Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: Kess on November 18, 2010, 03:31:50 AM

Title: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 18, 2010, 03:31:50 AM
One of the things I've found interesting about EHell is finding out little bits of information about America, such as your word for "grill" being "broil" and what you mean by "biscuits".  It has seemed, in several threads, that other people might be interested in this too.  So I thought I'd start a thread.  If anyone has any questions to put to people across the pond from you (in either direction!) put them here, and hopefully someone from the relevant country will answer.  Feel free to add more info to anyone else's answers, too, or give a different perspective.

A couple of my questions to start us off:

In the UK, class has very, very little to do with how much money one has.  We have millionaires who are working class and penniless peers.  I've heard that in America the opposite is true, which might have something to do with what else I've been told - that your ideas of class are less all-pervasive than in the UK, so the main thing to base assessment of someone's class on is how much money they have.

Your measurements in recipes are in cups - do you have a special sized measuring cup in the house or just use a random cup/mug of the right-ish size?  Do you use kitchen scales for anything?

Is it the norm for Americans to introduce themselves by name to everyone they meet or is it just tourists here? :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 18, 2010, 03:37:26 AM
Not touching the money/class issue with a seven-foot pole. ;)

Yes, we have what are called measuring cups. One cup is eight ounces, or about 237 mL.

I don't introduce myself by name. In fact, I'll talk to people for hours before we get around to names. I'm weird, however.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 18, 2010, 03:48:26 AM
A cup is a specific amount:

three teaspoons to a tablespoon
sixteen tablespoons to a cup
two cups to a pint
two pints to a quart
four quarts to a gallon

And you wonder why American kids don't stick with math  :P
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 04:01:54 AM
Ahh Im glad this has been brought up, because I need to check something.  Are american pounds (lbs) a different weight to English  pounds (lbs)? because Im getting different answers on the web? 

In England a pound in weight is 16oz and an oz is 25g so 400g? then there is 14 Ib in a Stone.   I know its odd, but something on the web said that US is different.  (it would certainly make The Biggest Loser US make more sense, which we are addicted to in the Frog houshold).

Also, what's "Shortening"?  I keep seeing it in recipes.  Is it like Lard?

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 18, 2010, 04:06:43 AM
Nope, 16 ounces is a pound here too.

Shortening is fat rendered from plant matter, like solid vegetable oil.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 04:10:56 AM
Nope, 16 ounces is a pound here too.

Shortening is fat rendered from plant matter, like solid vegetable oil.

I see! We dont get that here I dont think.   What colour is it? Sorry, to ask, but I have seen some wonderful recipes for cookies etc, and I always worry they won't work over here if I use a substitute.     

When you make pastry in the US, do you use shortening in that mixed with butter? 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 18, 2010, 04:15:50 AM
shortening here is usually margarine (yellow) or Crisco (white), and is functionally exchangeable with either butter or lard for most uses.  I'm pretty sure dry ounces and liquid ounces are two different things - one is a measure of weight and one is of volume, maybe? - but one stone is the same as 14 pounds here too, although nobody uses stone  :P

A ton and a metric ton are also different - judging from the colloquial expressions "a [euphemism for excrement]-ton" and "a metric [euphemism for excrement]-ton," I think the metric one is bigger   ;)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 18, 2010, 04:18:47 AM
Ooh, so I do have a question for those of you on the other side of the Atlantic: many hotels in the US offer a free "Continental breakfast," which usually includes juice and coffee and toast and bagels/muffins/donuts and dry cereal with milk.  Does this even remotely resemble any sort of regular breakfast in Europe, or is it just a name?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 04:22:50 AM
Hi

A Continental breakfast here will be toast jam or some other condiment like marmalade or honey, a croissant or a pain du chocolate, and you can get cheese and ham (in slices, cold).

When I was in a hotel in Germany (Berlin) once, they had little bottles of vodka on the breakfast buffet table and tomato juice too.  I was like ... WHOA!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 04:54:50 AM
One thing I have always wondered about - Pumpkin Pie?

We dont have it over here and it sounds delicious!

What is the consistancy?  Is it like a light and cakey affair in a pastry case (rather like a bakewell tart, which is sweet pastry case, layer of jam, rich almond cake and poss royal icing on top) or is it dense and rich, like an egg custard or pecan pie?

I had a pumpkin tart in Thailand once, that was rather like steamed unbaked cake mix - it was lovely!  though I think Pumpkin pie in the US would be quite different?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 18, 2010, 04:57:29 AM
Nope, 16 ounces is a pound here too.

Shortening is fat rendered from plant matter, like solid vegetable oil.

I see! We dont get that here I dont think.   What colour is it? Sorry, to ask, but I have seen some wonderful recipes for cookies etc, and I always worry they won't work over here if I use a substitute.     

When you make pastry in the US, do you use shortening in that mixed with butter? 

It's very pure white.

Pastry recipes vary - shortening is considered the politically correct substitute for lard these days, but butter is still used sometimes. It's usually one or the other, but I've seen recipes that use both.

Personally, I like my pastry (and tamales, and refried beans) made with lard; I don't care what the FDA says about my coronary arteries.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 18, 2010, 05:01:41 AM
One thing I have always wondered about - Pumpkin Pie?

We dont have it over here and it sounds delicious!

What is the consistancy?  Is it like a light and cakey affair in a pastry case (rather like a bakewell tart, which is sweet pastry case, layer of jam, rich almond cake and poss royal icing on top) or is it dense and rich, like an egg custard or pecan pie?

I had a pumpkin tart in Thailand once, that was rather like steamed unbaked cake mix - it was lovely!  though I think Pumpkin pie in the US would be quite different?

It is delicious! I've met very few people who don't like it.

The consistency varies, but it's usually a sort of light custard. It's not too sweet, and is flavored with cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, which are sold pre-ground and mixed as "pumpkin pie spice." It comes in a flaky short crust and is usually served with whipped cream (either real or from a can) on top.

I like mine ice-cold as a counterpoint to the warm spice flavors.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 18, 2010, 05:10:15 AM
Are licorice and blackcurrant candies as good as they sound? I've been dying to try them ever since I first heard about them.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 18, 2010, 05:29:40 AM
We sometimes measure in 'cups' in the UK too, its not as common these days bit all my mum's school cookbooks from the 70s have the ingredients in cups.

A UK cup is 250ml.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: StarDrifter on November 18, 2010, 05:45:21 AM
Here in Australia (tee hee, Southern Hemisphere nudging in on the trans-Atlantic exchange...) we have blackcurrant lollies and they are the best things EVAR.

I have a jar at home that is the blackcurrant jar, it holds blackcurrant boiled lollies and they are awesome.

Licorice is my dad's favourite, and Ace's, but I can't stand the stuff!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 05:53:43 AM
That's it!  Im hunting around the shops here to see if they have any pumkins left!

While we are on the subject of sweet things, what's taffy?  Is it like nougat?  And why do you pull it?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: guihong on November 18, 2010, 05:59:16 AM
I have one (so far):

If Guy Fawkes tried to do a terrible thing-blow up Parliament-then why do you celebrate his day with fireworks and having fun?  Or is it celebrating that he failed?

Taffy is a sticky candy made from boiled sugar, butter, and flavorings.  It's stretched to make it fluffy and lighter in texture., and it was traditionally great fun for kids.  Then it's rolled up, almost like gum.    Nougat, at least here, is a mixture of sugar or honey, roasted nuts, and fruit.  It's added to some candy bars and box chocolate.

gui
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Gyburc on November 18, 2010, 06:04:22 AM
UK E-Hellion here. I have a very silly question from my DH.

In the US, how do you boil water for a cup of tea? Here in the UK most people use electric kettles that plug into the wall. DH read a blog post recently that suggested that this is very unusual in the US, and that most people use a kettle that sits on the cooker instead.

Is he right??

Oh, and in answer to guihong, on 5 November we celebrate the fact that Guy Fawkes's plot was stopped and Parliament was saved! (Most of us, anyway. ;D) The idea is to remember how close a call it was. There's a children's rhyme:

Remember, remember
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
This is the reason
That gunpowder season
Should never be forgot.


Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: guihong on November 18, 2010, 06:09:15 AM
UK E-Hellion here. I have a very silly question from my DH.

In the US, how do you boil water for a cup of tea? Here in the UK most people use electric kettles that plug into the wall. DH read a blog post recently that suggested that this is very unusual in the US, and that most people use a kettle that sits on the cooker instead.

Is he right??

Oh, and in answer to guihong, on 5 November we celebrate the fact that Guy Fawkes's plot was stopped and Parliament was saved! (Most of us, anyway. ;D) The idea is to remember how close a call it was. There's a children's rhyme:

Remember, remember
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
This is the reason
That gunpowder season
Should never be forgot.




Electric kettles are not common here, it's true.  We indeed put it on top of the burner and heat until it whistles.   We do have electric coffeepots, because coffee is drunk more than tea here.  That's why the teapots haven't caught on, and even the stovetop ones are almost more for show.

Iced tea is very common, especially across the South.  I've heard that drinking cold tea is next to heresy to most English ;).

gui
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 18, 2010, 06:15:09 AM

Remember, remember
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
This is the reason
That gunpowder season
Should never be forgot.


No no no!

It's:

Remember, remember
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason
That gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 06:20:44 AM
I have one (so far):

If Guy Fawkes tried to do a terrible thing-blow up Parliament-then why do you celebrate his day with fireworks and having fun?  Or is it celebrating that he failed?

Taffy is a sticky candy made from boiled sugar, butter, and flavorings.  It's stretched to make it fluffy and lighter in texture., and it was traditionally great fun for kids.  Then it's rolled up, almost like gum.    Nougat, at least here, is a mixture of sugar or honey, roasted nuts, and fruit.  It's added to some candy bars and box chocolate.

gui

We celebrate that he failed. Frankly though, they were not too bright.  A group of them came in out of the rain, and noticed that the gunpowder was wet, so they put it in front of the room fire to dry out ...... KABOOM!!!

The poem goes, "Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot".

King James ordered celebrations when the conspirators were caught and for bonfires to be lit over the country.  Effiegies of Guy Fawkes were burned on the fire.  In days gone by (until about the 1970's I think(, children used to raise money for their fireworks and sweets by making a "Guy" out of sacks etc, and then having him on the street and asking passers by "penny for the Guy?"

Guy fawkes was tortured and hung, drawn and quartered I believe.  But we all have candy floss and sparklers now, so hey ho!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 18, 2010, 06:21:35 AM
I LOVE ice tea. Peach is my favourite. My hubby worked in the states for a year and keeps talking about all the foods and drinks y'all had. Only having holidayed there I never got the chance.

Whats the difference between all your fast food places? In Australia,while we have take away food places, the big ones here are Pizza hut,dominoes,red rooster,Mcdonals,hungry jacks (burger king),Kfc and subway. There you have all these other places like wendys,popeyes,jack in a box and so on and so on....arent they all kinda the same? Or are they all so different?

My mum says Americans dont eat alot of lamb. And its expensive. Is this true?

How come Americans eat their meat so rare? Every tv show, whether fictional or cooking always has a pot roast where the meat is still heaps pink. Makes me a little squicked to see it like that.

Whats clotted cream? I keep hearing about it but I have no idea what it is!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 06:22:03 AM
ahh thats the poem!  

Mawkish lot us English arent we?  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 18, 2010, 06:22:14 AM
I still see kids doing penny for the guy, or at least I did up until a few years ago.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 06:24:22 AM
I still see kids doing penny for the guy, or at least I did up until a few years ago.

Awesome!   What part of the country roughly are you based?   Nice to see that still goes on, though bet its more than a penny now!   ;D

Do they burn the guy in the middle of the bonfire afterwards?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 18, 2010, 06:27:45 AM
Well, it's usually some scally kid with an old football with a face drawn on it, and some old clothes stuffed with newspaper. I've never seen them burn it, although they probably use the cash for fireworks (and tabs).

(And if you know what tabs are, then you know what region I'm talking about  ;D)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: WolfWay on November 18, 2010, 06:39:01 AM
We sometimes measure in 'cups' in the UK too, its not as common these days bit all my mum's school cookbooks from the 70s have the ingredients in cups.

A UK cup is 250ml.
In South Africa we have premade cup measuring sets that come in volumes of 1cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup.

Like this: http://www.google.co.za/images?q=measuring%20cup%20set&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=Flamingvixen-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1200&bih=431 (http://www.google.co.za/images?q=measuring%20cup%20set&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=Flamingvixen-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1200&bih=431)

I had no idea that cup measures were going out of style in the UK.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: cicero on November 18, 2010, 06:49:42 AM


Whats clotted cream? I keep hearing about it but I have no idea what it is!
i think it's something british. i KNOW it has to do with tea (or is that High Tea? the one with the cucumber sandwiches) and it's served on scones.

OK so  l learned here on Ehell that non-israelis call the spread Hummus (like we do) but the beans themselves are called chickpeas or garbanzos (we call them hummus).

and i was wondering: when i was a kid i read a lot of british books and they always ate "tea" at what we would call "supper" or "dinner" time, and from what they ate i assume it's the 'evening meal'. is that correct? is it still called tea? and why?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 18, 2010, 06:54:29 AM
I still see kids doing penny for the guy, or at least I did up until a few years ago.

Awesome!   What part of the country roughly are you based?   Nice to see that still goes on, though bet its more than a penny now!   ;D

Do they burn the guy in the middle of the bonfire afterwards?

I'm near manchester, UK and there were a lot of penny for guys this bonfire.

I'm in Manchester, whereabouts are you? 

Didn't see any guys this year but then I do live in a block of flats, not the best location for a bonfire!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 18, 2010, 07:16:10 AM


Whats clotted cream? I keep hearing about it but I have no idea what it is!
i think it's something british. i KNOW it has to do with tea (or is that High Tea? the one with the cucumber sandwiches) and it's served on scones.

OK so  l learned here on Ehell that non-israelis call the spread Hummus (like we do) but the beans themselves are called chickpeas or garbanzos (we call them hummus).

and i was wondering: when i was a kid i read a lot of british books and they always ate "tea" at what we would call "supper" or "dinner" time, and from what they ate i assume it's the 'evening meal'. is that correct? is it still called tea? and why?

Clotted cream is basically cream that is thick enough that it will stay on top of a scone with jam :) It's sort of buttery tasting.

What Americans think of as 'British' tea, they call high tea, but actually they're incorrect.

High tea would be a big meal eaten at around 6pm (so dinner). Most UK households now know this as 'tea'.

Afternoon tea is the affair with little sandwiches etc, and would be served at around 4pm, followed by a later dinner at around 8pm. In practice, this was/is a pretty upper class pursuit.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Shores on November 18, 2010, 07:23:12 AM

Whats the difference between all your fast food places? In Australia,while we have take away food places, the big ones here are Pizza hut,dominoes,red rooster,Mcdonals,hungry jacks (burger king),Kfc and subway. There you have all these other places like wendys,popeyes,jack in a box and so on and so on....arent they all kinda the same? Or are they all so different?

Well, we don't have ALL of the ones that you may hear about. Many are regional. I've never seen a Jack in the Box, for instance. If you stick to burger places, my area has McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Rally's, Hardee's, Five Guys and probably others. But yeah they all taste different. Just like a restaurant that serves similar cuisine might taste different, right? Besides they each have the own signature burgers and way different french fries. So it's really no different than having a favorite Italian restaurant.

Quote
My mum says Americans dont eat alot of lamb. And its expensive. Is this true?
Yes to both, in my experience. It is quite expensive and I've never even see it sold in my local grocery store.... I'd probably have to go to an actual butcher to get it.... I'm assuming we still have butchers somewhere.

Quote
How come Americans eat their meat so rare? Every tv show, whether fictional or cooking always has a pot roast where the meat is still heaps pink. Makes me a little squicked to see it like that.
Cause it's gooooood when it's bloody! :P Actually, I have no idea why this is an "American" thing, but I do see it WAY more than I did in Europe. My siblings and I were raised on medium-rare steak; my dad was rather passionate about tasting the meat. :P Over the years, my siblings have gone for more cooked and I've gone for even rarer, but I don't know how that because popular in the US.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 18, 2010, 07:33:12 AM
My brother went to Canada a few years back to snow and said he got a steak medium rare cause thats what he eats here. He said he had to send it back because it was rarer than what he thought it would be. LOL.

Tea time is dinner time. Alot of the oldies still use it in Oz. I call it dinner. Dessert after dinner can also be called sweets. My mum has gotten my son onto calling it that. hehehe. Drives my husband mad.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 18, 2010, 07:34:47 AM
I LOVE ice tea. Peach is my favourite. My hubby worked in the states for a year and keeps talking about all the foods and drinks y'all had. Only having holidayed there I never got the chance.

Whats the difference between all your fast food places? In Australia,while we have take away food places, the big ones here are Pizza hut,dominoes,red rooster,Mcdonals,hungry jacks (burger king),Kfc and subway. There you have all these other places like wendys,popeyes,jack in a box and so on and so on....arent they all kinda the same? Or are they all so different?

My mum says Americans dont eat alot of lamb. And its expensive. Is this true?

How come Americans eat their meat so rare? Every tv show, whether fictional or cooking always has a pot roast where the meat is still heaps pink. Makes me a little squicked to see it like that.

Whats clotted cream? I keep hearing about it but I have no idea what it is!

Fast food--There are differences in the fast food places--either in the type of food served (Wendy's has chili and baked potatoes along with chicken sandwiches and burgers) or the way it's cooked or tastes. And some of these chains are regional. There aren't any Popeyes or Sonics or Chik-Fil-As or Jack in the Boxes anywhere near me, so I've never had a chance to try them out.

The average American doesn't eat much lamb. Why, I'm not sure. Could be just that it's unfamiliar, or they don't like the taste, or that it is more expensive than other meat. It's not easy to find it in supermarkets in some areas and not found in many restaurants, unless you live in an area with an ethnic population that does enjoy lamb. (Me, I do like lamb, but don't get to eat it often.)

A lot of Americans do like rare meat, but not all of us. I certainly don't. Fortunately, it's become more acceptable to want your meat cooked, now that there is evidence of health risks for undercooked meat.

Clotted cream--I was in England for a while and discovered clotted cream. It's yummy. It's sort of in between whipped cream and butter. Perfect on a scone with jam. Very hard to find in the US, but I have found one place that usually has it. It's worth an hour's drive now and then.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 18, 2010, 07:35:34 AM
Well, it's usually some scally kid with an old football with a face drawn on it, and some old clothes stuffed with newspaper. I've never seen them burn it, although they probably use the cash for fireworks (and tabs).

(And if you know what tabs are, then you know what region I'm talking about  ;D)

Gotcha!  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ferrets on November 18, 2010, 07:43:55 AM
Whether you call the evening meal tea or dinner is influenced by factors of class and geography, to a certain extent. I'm working-class and from Oop North, so for me it's "dinner" at middayish, then "tea" in the evening. Someone middle-class would be more likely to say "lunch" for the first and "dinner" for the second.

We celebrate that he failed. Frankly though, they were not too bright.  A group of them came in out of the rain, and noticed that the gunpowder was wet, so they put it in front of the room fire to dry out ...... KABOOM!!!

The poem goes, "Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot".

King James ordered celebrations when the conspirators were caught and for bonfires to be lit over the country.  Effiegies of Guy Fawkes were burned on the fire.


It used to be effigies of the Pope that were burnt (the event's always had a specifically anti-Catholic focus) - it wasn't till almost two centuries later that ones of Guido became the norm (and Papal effigies still popped up occasionally). Lewes still burn effigies of the Pope today. They take Bonfire Night very seriously there. ::)

Most Brits celebrating Bonfire Night these days, however, are in it purely for the fireworks, exciting pyromania, and general tradition, rather than conscious anti-Catholic sentiment, and plenty of Catholics join in with the revelries. (Including me. Only not in Lewes. ;) )
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 18, 2010, 07:47:26 AM
If anybody ever wants to come to Australia for a lamb roast then you are more than welcome! hehehe. Its so good, ya'll are missing out!

Also.....whats miracle whip? I know its cream....but how does it stay creamy without going yucky and watery?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Gyburc on November 18, 2010, 07:50:59 AM

No no no!

It's:

Remember, remember
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason
That gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot


D'oh! Clearly I am too highly trained...

 :D

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 18, 2010, 07:52:35 AM
If anybody ever wants to come to Australia for a lamb roast then you are more than welcome! hehehe. Its so good, ya'll are missing out!

Also.....whats miracle whip? I know its cream....but how does it stay creamy without going yucky and watery?

Miracle Whip. Goodness, how to describe it. It's more similar to mayonnaise than anything else, I think, but it is seasoned differently. It's sometimes called "salad cream." It's used in place of mayo on sandwiches and such. There can be heated discussions as to which is better, Miracle Whip or mayo. I've just discovered that it has a Facebook page.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 18, 2010, 08:06:21 AM
We celebrate that he failed. Frankly though, they were not too bright.  A group of them came in out of the rain, and noticed that the gunpowder was wet, so they put it in front of the room fire to dry out ...... KABOOM!!!

The poem goes, "Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot".

King James ordered celebrations when the conspirators were caught and for bonfires to be lit over the country.  Effiegies of Guy Fawkes were burned on the fire.


It used to be effigies of the Pope that were burnt (the event's always had a specifically anti-Catholic focus) - it wasn't till almost two centuries later that ones of Guido became the norm (and Papal effigies still popped up occasionally).

I was about to say that :).  Everyone seems to think it's Guy Fawkes on the bonfire, and it generally is now, but it never used to be.  With the way the country see-sawed back and forth between Catholic and Protestant from when Henry VIII turned the country Protestant so he could divorce his wife to marry his bit-on-the-side (who wouldn't play scrabble with him until he did, so they say), then his eldest daughter made the country Catholic again, then her sister changed it to Protestant... etc, etc, etc... the King wanted the country to celebrate the failure of the Catholics to put a Catholic monarch on the throne again.

Oh, and still plenty of "Penny for the Guy" around here.  I'm in the north Midlands.

Whether you call the evening meal tea or dinner is influenced by factors of class and geography, to a certain extent. I'm working-class and from Oop North, so for me it's "dinner" at middayish, then "tea" in the evening. Someone middle-class would be more likely to say "lunch" for the first and "dinner" for the second.

And the upper classes had/have luncheon at noon, afternoon tea with cakes and little sandwiches in the mid-afternoon, then the children had a light supper just before bed and the adults had a proper dinner at 8-ish.

Miracle Whip. Goodness, how to describe it. It's more similar to mayonnaise than anything else, I think, but it is seasoned differently. It's sometimes called "salad cream." It's used in place of mayo on sandwiches and such. There can be heated discussions as to which is better, Miracle Whip or mayo. I've just discovered that it has a Facebook page.

We have something called salad cream here too, I wonder if it's the same thing?  Sort of ... tart to taste?  Not creamy like mayo.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 18, 2010, 11:04:35 AM
Are licorice and blackcurrant candies as good as they sound? I've been dying to try them ever since I first heard about them.

No.  ;)

As a American (originally from Texas) who has lived overseas for around ten years, I still have no love for liquorice allsort or black currents.  The liquorice here tastes nothing like the American red variety, and is more like a STRONGER version of the old fashion black kind.  I personally find black currant too sweet, and the favouring a bit too chemically.

Lamb can be expensive in the US.  My family who live in NYC, DC, and North Texas, would like to eat more of it, but it can get very pricey.

Meal names depend on region and class... My good friend from the North refers to lunch as "dinner" and the evening meal as "tea". Appetisers are "starters" here, and entrees are called "mains" with dessert normally called "pudding" or "afters".  

(We're a lunch/supper or dinner/dessert household)

My MIL insists that in South Africa entrees are appetisers/starters.. but I have to say I've not noticed that when there.

Clotted cream is a very-very- thick non sweet cream which is normally spread on scones... Very nice! We are very big fans of cream teas, and have a running guide/commentary of the best places around home and abroad.

We also celebrate Bonfire Night (which often now gets connected to Diwali here in South London) despite the old anti-Catholic beginnings.  I have never see any child asking "For a penny for the guy.", but do hear often from adults how it use to be very popular.

Miracle Whip is a lot like mayonnaise... I think salad cream may be slightly runnier.  Also most Americans probably wouldn't think to put mayo on top of a green salad.

Edited to Add: You can make a pumpkin pie here in the UK as long as you can get a pumpkin.  There are several recipes of UK cooking/BBC websites which are good.  I make a couple every year around this time as they are my favourite dessert.  Also if you can't get pumpkin, sweet potato/sweet potato pie is similar and also tasty..... What can I say?  I'm from the South.  :)

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 18, 2010, 11:37:20 AM
Lamb is also a seasonal thing here in the US - you can usually only find it in regular grocery stores right before Easter.  (That doesn't mean you can't find it in a specialty store at other times, or in a particularly large supermarket, but even then you probably won't have any choice as to cuts or size!)

Do y'all have eggnog or boiled custard over there?  Eggnog usually starts showing up around the beginning of November here, but Boiled Custard is still harder to find.  And my DH loves it, so I always have to look extra-hard at this time of year  :P
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 18, 2010, 11:41:25 AM
Also.....whats miracle whip? I know its cream....but how does it stay creamy without going yucky and watery?

The Wikipedia article on Miracle Whip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_Whip) gives the basic idea - mayo is egg yolk, oil, and vinegar.  Miracle Whip is all that plus some (cheaper, and lower-calorie) salad dressing.  They do taste different, and both come in regular and low-fat versions.  Some people feel very strongly about which product (mayo or Miracle Whip and regular or low-fat of each) should be used for which things, and my dad lectures you at length about it if you ask  :P
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 18, 2010, 11:53:08 AM
Lamb is also a seasonal thing here in the US - you can usually only find it in regular grocery stores right before Easter.  (That doesn't mean you can't find it in a specialty store at other times, or in a particularly large supermarket, but even then you probably won't have any choice as to cuts or size!)

Do y'all have eggnog or boiled custard over there?  Eggnog usually starts showing up around the beginning of November here, but Boiled Custard is still harder to find.  And my DH loves it, so I always have to look extra-hard at this time of year  :P

You can get Eggnog Lattes at Starbucks, but there aren't cartons of eggnog in the shops.... However, I have a couple recipes for it so we normally have the full/fat alcohol version a few times during the holidays.   :)

I'm afraid I don't know the difference between boiled custard and regular custard though.  We go through obscene amounts of regular custard as it's my son's favourite dessert.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 18, 2010, 12:13:56 PM
Hi
When I was in a hotel in Germany (Berlin) once, they had little bottles of vodka on the breakfast buffet table and tomato juice too.  I was like ... WHOA!

I burst out laughing, so I had to tell DH about this. He looked kind of quizzical and said, "And her problem would be..............?"

(Our international travel consists of 30 minutes in Mexico and about 2 weeks totao in Canada.)

Now, back to reading the thread.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Seraphia on November 18, 2010, 12:35:46 PM
Something that has always rather bothered me:

What exactly is a scone? I've seen them at coffee shops and such as a sort of sweet flaky pastry. I guess I always assumed they were like biscotti in that the commercial version is so far removed from the real thing that there's no comparison.

Also, is the train system complicated over there? I read a lot of Agatha Christie novels, and they're always using train schedules as alibis, and I get completely confused.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 18, 2010, 12:39:17 PM
So I've grasped that

British "biscuits" = American "cookies"
British "crisps" = American "chips"
British "chips" = American "French Fries"

Now someone explain to me what a crumpet is - is that like what Americans call an "English Muffin"?

Oh and British "pudding" - this sometimes seems to be a custard dessert, or something people set on fire?  But then there's "blood pudding" and that's a sausage, right?  Pudding seems to mean a bunch of different things.  Can any Brit clarify?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: PeasNCues on November 18, 2010, 12:55:44 PM
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 18, 2010, 12:57:47 PM
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Currants are like raisins.

And what is mincemeat pie filling?  It's like fruit that has beef in it?  Is it supposed to be sweet or savory?  Is it a dessert or a main dish?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: PeasNCues on November 18, 2010, 12:59:27 PM
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Currants are like raisins.

And what is mincemeat pie filling?  It's like fruit that has beef in it?  Is it supposed to be sweet or savory?  Is it a dessert or a main dish?

The recipe I am looking at has:
1 1/4 pounds round steak, cut into small pieces
1 cup apple cider 4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and finely diced
1 1/3 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups dried currants
2 1/2 cups raisins
1/2 pound chopped candied mixed fruit peel (I have no idea what this is either :-\)
1/2 cup butter
1 (16 ounce) jar sour cherry preserves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 (16 ounce) can pitted sour cherries, drained with liquid reserved   
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 18, 2010, 01:03:10 PM
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Currants are like raisins.

And what is mincemeat pie filling?  It's like fruit that has beef in it?  Is it supposed to be sweet or savory?  Is it a dessert or a main dish?

The recipe I am looking at has:
1 1/4 pounds round steak, cut into small pieces
1 cup apple cider 4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and finely diced
1 1/3 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups dried currants
2 1/2 cups raisins
1/2 pound chopped candied mixed fruit peel (I have no idea what this is either :-\)
1/2 cup butter
1 (16 ounce) jar sour cherry preserves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 (16 ounce) can pitted sour cherries, drained with liquid reserved   
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
2 tablespoons heavy cream



Your recipe still hasn't cleared up for me whether this is a dessert or not.  It has a lot of fruit, but there's meat and a lot of sour.  So I find myself still at an impasse. 

I think the candied fruit peel can be found in specialty baking sections.  I think I've seen candied orange peel, but I don't think i've seen candied "mixed fruit".  I also don't think "sour cherry" preserves area all that easy to find.

Currants you can often find with the raisins. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Linley on November 18, 2010, 01:04:55 PM
Hi
When I was in a hotel in Germany (Berlin) once, they had little bottles of vodka on the breakfast buffet table and tomato juice too.  I was like ... WHOA!

I burst out laughing, so I had to tell DH about this. He looked kind of quizzical and said, "And her problem would be..............?"


I can tell you though that vodka is not standard on German breakfast menus. However, when I moved to Austria I was introduced to the belief that schnapps is the cure for just about every bodily ailment. Cold? Schnapps! Sore throat? Schnapps! American students tend to think it's the most fabulous thing...for the first day or so. After that, they start to groan whenever the bottle comes out.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 18, 2010, 01:06:46 PM
As a Canadian, I get exposed to both the British and American influences.

American biscuits are similar to British scones - they are a bready thing with the leavening agent being baking powder.  Biscuits tend to be plain or savoury while scones tend to be sweeter, from my understanding.

Crumpets are another bready like breakfast or tea food.  The ones I get here aren't cut, like an English muffin would be.  They have all these holes on the top of them so when you toast them and then butter them, the holes fill up with melted butter.  Yum!

Canada is supposedly metric but still uses Imperial (or British) measurements for some things.  1 cup is 8 ounces, roughly equivalent to 250 mL.  1 pound is 16 ounces, equivalent to 454 g.  An American quart is 32 ounces but an Imperial quart is 40 ounces.  32 ounces is roughly 1 L but 40 ounces is 1.14 L.  Temperature wise, the US uses the Farenheit scale and Canada uses the Celcius scale, with a lot of us having a good idea what the equivalent Farenheit value is.

If you can get a pumpkin in Britain, pumpkin pie is really good.  It is more of a custard, at least the way I make it.  Cooked, pureed pumpkin with condensed milk, eggs, brown sugar and a bunch of spices - I use cinammon, ginger, nutmeg.  A friend of my mother's had a daughter who was engaged to a Brit.  Who insisted there was no way he was eating pumpkin.  So when he was over, she made two pies for Thanksgiving - a banana custard and a 'spice' custard.  He chose the spice.  And enjoyed it thoroughly, even after it was revealed that he'd eaten his first pumpkin pie.

North American marshmellows are soft, white things, about the size of a golf ball, and are just sugar and geletin, mostly.  There is usually no flavouring to them.  I understand that British marshmellows tend to be of a harder consistancy and are shaped and flavoured?

For recipes calling for lard or shortening, in most cases, you can just swap them one for the other.  'Pure' shortening looks very similar to lard but is made from vegetable sources.  There is some talk that the lard is actually better for you because shortening is made from hydrogenated oils.  I use lard for pastry, shortening for making cake decorating icing and generally use butter, margarine or oil in other recipes.

I don't make my own mincemeat; we buy it, usually jarred.  It is mostly sweet.  The commercial stuff doesn't use meat, per se, but does generally use beef suet, or fat, in the mixture.  It is mostly stewed fruit.

Currents are a dried fruit.  They are little berries that are dried like raisins but they tend to be much smaller in size and, to my taste, a little bitter.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: PeasNCues on November 18, 2010, 01:07:36 PM
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Currants are like raisins.

And what is mincemeat pie filling?  It's like fruit that has beef in it?  Is it supposed to be sweet or savory?  Is it a dessert or a main dish?

The recipe I am looking at has:
1 1/4 pounds round steak, cut into small pieces
1 cup apple cider 4 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and finely diced
1 1/3 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups dried currants
2 1/2 cups raisins
1/2 pound chopped candied mixed fruit peel (I have no idea what this is either :-\)
1/2 cup butter
1 (16 ounce) jar sour cherry preserves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 (16 ounce) can pitted sour cherries, drained with liquid reserved   
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
2 tablespoons heavy cream



Your recipe still hasn't cleared up for me whether this is a dessert or not.  It has a lot of fruit, but there's meat and a lot of sour.  So I find myself still at an impasse. 

I think the candied fruit peel can be found in specialty baking sections.  I think I've seen candied orange peel, but I don't think i've seen candied "mixed fruit".  I also don't think "sour cherry" preserves area all that easy to find.

Currants you can often find with the raisins. 

I believe it is a dessert... but I am not sure!!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 18, 2010, 01:08:55 PM
Yes, it is definitely a dessert.  Closer to a raisin pie, for a comparison.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 18, 2010, 01:10:33 PM
Yes, it is definitely a dessert.  Closer to a raisin pie, for a comparison.

So now I have to ask..what is a raisin pie?  Is that like an apple pie with only raisins in it?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 18, 2010, 01:12:17 PM
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Currants are like raisins.


Slight disagree - I think a currant is more of a cross between a berry and a raisin.

To those of you who answered me about licorice and blackcurrant, I was referring to the candies that have both flavors - I've had plenty of licorice and blackcurrant stuff individually. It sounds like a good combo, but not one that's for everyone, I'm sure.

Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala? In the U.S., it's chicken in a creamy, lightly spicy sauce. In Canada, it's chicken in a more spicy, non-creamy tomato sauce, and the U.S. chicken tikka masala is chicken makhani (AKA butter chicken).

What does Irn Bru taste like? Is it really made from bridge girders? That sounds questionable safetywise...
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 18, 2010, 01:13:47 PM
8 fluid oz = 1 cup
16 solid oz = 1 pound

I think holiday traditions in other countries are interesting.  I read once about Saint Lucia's Day in Sweden, and thought it was fabulous, but my parents thought it unwise to let me put candles on my head.  In retrospect, a good idea!

What exactly is Boxing Day?  Is that when presents are opened?  When the boxes are discarded? When you take the boxes back to the stores because you don't want what's in them? Are there boxes? Yes, I put too much thought into this!

Are Christmas crackers better in Britain?  The only ones I've seen here have very cheap plastic toys or, more likely, small office supplies, a paper crown, and a silly joke.

Are lingonberries and cloudberries the same thing and what do they taste like?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 18, 2010, 01:13:56 PM
Yes, it is definitely a dessert.  Closer to a raisin pie, for a comparison.

So now I have to ask..what is a raisin pie?  Is that like an apple pie with only raisins in it?

I made my first raisin pie this fall because my brother and Dad wanted one while they were hunting!  You put raisins, water, sugar and a little lemon juice in a sauce pan and cook it down until the liquid is thickened and then you put it into your pie shell and bake it, like you would any other pie.

A mincemeat pie would be very similar consistancy but with a stronger flavour because of the cut mixed fruit.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Sirius on November 18, 2010, 01:28:46 PM
In this part of the U.S. (Oregon) fast-food wise we have:
Popeye's Chicken - This is good stuff, and the red beans and rice side dish is awesome.  I think this is more New Orleans style  than, say, Kentucky Fried Chicken, which we also have around here.  The difference is that New Orleans cooking tends to be quite a bit spicier than most of what would be considered "standard" southern cooking.  

Sonic Drive-In - one was just built in a neighboring town and I haven't eaten there yet.

Burgerville - Their food is actually very good, and they try to stick to regional dishes, like Marionberry shakes (sort of like raspberries) and Walla Walla sweet onion rings (Walla Walla, Washington isn't that far from here, globally speaking.)  They also use Tillamook cheddar cheese (comes from a town about an hour from here) and during the fall make sweet potato fries, which they sell by the ton.

Chick-Fil-A:  I worked at one of these in California, and all I can tell you is that it's all chicken plus a few side dishes, so not a large menu. About the only difference between them and Kentucky Fried is that CFA is always closed on Sundays.  

Jack In The Box:  Like McDonald's, except that their menu is more varied and their food is better (my opinion.)  They were also one of the earliest drive-up fast-food places, if I remember correctly.  

Wendy's has better food than McDonalds.  Burger King has been around since at least the mid 1960s (I remember a Burger King in Albany, Georgia in 1965) and Wendy's showed up in the 1970s.  I remember hearing commercials for McDonalds on TV in the mid 1960s, but the closest one to where we lived in Albany was in Tallahassee, Florida.

We've also got lots of pizza places.  We usually get Hungry Howie's pizzas because they deliver to our area. We're good tippers, so we always get excellent service.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: BatCity on November 18, 2010, 01:52:04 PM

My mum says Americans dont eat alot of lamb. And its expensive. Is this true?


I didn't see this question answered in this thread (my apologies if I'm wrong).

There's an historical reason Americans don't eat much lamb.  Sheep and cattle have different grazing patterns which makes ranching them together difficult.  During the 1800s, some pretty brutal "range wars" took place on the frontier between sheep ranchers and cattle ranchers, and in most cases the cattle ranchers prevailed.

It's too bad, because I adore lamb, but it is expensive.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hobish on November 18, 2010, 01:52:28 PM
We sometimes measure in 'cups' in the UK too, its not as common these days bit all my mum's school cookbooks from the 70s have the ingredients in cups.

A UK cup is 250ml.
In South Africa we have premade cup measuring sets that come in volumes of 1cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup.

Like this: http://www.google.co.za/images?q=measuring%20cup%20set&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=Flamingvixen-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1200&bih=431 (http://www.google.co.za/images?q=measuring%20cup%20set&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=Flamingvixen-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1200&bih=431)

I had no idea that cup measures were going out of style in the UK.

They're common in the US, too. I have 2 sets and i don't even cook often. My mom always had a set for wet measure and a set for dry and i inherited the habit.
There are also measuring pitchers that usually have cup measurements on one side and liters on the other.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hobish on November 18, 2010, 02:08:55 PM
I didn’t know eating meat rare was a US thing. I have not noticed any trend toward it being more common or acceptable to eat it more cooked. Making a good steak well done is still considered a waste of good steak in my experience.

I’m another one who loves iced tea. It’s my favorite soft drink by a long shot.

I don’t know anyone who has a tea pot that plugs into the wall; but nearly everyone I know has a coffee pot that does. I have a stove top tea kettle that is not for show; I use it quite a lot for making both hot and iced tea (or I did until Monday when Gish accidentally turned it on empty and burned it). I have been known, however to make tea in the microwave – fill a cup with water, plunk a tea bag in it, microwave for about 2 minutes.

Are microwaves common in other places? What are they used for? My grandparents used theirs exclusively for coffee and tea, my parents could cook darn near anything in one, and Gish never uses one … I am somewhere in between.

…to clarify, I don’t think microwaved tea is all that common. I know my friends who really like tea are slightly aghast at the idea.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Hushabye on November 18, 2010, 02:19:18 PM

My mum says Americans dont eat alot of lamb. And its expensive. Is this true?


I didn't see this question answered in this thread (my apologies if I'm wrong).

There's an historical reason Americans don't eat much lamb.  Sheep and cattle have different grazing patterns which makes ranching them together difficult.  During the 1800s, some pretty brutal "range wars" took place on the frontier between sheep ranchers and cattle ranchers, and in most cases the cattle ranchers prevailed.

It's too bad, because I adore lamb, but it is expensive.

Thanks for explaining that, BatCity.  I knew that lamb is hard to get over here, I just didn't know why (aside from the fact that I almost exclusively see cattle farms, of course).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: marcel on November 18, 2010, 02:31:03 PM
This quote is from another thread, but there is something I have been wondering about.
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.
To be clear, over here it is Mr. and Mrs Hislastname
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nibsey on November 18, 2010, 02:32:13 PM
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Mincemeat is made with dried fruit, spice and alcohol it can sometimes have beef seut. You mix all the dry mixture and then add your alcohol of choice and leave it to age. I make mine at halloween to make mince pies at christmas for dessert.

According to wiki

Mincemeat is aged to deepen flavours, activate the preserving effect of alcohol, which over time changes the overall texture of the mixture by breaking down the meat proteins.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hobish on November 18, 2010, 02:37:44 PM
This quote is from another thread, but there is something I have been wondering about.
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.
To be clear, over here it is Mr. and Mrs Hislastname
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

I think most Americans would agree that it is not a great custom, and it is definitely outmoded; but that is technically a correct form of address. I will definitely never go by Mrs. Gish Lastname; I agree that it is awful.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hardia on November 18, 2010, 02:42:17 PM
What exactly is Boxing Day?  Is that when presents are opened?  When the boxes are discarded? When you take the boxes back to the stores because you don't want what's in them? Are there boxes? Yes, I put too much thought into this!

I'm not sure where the name Boxing Day originated from, but it's simply the day after Christmas.  Here in Canada it has become a lot like the Friday after Thanksgiving in the States, with big sales and crazy deals at the stores, but that's a more recent (last 20 years?) development.  In Ontario, where I live, it's a statutory holiday, so most offices and public services are closed, but retail stores, restaurants, etc. are open for business.  In my family it's just an extension of the Christmas holiday -- when I was growing up we saw one side of the family on Christmas day and the other side on Boxing Day.  Oh, and the most important part?  Hot turkey sandwiches for lunch.  Very important.  :)

Some more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_day
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Snowy Owl on November 18, 2010, 02:44:06 PM

What exactly is Boxing Day?  Is that when presents are opened?  When the boxes are discarded? When you take the boxes back to the stores because you don't want what's in them? Are there boxes? Yes, I put too much thought into this!

Are Christmas crackers better in Britain?  The only ones I've seen here have very cheap plastic toys or, more likely, small office supplies, a paper crown, and a silly joke.

Are lingonberries and cloudberries the same thing and what do they taste like?

Boxing Day is 26 December.  It's the day after Christmas Day.  My understanding is that traditionally it was the day that servants and tradesmen were given a box with money in as thanks for their work.  Servants were usually given the day off to visit their families.   That said there are various theories as to the origins of the term.  Nowadays it's a public holiday and most people, to my knowledge, spend it recovering from Christmas, eating up the leftovers and sleeping off the hangover.  It's also traditionally the first day of the post Christmas sales so people often go shopping.  

Christmas crackers in the UK vary, depending on the price.  Some of them are just like the US ones but you can get some with really nice contents (expensive stationery or jewelry) if you're prepared to pay a lot for them.  

Lingonberries and Cloudberries are from the same family and are typically served in Sweden and Norway.  Lingonberries are slightly bitter and tend to be served as a condiment with savoury dishes.  The most typical is meatballs with lingonberry although they're good with venison and gamey meat.  Cloudberries are much sweeter and are usually served as a dessert, sometimes as a mousse or a parfait.  There are also some wonderful chocolates with cloudberry liqueur filling available in Norway and it goes very well in jam.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: NestHolder on November 18, 2010, 02:46:22 PM
Just to add to what Nibsey said, mincemeat is definitely a dessert kind of thing.  Mince pies are our (British) equivalent of the US's Christmas cookies.  We don't have a tradition of baking enormous arrays of cookies for Christmas (I was Very Impressed when an American friend who was living over here gave me a selection), but mince pies, small (individual) pies filled with the dried fruit+apple+suet (+brandy, optionally) filling are ubiquitous.  Can be served cold, more likely to be served hot, ideally with some brandy butter melting over them.  Shop-bought mince pies occasionally incorporate a blob of brandy butter.

Christmas crackers here can be excellent or rubbish, it depends how much you pay for them.  Marks & Spencer sell very beautiful ones with respectable gifts (earrings, pen, small photo frame, etc); you can get quite a variety, eg themed ones with little china dogs as the gifts, or tiny pipes which can be combined by all the diners to play tunes; but I'm afraid the terrible jokes and the paper crowns are standard with *all* crackers!

It's possible that 'Boxing Day' derives from the traditional 'Christmas box', a gratuity that was given to people who served the household at this time.  I don't know whether it was for live-in domestic servants—I remember instead that my grandma used to give the milkman a 'Christmas box' which was an envelope containing some cash.  A ten-bob note, possibly, though that sounds quite generous.  In the UK, we have both 25th and 26th December as public holidays (actually, that may be different in Scotland, where the New Year is a much bigger deal, I think the Scots get an extra day off to recover from their Hogmanay celebrations).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 18, 2010, 02:46:51 PM
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it.
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

We take Mrs. John Smith as a written address, but are never spoken to as John Smith, only Mrs. Smith as a respectful name. It always works fine for me. That discussion is on the envelope thread and as you can notice, things are changing.

I think the Russians used to take the husbands first name feminized.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nibsey on November 18, 2010, 02:51:14 PM
So I've grasped that

British "biscuits" = American "cookies"
British "crisps" = American "chips"
British "chips" = American "French Fries"

Now someone explain to me what a crumpet is - is that like what Americans call an "English Muffin"?

Oh and British "pudding" - this sometimes seems to be a custard dessert, or something people set on fire?  But then there's "blood pudding" and that's a sausage, right?  Pudding seems to mean a bunch of different things.  Can any Brit clarify?


Sorry I just saw this. Some British people call dessert pudding. Pudding also refers to specific desserts like rice pudding which is this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_pudding

Christmas pudding is this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_pudding
The best I an describe christmas pudding is like a boiled fruit cake which you serve by covering it with brandy and then setting alight.

Blood pudding also called black pudding looks like a thick sausage that you slice up to cook by frying. It's made from blood and spices. There is also white pudding which is exactly the same without the blood.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 18, 2010, 02:52:56 PM
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Mincemeat is made with dried fruit, spice and alcohol it can sometimes have beef seut. You mix all the dry mixture and then add your alcohol of choice and leave it to age. I make mine at halloween to make mince pies at christmas for dessert.

According to wiki

Mincemeat is aged to deepen flavours, activate the preserving effect of alcohol, which over time changes the overall texture of the mixture by breaking down the meat proteins.

But its a dessert, right?  And the meat is used for some type of chemical reaction?  It just sounds like a fruit pie with meat thrown in. ;-)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: marcel on November 18, 2010, 03:01:09 PM
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it.
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

We take Mrs. John Smith as a written address, but are never spoken to as John Smith, only Mrs. Smith as a respectful name. It always works fine for me. That discussion is on the envelope thread and as you can notice, things are changing.

I think the Russians used to take the husbands first name feminized.
I now by now how it is done in the US, the other thread made me curious about other countries, and since there was a discussion on general differences between countries here, I thought I would put it here instead of starting a new thread.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LTrew on November 18, 2010, 03:20:44 PM
Mincemeat pies and mince pies are the same thing.  They used to have actual meat in them but I don't think many do that anymore. They belong to the range of UK Christmas desserts I won't touch with a ten foot pole - mince pies, Christmas cake, and Christmas pudding - dried fruit and alcohol, blegh! Most of these things are made way before they are to be eaten so they can be bathed in alcohol for weeks.  Then for good measure the Christmas pudding is also bathed in a fiery bath of brandy and served with brandybutter!  Definitely not for teetotaller me!

