When I began writing a previous blog, I started by discussing the differences between US and UK scripts. This turned into, what seemed to be, an anti-American Rant, which was wholly inappropriate for that particular subject. However, it did give me an idea for another blog – this one.
Before I begin, let me say that this is a rather tongue in cheek blog and not really meant to be anti-American. Hell, some of my best friends are American. However, certain things about literature and, especially, the internet really bug me. Yes, often I feel like the Americans have been trying to invade our literary shores for years.
I’m not racist but… (insert your own racist comment that always follows that expression). As anyone who has ever had dealings with me will probably know, I do ride that high horse of anti-proliferation of Americanisms from time to time.
Take, for example, on-line forms. Name – that’s okay; address line’s #1, #2. #3 – fine; City – no problem with that; Zip Code – WTF! We don’t have ZIP codes in the UK, despite what your American biased forms might indicate. Sometimes it even blocks you from entering anything that isn’t in the correct (by that I mean US) format thus excluding us poor Brits.
The same online forms might have a drop-down menu for “State,” something else we don’t have. One can’t leave it blank, because the developer has chosen to castigate the form-filler for that.
Oh, and then there are the choices for country. “United States” is always the default and top option. Where is the UK? Right down at the bottom, above the place where “United States” should be! It is Britain for God’s sake it should be near the top!
And what about spellings? Okay, so they got “Aluminum” right – apparently it didn’t sound quite Latin enough for some scientists so the “i” was added so it became “Aliminium.” But I do get more than a little pissed off (you Americans can delete the “off” if you wish) at my MacBook that keeps trying to correct me because it is not the way Mirraim-Webster spells the word; and don’t get me started on clichés.
So, yes, the Americans are invading our literary shores by stealth. They have contaminated our computer program(me)s with their distorted spellings; they are poisoning our authors with incorrectly structured words (E.L. James you should be ashamed of yourself); they are training up our youth with their un-grammatical television (excuse me!).
Okay, end of rant. Yeah, I’ve had a good go at our cousins across the big pond but, hey, it’s all good fun. Some of my best friends are American!