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(Metro)   Seven British things that Americans just don't understand   (metro.co.uk) divider line 289
    More: Obvious, Americans, British, British Royal Family, American Love  
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20035 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jan 2014 at 10:53 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-10 08:11:34 PM  
1. Rugby explained. Rugby is unlike soccer in that you are encouraged to touch the ball and even run with it. In fact, that is precised how the game was invented. A player at Rugby School broke the cardinal rule of football (do not grab the ball and run with it) and thus the game was born. Rugby differs from American football in that everybody piles on the player with the ball (not just the opposing team) and then they kick, bite and gouge each other in an attempt to squirm out of the pile with the ball. Simple, isn't it? There is really nothing to understand except why Rugby players have thighs like prize Black Forest hams.

2. Tea. Do not boil the tea. Bring fresh water to a boil and pour it on the tea leaves (you CAN use tea bags--it's not 1923). The tea should never be boiled unless you are making it over a campfire in the Great North Woods of Canada or work for British Rail.

3. The Queen's Power. She really hasn't got much. In theory she can shut down the Civil Service and tell the Government to go take a leap, choosing to recognize a new Government if the Leader of the Opposition can pull one off, but in the real world she is all about persuasion. She does get briefed thoroughly by the PM and Cabinet Ministers. She makes them stand to keep meetings short. Now that's a power worth having! In a political crisis she might be able to sway events in an important. Some of her representatives (called Vice-Roys or Governor Generals) have made important decisions when a Government could not be formed or when one fell on a vote which requires a Government to resign. Not all votes do. Mostly it is only money bills, like Budgets. If the Government can' spend money, its goose is cooked.

4. Wigs in Parliament. I assume that only Law Lords wear these wigs any more. You can see that most members don't bother. Those wigs are quite pricey and they are worn by judges and solicitors and some of the members of the House of Lords. They are frequently stolen because there's a black market  in them. They can cost well over GBP 600, which could buy you a suit or a TV.

5. You have to drive on one side or the other. Like the choice of turning soda pop into soda or pop, some people when one way, some the other. The randomness sorted itself out so that most countries on continents drive on one side and a few islands drive on the other. In other words, the right side won but the left side did not entirely die out (at least yet).

6. Cricket makes no sense whatsoever. It is even stupider and slower than baseball. Even most British people don't know and don't care, although they are almost all glad to see the English team beat the Australians. Everybody is glad to see the Australians beaten. They just get on people's nerves.
 
2014-01-10 08:19:14 PM  
Some Americans love British comedies. They laugh at all the right bits and can't stop talking about their favorite shows. Many of us watch these shows on their recommendations and, well, we just don't get it. The humour is different, the delivery is different and we're left confused and slightly uncomfortable.

Wait, British people don't get British comedies? I'm confused.
 
2014-01-10 08:24:23 PM  
While Americans are obsessed with the British royal family

I am?
 
2014-01-10 08:44:30 PM  
The hell you say, Subby!  I understand ALL of those things, I just happen to only like British comedy.

Be it Benny Hill or Monty Python.

Or Black Adder.

Or just the polite snark of the British Blogger.
 
2014-01-10 08:46:19 PM  
I "get" all of it except cricket. I've tried, but I just can't get into it.
 
2014-01-10 08:47:44 PM  
Shhhh... No one tell them that Americans play rugby.

And drink tea.
 
2014-01-10 08:49:30 PM  
I enjoy British humour humor, when I can understand what they're saying.
 
2014-01-10 08:57:54 PM  
I for one and thoroughly confused with the British sense of female attractiveness, or "British Hot"
www.ryanseacrest.com
 
2014-01-10 08:58:48 PM  
As listicles go, that was one of the most listicly I've ever seen. I sincerely hope nobody was paid for that.
 
2014-01-10 09:01:18 PM  
Brown sauce?
 
2014-01-10 09:05:41 PM  
Cricket's mildly amusing.  Still can't follow what's up with (either) rugby.
 
2014-01-10 09:09:43 PM  

news.eyeka.net

I don't get it.

 
2014-01-10 09:09:59 PM  
We seem to have this thread every couple of months..
 
2014-01-10 09:18:47 PM  

Nabb1: I just can't get into it.


Neither it seems can the British
 
2014-01-10 09:20:04 PM  

Fo Shiz: I for one and thoroughly confused with the British sense of female attractiveness, or "British Hot"
[www.ryanseacrest.com image 850x637]


If you don't think Ginger and Baby are hot you're insane.
 