A continental breakfast can mean vastly different things.  Most of the time there is yogurt, some stewed or fresh fruit maybe, cheeses and cold cuts, bread rolls, butter, some pastries, and cereals.  I stayed in a hotel in Italy in September that had the most amazing breakfast I've ever seen,  it had anything you could think of including bottles of champagne on the table.
A full English breakfast includes some or all of the following - bacon, eggs, sausages, fried mushrooms, fried tomato, fried bread, hashbrowns, black pudding, white pudding, hogs pudding, baked beans, and toast. 
Most of the time it is bacon, eggs, sausage, mushroom, tomato, beans and toast and it is also called a fry up or a fried breakfast.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 18, 2010, 03:24:39 PM
I didn’t know eating meat rare was a US thing. I have not noticed any trend toward it being more common or acceptable to eat it more cooked. Making a good steak well done is still considered a waste of good steak in my experience.


I'm from (and in) Chicago, but spent a year living in the outskirts of London about 9 years ago.

When I was living in the UK, the ex wanted beef well done.  Then again, he was quite picky, and hardly an example of normal eating habits (the man didn't like garlic, it's no wonder the relationship didn't last!).  I prefer it closer to rare, but I don't know anyone who would make pot roast that way - it's more like stew, it has to be cooked for hours so it gets tender.  A normal roast, though, is definitely better with some pink or red in the middle, in my opinion.  I've seen it done both ways here, DF and I solve the problem by making sure he gets outside slice, and I get inside slices.

We had a microwave when I was living there, but it was mostly used for stuff like heating milk for hot chocolate.  I don't remember if his mum had one.  I have one at home now, but I mostly use it for defrosting and reheating, not for actual cooking.  I went a couple years without one after ours broke, and I think the only reason we have one now is because my mom bought us one for Christmas.  I don't think my brother has one at all, but he's a chef and a foodie, so very particular about his kitchen ;)

I tried a few electric kettles when I moved home from England, but somehow they just weren't the same.  They're really not designed for everyday use here (or maybe it's just because I bought the really cheap ones).  I wouldn't trade in my stovetop kettle, and I use it pretty often, though these days I'm drinking more coffee than tea.  I'm very particular about what goes into my hot beverages, though, especially tea (after living in England) - DF thinks I'm crazy for preferring certain mugs, but I swear it makes a difference.

As others have said, lamb tends to be popular around Easter, and harder to find at other times (and yes, expensive).  I live in an ethnic neighborhood (mixed ethnicities, but not average-American), and we have access to a lot of less common meats and other foods here.  There's a local store that often has seasoned lamb burgers that are really fantastic, and really cheap.

Crumpets are similar to English Muffins, but better.  As someone said upthread, they've got holes in the top and aren't sliced.  You serve them the same way, though - toasted with butter.  They're definitely made here, I know I've seen them in stores, but they're not common and might be harder to find in a smaller city.

Grilling and broiling aren't quite the same, but I suppose it's the best comparison I can make.  Same with scones and biscuits - I really don't think it's a great comparison, but I don't have any better ideas.  Biscuits are someone light and fluffy and dense at the same time, and scones aren't.  The scones I've had here aren't terribly different from the scones I had in England, but the ones in England were more likely to be freshly made - I don't get them here often because I like them warm from the oven, just like I do biscuits (okay, so maybe they are similar ;)).

In a very general sense, class is roughly related to income (when we use terms like working class, middle class, upper class, it's pretty much directly related to income), but there are, of course, exceptions.  From what I've seen, we don't put as much weight on class, though it would be odd to see someone who makes $2,000,000/year hanging out with someone living paycheck to paycheck.

I use the same old dry measure measuring cups for most recipes, because I'm lazy and keep losing the liquid measures, but if I was cooking something that had to be very specific, I'd probably be more careful.  I do have a few mugs that I know are just about 1 cup, and I'll use those in a pinch, if it's something that doesn't need to be measured precisely.  When I was there, I had a couple American measuring cups that I brought along, and I think one or two that I bought there.  I did a lot of baking from American cookbooks, and mixed and matched cups without any problem, but I might have just been lucky.  I don't know any Americans who use stones as a measurement.

I rarely introduce myself by name to anybody who doesn't actually need to know my name.  It must be a tourist thing?

I almost always use butter in recipes that call for shortening or lard.  Mostly out of laziness, because I usually have it in the house and I know I can use the leftovers.  DF is more likely to seek out whatever it specifically says to use (though, I don't think either of us uses recipes that call for lard), because he's not as intuitive a cook, and less willing to take chances.

The breakfasts I've had on the continent are similar in concept to American continental breakfasts, but the specifics are different, just because every country has its own local pastries and meats and fruits.  I think my favorite cold breakfasts were in Amsterdam - best medium boiled eggs I've ever had, tasty bread and sliced meats and fruit and such.  Yum!  As far as English breakfasts go, the baked beans there aren't quite like the baked beans here.  The closest I've found here are Bush's vegetarian baked beans.  Regular American baked beans go better with barbecue than breakfast.

To expand on Guihong's description of taffy, it's chewy and sticky - the pulling process is what gets it that chewiness.

The only thing better than clotted cream is clotted cream ice cream.  Can't get it here, and even clotted cream is hard to find an expensive :(

Marcel, I get the impression that the Mrs. John Smith thing was carried over from England way back when, but I have no idea if it's still common.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 18, 2010, 03:30:42 PM
I have and love my electric kettle(s).  I don't have any problem with them dying quickly.  And they are really handy when I'm travelling.  I'm a bit of a tea snob; I like the water to be boiling.  So I have a small 3 cup kettle that goes with me to the hotel room when I'm travelling for work.

The trick:  If you live in an area with highly mineralized water, make sure you dump out the rest of the water once you've used what you need.  The hot water helps keep the sink drain clear, too.

When water is heated and then cooled, the minerals in the water come out of solution and deposit on the heating element in the kettle.  But if you dump the water out right away, those minerals don't get a chance to deposit.

If you do notice a build up, you can boil a solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 or 5 parts water and it will remove the minerals.  Just rinse really well.  CLR works even better but I like the vinegar because it is a food item so that if I don't get it rinsed out well enough, it might not taste good but it won't hurt me.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 18, 2010, 03:35:32 PM
Our water isn't a problem here, I just don't like the water that comes out of electric kettles.  Maybe it's the type of plastic, or something.  It's not that they die fast, they just taste bad :P  But as I said, I'm picky enough to have a hierarchy of tea mugs, so I may be unusual ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 18, 2010, 03:46:55 PM
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it.
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

We take Mrs. John Smith as a written address, but are never spoken to as John Smith, only Mrs. Smith as a respectful name. It always works fine for me. That discussion is on the envelope thread and as you can notice, things are changing.

I think the Russians used to take the husbands first name feminized. (I am mistaken about this. Please see below.)
I now by now how it is done in the US, the other thread made me curious about other countries, and since there was a discussion on general differences between countries here, I thought I would put it here instead of starting a new thread.

I was addressing your sentence that we get the husband's first name, too. We do not use it as something we are called by. No one says 'Hi, John' to me. They say "Hi, Lucy." That's what I thought you were asking. Sorry. You and I seem to agree on so much! I don't want to cause an international incident here.

I also found out the answer to Russian names. I misunderstood. The first name is the surname, and it changes to a feminized form of the husband's last name. Her given names reamain the same.http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090205085823AAnQZKU
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: HushHush on November 18, 2010, 04:12:22 PM
The scones I've had are kind of like a flat donut.  Fried bread served with butter and honey or other things like jam.

Something I've seen in romance novels (I know  ::)) is for a masquerade, the man will be a domino.  But it doesn't sound like its really a costume.  More like a tux with a plain mask.  Is that correct?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on November 18, 2010, 04:20:20 PM
As I understand it, TV cook Alton Brown did a good job of explaining Pudding.

Brittish pudding historically referred to a dish that's boiled or steamed, typically in a bag.  It could be sweet or savory.  Christmas pudding is done that way, then soaked in a brady sauce and lit.

US pudding is more like a custard.  Alton Brown would argue that a true pudding has no eggs (as the inventor created the dish for his wife who had many food allergies), and that adding eggs would make it a custard.  Jell-O's pudding mixes follow the no-egg theory.  My family's recipe for chocolate and vanilla pudding contains eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and chocolate (for the chocolate variety).  

My family is also know for taking said pudding, pilling a pie shell with it, and covering with whipped cream.   8)  

I have no idea what Yorkshire pudding is, other than it's savory.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 18, 2010, 04:22:04 PM


I have no idea what Yorkshire pudding is, other than it's savory.

It's light, and savory, similar to popovers except that I wouldn't consider serving it with jam and powdered sugar.  Very very yummy.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Winterlight on November 18, 2010, 04:23:49 PM
A domino is a short mask that covers the area around the eyes and in between. If you've ever seen the Lone Ranger, the mask he wears is a domino.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Twik on November 18, 2010, 04:27:25 PM
One thing that puzzles me about Britain - why do they usually have one tap for hot, one for cold? In NA, we join the two streams into one tap, so you can adjust the temperature until it's just right, not frantically flail your hands under the twin taps going "Too hot! Too cold! Too hot! Too cold!...."
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on November 18, 2010, 04:31:43 PM
Any questions about Chicago or Houston?  (or the very long drive between them?)

Or Texas and the Midwest?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 18, 2010, 04:39:27 PM
One thing that puzzles me about Britain - why do they usually have one tap for hot, one for cold? In NA, we join the two streams into one tap, so you can adjust the temperature until it's just right, not frantically flail your hands under the twin taps going "Too hot! Too cold! Too hot! Too cold!...."

I always figured that was an age of building thing.  Most of the modern buildings I was in (or buildings with modern bathrooms) in the UK had a single tap, and I've been in older buildings in the US that had separate taps. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 18, 2010, 04:43:45 PM
Central US here.

My grandmother had only the cold tap from which she drew water then heated as needed. This was common in her neighborhood. She felt lucky to have running water at all. When the neighbors got water heaters, they just added another tap.

I grew up with two taps - I had actually forgotten that! We put the stopper in the drain, then filled a couple of inches of water in the sink to wash hands. The towel took the soap off with the water. Finger food didn't taste so good, so I always rinsed one more time in cold water.

The house we live in was built in 1967. When we moved in (2002), it had six sinks, one with the two faucets.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 18, 2010, 04:46:46 PM
One thing that puzzles me about Britain - why do they usually have one tap for hot, one for cold? In NA, we join the two streams into one tap, so you can adjust the temperature until it's just right, not frantically flail your hands under the twin taps going "Too hot! Too cold! Too hot! Too cold!...."

I always figured that was an age of building thing.  Most of the modern buildings I was in (or buildings with modern bathrooms) in the UK had a single tap, and I've been in older buildings in the US that had separate taps. 

I remember moving into a newly built house with my family in the mid nineties and the 'mixer taps' were quite an exciting novelty!  (UK)

I don't think the cold water from single taps is ever as bitingly, refreshingly cold as the water you get from a single cold tap though.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 18, 2010, 05:20:27 PM
I get food questions a lot on my blog from international readers (which I, oddly, seem to have a lot of).  I'm cooking my way through "The Joy of Cooking" which I consider the preeminent American cookbook (of course, I'm biased).  Foods that seem to be pretty uniquely American include: packaged marshmallows, graham crackers, ranch dressing, hot sauce like Tabasco...I'm sure I can come up with more if I ponder it :) 

I love shortening.  When you make cookies with shortening, they are more cakey and soft than they are with butter (with butter they spread more and tend to be flatter and crispier) or (shudder) margarine.  I use lard for pie crust or refried beans. 

I have a kitchen scale, I never use it.  I also have an electric teakettle, I've only ever used it in office--at home I use my beautiful Le Crueset stovetop teakettle. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 18, 2010, 05:21:56 PM
Oh, and Americans eat very, very little lamb.  And it's pretty expensive.  Same with veal.  I'm in the meat industry, so I can probably answer meat questions if you've got them.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bethalize on November 18, 2010, 06:09:59 PM
Foods that seem to be pretty uniquely American include: packaged marshmallows, graham crackers, ranch dressing, hot sauce like Tabasco...I'm sure I can come up with more if I ponder it :) 

We're getting more and more US food here but Graham crackers haven't made it over yet. The others we can get now.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Giggity on November 18, 2010, 06:39:10 PM
What does Irn Bru taste like? Is it really made from bridge girders? That sounds questionable safetywise...

I can't speak for its composition, but Gentleman Friend got some a couple weeks back, and it's orangey. Reminded me of Fanta or Crush.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Musicwoman on November 18, 2010, 06:41:34 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Giggity on November 18, 2010, 06:45:04 PM
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.

However, in practice I will never be Mrs. John Smith. We will, together, be Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, but I don't know any women who refer to themselves in a solo situation by their husband's name.

IIRC, "Mrs. John Smith" without the "Mr. and" in front of it betokens that John has shuffled off this mortal coil and the Mrs. is a (presumably grieving) widow.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ferrets on November 18, 2010, 06:55:37 PM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Glaceon on November 18, 2010, 06:58:17 PM
Snorlax's grandmother refers to herself in writing as "Mrs. Oscar Hislastname."  He passed away over a decade ago, so that may be it.  I used it on my wedding invitations for older, conservative couples.  It's at the upper levels of formality and from what I can see, it's rapidly falling into disuse.

If I ever go to Australia and forget "barracks" or "go" can I say something like "favor" or "cheer?"  Anything wrong with those?  I knew about fanny but root was a new one on me.  I love these kinds of threads!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GoldenGemini on November 18, 2010, 07:23:00 PM
I am currently eating (as my lunch) a Cheese and Chive Scone.  ;D  Yum!!

One I found out the other day thanks to Reezie/MsMoonBunny is that what we call plaits, the US call braids, and what we call braids, the US call French braids.

Taffy sounds a lot like Toffee to me; is it?  We get these lolly bars called Toffee Apple that are green and pink and can remove teeth with one pull!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 18, 2010, 07:29:44 PM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

So I hear! But is it more tomatoey or creamy?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 18, 2010, 07:37:25 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

Heh, my aunt and uncle live in NZ, but grew up as Americans.  They got a new neighbor a few years ago, also a recently-ex-American.  He introduced himself as "Hi, I'm Randy!"  My aunt and uncle suggested he might want to go by Randall while he's in NZ  :P  Would that be an issue in Australia too?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 18, 2010, 07:37:36 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

Central US and gardener: What do you call the part of the plant that is in the soil?

I know about the V for victory here is like our one finger salute in the US. Thank you, President Nixon.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 18, 2010, 07:41:31 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

Central US and gardener: What do you call the part of the plant that is in the soil?

I know about the V for victory here is like our one finger salute in the US. Thank you, President Nixon.

Doesn't it depend on if your hand is facing in or out?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GoldenGemini on November 18, 2010, 07:53:29 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

Heh, my aunt and uncle live in NZ, but grew up as Americans.  They got a new neighbor a few years ago, also a recently-ex-American.  He introduced himself as "Hi, I'm Randy!"  My aunt and uncle suggested he might want to go by Randall while he's in NZ  :P  Would that be an issue in Australia too?

Yes, but only for people with a 12-year-old's sense of humour *like me, snicker*  I grew up with one of my mum and dad's friends being called Randy (that was his full name, not short for Randall) and it never occurred to me until much, much later.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GoldenGemini on November 18, 2010, 07:56:04 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

Central US and gardener: What do you call the part of the plant that is in the soil?

I know about the V for victory here is like our one finger salute in the US. Thank you, President Nixon.

The part of the plant in the soil is called a root.  Just as potatoes and so forth are root vegetables.  Just the context of rooting for a team makes it squicky.

V for Victory is what we use as a peace sign.  Back of the hand facing self.

V for Victory with back of hand facing others - rude. And yes, similar to your one-finger salute.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sempronialou on November 18, 2010, 07:57:46 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

I heard about the "fanny" term and not using the thumbs up sign (which means "great" or "good" in the US) just before I went a tour to NZ, AU, and Fiji.  I didn't know about the "root" term.  When plants grow into the ground, what do you call those things the make so that the plant remains stable in the ground?  *Warning musician speak* Also when you are referring to the first, main note in the chord (ex. in a D major chord, it would be D), what do you refer to it as?  We call it the "root" of the chord.  I can't imagine an alternate name for that.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GoldenGemini on November 18, 2010, 08:11:29 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

I heard about the "fanny" term and not using the thumbs up sign (which means "great" or "good" in the US) just before I went a tour to NZ, AU, and Fiji.  I didn't know about the "root" term.  When plants grow into the ground, what do you call those things the make so that the plant remains stable in the ground?  *Warning musician speak* Also when you are referring to the first, main note in the chord (ex. in a D major chord, it would be D), what do you refer to it as?  We call it the "root" of the chord.  I can't imagine an alternate name for that.  

What did you hear about not using the thumbs up sign?  We use it all the time, to mean "good", "okay" or "yep".
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 18, 2010, 08:16:14 PM
What exactly is Boxing Day?  Is that when presents are opened?  When the boxes are discarded? When you take the boxes back to the stores because you don't want what's in them? Are there boxes? Yes, I put too much thought into this!

I'm not sure where the name Boxing Day originated from, but it's simply the day after Christmas.  Here in Canada it has become a lot like the Friday after Thanksgiving in the States, with big sales and crazy deals at the stores, but that's a more recent (last 20 years?) development.  In Ontario, where I live, it's a statutory holiday, so most offices and public services are closed, but retail stores, restaurants, etc. are open for business.  In my family it's just an extension of the Christmas holiday -- when I was growing up we saw one side of the family on Christmas day and the other side on Boxing Day.  Oh, and the most important part?  Hot turkey sandwiches for lunch.  Very important.  :)

Some more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_day

It's not a statutory holiday in other provinces (including mine) but IME the great majority of people in 9-to-5 type jobs do get it as a paid day off.  It would be pretty hard for them to conduct business if they remained open anyway. People who have to work don't get holiday-pay, however. I've never been a Boxing Day shopper myself - I hate crowds, no matter how good the deals might be.  And the ads can be pretty deceptive - an electronics item could be priced at about 80% off, but the fine print says  something like "limit of 4 in each store".  One of my DSs lined up in the middle of the night once and said, never again.

Re metric:  us Canadians really can't make up our minds.  Distances:  most of us have gotten pretty mainstream with metres, kilometres, etc.  Weight:  when talking about body-weights most of us still refer to pounds, although doctors/hospitals use kilograms.  Meat/deli items are sold in metric, but some stores will print Imperial in smaller print.  Canned foods are technically metric, but in weird sizes such as 298 ml.  Cooking measures:  I dutifully bought a set of metric measuring cups/spoons when the conversion was supposed to happen and have probably used them maybe twice.  Most of use still use "old" Imperial recipes, and many recipes off the Net (such as American ones) are of course Imperial anyway.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 18, 2010, 08:19:26 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

Heh, my aunt and uncle live in NZ, but grew up as Americans.  They got a new neighbor a few years ago, also a recently-ex-American.  He introduced himself as "Hi, I'm Randy!"  My aunt and uncle suggested he might want to go by Randall while he's in NZ  :P  Would that be an issue in Australia too?


DS once had a teacher who had immigrated from Great Britain as a teenager with her family.  As they were driving from the airport, they passed a Burger King, and her Dad told everyone that Whopper had a different meaning here. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 18, 2010, 08:21:24 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

Heh, my aunt and uncle live in NZ, but grew up as Americans.  They got a new neighbor a few years ago, also a recently-ex-American.  He introduced himself as "Hi, I'm Randy!"  My aunt and uncle suggested he might want to go by Randall while he's in NZ  :P  Would that be an issue in Australia too?

Yes, but only for people with a 12-year-old's sense of humour *like me, snicker*  I grew up with one of my mum and dad's friends being called Randy (that was his full name, not short for Randall) and it never occurred to me until much, much later.

Central US: We use Randy for 'wanting scrabble',too. DH and I were going through all those words just recently: John, Richard's nickname, Fanny, Lou (we think it sounds too much like loo), Peter, and a couple more I can't think of right now. Gee, this could be a topic in itself! Sorry.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GeauxTigers on November 18, 2010, 08:34:57 PM
American bisuits are usually less dense than scones, and are not usually flavored (exception being the nummy cheesy garlicky ones at Red Lobster...)

Oh! Want to get a hint of how yummy clotted cream is? Try some marscapone cheese on a scone, and you're getting close. Clotted cream is softer and has a (for lack of a better word) lumpier consistency.

British rice pudding - the type you get in cans - was a secret vice of mine until I went low-carb. American rice pudding is denser, usually baked, and has things like raisins in it.

PIES!!! American apple pies and apple desserts in general tend to be spiced with cinnamon. In the UK you'll see a lot less cinnamon and a LOT of cloves. (Yum!) My favorite pie was blackberry and apple, made with blackberries picked from the woods behind Gran's house. Pies are also frequently served with yummy hot custard as opposed to ice cream or other toppings.

Pecans grow in the U.S. but not Britain - I had never heard of them or a "pecan pie" until I came over here. It's a pastry shell with a sweet, light brown (not custard) filling, covered with chopped pecans.

British bread is less sweet than American bread and has a firmer texture than can actually withstand being spread with butter and other things.

A British gallon is 20 fluid ounces as opposed to 16 in a U.S. gallon.



Here's my question because I just cannot remember: in a British car with a manual transmission, what is the order of pedals, from left to right? In the U.S. it's clutch-brake-accelerator. My S.O. eems to think that it would need to be reversed in a right-hand drive car, and he hasn't seen anything on Top Gear so far to persuade him otherwise
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 18, 2010, 08:47:14 PM
Also most Americans probably wouldn't think to put mayo on top of a green salad.

My cousin J., who is 70+, eats mayo on her salads. I just assumed she learned that from growing up in rural Virginia.

North American marshmellows are soft, white things, about the size of a golf ball, and are just sugar and geletin, mostly.  There is usually no flavouring to them.  I understand that British marshmellows tend to be of a harder consistancy and are shaped and flavoured?

Out here in Florida, you can get strawberry or chocolate marshmallows year round. Mint, gingerbread or orange flavored marshmallows show up in the stores during the holidays.

8 fluid oz = 1 cup
16 solid oz = 1 pound

I think holiday traditions in other countries are interesting.  I read once about Saint Lucia's Day in Sweden, and thought it was fabulous, but my parents thought it unwise to let me put candles on my head.  In retrospect, a good idea!

I have to ask: were you reading the American Girl books ? Because most of the time I wanted to make the food in those books ;D

Marcel, I get the impression that the Mrs. John Smith thing was carried over from England way back when, but I have no idea if it's still common.

I've seen it a few times on TLC wedding shows, when a couple goes to their reception and the DJ says "Introducing Mr and Mrs Mark Jones!" Also, some of my pre-1970 cookbooks have the recipes listed as

Rainy Day Brownies
Mrs John Smith
Smallville


''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

Something I've wondered for a while: does Fran Drescher's show The Nanny air overseas ? And if so, do the tv stations leave in the opening line about "where was she to go, she was out on her fanny" ?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 18, 2010, 08:55:32 PM

A British gallon is 20 fluid ounces as opposed to 16 in a U.S. gallon.

A US pint is 16 oz. The gallon is 4 quarts = 8 pints = 128 oz.



Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GoldenGemini on November 18, 2010, 08:57:16 PM

Here's my question because I just cannot remember: in a British car with a manual transmission, what is the order of pedals, from left to right? In the U.S. it's clutch-brake-accelerator. My S.O. eems to think that it would need to be reversed in a right-hand drive car, and he hasn't seen anything on Top Gear so far to persuade him otherwise

Sorry, your SO is wrong.  Left to right - clutch, brake, accelerator.

TeamBhakta - yes, they leave that part in the theme song, and everyone giggles!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GeauxTigers on November 18, 2010, 09:03:00 PM
Lucinda7, you're absolutely right. It's been a loooong day (followed by a glass of lovely wine...)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 18, 2010, 09:20:16 PM
Lucinda7, you're absolutely right. It's been a loooong day (followed by a glass of lovely wine...)

Oops! I'm thinking about a midpriced reisling right now. I should have been more polite about it - I'm tired too!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: marcel on November 18, 2010, 09:35:24 PM
One thing that puzzles me about Britain - why do they usually have one tap for hot, one for cold? In NA, we join the two streams into one tap, so you can adjust the temperature until it's just right, not frantically flail your hands under the twin taps going "Too hot! Too cold! Too hot! Too cold!...."

I always figured that was an age of building thing.  Most of the modern buildings I was in (or buildings with modern bathrooms) in the UK had a single tap, and I've been in older buildings in the US that had separate taps. 
It is more a UK thing then an age of building thing though.
In countries just across the North sea, with buildings of an equal age, you will not see this.
I am from '74 and I had hardly ever seen any of them before my first visit to the UK.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 18, 2010, 09:42:44 PM
American here.  I have a bunch of questions for the Brits and Aussies - sorry if it gets a little overwhelming!

What on earth is treacle?  Is it edible?  What about Spotted D.ick? (yes, that makes me giggle... ;D)

In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there? 

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to the Shopaholic series of books, and if I ever get over to London, I'm definitely going shopping.  Is Topshop as awesome as it sounds?  :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: EngineerChick on November 18, 2010, 09:48:42 PM
What are cream cakes?  Are they normal cakes with a cream filling, or is there something different in how they are made?

Since terminology is part of the discussion, "shag" is not only a type of rug and a term used by Austin Powers, but is a swing dancing variant that I first heard of as being popular in the Carolinas during the 1950s and 1960s.  I learned how to dance the shag at my cousin's 16th birthday party, but I don't remember how to do it now.  

There is also the term "shagging balls", which refers to the retrieval of baseballs during batting practice, and I have heard used for other sports as well.

Metric/English--in most common usage, I use the English units of measure, but when it comes to engineering or medicine, I have heard and used the metric terms as often, if not more.  The oddity comes in aviation, where there is temperature in degrees Celsius, barometric pressure in inches of mercury, velocity in knots (nautical miles per hour), and distance in either statute or nautical miles, depending on what you are referring to.  Then there is fuel, which can be measured in gallons, pounds, or hours on the same aircraft.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 18, 2010, 09:49:40 PM
American here.  I have a bunch of questions for the Brits and Aussies - sorry if it gets a little overwhelming!

What on earth is treacle?  Is it edible?  What about Spotted D.ick? (yes, that makes me giggle... ;D)

In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there?  

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to the Shopaholic series of books, and if I ever get over to London, I'm definitely going shopping.  Is Topshop as awesome as it sounds?  :)

I was under the impression Topshop was overpriced and not that great. At least what that's I understood from snarky jokes on my Britcoms
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 18, 2010, 09:55:33 PM
One thing that puzzles me about Britain - why do they usually have one tap for hot, one for cold? In NA, we join the two streams into one tap, so you can adjust the temperature until it's just right, not frantically flail your hands under the twin taps going "Too hot! Too cold! Too hot! Too cold!...."

I always figured that was an age of building thing.  Most of the modern buildings I was in (or buildings with modern bathrooms) in the UK had a single tap, and I've been in older buildings in the US that had separate taps. 
It is more a UK thing then an age of building thing though.
In countries just across the North sea, with buildings of an equal age, you will not see this.
I am from '74 and I had hardly ever seen any of them before my first visit to the UK.


In Canada one does occasionally see the two-taps in older private buildings, as well.  I remember a quirky older hotel in Lake Louise where this was the case, and in fact in our room the faucets were labelled the wrong way around - but they did warn us. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hellgirl on November 18, 2010, 10:01:23 PM
I have one (so far):

If Guy Fawkes tried to do a terrible thing-blow up Parliament-then why do you celebrate his day with fireworks and having fun?  Or is it celebrating that he failed?


We celebrate that he failed. Frankly though, they were not too bright.  A group of them came in out of the rain, and noticed that the gunpowder was wet, so they put it in front of the room fire to dry out ...... KABOOM!!!

The poem goes, "Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot".

King James ordered celebrations when the conspirators were caught and for bonfires to be lit over the country.  Effiegies of Guy Fawkes were burned on the fire.  In days gone by (until about the 1970's I think(, children used to raise money for their fireworks and sweets by making a "Guy" out of sacks etc, and then having him on the street and asking passers by "penny for the Guy?"

Guy fawkes was tortured and hung, drawn and quartered I believe.  But we all have candy floss and sparklers now, so hey ho!

To be fair I haven't read the thread to know if this has been addressed - but I always thought the celebration was not that he failed, but that someone would try such a thing - kind of 'if we don't like something we do something about it'.
But then again I don't remember learning a lot about Guy Fawkes, even though we celebrate it in NZ.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Linley on November 18, 2010, 10:02:58 PM
Is Topshop as awesome as it sounds?  :)

There's a Topshop in NYC now. I've only been once but they had some pretty cool things.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 18, 2010, 10:06:45 PM
American here.  I have a bunch of questions for the Brits and Aussies - sorry if it gets a little overwhelming!

What on earth is treacle?  Is it edible?  What about Spotted D.ick? (yes, that makes me giggle... ;D)

In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there? 

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to the Shopaholic series of books, and if I ever get over to London, I'm definitely going shopping.  Is Topshop as awesome as it sounds?  :)
Aussie here. :)

Treacle is thick, golden-brown, runny sweet stuff. It's very oozy and sugary and can be used to make sticky desserts (or pour over them). It's more a British than Australian thing, though; we have our own version, which is called Golden Syrup and is kind of same-but-different.  :P

Spotted wingadingdingy is also British. It's a pudding made with (I think) raisins/sultanas, hence the 'spots'. We, too, snicker at the name, but nobody makes it here.

In Britain, public schools are exclusive and expensive, compared to government-run schools, that is true. Australia is more like the US; here, a 'public school' is government-funded and every child has the right to a free (sort of) public school education, whereas a private school charges school fees, is usually religious-affiliated, and is more difficult to get into. (In other words, the Aussie private school is the equivalent of a Brit public school - very confusing!)

Topshop is awesome, in my humble opinion. I shopped there lots when I lived in London, and I went back last July, for old times' sake. I still *heart* it. As for overpriced, it probably is, but it seemed pretty reasonable to me (but i do live in the most overpriced city in Australia  :().

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 18, 2010, 10:16:34 PM
British bread is less sweet than American bread and has a firmer texture than can actually withstand being spread with butter and other things.

If you want real, filling bread, you generally have to look for the stuff that is baked fresh daily in the bakery section at the supermarket.  It will be marked "old-fashioned," "Renaissance," or "farmstyle."  It generally has less fillers, dough conditioners, and other gunk than Wonder Bread or other balloon breads.  It may not have any corn syrup either.  Because corn is heavily subsidized in the U.S., corn syrup is in EVERYTHING.  Even soup.

Mincemeat was originally the way to use the last, scraggiest bits of the beef carcass.  In Alaska, people still make it with the last of the annual moose.  Most store brands are meatless in the U.S.

A dried currant is a very small raisin.  Fresh currants (red, black, or white) are berries.

I get the impression that British garden = American yard.  Is this correct?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Adios on November 18, 2010, 10:24:35 PM

''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

Something I've wondered for a while: does Fran Drescher's show The Nanny air overseas ? And if so, do the tv stations leave in the opening line about "where was she to go, she was out on her fanny" ?

Aussie here

They left the lyrics in - but we snickered like school children every time we heard it.

Another food question - is there really sugar in American Bread?

Also for raisins/currants, we call them sultanas here.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 18, 2010, 10:30:14 PM
British bread is less sweet than American bread and has a firmer texture than can actually withstand being spread with butter and other things.

If you want real, filling bread, you generally have to look for the stuff that is baked fresh daily in the bakery section at the supermarket.  It will be marked "old-fashioned," "Renaissance," or "farmstyle."  It generally has less fillers, dough conditioners, and other gunk than Wonder Bread or other balloon breads.  It may not have any corn syrup either.  Because corn is heavily subsidized in the U.S., corn syrup is in EVERYTHING.  Even soup.

Mincemeat was originally the way to use the last, scraggiest bits of the beef carcass.  In Alaska, people still make it with the last of the annual moose.  Most store brands are meatless in the U.S.

A dried currant is a very small raisin.  Fresh currants (red, black, or white) are berries.

I get the impression that British garden = American yard.  Is this correct?


Your last sentence - that is indeed correct.  Garden generally = backyard in North America.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 18, 2010, 10:34:05 PM
This quote is from another thread, but there is something I have been wondering about.
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.
To be clear, over here it is Mr. and Mrs Hislastname
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

At least through the 1960s, "Mrs. John Smith" was the name on a married woman's visiting cards, and how she'd sign a letter to someone she wasn't close to. It was how you would address a letter to her, as well. Speaking to her, or about her, you'd say, "Mrs. Smith" if you weren't close to her, and "Mary" if you were on a first name basis with each other. What wasn't acceptable was "Mrs. Mary Smith," unless Mary Smith had a job and needed to use this form in business correspondence--the title "Mrs." and a female first name were simply not to be used together. A widow would continue to use "Mrs. John Smith" until she died or remarried. A divorced woman was supposed to use her maiden name plus her married last name. So Mary Jones who married John Smith but then got divorced would use "Mrs. Jones Smith." If she didn't want to use her ex-husband's last name, she could use her maiden name with her mother's maiden name: "Mrs. Brown Jones." (I have no idea where this custom originated, but it is clearly spelled out in Emily Post's Etiquette from 1950.)

So when my mother wrote her weekly letter to her sister, the address on the envelope would read "Mrs. Edward Elton," and the return address would have Mrs. Norman Talbot, but inside, on the letter itself, it would read, "Dear Susie," and be signed "Love, Sally." But Mom would never, ever have addressed the envelope to Susie Elton, or Mrs. Susie Elton.

This was also a time when you didn't rush into calling new acquaintances by their first names right away. You'd "Mrs. Smith" and "Miss Jones" each other, until Mrs. Smith, as the senior of the two women, would ask Miss Jones to call her by her first name. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: guihong on November 18, 2010, 10:46:48 PM
@MsMarjorie-there's very little sugar in white bread, but some breads are sweeter than others.  For instance, cinnamon raisin bread (nom). 

Do you have Sourdough bread there (it is made with a "starter"), or is that exclusively American?

And also, what is a jammie dodger?  Remember the movie "Flushed Away", where Kate Winslet's character lived on a boat called the Jammie Dodger? 

I'll get in trouble for this, but why do the English begin a sentence with "Right,...."?  Is it equivalent to "Well...", or "Um,...."?

gui
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 18, 2010, 11:09:19 PM
A jammie dodger is a tasty shortbread cookie sandwich with jam inside.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammie_Dodgers
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 18, 2010, 11:13:54 PM
I am currently eating (as my lunch) a Cheese and Chive Scone.  ;D  Yum!!

One I found out the other day thanks to Reezie/MsMoonBunny is that what we call plaits, the US call braids, and what we call braids, the US call French braids.

Taffy sounds a lot like Toffee to me; is it?  We get these lolly bars called Toffee Apple that are green and pink and can remove teeth with one pull!

I didn't know if this was answered--the whole braiding thing is right :)

Taffy and toffee are different but in the same chewy candy family.  Taffy is a pulled candy.  When Americans say "taffy" they usually mean saltwater taffy.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_water_taffy  

Toffee requires caramelizing sugar and IMO is way closer to caramels than taffy.  Taffy is usually flavored with fruit, chocolate, or licorice.  


Other random points:
I may be the lone American that doesn't like pecan pie or pumpkin pie :)  I do like rice pudding though--and I never bake it, I always make it on the stovetop.  You can buy clotted cream in Whole Foods.  And, at least in Japan, the ice cream (even if it is Haagan-Daz or brands that are avaliable in the US) was far more milk-flavored than it is in the US.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: WolfWay on November 19, 2010, 12:04:25 AM
I'll get in trouble for this, but why do the English begin a sentence with "Right,...."?  Is it equivalent to "Well...", or "Um,...."?
From what I can tell, it seems to be a verbal tick that doesn't have too much in the way of actual meaning in the sentence. Less of an "Um" and more of a "Well" or a "So".
 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: WolfWay on November 19, 2010, 12:07:01 AM
In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there? 
Aussie here. :)

In Britain, public schools are exclusive and expensive, compared to government-run schools, that is true. Australia is more like the US; here, a 'public school' is government-funded and every child has the right to a free (sort of) public school education, whereas a private school charges school fees, is usually religious-affiliated, and is more difficult to get into. (In other words, the Aussie private school is the equivalent of a Brit public school - very confusing!)
I think if you swap private and public you'll get the difference. What is a public school in Britain (expensive, hard to get into) would be called a private school in America/Australia/South Africa.  What is a private school in Britain would be called a public school in America/Aus/South Africa.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Julia S on November 19, 2010, 12:21:00 AM
American here.  I have a bunch of questions for the Brits and Aussies - sorry if it gets a little overwhelming!

What on earth is treacle?  Is it edible?  What about Spotted D.ick? (yes, that makes me giggle... ;D)

In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there?  

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to the Shopaholic series of books, and if I ever get over to London, I'm definitely going shopping.  Is Topshop as awesome as it sounds?  :)

I was under the impression Topshop was overpriced and not that great. At least what that's I understood from snarky jokes on my Britcoms

I think you can compare Topshop with H&M, both in price (IIRC) and style. They're both 'seasonal' stores, as in: the clothes will last you a season, then they fall apart at the seams (and they'll be out of fashion). The low quality thing is at least true for H&M (I worked there) and the few items I've bought at Topshop didn't last me very long either. Their 'basic' range is pretty good though, quality/price wise. :)

One thing that puzzles me about Britain - why do they usually have one tap for hot, one for cold? In NA, we join the two streams into one tap, so you can adjust the temperature until it's just right, not frantically flail your hands under the twin taps going "Too hot! Too cold! Too hot! Too cold!...."

I always figured that was an age of building thing.  Most of the modern buildings I was in (or buildings with modern bathrooms) in the UK had a single tap, and I've been in older buildings in the US that had separate taps. 
It is more a UK thing then an age of building thing though.
In countries just across the North sea, with buildings of an equal age, you will not see this.
I am from '74 and I had hardly ever seen any of them before my first visit to the UK.

While I grew up (in Holland; I'm from '77) in a house with a mixed tap in the kitchen, our bathroom sink had separate taps. We also didn't have central heating, double glazing or insulated walls. Our house was definitely an exception, I know nobody else who ever lived in a house like that in Holland (except ManInTheShadows; after moving out of my parents' house, I swore I'd never live in a house like that again; a year later I moved in with Man only to freeze my a**e off yet again ::))

I think Dutch home owners started upgrading their houses a lot earlier (and more thorough) than British home owners. Those kind of projects here in the UK seem to be more 'patched', i.e. install CH and leave the fireplace, but block the chimney; retile the bathroom, but don't upgrade the pipes and taps; whereas in Holland people tend to tackle whole areas at once and completely.
Our flat has a mixed tap in the kitchen, but not a very good one: you can feel the different streams ("Ouch! Hot!" "Oi! Cold!" "Ouch! Hot again!"). Taps in the bathroom are separate.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 19, 2010, 01:15:50 AM
Since terminology is part of the discussion, "shag" is not only a type of rug and a term used by Austin Powers, but is a swing dancing variant that I first heard of as being popular in the Carolinas during the 1950s and 1960s.  I learned how to dance the shag at my cousin's 16th birthday party, but I don't remember how to do it now.  

It's a "slot dance" - a variation of swing dancing, but designed to be done in very crowded places (like at a beach party) where you and your partner have a "slot" in the crowd and that's about all the space you get.  It's got many of the same moves as swing dancing, but you don't rotate - you occasionally switch places with your partner, but you stay in the same narrow little rectangle of floor space.  The movements are also more controlled than swing dancing, and IIRC the whole thing is based around being able to hold a drink in one hand the whole time you're dancing too  :P
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: veryfluffy on November 19, 2010, 01:18:03 AM
In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there? 

In the depths of time, the children of  wealthy aristrocrats were educated by private tutored, and there were no schools for anyone else at all. Eventually, the sons of merchants and gentryfolk also needed education, and "public schools" were set up.  Of course you had to pay to send your sons there. Still later, when the masses needed some basic reading and writing too, and a system of state schools was established.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 19, 2010, 01:55:04 AM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

So I hear! But is it more tomatoey or creamy?

Anyone??
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: WolfWay on November 19, 2010, 03:07:37 AM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

So I hear! But is it more tomatoey or creamy?

Anyone??

google is your friend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tikka_masala

"The sauce is usually creamy, lightly spiced and contains tomatoes."

So... both?  ;D (I suspect "creamy" is more dominant than tomatoey, or it has been in the South African variants I've tasted).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 19, 2010, 03:45:55 AM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

So I hear! But is it more tomatoey or creamy?

Anyone??
One explanation of the origins of the dish is that it was conceived in either a British Pakistani or a British Bangladeshi restaurant. There are claims that an Indian chef in Glasgow invented it by improvising a sauce made from yogurt, cream and spices. Though some say this was in London.  As a tikka dish is usually dry, supposedly, the customers were asking for something “with a sauce or a gravy”, so it was invented to suit the British pallet.
Chicken tikka masala is chicken tikka, or chunks of chicken, marinated in spices and yogurt then baked in a tandoor oven, served in a masala ("mixture of spices") sauce.
There is no standard recipe for chicken tikka masala; a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was chicken. The sauce usually includes tomatoes, frequently as puree; cream and/or coconut cream; and various spices. The sauce or chicken pieces (or both) are coloured orange with food dyes or with orange foodstuffs such as turmeric powder, paprika powder or tomato puree.[7] Other tikka masala dishes replace chicken with lamb, fish or paneer.

Wow.  Im hungry now.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 19, 2010, 03:47:24 AM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

So I hear! But is it more tomatoey or creamy?

Anyone??

google is your friend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tikka_masala

"The sauce is usually creamy, lightly spiced and contains tomatoes."

So... both?  ;D (I suspect "creamy" is more dominant than tomatoey, or it has been in the South African variants I've tasted).


Sorry, I should have quoted my original post on the topic. I've eaten chicken tikka masala before, dozens of times: my problem is that it's one thing (creamy and slightly tomatoey) in the U.S. and another thing (tomatoey with no creaminess) in Canada. I was curious what it is in the UK. Also, Wikipedia isn't a trustworthy source - I had to edit vandalism out of the entry for The Handmaid's Tale a couple of days ago.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 19, 2010, 03:49:09 AM
There is no standard recipe for chicken tikka masala; a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was chicken. The sauce usually includes tomatoes, frequently as puree; cream and/or coconut cream; and various spices. The sauce or chicken pieces (or both) are coloured orange with food dyes or with orange foodstuffs such as turmeric powder, paprika powder or tomato puree.[7] Other tikka masala dishes replace chicken with lamb, fish or paneer.

Wow.  Im hungry now.


Which begs the question as to why butter chicken/chicken makhani even exists, since it's indistinguishable from the creamy variant on chicken tikka masala. Oh well!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 19, 2010, 03:50:18 AM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

hey, are we talking the same capital here?   Im just outside Brum. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 19, 2010, 03:51:33 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 19, 2010, 03:53:03 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?

A chain restaurant in Canada (which occasionally appears in the U.S.) serves Yorkshire pudding with their prime rib. It's very bland, though.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 19, 2010, 03:54:05 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I don't know, but in a similar vein...
I once posted in the 'Whats for dinner?' thread that I was having Toad in the Hole. It emerged that in America, Toad in the Hole is (if I remember correctly) Fried egg in the middle of toast with a hole in, or something similar. If I was expecting toad in the hole for dinner, and was served egg on toast, I would cry. :P :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squashedfrog on November 19, 2010, 03:59:09 AM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

So I hear! But is it more tomatoey or creamy?

Anyone??

google is your friend.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tikka_masala

"The sauce is usually creamy, lightly spiced and contains tomatoes."

So... both?  ;D (I suspect "creamy" is more dominant than tomatoey, or it has been in the South African variants I've tasted).


Sorry, I should have quoted my original post on the topic. I've eaten chicken tikka masala before, dozens of times: my problem is that it's one thing (creamy and slightly tomatoey) in the U.S. and another thing (tomatoey with no creaminess) in Canada. I was curious what it is in the UK. Also, Wikipedia isn't a trustworthy source - I had to edit vandalism out of the entry for The Handmaid's Tale a couple of days ago.

Yeah I find that wiki, I just grabbed the bits that in my experience do some it up.  I would say its creamy more often than not, but then I had one in London, and it wasn’t as creamy, it was heavily spiced.  Some put cream in it, some put yoghurt, some put coconut cream in it.  Depends on the restaurant.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 19, 2010, 04:02:17 AM
Sorry, I should have quoted my original post on the topic. I've eaten chicken tikka masala before, dozens of times: my problem is that it's one thing (creamy and slightly tomatoey) in the U.S. and another thing (tomatoey with no creaminess) in Canada. I was curious what it is in the UK. Also, Wikipedia isn't a trustworthy source - I had to edit vandalism out of the entry for The Handmaid's Tale a couple of days ago.

Generally chicken tikka masala is a bit more tomatoey, whereas chicken korma is much creamier (made with cream and coconut milk).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 19, 2010, 04:04:14 AM
Sorry, I should have quoted my original post on the topic. I've eaten chicken tikka masala before, dozens of times: my problem is that it's one thing (creamy and slightly tomatoey) in the U.S. and another thing (tomatoey with no creaminess) in Canada. I was curious what it is in the UK. Also, Wikipedia isn't a trustworthy source - I had to edit vandalism out of the entry for The Handmaid's Tale a couple of days ago.

Generally chicken tikka masala is a bit more tomatoey, whereas chicken korma is much creamier (made with cream and coconut milk).

Hmm, in my experience on both sides of the 49th parallel, korma is defined by containing ground nuts in a creamy sauce. I think I need to go to the UK and eat a lot of Indian food. For scientific purposes. >:D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 19, 2010, 04:05:08 AM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

"Fanny" is also very rude in the UK (and probably refers to the same part of female anatomy).  People tend to be momentarily stunned and then suppress a snigger when confronted by an American talking about his/her "fanny pack" - I think that's what we'd call a "bum bag" but the American term is so RUDE! lol
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 19, 2010, 04:06:41 AM
Hmm, in my experience on both sides of the 49th parallel, korma is defined by containing ground nuts in a creamy sauce. I think I need to go to the UK and eat a lot of Indian food. For scientific purposes. >:D

"Ground nuts" are peanuts, yes?  Then no, korma isn't peanut-y at all here - that would be satay I reckon.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 19, 2010, 04:15:28 AM
Hmm, in my experience on both sides of the 49th parallel, korma is defined by containing ground nuts in a creamy sauce. I think I need to go to the UK and eat a lot of Indian food. For scientific purposes. >:D

"Ground nuts" are peanuts, yes?  Then no, korma isn't peanut-y at all here - that would be satay I reckon.
Korma is almondy. And delicious. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 19, 2010, 04:17:21 AM
American here.  I have a bunch of questions for the Brits and Aussies - sorry if it gets a little overwhelming!

What on earth is treacle?  Is it edible?  What about Spotted D.ick? (yes, that makes me giggle... ;D)

In British/Australian literature, public schools seem to be pretty exclusive and hard to get into.  This confuses me because in the US, public schools are funded by the government and anyone can attend, no entrance exam required (hence the name public).  How is the educational system set up there? 

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to the Shopaholic series of books, and if I ever get over to London, I'm definitely going shopping.  Is Topshop as awesome as it sounds?  :)

Treacle is lovely sticky toffee-related stuff.  Spotted d1ck is a sponge pudding with dried fruit (raisins and currants I think) in it.

