Spot the American - Spot the Brit

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

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While visiting big cities that get a lot of tourists, Wayne and I are always playing a game we call - Spot the American or Spot the Brit - we do this in large crowds to give each other a giggle when we see someone that just screams American or British - i.e. A very large man with a big beer belly sporting an athletic-type jacket with big letters on the back saying something like USA or HOOTERS (in case you haven't guessed - American) or a very thin girl wearing a tiny skirt, ugg boots and sleeveless jacket in very cold temperatures (that would be the Brit). I'm sure I've offended people on both sides of the pond just now, but at least I don't play favorites... It's not always so obvious or poking fun either - we sometimes see people walking toward us and place our bets - American British, European etc etc and then listen close to them talking as we walk by them to see if we were right. I guess it's something you take notice of when you find yourself visiting different countries.
We also find ourselves trying to place accents of the people around us at restaurants or trains etc etc. The other day, our waiters at a cafe were Canadian, but didn't sound anything like any Canadian I have ever known. I wanted to ask them what part they were from, but didn't want to pry considering they didn't tell us they were Canadian - we over-heard them talking to someone else about it. It's funny how we can assume things that we really don't know much about...
While in the states, people often mistake Wayne for being Australian - why? I blame this on the movie industry. They always give English people posh accents that sound nothing like any English person I've ever come across in real life. This leaves Americans thinking that everyone in England speaks like the queen and Hugh Grant - totally not the case!
Here, people often think I am Canadian. I'm not sure why considering I have a pretty good Jersey/NY sounding accent - or at least I did. The thing is lately I'm hearing myself sound more and more English when I speak. It's that inflection in my voice that I didn't have before - the one Madonna is accused of having. It's really odd when I hear it and it makes me want to run back to Jersey and spend some time with my friends and family so i can get my accent back. I don't want to lose it. I like it. Maybe I should rent some Sopranos DVDs and play it every time I need to hear a good thick Jersey accent to try to balance it all out. It can't be helped though. Accents stick to you. I've known people to join the army and come back with a southern accent. This was a strange phenomenon that I didn't understand until now when I hear myself saying things like rubbish and duvet apposed to trash and comforter. I dread to think what I'll sound like in ten years time...



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2 comments:

  1. Mindy said...:

    Is that really how they dress? Not a great winter look! Actually it's not a great look any time of year!

  1. Erren said...:

    Yes, that's how they dress. What's worse is they wear it in the summer too! I hate those damned boots! Can you imagine wearing them in the summer - it's a fashion statement that has bothered me since I moved here!