Time to help those poor Americans understand those British niceties…

It’s nearly 10 years since I ventured back to these shores, and to celebrate, I decided it was time to reveal to the many unsuspecting Americans what we British really mean when you think we’re being nice and polite…

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  1. Harvey Halperin
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I dont really think we are all that bad-its a commuications thing, spoke with IT… they cant help.
    Your notes are Hysterical, FDLMAO, FSt.

  2. Paul Smith
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    “Very interesting” can mean a lot of things :)


  3. Posted September 23, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    OK – you got us nailed. We’re going to have to come up with some new ones 😉

  4. Dave Marks
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    This list could go on and on! Thanks for the Monday morning humor, Phil.

  5. Sujay
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink


    I just learned more from this than any formal training,


  6. Posted September 23, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Not sure you actually grasp Americans Phil, let me attempt to translate what the American is actually thinking in your grid. In all the “What the Brit sez” cases, except for the bottom two about the arse and the pint, the American is thinking, “My God, yet another arrogant Brit, well, I will play along and see what else he says.” Regarding the arse, the American is thinking, “I might just kick your self-righteous arse.” Regarding the pint, the American is thinking, “Have you ever heard of a six pack?” The communication gap continues.

  7. Phil Fersht
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Evan, Are you speaking on behalf of all Americans, or just yourself 😉

  8. Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Ha, actually that is a pretty typical American reaction. The comment was written from a research perspective. Then there are Anglophiles, on the other extreme. And then there are those minority of Americans who just view people as people, or try too. Personally, I aim for the last approach, but undoubtedly fall into the first two from time-to-time, I mean, who couldn’t love Princess Diana?

  9. Christa Degnan
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Clearly this explains your management prowess… you really are an arse, aren’t you? 😉

  10. Posted September 24, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Somehow I don’t think Millwall supporters would use this kind of language.

    “Just sayin’.”

  11. Dan Carpenter
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Though I find a number of the British/American (USA) misunderstandings humorous I don’t find them accurate to my experience. I find myself in the somewhat unique position of having traveled over half the world by age 23 and therefore having experienced, early on, a broad manner of speech issues with many people of varied origins. That said though, a number of my friends of American (USA) origin who have *not* traveled extensively (or even much at all) would have a great misunderstanding – as posted above.

    I must disagree vehemently with Evan Quinn’s opinion of what “…the American is thinking,…” for many reasons beyond than it is just offensive and puts Americans (USA) in a bad light. Also, the comment, “Have you ever heard of a six pack?” speaks VOLUMES!

    And lastly, I apologize for my verbosity.

  12. Anton
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I read this with humour in mind…if I don’t, it comes across as quite offensive. (I’m not British.)

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