British education system at a glance:
State Schools - completely state funded, free to attend, and you generally go to the one nearest your house, though if you are in the "catchement area" of more than one you may get a choice, or if a sibling goes to the school or whatever.  Generally high quality, but, typically, we complain about them anyway :).  A lot of religious schools come under the state umbrella too - they're funded slightly differently but still free to attend.
Private Schools - Parents pay fees and there's normally some sort of selection process of interviews, entrance exams, etc.  There used to be Government Assisted Places where bright kids' school fees were paid by the government so they could attend private schools.  Private schools are often, but not always by any means, nominally Christian.
Public Schools - are the top private schools.  Eton, Harrow, etc.  Places aristocracy send their children to be educated.  Mostly boarding schools, and the contacts the kids make here will set them up for life.  Fees are more than most people's entire yearly income, and there are lots of traditions to be adhered to, and generally a specific tie to be worn for life to everyone in the know recognises you as an "Etonian" or whatever.
Home education - is legal in the UK (though not in some European countries like Germany, I don't think) and growing, though there have been some government attacks on it under the last government.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 19, 2010, 04:19:21 AM
Oh and Topshop: Overpriced and a bit crap (IMO) ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 19, 2010, 04:20:24 AM
Are lingonberries and cloudberries the same thing and what do they taste like?

Lingonberries and Cloudberries are from the same family and are typically served in Sweden and Norway.  Lingonberries are slightly bitter and tend to be served as a condiment with savoury dishes.  The most typical is meatballs with lingonberry although they're good with venison and gamey meat.  Cloudberries are much sweeter and are usually served as a dessert, sometimes as a mousse or a parfait.  There are also some wonderful chocolates with cloudberry liqueur filling available in Norway and it goes very well in jam.  

They're eaten in Finland as well.

They don't seem to be very close relatives. Lingonberries are related to cranberries (and bilberries, which are a bit like blueberries), though they're smaller and taste a bit different, though they are about as unsweet as cranberries. They're juicier, I think. Cloudberries are related to raspberries and look like yellow raspberries, their taste is very different though and I don't really know anything else that tastes like that. Very nice but as they only grow in certain places they are very expensive.

Lingonberries grow in most places here, like in the woods near where I live (in Finland you can pick berries and mushrooms everywhere, provided that you aren't too close to a house), though picking them is so dull that I buy them from market, 10 litres is about 20 to 30 euros. In contrast a small container of cloudberries is something like 6 or 7 euros. I have a huge glass jar of crushed lingonberries in my fridge, they contain some preservative that makes them last long, you can eat last autumn's lingonberries in March and they'll be fine, spending the winter under snow just makes them better. I eat them like I eat all my berries (I buy strawberries and pick bilberries and wild raspberries), at breakfast with plain yoghurt and some banana (that is not a traditional use). Other people may use them with meat dishes and when I was a child I used to eat them with blood pancakes (which I wouldn't eat these days).

My stepmother is from Lapland, where cloudberries (and cranberries) are more common, the best places are well kept secrets and part of her inheritance is a hillasuo, a marsh with cloudberries.

Sankta Lucia is a big part of Finnish Swedish speaking culture as well and even in my primary school without any Swedish speakers we still celebrated it with a parade, I was once one of Lucia's attendants (because I was a tall child). These days the crowns tend to have electric candles, I think.

I have a few questions:

I've done some baking from American recipes and I've noticed that the results seem to be less sweet than what we would make here. Is that true or is it just the result of substituting American ingredients badly?

Do towns have markets squares? I think that they're probably common throughout Europe, though some places seem to have set market days. Here in some places the market is important part of shopping, in my town they start in maybe April and continue until it's too cold, they're still selling vegetables and fish and candy and things like that in November. And I think that every town here has a market place, even though sometimes they aren't very lively (it's one reason I like my current town so much).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: WolfWay on November 19, 2010, 04:30:43 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I think most places you have large numbers of ex-British colonies will have Yorkshire pud. I've had it in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, all in areas where the decendants of British settlers (myself included) live/congregate.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: StarDrifter on November 19, 2010, 04:51:02 AM
""I've done some baking from American recipes and I've noticed that the results seem to be less sweet than what we would make here. Is that true or is it just the result of substituting American ingredients badly?""

Australian here.

I've found, using US and UK cook/baking books that UK biscuits and cookies tend to be a lot sweeter (calling for more sugar and higher-sugar ingredients) than any of the US recipes... except brownies.

As an Aussie - tipping makes almost no sense to me. It seems that you have to tip people even if they just do their job - a waitress gets tipped for bringing you your meal and your drinks in a timely fashion, which is what her employer is paying her for.

In AUS we only tip people who do an exceptional job - like a waitress who is actually engaged and brings the second round of drinks without having to be asked.

Is it true that jobs like waitressing (service-type jobs) pay so little that most people employed in those industries rely on their tips to survive?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: veryfluffy on November 19, 2010, 05:06:08 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?

They are somewhat similar to the "popovers" we used (when I was in Canada) to make from the Good Housekeeping cookbook, but not meant to rise so far.

For tasty Yorkshire puds, use the freshest, best (free range) eggs you can, which is the basis of the taste and texture. It also really helps to bake them in the beef fat that's come off your roast during cooking. Keeping your bacon fat and using that can work too.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 05:25:34 AM
As an Aussie - tipping makes almost no sense to me. It seems that you have to tip people even if they just do their job - a waitress gets tipped for bringing you your meal and your drinks in a timely fashion, which is what her employer is paying her for.

In AUS we only tip people who do an exceptional job - like a waitress who is actually engaged and brings the second round of drinks without having to be asked.

Is it true that jobs like waitressing (service-type jobs) pay so little that most people employed in those industries rely on their tips to survive?

In Australia, the employer has to pay waitstaff minimum wage, by law. In the U.S., it seems that the employer only pays them a pittance, which is made up for by tips. From the waitperson's point of view, the upside is that they can actually make a *good* wage in the U.S. if they're good at their job/work in the right place. The downside is that being paid in tips is unpredictable. From the customer's POV, in Australia we don't have to think about tips, and just pay the total on the bill. The downside is that there is not much incentive for waitstaff to give great service, plus not many of them hang around long enough to get good at what they do (because the pay is low and there's no way to bump it up).

(Disclaimer: Aussie, visited Canada/States a few times, have only ever worked as a server for 6 months part-time. Sucked at it, big-time, and relieved all concerned when I asked to go back to being a kitchen-hand.  :-[. So, no judgment on what servers do, or how they do it is intended.)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 05:27:37 AM
^^Should've added - I'm relying on an American to step in and correct me if any of the above is wrong - I'm still figuring it all out myself!  :P
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: iridaceae on November 19, 2010, 05:33:01 AM
Do towns have markets squares? I think that they're probably common throughout Europe, though some places seem to have set market days. Here in some places the market is important part of shopping, in my town they start in maybe April and continue until it's too cold, they're still selling vegetables and fish and candy and things like that in November. And I think that every town here has a market place, even though sometimes they aren't very lively (it's one reason I like my current town so much).

Some places have what are called Farmers Markets on certain days. I am familiar with the one held in Madison, Wisconsin every Saturday morning (I forget the time it stops) from April to November. There every stall has to contain food grown or made (pastries, sausages, cheese etc.) in Wisconsin. In the spring there has been a plant seller or two as well. They are strict about that as they want it to be local, and it is a large market- over a hundred stalls, at least.  Oh, and you have to grow/make it yourself.  

They are not, as a whole, particularily common across the US in my experience.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 19, 2010, 07:02:23 AM
As an Aussie - tipping makes almost no sense to me. It seems that you have to tip people even if they just do their job - a waitress gets tipped for bringing you your meal and your drinks in a timely fashion, which is what her employer is paying her for.

In AUS we only tip people who do an exceptional job - like a waitress who is actually engaged and brings the second round of drinks without having to be asked.

Is it true that jobs like waitressing (service-type jobs) pay so little that most people employed in those industries rely on their tips to survive?

In Australia, the employer has to pay waitstaff minimum wage, by law. In the U.S., it seems that the employer only pays them a pittance, which is made up for by tips. From the waitperson's point of view, the upside is that they can actually make a *good* wage in the U.S. if they're good at their job/work in the right place. The downside is that being paid in tips is unpredictable. From the customer's POV, in Australia we don't have to think about tips, and just pay the total on the bill. The downside is that there is not much incentive for waitstaff to give great service, plus not many of them hang around long enough to get good at what they do (because the pay is low and there's no way to bump it up).

(Disclaimer: Aussie, visited Canada/States a few times, have only ever worked as a server for 6 months part-time. Sucked at it, big-time, and relieved all concerned when I asked to go back to being a kitchen-hand.  :-[. So, no judgment on what servers do, or how they do it is intended.)

Yes, wait staff get paid less than minimum wage. Currently, minimum wage is $8.25/hour. Servers get $5.69/hour. The reason tipping is so necessary is that the federal government assumes that tips will bring that hourly wage up to the standard minimum, $8.25, and the server is taxed as though he/she were making $8.25/hour. Now, some servers make more because of good tips (in which case they have to pay tax on all that they make), but some servers, either through bad service or stingy customers, might make less--but they will still have to pay income tax as though they were making the standard $8.25.

So if someone receives decent service but does not tip at all, they have effectively cause the server to lose money by waiting on their table--the lost tip, plus the taxes that will have to be paid on the money they didn't get.

I would vastly prefer that servers get paid minimum wage and that tipping was really and truly for good service, but the financial reality of the situation means that I tip 15% pretty much as a standard no matter what the service was like, and 20% whenever the server does anything beyond the very basics of serving. Service would have to be truly horrendous for me not to tip, as the consequences for the server are pretty harsh.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 07:13:20 AM
^^ On one hand, it does seem kind of ridiculous: why doesn't the restaurant just charge the customer what it needs to and then pay its staff properly itself? Seems simpler.

On the other hand, food service in the U.S./Canada is significantly better than in Australia (and yes, this is a massive generalization, but one that I stand by). Plus, your servers can actually make a decent wage, making it a feasible long-term job, which it is not so much, here. So...hmm. :-\
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 19, 2010, 07:15:44 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?

A chain restaurant in Canada (which occasionally appears in the U.S.) serves Yorkshire pudding with their prime rib. It's very bland, though.

They can be, which is why they are often smothered in a brown gravy.

There is no definite recipe for Chicken Tikki Masala, so it could be tomatoey or creamy.  I just had a Weight Watchers ready meal (frozen meal) Chicken Tikki for lunch today, which had a strong tomato base.   I think you could travel the UK and sample dozens of different versions of that meal.  :)

Treacle is a syrup made from sugar.  Similar to golden syrup, though I still prefer maple syrup to anything.
Oh- and we do Tabasco here in the UK! I've got both regular and mild green currently in my fridge.

The school system is very different here to what I experienced growing up in Texas.  Other posters have gone into the difference between public/state and private schools.

Other differences are that children start their official school careers in a reception class at age 4, the school terms are based around a year round schedule, and there is an option to leave school at 16- otherwise students can stay on studying certain subjects on which they will be tested on in a series of exams called O and A levels.  Students need to have a certain amount of high-scoring marks in these exams to qualify for a place at a university.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Twik on November 19, 2010, 07:40:46 AM
^^ On one hand, it does seem kind of ridiculous: why doesn't the restaurant just charge the customer what it needs to and then pay its staff properly itself? Seems simpler.

On the other hand, food service in the U.S./Canada is significantly better than in Australia (and yes, this is a massive generalization, but one that I stand by). Plus, your servers can actually make a decent wage, making it a feasible long-term job, which it is not so much, here. So...hmm. :-\

Yes, one may argue about the actual effects, but the theory is that by making one's remuneration as a waitperson at least partially dependent on how well one pleases one's customers, it encourages good service, by rewarding it more (sometimes substantially more) than poor service. Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

I know there are many people who take pride in their work without any extra incentive, and wouldn't do that even if there were no tips. But those people should, I think, be rewarded in part because of that attitude. Those who consistently get worse tips than the norm might realize that they're not cut out to wait on tables.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ferrets on November 19, 2010, 08:05:43 AM
The school system is very different here to what I experienced growing up in Texas.  Other posters have gone into the difference between public/state and private schools.

Other differences are that children start their official school careers in a reception class at age 4, the school terms are based around a year round schedule, and there is an option to leave school at 16- otherwise students can stay on studying certain subjects on which they will be tested on in a series of exams called O and A levels.  Students need to have a certain amount of high-scoring marks in these exams to qualify for a place at a university.

GCSEs and A-levels/AS-levels now. :)

There are also grammar schools, which are (either mostly or completely) academically selective (admissions based on entrance examinations, etc.), and can be private or state. Compulsory school uniform is also very common, for both private and state schools - I went to a state comprehensive school in the 1990s, and we had the full blazer-and-tie job. Lately, I've noticed a lot of schools moving towards uniforms of trousers/skirt and a jumper/sweatshirt/polo shirt, which I think are far more practical. :)

Yes, one may argue about the actual effects, but the theory is that by making one's remuneration as a waitperson at least partially dependent on how well one pleases one's customers, it encourages good service, by rewarding it more (sometimes substantially more) than poor service. Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

By that rationale, shouldn't employees in every industry where they come in contact with the public be dependent on customers' tips?

^^ On one hand, it does seem kind of ridiculous: why doesn't the restaurant just charge the customer what it needs to and then pay its staff properly itself? Seems simpler.

I agree with this. The current system still stiffs perfectly decent waitstaff unfairly, if they work hard but have the misfortune to encounter awkward or non-tipping customers. I feel very strongly that people shouldn't have to be dependent on the caprices of potentially unreasonable customers simply in order to make up a basic wage level. Minimum wage is hardly a great deal of money in itself, either.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 19, 2010, 08:11:06 AM
Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

Well, maybe so they don't get fired? Im in the UK, where tipping isn't required (as servers always make atleast min. wage), although I do always tip anyway. I've been lucky in that I don't think I've ever recieved bad service in a restaurant. Waiters/waitresses have always been attentive and helpful. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 19, 2010, 08:16:31 AM
Also just to explain the Australian school system here, it goes like this.

kindy to year 6,in what we would could a primary school.

Highschools can go from yr 7 to yr 12. We do not use the terms freshman,sophmore,junior or senior here.

College is what we call university.

Our school terms start in January or february. The students get school break for 2 weeks after every term and get a six week holiday at xmas time.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: PeasNCues on November 19, 2010, 08:17:57 AM
Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

Well, maybe so they don't get fired? Im in the UK, where tipping isn't required (as servers always make atleast min. wage), although I do always tip anyway. I've been lucky in that I don't think I've ever recieved bad service in a restaurant. Waiters/waitresses have always been attentive and helpful. :)

Well, the issue I have with the whole "just pay them minimum wage" thing is that most restaurants are barely getting by as it is right now. In order to pay their waitstaff minimum wage, they would have to downsize significantly. I'd rather people be employed and have the chance at making a living wage than unemployed and with less opportunity of employment.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 08:21:54 AM
Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

Well, maybe so they don't get fired? Im in the UK, where tipping isn't required (as servers always make atleast min. wage), although I do always tip anyway. I've been lucky in that I don't think I've ever recieved bad service in a restaurant. Waiters/waitresses have always been attentive and helpful. :)

That's true: the service is never quite that bad here, either, or the server won't last long. That said, it can get pretty close.  ::). Basically, restaurant prices where I live are pretty sky-high to start with, due to complex economic factors that I won't bore you with. Therefore, although people sometimes choose to tip if it's a very upscale restaurant, the service is outstanding and/or they are dining with a very large party, but for the average dinner out, nope. The knock-on effect is that servers know they're not getting tipped no matter what they do, and they also know that not many other people want their low-paid job. So they pretty much have to put in just enough effort to NOT get fired.

Chicken-and-egg situation, really.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 19, 2010, 08:32:59 AM
I think in fairness too....America is a BIG country. And has alot of food chains and restaurants and competitors that our countries could not handle given the size of our continents and also with population. I definetly dont think Australia could handle anymore competitors in the fast food chain that it has now. If we had wendys,chucky cheese,popeyes and all the other yummy sounding places that America has, I dare to say that it could possibly be the same kind of situation. Taco bell didnt even last here so I defienetly think the population ratio could have something to do with that with so many competitors to dine at.

I dont think though that the wait staff should be getting taxed at the higher rate when they are getting the lower. That doesnt sound fair.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 08:38:55 AM
Very good points actually, sweetgirl. I agree 100%.  :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 19, 2010, 08:43:24 AM

I dont think though that the wait staff should be getting taxed at the higher rate when they are getting the lower. That doesnt sound fair.

The rational behind the income tax is that servers get taxed on both what their employer pays them and their tips, which are considered, for tax purposes, as part of their wage. I think at one time in the past, servers could get away with not declaring tips on their tax returns. In order to make sure that they are taxed on at least part of their tips, the government assumes that they will make at least at much in tips as would bring their wage up to the standard minimum wage.

The government does not seem to take into consideration that some people don't tip, or leave religious brochures instead of tips, or that some people undertip because they don't understand the whole less than minimum wage thing.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 19, 2010, 08:49:36 AM
The school system is very different here to what I experienced growing up in Texas.  Other posters have gone into the difference between public/state and private schools.

Other differences are that children start their official school careers in a reception class at age 4, the school terms are based around a year round schedule, and there is an option to leave school at 16- otherwise students can stay on studying certain subjects on which they will be tested on in a series of exams called O and A levels.  Students need to have a certain amount of high-scoring marks in these exams to qualify for a place at a university.

GCSEs and A-levels/AS-levels now. :)

There are also grammar schools, which are (either mostly or completely) academically selective (admissions based on entrance examinations, etc.), and can be private or state. Compulsory school uniform is also very common, for both private and state schools - I went to a state comprehensive school in the 1990s, and we had the full blazer-and-tie job. Lately, I've noticed a lot of schools moving towards uniforms of trousers/skirt and a jumper/sweatshirt/polo shirt, which I think are far more practical. :)

Sorry- You are right!   I'm still a bit lost on the correct lingo since I've only taught at the nursery/reception level and my son is still a couple years away from that yet.  :) Mr Cellardoor took them in South Africa and calls it something completely different as well!

Grammar schools here (I think we live in borough which has one of the highest numbers of remaining state grammar schools) are completely academically selective, and accept children from a much wider area than before.  Students can sit exams for entrance into the school at 11 and then again (I think) at 14/15.  Where I am, grammar school programs are very completive with large numbers of children trying for only a certain number of places.  Grammar school and private school uniforms here tend to still be the traditional blazer-tie-pull-over affair.  Some state schools are relaxed in their dress code, though around here a lot of inner city schools/academies have gone back to a more former/traditional outfit.

The local girl's high school still makes the students wear ankle-length shirt and thick woolen, unattractive socks as their uniform!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bigozzy on November 19, 2010, 08:51:09 AM
Also just to explain the Australian school system here, it goes like this.

kindy to year 6,in what we would could a primary school.

Highschools can go from yr 7 to yr 12. We do not use the terms freshman,sophmore,junior or senior here.

College is what we call university.

Our school terms start in January or february. The students get school break for 2 weeks after every term and get a six week holiday at xmas time.


But then again not every State is the same. Queensland primary is up to grade 7 and then grades 8-12.

Here in Scotland there are state primaries which are Faith (e.g Catholic) and non-faith up to primary 7 and then high school from senior 1 to senior 5, with an extra year, S6 if needed. State high schools are also denominational or non.
My boys are about to finish primary and we have received the automatic letters from the council asking us if we want the Catholic or non-denominational school in our catchment.

There are also a plethora of public (private) schools with a range of options including bursaries to support families with lower incomes.

A number of these have boarding and day students.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nibsey on November 19, 2010, 08:53:11 AM
@MsMarjorie-there's very little sugar in white bread, but some breads are sweeter than others.  For instance, cinnamon raisin bread (nom). 

Do you have Sourdough bread there (it is made with a "starter"), or is that exclusively American?

And also, what is a jammie dodger?  Remember the movie "Flushed Away", where Kate Winslet's character lived on a boat called the Jammie Dodger? 

I'll get in trouble for this, but why do the English begin a sentence with "Right,...."?  Is it equivalent to "Well...", or "Um,...."?

gui

Definitely have Sourdough bread and it's made with a starter, actually I didn't think it could be made without one.  

Another question I think I saw that wasn't answered was what are cream cakes. They are a variety of different cakes filled with either cream or custard, some are made from choux pastry and icing  others from the same stuff donuts are made from with jam. An ecalir is an example of a cream cake. They're usually small so they can be eaten by hand.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 09:05:14 AM
Oooh, I have one that I've wanted to know for AGES!

Can someone please explain the sorority/fraternity system at American colleges?

I even googled this once, out of frustration, but it didn't really answer my questions. I know that you pledge a certain sorority, and which sorority you are accepted into is decided during something called 'rush week' (?) Also, most of them have names based on the greek alphabet (phi kappa kappa or whatever  :P). What I DON"T get is whether sororities exist across-the-board - like, can you pledge phi delta ipsilon in, say, an east coast college, and there are branches of your sorority in the west coast colleges? Are there 'ranks' of sororities? (Sometimes it seems in American books or tv shows, that people say 'I was a cheerleader at college and I pledged Phi Blah-blah' and everyone goes 'OOOH', as if that sorority is known as the best one across the board, not just at a particular college).

Actually, I am fascinated by this whole system, having gone to highschool in Australia where we have nothing like this. No cheerleaders, no school football (well, at my school, no boys, so yeah). Watching 'Sixteen Candles' and 'The Breakfast Club' was like a portal into another universe! ;D - yep, showing my age there!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ferrets on November 19, 2010, 09:30:14 AM
Question for British EHellions: Just what is chicken tikka masala?

Practically our national dish. ;D

[/lives in the current official Curry Capital of Britain]

hey, are we talking the same capital here?   Im just outside Brum. :)

Leicester here: I think Brum got it in 2005. :) (I spent most of my childhood in Wolverhampton, and definitely join in on the love for Birmingham's curry houses! ;D)

(Glasgow has won three times - both our cities have got quite a way to catch up with that!)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mrs_deb on November 19, 2010, 09:39:03 AM
Alpha Delta Pi alumna here!  The following is based on my experiences.

Yes, (most?) sororites are national - which means that there are chapters in many different colleges and universities.  For example, Alpha Delta Pi has ~140 different chapters at ~140 different colleges.  We distinguish ourselves by having a chapter 'number', in my case Beta Omicron chapter.  (Alpha Chapter was the first one, Beta chapter the second one, etc.)  Some sororities are "local", which means they're only at one school.  My school had a Kappa Delta Sigma, which used to be Kappa Delta, but legend has it they wanted to pledge an African-American girl back in the sixties and their National said no, so they broke away.

Rush Week is when the sororities hold a number of different events - parties and such - that candidates who are interested in joining a sorority attend.  The sorority sisters get to look at the candidate, and the candidate gets to look at them.  After the first party, which everyone goes to, the sisters meet and decide who they're interested in seeing more of.  They issue invitations to the next party to the candidates they're interested in, and as the week goes on, the candidate may get fewer and fewer invitations as the houses narrow down who they're interested in.

At the end of the week, the candidate should get one or more "bids" to join a sorority.  She then has to decide which one to accept.  Once she accepts a bid, she becomes a Pledge.  She wears a Pledge pin to identify what sorority she's pledging.  Pledge period goes on for a number of months, then she is initiated in a highly secret ceremony, learns all the secrets of the sorority (passwords and handshakes and such like), and graduates to a regular sorority pin.

Good question about the ranks.  I tend to think of sororities like Kappa Kappa Gamma and Tri-Delta as "high" ranked sororities, but that's just because that's what they were at my school. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Perfect Circle on November 19, 2010, 09:47:18 AM
Sorry, I should have quoted my original post on the topic. I've eaten chicken tikka masala before, dozens of times: my problem is that it's one thing (creamy and slightly tomatoey) in the U.S. and another thing (tomatoey with no creaminess) in Canada. I was curious what it is in the UK. Also, Wikipedia isn't a trustworthy source - I had to edit vandalism out of the entry for The Handmaid's Tale a couple of days ago.

Generally chicken tikka masala is a bit more tomatoey, whereas chicken korma is much creamier (made with cream and coconut milk).

Hmm, in my experience on both sides of the 49th parallel, korma is defined by containing ground nuts in a creamy sauce. I think I need to go to the UK and eat a lot of Indian food. For scientific purposes. >:D

M-Theory, what time should I pick up from the airport? We have two very good Indian's close by and I am just cooking through a wonderful big book of curries, so there's plenty to go around.

Let me know, the spare room is ready. ;)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Perfect Circle on November 19, 2010, 09:47:54 AM
Oh and you can eat Yorkshire Puddings sweet. They are wonderful with a bit of Golden Syrup when they come out of the oven...

Or so I've heard...
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 09:48:16 AM
Thank you, mrs_deb, that's so interesting!

When you say that you think of certain sororities as 'high' ranked, is that based on their names - as in, if the name of the sorority starts with 'Kappa', for example, that means it's an 'elite' sorority? (Not sure I'm making sense here, but I mean, can you tell just by the name, to any extent?)

Also, does it get really competitive? Are girls devastated if they don't get into a particular sorority? And does your choice of sorority sort of define your college experience? What percentage of girls in a given college are even in a sorority - is it more common than not, or only a small, elite group end up being accepted?

(Sorry for the bombardment of questions and thank you in advance!)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 19, 2010, 09:53:26 AM
M-Theory, what time should I pick up from the airport? We have two very good Indian's close by and I am just cooking through a wonderful big book of curries, so there's plenty to go around.

Let me know, the spare room is ready. ;)

My flight gets in at 8! We'll see if I make it through Customs with your delicious Texas-made chocolate-Cabernet sauce. ;)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Twik on November 19, 2010, 10:02:44 AM
Otherwise, you could (theoretically) end up with waitstaff being simply people on minimum wage slapping down plates and wandering off to where customers cannot find them, and only showing up two hours later to toss a cheque on the table. Because there's no reason to try any harder than that.

Well, maybe so they don't get fired? Im in the UK, where tipping isn't required (as servers always make atleast min. wage), although I do always tip anyway. I've been lucky in that I don't think I've ever recieved bad service in a restaurant. Waiters/waitresses have always been attentive and helpful. :)

Well, the issue I have with the whole "just pay them minimum wage" thing is that most restaurants are barely getting by as it is right now. In order to pay their waitstaff minimum wage, they would have to downsize significantly. I'd rather people be employed and have the chance at making a living wage than unemployed and with less opportunity of employment.

But, arguably, the restaurant would be getting the equivalent of the tips that the wait staff would not be receiving. People would be paying the same for a meal, just all of it would be on the bill, rather than divided between the tip and the actual bill. The upside is that there would be no longer a legal way to stiff the waitstaff. The downside is that there would be no incentive for the staff to do more than enough to get by, AND many of the good waitstaff would be making significantly less than they do now.

It's a tradeoff between "you get a guaranteed amount no matter what you do," and "you might be able to make significantly more, but you risk making significantly less".
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mrs_deb on November 19, 2010, 10:05:58 AM
I think of the "high" ranked sororities as the ones that got the pretty and popular girls.  How un-pc of me, I know, but that was my experience.  If you were cute and popular and bubbly, at my school, the KKGs and the DDDs were all over you.  If you were not, they were not interested.  Therefore, people thought more highly of them.  It had nothing to do with the name itself, just the reputation at my school.  At our school, the Pi Beta Phis were the athletic girls, the Alpha Delta Pis were the party girls, etc.  I bet at other schools, the "elite" sororities were different ones from the ones at my school.

It can be competitive.  They can only take a certain number of girls each year (we only had one rush a year, in Spring; some schools have two, Spring and Fall), and the membership was somewhat limited.  They weren't a huge thing at my school - 5 sororities, about 1000 women students in total, and I think each sorority had maybe 50 women at a time.  Fraternities were more popular - there were 7 of them for the 1000 men students, and their memberships were bigger.

And I did see girls absolutely hysterical when the KKGs and DDDs didn't give them a bid.  You'd hear things like, "I don't want to pledge Pi Phi!  They're all (women who love other women)!" and "I don't want to pledge ADPi!  They're all fat and ugly!"   ::)

One of the stated goals of a sorority is to perform altruistic deeds (ours was supporting the Ronald McDonald houses, as well as local charities), but I think most college freshmen think of them as a great way to have parties and meet frat men  ;D.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 19, 2010, 10:13:51 AM
Oooh, I have one that I've wanted to know for AGES!

Can someone please explain the sorority/fraternity system at American colleges?

I even googled this once, out of frustration, but it didn't really answer my questions. I know that you pledge a certain sorority, and which sorority you are accepted into is decided during something called 'rush week' (?) Also, most of them have names based on the greek alphabet (phi kappa kappa or whatever  :P). What I DON"T get is whether sororities exist across-the-board - like, can you pledge phi delta ipsilon in, say, an east coast college, and there are branches of your sorority in the west coast colleges? Are there 'ranks' of sororities? (Sometimes it seems in American books or tv shows, that people say 'I was a cheerleader at college and I pledged Phi Blah-blah' and everyone goes 'OOOH', as if that sorority is known as the best one across the board, not just at a particular college).

Actually, I am fascinated by this whole system, having gone to highschool in Australia where we have nothing like this. No cheerleaders, no school football (well, at my school, no boys, so yeah). Watching 'Sixteen Candles' and 'The Breakfast Club' was like a portal into another universe! ;D - yep, showing my age there!

Disclaimer:  I never pledged at a sorority in college.  But basically what happens is, all the sororities and fraternities kind of throw their doors open for the first two weeks of the school year, to assess the incoming freshmen and decide who would be a good fit for the organization.  This is known as rush week.  
Yes, sororities and fraternities have different branches of the same organization at different colleges across the country.  Certain ones are known more for partying, some are known for community service, etc.  So when a character says she was a cheerleader at such-and-such college in XYZ sorority, other sorority/fraternity type people generally know whether she's a party girl or a serious student.  The rest of us kind of don't care.  :)

This seems like an odd movie recommendation, but Revenge of the Nerds explains the fraternity system in a little bit more depth.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 19, 2010, 10:22:55 AM
I wonder if eating out is cheaper in the US? Eating Chicken Korma at my favourite Indian restaurant costs about 13 euros, that appears to be around 17 USD and is rather cheap by Finnish standards, entrees are usually maybe 16 euros (about $20) in affordable sit-down (chain) restaurants, steaks can be something like 30 euros (about $40), that is in a sort of mid-level restaurant with nice food but nothing spectacular.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 10:27:42 AM
Thanks for all the sorority/fraternity info, mrs_deb and Ms_Shell! Very enlightening. When I was a teenager, it all seemed utterly cool. That, and having a locker at highschool, and not having to wear a uniform to school, and being allowed to just get up and leave when the bell rang!  ;D *sigh*...
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 19, 2010, 10:31:48 AM
I think that must be it. When I go out to eat with GF, we typically spend around £40-50, this would be including a bottle of wine, and two main courses at a nice (but not super fancy) restaurant. That wouldn't include tip.

 At today's rates I think that's around $60- $80, but I think that maybe the purchasing power of £1 in the UK is about that of $1 in the US, which alleviates that quite a bit!

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hobish on November 19, 2010, 10:36:37 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I don't know, but in a similar vein...
I once posted in the 'Whats for dinner?' thread that I was having Toad in the Hole. It emerged that in America, Toad in the Hole is (if I remember correctly) Fried egg in the middle of toast with a hole in, or something similar. If I was expecting toad in the hole for dinner, and was served egg on toast, I would cry. :P :D

My mom used to make toad in the hole when my brother and I were young. It was a custardy batter-y type thing in a baking pan with sausage. We hated it. I know the thing you are talking about with toast – we called it something else, but the name is completely escaping me right now.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 19, 2010, 10:46:04 AM
I wonder if eating out is cheaper in the US? Eating Chicken Korma at my favourite Indian restaurant costs about 13 euros, that appears to be around 17 USD and is rather cheap by Finnish standards, entrees are usually maybe 16 euros (about $20) in affordable sit-down (chain) restaurants, steaks can be something like 30 euros (about $40), that is in a sort of mid-level restaurant with nice food but nothing spectacular.

That may be part of it - eating out here can range from $10 or so (for a cheap chain meal and you don't order a drink or dessert) up through several hundred dollars (for a fancy restaurant, a bottle of wine, and a several-course meal).  One other difference - American restaurants tend to serve *big* meals.  Most normal restaurant entrees include a the main dish, bread or potatoes or other starch, 1-3 vegetables/sides, and often come with a salad or soup as well.  Appetizers and "a la carte" items (such as salad) tend to be pretty pricey if you order them separately - usually in the $5-$10 range - but often salads and soups are only $1-$3 more if you order them alongside an entree.  I remember being surprised in France when I ordered an appetizer (expecting a only-slightly-smaller-than-a-main-dish size) and got something that was actually appetizer-sized!

As for the tipping thing, restaurants are legally obligated to make up a server's wage if he/she doesn't total at LEAST minimum wage after paycheck and tips.  I've heard that this is hard to enforce, but I also don't know of anyone who has ever actually had to do this - waitressing is hard work, but it does tend to pay quite a bit better than a lot of other unsavory minimum-wage jobs.  So it's theoretically possible to make out less than minimum wage, but there is a law preventing it.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 19, 2010, 10:48:22 AM
Could I just say....I LOVEEEE the fact that we are all so genuinally interested in each others countries and wanting to learn from each other. Its pretty cool. Its great that we can all pose our questions and not feel like we are being silly asking.

Just dont ask if we ride kangaroos and have pet koalas! Lol. I will laugh at you.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Linley on November 19, 2010, 10:54:16 AM
I wonder if eating out is cheaper in the US? Eating Chicken Korma at my favourite Indian restaurant costs about 13 euros, that appears to be around 17 USD and is rather cheap by Finnish standards, entrees are usually maybe 16 euros (about $20) in affordable sit-down (chain) restaurants, steaks can be something like 30 euros (about $40), that is in a sort of mid-level restaurant with nice food but nothing spectacular.

I don't think you can just convert the currency, you have to think about purchasing power, as one of the other poster's noted. In my experience, 1 euro is about equal to a dollar in purchasing power. I also have found that Scandanavia is more expensive than other parts of Europe. It's more pronounced probably in Sweden or Denmark than in Finland given the currency differences (I went into fits recently about (ordinary, totally non-gourmet) hamburgers in Denmark that cost the equivalent of $15-$20/12-16 euros) but I know that the numbers you're giving are a bit more than I usually pay in Germany or Austria (maybe 10 euros for a Chicken Korma or equivalent). Finally, in my experience in the US (NYC area mostly) a Chicken Korma would cost $10-$12 without tip.

The question of steak I think is more complicated, I think that beef and some other types of meat are definitely significantly more expensive in Europe in the US.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 19, 2010, 10:56:09 AM
Mince pie was very popular in New England when I was growing up. It was my dad's favorite, and you could even get mince versions of those little individual-size Table Talk pies. (I never ate it -- found it unappetizing -- but I'm guessing it was very different from homemade mince pie.)

I think the mince-pie love is one of those New England things that reflects the region's connection to the other England -- like my mom's habit of calling trash "rubbish."

I think what the British call treacle is what is known in the states as molasses. Correct me if I'm wrong, someone!

Quote
Some places have what are called Farmers Markets on certain days. I am familiar with the one held in Madison, Wisconsin every Saturday morning (I forget the time it stops) from April to November. There every stall has to contain food grown or made (pastries, sausages, cheese etc.) in Wisconsin. In the spring there has been a plant seller or two as well. They are strict about that as they want it to be local, and it is a large market- over a hundred stalls, at least.  Oh, and you have to grow/make it yourself.  

They are not, as a whole, particularily common across the US in my experience.

I'm in the Northeastern U.S., and we have farmers markets *everywhere* spring through fall. Size depends on the size of the town hosting, but I've never seen one with 100 stalls. Usually somewhere between 20 and 50. And yes, everything sold must be produced locally. My band plays monthly at one that didn't have bathroom facilities the first couple of months it was open, because someone thought providing portapotties would violate the "all local product" rule. It has one now; maybe someone pointed out that the portapotty would *contain* local product!

Re the fraternity/sorority thing: I was a female fraternity brother! No, I haven't had gender reassignment surgery. At my college, in the 1970s, we had both national and local fraternities and two national sororities. The latter were started while I was there, in the mid- to late 1970s.

Four of the local fraternities started admitting women when the college went from all-male to coed in the early 1970s. Mine was one of them, and we were called brothers, just like the guys. We didn't want to be "sisters" because the all-male houses had "little sisters" who weren't actually members.

IME the personality and reputation of a house really varies from school to school. A good friend of mine was a Theta Delta Chi at Other College. There, it was considered kind of a "geek" house. On my campus, Theta Delt was one of the animal houses!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 19, 2010, 10:58:19 AM
Thank you, mrs_deb, that's so interesting!

When you say that you think of certain sororities as 'high' ranked, is that based on their names - as in, if the name of the sorority starts with 'Kappa', for example, that means it's an 'elite' sorority? (Not sure I'm making sense here, but I mean, can you tell just by the name, to any extent?)

Also, does it get really competitive? Are girls devastated if they don't get into a particular sorority? And does your choice of sorority sort of define your college experience? What percentage of girls in a given college are even in a sorority - is it more common than not, or only a small, elite group end up being accepted?

(Sorry for the bombardment of questions and thank you in advance!)

I was never in a sorority, but I did get an offer from one - so take this with a grain of salt ;)

Sororities and fraternities are, at their heart, social organizations.  So like any other social group, some are more desirable because they have more popular people, and some are less popular.  The name of the organization doesn't have any relation to how popular they are or how strict their entrance requirements are, but some are more well-known than others on a particular campus because they're bigger or better-established or have the more popular people in them.  Also, different universities have different sororities/fraternities - some of them (like the tri-delts) seems to be at nearly every college, while other sororities may be "national" but only have chapters at a few campuses.  Some only exist at one college - usually because they're new, or they broke off a larger national group, or they did something bad and the university de-commissioned their chapter  :-X

Complicating this, sorority/fraternity can mean several different things.  Some are residential - they have housing on- or off-campus and the people in the group live in that building.  Others are non-residential, and are more of a social group.  At the University I went to, fraternities got on-campus housing and sororities didn't  :P  Some fraternities are co-ed (residential or not).  Some are academic - there's a huge engineering fraternity (co-ed) that does more academic and networking things than social.  Some are exclusively/historically for people of one particular skin color or ethnic background, some are centered around community service in more than just name, some are completely social.  It really depends on the group!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 11:00:41 AM
Could I just say....I LOVEEEE the fact that we are all so genuinally interested in each others countries and wanting to learn from each other. Its pretty cool. Its great that we can all pose our questions and not feel like we are being silly asking.

Just dont ask if we ride kangaroos and have pet koalas! Lol. I will laugh at you.

I agree, sweetgirl!

What's funny, though, is that we *did* have pet kangaroos when we were kids! Not fenced or caged, of course (it's illegal), but they were tame, the same as our dogs and cats. We lived on a semi-rural property and my dad brought a baby one home from a farm once (it's mother was dead, so it had to be hand-reared). Annie later had two babies, Ellie and Daisy. When Annie was pregnant, my mum and dad used to pulll her pouch open a crack and shine a flashlight in, so that we could see the babies attached.  :-*. They all hung out in/around our house for years (they learned how to open the sliding doors with their paws. It drove my mum nuts when they came in when she wasn't looking and pulled bread of the kitchen bench to eat. Eventually we put latches on all the sliding doors). They used to lie around and watch tv with us kids, too.

The foreign students I used to teach thought I was trying to trick them, until I showed them the photos of the kangaroos lying around inside to escape the heat on Christmas day.  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 11:02:49 AM
Thanks, Slartibartfast! It's a lot more complex than I realized.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 19, 2010, 11:05:38 AM
Reminds me of a friend of mine who went on one of those European tours.  When in Italy, she purchased an ice cream cone.

When she did the conversion in her head, she realized it was about $14 Canadian and thought to herself, 'I'd better darn well enjoy this ice cream cone!'

The Home and Garden network on TV often shows British shows about home buying, like 'Location, Location' or 'Relocation, Relocation' with Phil Spencer and Chirstie whatshername.  I'm astounded when they talk about prices - like 400 or 500 thousand pounds is totally normal for buying a 3 bedroom semi-detached place with absolutely no property.  1 pound used to be about $2.  So you were talking $800,000 to $1,000,000 for a basic property.  Toronto could be $400,000 to $500,000 for a similar property in some areas, though.

Which is why I live an hour north of the city in a 2 + 1 raised bungalow on a 40' by 110' lot that I bought for $165,000 and is now worth closer to $240,000.

What's that expression that is so true?  In Britain, they think 100 miles a long way and in America (I'm including Canada here), they think 100 years is old!

A friend of my parents went on a 1 year teaching exchange in Britain and asked if we'd look out for the girl coming from Britain to teach in Canada.  My parents quite liked her and helped her out some when she needed 'translations'.  She got used to driving in Canada and when she got back home, she'd go visit friends who were 2 hours away for the day when previous to her Canada trip, this would be a weekend co-ordination for a visit.  She found that prices were very similar in Canada but found meat a little more expensive.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 19, 2010, 11:10:10 AM
As I'm at home sick at the moment I'm wondering about cold medicines. Not that I want to take them but they seem strange to me. From what I've read they seem common in the US? Do they actually work? From what I've read it seems like you take them whenever you get a cold, like it's automatic. Also most of the times I've read of them, people mention strange side effects. We have some cold medicines here but they don't seem to do much to the cold and as they're just aspirin, caffeine and vitamin C they don't seem to have many side effects. (If my question makes no sense I blame my cold and our ineffective medicines :))

Spoder, you pet kangaroos sound adorable :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: PeasNCues on November 19, 2010, 11:11:29 AM
Quote
Some places have what are called Farmers Markets on certain days. I am familiar with the one held in Madison, Wisconsin every Saturday morning (I forget the time it stops) from April to November. There every stall has to contain food grown or made (pastries, sausages, cheese etc.) in Wisconsin. In the spring there has been a plant seller or two as well. They are strict about that as they want it to be local, and it is a large market- over a hundred stalls, at least.  Oh, and you have to grow/make it yourself.  

They are not, as a whole, particularily common across the US in my experience.

I'm in the Northeastern U.S., and we have farmers markets *everywhere* spring through fall.
There are tons in SE US as well! I love them!!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Everlee on November 19, 2010, 11:18:18 AM
As I'm at home sick at the moment I'm wondering about cold medicines. Not that I want to take them but they seem strange to me. From what I've read they seem common in the US? Do they actually work? From what I've read it seems like you take them whenever you get a cold, like it's automatic. Also most of the times I've read of them, people mention strange side effects. We have some cold medicines here but they don't seem to do much to the cold and as they're just aspirin, caffeine and vitamin C they don't seem to have many side effects. (If my question makes no sense I blame my cold and our ineffective medicines :))

Spoder, you pet kangaroos sound adorable :)

Cold meds are automatic for most people when they have a cold.  Nyquil is probably the most popular since it makes you drowsy (to much and you can seem a little tipsy).  It is kind of like a Tylenol for your cold.  It doesn't really make you better per se, it just relieves your symptoms for a few hours.

I read about 10 pages of this thread, but didn't have time to get through the other so I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but what the heck is curry???  I watch a lot of BBC and read a lot of England based books and this is mentioned all. the. time!  I have no idea what it is!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Hushabye on November 19, 2010, 11:21:51 AM
Quote
Some places have what are called Farmers Markets on certain days. I am familiar with the one held in Madison, Wisconsin every Saturday morning (I forget the time it stops) from April to November. There every stall has to contain food grown or made (pastries, sausages, cheese etc.) in Wisconsin. In the spring there has been a plant seller or two as well. They are strict about that as they want it to be local, and it is a large market- over a hundred stalls, at least.  Oh, and you have to grow/make it yourself.  

They are not, as a whole, particularily common across the US in my experience.

I'm in the Northeastern U.S., and we have farmers markets *everywhere* spring through fall.
There are tons in SE US as well! I love them!!

Yep, there are two here in town between April and October that are open on different days of the week.  I think you can hit up one or the other on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: PeasNCues on November 19, 2010, 11:22:15 AM
As I'm at home sick at the moment I'm wondering about cold medicines. Not that I want to take them but they seem strange to me. From what I've read they seem common in the US? Do they actually work? From what I've read it seems like you take them whenever you get a cold, like it's automatic. Also most of the times I've read of them, people mention strange side effects. We have some cold medicines here but they don't seem to do much to the cold and as they're just aspirin, caffeine and vitamin C they don't seem to have many side effects. (If my question makes no sense I blame my cold and our ineffective medicines :))

Spoder, you pet kangaroos sound adorable :)

Cold meds are automatic for most people when they have a cold.  Nyquil is probably the most popular since it makes you drowsy (to much and you can seem a little tipsy).  It is kind of like a Tylenol for your cold.  It doesn't really make you better per se, it just relieves your symptoms for a few hours.

I read about 10 pages of this thread, but didn't have time to get through the other so I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but what the heck is curry???  I watch a lot of BBC and read a lot of England based books and this is mentioned all. the. time!  I have no idea what it is!
Curry is heaven. Absolute heaven.

When I went to england, they had curry restaurants like we have mexican restaurants down here in the US - everywhere! I was so jealous!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 11:26:48 AM
The type of curry they have in England originated in India. Google 'Indian food' and there should be quite a lot of information!

It's like a spicy casserole with various diced meats and vegetables in different sauce bases (some cream, some tomato etc.), cooked with different combinations of Indian spices, depending on the dish. There are lots of yummy sides, too, like naan breads and chutneys.  :P
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: EngineerChick on November 19, 2010, 11:27:59 AM
Since terminology is part of the discussion, "shag" is not only a type of rug and a term used by Austin Powers, but is a swing dancing variant that I first heard of as being popular in the Carolinas during the 1950s and 1960s.  I learned how to dance the shag at my cousin's 16th birthday party, but I don't remember how to do it now.  

It's a "slot dance" - a variation of swing dancing, but designed to be done in very crowded places (like at a beach party) where you and your partner have a "slot" in the crowd and that's about all the space you get.  It's got many of the same moves as swing dancing, but you don't rotate - you occasionally switch places with your partner, but you stay in the same narrow little rectangle of floor space.  The movements are also more controlled than swing dancing, and IIRC the whole thing is based around being able to hold a drink in one hand the whole time you're dancing too  :P

Slartibartfast, thank you for the clarification!! I knew that there was something I was missing, but between learning to dance the shag at 13, the lindy at 19, and the 12 years since that, I have forgotten more than I realized.  It definitely helps explain why a dozen teenagers were able to dance on a relatively small (10 foot by 10 foot) porch without too much problem.

About the GCSEs and A-levels/AS-level exams, how long do they take?  What are they testing?  (General knowledge, specific subjects)  Do you get entrance into better schools with a better score, or are there other benefits, such as more scholarships or early admission?

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 19, 2010, 11:38:47 AM
Re pumpkin pie: Any winter squash--acorn, butternut, turban, etc.--will make decent pie using a standard pumpkin pie recipe.  Pie pumpkins produce a more solid pie, but you can even use the pumpkins that are grown for jack-o'-lanterns if you wish.  I know quite a few people who buy leftover jack-o'-lantern pumpkins on sale cheap just before Halloween, chop them up, cook them, and freeze in pie portions.   The mashed cooked pumpkin/squash can also be used to make tea breads, seasoned and served as a side dish with roast pork or roast chicken, or turned into soup.  Just be sure that you carefully squeeze out the extra moisture before adding to a recipe or the finished dish may be watery.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on November 19, 2010, 11:53:17 AM


My mom used to make toad in the hole when my brother and I were young. It was a custardy batter-y type thing in a baking pan with sausage. We hated it. I know the thing you are talking about with toast – we called it something else, but the name is completely escaping me right now.


I think we called the egg-on-toast version "camel eye." 

