European View of American English

Paloma   Wednesday, June 09, 2004, 06:06 GMT
"The J-Lo comment is kind of racist. She has a New York Puerto Rican accent, the same as half the cast of West Side Story. There is nothing at all wrong with it. Of course, there is definitely something wrong with her, personally. "

I have no problem with Nuyorican accents in general, but J-ho's high-pitched, whiny voice combined with her inability to use words with more than two syllables and her knack for saying the most inane things make her pure unadulterated guttersnipe. Sorry if you find this offensive.
Pedro   Wednesday, June 09, 2004, 06:11 GMT
That's right for you. Express what you feel.
Damian   Wednesday, June 09, 2004, 07:04 GMT
Ryan: As a British (Scottish) guy I have seen many, many American tourists in my home city of Edinburgh, as it is a great tourist attraction. Every August it has an International Festival with visitors from all over the world. I have seen it all, and I am only 22.

I have no problem with US tourists...OK, they may be a bit loud at times as you say and are more up front than we are normally, and maybe swagger a little especially when they are in groups. Tourists do tend to go around in groups. Americans do like to let us know they are there...LOL...but they don't cause any bother. Have you ever been to parts of the European Continent and seen the behaviour of "out of their skulls with alcohol" English people of my own age group? Or been in English city/town centres late on weekend nights? Hmmmm.

Regarding the "bemused looks" about your accent? What do you mean exactly? It would be interesting to know exactly what people's reaction to your accent was. Were you in some remote place not used to American accents? There are not many of those in the UK, if any. Anyway, you would be more than welcome to come back here any time you like. Your accent is immaterial.

Dulcinea: to answer your question as best I can. A lot of Americans are living and working here, especially in London, and I think in Edinburgh also. It is really difficult to express the British reaction to the American accent and any connotations. It has nothing to do with current political issues. To most of us the accent sounds the same (since coming into this forum I now know that is not true..there are so many variations, as there are here). Maybe it is the American style drawl? A bit harsh? Tendency to use a lot of slang....."gotta" "gonna" etc.

Gee, it's really hard giving you an adequate answer on this one, Dulcinea!
Maybe we are not so fascinated with accents as Americans seem to be. Dunno, really, for sure! :-)
nic   Wednesday, June 09, 2004, 11:18 GMT
I think americans have an heritage language. If it was not the case, why did american english became different of english english. It became different because there has been some influences english english did n ot have. This is your heritage : polish, germans, english, irish, dutch, swedish, italians ..... who emigrated in USA.
Juan   Wednesday, June 09, 2004, 12:12 GMT
You forgot to mention the influence provided by people that were here originally and Mexicans across the border ;-)
Newbie   Wednesday, June 09, 2004, 15:58 GMT
I guess that some Europeans see Americans as being a mixed group of people with no real heritage (well, no unified heritage).

I think it is interesting that Americans can celebrate their own heritages in the English language. I have seen many Mexican, Italian, German and Scandinavian-Americans carry out traditions in the English language as the heritage languages have been lost.

As for how Europeans view Americans and heritage, this does not bother me, but it is interesting that Europeans see Americans as having no "real" heritage.
Ryan   Wednesday, June 09, 2004, 23:27 GMT
My favorite "heritage tradition" is the Irish in the United States getting piss-drunk on St. Patrick's Day, while the ones in Ireland spend the whole day in church.
Newbie   Thursday, June 10, 2004, 05:13 GMT
Ryan, if you do not mind, what is your take on the initial post?
nic   Thursday, June 10, 2004, 08:11 GMT

I thought about them but i forgot to speak about them, sorry. Are you mexican, south american?
Juan   Thursday, June 10, 2004, 09:40 GMT
I'm neither! :-) And I'm not lying but you are getting warmer.
nic   Thursday, June 10, 2004, 11:28 GMT
I just thought a name like yours sounds hispanic and you seem to know well America.
Damian   Thursday, June 10, 2004, 13:38 GMT
Ryan: I have not yet crossed the Irish Sea (just seen Ireland in the distance from the Galloway coast in Scotland) but from what I have heard about 21st century Ireland, the Irish devote more time to the "craic" now than they do to the Mass, not just on St Paddy's Day but on all the other 364 (or 5) days as well :-)
Hulk   Thursday, June 10, 2004, 16:19 GMT
Don't believe to Juan,
he's not really a native,
he's hispanic,
i don't know why he denies it?
Gus   Thursday, June 10, 2004, 16:25 GMT
I think that when most of people talk about americans,
they think of white people,
but they,re completely wrong,
i mean hispanics, chinese, african,indian
americans etcc seem to be always
left out.
Septic   Thursday, June 10, 2004, 23:01 GMT
Why do comments about American insularity and other silly stereotypes come out with such regularity when the original question wasn't posed to elicit such a response?

Incidentally, St. Patrick's celebrations were made what they are today by the history of parades in New York City, so this "heritage celebration" would appear to have gone the other way around.

In my experience living in different English-speaking countries, many people will often say that they don't like American accents, but those people really just don't like Americans. It's not an active element of hatred necessarily, but one of resentment, or media-fabricated familiarity media breeding contempt. I'd say that these days it's the rule rather than the exception.