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Offline qpan

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Americans
« on: 11/05/2004 16:39:37 »
Just wondering how entirely isolated you guys in the US are...

How many of you guys know that there is a place in the UK called Cambridge?

Just that when i talked to an american, and he asked me where i was, i told him and got a suprised reaction from him that there was another Cambridge in the world other than the one where MIT is and the one in Ontario.

Is he just very ignorant, or is the US really that isolated from the rest of the world?

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« Last Edit: 11/06/2004 06:56:45 by NakedScientist »


 

Offline neilep

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Re: Americans
« Reply #1 on: 11/05/2004 16:52:34 »
I hate to say this.....no I better not say it !!

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Offline Dan B

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Re: Americans
« Reply #2 on: 11/05/2004 17:46:01 »
I am living there are the moment, i am english.

A large proportion of the people here really don't have a clue, and they think that this place is the best thing since sliced bread and that they are always right, and that they are free... which is laughable because some of the laws/policing/govn. etc are just insane here. They like to have opinions on everything without knowing/experience what they are talking about.

I have met some really cool people here who I am proud to call my friends though, and where i am is a nice enough place to live.

To answer the question: In my opinion they are isolated, but by their own doing.
« Last Edit: 11/05/2004 17:47:31 by Dan B »
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Americans
« Reply #3 on: 11/05/2004 18:31:27 »
Being a native of the US, I hate to say this, but I agree with Dan.  In fact, most people probably don't know where Cambridge Mass.  (and MIT) is located, let alone the "real" Cambridge in the UK.  Further, most people in the USA don't know where most of their own states are.  I live in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri.  It is located on the western edge of Missouri, about 200 miles northof the Arkansas border.  I've met many people here who don't know where Arkansas is located.  And that is a state that borders their own. Go figure.

People here think they are free because that's what they are told all the time.  The few who differ with that opinion are labeled (and usually REALLY are) lunatics and/or terrorists.  And, yes everyone has an opinion, usually derived from one factoid they heard somewhere on TV.

Personally, I fall into the same traps though I try to avoid them.  I don't watch TV at all, so that helps (or it just makes me more ignorant I'm not sure which).  I try to keep an open mind and find other sources, but usually I end up just wishing I could be a hermit somewhere.  Then I could be labeled a lunatic with the other non-believers.

I do know about Cambridge in the UK and in Mass., but not the one in Ontario.  I do believe that some of the laws/policing/government are insane, but I don't have a good comparison to anywhere else.  Can anyone honestly say the UK is better?  Anywhere?

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Offline qpan

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Re: Americans
« Reply #4 on: 11/05/2004 19:28:30 »
I've been to the US and i must say i loved it - went to San Francisco, LA and the rest of California and also Las Vegas. Stuff is so cheap, weather is great and surroundings are beautiful too, so California is a really great place. I think i'd love to live there in the future.

However, the UK is nice and quiet (which is both a pro and con- especially in Cambridge, which is exceedingly quiet!). Also, i don't know why, but i prefer the English accent to the american one (especially during lectures- i found it really hard to keep awake during maths lectures when this american guy was lecturing - not sure whether it was the content, person or accent though).

I'm not sure i could cope with the strange laws in the US, such as ones which allow presidential candidates with the fewer votes to become president. And no drinking before 21 (in some states)!

Also, let me share a story with you. In Cambridge, there is a fantastic and ancient Chapel call King's College Chapel. (see http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/chapel/ ).

Apparently, during a tour of this Chapel, an American lady said the tour guide, "Wow, what an amazing Chapel - it must be pre-war right?"
To which the tour guide replied, "Madame. Its pre-america."

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« Last Edit: 11/05/2004 19:29:33 by qpan »
 

Offline dalya

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Re: Americans
« Reply #5 on: 11/05/2004 19:57:40 »
I am an American living in Cambridge UK.  Americans are pretty clueless, I must say.  We are definitely fed the nonsense that we are the greatest people in the world.  Interesting considering that the US is an immigrant nation and that most of its flavor derives from ethnic and international diversity.  

