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I can’t sound THAT American anymore because English people freely tell me how much they hate the American accent

Posted on October 23, 2012 by yankeebean

When I first moved to the UK, I met a lot of people that loved American accents, American culture and all things stars-and-stripes.  But after being here for 8 years, it’s more common to hear Brits talk about how awful they think the American accent is.

It’s never malicious.  No intentional insult.  They just casually chat about how harsh and unappealing it sounds.  They talk about how loud it is.  They talk about how distracting they find it.

And they talk about it, right to my face, like I don’t have one.

I can honestly say that I’m not insulted because I can tell that they don’t mean any harm.  After finding out that I’ve lived in the UK for so many years, I wonder if people put me into the ‘Other’ category rather than the ‘American’ one.  They chat freely to me about my mamma-land because they feel like I’m on their team now (I hope?).  Either that or their being arseholes and I’m too nice to notice.

But I don’t think that’s it.  I’m a nice woman, not a nice eejit.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the case that every English person hates the Yankee twang, but it’s become a 60/40 split in terms of Brits telling me they hate/love it.  And I’m sure all you lovely expats will agree that when the words ‘hate’ and ‘America(n)’ drop-it-like-it’s-hot into a conversation, your ears perk up a bit so I can’t help but notice the shift.

I have no plans to try and stop this trend since no one directly involved seems to find it upsetting.  If the convo DOES turn to accent-hating, I toss around my own opinions about types of British accents that I’m not super-fond-of and I don’t think I’ve annoyed anyone.  But I maintain the right to become She-Ra, Outraged Princess of Power, if anyone attacks my precious home land with malicious intent!

What do you guys think?  Am I being too lax in the defence of my people?

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Pepper October 27, 2012 at 12:51 am

    I have been in the North East of England for about…omg..it will be my 3rd Christmas here…sigh.

    People still either think I am Irish ( 97% of people think this) or I am from California…(which is definitely not Texas)

    I have a hard time saying pasties ( I say pahsties), or remembering to say pound instead of dollar. I alos refuse to say crisps instead of chips.

    I hang onto my twang like its my soul. Most people love my accent, but I have been out n about and people who dont know me are in conversations- saying how they hate the accent..yet I hear quite a few omg’s, and like really? thrown in..lol :)

    • yankeebean November 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      One of the words that still gives me serious trouble is ‘Peugeot’. I either have to put on a heinous fake English accent to say it, or say ‘Pew-djoh’. They both sound utterly utterly ridiculous.

      I get ‘California’ a lot, too!

  2. Linda October 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I’m still in the dating stage of being with and Englishman, and spending time periodically in England, but I get the same thing. The funny thing is that he’s Northern and I actually don’t care for his accent! LOLs! So whatever, at this point my American accent makes me stand out. At least my grammar is spot on!

    • yankeebean October 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      I love loave LURVE the Northern accent – it’s my favourite of all British accents :) My least favourite is probably Midlands, but specifically only if they’re shouting.

      I commend you for your good grammar! I think, in terms of grammar, this pic says it all – http://www.imglols.com/wp-content/main/2012_04/how-can-u-vs-how-can-an-individual.jpg

      • JK October 25, 2012 at 8:19 am

        I have lived here for 22 years and have rarely got comments about my accent. It’s the culture, commercialism and politics that are the content of the regular subtle and not so subtle put downs, yes, to my face. People also feel free to correct words or grammar which said by my English husband are fine, but by me, are not. Though the skin is now much thicker I still love it here.

      • yankeebean October 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

        I would make me CRAZY if people corrected my grammar when I knew I was right! I’d have a hard time not calling people on that one.

        Come to think of it, y’know what I get corrected on all the time? ‘Schedule’. As soon as I utter that word, there’s a 75% chance that a nearby Brit will say, ‘Shhhh-edule, not SCK-edule’.

        The only reason it doesn’t infuriate me is because it reminds me of a John Hammond quote from Jurassic Park…

  3. Cameron October 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I moved to the Miami, FL from the UK around 8 years ago. So, everything you guys went through, I went through the otherway!

    However, I find that most people think I’m Austrilian rather than British :S. That could be because 90% of the people who live in Miami speak Spanish as their first language.

    As for me, I love the Ameircan accent! However, that could be based in part because of my experince of talking to Americans. I think American women are much nicer to talk to than their British counterparts.

    Cheers,

    Cameron.

    • yankeebean October 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      One of the reasonsAmerican women seem nicer to talk to is that they LOVE your accent and want to keep you talking as long as possible ;)

      I tell all my single British friends that if they want to find a partner, all they have to do it fly to America and they’ll be paired up in nano-seconds. The scene from Love Actually where Colin goes to Milwaukee isn’t THAT far from the truth :D

      • Cameron October 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

        lol yankeebean. I just assumed you guys were nice!

        But, seriously I do feel that American women have more in common with UK guys than our British counterparts. (IE your good fun!)

        BTW: I’ve just bought the ticket to Milwaukee.

      • yankeebean October 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

        HA! Have an lovely and eventful trip to Milwaukee! Brilliant…. :D

  4. Taylor October 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I don’t think you’re being to lax. Someone recently asked if I was Canadian because they didn’t want to offend a Canadian by calling them American. Part of me was like oh okay, but the other part of me was like ……it’s offensive to be American?!
    I think the more comfortable someone is with you, the more honest they’re willing to be. My fiance’s friends are more willing to tell it like it is with their opinions me being American whereas the teeny bopper girls I meet randomly in the toilet are more willing to say how much they loooovvveeee my accent!
    by the way that picture nearly had me in tears. so funny!!

    • yankeebean October 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      I get the Canadian thing all the time, too! It’s funny that Americans aren’t offended if people ask if they’re Canadian – but if the reverse happens, it’s 100% offence. :)

    • Cameron October 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      I can now tell the difference between Americans and Canadians. I think the Canadian accent is more upbeat kind of like a Geordie accent.

      Plus, I always wait for the, “A” at the end of the sentence to confirm it.

    • Ashley November 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      It’s like with the Scottish and the Welsh, they get offended when people call them British because nearly everyone just thinks of the English when they say British; but if an English person protests that they’re English and not British, people either ask what the difference is or they make an excuse along the lines of “But England is in Britain”

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