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Thread: Americans in Europe- strange people!

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    My daughter was trying to get used to strangers saying to her in passing,”You’ve got your hands full” when she’s walking with the twins and three kids while in Maine. After it happening a few times a day she was wondering what responses to give.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    On the desk last week, greeting visitors to our museum.
    Americans always come in breezily, with "Hi, how are you".
    I confess I do not know how to reply. They do not know me, so why are they interested?
    I could list my rheumatism, my hernia, etc, etc, but I doubt they would really want to know.
    So what is the correct reply?
    Your'e weird and you should find a different vocation.
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  3. #73
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Standard informal French greeting is “Ça va?” with an uplifted voice.

    Which is of course “It goes?”

    To which the response is “Ça va” spoken on the downstroke. “It goes”.

    A formal greeting in French is also “How are you” - “Comment allez-vous?”

    Identical to the American “how’s it going” and “how are you”. Are you accusing Americans of being too French? 🇫🇷

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe (SoCal) View Post
    Your'e weird and you should find a different vocation.
    Thanks Joe, but you do not know me, and I am quite happy volunteering one morning a week.
    I always try to be courteous and helpful- last week I was told "it's great being here, everyone is so friendly", so I will take that visitor's unprompted comment, made as they left the museum, over your assessment.

    And someone who throws a wobbly, drives through exits when told not to, and shreds his tyres, calls me weird!

    PS: I suppose the idea of a museum being a charity, run entirely by unpaid volunteers, could seem weird to some....
    Last edited by birlinn; 09-28-2022 at 03:45 AM.

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Re #64 - the usual response is "Nae bad - yersel?" followed by "Aye, nae bad, nae bad at a' " from the first questioner. There is no sense of intrusive questioing or "nosiness", it's just a polite opening exchange which may end there or lead to further conversation.
    It seems to me that every language and culture has something of the sort. In England there is still the archaic "How do you do?" to which the reply is, strangely, "How do you do?".
    Germans say "Wie geht es dir?" - "How are you?"
    Structures without reference to geometry tend toward the ramshackle

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    All probably dates from wondering if the person has something infectious and to keep one's distance...

    How are you? Not so good, might be the Black Death.. And you? (spoken to an empty space..)

  7. #77
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew2 View Post
    All probably dates from wondering if the person has something infectious and to keep one's distance...

    How are you? Not so good, might be the Black Death.. And you? (spoken to an empty space..)
    which is very relevant today!
    Skip

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  8. #78
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    After much thought the appropriate response can be…..good.

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Why can't we all just get along?



    Mickey Lake
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  10. #80
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    My daughter was trying to get used to strangers saying to her in passing,”You’ve got your hands full” when she’s walking with the twins and three kids while in Maine. After it happening a few times a day she was wondering what responses to give.
    I got that a lot when my 4 kids were small, and always took it as a sympathetic and friendly comment.

    Also heard 'looks like you've f**ked yourself away from the dinner table'

  11. #81
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    Thanks Joe, but you do not know me, and I am quite happy volunteering one morning a week.
    I always try to be courteous and helpful- last week I was told "it's great being here, everyone is so friendly", so I will take that visitor's unprompted comment, made as they left the museum, over your assessment.

    And someone who throws a wobbly, drives through exits when told not to, and shreds his tyres, calls me weird!

    PS: I suppose the idea of a museum being a charity, run entirely by unpaid volunteers, could seem weird to some....
    I'm me and it's always been open and share far too much, and yes I'm weird in my own way, but thats not the subject of this thread ( amazing how many times this happens )

    Anyway, this is about your assertion that "Americans in Europe- strange people!" Simply because someone said a pleasantry "Hi, how are you".
    and you do not know how to reply ??????

    DUDE ! That is by definition weird.
    Maybe go volunteer at the DMV, I hear some people write nice reviews there too
    Last edited by Joe (SoCal); 09-28-2022 at 03:30 PM.
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  12. #82
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe (SoCal) View Post
    Maybe go volunteer at the DMV, I hear some people write nice reviews there too
    Joe...