No offense to the majority of lovely British folk I have met, but I must say the British can be pretty close-minded as well.  I have received an apalling amount of negativity and rudeness in my years in the UK because I am American, including one nice bloke that threatened to stick a fist down my (British) husband's throat if he ever 'came in here again with an American'.  

Understandably, other nations are antagonistic towards America, but they mistake decisions made by the government as representing the desires of the American people.  Most Americans are peace-loving, cheerful, generous people.  We just have a stupid way of electing officials.

One story about American cluelessness though because it's just so comical.  I had a friend who worked in one of the tourist-y shops next to Edinburgh Castle who loved to regale me with stupid things people said.  One American women came in and complimented the Scottish for having such great town planning skills.  She was very impressed by the thoughtfulness of building the castle right next to the rail station.
 

Offline Rokitansky

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Re: Americans
« Reply #6 on: 11/05/2004 19:58:36 »
I`m not from US, but, yes, I know where Cambridge is. :D
« Last Edit: 11/05/2004 20:00:36 by Rokitansky »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Americans
« Reply #7 on: 11/05/2004 20:57:37 »
Dalya....on behalf of all us Brits who love Americans....glad you have not given up on us yet.......fortunately I have been to the States quite a few times and one minute I am touched by American generosity and kindness in spirit and the next thing I have to stand back at trying to comprehend what I'm hearing !!!...

There are times when I shudder that these people hav the right to vote !!(same applies to here in the UK too)....but I knew one person who thought Wales was part of England...and that England was the Capital of Britain...and  someone said that we all eat squirrels and badgers.....I remember popping into a drug store and the guy behind the counter thought I must know Prince Charles !!!...one thing I do know is that as a brit....I have always and I mean always been treated with warmth and friendship (despite the  cluelessness)........there was also one guy who wanted me to try and get Paul McCartney to come and play a concert in his home town !!

To be honest, I'm sure we'll find the same situation in all countries, but perhaps it just seems more prevalent in the US.........

Oh...yes that reminds me....when Reagan popped over to see Maggie Thatcher, I remember his wife (Nancy eh ?) being interviewed at how she enjoyed meeting our King and Queen !!!*sigh*

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Americans
« Reply #8 on: 11/05/2004 21:41:38 »
quote:
Originally posted by qpan



Is he just very ignorant, or is the US really that isolated from the rest of the world?





yes qpan.... he IS just very ignorant (just like 99% of all Americans (and 97% of the world population)

I am proud to say that when I think Cambrige, the one in the UK is the first that comes to mind.  However, there are a few facts about the UK that have been mentioned in this thread that people seem appauled that some Americans didn't know that I would expect the general public to be aware of.  Remember there are like 200 some odd countries in the world we can't knwo every little in and out of every one.  there are some countries that i don't even know where they are (I'm sure that same goes for everyone in here) don't you think that the people in those countries would be shocked to find that out?  Even not knowing where cambridge is.... how many of you in here can tell me a major/prestigous university in china off the top of your head?  That country comprises one sixth of the world population if there's any place we should all have knowledge of it would be that but I doubt many people do.  
So while I agree that most americans are completely ignornat to the world around them, i think we're getting a little cairried away about how we are judging that.

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Americans
« Reply #9 on: 11/05/2004 21:43:44 »
also, at least it wasn't one of us yanks who put this thread in the "general science" forum [8D]

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Offline Dan B

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Re: Americans
« Reply #10 on: 11/05/2004 21:48:56 »
I must just quicky add that the rumour about american women loving an English accent is VERY true. Its really weird.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Americans
« Reply #11 on: 11/05/2004 22:34:36 »
quote:
Originally posted by Dan B

I must just quicky add that the rumour about american women loving an English accent is VERY true. Its really weird.



Here here..ditto ditto !!

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Americans
« Reply #12 on: 11/05/2004 22:55:11 »
We all have our faults.  

We Canadians are so incredibly apathetic as a whole the we keep voting in lawyers from Quebec for our Prime Minister.  Like the first one didn't screw us over QUITE enough.  Is everyone aware of the latest scandal?  Apparently Sheila Fraser, the auditor general, is looking for $250,000,000 that went AWOL while Cretien was in office.

