Dispelling Myths about England – Some Observed Truths

Okay so I’ve been a bit infrequent posting recently, but in fairness I have assignments and exams to get through. As busy as I am, I will be back soon with my more regular postings.

Phone Boxes

Phone Boxes (Photo credit: Monster.)

I notice that the majority of my followers are not from England so today I’m posting a few facts about England that you may not know, in the interest of dispelling a lot of the stereotypes I see about England and the English. Please note that as I have not met every person in England I cannot assert that these are true in all cases, only in what I have observed and learned:

  • A lot of the English are not necessarily polite. This varies from person to person as I imagine it probably does in other countries too.
English: Vindaloo

English: Vindaloo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • The English favourite dish is not English but is Indian and is Vindaloo or Curry. See the popular song Vindaloo by Fat Les. It’s not something I like personally but  overall it is very popular. Most popular foods in the U.K for eating out are Indian, Chinese and Italian.
  • Many English people do not know the full words to their own national anthem.
  • Many English do not know much of the history of England, including details such as political figures, monarchs, the history of British colonialism, empire culture and famous English writers.
  • A lot of the English seem to be migrating to Spain in their retirement, most likely for the more favourable weather.
  • There is currently a debate about Scotland becoming independent from Britain. However many of the English like Scotland and feel they would be financially better off living up there because in Scotland they get free University education and free medical prescriptions when England does not get these things for free.
  • Recently the class system of England was reconsidered and now includes seven classes however there has been some suspicion that this is conveniently timed with the governments current welfare `reforms’ and some criticisms over the system in general.
  • One issue currently being debated at the moment in England is the so-called `bedroom tax‘ whereby people in social houses, which is houses with some financial support from the government will be taxed for having an extra room. This includes people with two children or more who are not getting two children of the same gender to share one bedroom instead. Confused? Many English people are!
Glum Faces

Glum Faces (Photo credit: RobW_)

  • The English are not always traditional, particularly the current young generation that have grown up with an internet and mobile technology based culture. Don’t be surprised if you meet a young person who doesn’t remember video tapes like VHS or when telephones had cords.
  • The English hate queuing. Is there anyone who really wants to queue? I don’t know where this stereotype comes from at all. If there’s one thing I could definitely live without it’s queuing.

Feel free to share any interesting facts about your country below or to ask any questions about England. Is there anything that you’ve ever wanted to know about the country? Ask away.

3 thoughts on “Dispelling Myths about England – Some Observed Truths

  1. Are you English? I’m American and I noticed you spell favorite with a u, so you are either a Canadian, Australian, or New Zealander, or someone who speaks English as a second language. Most Americans usually fit most of these stereotypes listed in an American context. (i.e. not knowing our history or this generation not knowing what VHS is, etc.) However, since America is a immigrant nation, favorite dishes depend on where you are. I can say that in the Mid-Atlantic states (NY, NJ, PA, DE), Italian food is probably the most common, though Chinese, Indian, and “New American” food (think Friendly’s) Otherwise, as much as the British want to believe they are above the US, they aren’t; we’re both nations full of mostly stupid, impolite, and impatient people.

    • I am English but I’m Northern English and half-Scottish so my English phrases and grammer can be a bit different from Southern English which is the type most represented internationally. I do spell colour with the U but only because teachers would correct me when I was a kid because I used ‘American’ spellings I’d picked up from books in my local library. I don’t think many English think that they are above Americans but I guess each country has their stereotypes. A lot of that eliteness comes from old British snobbery. If you’ve seen Game of Thrones there’s a lot of Northern accents in it similar to where I’m from – think Sean Bean.

  2. Ah, that makes sense, I suppose it would be similar to if I wrote a piece of the American South on their stereotypes (i.e. crazy religious, ignorant, stupid, and full of racists.) Or the opposite, with the north (mainly the Northeast; the Northwest and Northeast are completely different) stereotypes (too politically liberal, always in a hurry, snobby, etc.) And the American spelling anecdote is hilarious! I never realized until recently that American and British spellings are different; if I saw it, I just was intrigued, but moved on to reading the rest of the book.

    Also, for my previous post, I meant to elaborate that Chinese, Indian, and New American food follow for takeout behind Italian. I often do that, and I apologize for any confusion.

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