Tuesday, June 10, 2008

And Sometimes U?

Being an ardent consumer of the cultures of many of the English speaking nations world wide I am attuned to some of the biggest differences between them and us. Most of the differences between America and our cousins in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong and India come from the fact that we rose up in arms to sever our ties to the crown, where as all of them took a less forceful approach to independence.

To this day the Queen graces the currency in many parts of her former realm. While Canada and Australia are independent nations with their own Parliament and leadership they can still be impacted by actions taken in London (just ask Gough Whitlam about that). People North of the Border and in Oz are more likely to drink tea than coffee, and have a tendency toward other English institution such as Rugby and Cricket. Not to mention a system of government that is patterned after the constitutional monarchy of the UK, despite becoming nations in their own right long after the progressive advances made by the French and American Revolutions.

One other major difference involves our language, both spoken and written. The South Africans and Aussies have an accent that more closely resembles that of the mother country, and they tend to use many of the same slang words as the Brits. Likewise, all of England's other offshoots also maintain the use of the Queen's spelling. Honour, colour, harbour and flavour. Or even centre. While we chose to augment the spelling of these words between the Atlantic and Pacific, they have remained unchanged on 5 other continents.

Why have we moved from all these conventions of speech, custom and recreation? Unfair taxation without representation and 50,000 casualties in the Revolution were a good start. Add to that a burning desire for freedom (note: freedom was only available to white, land owning men) and you have a group of people that wanted to start doing things in a different way then the country they came from. Then to really make the divide wider, stir in people from all around the globe bringing their piece of the puzzle and you 200 years later you get a much different society.

Drop that U, fuck the cuppa, pass me a coffee and lets come up with our own sport to play with a bat and ball or even an oblong ball. Later, we also came up with the car, telephone, personal computer which were all great, but we also invented redneck D-bags, yuppies, Paris Hilton and the SUV so who knows where we stand these days. One thing's for sure; when you fight to sever yourself from the King, you reserve the right to make a few changes. The Aussies asked nicely to be independent, and they got that right (sort of: see the Governor Generals Office) but they still go ape shit for that old bag from Windsor Castle. We go ape shit for White Castle. God bless the USA.

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1 comment:

XL said...

I don't know that we invented rednecks...I think they exist world wide. Can you imagine a Chinese red neck? What does yellow and red make anyway...is it green?

God Bless The USA indeed