Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Birthday America

One of the things that I loved the most about having the chance to work on the film Coraline was all of the people that I got to meet. Because the film was done in the stop-motion style of animation, there were many people brought over from the UK (and other parts of the world) as they tend to produce more stop-motion films than the US. What transpired was a collaboration between people from all over the world and all walks of life. I remember one time having a conversation with about 6 people and none of us were from the same country. There was me, the American, an Englishman, a German, a guy from New Zealand, an Australian and a Canadian. Never in my life had I spent so much time with so many different kinds of people and I absolutely loved it.

Along with all of these cultures however, a friendly little competition transpired, mainly between the English and the Americans. There were endless arguments about how to pronounce words, what things are really called and who was right and who was wrong. These discussions usually ended with one of the English saying something like, "Well, what's the language called? It's called 'English' therefore we are right," to which one of the Americans would usually pipe up with something along the lines of, "Oh whatever, you're just bitter that we kicked your ass." This was a never-ending battle, but always all in good fun. 

Then - I started dating one of the Englishman. Then - we got engaged. Then - I realized that this friendly little competition was something that was here to stay. Oh Bloody hell. 

My fiance, Dan, and I seem to never get tired of making fun of each others nationalities with nothing but the most foul and common stereotypes. And boy, do we go for it, but what it has really done is made us realize how ridiculous these stereotypes are in the first place. I find myself fiercely defending anything English over here and he tries as hard as he can to debunk the American stereotypes over there. Isn't it beautiful? It's harmonization. It's acceptance. It's eye-opening and it really, truly is all in good fun. 

But it still doesn't changed the fact that as of tomorrow, 233 years ago, we still kicked their butts. (Sorry darlin', I had to go there.)

In honor of the birth of this great nation, as well as in honor of the English influence in my life, I am going to make a list of a few American vs English translations. Why? Because I want to! Also because it is my little personal way of honoring this holiday and giving a little shout out to all of my English friends, (and soon to be family) over there across the pond. American words on the left, English words on the right:

Garbage   - Rubbish
Garbage can - Bin
Line - Queue
Oh crap! - Oh Bollocks!
Car trunk  - Car boot
Chips  - Crisps
French Fries  - Chips
Diaper  -  Nappy
Band-Aid  -  Plaster
Robe  -  Dressing Gown
Cookie  -  Biscuit
Dinner  -  Tea
Lunch  -  Dinner
Tank top  -  Vest
Pants  -  Trousers
Underwear  -  Pants
Sweater  -  Jumper
Candy  -  Sweets
Vest  -  Waistcoat
Yard  -  Garden

That is just a little sampling for you. Our poor children will know two words for every item. I do love it though. I love the differences. I love learning about new cultures and other ways of life and I love that my life from now on will always be meshed with the English culture as well. It has opened my eyes but at the same time given me a new love for this country as I have been able to see things through the eyes of many others experiencing it for the first time. Life if good, isn't it? Yes sir - I do believe it is. 

Well, I am off to the lake to celebrate America's Birthday. I do hope that you are doing something fun this weekend as well. Happy 4th of July!!!


  1. A very handy list Jocelyn!

    The simplest reason to meet people from other cultures is to find that although we may have many differences, we also have a lot in common :)

    Have a nice weekend too.

  2. hey as long as I have underwear, I could care less what we call em' ah hahaha! you have a great weekend as well! thanks for sharing.

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  4. Getting to know and understand different cultures is and amazing experience. I grew up in a household with 19 foreign exchange students over the years. Typical of teenagers, the first new words we taught one another were swear words. I can now curse in several languages. LOL.


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