    (One big edit later)

    ...I don't get the antagonising.
    ...mebbe best not do a TV thing, huh?

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    I'll try and ignore him and his ego, Andy.

  14. #84
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    ...Mebbe best.

    (Another big edit, to save my membership)

    Of course, "When in Rome..."

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    After much thought the appropriate response can be…..good.
    Absolutely.

    But when these greetings are combined with one-up-man-ship-games, "BAD" is a better response.

  16. #86
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    One of my banks clearly told the tellers to make chit chat with the customers during the transaction. One young woman asked me, "so, do you have plans for the rest of the day?" She turned quite red when I responded, "Are you asking me out?"
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  17. #87
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    No too bad


  18. #88
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
    Joe...

    (One big edit later)

    ...I don't get the antagonising.
    ...mebbe best not do a TV thing, huh?

    Andy
    Have you ever watch ANY reality TV ? Antagonizing is written in the script
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  19. #89
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by artif View Post
    No too bad

    that was fun

  20. #90
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  21. #91
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Re. Bill Bailey's "It could be worse", I remember old Lincolnshire people, when asked "How are you", replying with "Oh, fair to middling", which translates as "fine, thankyou".
    Another version was "Oh, can't grumble"
    I can recommend Kate Fox's book, "Watching the English- the hidden rules of English behaviour". One quote: "Home is what the insular, inhibited English have instead of social skills"

    ETA: She is right; the English/Brits are inhibited and insular.
    If meeting a stranger, we seldom speak, other than, if you are lucky, "Hello" or "Good Morning (or Afternoon)".
    "How are you" is reserved for people we know. A total stranger breezily asking " Hi, How are YOU?" is regarded as being personal, even intrusive.

    Self deprecation is the rule too. If you are the millionaire head of a multinational firm, when asked what you do, we would probably reply "Oh, I have a bit of a job in the city; I suppose we are reasonably comfortable. We have a bit of a cottage in the Cotswolds". (Which would of course be an Elizabethan manor house in its own parklands.)
    Definitely "Not Done", and rude and intrusive to ask how much a person earns, and "Not Done" to boast about your own income, or let on that you have a PhD/received a Nobel Prize/are actually a Duke. If it is discovered that you do have a PhD, it would be rather guiltily admitted, followed by "yes, I suppose I was a terrible swot"

    And then there's irony. If two Brits were standing together waist deep in floodwater, the comment would probably be "A bit damp today".

    Testing another hypothesis, Kate Fox "accidently" bumped into fellow pedestrians in crowded UK streets. In almost every case, both persons automatically muttered "Sorry".

    Brits are very different from Americans and Italians.
    So if you think us weird, from our point of view, so are others!
    Last edited by birlinn; 09-29-2022 at 06:11 AM.

  22. #92
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    Re. Bill Bailey's "It could be worse", I remember old Lincolnshire people, when asked "How are you", replying with "Oh, fair to middling", which translates as "fine, thankyou".
    Another version was "Oh, can't grumble"
    I can recommend Kate Fox's book, "Watching the English- the hidden rules of English behaviour". One quote: "Home is what the insular, inhibited English have instead of social skills"

    ETA: She is right; the English/Brits are inhibited and insular.
    If meeting a stranger, we seldom speak, other than, if you are lucky, "Hello" or "Good Morning (or Afternoon)".
    "How are you" is reserved for people we know. A total stranger breezily asking " Hi, How are YOU?" is regarded as being personal, even intrusive.

