My fellow Americans (by which I mean US Americans, I know there are two entire continents called the Americas, and I know we’re pretentious to think we’re the only Americans, and I’m sorry, but “US Americans” just sounds dumb) – anyway, my fellow people from the US: I have a public service announcement to make.
You sound like an idiot when you use British words. Don’t even get me started on fake English accents. Most of you sound like you’ve recovered admirably well from a stroke, not like you’re next door neighbors to Kate and Wills.
I’m sorry, but in the US, we just don’t say that we need the loo. Mad means angry, not crazy. And guess what – you know how you know that in the UK, they call soccer football? English people are aware that we call it soccer. I’ve met plenty of latinos who’ve gone to study English in USA, and when they still call it football – probably mentally spelled futbol – it’s cute. It is not cute in reverse.
Now, lest you think I’m being too harsh or picking sides of my heritage, let me say that it goes both ways. When my English family members try to speak with American accents, bless their hearts, they totally overdo it and, on some words, sound kind of like pirates.
Then, of course, there are the challenges faced by the bi-dialectical. Just the other day I referred to my Chilean pension scheme. Step one was trying to remember how on earth to talk about it in any kind of English at all. I surmounted that challenge in what was clearly a very British way because the New Yorker I was speaking to pointed out that to him, scheme sounded shady. Oops. I did not mean to imply that I am a mini-Madoff when I was in fact talking about being in compliance with Chilean law!
Of course, all this is said tongue muy in cheek, and some people really are great at doing an accent from across the pond. I do encourage you to think, however, next time you’re tempted to suggest to your English friend that you take the lift – elevator will do just fine.
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