And I am craving a pumpkin pie so badly right now.  I might even make one this weekend.  Practice for Turkey Day and all... :P
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 19, 2010, 11:57:12 AM
I know quite a few people who buy leftover jack-o'-lantern pumpkins on sale cheap just before Halloween, chop them up, cook them, and freeze in pie portions... (snip) Just be sure that you carefully squeeze out the extra moisture before adding to a recipe or the finished dish may be watery.
If you freeze your pumpkin, an easy way to do this is just spoon the watery liquid off the top as the pumpkin is thawing.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 19, 2010, 12:00:25 PM
Quote
Cold meds are automatic for most people when they have a cold.  Nyquil is probably the most popular since it makes you drowsy (to much and you can seem a little tipsy).  It is kind of like a Tylenol for your cold.  It doesn't really make you better per se, it just relieves your symptoms for a few hours.

NyQuil has alcohol in it, which is why it makes people tipsy and sleepy. Their ad slogan used to be "the nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine." Which I've modified to "The nighttime sniffling, sneezing, etc ... so you can get hammered medicine"!  ;D

I don't take cold meds unless my symptoms are really bad. But in the states there is a huge variety of cold medicines, all designed to treat different symptoms -- antihistamines for sneezing, decongestants for stuffy nose, analgesics for body aches, cough syrups, sore throat lozenges, and some medicines (see NyQuil above) contain different combinations of these ingredients for people who have different combinations of symptoms.

I think the reason there are so many cold medicines here in the states is at least in part because we have far less paid time off than most other developed countries. So, many U.S. workers will tough it out and go into work with a cold -- taking something to keep the symptoms at bay if needed -- and save our precious sick days for those times we literally can't get out of bed.

(Funny thing about NyQuil: I'm a drinker -- look under my avatar! -- but I cannot take medications that have alcohol in them. There is something about them that my body does not react well to at. all.)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 19, 2010, 12:06:43 PM
And I did see girls absolutely hysterical when the KKGs and DDDs didn't give them a bid.  You'd hear things like, "I don't want to pledge Pi Phi!  They're all (women who love other women)!" and "I don't want to pledge ADPi!  They're all fat and ugly!"   ::)

Ha!  Another ADPI alumni here and we were known more for our creative outlets than our looks!   :)

To be fair though EVERY sorority and fraternity on our campus had a negative stereotype of some sort.... At least we didn't get labelled as easy, spoilt, racist, b*tchy, stoners, or thick like some of the other groups. (In case you wondered, that would be Tri-Delta, Zeta, KKG, Alpha Chi, Pi Phi, Delta Gamma/A Chi O respectively.)


Jammer Dodgers are a type of biscuit/cookie.  It's two circular pieces of shortbread with jam in middle, very popular with the kids.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: veryfluffy on November 19, 2010, 12:07:38 PM
Reminds me of a friend of mine who went on one of those European tours.  When in Italy, she purchased an ice cream cone.

When she did the conversion in her head, she realized it was about $14 Canadian and thought to herself, 'I'd better darn well enjoy this ice cream cone!'

 

Either she got ripped off, or she did her conversion wrong! It's more likely that it was C$1.40 -- ice cream is not expensive in Italy! And it may be the most wonderful substance in existence.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 19, 2010, 12:08:54 PM
Being that it was a tour group, they could very well have been at the most expensive gelato stand in all of Italy.   :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 19, 2010, 12:14:27 PM
My local grocery store (Wegman’s) sells canned spotted you-know-what. DS and DH crack up every time they see it.

Lingonberries are popular in Sweden as well – DH buys yet another jar of lingonberry jam every time we go to Ikea. He likes the lingonberry drink as well; I just wish they made a sugar-free version.

My chicken korma recipe contains raisins and almonds. I got it from an Indian Navy officer who said it was his mother’s. I don’t make it often because it’s quite complicated.

My grandma made Toad in the Hole sometimes, it was always some type of sausage baked in a batter. She left the sausage whole and the best bit was the batter that had soaked up all the yummy fat during baking. (Don’t know where she happened across the dish as she was “Pennsylvania Dutch,” but her family had an occasional stray “English” (a generic term meaning “not one of us”) marry in.) She also had a version where the sausage was wrapped in a kind of short crust and baked, sometimes with a filling (onions or sweet potatoes) around the sausage.

Grandma made an egg-on-toast dish she called “egg in a basket.” She’d butter a piece of bread, cut a hole in the center, put it butter side down in a frying pan, and break an egg in the hole. Once the egg was cooked enough to be scooped up with a spatula, it was done.

I’m in Northern Virginia and we also have farmer’s markets from late spring through late autumn. They sell mostly fresh produce but there are also vendors of meats, cheeses, condiments and sometimes handmade crafts. They are usually set up temporarily in parking lots (car parks). We also have a number of Amish markets that sell baked goods, home canned foods, and sometimes produce, meats and handicrafts that are Amish specialties. (Many are run by Mennonites vs Amish, but I’m theologically hairsplitting here.) They seem to be found mostly on the US East Coast.

Not to confuse Spoder further, but there are also professional fraternities in the US – these are organized around a particular profession or course of study, and people join as college/university students. Membership often continues after graduation and morphs into a kind of professional organization. 
 - there are also “honor fraternities,” which require a certain level of academic achievement for membership – but which should not be confused with “honor societies” like Phi Beta Kappa.
 - many colleges and universities further categorize their campus organizations as “social fraternities” or “service fraternities.” The former are the ones usually associated with the US – rush week, pledging, frat houses, parties and so on (as seen in the movies “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds”). The latter are more like the Scouts or adult organizations such as the Masons or Kiwanis – focused on community service and projects. “Social fraternities” are not required to be gender-integrated (i.e., can limit their membership to one gender). Many of the older male-only fraternities changed their charters to classify themselves as “social fraternities” to avoid having to comply with the US Law (Title IX) requiring other organizations to admit all genders.

And, lecture concluded, I have a question: Is “whinge” the same as “whine?”

PS I’m glad to see I’m not the only American who doesn’t like pumpkin pie. I don’t like sweet potato, yam or squash pie either. But I make at least one every Thanksgiving for DH, DXH and DS, who love it.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hobish on November 19, 2010, 12:21:27 PM
As I'm at home sick at the moment I'm wondering about cold medicines. Not that I want to take them but they seem strange to me. From what I've read they seem common in the US? Do they actually work? From what I've read it seems like you take them whenever you get a cold, like it's automatic. Also most of the times I've read of them, people mention strange side effects. We have some cold medicines here but they don't seem to do much to the cold and as they're just aspirin, caffeine and vitamin C they don't seem to have many side effects. (If my question makes no sense I blame my cold and our ineffective medicines :))

Spoder, you pet kangaroos sound adorable :)

Cold meds are automatic for most people when they have a cold.  Nyquil is probably the most popular since it makes you drowsy (to much and you can seem a little tipsy).  It is kind of like a Tylenol for your cold.  It doesn't really make you better per se, it just relieves your symptoms for a few hours.

I read about 10 pages of this thread, but didn't have time to get through the other so I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but what the heck is curry???  I watch a lot of BBC and read a lot of England based books and this is mentioned all. the. time!  I have no idea what it is!

It must be regional. I am in New Jersey and i can get to about 5 restaurants that serve curry within 20 minutes or so.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 19, 2010, 12:22:25 PM
PS re: cold meds:

Nyquil contains not only alcohol (25%, which makes it 50 proof, stronger than beer, wine and many liqueurs), but also dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant, which also causes drowsiness) and doxylamine, a sleep-inducing medicine (sold in the US under the brand name Unisom). Most Nyquil formulas also contain acetaminophen (aka Tylenol, to reduce fever and relieve aches & pains), and phenylephrine, a decongestant to help stuffed up sinuses.

So it depends on exactly what symptoms you want to relieve. Things like Nyquil that contain a lot of different ingredients can result in you taking stuff you don't want, don't need, or to which you might be allergic or intolerant, so it's a good idea to know exactly what's in "multi-symptom" medicines.

I know a lot of military folks who use Nyquil as a way to cope with the sleep difficulties cause by shift work. I've also investigated cases where teenagers were using something like Nyquil, or something with dextromethorphan (e.g., Robitussin) to get high.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: PeasNCues on November 19, 2010, 12:24:08 PM
PS re: cold meds:

Nyquil contains not only alcohol (25%, which makes it 50 proof, stronger than beer, wine and many liqueurs), but also dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant, which also causes drowsiness) and doxylamine, a sleep-inducing medicine (sold in the US under the brand name Unisom). Most Nyquil formulas also contain acetaminophen (aka Tylenol, to reduce fever and relieve aches & pains), and phenylephrine, a decongestant to help stuffed up sinuses.

So it depends on exactly what symptoms you want to relieve. Things like Nyquil that contain a lot of different ingredients can result in you taking stuff you don't want, don't need, or to which you might be allergic or intolerant, so it's a good idea to know exactly what's in "multi-symptom" medicines.

I know a lot of military folks who use Nyquil as a way to cope with the sleep difficulties cause by shift work. I've also investigated cases where teenagers were using something like Nyquil, or something with dextromethorphan (e.g., Robitussin) to get high.
Alcohol is not allowed on the ships. We've had alcoholics bring a bunch of nyquil and such and get trashed on them. It's really sad  :(
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 19, 2010, 12:31:39 PM
Thanks for all the sorority/fraternity info, mrs_deb and Ms_Shell! Very enlightening. When I was a teenager, it all seemed utterly cool. That, and having a locker at highschool, and not having to wear a uniform to school, and being allowed to just get up and leave when the bell rang!  ;D *sigh*...

I'm going to complicate things further for you.

The ones discussed earlier are social sororities and frats.  And not all of those will have a "house" like you see in a movie.  Only the wealthy ones will.  There are also service sororities and fraternities and those afilliated with certain programs like an engineering sorority or a music sorority.

I was part of a women's music fraternity--previously a sorority, but they had to label themselves later as a "fraternity" for some legal mumbo jumbo I don't recall.  In any case, it's a social organization but different from the ones you see in movies and on tv--not so many keg stands.  Although there's a band sorority and they did the kind of hazing, I shudder about and parties full of booze.  So there's not a hard and fast rule with these things.

Also, the attitude of sororities and fraternities depends on the campus.  I find the older the school and the sorority/fraternity--the more clout they seem to have.  Those organizations also often have "legacies" meaning your grandma was a Tri Delt, your mom was, now you are and so on.  And I think the "rep" for each organization varies from campus to campus.  So while one frat is the coolest at one university, at another it might not get much attention at all.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 19, 2010, 12:39:53 PM
PS re: cold meds:

Nyquil contains not only alcohol (25%, which makes it 50 proof, stronger than beer, wine and many liqueurs), but also dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant, which also causes drowsiness) and doxylamine, a sleep-inducing medicine (sold in the US under the brand name Unisom). Most Nyquil formulas also contain acetaminophen (aka Tylenol, to reduce fever and relieve aches & pains), and phenylephrine, a decongestant to help stuffed up sinuses.

So it depends on exactly what symptoms you want to relieve. Things like Nyquil that contain a lot of different ingredients can result in you taking stuff you don't want, don't need, or to which you might be allergic or intolerant, so it's a good idea to know exactly what's in "multi-symptom" medicines.

I know a lot of military folks who use Nyquil as a way to cope with the sleep difficulties cause by shift work. I've also investigated cases where teenagers were using something like Nyquil, or something with dextromethorphan (e.g., Robitussin) to get high.
Alcohol is not allowed on the ships. We've had alcoholics bring a bunch of nyquil and such and get trashed on them. It's really sad  :(

Yup. And this is why active-duty personnel are almost always required to have a doctor's note or actual prescription even for over the counter meds. Our afloat agents deal with a lot of Nyquil-smuggling cases too, where sailors bring illicit Nyquil aboard - for personal use and/or for sale. They also pick up a lot of stuff on port visits that's on prescription in the US but sold OTC in other countries - despite N+1 reminders that this is still against regs and will get them busted.

I can just hear the conversation in the brig:"What you in for, man?" "I got busted on a Nyquil rap."
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 19, 2010, 12:43:19 PM
PS re: cold meds:

Nyquil contains not only alcohol (25%, which makes it 50 proof, stronger than beer, wine and many liqueurs), but also dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant, which also causes drowsiness) and doxylamine, a sleep-inducing medicine (sold in the US under the brand name Unisom). Most Nyquil formulas also contain acetaminophen (aka Tylenol, to reduce fever and relieve aches & pains), and phenylephrine, a decongestant to help stuffed up sinuses.

So it depends on exactly what symptoms you want to relieve. Things like Nyquil that contain a lot of different ingredients can result in you taking stuff you don't want, don't need, or to which you might be allergic or intolerant, so it's a good idea to know exactly what's in "multi-symptom" medicines.

I know a lot of military folks who use Nyquil as a way to cope with the sleep difficulties cause by shift work. I've also investigated cases where teenagers were using something like Nyquil, or something with dextromethorphan (e.g., Robitussin) to get high.

In my experience, it's definitely the dextromethorphan, not the alcohol, that makes Nyquil so trippy.  It's a cough suppressant found in almost every cough medicine out there (those that don't have it generally have guaifenesin, an expectorant), and it's made of pure evil.  Teens definitely buy it to get high, but I can't even take it for colds.  Because it's made of evil.  So I stick to decongestants and cough drops.  Most cold meds here are some combination of the same five ingredients, usually a cough suppressant, a decongestant, and a pain reliever/fever reducer/anti-inflammatory.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 19, 2010, 12:52:56 PM
I've done some baking from American recipes and I've noticed that the results seem to be less sweet than what we would make here. Is that true or is it just the result of substituting American ingredients badly?

I've wondered that, too. Because I've noticed that the contestants on The Next Iron Chef who were repeatedly told "You make things too sweet" were from India and not the U.S (Jehangir Mehta last season, Maneet Chauhan this season)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 19, 2010, 01:04:28 PM

They're eaten in Finland as well.

They don't seem to be very close relatives. Lingonberries are related to cranberries (and bilberries, which are a bit like blueberries), though they're smaller and taste a bit different, though they are about as unsweet as cranberries. They're juicier, I think. Cloudberries are related to raspberries and look like yellow raspberries, their taste is very different though and I don't really know anything else that tastes like that. Very nice but as they only grow in certain places they are very expensive.

Lingonberries grow in most places here, like in the woods near where I live (in Finland you can pick berries and mushrooms everywhere, provided that you aren't too close to a house), though picking them is so dull that I buy them from market, 10 litres is about 20 to 30 euros. In contrast a small container of cloudberries is something like 6 or 7 euros. I have a huge glass jar of crushed lingonberries in my fridge, they contain some preservative that makes them last long, you can eat last autumn's lingonberries in March and they'll be fine, spending the winter under snow just makes them better. I eat them like I eat all my berries (I buy strawberries and pick bilberries and wild raspberries), at breakfast with plain yoghurt and some banana (that is not a traditional use). Other people may use them with meat dishes and when I was a child I used to eat them with blood pancakes (which I wouldn't eat these days).

My stepmother is from Lapland, where cloudberries (and cranberries) are more common, the best places are well kept secrets and part of her inheritance is a hillasuo, a marsh with cloudberries.

Sankta Lucia is a big part of Finnish Swedish speaking culture as well and even in my primary school without any Swedish speakers we still celebrated it with a parade, I was once one of Lucia's attendants (because I was a tall child). These days the crowns tend to have electric candles, I think.

I have a few questions:

I've done some baking from American recipes and I've noticed that the results seem to be less sweet than what we would make here. Is that true or is it just the result of substituting American ingredients badly?

Do towns have markets squares? I think that they're probably common throughout Europe, though some places seem to have set market days. Here in some places the market is important part of shopping, in my town they start in maybe April and continue until it's too cold, they're still selling vegetables and fish and candy and things like that in November. And I think that every town here has a market place, even though sometimes they aren't very lively (it's one reason I like my current town so much).

I'm sure this will have been answered by the time I answer :)  But your point on cloudberries reminds me of morel mushrooms in Iowa.  Everyone has their secret hunting spot for them but essentially everyone eats them every year.  Here in Colorado they cost about $40 a pound.  

Your market square sounds like a farmer's market in the US and they are very common.  I'm from Iowa which is a pretty agricultural state and the main farmer's market in Des Moines is HUGE and very, very popular.  It runs every Saturday from about 7-12 during about May through October.  

""I've done some baking from American recipes and I've noticed that the results seem to be less sweet than what we would make here. Is that true or is it just the result of substituting American ingredients badly?""

Australian here.

I've found, using US and UK cook/baking books that UK biscuits and cookies tend to be a lot sweeter (calling for more sugar and higher-sugar ingredients) than any of the US recipes... except brownies.

As an Aussie - tipping makes almost no sense to me. It seems that you have to tip people even if they just do their job - a waitress gets tipped for bringing you your meal and your drinks in a timely fashion, which is what her employer is paying her for.

In AUS we only tip people who do an exceptional job - like a waitress who is actually engaged and brings the second round of drinks without having to be asked.

Is it true that jobs like waitressing (service-type jobs) pay so little that most people employed in those industries rely on their tips to survive?

Ah, yes and no.  There are two minimum wages, which I'm sure people have already described (I'm answering this pages late).  That being said, waitressing is usually a really well paying job once tips are involved.  People in tipping threads love to bring up that waitstaff are taxed assuming 8% tips.  If you are only averaging 8% in tips, you are in the wrong industry.  And I know very, very few service industry people who actually admit how much they make in tips to the government.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 19, 2010, 01:10:18 PM
Thank you, mrs_deb, that's so interesting!

When you say that you think of certain sororities as 'high' ranked, is that based on their names - as in, if the name of the sorority starts with 'Kappa', for example, that means it's an 'elite' sorority? (Not sure I'm making sense here, but I mean, can you tell just by the name, to any extent?)

Also, does it get really competitive? Are girls devastated if they don't get into a particular sorority? And does your choice of sorority sort of define your college experience? What percentage of girls in a given college are even in a sorority - is it more common than not, or only a small, elite group end up being accepted?

(Sorry for the bombardment of questions and thank you in advance!)

In my experience, it GREATLY differs based on where in the country you are and the university.  At my state Midwestern university, the Greek system wasn't that big of a deal, so I doubt many people were crushed.  There are some universities (especially in the South) where it's a much bigger thing. And there is definitely prestige related to some sororities or fraternities over others.  In my school, only about 15% were in the Greek system, which is pretty low.

At my school, the Chi Omegas were the pretty, rich girls, the AGDs were all farm girls, etc.  It's different from school to school.

And the PP was totally right--we are just talking about social sororities and fraternities.  There are professional and honor ones too.  And a professional sorority on one campus may be a social sorority on another campus (I am an alum of a professional sorority that is Panhellenic on other campuses). 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ferrets on November 19, 2010, 01:18:56 PM
Curry is heaven. Absolute heaven.

When I went to england, they had curry restaurants like we have mexican restaurants down here in the US - everywhere! I was so jealous!

[random fact]Britain's first Indian restaurant was established in 1809, over fifty years before our first fish-and-chip shop (1863). It was the Hindostanee Coffee House, run by a former subaltern of the Bengal Army, and aimed predominantly at a clientele of British soldiers who, on returning from service on the Indian subcontinent, rather missed the food.[/random fact] :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 19, 2010, 02:07:35 PM


About the GCSEs and A-levels/AS-level exams, how long do they take?  What are they testing?  (General knowledge, specific subjects)  Do you get entrance into better schools with a better score, or are there other benefits, such as more scholarships or early admission?



GCSE exams are taken at 16 (well, in the summer of the school year in which you turn 16, some people are still 15) after being studied for the previous two years.  It stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education, so you tend to do a very broad range of subjects and maths, english, science and one foreign language are usually compulsory as you'd struggle to get a job or go on to further study without those basics.

A-Levels (Advanced Level), are more in depth studies of fewer subjects, the idea being that you choose them based on your strengths at GCSE and your career ambitions.  They are also studied over two years and generally the final exams are sat at 18.  There are exams at the end of both years and the first year counts as an 'Advanced Subsidiary' (AS Level) so that if people change their minds or drop one subject halfway through they have a qualification to show for that year of work.

You generally need A Levels in relevant subjects to get onto a university course although some are more flexible and will look at work experience, vocational qualifications etc. as long as you can prove you have basic literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to GCSE.

I'm fairly typical, I took 10 GCSEs in a broad spectrum of subjects from geography to art, then I did 4 A Levels that were more specific to my strengths and interests, then a 3 year degree in one specific subject.

I did get a small scholarship based on my A Level grades, some of the less prestigious universities offer this kind of incentive to encourage the more academic students to choose their courses.

I actually spent 6 months at an American uni on an exchange programme, which was an interesting experience!  Very different 'feel' generally to being at uni in the UK.  Great experience, but I was a bit gutted that my US 'A' grades were downgraded to 2:1s back home!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 19, 2010, 02:16:04 PM
Those cold meds sound rather scary, I don't think that I would dare to take them (though at the moment something that could make me forget my sore throat so I could sleep would be welcome :)).

The market in my town has a farmers market section, but they also have a couple of larger vegetable growers, some booths that are only allowed to sell Finnish products but they haven't grown them themselves, some fruit and vegetable stands that have things like cheap bananas ja grapes, definitely not grown here. And then there's fish, candy and baked goods, clothes, flea market style stuff and even two sellers of used books and one seller of collectible coins and stamps, though it varies which sellers are there. My town used to have at least three markets that were used still in 20th century but these the others are only used for special events, like Christmas market and a medieval market in summer (this is the oldest town in Finland, founded in about 1300, Finland is a young country compared to some).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 19, 2010, 02:21:12 PM
Grandma made an egg-on-toast dish she called “egg in a basket.” She’d butter a piece of bread, cut a hole in the center, put it butter side down in a frying pan, and break an egg in the hole. Once the egg was cooked enough to be scooped up with a spatula, it was done.

My BFF (Central Pennsylvania, of very very Irish descent) calls it "eggies in a basket" also.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: datcat on November 19, 2010, 03:01:13 PM
Treacle is thick and nearly black slightly bitter, very much like molasses whilst golden syrup is a paler golden version and is very very sweet.  Treacle would be used for baking christmas cakes and golden syrup for a Sponge Pudding like this

http://www.lylesgoldensyrup.com/kitchen.php?recipe=12
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 19, 2010, 03:02:51 PM
Treacle is thick and nearly black slightly bitter, very much like molasses whilst golden syrup is a paler golden version and is very very sweet.  Treacle would be used for baking christmas cakes and golden syrup for a Sponge Pudding like this

http://www.lylesgoldensyrup.com/kitchen.php?recipe=12
\

What is a sponge pudding?  Is that like a cake or more like a custard?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Giggity on November 19, 2010, 03:10:22 PM
Just dont ask if we ride kangaroos and have pet koalas! Lol. I will laugh at you.

We all *know* you do. No reason to ask!  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 19, 2010, 03:14:11 PM
Grandma made an egg-on-toast dish she called “egg in a basket.” She’d butter a piece of bread, cut a hole in the center, put it butter side down in a frying pan, and break an egg in the hole. Once the egg was cooked enough to be scooped up with a spatula, it was done.

My BFF (Central Pennsylvania, of very very Irish descent) calls it "eggies in a basket" also.

I do something similar, but with bagels instead of toast.  I call them Boy Scout Eggs, because that's where my brother got the recipe.  They're best with onion bagels, with a slice of cheese in between the two halves, and a little Tabasco :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Twik on November 19, 2010, 03:22:16 PM
I've attended two Canadian universities, one small, one fairly large (for Canada), and neither made a big deal about fraternities. The ones that existed at the larger university were essentially semester-long parties, but the other "professional" societies (cough*engineering society*cough) were the real partiers.

The Engineering Society got kicked off campus one year and had to close their house down, things got so bad. Apparently the definitions of "harmless fun" and "vandalism" had not been printed in their syllabus.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: HushHush on November 19, 2010, 04:28:06 PM
I heard somewhere that university in GB was free or at least open enrollment?  Here in the USA, our colleges/universities have different entrance criteria and some more elite schools have higher grade requirements than others.  Is this the case with universities in England?  Like do you need higher grades to get into Oxford vs. another university?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 19, 2010, 04:39:18 PM
Speaking of GSCE and A-Levels -

*lightbulb goes on over head*

So THAT'S why Harry Potter had to take OWL levels?  It was a joke on A-Levels?  Darn it, I knew there were some things I just wasn't getting!  (I thought it was totally made up by JK Rowling).

Oh, and I thought of another question....Lots of times you'll hear of an English address like Stratford-on-Avon or something like that.  I've always been curious what that means.  Is that the actual street, or does it refer to a village or what?

Edited because I forgot to add my question.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 19, 2010, 04:44:36 PM
I heard somewhere that university in GB was free or at least open enrollment?  Here in the USA, our colleges/universities have different entrance criteria and some more elite schools have higher grade requirements than others.  Is this the case with universities in England?  Like do you need higher grades to get into Oxford vs. another university?

Well things are changing at the moment over here but I'll fill you in on the current situation...

All universities charge the same tuition fees, set by the government, the idea being to avoid a class divide where richer people can pay more for a better education.  There's still a class issue in UK higher education but not as bad as it used to be.

The tuition fees don't have to be paid upfront, most people take out a government student loan to cover both the fees and some of the cost of living.  This loan doesn't have to be repaid until the graduate is working and earning above a certain threshold, I think its about 15K p/a at the moment but I'm not sure because I'm currently below it  :(  Even then the repayments aren't too bad, low interest rate.

As for entry requirements, the universities set these themselves and can pick and choose which applicants they want to take.  In recent years there have been more applicants than uni places so its very competitive.  Every applicant applies through the same admin process called UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), fills in the same form and submits the same info, then the uni decides who they want to interview etc.  Obviously unis and specific courses with better reputations attract more applicants.

For example, the course I'm applying to (hoping to start a second degree in Sep 11, yay more debt!) has over 1000 applicants for just 20 places :o while some courses have places left available right up until the start date.

You have to have specific grades and specific A-Levels to get onto the course you want, for example somebody wanting to study medicine would need a minimum of three A grades in the science subjects, while for my art degree I just needed a passing grade in Art and basic numeracy and literacy skills as the decision was made mainly on the content of my portfolio.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 19, 2010, 04:48:04 PM
Speaking of GSCE and A-Levels -

*lightbulb goes on over head*

So THAT'S why Harry Potter had to take OWL levels?  It was a joke on A-Levels?  Darn it, I knew there were some things I just wasn't getting!  (I thought it was totally made up by JK Rowling).

Oh, and I thought of another question....Lots of times you'll hear of an English address like Stratford-on-Avon or something like that.  I've always been curious what that means.  Is that the actual street, or does it refer to a village or what?

Edited because I forgot to add my question.

Stratford on Avon is so called because the town of Stratford is adjacent to, or 'on' the River Avon!

Most towns with Ford in the name are near rivers, as the name comes from the old type of crossing.

I don't know where the Strat bit comes from, sorry!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Snowy Owl on November 19, 2010, 05:19:14 PM
OWLs and NEWTs are definitely a joke aimed at GCSEs and A Levels.  If you're English it's quite amusing.  For completeness I should add that A Levels are customary primarily in England and Wales.  Scotland has a separate exam system called Highers which are different.  You'd need soomeone Scottish to explain that one.  I've also no idea what happens in Northern Ireland but it may well be different again there. 

The "Strat" in Stratford comes (I believe) from the old English word for street.  So the name means the street that fords the river Avon.  It makes sense if you think about it!  ;D ;D   

"On" in the name of a town almost always means the river, so you have Stockton on Tees (on the river Tees) and Newcastle on Tyne (on the river Tyne).  In eveyday parlance people tend to drop the name of the river, so you talk about Stratford or Stockton as a rule. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 19, 2010, 05:27:35 PM
Treacle is thick and nearly black slightly bitter, very much like molasses whilst golden syrup is a paler golden version and is very very sweet.  Treacle would be used for baking christmas cakes and golden syrup for a Sponge Pudding like this

http://www.lylesgoldensyrup.com/kitchen.php?recipe=12

Thanks! I love the word "treacle." It's perfect (much more suitable than "molasses") for describing something sickeningly sweet in the figurative sense. (American English's closest equivalent is "syrupy.")

I know of two towns here in New York that have the -on-River thing in their names: Croton-on-Hudson and Castleton-on-Hudson. Haven't seen it anywhere else in the states, though.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MadMadge43 on November 19, 2010, 05:51:08 PM
As far as the tipping goes, yes food is less expensive in the States because labor is not factored into it, nor is taxes. But truthfully, once you factor in our tax and gratuity it pretty much evens out. But it can be a bit shocking for Americans the first time they see the price, not realizing they aren't going to have to add on another 30%.

When I lived in Europe I don't know how many times I wanted to scream, "I'll tip you if you just pay some attention to me!"

My first restaurant meal after coming home was at an IHop (International House of Pancakes). Oh, I had missed breakfast. I was thrilled to order a 80% diet 20% regular soda drink, asked for crispy bacon and almost cried when she came back and asked if I wanted a refill "that was 80% diet and 20% regular right?". I think I tipped her 75% just because I was so excited to have decent service again. Oh, and not to mention that I would have paid $12 for the same amount of soda in Europe.

Actually, it's the soda that makes a meal in Europe so darn expensive. $2.50 euro for an 8 oz can! After walking all day you need three, and that's something like $10 US.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Barney girl on November 19, 2010, 06:01:19 PM
OWLs and NEWTs are definitely a joke aimed at GCSEs and A Levels.  If you're English it's quite amusing.  For completeness I should add that A Levels are customary primarily in England and Wales.  Scotland has a separate exam system called Highers which are different.  You'd need soomeone Scottish to explain that one.  I've also no idea what happens in Northern Ireland but it may well be different again there. 

The "Strat" in Stratford comes (I believe) from the old English word for street.  So the name means the street that fords the river Avon.  It makes sense if you think about it!  ;D ;D   

"On" in the name of a town almost always means the river, so you have Stockton on Tees (on the river Tees) and Newcastle on Tyne (on the river Tyne).  In eveyday parlance people tend to drop the name of the river, so you talk about Stratford or Stockton as a rule. 

and Avon was the celtic word for river, so it was actually just 'the street that fords the river'.
Newcastle is 'upon', not 'on' Tyne, unless you're talking about the other Newcastle, which is 'under Lyme'
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: StarFaerie on November 19, 2010, 06:23:45 PM
There is something that I have been wondering for a while about US schooling.

I hear mention of Juniors, Seniors, Freshmen and so on. What years of schooling do these (and the other designations) represent and what ages would you be in those years?

As your drinking age is 21 (correct me if I'm wrong) does that mean college students can't drink? It's just that all those movies have college parties with alcohol and I always wonder how that works.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 19, 2010, 06:28:29 PM
There is something that I have been wondering for a while about US schooling.

I hear mention of Juniors, Seniors, Freshmen and so on. What years of schooling do these (and the other designations) represent and what ages would you be in those years?

As your drinking age is 21 (correct me if I'm wrong) does that mean college students can't drink? It's just that all those movies have college parties with alcohol and I always wonder how that works.

College students under 21 aren't supposed to drink.  Plenty of them do but it's illegal.  For me, that was only my first two years of college though :)

Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior years are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year of high school or college.  You are usually about 13 or 14 when you start high school and about 17 or 18 when you finish.  

Edited: Because I'm an idiot!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nox on November 19, 2010, 06:35:01 PM
Quote
Grandma made an egg-on-toast dish she called “egg in a basket.” She’d butter a piece of bread, cut a hole in the center, put it butter side down in a frying pan, and break an egg in the hole. Once the egg was cooked enough to be scooped up with a spatula, it was done.

We called those One-eyed Jacks. Dang, they're tasty.

Quote
As your drinking age is 21 (correct me if I'm wrong) does that mean college students can't drink? It's just that all those movies have college parties with alcohol and I always wonder how that works.

Drinking age is 21. From what I can tell, in practice nearly nobody waits that long. I've always found it ironic that people who've been drinking for years go drinking on their 21st birthdays because "now I can drink. Legally, I mean."

More university questions. For folks in the UK- Oxford and Cambridge are universities and made up of a bunch of different colleges, which is where the students live, right? When I looked at Oxford on Google maps it looks like the university is spread out all over town. There didn't appear to be a campus as I understand it. How does that work? Do students take all their classes in one area? Do they run like heck to try to get to classes that are miles away? Are all UK universities like this or are more modern ones more compact?

Also, a TV question- why are the seasons for UK TV shows so short? I love a good British mystery show, but they all seem to have between 3 and 6 episodes a season, compared to the 20-24 episodes that make up a standard US television season. I note that the UK episodes are sometimes 1.5-2 hours long, which is longer than US episodes.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 19, 2010, 06:41:07 PM
Quote
You are usually about 13 or 14 when you start college and about 17 or 18 when you finish.  

I think you meant high school there?

In the states, the drinking age is 21, but that's a fairly recent development (the past 20-25 years or so). In the '70s, when I was in college, it varied by state. IIRC it was 21 in California and perhaps some other states back then, but when I started college in New Hampshire in 1976 it was 18. They raised it to 20 when I was a junior (already 20, fortunately!). New York raised its drinking age to 19 shortly after I moved there in 1982.

In subsequent years, the federal government pressured the states to adopt 21 as the age to legally buy alcohol as a condition of continuing to receive federal highway funding. The older drinking age was seen as a safety measure (reduce drunk-driving accidents).

That said, underage kids still manage to find ways to get their hands on alcohol, even though it's technically banned. In college, there is always someone "of age" around who's willing to share.

Canadian e-hellions, help me out here: I know (from being friends with a recent graduate of SUNY Buffalo who crossed the border a lot) that it's 19 in Ontario. Do other provinces have different drinking ages?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 19, 2010, 07:49:23 PM
Oh!  I just thought of another question, specifically London-based.  For years, I've heard the show "East Enders" referenced.  I have to assume that it's a crazy popular show because I hear about it all. the. time.  There's also a Pet Shop Boys song which talks about East End boys and West End girls.  What's the significance to that?  Or is there one?   

I'm loving this thread, you guys are all so helpful!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 19, 2010, 08:05:49 PM
Quote
You are usually about 13 or 14 when you start college and about 17 or 18 when you finish.  

I think you meant high school there?

In the states, the drinking age is 21, but that's a fairly recent development (the past 20-25 years or so). In the '70s, when I was in college, it varied by state. IIRC it was 21 in California and perhaps some other states back then, but when I started college in New Hampshire in 1976 it was 18. They raised it to 20 when I was a junior (already 20, fortunately!). New York raised its drinking age to 19 shortly after I moved there in 1982.

In subsequent years, the federal government pressured the states to adopt 21 as the age to legally buy alcohol as a condition of continuing to receive federal highway funding. The older drinking age was seen as a safety measure (reduce drunk-driving accidents).

That said, underage kids still manage to find ways to get their hands on alcohol, even though it's technically banned. In college, there is always someone "of age" around who's willing to share.

Canadian e-hellions, help me out here: I know (from being friends with a recent graduate of SUNY Buffalo who crossed the border a lot) that it's 19 in Ontario. Do other provinces have different drinking ages?


Yes.  In Alberta and Quebec, it's 18.  So you get teenagers from Ottawa heading across the river to Hull Quebec, to party.

As far as I know, in all other provinces it's 19.  Thanks for the info on the US, I wondered why all states had the age as 21 now, when I was sure that previously some of them had had age 19 or even 18.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 08:07:53 PM
Ms_Shell, I lived in the east end of London with all the 'geezers' for a few years. ;D But I'll leave that one to the Brits.

Thank you so much to everyone who replied about the sororities and fraternities in the U.S.! So many questions now answered that I've wanted to know for ages. I must rent 'Animal House' and 'Revenge of the Nerds' now!

And thanks to this thread, I finally know what 'IHOP' means!  :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Elfmama on November 19, 2010, 08:37:54 PM
PS re: cold meds:

So it depends on exactly what symptoms you want to relieve. Things like Nyquil that contain a lot of different ingredients can result in you taking stuff you don't want, don't need, or to which you might be allergic or intolerant, so it's a good idea to know exactly what's in "multi-symptom" medicines.
Or causes unintentional overdoses.  It is a very bad idea to take a shotgun cold medicine that has acetaminophen and swallow down a couple of Tylenol with it.  As I understand it, the maximum effective dose of acetaminophen and the overdose amount are very close, such that double-dosing can cause serious liver damage.  And alcohol and Tylenol are a bad combination also -- they're both metabolized in the liver. 

And Nyquil TASTES so bad. (http://www3.telus.net/smile/images/puke.gif)  I don't see how anyone can swallow it -- I've never managed to keep it down. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 19, 2010, 08:56:08 PM
Yes, there is very likely a connection between the enormous variety of cold remedies and the U.S. employment system, which makes it impossible to both stay home when you're sick (or even just when you're sick and infectious) and keep your job.

That said, the thinking behind Nyquil is sound.  Sleep is the best medicine, but it's hard to sleep when you're sick.  So if you can medicate yourself just enough to sleep, you'll probably feel better in the morning.  I don't take Nyquil, though--just a couple of Tylenol and a big glass of water or something fizzy if my throat is sore.  Then chicken soup or pho bo for breakfast.  That generally helps.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 19, 2010, 09:11:41 PM
RE: cold medicine

As I have just gotten over a recent cold, and stocked up on my OTC cold medicines, I can tell you that there are basically 4 ingredients in every cold medicine I saw (I wasn't look at medicines that focus on coughing, since I didn't have one).  The only thing that really makes cold medicine scary, in my mind, is when multiple drugs are combined.  I have had issues in the past from taking drugs I didn't need, so I try really hard to only take them as long as they are useful to me.

For the most part, though, you can buy all of those drugs alone.  For instance, I take Mucinex most of the time for colds (it thins out mucous, which sometimes makes you cough more, but it seems to relieve congestion better than anything else for me).  The active ingredient in that is common in other combo meds, but you can buy it with just the one ingredient.

RE: fraternities/sororities

For anyone asking what they are, do you have anything like a residential college system at universities where you live?  Fraternities and sororities, at least the residential ones, are similar to that type of system.  The selection process may be different (I wouldn't know, as my university didn't have the Greek system, and I'm not super familiar with residential colleges in other countries).  I attended a university with residential colleges, and it was often presented to prospective students as a desirable alternative to the Greek system, because all students belonged to one college, and each student was sorted randomly, so there was no element of competing to belong to one.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 09:18:55 PM
We had residential colleges, and I lived in one for 2 years, but they seem pretty different to the greek system.

Basically, you applied to live in a college if you were attending university in another city from where you grew up - their primary function was, as it says, residential. Most people applied based on where their friends from highschool were going, or where there older brothers/sisters had gone. Then, you went for an interview with the dean of the college (other students had no role in it), who decided whether to offer you a place or not, based on a combination of your grades, interview performance, and any other factors like your family having a history of affiliation with the college. It's true that a lot of your social life at uni revolved around your college, but there was nowhere near the fierce kind of loyalties that the sorority system seems to involve.

ETA: Also, it's very unusual for a student whose family lives in the metro area, to live at a residential college. They're significantly more expensive than shared housing, and obviously a LOT more expensive than living at home with your parents.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 19, 2010, 09:39:43 PM
I many countries, a person can buy codeine over the counter. It is a painreliever and cough suppressant and we must have a prescription for it. How is that less scary than our over the counter drugs?

By the way, I only take a pain reliever/fever reducer and nasal spray for colds, and I know a lot of other people who don't do more than that. Oh, and a new box of tissues.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 19, 2010, 09:44:08 PM
I many countries, a person can buy codeine over the counter. It is a painreliever and cough suppressant and we must have a prescription for it. How is that less scary than our over the cou

Codeine should definitely be respected, but it's still not made of evil like dextromethorphan.  Codeine makes me sleepy and kind of goofy, dextromethorphan makes me curl up in a paranoid shaky ball in the dark for hours.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 19, 2010, 09:56:38 PM
We had residential colleges, and I lived in one for 2 years, but they seem pretty different to the greek system.

Basically, you applied to live in a college if you were attending university in another city from where you grew up - their primary function was, as it says, residential. Most people applied based on where their friends from highschool were going, or where there older brothers/sisters had gone. Then, you went for an interview with the dean of the college (other students had no role in it), who decided whether to offer you a place or not, based on a combination of your grades, interview performance, and any other factors like your family having a history of affiliation with the college. It's true that a lot of your social life at uni revolved around your college, but there was nowhere near the fierce kind of loyalties that the sorority system seems to involve.

ETA: Also, it's very unusual for a student whose family lives in the metro area, to live at a residential college. They're significantly more expensive than shared housing, and obviously a LOT more expensive than living at home with your parents.

It's not the same, but it is reasonably equivalent.  The residential college system I lived in was based, in part, on the ones at Oxford and Cambridge (among other places).  And in fact, what you describe is more like what the Greek system is here than the system I experienced at university.

Most American college students live either in dorms (which are just convenient and relatively inexpensive places to live, and have very little to do with one's social life beyond the fact that a bunch of people happen to live in one place) or they live in shared apartments/houses that they rent with other students off campus.  Some might live with their parents, if their parents live near enough to the school, but that's actually not terribly common.  A lot of college students here go reasonably far away to attend school, and quite a lot are willing to trade the independence you get from living away from home for the higher expense of not living with your parents. :)

I many countries, a person can buy codeine over the counter. It is a painreliever and cough suppressant and we must have a prescription for it. How is that less scary than our over the counter drugs?

By the way, I only take a pain reliever/fever reducer and nasal spray for colds, and I know a lot of other people who don't do more than that. Oh, and a new box of tissues.

Codeine is a strong drug, but it's not any scarier than any other drug out there.  It is restricted in the United States more as a result of the widespread ban on narcotics (and resulting War on Drugs) than any perceived danger.  It is an extremely common ingredient (perhaps one of the most common) in prescription pain medicine.

Personally, I take Mucinex, and perhaps an Advil if my throat hurts or I'm running a fever or the sinus pressure is giving me a headache.  Other than that, I drink a lot of tea, use a saline spray, and take steamy showers. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 19, 2010, 09:57:34 PM
I many countries, a person can buy codeine over the counter. It is a painreliever and cough suppressant and we must have a prescription for it. How is that less scary than our over the counter drugs?

By the way, I only take a pain reliever/fever reducer and nasal spray for colds, and I know a lot of other people who don't do more than that. Oh, and a new box of tissues.

We can't buy codeine over the counter either, that would scary too. But taking new drugs scares me anyway, I read the side effects and have trouble relaxing for a few days.

I suspect that our OTC drugs rules are rather strict, also you can only buy them at a pharmacy. The only "medical" things you can buy at other places are bandaids and pregnancy tests.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Sapphire23 on November 19, 2010, 10:25:23 PM
I want to know what the words stroppy and tosser mean.  I've heard the words used several times in different shows, but can't quite figure out what they mean.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 19, 2010, 10:40:36 PM
When someone is stroppy, it means they're irritable and grumpy, and expressing themselves in a way that demonstrates this ('Don't get stroppy with me!')

A 'tosser' is a derogatory term for a man who is a total jerk. It comes from the phrase, erm, 'toss off'. (Not sure what the word filter will do with that one!  :-\). As in, a man who masturbates. So basically, you're calling someone the equivalent of the 'w' word, except 'tosser' isn't as harsh - someone might say that there ex-BF was a 'w' if he had done something nasty, but a 'tosser' if they disliked/disrespected him.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Twik on November 19, 2010, 10:55:06 PM
I many countries, a person can buy codeine over the counter. It is a painreliever and cough suppressant and we must have a prescription for it. How is that less scary than our over the cou

Codeine should definitely be respected, but it's still not made of evil like dextromethorphan.  Codeine makes me sleepy and kind of goofy, dextromethorphan makes me curl up in a paranoid shaky ball in the dark for hours.

Codeine's a narcotic, and there is a risk of physical addiction, with the difficulties of narcotic withdrawal if you try to stop. DM may make you feel icky, but it doesn't have that sort of baggage.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on November 19, 2010, 11:00:35 PM
Ooh, yes.  DXM is pure evil.  I'm allergic to it - anaphalactic reaction.  =P.

When I'm sick enough that OTC gauifenisin isn't working I usually end up with a script for guai. With codeine.  I end up sleeping through the duration of the cold, but it beats hives & not breathing. 

Poor Sweet Pattootie has a cold right now and can't take any cough medication because most of it has DXM.  We can't risk my being exposed, so he's trudging through the misery.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 19, 2010, 11:13:46 PM
Great thread.

In places like New York City there are 4-year commuter colleges.  I went to one, myself.  Some people who attend such schools don't feel like they're in college because it doesn't fit the cliches of American movies about [American] college life.  Think National Lampoon's Animal House (which is one of the funniest movies ever made).

Eating out in America varies so much in price I can't begin to describe it.  Many places also have a lot of "specials" that are sometimes significantly cheaper then the rest of the menu because


"Diners" in New York also have ethnic dishes that vary in quality; you learn by trial.  Portions tend to be huuuuuuuuuuuuuge and it's wise to take at least half the meal home.

Two food questions for Brits:  What is "bubble and squeak" and what are "risoles"?  I used to hear the latter mentioned derisively in Upstairs Downstairs years ago.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 19, 2010, 11:18:02 PM
I many countries, a person can buy codeine over the counter. It is a painreliever and cough suppressant and we must have a prescription for it. How is that less scary than our over the cou

Codeine should definitely be respected, but it's still not made of evil like dextromethorphan.  Codeine makes me sleepy and kind of goofy, dextromethorphan makes me curl up in a paranoid shaky ball in the dark for hours.

Codeine's a narcotic, and there is a risk of physical addiction, with the difficulties of narcotic withdrawal if you try to stop. DM may make you feel icky, but it doesn't have that sort of baggage.

Leaving aside the fact that there are other substances which are both perfectly legal and sometimes even widely considered to be safe that can cause difficulties similar in scope to those caused by codeine...

From Wikipedia, about dextromethorphan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dextromethorphan#Recreational_use):
"Since their introduction, over-the-counter preparations containing dextromethorphan have been used in manners inconsistent with their labeling, often as a recreational drug. At doses higher than medically recommended, dextromethorphan is classified as a dissociative psychedelic drug, with visible effects that are similar to those of ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP). It can produce distortions of the visual field, feelings of dissociation, distortions of bodily perception, excitement, as well as a loss of comprehension of time."

That sounds like some pretty serious baggage to me, if someone were to get that type of effect just by being more sensitive than usual to the drug.  And it seems apt, since using pain medication that contains codeine as one is directed to use it is probably no more likely to cause physical addiction than using dextromethorphan as directed causes the types of symptoms Rainha says she experiences.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: StarDrifter on November 19, 2010, 11:24:17 PM
"They're just rissoles! Everybody makes rissoles, hun!"

Rissoles are like burgers crossed with meatballs (about the size of big meatballs but half-squished flat and cooked like burgers in a pan or on a grill) made of minced beef with egg, breadcrumbs and sometimes sausage mince.

Mum makes the BEST rissoles - with cheese and bacon and spring onion omnom I might have to make some for myself for dinner tonight...

Rissoles differ from burgers and meatballs in that they're not usually served in a bun, or with a specific sauce. We usually will have rissoles with tomato sauce (as in ketchup) mixed veggies and macaroni cheese or mashed potatoes.

I sometimes cook mine in the oven. Delicious.

The reason they're mentioned derisively is that they're seen as a 'low class' thing - a way to make the extra mince beef stretch a bit further by mixing in breadcrumbs and sausage mince.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 19, 2010, 11:29:08 PM
Great thread.

In places like New York City there are 4-year commuter colleges.  I went to one, myself.  Some people who attend such schools don't feel like they're in college because it doesn't fit the cliches of American movies about [American] college life.  Think National Lampoon's Animal House (which is one of the funniest movies ever made).

