Cat than I thought. For instance, Phot made a derogatory remark about some artwork, saying, "Looks like the sort of thing Blue Pete would teach you to make." I knew just what he meant! I had read about Blue Pete here.

I've just finished my first adventure in cooking here. It was a challenge! Meats aren't known by the same names. There are condiments I've never before seen or heard of. But the most difficult realization was that I cannot divide by 5/9ths in my head in order to use the proper oven settings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: jeffp
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:28 PM

You may find it easier to multiply by 9/5 instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:37 PM

Ask Mortie she'll know Allan, or pretend you just don't understand, look helpless, and maybe she'll do the cooking for you!!
Giok
Ducks and runs for cover! {To Australia?]


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Bassic
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:43 PM

And Allan, I know this is being very picky, and I am really sorry, but it is Blue PeteR not Blue Pete. If you went into a pub and started chatting to a regular at the bar and commented that the painting that the landlords wife had just hung up looked like it had just been made on Blue PETE you would get blank looks. If you said Blue Peter you would bring the house down and the Landlord would probably buy you a pint for agreeing with him!! :-) I now officially confirm that you are studying at advanced level !! (Nice to see you in Banbury by the way.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:49 PM

"look helpless, and maybe she'll do the cooking for you!!

Naah! Look willing and do it, and wreck the kitchen in the process. That's more likely to do the trick for next time...


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