British people tend to be stiff upper lip and stiff everything else.

Americans don't even have a clear picture of themselves, so how can they know anyone else?  Oprah Winfrey has addressed this, so expect to see some changes.  When I was in Amsterdam a fat American with a southern drawl asked if Canada was "some remote island far north of our great country".  I told him "yeah, it's the place you get all your natural resources from".  He asked where I taught school, and I let him know that class was over (my exact words would only be deleted).
 

Offline qpan

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Re: Americans
« Reply #13 on: 11/05/2004 23:07:01 »
quote:
Originally posted by MayoFlyFarmer


Even not knowing where cambridge is.... how many of you in here can tell me a major/prestigous university in china off the top of your head?  That country comprises one sixth of the world population if there's any place we should all have knowledge of it would be that but I doubt many people do.  




Peking University, Zhejiang University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University. To name a few ;-)
(And without looking up too!)

But to be honest, i don't count as your average english joe, being born in China and all (although i am virtually english- if you don't count the first 5 years of my life which i spent in China, and my thousands of years of Chinese heritage!).

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Offline qpan

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Re: Americans
« Reply #14 on: 11/05/2004 23:08:00 »
quote:
Originally posted by MayoFlyFarmer

also, at least it wasn't one of us yanks who put this thread in the "general science" forum [8D]

That's no moon.... its a GRAPEFRUIT!!!!



Yeah...errr..whooops

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Americans
« Reply #15 on: 12/05/2004 02:49:11 »
quote:
Originally posted by Dan B

I must just quicky add that the rumour about american women loving an English accent is VERY true. Its really weird.



even more so.... american guys dig  chicks with britt accents!!! [:I]

If only the opposite were true!  I think I'd move!

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Offline OldMan

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Re: Americans
« Reply #16 on: 12/05/2004 04:14:27 »
The yanks  who think we ride Kangaroos to school and that they hop merrily down the street have always kept me amused.

God save the Queen. God bless America. God send them some decent beer![:p]

Actually don't know about any British beers now I think of it. Is Elephant beer from the UK?

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Americans
« Reply #17 on: 12/05/2004 06:25:33 »
As an American, there's one thought that scares me most:  I think about how stupid the average person is, then realize that 50% of the population is even worse. [xx(]


As a country, we tend to be pretty ignorant of other cultures, but that's pretty much the way we're brought up.  Only the open-minded and educated get out of that rut.  It's funny how a country whose success is founded on immigration can be so xenophobic.

Personally, I'd love to move to the UK or Australia, but I hear that it's not so easy to get citizenship or even a long-term work visa as an American unless you have corporate sponsorship.  (which i will never do again, I'm staying in academia, thank you very much)



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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Americans
« Reply #18 on: 12/05/2004 06:35:42 »
quote:
Originally posted by OldMan

The yanks  who think we ride Kangaroos to school and that they hop merrily down the street have always kept me amused.

God save the Queen. God bless America. God send them some decent beer![:p]

Actually don't know about any British beers now I think of it. Is Elephant beer from the UK?

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ok, as anti-american as I consider myself, I DO have to say that I don't know a single person that would actually think aussies ride to school on kangaroos (and I know some REALLY stupid people)

as far as the beer goes we do have some good beers, we're just not dumb enough be be givin it all away to the rest of the world.  you guys get our crap beer (as I'm sure/would hope the opposite is true) the only aussie beer we have readily available here to my knowledge is fosters....um....yeah, no comment on that one I think my point has been made.  I'm sure the Brits have good beers too, the rest of europe does, why wouldn't they?

That's no moon.... its a GRAPEFRUIT!!!!
« Last Edit: 12/05/2004 06:39:20 by MayoFlyFarmer »
 

Offline chris

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Re: Americans
« Reply #19 on: 12/05/2004 08:16:33 »
I logged on today to find a debate about Americans that, for once, I didn't start (little dig at Bezoar there ;)).