2014-01-10 09:26:31 PM  
cricket. bowler launches ball at a gate. batsman tries to stop ball hitting gate as well as score runs

a lot of village and private school cricket pitches look like this

1.bp.blogspot.com

it's a summer game and you can't play when it's raining, all of which means that if you're one of the nine people on the batting team not currently batting, or one of the nine people on the bowling team not currently bowling or catching behind the gate, you're basically lounging about enjoying a summer afternoon at a pretty sedate pace in a nice environment. every now and then someone launches a hard ball at you, but that's so you can say you did something that afternoon
 
2014-01-10 09:29:55 PM  
I, uh, actually understand all of that, and I'm an American.  Maybe it's because (a) I'm right next door to Canada, or (b) I'm so British, I shiat the Queen.

/who the f#*% can't understand 'tea'???
 
2014-01-10 09:31:46 PM  

21-7-b: cricket. bowler launches ball at a gate. batsman tries to stop ball hitting gate as well as score runs

a lot of village and private school cricket pitches look like this

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 727x900]

it's a summer game and you can't play when it's raining, all of which means that if you're one of the nine people on the batting team not currently batting, or one of the nine people on the bowling team not currently bowling or catching behind the gate, you're basically lounging about enjoying a summer afternoon at a pretty sedate pace in a nice environment. every now and then someone launches a hard ball at you, but that's so you can say you did something that afternoon


I read up on the rules of cricket, once.  Baseball, of course, borrows a lot from cricket; but so does gridiron football (IIRC, it was in the scoring rules or something....it's been a while since I looked at the rules).
 
2014-01-10 09:44:34 PM  

xanadian: I, uh, actually understand all of that, and I'm an American.  Maybe it's because (a) I'm right next door to Canada, or (b) I'm so British, I shiat the Queen.

/who the f#*% can't understand 'tea'???


Beats me. Here in the States, we have a whole political faction devoted to tea.
 
2014-01-10 09:46:05 PM  
xanadian

I read up on the rules of cricket, once. Baseball, of course, borrows a lot from cricket; but so does gridiron football (IIRC, it was in the scoring rules or something....it's been a while since I looked at the rules).

they've got books about the books about the rules
 
2014-01-10 09:48:40 PM  
Three sports things and not one mention of the food?  That the British idea of sausage is just different flavored hot dogs?  That they still eat black pudding even though there doesn't seem to be a famine problem in the UK?
 
2014-01-10 10:02:02 PM  
The British drive on the left because on the narrow bridges over the Thames, pedestrians walked on the outside edges and carriage drivers whipped their horses with their right hands. If they drove on the right, the pedestrians would be dodging whips.
 
2014-01-10 10:04:43 PM  
I understand each generation must learn what has become rote to their elders

/but FFS, that's one ignorant f*ckin' kid
 
2014-01-10 10:05:25 PM  

Lsherm: Three sports things and not one mention of the food?  That the British idea of sausage is just different flavored hot dogs?  That they still eat black pudding even though there doesn't seem to be a famine problem in the UK?


You realize the era when Britain got a reputation for bad food was the same time as 1) rationing, and 2) Americans were enjoying such sophisticated delicacies as canned veggies in jello:

i39.tinypic.com
i42.tinypic.com
 
2014-01-10 10:12:47 PM  
I used to sleep with half the rugby team and I still don't understand the game. But maybe that's because they were Americans.
 
2014-01-10 10:19:46 PM  

God Is My Co-Pirate: Lsherm: Three sports things and not one mention of the food?  That the British idea of sausage is just different flavored hot dogs?  That they still eat black pudding even though there doesn't seem to be a famine problem in the UK?

You realize the era when Britain got a reputation for bad food was the same time as 1) rationing, and 2) Americans were enjoying such sophisticated delicacies as canned veggies in jello:


This Sunday - as with most Sundays - my family is heading to our British friends' house for English Sunday dinner. It'll be a roast of some sort (usually beef or pork, but occasionally lamb or fowl), Yorkshire pudding, the best roast potatoes ever (crispy, duck fat flavored outside and fluffy soft deliciousness inside), scratch made gravy, and two veg (no, not boiled to death), maybe a head of cauliflower with cheese sauce and roasted carrots/parsnips.

If I ever find myself on the green mile, it'll be my requested last meal.
 
2014-01-10 10:46:34 PM  
Now this is serious! If theres one thing in this country that really bothers me
Is the inability of Yanks to make a good cup of tea
Instructions are printed on the teabag
But either they can't read
Or they think it's a gag
 
2014-01-10 10:51:32 PM  
reg explains cricket (nsfw language)
 
2014-01-10 10:51:59 PM  

Mangoose: Now this is serious! If theres one thing in this country that really bothers me
Is the inability of Yanks to make a good cup of tea
Instructions are printed on the teabag
But either they can't read
Or they think it's a gag


Please help me understand exactly what we are doing wrong. I really wish to know,.
 
2014-01-10 10:55:51 PM  

fusillade762: Fo Shiz: I for one and thoroughly confused with the British sense of female attractiveness, or "British Hot"
[www.ryanseacrest.com image 850x637]

If you don't think Ginger and Baby are hot you're insane.