Eating out in America varies so much in price I can't begin to describe it.  Many places also have a lot of "specials" that are sometimes significantly cheaper then the rest of the menu because

  • Those particular ingredients are more plentiful that day and/or
  • The portion size is a little smaller than the standard menu portion of that item

"Diners" in New York also have ethnic dishes that vary in quality; you learn by trial.  Portions tend to be huuuuuuuuuuuuuge and it's wise to take at least half the meal home.

Two food questions for Brits:  What is "bubble and squeak" and what are "risoles"?  I used to hear the latter mentioned derisively in Upstairs Downstairs years ago.

I'm not a Brit (Canadian) but I do know that bubble-and-squeak is kind of an inexpensive sausage type of entree.  Cheap, that's why you heard it mentioned in the servants' quarters.

In my region of Canada, there have been community colleges that have given four-year degrees for a long time.  Their emphasis has generally been two or three-year associate degrees, but they also do have Bachelor's programs.  Just in the last year or so, the powers-that-be declared that some of these colleges could now be called Universities.

Honestly, what does it matter?  If you have a Bachelor's degree, it's a Bachelor's - no matter whether the institution is called Community College or University.  And it's true that many of these "new" universities are commuter-colleges - they have no student residences; the majority of the students live at home with parents or other family members (perhaps spouse).  Perhaps I'm overly sensitive; I attended a commuter-institute for two years while living at home, and had to attend a third clinical year to attain my final certification.  And it was a very, very intensive program.  I had friends who were attending university at the same time, and I had very little free time compared to them.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 20, 2010, 12:07:20 AM
Bubble and squeak is a cabbage and potato mash. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: ItZWhoUKnow on November 20, 2010, 01:44:29 AM
Oh!  I just thought of another question, specifically London-based.  For years, I've heard the show "East Enders" referenced.  I have to assume that it's a crazy popular show because I hear about it all. the. time.  There's also a Pet Shop Boys song which talks about East End boys and West End girls.  What's the significance to that?  Or is there one?   

I'm loving this thread, you guys are all so helpful!

Eastenders is basically a daily soap opera and I am going to miss it like crazy when I move next week. I've been living in Germany for over 8 years and my cable company gets BBC Prime and I became a fan.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Stranger on November 20, 2010, 02:36:41 AM
I can attest to the differences in OTC medications available between South Africa and New Zealand. In SA there is a pain and fever medication for children which contains brufen and codeine. It's what we *all* used when needed. In NZ you can't buy anything stronger than paracetamol OTC, and doctors *won't* prescibe codeine to anyone under 18. It's a bit of a bummer  :(

SA and NZ are very similar in some respects - both were former colonies. We speak mostly the same English (but our accents are different, and some words differ). The educational system is much, much different, though. I had to find out what Intermediate school is  ;D there is no such thing in SA.

Another difference is the shoes on/off issue  ;D It's never a question in SA!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: The Legend of Daisy on November 20, 2010, 03:27:48 AM
How have I missed this thread for so long? My cred 34 years in Canada, 8 in the UK (had no idea there were so many Mancunians on board) and many many many holidays in the US.


well that was epic
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 20, 2010, 03:38:21 AM
Oh!  I just thought of another question, specifically London-based.  For years, I've heard the show "East Enders" referenced.  I have to assume that it's a crazy popular show because I hear about it all. the. time.  There's also a Pet Shop Boys song which talks about East End boys and West End girls.  What's the significance to that?  Or is there one?   

I'm loving this thread, you guys are all so helpful!

It refers to areas of London.  Th east end is traditionally more working class, its where the cockneys come from! (Technically, you're a cockney if you were born within hearing range of the Bow Bells).  Although parts of East London are getting horrifyingly trendy these days, with art students and media types taking over Hoxton and Shoreditch.

The west end is where you'll find the theatres, the nightlife and the shopping districts such as Oxford Street and Soho, but not many people actually live there. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Miss Vertigo on November 20, 2010, 03:42:07 AM
What is "bubble and squeak" and what are "risoles"? 

Venus, here's some info :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_and_squeak

Basically, it's leftover veg (usually green veg like cabbage or sprouts) and potatoes fried up into a sort of patty thing. It's usually served with cold meats the day after a roast but it's also become popular as an ingredient in a 'fry up' breakfast, especially one you find in the local 'greasy spoon' cafe (which usually aren't greasy at all). Bubble is often offered as an option along with your bacon, sausages, eggs, etc.

Bubble is epic. And now I want some.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 20, 2010, 04:03:48 AM
  • Apparently the two tap think might have had a reason about keeping the hot an cold water separate (diseases in the tank or something?) My old boss was quite vehement about never filling the kettle out of the hot water tap because that water wasn't for drinking. Of course we were working in the offices converted from the old TB ward and the walls were full of asbestos...hmm I might be wrong there. Anyways, my flat has separate taps n the bathroom and it was built 5 years ago. Mixer taps are one of the upgrades I want to add!

There was discussion about mixer taps once at another forum and some people said that there was some technical reason why they weren't popular in the UK, something to do with the age and condition of the pipes.
We have mixer taps here but still I've been told that you shouldn't use warm tap water for cooking, that it can have germs like Legionella in it. Though I'm not sure if anything can survive in our tap water, it comes from a river than runs through the town (so we can see how unclean it is, throwing bicycles into it seems to be a popular sport in the summer for example) and heavily treated. It always surprises me how bad it tastes when I've spent time elsewhere but then I get used to it :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MummyPumpkin83 on November 20, 2010, 04:17:49 AM


About the GCSEs and A-levels/AS-level exams, how long do they take?  What are they testing?  (General knowledge, specific subjects)  Do you get entrance into better schools with a better score, or are there other benefits, such as more scholarships or early admission?



GCSE exams are taken at 16 (well, in the summer of the school year in which you turn 16, some people are still 15) after being studied for the previous two years.  It stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education, so you tend to do a very broad range of subjects and maths, english, science and one foreign language are usually compulsory as you'd struggle to get a job or go on to further study without those basics.

A-Levels (Advanced Level), are more in depth studies of fewer subjects, the idea being that you choose them based on your strengths at GCSE and your career ambitions.  They are also studied over two years and generally the final exams are sat at 18.  There are exams at the end of both years and the first year counts as an 'Advanced Subsidiary' (AS Level) so that if people change their minds or drop one subject halfway through they have a qualification to show for that year of work.

You generally need A Levels in relevant subjects to get onto a university course although some are more flexible and will look at work experience, vocational qualifications etc. as long as you can prove you have basic literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to GCSE.

I'm fairly typical, I took 10 GCSEs in a broad spectrum of subjects from geography to art, then I did 4 A Levels that were more specific to my strengths and interests, then a 3 year degree in one specific subject.

I did get a small scholarship based on my A Level grades, some of the less prestigious universities offer this kind of incentive to encourage the more academic students to choose their courses.

I actually spent 6 months at an American uni on an exchange programme, which was an interesting experience!  Very different 'feel' generally to being at uni in the UK.  Great experience, but I was a bit gutted that my US 'A' grades were downgraded to 2:1s back home!

sounds similar to the NSW, Australian system.

School certificate in year 10 (around age 16) that is maths, english science (and may now also be history & geography). you can then leave school and get an apprenticeship to learn a "trade" (electrician, carpenter, plumber, hairdresser).

if you want to go to uni you need your Higher school certificate (HSC). You choose subjects for year 11 and 12 (majority of subjects are 2 units, some times 1 or 3) you need to have a minimum of 10 units to be eligible for your HSC. You have to pick subjects from different "streams" to be eligible for your UAI (university admission index (which is what it was called when i did my HSC in 2000)) which is what determines what course you can get into at Uni (eg: medicine might have a UAI of 98.6). Uni courses also have prerequisite subjects (eg: if you want to do science you need to have done 2 units of maths, and 2 of science) you have to do 2 units of english to get your HSC.

the exam itsself takes any where from 90 mins to 3 hours depending on the subject.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 20, 2010, 05:28:41 AM
sounds similar to the NSW, Australian system.

School certificate in year 10 (around age 16) that is maths, english science (and may now also be history & geography). you can then leave school and get an apprenticeship to learn a "trade" (electrician, carpenter, plumber, hairdresser).

if you want to go to uni you need your Higher school certificate (HSC). You choose subjects for year 11 and 12 (majority of subjects are 2 units, some times 1 or 3) you need to have a minimum of 10 units to be eligible for your HSC. You have to pick subjects from different "streams" to be eligible for your UAI (university admission index (which is what it was called when i did my HSC in 2000)) which is what determines what course you can get into at Uni (eg: medicine might have a UAI of 98.6). Uni courses also have prerequisite subjects (eg: if you want to do science you need to have done 2 units of maths, and 2 of science) you have to do 2 units of english to get your HSC.

the exam itsself takes any where from 90 mins to 3 hours depending on the subject.

Do you just do maths, English, science and possibly history and geography?  I wonder if you do them in greater depth, then, because most people do around 10 GCSE subjects.  I did, for example, English language, English literature, maths, biology, physics, chemistry, IT, geography, French, and German.  Then physics, sociology, French, history and general studies as AS and all of the above at A-level except French.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 20, 2010, 05:42:26 AM
Oh!  I just thought of another question, specifically London-based.  For years, I've heard the show "East Enders" referenced.  I have to assume that it's a crazy popular show because I hear about it all. the. time.  There's also a Pet Shop Boys song which talks about East End boys and West End girls.  What's the significance to that?  Or is there one?   

I'm loving this thread, you guys are all so helpful!

It refers to areas of London.  Th east end is traditionally more working class, its where the cockneys come from! (Technically, you're a cockney if you were born within hearing range of the Bow Bells).  Although parts of East London are getting horrifyingly trendy these days, with art students and media types taking over Hoxton and Shoreditch.

The west end is where you'll find the theatres, the nightlife and the shopping districts such as Oxford Street and Soho, but not many people actually live there. 

The East End refers to the eastern side of London, generally considered to be poor, lower-soco economic neighbourhoods.   Today, most of the burrows which were known to be traditionally "cock-ney" have now definitely changed their demographic somewhat.

In fact, a good number of "traditional" East Enders were moved south of river after much of the area was destroyed during WWII. (We live in a South London burrow in Surrey, where a large number of folks consider their ancestry to be cockney.)  

There are now large pockets of immigrant communities within the East End, and you are more likely to hear a number of foreign languages there instead cockney rhyming slang. There are trendy areas, but also areas of extreme inner-city degeneration.

I lived and worked in East End fore the first few years we lived in London, I have to say I didn't find the TV soap to be a really accurate representation of the area.  ;)


Sponge pudding is a bit like cake, though it was boiled in a casing or cloth instead of baked in an oven.  It is very nice, and lovely served with custard.  :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 20, 2010, 06:30:09 AM
More university questions. For folks in the UK- Oxford and Cambridge are universities and made up of a bunch of different colleges, which is where the students live, right? When I looked at Oxford on Google maps it looks like the university is spread out all over town. There didn't appear to be a campus as I understand it. How does that work? Do students take all their classes in one area? Do they run like heck to try to get to classes that are miles away? Are all UK universities like this or are more modern ones more compact?

Some unis are campus, some are spread over the town/city, normally with academic buildings more central and residential buildings more on the edges.  It's not always a case of more modern vs older.  The big division in UK universities is "Red brick" vs "Old Polytechnic", with the former being older and generally more prestigeous for academics and the second being more linked to vocational courses.  I went to a red brick, which was campus based, and my sister went to an old *******, which was spread all over the city.  But a lot of old red bricks are spread all over the town centre because they developed over time, buying more town centre buildings (when the town was smaller) over hundreds of years as their number of students grew.

Question: is the designation "village" used in the US to describe a settlement between a hamlet and a town in size and services?  I've never heard it used that way by Americans, only to describe an area in a city.

Another question:  Do you study much history in school?  What subjects do you study in whatever your equivalent of the National Curriculum is?

Related question:  How do your uni's work, academically?  A lot of American exchange students (my uni was known for being good for foreign students so we had a lot) seemed to have trouble with the structure of most degrees over here when I was at uni.  They seemed surprised at the way essays were set - we do a few long, in-depth essays each semester, but they seemed to expect more, shorter essays - only maybe a thousand words or so every couple of weeks.  Also, they wanted much more guidance on what to write and how to structure everything - down to asking what computer software they should use in several cases.  I'm not sure if that was just uncertainty springing from being in another country or if lecturers in the US are maybe more specific and abundant in their guidance?  Oooh, and (sorry, too many Q's) do your more prestigeous uni's charge more?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 20, 2010, 06:55:34 AM
The lead post asked about class distinctions in the US and I found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class_in_the_United_States

I agree with a lot of this article.  A specific difficulty of defining class in the US is related to things such as teamsters (certain types of physical laborers in unions) making more money than schoolteachers.  There are "old money" and "new money" concepts and I have personally been the victim of a pre-Mayflower descendant's snobbery because of being a first-generation American and first-generation college graduate.  Don't ask.

Class mobility is not what it used to be here.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 20, 2010, 06:58:28 AM
Rissoles are very similiar to what Americans call Salsibury steak. It differs slightly depending on what recipe you have. Mainly though its beef mince,onion,breadcrumbs,worchesthire,tomatoe sauce-ketchup and an egg. I have been making the salsibury steak lately. You generally serve it with potatoe mash and sauce or gravy.

Bubble and squeek. Hmmm. It can differ too. Best I can relate it too is what you would call hash? Its not fried as much though. Just left over potatoe,cabbage,peas and then you had some ham or bacon too it.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mechtilde on November 20, 2010, 07:04:06 AM
I many countries, a person can buy codeine over the counter. It is a painreliever and cough suppressant and we must have a prescription for it. How is that less scary than our over the counter drugs?

By the way, I only take a pain reliever/fever reducer and nasal spray for colds, and I know a lot of other people who don't do more than that. Oh, and a new box of tissues.

We can't buy codeine over the counter either, that would scary too. But taking new drugs scares me anyway, I read the side effects and have trouble relaxing for a few days.

I suspect that our OTC drugs rules are rather strict, also you can only buy them at a pharmacy. The only "medical" things you can buy at other places are bandaids and pregnancy tests.  

The OTC rules are fairly relaxed in the UK, and we can buy codeine over the counter, although only in combination with other medicines- like paracetamol and codeine. There isn't an awful lot of codeine in those ones- I've had a prescription version and was away with the pixies for hours!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: iridaceae on November 20, 2010, 07:07:32 AM
Question: is the designation "village" used in the US to describe a settlement between a hamlet and a town in size and services?  I've never heard it used that way by Americans, only to describe an area in a city.

Another question:  Do you study much history in school?  What subjects do you study in whatever your equivalent of the National Curriculum is?

Oooh, and (sorry, too many Q's) do your more prestigeous uni's charge more?
Some towns do call themselves villages; my hometown is a village, though now that another city has surrounded it on most sides (it's up against a lake, so obviosuly that side isn't surrounded!) by a city many people assume it's a neighborhood when legally it isn't; it's a village and has its own government.

My school system had mandatory history every year except senoir year, and the bulk of it was US history. I was sick and tired of the Civil War by high school graduation, I can tell you that. However, there is no national curriculum, so every school system will be different.

Yes, prestigious schools charge a lot more.  A lot a lot more.  For example, for the 2008/2009 school year at the Univeristy of Montana-Great Falls a full time student will pay $2112.84 a semester in tuition alone.  At harvard for the 2010/2011 year tuition alone is $35,568.00. With fees it will be $59,680 (I was unable to find tthe amount with fees for The U of Montana-Great Falls).  

There are lots of pros and cons to going to any college here in the US including the prestigious ones, including your area of interest. Someone, for example, wanting to make telescope mirrors for observatories will probably want to come to the University of Arizona in Tucson- it's world-renowned for making them.  Physical therapy? The University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bexx27 on November 20, 2010, 07:44:13 AM


Another question:  Do you study much history in school?  What subjects do you study in whatever your equivalent of the National Curriculum is?

Related question:  How do your uni's work, academically?  A lot of American exchange students (my uni was known for being good for foreign students so we had a lot) seemed to have trouble with the structure of most degrees over here when I was at uni.  They seemed surprised at the way essays were set - we do a few long, in-depth essays each semester, but they seemed to expect more, shorter essays - only maybe a thousand words or so every couple of weeks.  Also, they wanted much more guidance on what to write and how to structure everything - down to asking what computer software they should use in several cases.  I'm not sure if that was just uncertainty springing from being in another country or if lecturers in the US are maybe more specific and abundant in their guidance?  Oooh, and (sorry, too many Q's) do your more prestigeous uni's charge more?

Loving this thread!

The educational curriculum varies by state, but the core subjects we study are math, history, language arts (English), and science. In my school system, we generally studied a different subset of each of these subjects each year. For example, I studied state history in 4th grade, US history in 5th grade, and world history (European history, really) in 6th grade.

In college, we generally have shorter papers due every few weeks, plus a longer term paper due at the end of the semester. We may also have multiple smaller quizzes in addition to midterm and final exams. Grades usually involve several components. I remember being surprised when my friend who went to school in London told me their entire grade is based on just one or two assignments.

Professors also tend to be extremely specific with their guidelines. They often prefer particular software and may even dictate stylistic things like font and margin size. They may have specific structure requirements, too - for example, an introductory paragraph followed by three supporting examples and a conclusion paragraph. They may specify number and type of sources you need to use as well as citation format. It's important to read assignments very carefully because you can be penalized for missing seemingly minor details.

And yes, our more prestigious universities charge more, except that public universities charge less no matter how prestigious they are. For example, when I was looking at colleges 10 years ago, you could expect to pay $40K/year for an Ivy League school and $10K/year (if you live in-state) for a very selective state school. A not-so-good private school would have been maybe $20K and a not-so-good state school would cost the same as a really good state school. Community colleges charge much less.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Everlee on November 20, 2010, 07:54:42 AM
Ok, I don't know how to break up quotes so I am putting my reply's in red.  The school reply's are all based off of my school experience in Illinois, so others might be different.


Question: is the designation "village" used in the US to describe a settlement between a hamlet and a town in size and services?  I've never heard it used that way by Americans, only to describe an area in a city.
I think 'village' is just a general term that doesn't really have a set defination.  Usually smaller towns use it to describe themselves.  The town I went to school from K-12 (next town over from town I lived in) had maybe a little over 1,000 people and they called themselves a village.

Another question:  Do you study much history in school?  What subjects do you study in whatever your equivalent of the National Curriculum is?
In K-8th grade we had a history class every year.  It was mainly a world history book and we just did the same subjects over and over.  In high school we had 3 required years of history.  You had to study World History and American History.  There were several other different classes to choose from and you had to choose one more before graduation.  In college it really just depends on what your major is.  My major was coincidentally, history, so I had to take quite a few for my two year degree.  I think for most other degrees in my college you just had to take two.

Related question:  How do your uni's work, academically?  A lot of American exchange students (my uni was known for being good for foreign students so we had a lot) seemed to have trouble with the structure of most degrees over here when I was at uni.  They seemed surprised at the way essays were set - we do a few long, in-depth essays each semester, but they seemed to expect more, shorter essays - only maybe a thousand words or so every couple of weeks.  Also, they wanted much more guidance on what to write and how to structure everything - down to asking what computer software they should use in several cases.  I'm not sure if that was just uncertainty springing from being in another country or if lecturers in the US are maybe more specific and abundant in their guidance?  Oooh, and (sorry, too many Q's) do your more prestigeous uni's charge more?
That question could be explained a hundred different ways since every teacher does their class differently.  For example, in my beginning English class, we had to write a new paper every month that had to be about a few pages long.  In my English 2 class we had to do two big writing projects that had to be about 5 pages long apiece.  Some teachers gave us daily writing assignments.  And they ALL had specific rules about what to do:  how many inches to go in on the margins, what type of font, what size of font, how the title page had to look, what type of writing style (usually MLS), etc...  So yeah, I can see where an American would be completely confused at not having as much guidance!  I would be worried to death!

*edited to add that someone posted at the same time as me so these questions may be answered better there, but I spent so much time writing I'm still posting it.   :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 20, 2010, 08:42:55 AM


Question: is the designation "village" used in the US to describe a settlement between a hamlet and a town in size and services?  I've never heard it used that way by Americans, only to describe an area in a city.

Another question:  Do you study much history in school?  What subjects do you study in whatever your equivalent of the National Curriculum is?

Related question:  How do your uni's work, academically?  A lot of American exchange students (my uni was known for being good for foreign students so we had a lot) seemed to have trouble with the structure of most degrees over here when I was at uni.  They seemed surprised at the way essays were set - we do a few long, in-depth essays each semester, but they seemed to expect more, shorter essays - only maybe a thousand words or so every couple of weeks.  Also, they wanted much more guidance on what to write and how to structure everything - down to asking what computer software they should use in several cases.  I'm not sure if that was just uncertainty springing from being in another country or if lecturers in the US are maybe more specific and abundant in their guidance?  Oooh, and (sorry, too many Q's) do your more prestigeous uni's charge more?

There are still villages, but not a lot of them. There's a town in Connecticut that's formed from 7 old villages. It was a little confusing when I moved there, because there is one name for the town, and then the 7 village names for the various parts of town and it took me a while to figure out that people were referring to part of town and not the next town over.

Where I live now was settled as a village in 1635. In 1807, it was incorporated as a town, and has remained a town ever since, although if you were to pass through it today, you'd think it was a city, based on size, population and the heavily settled nature of the area. What distinguishes towns, villages and cities varies by state across the US. In my state, the chief deciding factor is the type of government--cities have mayors, towns have town councils or selectmen.

There's no National Curriculum, although with "No Child Left Behind" there may be one at some point. Individual states may have some guidelines, but for the most part, each school system creates its own curriculum. But there are some pretty standard features--you get some sort of history or civics yearly until you reach high school. American history, world history, the history of your state to some degree, how the government works on the federal, state and local level. Once you get to high school, many places only require 2 years (out of 4 years of high school) of history. You can take 4 years, if you want to, and get into very specific areas of study, like the Causes of the World Wars or something like that.

It's my impression that in the UK, universities allow much more independent study to the students. In the US, the average college class is not structured all that differently from a high school class, in that there are regular reading assignments, regular homework assignments and quizzes, and assigned papers, although the topics studied are more advanced. It isn't until grad school that you will write one or two papers a semester, on topics of your own choosing, or maybe during your final year in college. This varies from college to college--my college required both 8 credits of independent study and a Senior Project that was a semester long independent project in order to graduate. But the colleges that my siblings attended didn't have anything similar.

While it may sound strange that US professors get specific on fonts or software, I can say from having taught Freshman English for several years while in grad school, that I could not assign a five page paper and expect to get five pages of writing back from all the students. If a student didn't have much to say, the margins on the paper could get very, very wide, and the font sizes could get very, very large as the student tried to take two or three pages of writing and stretch them out over five pages.

It stems from a confusion as to what five pages entails--the instructor sees a five page assignment as requiring a certain amount of analysis and explanation, much more than if the same assignment was given with a one or two page writing requirement, and less than if the same topic had a ten page requirement. But the students don't always grasp that, or they don't understand the topic and they don't ask for help, and they think that the main thing is to get enough words on those five pages. I'd have been happy with a well-written three page paper, if the thoughts were clear and well supported. Heck, I turned in lots of papers as an undergrad that didn't meet the arbitrary page requirement, but did address the topic assigned well enough that I got As on them. But I'd say that for many US students, writing papers is not something that comes easily. And I think we  need a better way to describe what instructors want for a paper instead of using an arbitrary page length.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nibsey on November 20, 2010, 08:59:05 AM
This hasn't been asked but it's worth mentioning, in the US all lecturers in university are called Professor So and So but in the UK and most of Europe lecturers are refered to as Dr. So and So if they have their doctorate and only Prof. So and So if they hold a deparmental chair.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 20, 2010, 09:04:16 AM
This hasn't been asked but it's worth mentioning, in the US all lecturers in university are called Professor So and So but in the UK and most of Europe lecturers are refered to as Dr. So and So if they have their doctorate and only Prof. So and So if they hold a deparmental chair.


And if you are a lecturer in a US university, no matter what degree you hold, you are usually not a full-time, tenure track employee, but have been hired by the semester to teach a few courses, most often, the basic, introductory level classes.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nibsey on November 20, 2010, 09:24:16 AM
This hasn't been asked but it's worth mentioning, in the US all lecturers in university are called Professor So and So but in the UK and most of Europe lecturers are refered to as Dr. So and So if they have their doctorate and only Prof. So and So if they hold a deparmental chair.


And if you are a lecturer in a US university, no matter what degree you hold, you are usually not a full-time, tenure track employee, but have been hired by the semester to teach a few courses, most often, the basic, introductory level classes.

Cool I didn't know that, ahh that may explain some of the trouble I was having explaining this to American students. I was using lecturer as a general teacher in uni but what your describing as a lecturer is refered to as a tutor in my university.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: ClaireC79 on November 20, 2010, 09:54:40 AM
So why don't they just set a word count rather than a page count, then it wouldn't matter how big the font was
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 20, 2010, 10:00:22 AM
This hasn't been asked but it's worth mentioning, in the US all lecturers in university are called Professor So and So but in the UK and most of Europe lecturers are refered to as Dr. So and So if they have their doctorate and only Prof. So and So if they hold a deparmental chair.


And if you are a lecturer in a US university, no matter what degree you hold, you are usually not a full-time, tenure track employee, but have been hired by the semester to teach a few courses, most often, the basic, introductory level classes.

Cool I didn't know that, ahh that may explain some of the trouble I was having explaining this to American students. I was using lecturer as a general teacher in uni but what your describing as a lecturer is refered to as a tutor in my university.

There are exceptions, but for the most part, this is the way it works at US universities/colleges.

Full Professor
Associate Professor (tenured faculty)
Assistant Professor (usually non-tenured, but on tenure track)
Adjunct Professor/Lecturer/Instructor (depending on the college, all various names for part-time faculty)

Then there are special professorships, like endowed chairs, usually held by people who have made a considerable reputation in their field, and having higher salaries from the endowment. They'd be called, formally, something like: The Smith Chair of Rhetoric (where Smith is the name of the person or company who gave the money for the endowment) or The Professorship of Applied Psychology.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 20, 2010, 10:07:53 AM
So why don't they just set a word count rather than a page count, then it wouldn't matter how big the font was

I suspect it all stems from the old days of typewriters, when getting a word count was much more time consuming. The average typed page had about 250 words, so a five page paper had about 1,250 words. There were only two font sizes with typewriters, pica (10 point) and elite (12 point), so the word count didn't vary much. No one's taken the time to do the math to work things out for a word count, so we're still relying on the definitions from an older system.

This was something I taught to my Freshman English classes. That a one or two page paper was an overview, because you didn't have space to get very in depth. Five pages meant that you were supposed to get into more detail, with more evidence. Ten pages was very detailed, very in depth, with lots of supporting arguments. Professors weren't setting page counts to torture their students, they were telling the students (admittedly in a roundabout way) what type of paper they wanted to see and how in depth the student's argument needed to be.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 20, 2010, 10:17:20 AM
Whats the deal with American chocolate? I remember the thread about the smores and people saying what choccy they love. Somebody mentioned that they hated cadburys. In my opinion....American chocolate that I have eaten seems to be on the bitter side. And has a waxish type consistency. Could just be the small amount I've tried, crunch bar being the closest to what we get here in flavour.

Also....butterfingers? Bluckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Reece peanut butter cup. Yummmmm. But butter and chocolate? Whats the deal?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nibsey on November 20, 2010, 10:26:37 AM
Whats the deal with American chocolate? I remember the thread about the smores and people saying what choccy they love. Somebody mentioned that they hated cadburys. In my opinion....American chocolate that I have eaten seems to be on the bitter side. And has a waxish type consistency. Could just be the small amount I've tried, crunch bar being the closest to what we get here in flavour.

Also....butterfingers? Bluckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Reece peanut butter cup. Yummmmm. But butter and chocolate? Whats the deal?

Can't stand American chocolate but it's really depends on what your use to. Cadburys is sold in Canada, Australia, the UK and Ireland, I've tasted it in everyone of these countries and they taste completely different. Apparently it's to do with where the milk is from.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 20, 2010, 10:28:08 AM
The standard brand of chocolate here is terrible, so I buy the higher-end stuff.  I always loved Cadbury's but I don't know if it tastes the same as it used to.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: AbbyW on November 20, 2010, 10:29:57 AM
Whats the deal with American chocolate? I remember the thread about the smores and people saying what choccy they love. Somebody mentioned that they hated cadburys. In my opinion....American chocolate that I have eaten seems to be on the bitter side. And has a waxish type consistency. Could just be the small amount I've tried, crunch bar being the closest to what we get here in flavour.

Also....butterfingers? Bluckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Reece peanut butter cup. Yummmmm. But butter and chocolate? Whats the deal?

Chocolate varies.  I prefer Hershey's Chocolate to Nestle because it's creamier and sweeter.  Then there is Godiva which is amazing.  I dislike Russels and Stovers.

Butterfingers was the name chosen based on a naming contest.  It means slippery fingers or being clumsy.  It has a peanut butter and chocolate flavor.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 20, 2010, 10:40:24 AM
Whats the deal with American chocolate? I remember the thread about the smores and people saying what choccy they love. Somebody mentioned that they hated cadburys. In my opinion....American chocolate that I have eaten seems to be on the bitter side. And has a waxish type consistency. Could just be the small amount I've tried, crunch bar being the closest to what we get here in flavour.

Also....butterfingers? Bluckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Reece peanut butter cup. Yummmmm. But butter and chocolate? Whats the deal?

I myself am not a big fan of Hershey's or Nestle's chocolate, after having been introduced to other chocolate like Dove, etc.  Butterfinger is so called because it's layers of peanut butter-flavored wafer inside a chocolate outside.  It tastes pretty good, but I don't like to eat it because the inside sticks to my teeth like cement.

Edited to correct wrong information
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 20, 2010, 10:42:47 AM
venus they have changed the recipe. They reckon they changed it back when they got complaints,but they havent. Being a chocoholic...I can tell.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 20, 2010, 11:13:08 AM
Whats the deal with American chocolate? I remember the thread about the smores and people saying what choccy they love. Somebody mentioned that they hated cadburys. In my opinion....American chocolate that I have eaten seems to be on the bitter side. And has a waxish type consistency. Could just be the small amount I've tried, crunch bar being the closest to what we get here in flavour.

Also....butterfingers? Bluckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Reece peanut butter cup. Yummmmm. But butter and chocolate? Whats the deal?

Americans often like their chocolate dark (i.e. with not a lot of milk content), and that's become more popular as studies have come out showing that some of the things found in really dark chocolate can be good for you.  I find Cadbury's to be sickly sweet and way too milky, and I often object to import brands from other countries for the same reasons.

Also, keep in mind -- American chocolate products sold in Europe do not taste the same as when they are sold here.  I don't know exactly what the differences are, or why they have them, but it's not the same taste.  Sometimes it's really noticeably not the same taste.

I prefer American chocolate most of the time, although my favorite chocolate (when I'm eating just plain chocolate) is generally not Hershey's or Nestle.  I'm a fan of Ghirardelli, among other smaller and lesser known brands.

However, Mr. Goodbars are made of delicious. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Seraphia on November 20, 2010, 11:29:25 AM
Whats the deal with American chocolate? I remember the thread about the smores and people saying what choccy they love. Somebody mentioned that they hated cadburys. In my opinion....American chocolate that I have eaten seems to be on the bitter side. And has a waxish type consistency. Could just be the small amount I've tried, crunch bar being the closest to what we get here in flavour.

Also....butterfingers? Bluckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Reece peanut butter cup. Yummmmm. But butter and chocolate? Whats the deal?

Americans often like their chocolate dark (i.e. with not a lot of milk content), and that's become more popular as studies have come out showing that some of the things found in really dark chocolate can be good for you.  I find Cadbury's to be sickly sweet and way too milky, and I often object to import brands from other countries for the same reasons.

Also, keep in mind -- American chocolate products sold in Europe do not taste the same as when they are sold here.  I don't know exactly what the differences are, or why they have them, but it's not the same taste.  Sometimes it's really noticeably not the same taste.

I prefer American chocolate most of the time, although my favorite chocolate (when I'm eating just plain chocolate) is generally not Hershey's or Nestle.  I'm a fan of Ghirardelli, among other smaller and lesser known brands.

However, Mr. Goodbars are made of delicious. :)

The little experience I've had with overseas chocolate matches up with this. Things like Ritter Sport Bars and Galaxy Bars that I've tried seem much milkier than the American chocolate I'm used to. I love Ghiardelli too - tasty fillings.

Of course, if somebody across the way would like to disprove me by sending me some candy to try, well, I don't mind being wrong.  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: la5vegas on November 20, 2010, 11:36:14 AM
For all you curry lovers out there, this isn't a tikka masala but it's the easiest curry I've ever made.  If lamb is too pricey you can use the basic idea and substitute chicken, beef or prawns - I've tried the beef and chicken versions - I think even aubergines (eggplant?) would work for veggie lovers!  You can also use fresh ginger and garlic (which is what I do), and adjust the yoghurt quantities to your own preference.

http://www.route79.com/food/rogan-josh.htm
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 20, 2010, 12:04:35 PM
Wow, I'm gone for a day and I miss over 10 pages!!

One point on waitstaff pay: Whether they make minimum wage as a base pay (not including tips) varies state-to-state.  I think in MOST states they make less than minimum.  In my state, they make at least minimum wage plus their tips.  People still tip 10-20% on average, though.

Thanks to everyone answering my cloudberry/lingonberry questions!  I must get to IKEA soon to see what I can find.  I'm craving a Diem bar anyway!  ;D

What is the city spacing like where you all live?  Here in the western part of Washington State, it's pretty much one continuous city-sprawl from ~1 hour's drive south of Seattle to about 1 hour's drive north of it.  There are all sorts of smaller cities that will sometimes call themselves Seattle, when they're really Tukwila, Des Moines, Sea Tac or Burien.  I think that people who aren't from here must have a lot of trouble figuring out exactly what city they're in at any given time!  I think it may be similar in London?  In other places, it seems like there are big areas of "empty" surrounding one major(ish) city and one or two suburbs?

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mechtilde on November 20, 2010, 12:19:11 PM
Yes, some cities do grow together- but the inhabitants are usually pretty clear about exactly where one ends and the next begins- even if it isn't immediately apparant at first sight. Also you will find that most cities now incorporate several places which were villages at earlier times- for example Newcaslte was once a walled city with distinct boudaries, places like Benwell, Fenham, Jesmond and Heaton were villages outside. Even though Newcastle has now grown and incorporates tose ex-villages, they still reatin their own distinct feeling, and the people who live there know exactly where they are.

Plus, you need to bear in mind that the distances involved are far less. Any more that an hour's drive is considered a long way in England, although people are less fazed by greater distances in Scotland where the country is less densely populated- although there opinions will vary between someone from (for example) Glasgow, and someone from The Highlands or Islands.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 20, 2010, 12:23:37 PM


What is the city spacing like where you all live?  Here in the western part of Washington State, it's pretty much one continuous city-sprawl from ~1 hour's drive south of Seattle to about 1 hour's drive north of it.  There are all sorts of smaller cities that will sometimes call themselves Seattle, when they're really Tukwila, Des Moines, Sea Tac or Burien.  I think that people who aren't from here must have a lot of trouble figuring out exactly what city they're in at any given time!  I think it may be similar in London?  In other places, it seems like there are big areas of "empty" surrounding one major(ish) city and one or two suburbs?



I live in a city that is one of 'twins', they are right up against each other with a river running through the middle as the boundary, that's not uncommon as in the past the river would have been a major obstacle preventing too much interaction between the cities so they would developed fairly independently but with links.

There's Cardiff and Bristol, Liverpool and Birkenhead, Manchester and Salford, I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them right now.

I've heard people talk about the 'Twin Cities' in the states, which are they? 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 20, 2010, 12:25:11 PM


What is the city spacing like where you all live?  Here in the western part of Washington State, it's pretty much one continuous city-sprawl from ~1 hour's drive south of Seattle to about 1 hour's drive north of it.  There are all sorts of smaller cities that will sometimes call themselves Seattle, when they're really Tukwila, Des Moines, Sea Tac or Burien.  I think that people who aren't from here must have a lot of trouble figuring out exactly what city they're in at any given time!  I think it may be similar in London?  In other places, it seems like there are big areas of "empty" surrounding one major(ish) city and one or two suburbs?



I live in a city that is one of 'twins', they are right up against each other with a river running through the middle as the boundary, that's not uncommon as in the past the river would have been a major obstacle preventing too much interaction between the cities so they would developed fairly independently but with links.

There's Cardiff and Bristol, Liverpool and Birkenhead, Manchester and Salford, I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them right now.

I've heard people talk about the 'Twin Cities' in the states, which are they? 

Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, if I'm not mistaken. :)

It makes sense that rivers and such would divide otherwise similar cities.  People here know what city they're in, it's the visitors who tend to get confused by the sprawl!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 20, 2010, 12:28:23 PM
In the U.S., most chocolate is made, not with cocoa butter, but with soy lecithin.  I estimate that about 98 percent of mass-market chocolate is made with soy lecithin.  This includes baking chocolate and chocolate chips.  This may be the source of the waxy texture and bitter flavor.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 20, 2010, 12:29:08 PM
My area (http://opaskartta.turku.fi/) consists of one larger town and three smaller towns that are so close together that there aren't any borders you can see (apart from signs saying that you are now entering another town) but the smaller towns would never call themselves by the bigger town's name. There's some historical rivalry, they have their own identities that have much to do with not being from the larger town but there are also political reasons. The larger town would like for the smaller ones to join it officially (that's the big thing here at the moment, reducing the number of towns and municipalities), the smaller ones don't want to as they feel that their identity would be swallowed by the larger town (which is also probably the most mocked town in Finland, people who have probably never even visited it find it funny to tell stupid jokes about it), also they are financially in a better shape than the larger town (ship building was unfortunately the big thing here and it isn't going well. The huge cruise ship Allure of the Seas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Allure_of_the_Seas) was recently finished and after that there aren't any firm orders).

Apart from the towns there's countryside with smaller communities. I think that this a relatively densely populated area for Finland, population density is 109.5/sq mi when it's 40/sq mi for the whole country (so there are many areas of nothingness with some towns scattered around).    
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bexx27 on November 20, 2010, 12:30:38 PM
I thought the "twin cities" were St. Paul and Minneapolis...are there multiple sets?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: guihong on November 20, 2010, 12:33:26 PM
Isn't the "East End"-Spitalfields, and so on-where Jack the Ripper ran around over a century ago?  I think taking a good JTR tour would be the coolest thing ever, and many of the buildings are little changed from then.  I don't suppose the neighborhood is as horrifically poor as it was back in those times.  And, I really hope the Olympics doesn't destroy the JTR sites  :-\

gui
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 20, 2010, 12:34:34 PM
Whats the deal with American chocolate? I remember the thread about the smores and people saying what choccy they love. Somebody mentioned that they hated cadburys. In my opinion....American chocolate that I have eaten seems to be on the bitter side. And has a waxish type consistency. Could just be the small amount I've tried, crunch bar being the closest to what we get here in flavour.

Also....butterfingers? Bluckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Reece peanut butter cup. Yummmmm. But butter and chocolate? Whats the deal?

The problem in American chocolates is that some manufacturers replace an ingredient with a cheaper one. Vegetable oil instead of cocoa powder, chocolate flavoring for chocolate, etc  :P Hence some products labeled as:  
BOB'S DELICIOUS CHOCOLATEY CHIP COOKIES! A CHOCOLATEY BITE IN EVERY BAG!
Contains chocolate flavored chips
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mechtilde on November 20, 2010, 12:41:47 PM
Isn't the "East End"-Spitalfields, and so on-where Jack the Ripper ran around over a century ago?  I think taking a good JTR tour would be the coolest thing ever, and many of the buildings are little changed from then.  I don't suppose the neighborhood is as horrifically poor as it was back in those times.  And, I really hope the Olympics doesn't destroy the JTR sites  :-\

gui

The East End covers a huge area- the games themselves are being held in Stratford, and some buildings are bineg demolished, but Spitalfields is safe. As many of the buildings there are very old and have hughe historic importance, they could not have pulled them down. I'm not saying that sometimes old and historically important buildings get pulled down, but given a choice between an area with one or two important buildings and an area full of them, they will choose the former.

There's also a system in place to protect important historical/architectural builings called "Listed Building Status" which restricts they way they can be altered or pulled down. You have to get permisson first. It also applies to some interior features, so you can't move into a listed 18the century building and start ripping out all the fireplaces!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 20, 2010, 01:16:06 PM
I took the Jack the Ripper tour in 1986.  The tour guide knew all the sick, twisted details of the crimes.  The tour also included sites associated with the Kray brothers and Sweeney Todd,  I highly recommend it.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 20, 2010, 01:31:32 PM
Whats the deal with American chocolate? I remember the thread about the smores and people saying what choccy they love. Somebody mentioned that they hated cadburys. In my opinion....American chocolate that I have eaten seems to be on the bitter side. And has a waxish type consistency. Could just be the small amount I've tried, crunch bar being the closest to what we get here in flavour.

Also....butterfingers? Bluckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Reece peanut butter cup. Yummmmm. But butter and chocolate? Whats the deal?

Can't stand American chocolate but it's really depends on what your use to. Cadburys is sold in Canada, Australia, the UK and Ireland, I've tasted it in everyone of these countries and they taste completely different. Apparently it's to do with where the milk is from.

I hate Cadbury's in America, and I was quite surprised that I liked it in England.  As far as American chocolate goes, I'll have the occasional Hershey bar for nostalgic reasons, and I don't mind Ghirardelli, but if I want chocolate and have options, I buy European (preferably Belgian or Italian).  I love Lindt, but in a pinch, I go to the local grocery store and buy whatever random Polish milk chocolate looks good.  I've learned that it's a bad idea to send DF on that mission, because he always manages to bring home dark chocolate.  I guess he's not good at foreign labels.

I thought the "twin cities" were St. Paul and Minneapolis...are there multiple sets?

There are plenty of twin cities, but I think of St. Paul and Minneapolis as the Twin Cities.  If I asked someone where they were going on vacation, and they said "the twin cities," I'd be surprised if they didn't go to Minnesota.

Chicago has absorbed more little villages and towns than I can count, and borders on a bunch more.  We don't really use hamlet in America, as far as I know - or we might use it in a generic sense (Oh, what a cute little hamlet!) but not in a specific sense (The Hamlet of Quaintsville).  Since American is so big, I could be totally wrong about everywhere other than my particular portion of the midwest.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 20, 2010, 01:34:33 PM
The best sugar-free chocolate in the US is by Godiva and Russell Stover.  I sent Blanche some of the former for Halloween and she told me last night she can't get it in her area.

Do other countries make sugar-free chocolate?  How about diet sodas?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 20, 2010, 01:39:36 PM
I've definitely seen diet Coke around Europe (I can't remember specific countries beyond the Netherlands and Italy, because it was before I made the diet switch), but it's not called Diet Coke.  It's Coke Light on the cans and bottles, and I want to say people usually just order Cola Light.

I'm pretty sure they also had Diet Coke in China and Israel, but I don't remember for sure.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 20, 2010, 02:10:41 PM
I've definitely seen diet Coke around Europe (I can't remember specific countries beyond the Netherlands and Italy, because it was before I made the diet switch), but it's not called Diet Coke.  It's Coke Light on the cans and bottles, and I want to say people usually just order Cola Light.

I'm pretty sure they also had Diet Coke in China and Israel, but I don't remember for sure.

Ireland and Germany both had Coke Light, as does Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Greece, Turkey, China, Thailand, and Singapore.

I was just tickled when I visited the Philippines, and my DF wanted to stop at a gas station convenience store for siopao -- they didn't just have Diet Coke, they had Diet Dr Pepper!

As for other places...I have not been to them and couldn't say. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 20, 2010, 02:15:02 PM
I thought the "twin cities" were St. Paul and Minneapolis...are there multiple sets?

When someone says THE Twin Cities, they mean Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Just like when they say the Quad Cities, they mean Rock Island, Davenport, Moline, and Bettendorf. 

That being said, I think you can say that two cities that are across a state line or river are "twin cities".  They just aren't THE twin cities.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 20, 2010, 02:35:03 PM
The lead post asked about class distinctions in the US and I found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class_in_the_United_States

I agree with a lot of this article.  A specific difficulty of defining class in the US is related to things such as teamsters (certain types of physical laborers in unions) making more money than schoolteachers.  There are "old money" and "new money" concepts and I have personally been the victim of a pre-Mayflower descendant's snobbery because of being a first-generation American and first-generation college graduate.  Don't ask.

Class mobility is not what it used to be here.

I think the British class-distinction is why, when TV producers try to make an American version of a British sitcom, often it just doesn't work.  One example is what they tried to do with Fawlty Towers.  I can't remember the name of the American version (I do remember it starred John Laroquette) and it didn't last a season.  Just being a miserable hotel owner is not enough - you also need the miserable hotel owner making an idiot of himself trying to impress the current Lord and Lady whoever.

Of course there have been some successful ones, but generally those didn't have any upper-class issues.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mechtilde on November 20, 2010, 02:44:56 PM
Do other countries make sugar-free chocolate?  How about diet sodas?

There is a wide variety of diet sodas in the UK, and plenty of sugar free sweets as well (although the latter are likely to contain Sorbitol, and you really really don't want to eat too much of that unless you fancy spending the next day in the loo!)

If you eat out, pretty much the only diet drink on offer will be coke.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: ica171 on November 20, 2010, 02:50:30 PM
Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri are the same city, just in two states. I've never heard of any other Twin Cities than Minneapolis and St. Paul but there may be more around.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MummyPumpkin83 on November 20, 2010, 02:51:29 PM
sounds similar to the NSW, Australian system.

School certificate in year 10 (around age 16) that is maths, english science (and may now also be history & geography). you can then leave school and get an apprenticeship to learn a "trade" (electrician, carpenter, plumber, hairdresser).

if you want to go to uni you need your Higher school certificate (HSC). You choose subjects for year 11 and 12 (majority of subjects are 2 units, some times 1 or 3) you need to have a minimum of 10 units to be eligible for your HSC. You have to pick subjects from different "streams" to be eligible for your UAI (university admission index (which is what it was called when i did my HSC in 2000)) which is what determines what course you can get into at Uni (eg: medicine might have a UAI of 98.6). Uni courses also have prerequisite subjects (eg: if you want to do science you need to have done 2 units of maths, and 2 of science) you have to do 2 units of english to get your HSC.

the exam itsself takes any where from 90 mins to 3 hours depending on the subject.

Do you just do maths, English, science and possibly history and geography?  I wonder if you do them in greater depth, then, because most people do around 10 GCSE subjects.  I did, for example, English language, English literature, maths, biology, physics, chemistry, IT, geography, French, and German.  Then physics, sociology, French, history and general studies as AS and all of the above at A-level except French.

i did my School certificate in 1998, and the system has changed twice since then, and will probably change again as Australia is moving towards a national curriculum where as it has been state based.

When I did it we studied history and geography, art, music, computers, "technical art" (cooking, sewing, building), science, maths and english in year 7 and 8.
for the School certificate, Main subjects were maths, science and english and we got to choose history or geography for year 9 and 10 as well as 2 "elective" subjects (i chose music and commerce (which i think may be like civics - about government)) the school certificate exams were just Maths, English and science. Science however covered everything (not divided into physics, chemistry ,etc). English covered everything as well, including drama.

for year 11 and 12 you have to do English, our school you had to do maths, then you choose from other "streams" to be eligible for your HSC. I did Biology, Chemistry, Physics and ancient history.

History in Australia varies from year to year, in primary school you learn australian history, convicts etc, in high school more about the wars, mostly australian involvement, and if you choose modern or ancient history for yr 11 and 12 you get different topics, depending on what your teacher chooses from the ones available.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 20, 2010, 03:02:44 PM
Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri are the same city, just in two states. I've never heard of any other Twin Cities than Minneapolis and St. Paul but there may be more around.