I do find it ironic that Americans make a point of telling the world how 'free' they are, and then have laws banning abortions, work the longest hours, have the least holidays, are the most politically-correct, do the longest PhDs (included for Jay's sake !), stomach some of the highest fees for their education, get told that they cannot teach evolution in some places, have ridiculous speed limits, and pay a lot of tax compared with most of the western world...

...slaves to 'freedom' more like.

It's only when I visit places like the US (and Japan) that I realise how lucky we still are to live in the UK where life is still relatively fun and uncontrolled.

That said, the Americans I've seen at conferences are usually very business-minded, and are usually very good writers and communicators, even if they can't spell properly ;)

Chris

P.S. I'm with mayo - I think this should be moved to the chat section

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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Americans
« Reply #20 on: 12/05/2004 08:59:43 »
Well everyone knows the sterotype of the typical american, don't need to add any more I think (if I don't want hackles up and growling from the american forum-goers)

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Offline neilep

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Re: Americans
« Reply #21 on: 12/05/2004 10:50:05 »
Friends, Frasier, Sex and The City, Will and Grace, Star Trek, Hollywood, Peanutbutter and Jam sarnies, Burger King, Nasa,.......and more things than could fill this entire forum, my first girlfriend and educator !!!.......thank you America....(not sarcasm...I love those things, espesh Burger King hmmmmmmm!!)...the list is endless.....the people in America who know what they're doing , know what they're doing with perfection...on the whole...there's more good than bad.....well I think so anyway........it's so easy to slate a country, a people, or anything cos the negative things stands out more  eh ?

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Americans
« Reply #22 on: 12/05/2004 17:28:20 »
Chris, we don't really have laws banning abortions.  It's legal here until the 15th week or pregnancy or so.  (though it may not be if the Republicans stay in office another 4 years)  

However thanks to the Republicans, we also pay less taxes than most of the Western world... especially those of us with high income.  Your average person making 6 figures in the US is going to end up paying out less than 30% in taxes if they're smart about it and know what to write off and where to put their money.  From what I hear in countries that have a more socialist tinge to them, someone in that income category will pay a much higher percentage.  Not that I think it's a good thing, the burden of taxation should be on the wealthy.

The rest of your points are perfectly valid, of course, for a good portion of the population.  We're chock full of barely literate, over-priveleged, arrogant hypocrites.  If you don't judge us unduly, I'll try not to think of you Brits as stuffy, snooty, and sexually ambiguous.

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Re: Americans
« Reply #23 on: 13/05/2004 03:21:31 »
I can't add much to this thread, but it sure is good entertainment!

I find that I'm agreeing with almost everything that is said here (almost).  And I wonder if that is good or bad.  I guess what it comes down to is that the US is a very big and very diverse place that can't really be neatly categorized any which way.  Same for the UK and Austrailia and most other countries.

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Offline OldMan

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Re: Americans
« Reply #24 on: 13/05/2004 04:12:33 »
quote:
Originally posted by MayoFlyFarmer
ok, as anti-american as I consider myself, I DO have to say that I don't know a single person that would actually think aussies ride to school on kangaroos (and I know some REALLY stupid people)

as far as the beer goes we do have some good beers, we're just not dumb enough be be givin it all away to the rest of the world.  you guys get our crap beer (as I'm sure/would hope the opposite is true) the only aussie beer we have readily available here to my knowledge is fosters....um....yeah, no comment on that one I think my point has been made.  I'm sure the Brits have good beers too, the rest of europe does, why wouldn't they?

That's no moon.... its a GRAPEFRUIT!!!!



OH MY GOD!

You guys get Fosters??? I thought that s... stuff died in the late 80's. Don't tell me they send XXXX over there as well? I recently decided since I was in the home state of the awful brew that i should give it a go. Didn't seem too bad until the after taste hit [xx(]

As sad as it sounds I have heard of the kangroo misconception... oh how i laughed.

All sledging aside they do plenty of good work as well.

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Re: Americans
« Reply #24 on: 13/05/2004 04:12:33 »

 

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