This. A poor image to choose, as they're all hot.
 
2014-01-10 10:57:36 PM  
The only correct thing on this list was "accents" and they didn't even include it.
 
2014-01-10 10:58:26 PM  
Dear America: metric system

Until then, you don't have a moral high horse to laugh at anyone else's eccentricities.
 
2014-01-10 10:58:44 PM  
FTA: So what does the Queen actually do?

Steal money from the plebes.

fusillade762: Some Americans love British comedies. They laugh at all the right bits and can't stop talking about their favorite shows. Many of us watch these shows on their recommendations and, well, we just don't get it. The humour is different, the delivery is different and we're left confused and slightly uncomfortable.

Wait, British people don't get British comedies? I'm confused.


That "u" in "humour" threw me for a loop, but the comment is saying that "some" Americans get it, but "many" of us don't.
 
2014-01-10 11:01:09 PM  

Fo Shiz: I for one and thoroughly confused with the British sense of female attractiveness, or "British Hot"


I concur.
 
2014-01-10 11:02:01 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: We seem to have this thread every couple of months..


The job of pointing out how the British Empire is a joke is a never endless one.
 
2014-01-10 11:02:15 PM  
WHAT A GREAT GREENLIGHT
 
2014-01-10 11:02:48 PM  
I'm confused.  Are they saying Brits don't watch British comedies?  More for me then!
 
2014-01-10 11:02:53 PM  
8) One Direction. Sorry, but even for a European boy band these guys are overrated. Even more overrated than Duran Duran.
 
2014-01-10 11:02:56 PM  
The driving on the left thing started with swords, you carry the sword on the left hip so it can be drawn with the right hand. Passing on the left hand side made it easier to see if someone was trying to draw on you and respond to it. Passing on the right started with boats and wagons.
 
2014-01-10 11:04:02 PM  
I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I can "get" British humour in print. I don't even think I knew the author was British when I read it.

It's the accent...I can only catch about 3/5 of the words and I miss everything.

First time I watched Clockwork Orange I was on a large dose of mini-thins and weed and could be farked if I had any idea what was going on.

The only thing I remember from that first time was this smoking hot girl in the room that was laughing a lot and it made me wonder if she really found it funny or if she was just trying to show the rest of us in the room how cool she was.

But holy shiat she was hot.

OK, what were we talking about?
 
2014-01-10 11:04:18 PM  
Switch rugby and cricket. I dont think anyone really understands cricket.
 
2014-01-10 11:05:33 PM  
Americans don't understand life without coffee.

I understand it. I just vehemently disapprove of it.
 
2014-01-10 11:05:50 PM  
Those are kind of superficial.  What about the odd class system?
 
2014-01-10 11:06:10 PM  
Spotted dick

/used to live in London and I still have no frigging clue
 
2014-01-10 11:06:11 PM  

VelcroFez: Mangoose: Now this is serious! If theres one thing in this country that really bothers me
Is the inability of Yanks to make a good cup of tea
Instructions are printed on the teabag
But either they can't read
Or they think it's a gag

Please help me understand exactly what we are doing wrong. I really wish to know,.


Pour boiling water over the tea
How simple and clear can the instructions be?
 
2014-01-10 11:07:07 PM  
If they have such wonderful healthcare that they won't stop bringing up, why don't they go to the dentist?
 
2014-01-10 11:07:19 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-01-10 11:07:54 PM  
jaylectricity:
It's the accent...I can only catch about 3/5 of the words and I miss everything.

First time I watched Clockwork Orange I was on a large dose of mini-thins and weed and could be farked if I had any idea what was going on.



They don't speak English in A Clockwork Orange, they speak Nadsat.  Well, mostly.
 
2014-01-10 11:08:32 PM  

skinnycatullus: As listicles go, that was one of the most listicly I've ever seen. I sincerely hope nobody was paid for that.


Indeed. It read like a particularly moldy Seinfeld routine.

I do wonder, though, if they still pour pitchers of custard over everything?
 
2014-01-10 11:08:35 PM  

jaylectricity: I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I can "get" British humour in print. I don't even think I knew the author was British when I read it.

It's the accent...I can only catch about 3/5 of the words and I miss everything.

First time I watched Clockwork Orange I was on a large dose of mini-thins and weed and could be farked if I had any idea what was going on.

The only thing I remember from that first time was this smoking hot girl in the room that was laughing a lot and it made me wonder if she really found it funny or if she was just trying to show the rest of us in the room how cool she was.

But holy shiat she was hot.

OK, what were we talking about?


Believe it or not, accent is why people talk slower when the aren't understood... even in a foreign language. Talking slower makes it easier to understand English no matter what accent. We just assume that a foreign language works the same way.
 
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