Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do You know Bob?

This is a real Face book Conversation. My status read:

Stranger: Got asked if I was from England or France! How stupid can Americans be?
Stranger: Merd!
Stranger: Equally got asked for ID for alcohol. Like I look under 35. How sweet can Americans be!
Liam: They always think I am from Oz
Chris: One time I was in Canada lined up in McDonalds an American woman asked the girl behind the counter if they accept Canadian money. The girl replied of course we do this is Canada to which the women replied I thought you would prefer US dollars as its worth more. Bit random but true!
Chris: Nothing wrong with being from OZ either :-)
Carrie: I was in New York and the guy behind the counter in a shop asked me where I was from. I said, 'Liverpool', to which he replied ‘Do you Know Sheena Easton?’
Neal: French was the language in England for 300 years following William the conqueror, maybe they detected it in your accent. Ha Ha
Deb: I love all this.  What a laugh :)
Geoff: very
Stranger: And No I don’t know Bob from Leicester!!! When I explained where I was from yesterday (Birmingham), the woman said 'Oh so you're from the suburbs of London'
Neal: Used to get asked a lot in the Midwest if I was from out of town, I usually replied "overseas, I'm Irish but live in England", ‘what like England in London’, "No like London in Ireland" I'd say. ‘Wow. Do you have a castle?’
Geoff: two nations divided by a common language!!!

I went to the hospital for a blood test. The woman filling in the form assumed my place of birth was London. I said it was Birmingham. She was surprised ‘Really? Spell it. You know what – I’m just gonna put London. Is that ok?’
In answer to that - relatively England is a small place but I don’t think the scales are understood. Sure, England would fit into the state of Louisiana, yet there are 51.5 million people compared to only 4.4 mil in Louisiana. The UK is smaller in square footage than Michigan with 60 million more people. What I am trying to illustrate is that the significance of other places in the UK just isn’t recognised here unless it is full of brown tourist signs or Bonny Prince Charlie left a lock of hair there whilst passing through on his way to Skye. They have heard of Skye – population 6 and 1 million seals. Birmingham is the UK’s second city with 9684 people per square mile. Compare that to the US’s densest city – New Jersey with 1174 people per square mile. It comes very close to DC, the US’s most densely populated place with 9830 people per sq mile. It isn’t so much divided by a common language in this case as a lack of geographical knowledge. I don’t assume everyone is from New York. They shouldn’t assume I am from London so ‘No – it isn’t ok to put London’. Although, on the plus side, as no one at home ever said I had a beautiful accent maybe never having heard of Birmingham in the United States is a good thing after all!

*facts and figures are from the internet - not sure how reliable that makes them - maybe I should have made them up!


  1. Easy puppy :-))

    Yeah that thing of 'you have the most beautiful accent' happens to me...... and could only happen to a Brummy in the US......... its not gonna happen in the UK :-))........ be glad they have no idea...........


    Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXX

  2. You hav,nt got a really broad brummie accent, it's better than, a london or liverpool and much much better than an american one. I do remember once in Ireland when Paul went into a butchers and asked if they had any Irish sauaage!!!!

  3. you know for an english teacher you are beginning to sound like a geography teacher - speaking as a geography teacher that is no bad thing!
    Point is do you put your cutlery down between mouthfuls of food?

  4. Do I know Bob I have shagged Bob

  5. You forget! I am a history teacher and I dont even use a fork!

    I heard that the Birmingham accent is the closest to Chaucerean English. Maybe the Americans know a good thing when they hear it!!!
    You know I love it all really