I’m quite pleased to have been directed to BBC America’s Mind the Gap webpage, about differences between life in Britain and in America. It’s written for British expatriates in the US, but has plenty of information useful for Americans in the UK, or folks who just enjoy the discrepancies.
For example, American Habits that British Will Never Understand includes “Compulsive sentimentality”:
my husband and I recently checked out of a B&B [in the US] after a two-night stay. Instead of bidding us farewell with a firm handshake and a receipt, the owner – a man in his 50s – latched on to me, then my man, for a prolonged hug. Just when we thought it was over, he announced, “I’ll miss you guys!” No, actually. You won’t.Other highlights:
- the reverse of the above.
- subtle differences in playground rhymes and games.
- British insults we Americans don’t understand.
- Ways we can insult British people without realizing.
- How to order in an American restaurant or café (which we of course pronounce with an accent on the second syllable).
That debate in turn led me to BuzzfeedUK’s “British People Problems,” such as: “A man in the supermarket was browsing the food I wanted to browse, so I had to pretend to look at things I didn’t even want until he left.”