I should probably have mentioned before that it's a miracle I can locate anything on a map.  I'm horrid at geography & anything geography related. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: ica171 on November 20, 2010, 03:13:39 PM
Don't worry; DH is from Missouri and I had to verify with him before I posted.  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 20, 2010, 03:17:27 PM

I think the British class-distinction is why, when TV producers try to make an American version of a British sitcom, often it just doesn't work.  One example is what they tried to do with Fawlty Towers.  I can't remember the name of the American version (I do remember it starred John Laroquette) and it didn't last a season.  Just being a miserable hotel owner is not enough - you also need the miserable hotel owner making an idiot of himself trying to impress the current Lord and Lady whoever.

Of course there have been some successful ones, but generally those didn't have any upper-class issues.

It was called Payne and I saw a few of them (only 9 aired).  The only episode I remember is the one in which he gets a travel writer bent on finding "family friendly" locations on the same weekend he is hosting a drag queen and a nudist group.  The writer has a baby and happens to meet the drag queen when he is dressed as Mrs Thatcher and imitating her accent.  He helps her change the baby, she's over the moon because she thinks he's an on-staff English nanny, and Payne thinks he's home free... except the nudist group chooses that afternoon to play volleyball in the state of nature.

For this to work as a US program the situations need to be when he's at risk of exposure as an incompetent or a hypocrite to people like that writer who can make or break his reputation.  However, that's not quite enough to suit a full US season.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 20, 2010, 05:06:30 PM
Yes, there are a lot of twin cities, but yes, the Twin Cities are Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Then there's Sault Ste. Marie and Sault Ste. Marie, two cities facing each other across the Canadian border, which are collectively called the Soo.

About "village" in the U.S.: In Alaska, it generally means "small, off the road system, and historically mainly Alaska Native."  Some of these villages are extremely old, while others were founded when the government decided that certain nomadic tribes had to stop being nomadic.  Other communities are formally known as cities even when they are really very small towns.  Actually just about every community calls itself a city when conducting official government business, even places with a hundred residents and one street.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 20, 2010, 05:43:02 PM
I've definitely seen diet Coke around Europe (I can't remember specific countries beyond the Netherlands and Italy, because it was before I made the diet switch), but it's not called Diet Coke.  It's Coke Light on the cans and bottles, and I want to say people usually just order Cola Light.

I'm pretty sure they also had Diet Coke in China and Israel, but I don't remember for sure.

Diet Coke is called Coke Light in most European countries but here in the UK its Diet Coke, same as the US.

Other sugar free drinks include Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi, Dr Pepper Zero, Sprite Zero, Fanta Zero, Diet Irn Bru,  and all the supermarket own brand diet drinks as well, so there's plenty of choice!



Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Craftyone on November 20, 2010, 07:25:19 PM
I agree with other PP, go away from PC for a day and come back to 10 pages!  Now finished before hubby wants the PC. 
Just a point on place names, the Stratford that Mechtilde mentions isn't the same place as Stratford upon Avon and there's an Avon too which isn't near Stratford upon Avon (a friend found that out when she went to the wrong one thinking Stratford upon Avon was the same as Avon just a longer version of the name).  I'm in Australia but love English chocolate over our's.  I've been told that Australian choc isn't as creamy as they have to compensate for melting points (ie. the creamier it is the more it's going to melt and not be sellable in our heat).  Any biochemist out there can verify that? 
I live in Western Australia and because we're so isolated from the East Coast (big deserts inbetween) we don't get animals like koalas living in the wild here, they're not native here, but you can go to private wildlife parks and pay to hold them.  And the kookaburra isn't native either, we get the kingfisher which is a distant relative, smaller bird.  We do have the black swan which isn't found commonly anywhere else.  Up in Hong Kong recently we saw a black & white swan (black head and neck, white body) which was freaky, it was from South America.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 20, 2010, 07:44:06 PM
This hasn't been asked but it's worth mentioning, in the US all lecturers in university are called Professor So and So but in the UK and most of Europe lecturers are refered to as Dr. So and So if they have their doctorate and only Prof. So and So if they hold a deparmental chair.


And if you are a lecturer in a US university, no matter what degree you hold, you are usually not a full-time, tenure track employee, but have been hired by the semester to teach a few courses, most often, the basic, introductory level classes.

This totally depends on the university and the field.  Some fields are notorious for having graduate students teach everything (e.g. English) - to the point it's hard to find teaching jobs if you get a doctorate, because colleges all prefer to have their classes taught by the cheaper grad students.  On the other hand, many of the private universities make a point of advertising how many of their courses are taught by full professors.  I think I only had one or two classes taught by grad students (over the course of four years) - that is definitely uncommon, though!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 20, 2010, 08:47:42 PM
This hasn't been asked but it's worth mentioning, in the US all lecturers in university are called Professor So and So but in the UK and most of Europe lecturers are refered to as Dr. So and So if they have their doctorate and only Prof. So and So if they hold a deparmental chair.


And if you are a lecturer in a US university, no matter what degree you hold, you are usually not a full-time, tenure track employee, but have been hired by the semester to teach a few courses, most often, the basic, introductory level classes.

This totally depends on the university and the field.  Some fields are notorious for having graduate students teach everything (e.g. English) - to the point it's hard to find teaching jobs if you get a doctorate, because colleges all prefer to have their classes taught by the cheaper grad students.  On the other hand, many of the private universities make a point of advertising how many of their courses are taught by full professors.  I think I only had one or two classes taught by grad students (over the course of four years) - that is definitely uncommon, though!

I went to a university that advertised that all of their classes were taught by professors.  A lot of them didn't even have grad students as TAs.  I only took one class in four years that was taught by a grad student, and that one was kind of a special deal (he was teaching a class that was basically the subject of his dissertation).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kaymyth on November 20, 2010, 09:20:52 PM
Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri are the same city, just in two states. I've never heard of any other Twin Cities than Minneapolis and St. Paul but there may be more around.

Actually, they're not.  :)  While they do gloam together into the same metro area, KCMO and KCK are two distinct cities, each with their own city governments, ordinances, and agencies.  Even the building codes don't match up precisely, and I don't have the foggiest notion which side maintains State Line Road.  (Is it MODOT?  KDOT?  Do they split it?  I dooon't knoooow!  Which is really pathetic, since I live less than a mile from it.)


Going back toward the thread, I must say that I went through a period of snickering and then confusion at the British use of "jumper".  I finally figured out that when Brits say it, they just mean "sweater".

Here in the States, a "jumper" is a cute dress worn by little girls.


Edited for a touch of clarification.  Nothing to see here, move along.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 20, 2010, 09:52:02 PM
This hasn't been asked but it's worth mentioning, in the US all lecturers in university are called Professor So and So but in the UK and most of Europe lecturers are refered to as Dr. So and So if they have their doctorate and only Prof. So and So if they hold a deparmental chair.


And if you are a lecturer in a US university, no matter what degree you hold, you are usually not a full-time, tenure track employee, but have been hired by the semester to teach a few courses, most often, the basic, introductory level classes.

This totally depends on the university and the field.  Some fields are notorious for having graduate students teach everything (e.g. English) - to the point it's hard to find teaching jobs if you get a doctorate, because colleges all prefer to have their classes taught by the cheaper grad students.  On the other hand, many of the private universities make a point of advertising how many of their courses are taught by full professors.  I think I only had one or two classes taught by grad students (over the course of four years) - that is definitely uncommon, though!

I did my first two years at a community college, and my last two years at DePaul, and I didn't have a single grad student :)  That, and the small class sizes were a large factor in choosing DePaul over a few other local universities when I transferred (but, of course, you pay for the privilege).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: PeasNCues on November 20, 2010, 11:03:45 PM
This hasn't been asked but it's worth mentioning, in the US all lecturers in university are called Professor So and So but in the UK and most of Europe lecturers are refered to as Dr. So and So if they have their doctorate and only Prof. So and So if they hold a deparmental chair.


And if you are a lecturer in a US university, no matter what degree you hold, you are usually not a full-time, tenure track employee, but have been hired by the semester to teach a few courses, most often, the basic, introductory level classes.

This totally depends on the university and the field.  Some fields are notorious for having graduate students teach everything (e.g. English) - to the point it's hard to find teaching jobs if you get a doctorate, because colleges all prefer to have their classes taught by the cheaper grad students.  On the other hand, many of the private universities make a point of advertising how many of their courses are taught by full professors.  I think I only had one or two classes taught by grad students (over the course of four years) - that is definitely uncommon, though!
I've never had grad students teach my english classes.  ??? They were all doctorate-holding professors.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 20, 2010, 11:04:47 PM
Seriously?  I didn't know it was possible either! Isn't sugar the one and only ingredient in rock candy?  

What will those crazy kids think of next?   :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 20, 2010, 11:08:44 PM
Seriously?  I didn't know it was possible either! Isn't sugar the one and only ingredient in rock candy?  

What will those crazy kids think of next?   :)

Ha ha, that's what I thought. I'm kind of worried what they're replacing it with?!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Everlee on November 20, 2010, 11:13:04 PM
Seriously?  I didn't know it was possible either! Isn't sugar the one and only ingredient in rock candy?  

What will those crazy kids think of next?   :)

Ha ha, that's what I thought. I'm kind of worried what they're replacing it with?!

Would a sugar substitute like Apriva or Splenda not do the same job?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: iridaceae on November 21, 2010, 01:23:10 AM
It's Coke Light or Pepsi Light in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama.

Europe has some absolutely wonderful diet chocolates- when I was in Germany last year we went to  grocery stores where I was always scoping out the chocolates and buying the sugar-free and they are wonderful.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 21, 2010, 05:49:25 AM
SF rock candy is likely to be made with sorbitol. which has a laxative effect on many people.  It's used in hard and jellied candies like "fruit slices."  I can't handle this particular substitute.

Maltitol is used in chocolate, ice cream, and some cakes.  Xylitol is used in chewing gum.  I can handle larger than usual quantities of either but can't combine them.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 21, 2010, 06:33:48 AM
At the small private college I attended, there were no grad students teaching classes. At the medium-sized university I went to next, as a grad student I taught Freshman English during my last year there. At the large state university where I didn't get my PhD, grad students taught all the Freshman English classes and a few other English classes, were Teaching Assistants in huge 350 student lecture classes and taught most of the lower level non-huge-lecture classes in most other departments.

It was really a matter of money--they could pay a grad student $12,000 plus free tuition to teach two sections a semester, or hire someone part-time to teach the same four classes for $20,000 a year or hire a tenure track professor to teach five classes a year for $50,000 plus benefits.

When I started teaching at the large university, there were still some tenured faculty teaching a few sections of Freshman English. By the time I left, they were needed in the upper level courses, as the state had been desperately trying to save money by offering employees close to retirement very generous early retirement packages. A lot of professors took early retirement. Then the state instituted a hiring freeze on full-time employees, so very, very few new tenure track professors could be hired.

At some very prestigous universities, they'll record a famous professor teaching every day. Other sections of the same class held later in the day get to watch the recording. They'll have teaching assistants to ask questions of, but very little contact with the Big Name professor.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 21, 2010, 06:36:49 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I don't know, but in a similar vein...
I once posted in the 'Whats for dinner?' thread that I was having Toad in the Hole. It emerged that in America, Toad in the Hole is (if I remember correctly) Fried egg in the middle of toast with a hole in, or something similar. If I was expecting toad in the hole for dinner, and was served egg on toast, I would cry. :P :D

My mom used to make toad in the hole when my brother and I were young. It was a custardy batter-y type thing in a baking pan with sausage. We hated it. I know the thing you are talking about with toast – we called it something else, but the name is completely escaping me right now.

Toad in the hole is sausage baked in yorkshire pudding (it is made from batter, but I wouldn't describe it as custardy). It's crispy on the outside, soft but solid, not runny, in the middle).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 21, 2010, 07:33:37 AM
SF rock candy is likely to be made with sorbitol. which has a laxative effect on many people.  It's used in hard and jellied candies like "fruit slices."  I can't handle this particular substitute.

Maltitol is used in chocolate, ice cream, and some cakes.  Xylitol is used in chewing gum.  I can handle larger than usual quantities of either but can't combine them.

As Xylitol was invented in Finland it's used in some candy here as well as in chewing gum, like in sugarfree easter eggs (which aren't real chocolate, though, just chocolate flavoured). I've never tasted it but it doesn't seem very delicious, especially as I can't eat only a small piece of candy and even 30 g seems to be too much for me. I think that we have the usual selection of sugarfree soda but even regular soda doesn't agree with me so I don't really know.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 21, 2010, 08:58:12 AM

It's Coke Light in South Africa as well.  There are tons of diet drinks in the UK, our fridge normally has diet Coke, and occasionally diet Iron-Bru if I can find it.  We also have sugar-free candy and chocolate though not in the amount you can find in the states.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 21, 2010, 09:04:03 AM
Does everyone else have Coke Light/Diet Coke (same thing) AND Coke Zero? Because Zero is sooo much tastier than Light (at least, I think so).

I was very disappointed recently when I couldn't find it anywhere in Germany or Switzerland  :(!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 21, 2010, 09:12:35 AM
Isn't the "East End"-Spitalfields, and so on-where Jack the Ripper ran around over a century ago?  I think taking a good JTR tour would be the coolest thing ever, and many of the buildings are little changed from then.  I don't suppose the neighborhood is as horrifically poor as it was back in those times.  And, I really hope the Olympics doesn't destroy the JTR sites  :-\

gui

The East End covers a huge area- the games themselves are being held in Stratford, and some buildings are bineg demolished, but Spitalfields is safe. As many of the buildings there are very old and have hughe historic importance, they could not have pulled them down. I'm not saying that sometimes old and historically important buildings get pulled down, but given a choice between an area with one or two important buildings and an area full of them, they will choose the former.

There's also a system in place to protect important historical/architectural builings called "Listed Building Status" which restricts they way they can be altered or pulled down. You have to get permisson first. It also applies to some interior features, so you can't move into a listed 18the century building and start ripping out all the fireplaces!

Mechtilde is very wise.  :)

The East End is a large area, and the Olympic site in Stratford (not Shakespeare's birthplace) is only a small part. Also while Spitalfields still has a lot of it's historical buildings, there were large amounts of East London destroyed during WWII as well.

One side of Mr Cellardoor's family use to live in the White Chapel area during a large part of the 19th century. (They emigrated to Africa after the Boer War.)  When we went to visit the area about eight years ago, we could locate the street where the family house was situated, but everything now standing was built after 1950- which was not uncommon in the area.


Edited to Add: We also have Coke Zero here... and diet Coke comes in cherry, lemon, and lime flavours as well  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 21, 2010, 09:16:36 AM
To my pommy British ehellions....I hear that you can get....chips in a can? Is that true? Whatever type of foods can you get there that are like that? I cant imagine hot chippies in a can...gross.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nibsey on November 21, 2010, 09:29:35 AM
I've definitely seen diet Coke around Europe (I can't remember specific countries beyond the Netherlands and Italy, because it was before I made the diet switch), but it's not called Diet Coke.  It's Coke Light on the cans and bottles, and I want to say people usually just order Cola Light.

I'm pretty sure they also had Diet Coke in China and Israel, but I don't remember for sure.

Ireland and Germany both had Coke Light, as does Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Greece, Turkey, China, Thailand, and Singapore.

I was just tickled when I visited the Philippines, and my DF wanted to stop at a gas station convenience store for siopao -- they didn't just have Diet Coke, they had Diet Dr Pepper!

As for other places...I have not been to them and couldn't say. :)

No we had Coke Light for a few years but now it's Coke Zero but we've always have Diet Coke,
You can also get Diet Dr Pepper up North in Newry but I've never seen it down South. My friends a diabetic so I know my diet drinks as he loves DrPpepper but we won't let him drink it unless it's the diet one ;)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 21, 2010, 09:33:52 AM
Oooh, Cellardoor14, I forgot about the lemon and lime Diet Cokes over there - so refreshing! (I don't think we get them in Australia, but an east coast Aussie hellion might correct me if I'm wrong  :P)

Can't stand cherry coke, though - cherrry-flavoured anything always tastes like the smell of squashed ants  :-X

ETA: forgot vanilla Coke - yummo. (We don't get that, either).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 21, 2010, 09:36:42 AM
To my pommy British ehellions....I hear that you can get....chips in a can? Is that true? Whatever type of foods can you get there that are like that? I cant imagine hot chippies in a can...gross.

Eh??  No, I think maybe someone's been pulling your leg.  Or... thinking about it... did an American tell you that?  I wonder if it's a lost in translation thing - we can get crisps in a can (Pringles and related knock-offs), and Americans call crisps "chips".  I assume you're using "chips" like a UK person would, meaning hot deep-fried oblongs of potato?

These are our crisps in a can:
(http://www.whenguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/pringles.jpg)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 21, 2010, 09:40:55 AM
I've never heard of chips in a can either! Sounds like they'd be horrid... Maybe Kess is right, and whoever told you that meant crisps (like pringles)? ???
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 21, 2010, 09:43:09 AM
I don't know about chips in a can, but here in the US, you can now get fully cooked bacon in a can.

I'll let you know how it tastes after Christmas. There are several people on my list who are going to be getting this.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 21, 2010, 09:48:40 AM
Pringles are the work of the devil.  I ask all our overseas friends to please not regard those as typical of US potato chips (crisps).

When I go back out I will have to look for Utz's Crap Chips.  Haven't had those in a while.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 21, 2010, 09:51:07 AM
We have Diet Dr Pepper... but I find the taste of Dr Pepper in the UK is NOT the same as in the US, so I don't drink it here.  :P

No Vanilla Coke here either, which is a shame because I think folks would drink it.... And I find it very yummy.
Bottled ice tea is becoming popular here too, but since I hate sweeten cold tea I don't drink it.  I find that rooibos/red bush tea is great brewed to be served cold.

I've never seen chips (as in cooked potato chips/fries/frites) in a can.  We have hot dogs, pasta, and curry though.  :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 21, 2010, 10:00:50 AM
I have a question for any Nordic Ehellions.  What exactly is lutefisk?  I hear it referenced but i'm not exactly sure what it is.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 21, 2010, 10:03:27 AM
I have a question for any Nordic Ehellions.  What exactly is lutefisk?  I hear it referenced but i'm not exactly sure what it is.

I'm only Nordic by heritage, but lutefisk is codfish soaked in lye for about a week, IIRC.  I've never had it, though.  My Norwegian-by-birth great-grandmother wouldn't touch it with a 10 ft pole.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 21, 2010, 10:06:33 AM
Oh, wow.  Now I'm doubly curious and hope someone can explain the process!  Isn't lye poisonous? 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 21, 2010, 10:08:46 AM
I heart Wikipedia. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutefisk
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Perfect Circle on November 21, 2010, 10:46:31 AM
Lutefisk is one of my mum's treats at Christmas. She used to cook it with an old lady next door because no one else in our house would touch it. I'm also deathly allergic to fish so not good to have it around.

All you need to know that despite the fact I'm from a tiny tiny hamlet in middle of nowhere where every one of the eight houses has huge plots of land, everyone in the ace knew they were cooking it. The smell is... Impressive. Not in a good way.

The old lady passed away few years ago, don't know where mum gets her fix now...
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 21, 2010, 10:59:46 AM
Lutefish is truly evil. DH has a Norwegian-by-birth coworker who wears a sweatshirt this time of year:

"Lutefisk: The Norwegian attempt at world domination."

We both grew up on salt cod, so one year when Kai hosted a holiday party, we persuaded him to serve some. His wife wouldn't let him gas the neighborhood, so he got some from a friend. It tastes like ... clear jello made with petrochemicals and ground glass. With liberal additions of, I think, ammonia and moose poop.

Then there's gjetost cheese. And haggis. Maybe we need a spin-off on nasty native cuisine.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 21, 2010, 11:03:07 AM
A question from DH about UK/Commonwealth invective:

Why is b****y such a "bad word?" "B****r" we understand.

And is "whinge" = "whine?" My impression is that it's similar but not identical. (We watch a lot of BBC and Britwit, and I'm usually pretty good at explaining colloquialisms and historical references, but that one has me stumped. Wikipedia wasn't much help.)

When I took a class in auto repair, our instructor made a dictionary sheet showing the various auto-related phrases in American and Commonwealth English. It was great fun.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 21, 2010, 11:12:16 AM
No,seriously....I saw them on some reality show a few years back. My mouth was to the floor in shock and it was a british show. Glad to know thats not the norm then. Phew. Yucko!

We use to have the lime and lemon coke,not the cherry, and you can still yet vanilla at some shops in Oz. We also had different flavoured fanta too.

For Americans....when you ask for lemonade in Australia you will get sprite. We have a lemon squash too that is a tangier type version that might be similiar and is a carbonated drink. We dont have alot of the drinks available here so you wont find dr pepper or alot of other big named brands here that you get there. You get your coke and pepsi and thats about it. Have heard alot of American tourists ask for dr pepper in and around the city centre in Sydney and we just dont sell it.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 21, 2010, 11:13:43 AM
"A gin and orange, a lemon squash, and a Scotch and water, please!"

Is "lemon squash" what Americans call "lemonade"?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 21, 2010, 11:16:00 AM
How prevalent is the use of modern soy products on the other side of the ocean?  I ask because I have a daughter who cannot digest any type of soy product.  If it were an allergy, apparently, she would be able to handle soy lecithin and soybean oil, but her digestive system simply does not recognize soy as food.  And it is in EVERYTHING.  The basic cooking oil is "vegetable," which is a blend of whatever is cheap the day the jugs are filled--usually at least part soy--so eating out is culinary Russian roulette.  Hydrolyzed soy protein pumps up the protein content of canned soups and frozen dinners so that the manufacturer can add less of the meat that is supposed to be the main flavoring item.  Soy lecithin is in vegetable soups, chocolate, crackers, chips (crisps), cookies, baking mixes, and bread.  Frozen fried foods--fish sticks, chicken nuggets, French fries--are all precooked in soybean oil.  Even tomato sauce is made with it!  I have a very short list of convenience foods that are safe for her to eat and chocolate she likes is not on it.  I am considering looking up some foreign chocolate companies that list their ingredients online in English or Spanish in the hopes that I can actually put candy in her stocking without giving her a present she doesn't want.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 21, 2010, 11:18:48 AM
To whine is to be annoying and repetative and to get onto someone nerves. To whinge is to complain. Kinda like beeitching but not to the extent. If you whinge you are pretty much frustrated and annoyed at something and want to vent.

I couldnt figure out the first too. Not from Britian but we are close cousins  :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 21, 2010, 11:22:19 AM
Thanks; that one mystified me, too.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 21, 2010, 11:32:38 AM
How prevalent is the use of modern soy products on the other side of the ocean?  I ask because I have a daughter who cannot digest any type of soy product.  If it were an allergy, apparently, she would be able to handle soy lecithin and soybean oil, but her digestive system simply does not recognize soy as food.  And it is in EVERYTHING.  The basic cooking oil is "vegetable," which is a blend of whatever is cheap the day the jugs are filled--usually at least part soy--so eating out is culinary Russian roulette.  Hydrolyzed soy protein pumps up the protein content of canned soups and frozen dinners so that the manufacturer can add less of the meat that is supposed to be the main flavoring item.  Soy lecithin is in vegetable soups, chocolate, crackers, chips (crisps), cookies, baking mixes, and bread.  Frozen fried foods--fish sticks, chicken nuggets, French fries--are all precooked in soybean oil.  Even tomato sauce is made with it!  I have a very short list of convenience foods that are safe for her to eat and chocolate she likes is not on it.  I am considering looking up some foreign chocolate companies that list their ingredients online in English or Spanish in the hopes that I can actually put candy in her stocking without giving her a present she doesn't want.

Jenny, not sure which side of the pond you're on, but Leonidas Chocolates does not use any type of vegetable or soy oil in its products. Their web site is http://www.leonidas-chocolate.com/ (http://www.leonidas-chocolate.com/). They're in Brussels and not very well known, I first learned of them when DXH brought me some of their goodies from a business trip (this is one reason he's my dear XH). And they are AWESOME - even better than Godiva.

Godiva used to make the same claim for its chocolates but I can't verify this is still true, and I don't know about their baked goods. Their web sites are not very informative about ingredients.

Dove chocolate, made by the Mars company, claims its products are made only with cocoa butter, with no vegetable or soy oil. The Mars company, however, is notorious in the US for its secretiveness, so their web site is only minimally informative.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mechtilde on November 21, 2010, 11:37:40 AM
Squash is a dilutable fruit flavoured drink. It was origianlly sugar syrup with fruit juice (like Rose's Lime Cordial) but later had artificaial flavourings, colours etc added. In recent years it has moved away from the lurid greens and oranges of my seventies childhood, and now actually has discernable levels of fruit juice in it. Diet varieties are very common.

You put some in a glass and add water- usually still, but you can use sparkling if you like.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 21, 2010, 12:18:23 PM
Bloody isn't such a bad work. A very mild swearword (IMO).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 21, 2010, 01:04:37 PM
OWLs and NEWTs are definitely a joke aimed at GCSEs and A Levels.  If you're English it's quite amusing.  For completeness I should add that A Levels are customary primarily in England and Wales.  Scotland has a separate exam system called Highers which are different.  You'd need soomeone Scottish to explain that one. 

It's probably different now than when I was at school. I know they're phasing out standard grades and there's something new called Higher Stills but this is what it was like when I was at school over 10 years ago.

In Scotland you start school around 4-5 years old and go to Primary School and that's Primary 1. Primary 7 is around 12 years old and the last year of Primary for you.

From there you move on to Secondary School and it's First Year, Second Year, no real exams that matter then. In Third Year you pick your courses for your Standard Grades. In my school you took 7 in total, (I'd friends at better schools who took 8) and a science, a language, English, maths and a social study (history, geography or modern studies) were compulsory but the rest you could pick or choose.  On top of that you had to do PE, RE, and PSE none of which you got any sort of marks on.

Standard Grades are two year courses and they're divided into 3 grade levels, Credit, General and Foundation. I'd to sit both the General and Credit exams, with the Credit awarding a 1 or a 2, General being 3 or 4, and Foundation being 5 or 6. (The lower the number the better.) Exams were further subdivided depending on what you were taking so you'd to generally take at least a couple of exams per subject. For German, for instance, there was the oral work in the classroom, plus a written exam, and a listening exam (the latter two you'd to attend four exams for, one each for both credit and general or foundation and general).

5th and 6th year were both optional as long as you were over 16. Those born a little later, who were still 15 at the start of 5th year had to stay in school until Xmas time and usually filled their time with doing short courses.

In fifth year you could take up to 5 Highers, which were year long and graded A-D (D being a fail).  While it was usually expected you take Highers which you had taken Standard Grades in it wasn't essential.  You could also take extra standard grades if you'd rather, squished into the one year. And there were a bunch of short courses with some sort of qualifications too.

In sixth year it's a rinse and repeat of fifth year where you can again take up to 5 highers, or you can do six year studies (which I believe has changed to Advanced Highers now but don't ask me about those, they're well after my time).

Sixth year was not essential. It's fully possible to get all the grades you need for university in fifth year.

Degrees at Scottish Universities take 4 years.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 21, 2010, 01:22:35 PM
I read about 10 pages of this thread, but didn't have time to get through the other so I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but what the heck is curry???  I watch a lot of BBC and read a lot of England based books and this is mentioned all. the. time!  I have no idea what it is!

I'd like to say thank you for asking this.

A few years ago I mentioned curry to someone online and they had the same reaction. I just couldn't conceive that anyone wouldn't know what it is. Curry is just so prevalent here I thought that they must be joking. How could anyone not know what curry was, it would be like not knowing what fish and chips were. I've always thought he was being intentionally obtuse, or stupid, so thank you very much for asking.

We have both 'Indian' and 'Chinese' curries here. I use the quotes because I don't think they have much in relation to their actual countries of origin. Curry (Chicken Tikka Massala to be precise) is pretty much our national dish. They're plates of spiced deliciousness served with rice, naan breads, chutneys, or well a whole host of other things.

Thankfully, after the curry incident, when a friend told me he'd never heard of a meat pie or a sausage roll I put it down to the transatlantic differences.

Anyway I have a question. (Not sure if it's been mentioned yet since I've not reached the start of the thread yet).

Baked Beans. We have them here, made by Heinz, in tins and they're vegetarian. I hear these are not the same beast as baked beans in the US are?

Also taffy. What is it? - Oh just scrolled far enough back to get an answer to this. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 21, 2010, 01:29:56 PM
I suspect that baked bean recipes vary.  We have variations here within brands:

http://www.bushbeans.com/
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bigozzy on November 21, 2010, 01:49:08 PM
A question from DH about UK/Commonwealth invective:

Why is b****y such a "bad word?" "B****r" we understand.

And is "whinge" = "whine?" My impression is that it's similar but not identical. (We watch a lot of BBC and Britwit, and I'm usually pretty good at explaining colloquialisms and historical references, but that one has me stumped. Wikipedia wasn't much help.)

When I took a class in auto repair, our instructor made a dictionary sheet showing the various auto-related phrases in American and Commonwealth English. It was great fun.


When I grew up (Oz) Bl**dy was like an adjective for my father and most ither adults but it would be slightly frowned upon if we kids used it.

B***ger at the same time did not have the original horrible origin and again was commonly used as in 'You cheeky little b**ger!' said with affection.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mechtilde on November 21, 2010, 01:52:48 PM
Baked beans are in a tin, with a tomato sauce. It is an orangey colour. Originally produced by Heinz as one of their 57 varieties.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 21, 2010, 01:57:16 PM
Is it true that in Britain you're usually done with High School (or Secondary) around age 16, but are still not of age until 18?  What do kids do for those two limbo years?  That seems hard, if it's true--being kind of an adult (out of school) but still 100% under your parent's authority...

Also, what does the "of age" mean in your country (any of them) and when is it?  Here in the US, there are 2 "of ages": at 18 you can join the military, get married, vote, buy cigarettes & lotto tickets, and your parents are no longer legally responsible for your actions.  At 21 you are a "full adult" and can do all the things an 18 year old can do, plus buy liquor.  Additionally, although "fully aduly" at 21, a lot of places like hotels, rental car agencies and some apartments won't let someone under 25 sign without a cosigner. Car insurance rates also often go down at 25.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Twik on November 21, 2010, 02:10:04 PM
Baked beans are in a tin, with a tomato sauce. It is an orangey colour. Originally produced by Heinz as one of their 57 varieties.

In Canada, there's usually a bit of pork included, so that you can claim it's really "pork and beans" (rather than a side dish). Unfortunately, (1) this keeps it from being vegetarian) and (2) the pork is disgustingly inedible (although very small), so meat eaters don't get the benefit either.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 21, 2010, 02:23:19 PM
Is it true that in Britain you're usually done with High School (or Secondary) around age 16, but are still not of age until 18?  What do kids do for those two limbo years?  That seems hard, if it's true--being kind of an adult (out of school) but still 100% under your parent's authority...

Also, what does the "of age" mean in your country (any of them) and when is it?  Here in the US, there are 2 "of ages": at 18 you can join the military, get married, vote, buy cigarettes & lotto tickets, and your parents are no longer legally responsible for your actions.  At 21 you are a "full adult" and can do all the things an 18 year old can do, plus buy liquor.  Additionally, although "fully aduly" at 21, a lot of places like hotels, rental car agencies and some apartments won't let someone under 25 sign without a cosigner. Car insurance rates also often go down at 25.

Yes you can be done with High School at 16 and generally those who weren't planning to go to university would leave school at 16.

In Scotland at 16 you can get married, (I think you need parental consent in England but not here) get a job, (although the minimum wage was less than if you were 18 I think), live away from your parents, go to college (which is different from university here) and buy lottery tickets. You need to be 17 to be able to drive. At 18 you can buy tobacco (I think it's been increased, used to be 16) and alcohol and to vote.

I'm not sure what our military age is. Wikipedia says "18 (military service is voluntary; volunteers can join at age 15 years and 9 months old with parental consent; must be at least 17 years old for admission to an officer program)"  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 21, 2010, 02:25:52 PM
Finally finished the thread. I read them backwards.

Irn Bru tastes really, really nastily chemically to me. Not like any fruit or anything else. It's just vile, nasty, artificial horrid stuff. It's not actually made of bridge girders but I'm sure their inclusion would just improve the taste. It's bright orange and just horrid.

A Jammy Dodger's also a colloquial  term, meaning a lucky person.  I'm not sure which came first, the biscuit or the term.

And thanks for the comments on baked beans. I'd gathered it was some entirely different dish but apparantly not?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 21, 2010, 02:27:19 PM
Have heard alot of American tourists ask for dr pepper in and around the city centre in Sydney and we just dont sell it.

Dr. Pepper is my carbonated beverage of choice, but it's quite regional. I wasn't able to get it at restaurants in Chicago, was shocked to find it in stores in Toronto, and would never in a million years expect to find it in Australia.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: AbbyW on November 21, 2010, 03:07:18 PM
How prevalent is the use of modern soy products on the other side of the ocean?  I ask because I have a daughter who cannot digest any type of soy product.  If it were an allergy, apparently, she would be able to handle soy lecithin and soybean oil, but her digestive system simply does not recognize soy as food.  And it is in EVERYTHING.  The basic cooking oil is "vegetable," which is a blend of whatever is cheap the day the jugs are filled--usually at least part soy--so eating out is culinary Russian roulette.  Hydrolyzed soy protein pumps up the protein content of canned soups and frozen dinners so that the manufacturer can add less of the meat that is supposed to be the main flavoring item.  Soy lecithin is in vegetable soups, chocolate, crackers, chips (crisps), cookies, baking mixes, and bread.  Frozen fried foods--fish sticks, chicken nuggets, French fries--are all precooked in soybean oil.  Even tomato sauce is made with it!  I have a very short list of convenience foods that are safe for her to eat and chocolate she likes is not on it.  I am considering looking up some foreign chocolate companies that list their ingredients online in English or Spanish in the hopes that I can actually put candy in her stocking without giving her a present she doesn't want.

Mars makes "American Heritage Chocolate" that only uses ingredients available in the 17th century.  It has a cocoa flavor with a bit of spice.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 21, 2010, 03:38:29 PM


Also, what does the "of age" mean in your country (any of them) and when is it?  Here in the US, there are 2 "of ages": at 18 you can join the military, get married, vote, buy cigarettes & lotto tickets, and your parents are no longer legally responsible for your actions.  At 21 you are a "full adult" and can do all the things an 18 year old can do, plus buy liquor.  Additionally, although "fully aduly" at 21, a lot of places like hotels, rental car agencies and some apartments won't let someone under 25 sign without a cosigner. Car insurance rates also often go down at 25.

Depending on what state you live in, it is possible to get married as young as 14 in the US. Usually for people under 16 or 18, parental consent is required.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 21, 2010, 03:44:04 PM


Also, what does the "of age" mean in your country (any of them) and when is it?  Here in the US, there are 2 "of ages": at 18 you can join the military, get married, vote, buy cigarettes & lotto tickets, and your parents are no longer legally responsible for your actions.  At 21 you are a "full adult" and can do all the things an 18 year old can do, plus buy liquor.  Additionally, although "fully aduly" at 21, a lot of places like hotels, rental car agencies and some apartments won't let someone under 25 sign without a cosigner. Car insurance rates also often go down at 25.

Depending on what state you live in, it is possible to get married as young as 14 in the US. Usually for people under 16 or 18, parental consent is required.

I meant without parental consent. :) I thought that was even across the states, although the age someone can be married WITH parental consent differs state to state?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 21, 2010, 03:45:16 PM
The pork in canned baked beans is probably salt pork, which I think is added mainly for flavor and not to be eaten.

My mother kept to the old Boston tradition of baked beans and brown bread on Saturday nights. Homemade baked beans can be very, very good. Mom added bacon to hers. My grandfather always had steak along with his beans and brown bread, because he didn't think that alone they made a proper meal.

A random aside--many baked bean recipes call for molasses. In 1919, Boston had a flood of molasses when the huge tank holding some molasses ruptured. Twenty-one people were killed.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 21, 2010, 03:48:07 PM


Also, what does the "of age" mean in your country (any of them) and when is it?  Here in the US, there are 2 "of ages": at 18 you can join the military, get married, vote, buy cigarettes & lotto tickets, and your parents are no longer legally responsible for your actions.  At 21 you are a "full adult" and can do all the things an 18 year old can do, plus buy liquor.  Additionally, although "fully aduly" at 21, a lot of places like hotels, rental car agencies and some apartments won't let someone under 25 sign without a cosigner. Car insurance rates also often go down at 25.

Depending on what state you live in, it is possible to get married as young as 14 in the US. Usually for people under 16 or 18, parental consent is required.

I meant without parental consent. :) I thought that was even across the states, although the age someone can be married WITH parental consent differs state to state?

Actually, I think in Mississippi you have to be 21 to get married without parental consent. But the lowest age to get married does vary a bit from state to state.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: ica171 on November 21, 2010, 03:50:58 PM


Also, what does the "of age" mean in your country (any of them) and when is it?  Here in the US, there are 2 "of ages": at 18 you can join the military, get married, vote, buy cigarettes & lotto tickets, and your parents are no longer legally responsible for your actions.  At 21 you are a "full adult" and can do all the things an 18 year old can do, plus buy liquor.  Additionally, although "fully aduly" at 21, a lot of places like hotels, rental car agencies and some apartments won't let someone under 25 sign without a cosigner. Car insurance rates also often go down at 25.

Depending on what state you live in, it is possible to get married as young as 14 in the US. Usually for people under 16 or 18, parental consent is required.

I meant without parental consent. :) I thought that was even across the states, although the age someone can be married WITH parental consent differs state to state?

Actually, I think in Mississippi you have to be 21 to get married without parental consent. But the lowest age to get married does vary a bit from state to state.

Here's a handy link. http://marriage.about.com/cs/teenmarriage/a/teenus.htm (http://marriage.about.com/cs/teenmarriage/a/teenus.htm) Apparently in Nebraska you have to be 19. I never knew that there were states that had ages of consent above 18, although I knew there were some that had a lower age.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 21, 2010, 03:54:50 PM
"City," "Town" and "Village" designations in the states are all about the government in most cases. In New York state, a city has a mayor and a legislative branch called the common council or city council. Members of the council are either aldermen/women or councilmen/women. The mayor-equivalent of a town is the supervisor, and the legislative branch is the town board/town council (members are councilmen/women). Villages have mayors, and their legislative branch is the village board. Village board members are called ... village board members. There are towns and even villages with populations larger than some cities.

Then you throw post offices into the mix, and it gets *really* confusing. A friend of mine lives in Halfmoon, N.Y., which he says (and I haven't checked, but he knows his stuff) is the largest town in the U.S. without its own post office. His mailing address is Mechanicville, the closest (very small) city. Other Halfmoon residents have Clifton Park or Waterford mailing addresses. I tell people I live in Schuylerville, although I'm actually about a mile outside the village in a town called Northumberland, because I have a Schuylerville mailing address.

In New Hampshire and Vermont, a town can be made up of several villages that don't have their own government (i.e., "unincorporated"), but have their own post offices, which gives them semi-official village status even though they don't have village governments. Hartford, Vermont, for example, is made up of the villages of Hartford, West Hartford, White River Junction, Quechee and Wilder, and all the farm country in between.

A hamlet is an unincorporated village (or wide place in the road) that has its own name (possibly because it was legally a village at some point in the past), may have its own volunteer fire department but doesn't have its own government or post office. An example around here is Boght Corners, N.Y., part of the (very large) town of Colonie.

Want more confusion? In New York, county governments vary widely. A county government can be a Board of Supervisors consisting of the supervisors (mayor-equivalents) of its towns, plus an elected representative from each ward of any cities within its borders. Or it can have a County Legislature, with all members elected as representatives of their town/ward and none of them having a role in the town. And the county's "executive branch" can be a County Executive (elected) or a County Administrator (appointed).

I'm talking upstate here. Each borough of New York City is actually a county: New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), Richmond (Staten Island), Queens (Queens) and Bronx (Bronx). I don't think they have actual county governments, though. Any NYC government geeks care to correct me?

Sorry for the wonkery. All those years sitting in city/town/village/county meetings as a small-market reporter coming back to haunt me. Your turn, Brits: Can you enlighten me on what a "Shire" is? Is it equivalent to a county? If so, are only some counties called shires? I've heard of Oxfordshire because my TV boyfriend, Hugh Laurie, is from there. But I've never heard of anyplace called Cambridgeshire or Manchestershire.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 21, 2010, 04:31:03 PM
Have heard alot of American tourists ask for dr pepper in and around the city centre in Sydney and we just dont sell it.

Dr. Pepper is my carbonated beverage of choice, but it's quite regional. I wasn't able to get it at restaurants in Chicago, was shocked to find it in stores in Toronto, and would never in a million years expect to find it in Australia.

We're starting to get Dr. Pepper in a few fast food places here in Chicago now. I know I've seen it (maybe even diet) in Arby's, and I'm pretty sure there are some McDonalds with it now, too.


American bakes beans are a totally different food, in my opinion.  Both English and American beans are very tasty, they're just very different.  I've found that Bush's (a big company that makes several varieties of baked beans) has a vegetarian recipe that's fairly close and will do in a pinch, but other than that, it's not really the same.  There's also a distinct difference between pork and beans and baked beans, in my opinion.  We can get imported Heinz beans here, but they're not terribly common.

According to Labelwatch.com (which I know nothing about, but it looks accurate from what I remember), here are the ingredient lists for regular and vegetarian baked beans.  Note the lack of tomatoes in regular:


BUSH'S, BEST VEGETARIAN BAKED BEANS
INGREDIENTS: Prepared White Beans, Water, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Tomato Paste, Salt, Cornstarch, Mustard, Onion Powder, Spices, Extractives of Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Natural Flavor.


BUSH'S, BEST BAKED BEANS
INGREDIENTS: Prepared White Beans, Water, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Bacon, Salt, Cornstarch, Mustard, (Water, Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, Turmeric, Spices), Onion Powder, Caramel Color, Spices, Garlic Powder, and Natural Flavor.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: veryfluffy on November 21, 2010, 04:38:39 PM
Your turn, Brits: Can you enlighten me on what a "Shire" is? Is it equivalent to a county? If so, are only some counties called shires? I've heard of Oxfordshire because my TV boyfriend, Hugh Laurie, is from there. But I've never heard of anyplace called Cambridgeshire or Manchestershire.

Shire is an old word for county, and is part of the name of many counties, eg Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Yorkshire, or (yes!) Cambridgeshire. Some counties, like Kent or Surrey or Norfolk, don't include the word. Manchester is in the county of Lancashire.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 21, 2010, 04:46:57 PM
We need to find out what "Natural Flavor" is. Sometimes it's MSG, sometimes it's a meat product. However, I think Bush is a reliable company, so if the can says "Vegetarian", I would trust them. Some other companies, not so much.

If you have major food allergies, it is also best to call the company to find out. They'll tell you the secret if you list your allergies or sensitivities or avoidances. (Even drug companies have to tell you what the fillers are for your medications.)

 
BUSH'S, BEST VEGETARIAN BAKED BEANS
INGREDIENTS: Prepared White Beans, Water, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Tomato Paste, Salt, Cornstarch, Mustard, Onion Powder, Spices, Extractives of Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Natural Flavor.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Craftyone on November 21, 2010, 04:55:09 PM
You can get Dr Pepper in Australia but you have to seek out a speciality food shop for it.  Or order through USA Foods in Moorabbin in Melbourne (they have a store and do internet ordering).  I get it for hubby when I go to the English food shop a few suburbs from our house, apart from English food they carry a range of international soft drinks.  I love ranch flavoured Pringles which I have to get through USA Foods, and Wotsis (English cheesy corn puffs) which I get from the English shop.  Perth has a Leonardis shop (apparently the only one in Australia) and the sugar free chocolates are fantastic, you don't know they're sugar free.  Now I want some of their chocolate buds, it's a work day so I might go and get some at lunch time for my snack drawer.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 21, 2010, 04:59:52 PM
Oh, indeed we have county-level politics in NYC.  Ever hear of the position of Borough President?  We have them.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 21, 2010, 05:00:11 PM
Your turn, Brits: Can you enlighten me on what a "Shire" is? Is it equivalent to a county? If so, are only some counties called shires? I've heard of Oxfordshire because my TV boyfriend, Hugh Laurie, is from there. But I've never heard of anyplace called Cambridgeshire or Manchestershire.

Shire is an old word for county, and is part of the name of many counties, eg Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Yorkshire, or (yes!) Cambridgeshire. Some counties, like Kent or Surrey or Norfolk, don't include the word. Manchester is in the county of Lancashire.

Thanks! BTW, when I was in journalism school (NYC, 1984), some of my classmates took an extended field trip to my home state of New Hampshire to cover the presidential primary. One of them (Long Island gal) came back gushing about what a cute little village Claremont was. She burst out laughing when I informed her that Claremont was actually a *city.*)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Pinky830 on November 21, 2010, 05:10:22 PM
Australian here...

To any Americans coming to holiday in Australia - please, please remember that the words ''fanny" and ''root" have completely different meanings here.

We use ''backside" (among many others) as a euphamism for the buttocks.  ''Fanny" is a fairly vulger term for a very specifically female part of the anatomy.

We ''barrack" or ''go" for a sports team.  ''Root" is a vulgar term for Scrabble.  Few things will make an Australian squirm more than to hear how a pretty young girl roots for a particular team.

Heh, my aunt and uncle live in NZ, but grew up as Americans.  They got a new neighbor a few years ago, also a recently-ex-American.  He introduced himself as "Hi, I'm Randy!"  My aunt and uncle suggested he might want to go by Randall while he's in NZ  :P  Would that be an issue in Australia too?

Yes, but only for people with a 12-year-old's sense of humour *like me, snicker*  I grew up with one of my mum and dad's friends being called Randy (that was his full name, not short for Randall) and it never occurred to me until much, much later.

Central US: We use Randy for 'wanting scrabble',too. DH and I were going through all those words just recently: John, Richard's nickname, Fanny, Lou (we think it sounds too much like loo), Peter, and a couple more I can't think of right now. Gee, this could be a topic in itself! Sorry.

Not quite the same thing, but sometimes there is a confused moment when I am introduced to people who speak mainly Spanish. When I met my friend's Costa Rican parents, I said, "I'm Lynda." Of course, "linda" is Spanish for "pretty," so there was an instant where you could tell they were wondering whether I'd just told them my name or informed them that I was pretty. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 21, 2010, 05:35:58 PM
Doesn't Dolores mean illness or death or sadness? (No Spanish here, and most Latin is deleted from my organic software.)

Any Greeks (country of, not university students)? I once dated a divinity student who had to study ancient Greek. He told me that 'Susan' is the dative plural of 'pig'. (We will not discuss what my real name mean in some dialects!)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 21, 2010, 05:36:29 PM
Okay, question about drivers licenses!  Here in the US, you have to get your license renewed every few years, so your picture is usually at least somewhat current.  I've heard that in France (and other parts of Europe?), though, you get your picture taken when you first get your license and then that's it, you can renew without a new picture.  So you can have an 80-year-old driving with a picture of them when they were 18, which doesn't seem to make any sense from a law enforcement/ID standpoint.  And then if you lose your license, you have to get your picture re-taken, so if the picture on your license is you at 50 everyone will know that you lost your license???

I'm not sure if all of that is right, or if it applies to more than just France - just sounded weird to me!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: marcel on November 21, 2010, 05:38:38 PM
http://notalwaysright.com/knocking-the-door-of-opportunity/8470 (http://notalwaysright.com/knocking-the-door-of-opportunity/8470)

American (Iowans?) I was catching up on my not always tight reading, and I have to know whether the first statement by the poster, about either being 23 or married etc. is true, because it seems like a very strange rule to me.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 21, 2010, 05:46:28 PM
http://notalwaysright.com/knocking-the-door-of-opportunity/8470 (http://notalwaysright.com/knocking-the-door-of-opportunity/8470)

American (Iowans?) I was catching up on my not always tight reading, and I have to know whether the first statement by the poster, about either being 23 or married etc. is true, because it seems like a very strange rule to me.

