Our British List Wish

We declared our independence back in 1776 with the “ye olden” YOLO – No Taxation Without Representation – giving us the freedom to create things like Honey Boo Boo, Black Friday and Ramen Noodles. No harsh feelings to the redcoats that we somehow managed to beat. Here are a few things that maybe we should have thought twice about giving up.

1. The word “fancy.” After seeing a handful of British television shows, I can say that this word is much more fun to use. When we’re all in elementary school (and, lets face it, middle and high school), we used to say, “Do you like-like him?” Sometimes that was too much and we shortened it to, “Do you like him?” I was that child that wanted to say, “Yes, because I also like mac and cheese and the occasional nap.” But if we could just say do you fancy him, it would be much easier. Also, who doesn’t want to walk around saying that you fancy someone? Suddenly the pointless hookup doesn’t seem that demeaning if you start out the conversation with, “Well, I fancied him.” Try saying it. You will find it appealing. Americans, let’s do what we do best and use it in our everyday lives until the rappers get a hold of it and then it will be in full circulation – that is, until the hipsters bring back “like.

2. Red telephone booths. There’s probably nothing like sitting inside your own enclosed booth only to have it be a different color and not look like you’re inside a prime-time crime drama. Payphones just don’t have the same tone here. Most don’t even have their own little house. If you need to make a call, and you’re in London, you have an enclosed building, which almost looks vintage (crucial for this “dated” craze). And to the British who are laughing at this, just think: if Americans suddenly received red telephone booths you might actually get to use it without the little girl tourist taking a picture with every one they see. (You could also just use your cell phone – excuse me – mobile). Plus, what geek would not go around painting them blue because that’s how we express our fandom love here in America.

3. Royals. Now, before you skip it because “they do nothing” lets think about this. They are classy. They might be unemployed members of a higher-class living off of their ancestors – and their citizens – but they bring a refined image to the UK. Yes, we have our Angelina Jolie and such, but this has nothing compared to a very old lady walking around in a crown. On paper it seems ridiculous, but America is basically the UK just very drunk from an endless night of partying that we somehow turned into a livelihood.

4. Their history. There’s something about walking into the Tower of London and knowing that someone was standing here in the year 1066. Now, that doesn’t mean that America doesn’t have history, it’s just not as ancient. I know this is completely out of our hands because of the timing of the development of America, but it is something that we can dream about. (Now that you’re sitting here thinking, “Damn, if only we had Hampton Court.) We have our liberty bell, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the ghost stories that take over London.

5. Accents. It’s been said and done before. Countless Americans walk around trying to sound British when they have a classy point to make, but ultimately just sound like a drunken version of Doctor Who. Although we do have a very distinctive accent, it does sound very juvenile. When a British person appears on an American television screen, suddenly they are given credit. They must have something crazy-smart to say otherwise they wouldn’t be here. Even the tone of their voice has more emphasis. Listen to them speak. There’s nothing snarkier than a British comeback phrase. When Americans try to be rude (and it’s not that hard) we’re just blatantly rude. But why not adopt an accent that hides our rudeness, but emphasizes the bitchiness? Plus, how many people now think that they are that much more refined because they caught an episode of Downton Abbey?

Now. Go back out and be Americans. Talk about baseball, apple pie and shout at your neighbor while you’re driving on a freeway.

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