What do American tourists do that offend people in Britain?

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

What do American tourists do that offend people in Britain?

Postby Beyond Birthday » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:38 pm

What do American tourists do that offend people in Britain? This idea came up when I realized that our view of Britain doesn't go outside of The Office, Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Wallace and Gromit, Harry Potter, Fawlty Towers, Hitchhiker's Guide, Doctor Who, Terry Pratchett, award-winning comic books and Torchwood.

It seems like if an American tourist tried to speak about British entertainment they'd probably get their teeth punched in or an eye-roll (kind of like how most people view Texas as nothing but a bunch of open plains and cowboy hats).

So I'm just wondering how often things like that have happened there. Like how Australians hate Staeve Irwin etc. etc.
Beyond Birthday
Member
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:35 pm

Postby mystmoon » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:51 pm

Mispronouncing Monty Python, and yeh, assuming that British comedy is all really OLD stuff like Fawlty Towers and Blackadder (I like those shows but we have other comedians as well!)
"Why is that gas stove wearing a hat?"
"He's going out"
Image
User avatar
mystmoon
Member
 
Posts: 1451
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:52 am
Location: York, England, Europe, Earth, The Solar System, Milky Way, The Universe

Postby Teppic » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:14 pm

To be fair, if your impression of us comes from these programmes, it's probably better than the reality. Nothing wrong with being known for things like Red Dwarf, W&G and of course TP.
User avatar
Teppic
Member
 
Posts: 254
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:24 pm
Location: Outskirts of Londinium

Postby spideyGirl » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:35 pm

Teppic wrote:To be fair, if your impression of us comes from these programmes, it's probably better than the reality. Nothing wrong with being known for things like Red Dwarf, W&G and of course TP.


Totally agree with that one Teppic!

Personally, I don't find American tourists offensive at all. But then we live up North. x
User avatar
spideyGirl
Member
 
Posts: 3548
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:51 pm

Haven't come across many offensive ones, but there are lots who are innocently entertaining, especially when they explain something about britain at great length and are completely wrong.


(See - we're far more offensive in what we think of them)
"when the gods made sheep they must've left their brains in their other coat"
User avatar
Doughnut Jimmy
Member
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:51 pm

Postby Beyond Birthday » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:00 pm

It seems like America never gets any TV shows imported from Britain anymore except for anything by Ricky Gervais and Doctor Who. Maybe I'm just not surfing the right channels or something.

British comic book writers and Harry Potter are still huge here, of course. Especially Grant Morrison, whose writing for Batman right now.

Maybe I should have named this thread something else. Like "America's narrow view of British entertainment" or something like that.

Anyway, I'd be interested to know what kind of shows are considered good and bad there at the moment. The new stuff that America never gets to see except via desperate searches on YouTube.
Beyond Birthday
Member
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:35 pm

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:05 pm

I don't know about that. PBS (Public Broadcast Service) often have British TV shows. The updated version of Sherlock was on when I was there last time. Prime Suspect, Wallender (the Brannagh(sp) version), and a whole bunch more. Mostly mystery series I think. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28932
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby mystmoon » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:16 pm

Oh! Think I misunderstood you! These are some good British programmes, dunno how many made it across the pond
Being Human
IT Crowd
Mighty Boosh
Sherlock
Horrible Histories
QI
"Why is that gas stove wearing a hat?"
"He's going out"
Image
User avatar
mystmoon
Member
 
Posts: 1451
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:52 am
Location: York, England, Europe, Earth, The Solar System, Milky Way, The Universe

Postby Penfold » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:32 pm

Doughnut Jimmy wrote:Haven't come across many offensive ones, but there are lots who are innocently entertaining, especially when they explain something about britain at great length and are completely wrong*.


(See - we're far more offensive in what we think of them)

*Like warm beer, for example :wink:
My only real experience comes from my old drinking days when the American tourists were extolling the virtues of American beer (Budweiser normally) over what they thought was English beer (lager normally). This lasted until they were taken to a traditional Real Ale Pub (CAMRA recommended normally) rather than some poncy wine bar where they became hooked and extremely inebriated after a couple (normally) of what I would call proper pints. :wink: (waits for the argument to break out yet again on which country makes the best beer)

I have to think very hard to remember an offensive American tourist, there really aren't many*. The closest I can come up with is when I worked on the cruise ships in the eighties and, even then, I didn't directly witness his behaviour. I returned from a rest break and was sent to a fairly busy Blackjack table to give the female dealer her break. As she left, the American passenger said, in a loud voice, something along the lines of;
"at least you're better looking than that last bitch!"

Unaware of what had gone before and thinking he was joking around, I replied in my gayest, campest voice, "Oh thank you."