It's true, sort of.  You can declare yourself independent before 23 but it's extremely difficult and takes a year of full-time work, paying for 100% of your own stuff (you can't take ANY money from your family), etc.  I know this because my university will pay one year of out-of-state tuition for grad students, you are expected to work on the year-long in-state resident process the second you move here (some states have longer resident periods, some states less).  It wasn't so bad for 26 year old me, the requirements for people under 23 are about 10x as long. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 21, 2010, 05:47:31 PM
http://notalwaysright.com/knocking-the-door-of-opportunity/8470 (http://notalwaysright.com/knocking-the-door-of-opportunity/8470)

American (Iowans?) I was catching up on my not always tight reading, and I have to know whether the first statement by the poster, about either being 23 or married etc. is true, because it seems like a very strange rule to me.

I can't confirm the married or with kids part (but they sort of make sense), but yeah, until 23, they take your parents' financial information into account when they determine your financial aid.  If you're lucky enough to be paying cash, they don't need it.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 21, 2010, 05:49:02 PM
http://notalwaysright.com/knocking-the-door-of-opportunity/8470 (http://notalwaysright.com/knocking-the-door-of-opportunity/8470)

American (Iowans?) I was catching up on my not always tight reading, and I have to know whether the first statement by the poster, about either being 23 or married etc. is true, because it seems like a very strange rule to me.

I can't confirm the married or with kids part (but they sort of make sense), but yeah, until 23, they take your parents' financial information into account when they determine your financial aid.  If you're lucky enough to be paying cash, they don't need it.

So, it matters for financial aid and in-state residency requirements.  It's not required if you are just paying the bill yourself.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 21, 2010, 05:49:46 PM
Yes, it is true, the idea being that they will use the parents' salary as their baseline when deciding on financial aid amounts.  If they used the students' salary, they'd have to pay a lot of financial aid to a lot of students.  I agree that it isn't fair, because my parents didn't pay a single penny for anything when I was in college, but I didn't qualify for any financial aid at all because my parents make pretty close to six figures.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 21, 2010, 06:07:09 PM
Doesn't Dolores mean illness or death or sadness? (No Spanish here, and most Latin is deleted from my organic software.)

"Dolores" is pain or sorrow in Spanish. Spanish-speaking countries are traditionally Roman Catholic, and many female names are a variation on Mary (in Spanish, Maria), the mother of Jesus. Someone who goes by Dolores may be, on her birth certificate "Maria de los Dolores" (Mary of the sorrows). Same for such common Spanish names as Carmen (Maria del Carmen -- Mary of the garden), Pilar (Mary of the pillar -- where Jesus was scourged while Mary looked on), Nieves (Mary of the snows), Maria de la Soledad (Mary of loneliness). In practice, they tend to be known by Dolores, Carmen, Pilar, Nieves or Soledad.

Similar to the French Canadian practice I'm familiar with, where all girl children were named Marie (Marie-Bernarde, Marie-Rita, Marie-Jeanne d'Arc) and went by their middle names.

Quote
Not quite the same thing, but sometimes there is a confused moment when I am introduced to people who speak mainly Spanish. When I met my friend's Costa Rican parents, I said, "I'm Lynda." Of course, "linda" is Spanish for "pretty," so there was an instant where you could tell they were wondering whether I'd just told them my name or informed them that I was pretty.

Are you introducing yourself in English ("I'm Lynda")? Or in Spanish ("Soy Lynda")? I can see Spanish speakers doing a double take since Lynda/Linda isn't a name in their language ... it's an adjective. It might help to introduce yourself with "Me llamo Lynda" (which is the more common way to tell one's name in Spanish -- it literally means "I call myself ____") or to have your friend introduce you. ("Esta es mi amiga. Se llama Linda.")
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 21, 2010, 06:13:12 PM
Doesn't Dolores mean illness or death or sadness? (No Spanish here, and most Latin is deleted from my organic software.)

"Dolores" is pain or sorrow in Spanish. Spanish-speaking countries are traditionally Roman Catholic, and many female names are a variation on Mary (in Spanish, Maria), the mother of Jesus. Someone who goes by Dolores may be, on her birth certificate "Maria de los Dolores" (Mary of the sorrows). Same for such common Spanish names as Carmen (Maria del Carmen -- Mary of the garden), Pilar (Mary of the pillar -- where Jesus was scourged while Mary looked on), Nieves (Mary of the snows), Maria de la Soledad (Mary of loneliness). In practice, they tend to be known by Dolores, Carmen, Pilar, Nieves or Soledad.

Similar to the French Canadian practice I'm familiar with, where all girl children were named Marie (Marie-Bernarde, Marie-Rita, Marie-Jeanne d'Arc) and went by their middle names.

Quote
Not quite the same thing, but sometimes there is a confused moment when I am introduced to people who speak mainly Spanish. When I met my friend's Costa Rican parents, I said, "I'm Lynda." Of course, "linda" is Spanish for "pretty," so there was an instant where you could tell they were wondering whether I'd just told them my name or informed them that I was pretty.

Are you introducing yourself in English ("I'm Lynda")? Or in Spanish ("Soy Lynda")? I can see Spanish speakers doing a double take since Lynda/Linda isn't a name in their language ... it's an adjective. It might help to introduce yourself with "Me llamo Lynda" (which is the more common way to tell one's name in Spanish -- it literally means "I call myself ____") or to have your friend introduce you. ("Esta es mi amiga. Se llama Linda.")

LOL I know you're right, but the literal translation of "I call myself" seems just as bad.   >:D 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 21, 2010, 06:16:28 PM
Doesn't Dolores mean illness or death or sadness? (No Spanish here, and most Latin is deleted from my organic software.)

"Dolores" is pain or sorrow in Spanish. Spanish-speaking countries are traditionally Roman Catholic, and many female names are a variation on Mary (in Spanish, Maria), the mother of Jesus. Someone who goes by Dolores may be, on her birth certificate "Maria de los Dolores" (Mary of the sorrows). Same for such common Spanish names as Carmen (Maria del Carmen -- Mary of the garden), Pilar (Mary of the pillar -- where Jesus was scourged while Mary looked on), Nieves (Mary of the snows), Maria de la Soledad (Mary of loneliness). In practice, they tend to be known by Dolores, Carmen, Pilar, Nieves or Soledad.

Similar to the French Canadian practice I'm familiar with, where all girl children were named Marie (Marie-Bernarde, Marie-Rita, Marie-Jeanne d'Arc) and went by their middle names.

Quote
Not quite the same thing, but sometimes there is a confused moment when I am introduced to people who speak mainly Spanish. When I met my friend's Costa Rican parents, I said, "I'm Lynda." Of course, "linda" is Spanish for "pretty," so there was an instant where you could tell they were wondering whether I'd just told them my name or informed them that I was pretty.

Are you introducing yourself in English ("I'm Lynda")? Or in Spanish ("Soy Lynda")? I can see Spanish speakers doing a double take since Lynda/Linda isn't a name in their language ... it's an adjective. It might help to introduce yourself with "Me llamo Lynda" (which is the more common way to tell one's name in Spanish -- it literally means "I call myself ____") or to have your friend introduce you. ("Esta es mi amiga. Se llama Linda.")

LOL I know you're right, but the literal translation of "I call myself" seems just as bad.   >:D 

As long as you pronounce it "me yamo" instead of "me lamo", you're good :P  (IIRC, it's the difference between "My name is Lynda" and "I lick Linda," right?)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bluenomi on November 21, 2010, 06:28:37 PM
Ok it's been bugging me for pages  :D

Currants are dried black grapes, raisins are dried red grapes and sultanas are dried green/white grapes (oh and a sutlan's wife  ;D ) They are similar but sultanas tend to be a bit bigger and more juicy. The food that is, I'm not making any comments about sutlan's wives!

After living the in the UK I can say I don't like UK cadbury's but I like the Australian version. And I'll do almost anything for anyone willing to bring me a huge bag of peanut butter M&Ms back from the US.

What is in cocoa powder in the US? I used Australian cocoa powder in a US recipe and it did not work at all. Ours is just cocoa, is the US stuff weaker or mixed with something else?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 21, 2010, 06:29:39 PM
Doesn't Dolores mean illness or death or sadness? (No Spanish here, and most Latin is deleted from my organic software.)

"Dolores" is pain or sorrow in Spanish. Spanish-speaking countries are traditionally Roman Catholic, and many female names are a variation on Mary (in Spanish, Maria), the mother of Jesus. Someone who goes by Dolores may be, on her birth certificate "Maria de los Dolores" (Mary of the sorrows). Same for such common Spanish names as Carmen (Maria del Carmen -- Mary of the garden), Pilar (Mary of the pillar -- where Jesus was scourged while Mary looked on), Nieves (Mary of the snows), Maria de la Soledad (Mary of loneliness). In practice, they tend to be known by Dolores, Carmen, Pilar, Nieves or Soledad.

Similar to the French Canadian practice I'm familiar with, where all girl children were named Marie (Marie-Bernarde, Marie-Rita, Marie-Jeanne d'Arc) and went by their middle names.

Quote
Not quite the same thing, but sometimes there is a confused moment when I am introduced to people who speak mainly Spanish. When I met my friend's Costa Rican parents, I said, "I'm Lynda." Of course, "linda" is Spanish for "pretty," so there was an instant where you could tell they were wondering whether I'd just told them my name or informed them that I was pretty.

Are you introducing yourself in English ("I'm Lynda")? Or in Spanish ("Soy Lynda")? I can see Spanish speakers doing a double take since Lynda/Linda isn't a name in their language ... it's an adjective. It might help to introduce yourself with "Me llamo Lynda" (which is the more common way to tell one's name in Spanish -- it literally means "I call myself ____") or to have your friend introduce you. ("Esta es mi amiga. Se llama Linda.")

LOL I know you're right, but the literal translation of "I call myself" seems just as bad.   >:D 

The reflexive ("self") form in romance languages (at least Spanish and French, the two I am familiar with) is interchangeable with the passive voice. So while "Me llamo ____" or Je m'appelle ____" literally mean "I call myself," they also are translated as "I am called." The common "Aqui se habla espanol" means "Spanish is spoken here" although it is literally "Spanish speaks itself here."
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 21, 2010, 07:18:30 PM
Ok it's been bugging me for pages  :D

Currants are dried black grapes, raisins are dried red grapes and sultanas are dried green/white grapes (oh and a sutlan's wife  ;D ) They are similar but sultanas tend to be a bit bigger and more juicy. The food that is, I'm not making any comments about sutlan's wives!

After living the in the UK I can say I don't like UK cadbury's but I like the Australian version. And I'll do almost anything for anyone willing to bring me a huge bag of peanut butter M&Ms back from the US.

What is in cocoa powder in the US? I used Australian cocoa powder in a US recipe and it did not work at all. Ours is just cocoa, is the US stuff weaker or mixed with something else?


Re cocoa powder - I'm in Canada and usually use Fry's and it seems to be fine.

And thanks for the explanation re raisins/currants/sultanas.  I've usually just bought whatever the recipe specified from the Bulk Food section without worrying about the origins, but I've always wondered.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Elfmama on November 21, 2010, 07:35:22 PM
Lutefish is truly evil. DH has a Norwegian-by-birth coworker who wears a sweatshirt this time of year:

"Lutefisk: The Norwegian attempt at world domination."

We both grew up on salt cod, so one year when Kai hosted a holiday party, we persuaded him to serve some. His wife wouldn't let him gas the neighborhood, so he got some from a friend. It tastes like ... clear jello made with petrochemicals and ground glass. With liberal additions of, I think, ammonia and moose poop.

Then there's gjetost cheese. And haggis. Maybe we need a spin-off on nasty native cuisine.
This has been wandering around on the net for at least 10 years:

Lutefisk and Yams
by Ulf Gunnarsson

Hark and ware, oh Warrior!, Weird of Sven now hear you.
How good Lars he harried, pestered him with questions.

Late at meadhall light burned; Lars did strive to largen
belly with a bowl of boiled fish his mission.

And some chunks of chicken, cheese and bread and peasoup,
finally pounds of pancakes paired with lingon berries.

Smallish snack he snuck while woozy wife lay snoozing.
When inside there wandered forth a fellow northman.

Lars did greet him greatly for he knew the gruesome
tales of host who hasten travellers forth from doorstep.

Lars did ask his name then. "I am Sven," he mentioned.
"Sven I am," he stated. "Do you like lutefisk and yams?"

"Nay." said Lars, "though largely like I food most goodly, but
I do not like lutefisk and yams, I do not like them Sven I am."

"Ah," said Sven most sagely. "Would you eat them on a trip?
Would you eat them on your ship?"

"Nay," said Lars, "though largely like I food most goodly, but
I would not eat them on a trip.
I would not eat them on my ship.
I do not like lutefisk and yams,
I do not like them, Sven I am."
"Ah," said Sven. "Then maybe might you eat them on a raid?
Might you eat them with a maid?"

"Nay," said Lars most strongly. "Like I food most goodly, but
I would not eat them on a raid,
I would not eat them with a maid,
I would not eat them on a trip,
I would not eat them on my ship.
I do not like lutefisk and yams.
I do not like them, Sven I am."

"Hmmm," said Sven, "Good fellow,
would you eat them on the field?
Would you eat them off your shield?"

"Nay!" cried Lars most wrothly,
"Like I food most goodly, but
I would not eat them on the field,
I would not eat them off my shield,
I would not eat them on a raid,
I would not eat them with a maid,
I would not eat them on a trip,
I would not eat them on my ship.
I do not like lutefisk and yams.
I do not like them, Sven I am."

Sven then looked most crafty. He then slyly stated:
"Would you eat them served up cold?
Would you eat them if I paid you gold?"

"Well," said Lars, "since largely, Like I food most goodly...
I might like lutefisk and yams. I might like them, Sven I am."

Sven produced this Swedish yam and lutefisk sample.
Lars did test this tasty treat then longly pondered.

Stoutly Lars then stated:
"I despise lutefisk and yams.
I despise them, Sven I am.
I will not eat them served up cold,
I will not eat them if you pay me gold.
I will not eat them on the field,
I will not eat them off my shield,
I will not eat them on a raid,
I will not eat them with a maid,
I will not eat them on a trip,
And I will NOT eat them on MY ship!
I do not like lutefisk and yams,
I do not like them, Sven I am."
And he slew Sven.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Elfmama on November 21, 2010, 07:42:58 PM
We need to find out what "Natural Flavor" is. Sometimes it's MSG, sometimes it's a meat product.
And sometimes it's neither!  I have a tin somewhere of citrus Altoids: it states "Natural flavors, with other natural flavors."
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: ica171 on November 21, 2010, 08:15:21 PM
What is in cocoa powder in the US? I used Australian cocoa powder in a US recipe and it did not work at all. Ours is just cocoa, is the US stuff weaker or mixed with something else?

From what I can tell American cocoa powder just has cocoa powder in it. If you get the Dutch processed it'll have alkali in it. I did some Googling and found an ingredients list for Australian cocoa powder, which was cocoa powder and potassium carbonate, which they said was to balance acidity or something. I would assume it was similar to the alkali.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 21, 2010, 08:24:32 PM
What is in cocoa powder in the US? I used Australian cocoa powder in a US recipe and it did not work at all. Ours is just cocoa, is the US stuff weaker or mixed with something else?

I have a can of Hershey's cocoa powder right here; it lists cocoa as the only ingredient.  I'm a bit surprised, actually, I thought there'd be a list of chemical additives.

Not sure why your recipe wouldn't work with Australian cocoa powder.  Maybe it has something to do with altitude/weather/phase of the moon?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: veryfluffy on November 21, 2010, 10:02:35 PM
And sometimes it's neither!  I have a tin somewhere of citrus Altoids: it states "Natural flavors, with other natural flavors."

And I want to know why cinnamon Altoids do not exist in the UK. We can get the peppermint ones (mostly at the chemist (pharmacy) for some reason), but I have to get cinnamon ones sent over to me. And yet they claimed to be made in the UK!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: TootsNYC on November 21, 2010, 10:32:06 PM
This quote is from another thread, but there is something I have been wondering about.
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.
To be clear, over here it is Mr. and Mrs Hislastname
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

The woman doesn't actually take his first name.

It's just that when you are referring to the couple as a unit in a way that means you need a first name, (let's say you are writing on the outside of a mailing envelope, or perhaps if you need to differentiate between John and Mary Wilson and Bill and Paulette Wilson), you say "Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson."

Mary doesn't lose her first name, and if you aren't using "Mr. and Mrs.," you absolutely refer to them as John and Mary. It's just a convention of referring to the couple.

Sort of like "Lord Peter Wimsey" and "Lady Peter Wimsey"--her first NAME is still Harriet. But her TITLE is "Lady Peter." Likewise, Mary's social title is "Mrs. John Wilson." But that's not her NAME.


Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Adios on November 21, 2010, 10:40:50 PM
I have noticed that Americans usually refer to themselves as "irish-american" or "part polish/italian-american", not just American.  People from other countries hardly ever do this, we are just Australian, British, Japanese etc.   Can anyone explain that to me please?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 21, 2010, 10:50:24 PM
Yup, sure can!  It's because we have such a tradition of immigration over the years from all parts of the world.  We call America the "melting pot" because we have citizens from every corner of the globe.  There are huge numbers of people that have become naturalized American citizens after having moved from their original country.  It's a way to celebrate one's ethnic heritage as well as acknowlege American citizenship at the same time.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: marcel on November 21, 2010, 10:54:51 PM
This quote is from another thread, but there is something I have been wondering about.
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.
To be clear, over here it is Mr. and Mrs Hislastname
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

The woman doesn't actually take his first name.

It's just that when you are referring to the couple as a unit in a way that means you need a first name, (let's say you are writing on the outside of a mailing envelope, or perhaps if you need to differentiate between John and Mary Wilson and Bill and Paulette Wilson), you say "Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson."

Mary doesn't lose her first name, and if you aren't using "Mr. and Mrs.," you absolutely refer to them as John and Mary. It's just a convention of referring to the couple.

Sort of like "Lord Peter Wimsey" and "Lady Peter Wimsey"--her first NAME is still Harriet. But her TITLE is "Lady Peter." Likewise, Mary's social title is "Mrs. John Wilson." But that's not her NAME.
I realize that the woman does not lose her first name, it is just that over here the mans first name is not part of the family name.

Over here it is Mr. And Mrs. Hislastname
Individually they are Mr. Hislastname and Mrs. Hislastname-Herlastname
Nowhere does Hisfirstname get into the formal adress,

This customs is already stopping over here. I can not imagine having the custom of using Hisfirstname when adressing a married couple over here, and it has taken a lot of times hearing this in movies, tv-series etc. to realize that you do/did this in the US.

I was wondering if this is a strictly USian thing, or if this is also done in other countries.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 21, 2010, 11:04:11 PM
I can't speak for the other countries, but in the US it's considered formal and/or old-fashioned.  I've only ever seen it used on like, say, address labels from women over a certain age.  Occasionally at a wedding the MC will introduce the couple for the first time at the reception as "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst name Lastname", but I've never heard of this form of address being used by anyone under around 40 or so.  I can tell you that I would never consider using Mrs. Hubby Shell as my name.   

I think it was TootsNYC who compared it to an English title, like Lord Hisfirstname Lastname and Lady Hisfirstname Lastname, so maybe they do it in England as well?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 21, 2010, 11:12:07 PM
marcel, IMO even in the US it's falling out of favor.  I know that I, personally, find it offensive that I'm an extension of my husband yet he's never referred to as Mr. Myfirstname Mylastname (we don't share a last name, so it would be even more wrong).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 21, 2010, 11:24:25 PM
I've had so many problems in the past, over the internet, with Americans claiming to be more Scottish than I am. They're fiercely proud of their own heritage and can trace it back far further than I could.

I'm Scottish. I've never been out of Scotland. My parents are Scottish and rarely left the country, although we have travelled extensively in Scotland. It's a tiny place, you can drive all the way around it in a day but there's also such a wealth of interesting places to visit.

It seems like when they speak of Scotland and being Scottish they're speaking of a Scotland of the past, an idealised country that doesn't actually exist and probably never did. They expect me to speak gaelic, which I don't, and to wear tartan, paint my face with woad and go to Highland Games and come from a little village in the Highlands where I spend my days chasing hagises. :) And it's this Scotland, the one that doesn't exist, that the Americans claim to be part of. I've noticed similar with Australians, although perhaps not to the same extent.

And it's just not the same here. I've had friends from various ethnic backgrounds who identify as Scottish and who would certainly have been offended by the 'where are you from?' question. There just wasn't the same ethnic diversity here. I'm from a city where just 1.5% of the population were non-white in 1991, and 3% of the population were non-white in 2001. That's changed a lot now with the new EU rules and there's been a huge influx of immigrants.

I will admit I also find some of the stereotypes offensive. Like those with Irish heritage claiming that it gives them fiery tempers and a fondness for alcohol. 

And I think all of this is saying that I've found the American attitude somewhat baffling in claiming to be Irish or Scottish instead of American. I just want to say "but you're from America and that's incredible too and something to be proud of." Because it's just such a different attitude from what I see here. I think it's because we're saying two different things but using the same words.

When I say "I'm Scottish" I'm saying I'm from Scotland. When they're saying that they're Scottish they're saying that their family originally came from here before they travelled to America.

And I know I'm speaking specifically of a few Americans I've known (not all of the ones I've known either) as opposed to Americans in general since that's as crazy as speaking of Europeans.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 21, 2010, 11:33:56 PM
I have noticed that Americans usually refer to themselves as "irish-american" or "part polish/italian-american", not just American.  People from other countries hardly ever do this, we are just Australian, British, Japanese etc.   Can anyone explain that to me please?

I think that, with a few exceptions, it's contextual.  In general conversation, I'd just say I'm American.  But if the conversation gets into culture, family history, nationality, and all that, I'd mention that I'm Lithuanian American.  I think it's because, as others have said, we have such a mix, and it does make a difference in many ways.  I can drive through Chicago and tell you within a few seconds if we're in an Indian neighborhood, an Italian neighborhood, a Puerto Rican neighborhood, a Polish neighborhood, etc, whereas in Rome, for the most part, there are Italians (which isn't to say that there are ONLY Italians in Rome, but you know what I mean).  There really is no shared American culture, so we reach back into our histories and define ourselves with our American heritage and our original pre-immigration heritage.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 21, 2010, 11:41:39 PM
Yes, I think Rainha made a very good point.  We're such a young country compared with most of the world and we don't really have traditions that stretch back 100 generations like a lot of places. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GoldenGemini on November 21, 2010, 11:46:05 PM
I have a few questions:

I've done some baking from American recipes and I've noticed that the results seem to be less sweet than what we would make here. Is that true or is it just the result of substituting American ingredients badly?

I know that quite a few of my cookbooks note that US teaspoon is different to Australian teaspoon, so maybe this is part of it?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GoldenGemini on November 21, 2010, 11:46:56 PM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I don't know, but in a similar vein...
I once posted in the 'Whats for dinner?' thread that I was having Toad in the Hole. It emerged that in America, Toad in the Hole is (if I remember correctly) Fried egg in the middle of toast with a hole in, or something similar. If I was expecting toad in the hole for dinner, and was served egg on toast, I would cry. :P :D

My mom used to make toad in the hole when my brother and I were young. It was a custardy batter-y type thing in a baking pan with sausage. We hated it. I know the thing you are talking about with toast – we called it something else, but the name is completely escaping me right now.

We called the egg in toast thing - Owls Eyes.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GoldenGemini on November 21, 2010, 11:47:46 PM
And, lecture concluded, I have a question: Is “whinge” the same as “whine?”

Short answer: Yep!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 21, 2010, 11:48:48 PM
One other facet of the "Irish-American" et. al. business is that there have been periods of time in American history when there were waves of immigrants from particular countries, who settled in particular places.

The Irish, for instance, largely immigrated in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, and primarily settled in the northeast.  A lot of them ended up in Boston and the surrounding area.  And because they were coming in such large numbers, and because they were Catholic, and because they were just different enough from the original English and Scottish settlers, they faced a lot of discrimination.  So for a long time, Americans of Irish descent mostly lived near other Americans of Irish descent, married them, worked with them, etc.  To be Irish-American really was a subset of American culture, and it wasn't the same as someone whose ancestors arrived earlier and from England.

Later, it was Italians and Eastern Europeans who faced that type of discrimination.  And there have been others.

So when an American says they are "something-American," don't automatically assume it's because they don't think being American is good enough.  That's a pretty unfair assumption.  Because the fact is, it's hard to be an immigrant in this country (as in most others).  It changes your experiences, and it changes how people react to you.  Right now, for instance, growing up ethnically Chinese, even if you were born here, is not the same as growing up white or Hispanic or black.  It doesn't make Chinese-Americans any less American, but it does change how they experience the world around them...and frequently, how they are treated by others.

Even with some of the nationalities that have been largely accepted for years, it can still make a difference, depending upon where you live.  Americans have different traditions, religions, and sometimes even languages based on who their ancestors were...even if their ancestors immigrated five generations ago.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 21, 2010, 11:59:15 PM
Bright, I get what you are saying.  But I don't think that's how most Americans mean it.  I am Italian-American.  I don't know much about Italy (although I could easily order off the menu there--we still call all our food by the correct Italian names) but I do know a lot about the places Italians settled in Chicago.  My grandparents settled in an entirely Italian suburb.  People to this day still fly Italian flags right under American flags in that suburb.  I have many shared experiences with other Italian-Americans (and, sadly, some of my family looks like they could be in the Chicago version of the Jersey Shore).   

That being said, I am American first and foremost.  When I am asked in other countries where I am from, I say America, obviously.  I am proud to be an American.  That doesn't mean I'm not proud of my Italian-American heritage.  It's probably hard to wrap your mind around if your family has lived in the same country for the last 500 years (something that I can barely wrap MY mind around).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Adios on November 22, 2010, 12:09:12 AM
I have noticed that Americans usually refer to themselves as "irish-american" or "part polish/italian-american", not just American.  People from other countries hardly ever do this, we are just Australian, British, Japanese etc.   Can anyone explain that to me please?

I think that, with a few exceptions, it's contextual.  In general conversation, I'd just say I'm American.  But if the conversation gets into culture, family history, nationality, and all that, I'd mention that I'm Lithuanian American.  I think it's because, as others have said, we have such a mix, and it does make a difference in many ways.  I can drive through Chicago and tell you within a few seconds if we're in an Indian neighborhood, an Italian neighborhood, a Puerto Rican neighborhood, a Polish neighborhood, etc, whereas in Rome, for the most part, there are Italians (which isn't to say that there are ONLY Italians in Rome, but you know what I mean).  There really is no shared American culture, so we reach back into our histories and define ourselves with our American heritage and our original pre-immigration heritage.


Yes, I think Rainha made a very good point.  We're such a young country compared with most of the world and we don't really have traditions that stretch back 100 generations like a lot of places. 

Thank-you for your answers, I'm feeling more enlightened!

I'm from Australia & we are a young country too (relatively speaking, we also have inhabitants who have been here for thousands of years) but no-one does the British-Australian, Jamaican-Australian thing here, so its really something that developed in America.  I've noticed the habit more since I've started reading e-hell because lots of American posters describe themselves as "other country + American".  I like it.  It tells you something more about the person & sometimes can give you a perspective into their thinking (without going into stereo-types!).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mbbored on November 22, 2010, 12:25:32 AM
I identify as an Irish American.  It explains why I was different from those around me: my extremely fair skin, my religion (and therefore my education,) the foods my family served and the holidays we celebrated.  And we are fiercely proud of all of those things, because my ancestors emigrated to an area of the States where we were persecuted for those things.  Even as a young adult, I was mocked for my religion.

Now I've moved to California, and I now more strongly identify as a Southerner.  Now I'm not in a minority religion-wise (though I'm still pretty pasty comparatively speaking).  However, I do have a different set of traditions, foods and apparently accent.  So, now if you ask me where I live, I'd tell you Cali, but point out that I am so not from here.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 22, 2010, 12:34:50 AM
What I was saying wasn't meant as criticism or to be insulting so I'm sorry if it came across that way.

I'm finding it really enlightening the explanations that take on nuances that I hadn't really known had existed. It just wasn't really something I thought of. I've found this bit of the discussion really eye-opening.

It's one thing to say that   America's a melting pot of cultures which is something I didn't quite get, but the detailed explanations here are really helping to understand it. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 22, 2010, 12:35:39 AM
Also, what does the "of age" mean in your country (any of them) and when is it?  Here in the US, there are 2 "of ages": at 18 you can join the military, get married, vote, buy cigarettes & lotto tickets, and your parents are no longer legally responsible for your actions.  At 21 you are a "full adult" and can do all the things an 18 year old can do, plus buy liquor.  Additionally, although "fully aduly" at 21, a lot of places like hotels, rental car agencies and some apartments won't let someone under 25 sign without a cosigner. Car insurance rates also often go down at 25.

In Finland:
15: You can drive a moped or a tractor. You can play a slot machine (which are found in nearly all the grocery stores and places like that).
16: You can drive a lighter motorcycle, leave school and vote at state church's elections (if you're a member).
18: You're an adult. You can vote, drive a car, get married (I think that you can get married at 16 with a special license from the president), you can leave church without parental consent, you can buy beer and wine and tobacco and join the military (compulsory for men, you can also do non-military service, women can volunteer).
20: You can buy stronger alcohol.
21: You can drive a bus or a truck.

Quote
Okay, question about drivers licenses!  Here in the US, you have to get your license renewed every few years, so your picture is usually at least somewhat current.  I've heard that in France (and other parts of Europe?), though, you get your picture taken when you first get your license and then that's it, you can renew without a new picture.  So you can have an 80-year-old driving with a picture of them when they were 18, which doesn't seem to make any sense from a law enforcement/ID standpoint.  And then if you lose your license, you have to get your picture re-taken, so if the picture on your license is you at 50 everyone will know that you lost your license???

I'm not sure if all of that is right, or if it applies to more than just France - just sounded weird to me!

I don't have a drivers license so this is what I remember and what Wikipedia tells me. The pictures can be horribly old, as can the licenses themselves, I'm not sure if they renew them at all, until they reach a certain age (70), then the police decide if they want to renew it for up to 5 years at a time. So when you get the license it's only for two years at first, then you get the permanent license and then you just drive until you're 70 or change your name or get an illness that has to be stated on the license or something like that, from what I understand. From id point of view it makes sense because a drivers license isn't an official id, like an id card or passport would be (those have to be renewed more often).  

Do Americans really have their address on their drivers license? Do they have to get a new license every time they move?

After sleeping very badly for a couple of nights because of a very sore throat and not being able to breath properly and coughing I'm starting to understand why people take that Nyquil :) Which leads to another question: if you have that certain amount of sick days is it enough to just let your employer know that you're sick or do you need a doctor's note or something? At my work we need a note for every day (doesn't have to be from a doctor, fortunately, a nurse is enough) we're a away, usually you can be something like 3 days sick before you need it, which can be annoying when you're sick and they can't do anything but write that note but you still have to go there. Fortunately I live next door to our "health center" and seeing a nurse is free.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 22, 2010, 12:38:07 AM
I have noticed that Americans usually refer to themselves as "irish-american" or "part polish/italian-american", not just American.  People from other countries hardly ever do this, we are just Australian, British, Japanese etc.   Can anyone explain that to me please?

As Americans, we suffer from a terrible (misguided) sense of cultural inferiority - since we're such a young country, we tend to feel that all our art, music, cuisine etc. is imported without recognizing how we've made it our own. So we call ourselves InsertNationalityHere-American to confer some cultural legitimacy upon ourselves.

Some regions have a very strong cultural identity in their own right, which is why some Americans will refer to themselves as being a Texan, a Southerner, from NYC, etc. rather than as an American right off the bat.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kaymyth on November 22, 2010, 12:47:14 AM

Do Americans really have their address on their drivers license? Do they have to get a new license every time they move?


Not quite.  We can get a new license (and pay the full fee for a new one), or we can get a little card taped to the back of our license with the new address (which is cheaper).  At least that's the way it is in Missouri; it's probably going to vary from state to state.  Every state has its own driver's licenses, so the rules can vary.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: iridaceae on November 22, 2010, 12:57:32 AM
Okay, question about drivers licenses!  Here in the US, you have to get your license renewed every few years, so your picture is usually at least somewhat current.

Actually, in Arizona your driver's license is good until you are 65.

This seems weird to me, but it's the way it is here.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 22, 2010, 01:56:39 AM
We're supposed to update out licenses every time we move in Wisconsin.  That's the first thing a cop asks after looking at your license- "Is this address current?"

I wish we had that sticky thing for the back of our licenses, that sounds way more convenient.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 22, 2010, 02:15:45 AM
In New York it's only $15 to get a new license with an address change, which is considerably less than the license renewal fee (ours are good for 10 years). It isn't mandatory, although you are required to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if your address changes. If you don't want to pay the $15, there's a space on the back of your license to write your new address -- although I haven't figured out with *what,* becase not only is the space teeny, but the license is made of a weird laminated material that does not take ink well!

I'm surprised to hear that in other countries the driver's license is not an official form of ID. Here, it is *the* de facto official ID. When I worked retail, the only forms of ID we were allowed to accept as proof of age for alcohol and tobacco purchases were a driver's license, a military ID, a passport or the state ID card that you can get from the Department of Motor Vehicles if you don't drive.

Most Americans do drive, however, because things are so spread out here, and there isn't much in the way of public transport outside of major metropolitan areas. So the driver's license is the most common government-agency-issued ID we have here - far more of us drive than travel internationally or are in the military.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 22, 2010, 02:23:56 AM
A driver's licence is pretty much the default form of ID in Australia, too. The only 'better' ID is an original birth certificate or a passport, and nobody carries either of them around in their own country.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 22, 2010, 02:33:34 AM
Most places here accept drivers license as id, as it probably is the most common form of id people carry with them (I'm in minority, I haven't gotten around to getting an id card and do carry my passport with me always), it just isn't official id. I don't know about where it isn't accepted other than when you're getting a passport or id card (or anything you get from police, like gun permit or drivers license), then you need either one of those or then you have to answer to all sorts of questions so that they know who you are (or so I've heard, I assume that they're very thorough), we don't have birth certificates as official documents either. But if you're just buying alcohol or something like that it's accepted.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 22, 2010, 02:48:04 AM
Here, a birth certificate is proof of citizenship, but since it doesn't have a photo, it's not considered valid ID.

I have an opportunity to go to Canada next summer, and I'm dreading the passport application process, because of the problems I ran into trying to get a New Jersey driver's license a few years ago (I only lived in NJ for nine months, so it turned out not to be a big issue ... just kept driving on my New York license).

I had a valid New York license. I had a birth certificate. But because I changed my name when I got married and didn't change it back when I got divorced, they needed a marriage certificate as proof that the Baglady Maidenname on my BC and the Baglady Marriedname on my license were the same person. And I didn't have one. (Who keeps their marriage certificate when they get divorced?)

This was just weeks after 9/11, so maybe things have eased up a bit. Still, I'm going to start the application process in the next few weeks, just in case I run into problems.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: iridaceae on November 22, 2010, 03:09:48 AM


This was just weeks after 9/11, so maybe things have eased up a bit. Still, I'm going to start the application process in the next few weeks, just in case I run into problems.
Try this website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/

When I had to get a replacement for my water-damaged one I used it so I knew what to take to the post office- which is where I had it done. Also I was able to print out the forms ahead of time.  And got my photos done at  Walgreens so that was done, too. Needless to say the photo is hideously ugly, but I think that is a law about passport photos. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 22, 2010, 03:14:36 AM


This was just weeks after 9/11, so maybe things have eased up a bit. Still, I'm going to start the application process in the next few weeks, just in case I run into problems.
Try this website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/

When I had to get a replacement for my water-damaged one I used it so I knew what to take to the post office- which is where I had it done. Also I was able to print out the forms ahead of time.  And got my photos done at  Walgreens so that was done, too. Needless to say the photo is hideously ugly, but I think that is a law about passport photos. 

Hee! I think it was Erma Bombeck who said, "When you start to look like your passport photo, it's time to go home!"

I still have my old passport from the 1970s. That photo actually looked pretty good ... but everyone looks good when they're 18. I wonder if they'll be able to discern that I am *still* that person.

Thanks for the link. Will check it out.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Fliss on November 22, 2010, 03:15:19 AM
Quote
As Americans, we suffer from a terrible (misguided) sense of cultural inferiority - since we're such a young country, we tend to feel that all our art, music, cuisine etc. is imported without recognizing how we've made it our own. So we call ourselves InsertNationalityHere-American to confer some cultural legitimacy upon ourselves.

But you AREN'T a young country! You've been settled for several hundred years, many more than Australia has. So what's the deal with constantly associating yourselves with somewhere else?

I don't get it either. I don't identify myself as an 'Aboriginal Australian' - I'm just an Aussie. We have all, even us Abo's, come from somewhere else. But this is where we live, and we stand together or die together as Australians, not as Irish or Scottish or African. We are Australians. Anything else is just ice-cream flavouring.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: dman on November 22, 2010, 03:16:18 AM
It's not a statutory holiday in other provinces (including mine) but IME the great majority of people in 9-to-5 type jobs do get it as a paid day off.  It would be pretty hard for them to conduct business if they remained open anyway. People who have to work don't get holiday-pay, however. I've never been a Boxing Day shopper myself - I hate crowds, no matter how good the deals might be.  And the ads can be pretty deceptive - an electronics item could be priced at about 80% off, but the fine print says  something like "limit of 4 in each store".  One of my DSs lined up in the middle of the night once and said, never again.

Re metric:  us Canadians really can't make up our minds.  Distances:  most of us have gotten pretty mainstream with metres, kilometres, etc.  Weight:  when talking about body-weights most of us still refer to pounds, although doctors/hospitals use kilograms.  Meat/deli items are sold in metric, but some stores will print Imperial in smaller print.  Canned foods are technically metric, but in weird sizes such as 298 ml.  Cooking measures:  I dutifully bought a set of metric measuring cups/spoons when the conversion was supposed to happen and have probably used them maybe twice.  Most of use still use "old" Imperial recipes, and many recipes off the Net (such as American ones) are of course Imperial anyway.
[/quote]

Boxing day is a statutory in Alberta.  I love working it because I get triple time   ;D
And in the grocery stores here all veggies, fruit & meat are advertised at price per pound with metric prices in smaller print.  

Everyone I know has an electric kettle, I don't know anyone with a stove top one.  

Microwaves, a must have.  Our office has 3 that go all the time at breaks.   And how else do you heat up the leftovers from last nights dinner?  

What about toaster ovens?  Are these popular anywhere?  I have loved the ones I have owed over the past 20 years.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: dman on November 22, 2010, 03:17:42 AM
I have a question for any Nordic Ehellions.  What exactly is lutefisk?  I hear it referenced but i'm not exactly sure what it is.

Vile, nasty stuff.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: dman on November 22, 2010, 03:25:02 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I don't know, but in a similar vein...
I once posted in the 'Whats for dinner?' thread that I was having Toad in the Hole. It emerged that in America, Toad in the Hole is (if I remember correctly) Fried egg in the middle of toast with a hole in, or something similar. If I was expecting toad in the hole for dinner, and was served egg on toast, I would cry. :P :D

My mom used to make toad in the hole when my brother and I were young. It was a custardy batter-y type thing in a baking pan with sausage. We hated it. I know the thing you are talking about with toast – we called it something else, but the name is completely escaping me right now.


We called this hole in the wall.  Not sure why.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: dman on November 22, 2010, 03:29:31 AM
Could I just say....I LOVEEEE the fact that we are all so genuinally interested in each others countries and wanting to learn from each other. Its pretty cool. Its great that we can all pose our questions and not feel like we are being silly asking.

Just dont ask if we ride kangaroos and have pet koalas! Lol. I will laugh at you.

Can I pet a kangaroo?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 22, 2010, 03:39:41 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I don't know, but in a similar vein...
I once posted in the 'Whats for dinner?' thread that I was having Toad in the Hole. It emerged that in America, Toad in the Hole is (if I remember correctly) Fried egg in the middle of toast with a hole in, or something similar. If I was expecting toad in the hole for dinner, and was served egg on toast, I would cry. :P :D

My mom used to make toad in the hole when my brother and I were young. It was a custardy batter-y type thing in a baking pan with sausage. We hated it. I know the thing you are talking about with toast – we called it something else, but the name is completely escaping me right now.


We called this hole in the wall.  Not sure why.

Was your mom a Paul Newman fan?

I'll see your "hole in the wall" and raise you a "pig in a blanket" (frankfurter wrapped in biscuit* dough) and a "bugs on a log" (celery stalk with cream cheese or peanut butter topped with raisins). The latter was a very popular side dish at Girl Scout cookouts when I was a girl.

*That's American biscuit -- a breadlike object -- not a cookie.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: dman on November 22, 2010, 03:44:20 AM

Canadian e-hellions, help me out here: I know (from being friends with a recent graduate of SUNY Buffalo who crossed the border a lot) that it's 19 in Ontario. Do other provinces have different drinking ages?

This has probably been answered already, this thread is moving so fast!  All the provinces have their own age limits, I believe that most are 19 but in Alberta it is 18.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 22, 2010, 03:48:53 AM
"City," "Town" and "Village" designations in the states are all about the government in most cases. In New York state, a city has a mayor and a legislative branch called the common council or city council. Members of the council are either aldermen/women or councilmen/women. The mayor-equivalent of a town is the supervisor, and the legislative branch is the town board/town council (members are councilmen/women). Villages have mayors, and their legislative branch is the village board. Village board members are called ... village board members. There are towns and even villages with populations larger than some cities.

Then you throw post offices into the mix, and it gets *really* confusing. A friend of mine lives in Halfmoon, N.Y., which he says (and I haven't checked, but he knows his stuff) is the largest town in the U.S. without its own post office. His mailing address is Mechanicville, the closest (very small) city. Other Halfmoon residents have Clifton Park or Waterford mailing addresses. I tell people I live in Schuylerville, although I'm actually about a mile outside the village in a town called Northumberland, because I have a Schuylerville mailing address.

In New Hampshire and Vermont, a town can be made up of several villages that don't have their own government (i.e., "unincorporated"), but have their own post offices, which gives them semi-official village status even though they don't have village governments. Hartford, Vermont, for example, is made up of the villages of Hartford, West Hartford, White River Junction, Quechee and Wilder, and all the farm country in between.

A hamlet is an unincorporated village (or wide place in the road) that has its own name (possibly because it was legally a village at some point in the past), may have its own volunteer fire department but doesn't have its own government or post office. An example around here is Boght Corners, N.Y., part of the (very large) town of Colonie.

Want more confusion? In New York, county governments vary widely. A county government can be a Board of Supervisors consisting of the supervisors (mayor-equivalents) of its towns, plus an elected representative from each ward of any cities within its borders. Or it can have a County Legislature, with all members elected as representatives of their town/ward and none of them having a role in the town. And the county's "executive branch" can be a County Executive (elected) or a County Administrator (appointed).

I'm talking upstate here. Each borough of New York City is actually a county: New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), Richmond (Staten Island), Queens (Queens) and Bronx (Bronx). I don't think they have actual county governments, though. Any NYC government geeks care to correct me?

Sorry for the wonkery. All those years sitting in city/town/village/county meetings as a small-market reporter coming back to haunt me. Your turn, Brits: Can you enlighten me on what a "Shire" is? Is it equivalent to a county? If so, are only some counties called shires? I've heard of Oxfordshire because my TV boyfriend, Hugh Laurie, is from there. But I've never heard of anyplace called Cambridgeshire or Manchestershire.

In England hamlet, village, town and city have very specific meanings.
Hamlets have I think it's up to 2 "services" (might be 1 or 3, I can't remember that far back to geography lessons), e.g. a post box and a public phone box, or a post box and a tiny pub.
Villages have more: a church, and maybe a post office, pub, and village shop, with bigger villages having multiples of those (my village has a row of shops, 3 hairdressers, 4 churches, 2 primary schools, half a dozen pubs, etc).
A town has a market.
A city can only call itself such if given a charter by the crown, which leads to huge towns dwarfing some tiny cities population-wise now and again.


Bloody isn't such a bad work. A very mild swearword (IMO).

I agree.  Most of the "b" swearwords aren't bad at all - b*gger, bloody, barsteward.  You wouldn't use them in front of a priest, or someone else's young children, but a teacher higher up in school (even a "nice" school) would ignore them if they were used by students, and most people would use them in front of parents no problem.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Oscar1 on November 22, 2010, 03:54:17 AM
I'd like to ask about eating out. How often does the average American eat out in a week? And when you talk about going to 'pick up dinner', what does that mean? Do you phone the restaurant in advance to place your order and then go and get it? What sort of places do it?

I've always gotten the impression that you eat out more in the US as a matter of course, and wondering if that's correct!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bigozzy on November 22, 2010, 03:54:37 AM
Could I just say....I LOVEEEE the fact that we are all so genuinally interested in each others countries and wanting to learn from each other. Its pretty cool. Its great that we can all pose our questions and not feel like we are being silly asking.

Just dont ask if we ride kangaroos and have pet koalas! Lol. I will laugh at you.

Can I pet a kangaroo?


At a zoo type place the kiddies get to pet and feed the kangaroos. In the wild, kangaroos have been known to severely injure those who are deemed a threat. Happened to a friend of mine in the Blue Mountains.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bigozzy on November 22, 2010, 04:01:39 AM
Quote
As Americans, we suffer from a terrible (misguided) sense of cultural inferiority - since we're such a young country, we tend to feel that all our art, music, cuisine etc. is imported without recognizing how we've made it our own. So we call ourselves InsertNationalityHere-American to confer some cultural legitimacy upon ourselves.

But you AREN'T a young country! You've been settled for several hundred years, many more than Australia has. So what's the deal with constantly associating yourselves with somewhere else?

I don't get it either. I don't identify myself as an 'Aboriginal Australian' - I'm just an Aussie. We have all, even us Abo's, come from somewhere else. But this is where we live, and we stand together or die together as Australians, not as Irish or Scottish or African. We are Australians. Anything else is just ice-cream flavouring.



Not sure I quite agree. I grew up with a guy whose ancestors came to Oz from China for the gold rush and he was still asked where he was from and was once told to go back home which confused him no end.

My wife with an obvious Scottish accent would be asked where she was from but would say Brisbane. Some would would press further with "Where are you from originally"! She would be referred to as Scottish Australian or Australian-Scot.

Now I have lived in Scotland for many years and consider it home. I even have a very weak accent which is not quite Australian but not quite Scottish. Yet I am always referred to as Australian, never Scottish Australian nor do I imagine that will change.


Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: dman on November 22, 2010, 04:21:55 AM
does any other country have something similar to Yorkshire puddings with a roast dinner?
I don't know, but in a similar vein...
I once posted in the 'Whats for dinner?' thread that I was having Toad in the Hole. It emerged that in America, Toad in the Hole is (if I remember correctly) Fried egg in the middle of toast with a hole in, or something similar. If I was expecting toad in the hole for dinner, and was served egg on toast, I would cry. :P :D

My mom used to make toad in the hole when my brother and I were young. It was a custardy batter-y type thing in a baking pan with sausage. We hated it. I know the thing you are talking about with toast – we called it something else, but the name is completely escaping me right now.


We called this hole in the wall.  Not sure why.

Was your mom a Paul Newman fan?

I'll see your "hole in the wall" and raise you a "pig in a blanket" (frankfurter wrapped in biscuit* dough) and a "bugs on a log" (celery stalk with cream cheese or peanut butter topped with raisins). The latter was a very popular side dish at Girl Scout cookouts when I was a girl.