    Self deprecation is the rule too. If you are the millionaire head of a multinational firm, when asked what you do, we would probably reply "Oh, I have a bit of a job in the city; I suppose we are reasonably comfortable. We have a bit of a cottage in the Cotswolds". (Which would of course be an Elizabethan manor house in its own parklands.)
    Definitely "Not Done", and rude and intrusive to ask how much a person earns, and "Not Done" to boast about your own income, or let on that you have a PhD/received a Nobel Prize/are actually a Duke. If it is discovered that you do have a PhD, it would be rather guiltily admitted, followed by "yes, I suppose I was a terrible swot"

    And then there's irony. If two Brits were standing together waist deep in floodwater, the comment would probably be "A bit damp today".

    Testing another hypothesis, Kate Fox "accidently" bumped into fellow pedestrians in crowded UK streets. In almost every case, both persons automatically muttered "Sorry".

    Brits are very different from Americans and Italians.
    So if you think us weird, from our point of view, so are others!


    Are you sure about that?

    As pointed out by various forumites on this thread, asking how are you is a common greeting in multiple languages and in cultures from all corners of the globe.

    Kevin


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  23. #93
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    I think it has changed over time. It was used in the past but less so and varied regionally. I recall my boss in the 1970s reply to "How are you" was "pretty miserable" which usually stopped people in their tracks.

    I listen to radio phone-ins and it is now almost universal for callers to ask the host how he/she is, which I find irritating. Having listened to the same answer 40 times over the previous 2 hours they should know by now.

    What is even worse is when they ask how are you and do not pause for an answer.

    Obviously we are talking about generalisations, nations with millions of people are not identical but can have on average a shared culture.

    I tend not to judge whether they are right or wrong but some aspects may make me uncomfortable.

    I can relate to most of Birlinn's post #91.

    Expressions can be illogical such as "all corners of the globe" one that I find I use so I am not criticising its use. Another is when the Police trot out "No stone will be left unturned" in an investigation, obviously ridiculous but I get the idea.

  24. #94
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    And then there's irony. If two Brits were standing together waist deep in floodwater, the comment would probably be "A bit damp today".
    Is it a British thing to confuse understatement with irony?

    Tom
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  25. #95
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    Re. Bill Bailey's "It could be worse", I remember old Lincolnshire people, when asked "How are you", replying with "Oh, fair to middling", which translates as "fine, thankyou".
    Another version was "Oh, can't grumble"
    I can recommend Kate Fox's book, "Watching the English- the hidden rules of English behaviour". One quote: "Home is what the insular, inhibited English have instead of social skills"

    ETA: She is right; the English/Brits are inhibited and insular.
    If meeting a stranger, we seldom speak, other than, if you are lucky, "Hello" or "Good Morning (or Afternoon)".
    "How are you" is reserved for people we know. A total stranger breezily asking " Hi, How are YOU?" is regarded as being personal, even intrusive.

    Self deprecation is the rule too. If you are the millionaire head of a multinational firm, when asked what you do, we would probably reply "Oh, I have a bit of a job in the city; I suppose we are reasonably comfortable. We have a bit of a cottage in the Cotswolds". (Which would of course be an Elizabethan manor house in its own parklands.)
    Definitely "Not Done", and rude and intrusive to ask how much a person earns, and "Not Done" to boast about your own income, or let on that you have a PhD/received a Nobel Prize/are actually a Duke. If it is discovered that you do have a PhD, it would be rather guiltily admitted, followed by "yes, I suppose I was a terrible swot"

    And then there's irony. If two Brits were standing together waist deep in floodwater, the comment would probably be "A bit damp today".

    Testing another hypothesis, Kate Fox "accidently" bumped into fellow pedestrians in crowded UK streets. In almost every case, both persons automatically muttered "Sorry".

    Brits are very different from Americans and Italians.
    So if you think us weird, from our point of view, so are others!
    I like Italians
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  26. #96
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    Default Re: Americans in Europe- strange people!

    Not sure about confusing, but definitely understatement is the order of the day.
    My climbing partner and I used to do some quite desperate finger nail ripping arse twitching climbs. The worst got labelled as "interesting" in a very droll tone, the mildly desperate were just "amusing" anything else was a "path"

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Is it a British thing to confuse understatement with irony?

    Tom

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