Top 5 annoying Americanisms
In my journey of becoming old and bitter I find myself more and more irritated with Americanisms. It seems, now, that not a day goes by where I don’t mutter “bloody Americans!” under my breath at something. Most of these, though are nothing more than manifestations of my own intolerance. I even annoy myself by how much they bother me. My top 5 annoying Americanisms, though, are ones that regularly get my back up. So here they are.
5. Chocolate and Cheese
Maybe I’m spoiled. Maybe I’ve lived in the UK so long I’ve gotten used to really really good food. Our proximity to Europe means we get produce of the highest quality and our standards are just higher. Either way, though, American Chocolate and American cheese just plain suck! Case in point; Hershey’s chocolate. The stuff tastes like drywall flavoured with a poorly manufactured synthetic chocolate substitute. (Mockolate?)
4. American English
What my beef is here is not how America spells some words differently. I’m not a language purist. I fully support the development of language and some of the changes to English that the United States have made do, indeed streamline the language. Classic example is the removal of the letter U from “colour” “flavour” et al. My problem however is that many applications and websites seem to ignore the fact that forms of English outside the US still exist and only offer English (United States) as a language option (Adobe, I’m looking at you!).
Okay, this isn’t an Americanism as such but it does stem from one. The creation of the American dialect has spawned a blinkered approach to languages by a number of american companies.
And don’t even get me started on “zed” and “zee” or the replacement of S with said letter in words like “organise”… Bleugh!!
3. Screw you! We’re calling it that anyway!
I’m guessing that this Americanism is deeply rooted in the nation’s history and the pride they take in declaring independence from Europe. America has this habit of taking something and giving it a name that is already used for something else. The classic example is football. What Americans call soccer is known as football over most of the world and has been for longer than the American game of Football has existed. Oddly, American football has more in common with rugby than football. Even more oddly, they chose the name even though the ball has very little contact with the players’ feet. Hey ho!
Another one of these that’s kind of irritating is the fact that, in the states, any sparkling wine is called Champagne. Only sparkling wine that is made in the Champagne region of France should be called Champagne. This isn’t nearly as annoying for me as it must be for the hardworking vinyard owners in that region who have their hard work and centuries old craft devalued like that.
2. Wait? Do you mean January 7th or July 1st?
Why!!? Why put the month first!? Well, the reason is simple. We used to do it that way in England.. y’know, before the Americans gave us the finger. But what they missed out on, in their emancipation, was when we changed the standard to the more logical day/month/year format around 1900. That’s right, stuffy old England realised the error in one of it’s traditions and changed it!
Come on America, you must see how this can cause problems. Trans-Atlantic communications are at an all time high and, because of this, so must be date miscommunication. That said; “eleven nine” doesn’t have the same ring to it…
1. Anything you can do, we can do better…
One thing that the online community seems to agree on, regardless of their nationality, is that American remakes of foreign media suck… hard! I can’t think of one American remake of a foreign movie or TV show that has been as good as the original. Ringu is better than The Ring, The Office is better than The Office and if the American version of The IT Crowd is better than the UK original I’ll eat my own face with a side of peas.
Why, why, WHY!? Well, money. It’s all about the Benjamins. But as much as I understand that these people make these things to earn money, I really wish they wouldn’t. I hear an American remake of Oldboy, one of my favourite foreign films, is in the pipeline and the web is awash with fury about a forthcoming remake to Let the Right One In.
America makes some great movies. Some REALLY great movies. Play to your strengths, America. Leave the remakes alone and concentrate on making really breathtaking original material.
So there you go. Do you have any Americanisms that really annoy you?