Unfortunately, with my southern 'Almost-London' accent I often pronounce my 'th' as an 'f', thus actually saying fank-you. This was misheard and the customer thought I had said to him "Oh f*ck you!" He was about to really go into one, having been so badly insulted by mere staff, when all the other customers burst out laughing and cheering (they had also misheard me) and making comments like "well done" and "its about time someone put that asshole in his place!" The customer chose that moment to leave at speed, never to return to the on-board casino. It transpired that the previous dealer and other customers had put up with something like 45 minutes of his rude and obnoxious behaviour and they had just about had enough of him. :lol:

*I have, however, met plenty of offensive English tourists! :evil:
Last edited by Penfold on Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
30
User avatar
Penfold
Member
 
Posts: 7187
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:59 am
Location: Worthing

Postby poohcarrot » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:03 pm

Penfold wrote:**I have, however, met plenty of offensive English tourists! :evil:

Have to agree with Pinflod. English tourists are a million times more offensive than Americans. :twisted:
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby mystmoon » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:19 pm

Yes, American tourists aren't that annoying, they're just loud sometimes (and attempt to see everything worth seeing in York in one afternoon...I think those tourists may have regretted that though!)
"Why is that gas stove wearing a hat?"
"He's going out"
Image
User avatar
mystmoon
Member
 
Posts: 1451
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:52 am
Location: York, England, Europe, Earth, The Solar System, Milky Way, The Universe

Postby Beyond Birthday » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:53 pm

You didn't misunderstand me mystmoon. I was just talking about myself when I said that.

I don't think we get QI or Horrible Histories here. The Mighty Boosh is on Adult Swim here (I've only seen bits and pieces of it though).

Great story by the way, Penfold.

Trek fans might find this funny: one BBC America commercial said that TNG has a British captain. Incorrect: Picard is a French captain that's played by a British actor...although in the 24th century I guess France and Britain had some kind of cultural pact since Picard only reads British literature and speaks with a British accent.

There is another thing I noticed, though. It seems like made-for-TV movies in Britain are much more popular there than in America. In America made-for-TV movies are usually treated as complete crap while in Britain I've heard of people giving interviews for theirs. Is this true or is it more or less the same?
Beyond Birthday
Member
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:35 pm

Postby raisindot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:56 am

Well, speaking as one of the very few born and bred Yanks here on this board, I can 100% reassure that I have never offended any British as a tourist, since I've been never been fortunate enough to travel overseas, much as I'd like to.

(Now offending people here is a totally different thing! :) )

My total anglophilia alas doesn't from direct experience of the UK but from my experiences having befriended and worked with many British people from childhood on. I can't think of a one of them who wasn't charming, funny, and cultured.

As for British TV, yes, like many Yanks I grew up on all of the classic Brit comedies and dramas of the 70s and 80s. I tend to prefer the more intelligently written shows (Python Fawlty Towers, Yes, Minister, Red Dward) over the more mundane nudge-nudge wink wink stuff (Are You Being Served and all that).

But I'm also an avid reader of British and Irish authors, from the classicists like Swift, Fielding, Hume and Johnson to the 20th century comic writing greats like Woodhouse, Waugh, both Amises, and of course that great half-American, Winston Churchill.

Personally, if I ever went to England I would be the antithesis of the obnoxious Yank tourist because I'd be too much in awe of just being there.

In terms of who gets what shows, it amazes me that you Brits get so many of our (mostly terrible) TV shows almost as quickly as they're broadcast. In the "olden days" it tooks several years for our shows to cross the ocean, and you'd only get the good ones. When I hear Brits talking about Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother, well, frankly, I'm astounded. Here, the shows are considered to be middlebrow puffery. Highly rates middlebrow puffery.

Yet, the same flow of shows from Britain doesn't come here. Other than BBC America (which broadcasts mostly reality shows and very few new comedies) you might occasionally see a British comedy airing on a public station, but mostly it's the middle of the road shows like AYBS and shows about retired people. I really wish there was a dedicated cable channel here that would broadcast the newest and edgiest British comedies. I feel we're missing out on the real good stuff.
raisindot
Member
 
Posts: 3207
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Boston, MA USA

Postby poohcarrot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:14 am

raisindot wrote: I can't think of a one of them (British people) who wasn't charming, funny, and cultured.

:oops: Gosh! J-I*b. :oops:
I never knew you cared so much. :oops:
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:42 am

Jeff, people of my age grew up on American TV series. Anything that was on your TV in the late fifties and early sixties, was probably on ours. I've often remarked to Sharlene that it's probably easier for me to understand American culture than for her to understand British - I certainly know more American slang than she does British. :D
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28932
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Next

Return to Non-Discworld books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 4 guests