*That's American biscuit -- a breadlike object -- not a cookie.

Pillisbury crescent rolls with the weiner, yep, bugs on a log but with Cheez Wiz & raisins.(gag) 

I'll raise with with my dd's idea of a  great breakfast, a pita with liver pate & peanut butter.  Top that!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: aiki on November 22, 2010, 04:23:06 AM
Ok it's been bugging me for pages  :D

Currants are dried black grapes, raisins are dried red grapes and sultanas are dried green/white grapes (oh and a sutlan's wife  ;D ) They are similar but sultanas tend to be a bit bigger and more juicy. The food that is, I'm not making any comments about sutlan's wives!

After living the in the UK I can say I don't like UK cadbury's but I like the Australian version. And I'll do almost anything for anyone willing to bring me a huge bag of peanut butter M&Ms back from the US.

What is in cocoa powder in the US? I used Australian cocoa powder in a US recipe and it did not work at all. Ours is just cocoa, is the US stuff weaker or mixed with something else?
A currant is not a grape - it's a little berry.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: aiki on November 22, 2010, 04:37:04 AM
And, lecture concluded, I have a question: Is “whinge” the same as “whine?”

Short answer: Yep!

There is, I think a small but subtle distinction.  It's whining when done by a small child, and whinging when done by someone who's supposed to be a grown man.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Craftyone on November 22, 2010, 04:51:08 AM
Ok it's been bugging me for pages  :D

Currants are dried black grapes, raisins are dried red grapes and sultanas are dried green/white grapes (oh and a sutlan's wife  ;D ) They are similar but sultanas tend to be a bit bigger and more juicy. The food that is, I'm not making any comments about sutlan's wives!

After living the in the UK I can say I don't like UK cadbury's but I like the Australian version. And I'll do almost anything for anyone willing to bring me a huge bag of peanut butter M&Ms back from the US.

What is in cocoa powder in the US? I used Australian cocoa powder in a US recipe and it did not work at all. Ours is just cocoa, is the US stuff weaker or mixed with something else?
A currant is not a grape - it's a little berry.
A currant is a dried grape of a particular variety http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061205103803AAjKcuj. The berry currant is usually referred to by a colour ie. redcurrant or blackcurrant.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: iridaceae on November 22, 2010, 04:56:22 AM
Ok it's been bugging me for pages  :D

Currants are dried black grapes, raisins are dried red grapes and sultanas are dried green/white grapes (oh and a sutlan's wife  ;D ) They are similar but sultanas tend to be a bit bigger and more juicy. The food that is, I'm not making any comments about sutlan's wives!

After living the in the UK I can say I don't like UK cadbury's but I like the Australian version. And I'll do almost anything for anyone willing to bring me a huge bag of peanut butter M&Ms back from the US.

What is in cocoa powder in the US? I used Australian cocoa powder in a US recipe and it did not work at all. Ours is just cocoa, is the US stuff weaker or mixed with something else?
A currant is not a grape - it's a little berry.
A currant is a dried grape of a particular variety http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061205103803AAjKcuj. The berry currant is usually referred to by a colour ie. redcurrant or blackcurrant.

Accorrding to this: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG1122.html  a currant is not a grape but is closely related to the gooseberry. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 22, 2010, 05:30:08 AM
Currants are dried black grapes, raisins are dried red grapes and sultanas are dried green/white grapes (oh and a sutlan's wife  ;D ) They are similar but sultanas tend to be a bit bigger and more juicy. The food that is, I'm not making any comments about sutlan's wives!
A currant is not a grape - it's a little berry.

Currants are both dried grapes (as described, small, black dried grapes, I don't find them as tasty as sultanas or raisins) and a type of berry. Here, generally if the term currant is used you're speaking of the dried grape, and for the berry it's redcurrant and blackcurrant (which are related to eachother but not to grapes at all).

Blackcurrants make the most fantastic jam, and other flavourings. It's a very prominent flavour in things here, you get blackcurrant squash (as in syrup that you add water to to make a drink I think that was explained further up the thread), blackcurrant jam, which is my favourite flavour of jam, and blackcurrant pies, blackcurrant flavoured candy etc.  It grows like a weed too. I don't like the fresh berries since they don't taste as nice as the blackcurrant flavoured things you get.

Redcurrants are fantastic fresh, a bit sourer than blackcurrants but in a fresh good way. They never grew in the garden half as good as the blackcurrant bush did and the birds used to gobble them up before we had a chance to do anything with them other than pop them in our mouths. I've also rarely seen them for sale as anything other than included in mixed berries things or redcurrant jelly (which is served with savoury stuff not sweet.)

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 22, 2010, 06:27:48 AM
What's a "button-down shirt"?

I realise this was for some reason a contentious issue in the US (and I know some of your press lied hideously about our system in comparison!) but I want to know so I'll try and ask politely and without offending:
I know you don't have free health-care in the US, but then what happens to people who can't afford to pay?  For people who don't have the luxury of not worrying about money at all (most of us, let's face it), do you have to weigh up whether the doctor's trip is worth it to check out something that might be nothing?  If you showed up at a hospital and were dying of something treatable, do they ask how you'll pay and turn you away if you can't?
I'm honestly asking because I want to know, though I know those questions might sound "off".  I've been told people without money lose limbs from diabetes and die from treatable things, but I'm not sure it was a reputable source, so I thought I'd ask.

How much is the average wage and how much do dogs cost to buy (just a couple of example breeds would be cool)?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: iridaceae on November 22, 2010, 06:39:22 AM

I realise this was for some reason a contentious issue in the US (and I know some of your press lied hideously about our system in comparison!) but I want to know so I'll try and ask politely and without offending:
I know you don't have free health-care in the US, but then what happens to people who can't afford to pay?  For people who don't have the luxury of not worrying about money at all (most of us, let's face it), do you have to weigh up whether the doctor's trip is worth it to check out something that might be nothing?  If you showed up at a hospital and were dying of something treatable, do they ask how you'll pay and turn you away if you can't?
In the US, as long as it is an actual emergency an emergency room cannot refuse to treat you by law.  Now, there have been cases where emergency room staff have refused, but for the most part, honestly, even if you have insurance, the hospital staff really isn't going to take the time to look for your insurance card when they're busy trying to get your heart to start working again.

As for the uninsured- you don't go see a doctor. You hope whatever it is you have will clear itself up on its own. Simple as that. If you are very very lucky a travelling clinic [doctors and nurses and dentists who volunteer a day or two to give their skills for free] will visit your area and if you get in line early enough you can be seen.  Well, if it is a flu shot or a tetanus shot some pharmacies have nurses or Physicians Assistants who are legally able to give shots and will give them for a fee. So if you have the money you can go there; I think my flu shot (insurance wouldn't cover it for whatever reason) was $35.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 22, 2010, 06:57:54 AM
What's a "button-down shirt"?

I realise this was for some reason a contentious issue in the US (and I know some of your press lied hideously about our system in comparison!) but I want to know so I'll try and ask politely and without offending:
I know you don't have free health-care in the US, but then what happens to people who can't afford to pay?  For people who don't have the luxury of not worrying about money at all (most of us, let's face it), do you have to weigh up whether the doctor's trip is worth it to check out something that might be nothing?  If you showed up at a hospital and were dying of something treatable, do they ask how you'll pay and turn you away if you can't?
I'm honestly asking because I want to know, though I know those questions might sound "off".  I've been told people without money lose limbs from diabetes and die from treatable things, but I'm not sure it was a reputable source, so I thought I'd ask.

How much is the average wage and how much do dogs cost to buy (just a couple of example breeds would be cool)?

Thirty years ago, a button-down shirt was a shirt that had a little button on each point of the collar to hold the collar down on the shirt front. It was lightly less formal than a similar shirt without the collar buttons. It could be worn with or without a tie. Worn a lot by preppies back then, with their chino slacks.

The term has morphed over the years and in the last few years I've heard it used to mean any shirt that buttons all the way down the front, as opposed to a t-shirt with no buttons, or a polo style shirt with just 2 or 3 buttons at the neck.



About health care--there are programs in place to provide at least basic health care for people who are very poor. The problem is that there is a fair amount of what is called the "working poor;" people who have jobs, but the jobs are a) low-paying and b) don't offer insurance. There are also self-employed people, who may not make enough money to pay for insurance--if you buy insurance as an individual and not part of a group, the cost is more. These are the people who can fall through the cracks. Many states have special programs where you can buy insurance for your children at a reasonable rate if your employer doesn't offer it and if you make too much money to qualify for the free programs. Adults are pretty much on their own.

As iridaceae  says, if you show up at an emergency room with a real emergency, they'll treat you. Some areas have free clinics, but you might have to take a day off work and wait for hours to be seen there, so it's a constant weighing of the need for medical care and the need for money.

There are walk-in clinics where you can pay to see a doctor, but in my area, they charge $100 just to get in to see the doctor. If you need any tests, that costs extra. If you need medications, that costs extra, too.


The Social Security Administration (which handles federal retirement funds) calculated the average wage in 2009 to be 40,711.61. But they are using that for a very specific purpose, to calculate what the Social Security payments will be, so I don't know if it clearly reflects what Americans were making that year.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 22, 2010, 07:32:22 AM
Sure you can pet a kangaroo. There is alot of places around Australia that are holiday places that the kangaroos are somewhat tamed to expect human contact if they want food. And alot of zoos and wild life sanctuarys have kangaroos to pet too. I wouldnt dare a wild one though.

Bloody is tame. Its not offensive. Bugger...hmmm...depends on the context. It HAS had preverse meanings. When you are little you get told its a swear but its not. Actually this rhyme I got told when I was 10.

"bloody is in the bible,bloody is in the book. And if you dont believe me then take a bloody look"

I've never looked.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 22, 2010, 07:40:09 AM
Another comment on the hyphenated American designations.

Most immigrants bring their traditions with them and at least attempt to pass them on to their children.  This is almost more true today than in the past when long-distance phone calls were either impossible or horrendously expensive and there was no media or limited media in their native language. Their first priority was to learn English because there was the thought that it was necessary to give up the native language for English in order to become American.  This is no longer the case.

Immigrants never give up their native foods.  This is one of the reasons there is such variety of cuisine in the US and how people of other ethnic origins come to try and appreciate things their mothers never prepared.

I suspect that the farther away one gets from the country of origin -- generationally speaking -- the less they identify with it culturally.  But because country of origin can show in a person's appearance there will still be the question of "where are you (or your parents) from?" especially if the last name is not something that sounds white bread-American.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsJWine on November 22, 2010, 08:00:42 AM
We're supposed to update out licenses every time we move in Wisconsin.  That's the first thing a cop asks after looking at your license- "Is this address current?"

I wish we had that sticky thing for the back of our licenses, that sounds way more convenient.

We do.  My husband got one when he moved from his parents' house to our first apartment.  That was 7 years ago, though, so maybe it's changed since then.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 22, 2010, 08:17:58 AM
About driver's licenses--they are issued by the state in which you are a permanent resident. if you move to a different state, you usually are given 30 to 60 days to get a new driver's license and change the registration on your car to that of the new state. If you don't change your license, and you are found out, you are in for some steep fines in some places.

If you move within a state, you usually have to register the change of address with the Motor Vehicle Department, and may need a new license, or a sticker on the back of the old one to indicate the change.

Taxes on things like houses and cars can vary greatly from state to state. It is not unheard of for people to try and maintain that they are residents of State X, while they are living and working in State Y, because State X has a much lower tax rate. Having a driver's license and car registration from State X can help prove that you have a residence there. But this is so common that now there are laws stating how many months you must live in a state in order to prove residence there.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 22, 2010, 08:43:05 AM
I know you don't have free health-care in the US, but then what happens to people who can't afford to pay?  For people who don't have the luxury of not worrying about money at all (most of us, let's face it), do you have to weigh up whether the doctor's trip is worth it to check out something that might be nothing?  If you showed up at a hospital and were dying of something treatable, do they ask how you'll pay and turn you away if you can't?

I actually have a cousin who is in precisely this situation right now.  He ended up in the hospital with something kind of horrendously wrong with his skin (think like a rash).  They were worried about cancer, but managed to figure out something else that could be causing it, and that treatment seemed to fix the problem.  I think they're still wanting to figure out what exactly is going on, though.

The problem is that my cousin does not have health insurance.  He has never had the type of job that offers it, and even though I'm sure my aunt and uncle wish they could afford to help him, they can't.  So, because he is legally an independent adult, he's essentially a charity case at this point.  The hospital treated him because his issue was potentially life-threatening (or at least very serious), but he can't afford to pay for it.  The hospital might be able to work with him to figure out a payment plan of some sort, but I actually think that he's declaring bankruptcy.

And unfortunately, at this point in time in the United States, it is not at all uncommon for people to declare bankruptcy primarily because they get very sick and can't pay the medical bills.  Sometimes this is true even when they do have health insurance.

Quote
I'm honestly asking because I want to know, though I know those questions might sound "off".  I've been told people without money lose limbs from diabetes and die from treatable things, but I'm not sure it was a reputable source, so I thought I'd ask.

People will not die from a treatable emergency, because as others have said, hospitals are obligated by law to treat anyone in such a circumstance.

The problem ultimately comes in that people without insurance (or without enough insurance) will be unable to actually manage any chronic conditions they have, and they can end up being far worse and far more life-threatening (and ironically, more expensive) as a result.  Take kidney disease, for instance.  If someone without insurance has kidney problems requiring dialysis, they won't be able to get it regularly at a clinic, where it would be relatively inexpensive.  Instead, they will only get dialysis at an ER when they are going into kidney failure, and it will cost a whoooole lot more than the whole preventative treatment regimen at a clinic.  And sometimes, you get a cycle -- patient can't afford dialysis, so patient goes into kidney failure; patient is saved by emergency dialysis, but patient can't afford regularly dialysis, so patient goes into kidney failure...and so it continues until the patient's kidneys just can't take it anymore.

The United States does have government health insurance for people who are poor enough or sick/disabled enough to qualify (called Medicaid), and there is government health insurance for people old enough to qualify (Medicare), and those are both very good things.  They have their issues, but they make health care available for a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't have enough (or any) access to it.  The most vulnerable populations, as camlan said, are the working poor -- people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but do not have other affordable health insurance available to them.

Quote
How much is the average wage

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a chart that breaks down mean and median wages for 2009 by occupation: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#00-0000

The overall mean is $20.90/hour, and the median is $15.95/hour.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: GeauxTigers on November 22, 2010, 09:00:18 AM
Here's one:

Most Americans have to file state income tax returns in addition to Federal. The exceptions are:
Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Two others, New Hampshire and Tennessee, tax only dividend and interest income. Some states soften the blow by having a slightly later "file by" date than the April 15 federal deadline.

Some states allow lotteries, some don't. Some also participate in large, multi-state lotteries with humongo-ridiculous cumulative jackpots such as Powerball. Unless you're in a casino, racetrack or other licensed facility (not all states allow gambling), betting on sporting events is illegal - you'll never see "the pools" that exist in the U.K. for soccer/football.

Oh, and U.S. casinos (I'm referring to the gaming floors) are NOT the glamorous places that one sees in James Bond movies - you won't find anyone in tuxes and evening gowns unless they're a) an entertainer or b) getting married there. On the whole, they're crowded, noisy, garishly decorated and filled with cigarette smoke.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 22, 2010, 09:35:36 AM
One catastrophic illness or injury can be enough to push a relatively secure middle-class USian into the ranks of the working poor, who lack access to decent loans as well as decent health care.  Also note that people who don't have a lot of cash that they can deposit and let sit, but don't qualify for membership in a non-profit credit union, must rely on financial institutions that are outright predatory in order to access the money in their paychecks.  This can range from banks that charge a penalty for having less than X thousands of dollars on deposit at all times to check cashing services that charge even more.  You earn the money, then you pay rent on it until you spend it.

My BIL had a near-miss.  He owns a small blue-collar business.  He broke his neck in a car accident.  The first people on the scene did exactly the right things, which is why he is walking today.  He was fitted with a halo brace.  Then the bills started to come in.  He applied for government aid.  Here is what he was told, in a nutshell: Sell your business at the best price you can get on short notice, which will mean selling it at a loss.  Sell every other asset you own, ditto: your house and everything in it except a few clothes and other low-value personal items; your personal vehicle; all of it.  Run through all of the savings you put aside over the years AND the money from the sale of your life AND every line of credit you can get your hands on.  Be sleeping on somebody else's couch in your halo brace.  Then we may give you a little money, after a waiting period, which may be more than a year.  After that, you will have no way to earn a living, no home, no cash on hand, and a very bad credit rating, which will mean that you won't get the loans you will need to bootstrap yourself back out of the gutter.  But that isn't our problem.  Next!

My BIL was very, very lucky.  He already owned his home and car, his equipment was all paid for because it was old, and so he had very few monthly bills while he couldn't work.  His relatives were well off enough to bring him groceries and provide some of the personal care that could have been provided by a nurse if he could have afforded a home nurse.  He had not already had a catastrophe that ruined his credit, so that the hospital was willing to do a payment plan.  He has kept his home, business, and life.  Meanwhile, he has lost most of his teeth; small business owners can't get dental plans that cover enough to justify the enormous premiums.


If the sick person has a family, the entire family can become working poor.  If the sick person is a minor child, there may be jars at locak grocery checkouts with "OUR DAUGHTER HAS A RARE CANCER, PLEASE HELP" on them, or area churches may sponsor spaghetti feeds to help offset the crippling medical costs.  This never pays for all of the costs. 


The chronically ill who have no government aid and no personal money tend to die. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 22, 2010, 09:39:02 AM
Quote
As Americans, we suffer from a terrible (misguided) sense of cultural inferiority - since we're such a young country, we tend to feel that all our art, music, cuisine etc. is imported without recognizing how we've made it our own. So we call ourselves InsertNationalityHere-American to confer some cultural legitimacy upon ourselves.

But you AREN'T a young country! You've been settled for several hundred years, many more than Australia has. So what's the deal with constantly associating yourselves with somewhere else?

I don't get it either. I don't identify myself as an 'Aboriginal Australian' - I'm just an Aussie. We have all, even us Abo's, come from somewhere else. But this is where we live, and we stand together or die together as Australians, not as Irish or Scottish or African. We are Australians. Anything else is just ice-cream flavouring.

I don't actually agree with the post you quoted, but let me explain why I think the length of time we've had a European presence in the United States doesn't particularly matter.

First of all, though we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants, the very first immigrants (and the biggest chunk of the newly-arrived population) was basically from the same place for a long time.  English immigrants tended to settle along the Atlantic coast, and Scottish immigrants tended to settle further inland in the Appalachian region.  There were other immigrants, but they were very much in the minority.

Because the first groups of immigrants were so overwhelmingly English and Scottish, English ideas of race and nationality held precedence in this country for a very, very long time.  The Irish were undesirable as immigrants because the English thought very poorly of them.  The Italians and other southern Europeans were undesirable because they were too different.  Ditto for the Eastern Europeans.  Ditto for the Chinese and Japanese later.  Ditto for basically anyone who is not already a part of the established majority at any point in time.  Older groups of immigrants got absorbed into the majority every time a new and more different immigrant group started to show up -- the Irish, for instance, became a lot more acceptable once the immigrants from the southern and eastern parts of Europe started arriving in larger numbers.

But that never erased the fact that for a very long time, anyone whose ancestry was Irish would very much face discrimination in this country, and thus was a part of a relatively insular immigrant group.  My grandmother was born in the United States, as was her mother and her mother's mother.  And basically all of my grandmother's ancestry is Irish, even after four generations, because Irish-Americans tended to marry other Irish-Americans at that point in history.  It has influenced how my grandmother relates to this country, even as a native-born citizen, and so it has influenced her descendants as well (to a much more limited extent, but still).

Second, the United States has always had slavery to contend with.  A very large proportion of black people in this country have ancestors that arrived here as slaves hundreds of years ago.  Their experience of the United States is so different from people who did not arrive here in servitude that it's almost not worth mentioning.  Even immigrants from the British Isles who arrived as indentured servants led very different lives.  And it's a difference that has persisted well beyond the end of slavery in this country.  African-Americans identify as such primarily because their experience of being Americans is still very different from just about everyone else.

Third, immigration to the United States is ongoing, in reasonably large numbers.  There are lots of people living here who were born elsewhere, or who are the first in their families to be born here.  That makes a difference.  My DF is not American, and did not live here until he was 24.  The most he's ever going to identify as American is as a hyphenated one.  And for that reason, and because his whole immediate family still lives in another country, our children are probably going to identify as American with that same hyphen.  Because for them, they really will have extremely real ties to another country, even if they aren't citizens there.

It is ultimately very silly to identify as Scottish (or whatever) the way others have described -- getting caught up in a version of the country that hasn't existed for centuries, if it ever did at all.  And while some people do that, I don't think most Americans do.  Their identification with some other country is usually directly tied to family traditions/culture/religion that have persisted from that country.  Since those traditions aren't necessarily widespread (and thus, can't really be called "American"), they have to find another way to identify where they came from.  The easiest way is to go with the hyphen, because they are no more the traditions from the original country at that point than they are American -- they are a mixture of the two.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mechtilde on November 22, 2010, 09:48:06 AM
It really doesn't take long for an emigrant or exile community to become different to the community which has stayed in the "home country". There were a lot of Poles who settled in my part of England after WW2 and they had a huge culture shock when they went back to Poland for visits after things had relaxed a bit and found how much things had changed- that was only in about 30-40 years.

So after 100 or so years in the US, the differences must be even greater in some cases.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 22, 2010, 09:54:31 AM
Interesting bit of trivia: the culture and customs that are, broadly, "just American" are understood to be mostly British, but in fact they are often German.  German emigrated to the New World in large numbers.  Once here, they changed their names and dropped their accents as quickly as possible, often claiming "English" background (Schmidt becoming Smith).  This is more prevalent in some regions of the U.S. than in others.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 22, 2010, 10:02:19 AM


Bloody is tame. Its not offensive. Bugger...hmmm...depends on the context. It HAS had preverse meanings. When you are little you get told its a swear but its not. Actually this rhyme I got told when I was 10.

"bloody is in the bible,bloody is in the book. And if you dont believe me then take a bloody look"

I've never looked.

Thanks! Perhaps it's a historical and/or contextual thing - we've been watching a lot of BBC mysteries set in the inter-war period, so maybe it was more daring or offensive back then? As for "bugger," I've seen it in many different contexts (affectionately, sort of "you little devil") as well as in a sort of F-bomb meaning.

And thanks also for all the clarifications on "whinge" and "whine-" I'd gathered that "whine" was pretty much a self-pity thing whereas "whinge" had more of a complaining/griping element.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Snooks on November 22, 2010, 10:08:43 AM
Okay, question about drivers licenses!  Here in the US, you have to get your license renewed every few years, so your picture is usually at least somewhat current.  I've heard that in France (and other parts of Europe?), though, you get your picture taken when you first get your license and then that's it, you can renew without a new picture.  So you can have an 80-year-old driving with a picture of them when they were 18, which doesn't seem to make any sense from a law enforcement/ID standpoint.  And then if you lose your license, you have to get your picture re-taken, so if the picture on your license is you at 50 everyone will know that you lost your license???

I'm not sure if all of that is right, or if it applies to more than just France - just sounded weird to me!

In the UK you either have a paper driving licence (issued pre 1997ish) or a photocard with a paper counterpart.  The licence has your address on it, if you move you have to change your address.  So if you have a paper driving licence and you move you will now be issued with a photocard.  Paper licences do not have an expiry date, photocards are valid for 10 years.  This caused a huge amount of problems a couple of years ago when the first lot started to expire because the DVLA didn't think it was necessary to write and tell people that their licence now had an expiry date.

It doesn't cost anything to change your name or address on your driving licence in the UK.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 22, 2010, 10:11:39 AM
You are most welcome  :)

Bugger also can be refered to in a perverse nature but its not used alot these days. And I dont really like the term used for that. Think f bomb for its other deeper meaning.

I'll see if I can find the aussie slang dictionary and post it here.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 22, 2010, 10:14:32 AM
Interesting bit of trivia: the culture and customs that are, broadly, "just American" are understood to be mostly British, but in fact they are often German.  German emigrated to the New World in large numbers.  Once here, they changed their names and dropped their accents as quickly as possible, often claiming "English" background (Schmidt becoming Smith).  This is more prevalent in some regions of the U.S. than in others.

A significant number of German immigrants to America took active Americanization measures during WWI, even before the US was involved. My great-grandfather, though born in the US as the child of native-born parents, was surnamed Mueller. After August 1914, he and his family were subject to what would now be called "hate crimes." They became "Miller" very quickly, but had to move several states away before being accepted as "American."

I have no problem with Americans who investigate, respect and practice elements of their ethnic/tribal/geographic heritage. But I believe too much "cultural hyphenation" ("I'm a XXX-american") can ultimately be divisive, both for the individual (in a conflict, who do you support? Your group, or your nation?) and for the community. And I agree with Dindrane - many people who celebrate their "heritage" are, in fact, celebrating a romanticized or even entire mythical version of that heritage.

The "melting pot" is especially rich where I live (Washington DC/Northern VA). When DS was a senior in high school, a survey of our public school system found that there were at least 52 native languages spoken in the households with children in the school system. Our favorite "ethnic" market carries foods from at least eleven different regions and they give food demos and free samples on weekends. It's great fun to watch my DS, who is as "Anglo" looking as it's possible to get, chattering in Korean or Spanish to the demo ladies dressed in traditional outfits as well as to teenagers dressed in jeans and sneakers.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Hushabye on November 22, 2010, 10:16:31 AM
To continue with the cultural identification... In some communities identifying yourself as Irish-American or German-American or whatever can help to get across without a lot of detailed explanations a great deal of cultural information.  In my hometown, German-American/Irish-American meant, most often, that you were Catholic, often from a pretty large family, attended a specific church, and went to a certain school.

With driver's licenses, it depends on the state whether or not you're supposed to change your license when you move.  All of the states I have lived in required it, and it was expensive in Arkansas in particular (hence why I'll admit to not changing it when I was in college and we were moving every 9-12 months).

Re: Insurance... It's a confusing and hot topic over here.  Some communities work to compensate for the lack with free clinics and services offered by health departments, but the biggest problem, long-term, is dealing with chronic conditions, as Dindrane pointed out.  There's only so much that free clinics and health departments can offer in terms of care management, most often trying to provide education and a good start, but a lot of the time, if you can't afford health insurance, you can't afford the medications or other changes that are necessary to manage a condition like diabetes or kidney disease.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: vorbau on November 22, 2010, 10:29:14 AM
Okay, question about drivers licenses!  Here in the US, you have to get your license renewed every few years, so your picture is usually at least somewhat current.  I've heard that in France (and other parts of Europe?), though, you get your picture taken when you first get your license and then that's it, you can renew without a new picture.  So you can have an 80-year-old driving with a picture of them when they were 18, which doesn't seem to make any sense from a law enforcement/ID standpoint.  And then if you lose your license, you have to get your picture re-taken, so if the picture on your license is you at 50 everyone will know that you lost your license???

I'm not sure if all of that is right, or if it applies to more than just France - just sounded weird to me!

In the UK you either have a paper driving licence (issued pre 1997ish) or a photocard with a paper counterpart.  The licence has your address on it, if you move you have to change your address.  So if you have a paper driving licence and you move you will now be issued with a photocard.  Paper licences do not have an expiry date, photocards are valid for 10 years.  This caused a huge amount of problems a couple of years ago when the first lot started to expire because the DVLA didn't think it was necessary to write and tell people that their licence now had an expiry date.

It doesn't cost anything to change your name or address on your driving licence in the UK.

In the US (unfortunately, for me, from a professional standpoint), laws about driving licenses and acceptable ID vary - sometimes wildly - from state to state. In VA, where I live, there is a graduated system for licensing young drivers, where they can get a license with restrictions at age 16 (they can't drive alone during certain night hours, can't have other teens as passengers, etc). These restrictions are gradually removed until the driver is 18 and/or has had their license for at least 1 year with no violations. Fees are pretty cheap - $5 to renew my license last time - and we are actively encouraged to renew our licenses and conduct other business on-line (in fact, they are beginning to add surcharges for services at a DMV brick-and-mortar office). Since I renewed on line, they used the photo they already had on file. VA requires those who move here to get a VA license within 60 days, but military and those here as official reps of foreign governments (diplomats, etc) are exempt. Non-US citizens who move here but work for private employers (i.e., the reps of foreign shipbuilders DH works with) have to get VA licenses though.

Some states won't accept military IDs and/or passports for identification purposes, especially for purchases of alcohol/tobacco. My state will accept any document issued by a government office, whether state, US or foreign, as long as it contains a photograph, a signature, a date of birth, along with height and weight.

That's federalism at work for you - each state in the US gets to do its own thing.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 22, 2010, 10:36:48 AM
From the little I've seen of Finnish traditions in America (on tv and in books) it seems very old fashioned which makes a lot of sense, if your ancestors left the old country in the beginning of 20th century you're probably going to associate folk dancing and saunas and Karelian pies with Finland and not air guitar championships (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38vBwjZYgg4) and deaf hip hop artists (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITEyNwcCwdI) and job titles that are sort of in English (but not really). It's sort of like the town where I grew up in and left ten years ago. When I lived there nothing ever seemed to happen and change, now when I go back I'm always shocked at the change.

My new questions are sort of related:
I bought two things today that are very commonplace to me but may not be elsewhere. I tried to describe them but Wikipedia does it better. First is kiisseli (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kissel), which appears to be Eastern European and the second is mustikkakeitto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blåbärssoppa), which is Swedish (I think that Finnish cuisine is mostly a mix of Russian and Swedish cooking and some things that the rest of Europe abandoned in Middle Ages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mämmi)). They're both sort of fruit soups, eaten or drank usually cold. Do you have something similar in other places or have you eaten those?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 22, 2010, 10:42:51 AM
Fruit soups are always considered exotic in the US IME.  Comprehensive cookbooks, such as The Joy of Cooking, will have a recipe, with a header explaining where it came from.  I've never eaten fruit soup and I don't know of any place that serves it.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Louie_LI on November 22, 2010, 10:48:44 AM
Okay, question about drivers licenses!  Here in the US, you have to get your license renewed every few years, so your picture is usually at least somewhat current.  I've heard that in France (and other parts of Europe?), though, you get your picture taken when you first get your license and then that's it, you can renew without a new picture.  So you can have an 80-year-old driving with a picture of them when they were 18, which doesn't seem to make any sense from a law enforcement/ID standpoint.  And then if you lose your license, you have to get your picture re-taken, so if the picture on your license is you at 50 everyone will know that you lost your license???

I'm not sure if all of that is right, or if it applies to more than just France - just sounded weird to me!

In France, your license is good for life, so the picture is often quite out of date. Since there are national ID cards (renewable), licenses are less frequently used as ID.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 22, 2010, 11:05:16 AM
Fruit soups are always considered exotic in the US IME.  Comprehensive cookbooks, such as The Joy of Cooking, will have a recipe, with a header explaining where it came from.  I've never eaten fruit soup and I don't know of any place that serves it.

As a Joy of Cooking expert, I can tell you that's true.  I haven't made it yet though--and I've never met anyone who has. 

What's a "button-down shirt"?

I realise this was for some reason a contentious issue in the US (and I know some of your press lied hideously about our system in comparison!) but I want to know so I'll try and ask politely and without offending:
I know you don't have free health-care in the US, but then what happens to people who can't afford to pay?  For people who don't have the luxury of not worrying about money at all (most of us, let's face it), do you have to weigh up whether the doctor's trip is worth it to check out something that might be nothing?  If you showed up at a hospital and were dying of something treatable, do they ask how you'll pay and turn you away if you can't?
I'm honestly asking because I want to know, though I know those questions might sound "off".  I've been told people without money lose limbs from diabetes and die from treatable things, but I'm not sure it was a reputable source, so I thought I'd ask.

How much is the average wage and how much do dogs cost to buy (just a couple of example breeds would be cool)?

Dogs range dramatically in price.  If you buy from a backyard irresponsible parent of the human variety (someone who isn't breeding for the betterment of the breed but is breeding for money or other reasons), most dogs are $200-$500.  If you are buying from a true irresponsible parent of the human variety, the dogs would be more expensive.  A papillon, for example, can easily cost $800-$1500.  Then again, papillons only have 1-3 in a litter, so they would be more expensive than a dog that normally has a dozen puppies.  I can talk about this topic long past when everyone else would be bored, so I will stop now :)



I realise this was for some reason a contentious issue in the US (and I know some of your press lied hideously about our system in comparison!) but I want to know so I'll try and ask politely and without offending:
I know you don't have free health-care in the US, but then what happens to people who can't afford to pay?  For people who don't have the luxury of not worrying about money at all (most of us, let's face it), do you have to weigh up whether the doctor's trip is worth it to check out something that might be nothing?  If you showed up at a hospital and were dying of something treatable, do they ask how you'll pay and turn you away if you can't?
I'm honestly asking because I want to know, though I know those questions might sound "off".  I've been told people without money lose limbs from diabetes and die from treatable things, but I'm not sure it was a reputable source, so I thought I'd ask.

I know this has been answered but that is true.  I have two quick stories:
1.  My best friend as a young child was being raised by her grandparents.  Her g'ma found a lump in her breast.  She knew it was cancer and also knew they had no money for treatment.  She didn't tell anyone and didn't get tested.  She was dead within a year. 

2.  DH had stage 4 cancer when we were 25.  His treatments were incredibly expensive.  He had chemo for 96-hours at a time in the hospital--each round was almost $40,000.  Without insurance the hospital would have never done the treatment and DH would have died.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Louie_LI on November 22, 2010, 11:10:09 AM


Currants are dried black grapes, raisins are dried red grapes and sultanas are dried green/white grapes (oh and a sutlan's wife  ;D ) They are similar but sultanas tend to be a bit bigger and more juicy. The food that is, I'm not making any comments about sutlan's wives!


Currants are their own thing, and not always dried. Ribena is made of blackcurrants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribes
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 22, 2010, 11:13:13 AM
I'm in Ontario, Canada.

Your driver's license is good for 5 years.  You have to pay to have it renewed and get a new photo taken every 5 years.

If you move, though, changing the address is free.  And required by law.  If you don't update your address and then get caught, the fines are pretty steep.

Ontario also has a graduated licensing program where you get your learner's permit for up to a year where you must have a licensed, legal to drive, adult in the front passenger seat with you.  You are also restricted from driving on some multi-lane highways.  Then you do a road test to get your initial license which has some restrictions like no alcohol, no driving from midnight to 6 am (I think).  Once you've had that license for a period of time, you then take another road test to get your full, unrestricted license.

With the exeption that if you are under 21, you cannot have any alcohol in your system at all.  This law was recently brought in and currently has a legal case pending under the Charter of Rights for age discrimination.  I can see that it may get changed to no alcohol from 5 years to the date of getting your learner's permit.  This will mean the same thing for those that go out and get their learner's the moment they turn 16 but would also catch any other new drivers that are older.  But it wouldn't then be age discrimination.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 22, 2010, 11:13:50 AM
I'd like to ask about eating out. How often does the average American eat out in a week? And when you talk about going to 'pick up dinner', what does that mean? Do you phone the restaurant in advance to place your order and then go and get it? What sort of places do it?

I've always gotten the impression that you eat out more in the US as a matter of course, and wondering if that's correct!

Nobody has answered this!  There is a HUGE regional difference to this.  I'm originally from Des Moines, Iowa.  Des Moines is one of the ten places in the US that refugees are placed when they are accepted in to the US.  I believe this is one of the reasons we have such amazing ethnic restaurants.  There are tons and tons and tons of family-owned restaurants in DSM also because people eat out constantly.  Personally, even know, DH and I eat in a restaurant at least 3 times a week and eat fast food at least once or twice more--and I'm not counting weekday lunches. 

When you go to a take-out place, you either call ahead and order (or order online),and then pay and pick it up or you go in person and wait for it.  In either case, you take it home to eat.  IMO it used to be only common in my area in Chinese restaurants and pizza places but now is common in almost all chains.  For example, most quick-serve restaurants like Chilis or Applebees have a special entrance and area for take-out order. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsJWine on November 22, 2010, 11:31:10 AM
My mom makes fruit soup a lot.  It's delicious.  I could live on the stuff.

I'd like to ask about eating out. How often does the average American eat out in a week? And when you talk about going to 'pick up dinner', what does that mean? Do you phone the restaurant in advance to place your order and then go and get it? What sort of places do it?

I've always gotten the impression that you eat out more in the US as a matter of course, and wondering if that's correct!

I think this depends on a lot of things.  Growing up, going out to eat was a VERY special treat.  Hardly ever happened.  When I got my first job in high school, I started eating out more, especially once I started college.  When it was just me and my husband, both of us working part-time jobs and going to school, totally erratic schedules and lots of late nights, we ate out all the time--usually a sandwich from the deli, nothing fancy, but it was still at least daily.  Now we eat out maybe once every two months.  Maybe.  It's too expensive, and I hate hauling kids around, and the food I can make at home is usually healthier anyway. 

Takeout is a nice compromise.  I don't have to cook or wash dishes, but it's often cheaper (I'm a huge fan of takeout pizza, like Papa Murphy's, especially the veggie delite pizza).  It still hardly ever happens (maybe once a month).  You phone ahead, tell them what you want, and then go pick it up.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 22, 2010, 11:41:42 AM
To add on to the question about eating out -- it depends a lot on how much disposable income a family has, what sorts of restaurants there are in the area, and how busy they are, among other things.

DF and I, right now, eat out twice a week and sometimes more.  We have no children, and sort of have two incomes, and this is one of the few luxuries we allow ourselves.  Once we have children, cooking at home will probably be a lot easier in comparison, because taking small children to a restaurant is not very relaxing. :)  Then again, we already do a lot of carry out as it is, so maybe that will persist until it gets too expensive.

When I was growing up, my family ate out once a week on average.  We rarely ate out more frequently than that.  A large part of that was probably because I grew up in Houston, and there are tons of good, really inexpensive restaurants all over the place.  Even with a family of five, eating out wasn't prohibitive.

When my mom was going out, her family ate out precisely once each week.  My grandmother got her hair done on Thursdays, so they all went to the local Mexican restaurant on Thursdays, because my grandma wouldn't have had time to cook dinner.  I don't think they ate out very much at all besides that.

There's also eating lunch out -- a lot of Americans who work full time buy their lunch pretty frequently.  Or at least, it seems to be a common enough thing to do that it's one of the first things people suggest when a person wants to figure out how to save money. :P  I personally buy my lunch once a week, because it helps me make it to Friday. :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Glaceon on November 22, 2010, 11:51:57 AM
My family eats out fairly often, usually once a week.  But I include fast food and takeout as "eating out."  You can get dinner pretty cheap and with Piplup running me ragged sometimes it's just easier.

My state (Michigan) requires driver's licenses every four years and changing your address is free.  If your license isn't up for renewal you just get a sticker for the back of your card.  Easy as pie.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 22, 2010, 11:53:26 AM
As for eating out...

In my experience (growing up in urban north Texas with a single mom who worked and various family relations who all also worked.), we ate out A LOT, probably 2-3 times a week.

We often meet other family members, and friends for meals out as well. Most of the time, these meals were normally reasonable/cheaper end prices at Mom and Pop establishments, out-of-the-way world cuisine places, or non-chain restaurants as we almost never went out for fast food places.

Now in our family here in the UK, we normally go out 1-2 times a week with the Boo.  Again, these are sit-down meals as we don't eat fast food at all.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 22, 2010, 12:06:09 PM
More re U.S. health insurance: Employer-sponsored policies cover (to paraphrase a very rude but succinct blog post at another site) you, your Scrabble partner (usually only if legally recognized), and any children resulting from the rel@tionship or possessing equivalent legal status, perhaps until they are legally fully adult, but perhaps not.  Adults who are dependent on you are not covered.  My late MIL was housebound, nearly bedbound, with several chronic conditions.  She had an income well below the poverty level, but she owned the house she lived in and she was claimed as a dependent on DH's taxes, so she did not qualify for government medical aid.  As an adult, she was not covered by his insurance either.  So she (actually he and his brothers) paid cash in full for everything.   They could cover medications, equipment, and doctor visits, but not a home nurse or repairs to the house beyond the most basic.  So DH lived at home well into his adulthood so she wouldn't be alone, and after she died, we inherited a house that earned 1 1/2 energy efficiency points on a scale that goes up to 30.  (DH says that the scale actually goes up to 100.  It's entirely plausible.)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 22, 2010, 12:11:39 PM
Fruit soups are always considered exotic in the US IME.  Comprehensive cookbooks, such as The Joy of Cooking, will have a recipe, with a header explaining where it came from.  I've never eaten fruit soup and I don't know of any place that serves it.

I don't know about that. They weren't considered exotic when I lived in Virginia. Fruit soups aren't looked at as exotic down here in Florida, either. I've never had a hard time finding a reasonably priced restaurant that serves them.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 22, 2010, 12:13:44 PM
For those asking about Boxing Day:

In Canada, it has evolved into a shopping extravaganza, very similar to Black Friday in the States.

In other words, an event that I avoid like the plague!   :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 22, 2010, 12:15:46 PM
For those asking about Boxing Day:

In Canada, it has evolved into a shopping extravaganza, very similar to Black Friday in the States.

In other words, an event that I avoid like the plague!   :D
Same in Britain. I'm never that desparate to grab a bargain that I'll queue outside a shop at 7am and fight through crowds of becrazed shoppers :P . Nah, seriously though, we always have family events planned on Boxing day, so I never shop.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 22, 2010, 12:40:29 PM
Fear of crowds has a name: enochlophobia! (One site said demophobia, too.)

I have a mild case. I've only had 2 real panic attacks. That is why I don't go to sales events and theaters and hate big cities. It's nice to know!

This doesn't belong here. I just thought I would throw it out as it seems I'm not alone.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 22, 2010, 01:09:31 PM
Baked beans are in a tin, with a tomato sauce. It is an orangey colour. Originally produced by Heinz as one of their 57 varieties.

I saw one of those tv specials that talked about Heinz. Apparently there weren't 57 varieties when he made up that logo--he just liked that number!
http://www.snopes.com/business/hidden/heinz57.asp

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 22, 2010, 01:29:02 PM
Quote
As Americans, we suffer from a terrible (misguided) sense of cultural inferiority - since we're such a young country, we tend to feel that all our art, music, cuisine etc. is imported without recognizing how we've made it our own. So we call ourselves InsertNationalityHere-American to confer some cultural legitimacy upon ourselves.

But you AREN'T a young country! You've been settled for several hundred years, many more than Australia has. So what's the deal with constantly associating yourselves with somewhere else?

I don't get it either. I don't identify myself as an 'Aboriginal Australian' - I'm just an Aussie. We have all, even us Abo's, come from somewhere else. But this is where we live, and we stand together or die together as Australians, not as Irish or Scottish or African. We are Australians. Anything else is just ice-cream flavouring.



I consider myself an Italian-American.  I'm a first generation American (my parents were immigrants).  Many of my good friends were immigrants as well.  There is a huge difference in our cultural background and upbringing based on where we came from.  My best friend, as an Indian-American had a huge wealth of cultural standards from her family that varied greatly from mine.  And both of us growing up in an area that was mostly Hispanic--we had a much different experience than our friend who was an immigrant from Argentina.  My best friend's husband--who's parents came from Mexico--they had their own traditions and culture as well. 

I cannot think of another country that is comprised almost entirely of immigrants--outside of native americans, the only question is when your family immigrated here.  I find that the more recent the immigration the more culture and tradition one retains from their country of origin.

It's a heck of a lot easier to say I'm a Mexican-American or an Italian-American or a Japanese American than to say "I'm an American, but I have a lot of cultural influence from *X country" where my family came from."

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 22, 2010, 01:33:13 PM
I'd like to ask about eating out. How often does the average American eat out in a week? And when you talk about going to 'pick up dinner', what does that mean? Do you phone the restaurant in advance to place your order and then go and get it? What sort of places do it?

I've always gotten the impression that you eat out more in the US as a matter of course, and wondering if that's correct!

This ties into the fact that America is a huge and varied country.  For example, in NYC you're going to find most people eat out or get "take out" almost every day.  Apartments are incredibly small with little kitchen space and the ingredients for a meal cost more than buying it as take out or in a restaurant.  Then you're going to go to somewhere rural in the south or midwest and find that people almost never go out to eat.  It's easier and inexpensive to make their meals and food places are much harder to get to.

Pick up dinner, means you can call ahead and pick up food to take out, or just show up at the restaurant and order it "to go".  Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 22, 2010, 01:42:06 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 22, 2010, 01:43:40 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

You forgot kebab!  It was the same when I was in London, but I was on the very edge of the city, and it was almost a decade ago, so I may not be a representative sample ;)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 22, 2010, 01:45:05 PM
Ooh yes, kebabs! The food of choice on the way home from a night out after one too many shandies :P. How could I forget (although, I've never eaten a donner kebab, and never intend to. Chicken kebabs on the other hand...mmmm).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Red1979 on November 22, 2010, 01:45:15 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

Not all those places are good ;-)  Although most are at least decent.  I'm in a metropolitan area in the Northeast so my variety of options might not be the same as Americans in different regions.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 22, 2010, 01:48:00 PM
Ooh yes, kebabs! The food of choice on the way home from a night out after one too many shandies :P. How could I forget (although, I've never eaten a donner kebab, and never intend to. Chicken kebabs on the other hand...mmmm).

I know what you mean, but does anyone else wonder just what a donner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_party) kebab would be made of?  >:D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 22, 2010, 01:52:01 PM
I'm eating my dinner as I type, so I'm gonna look at that later... :/ I'm almost scared to.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 22, 2010, 01:53:02 PM
I'm eating my dinner as I type, so I'm gonna look at that later... :/ I'm almost scared to.

If it's any comfort, it has nothing to do with kebab ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 22, 2010, 01:56:02 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

London definitely has a lot to chose from in terms of restaurants.  We regularly go out for Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish, Nepalese, Tex-Mex, Mexican/Central American, Indian, Italian, French, Egyptian, and traditionally pub/roast fare.  

And though the food is good, I do find overall the food seems better (and fresher) in the US and South Africa.
(I have only had one really bad restaurant experience in South Africa and I've been out a lot there over the last eight years.)
We had fantastic Italian and Greek food in NYC this spring too  :)

And though there are a number of better Italian places, our "regular" Italian is the chain, Pizza Express.  ;D  
Mainly because it is very family-friendly, and is the only pizza my son eat!
He even refuses my home-made version as "It's not as nice."  :P
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 22, 2010, 01:59:13 PM
Cellardoor, we have most of those in Liverpool, too- I don't think any/many do take out though.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 22, 2010, 02:03:50 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

I'm in the centre of Manchester and from here I can have delivered to my door: Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Pizza, Italian, American, Greek, Tapas and probably more that I'm not aware of.  The irony is, most of those places are within about 5-10 minutes walk so I've never actually had any of them delivered.

Back when I was in the village where my parents live you could have an Indian takeaway delivered, there was a bakery (only at lunch) and a chippy in the next village along but for anything else you had to get in the car and drive over the hill into town.

Both those places are in the same county, so it really does vary wildly!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsO on November 22, 2010, 02:07:01 PM


Both those places are in the same county, so it really does vary wildly!

Wow, it really does! Manchester is just a stones throw from Liverpool, the differences are amazing.
I'm going to google takeaway places in Liverpool now, as I feel I may be missing something. :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 22, 2010, 02:07:35 PM
Most those places here do take away... Though I am not sure about the Tex-Mex or tapas though!

I'm like Larrabee though, we'll walk to the local Chinese take-away on occasion but otherwise we go out.  
No dirty dishes for me to deal with then  :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 22, 2010, 02:07:55 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

You forgot kebab!  It was the same when I was in London, but I was on the very edge of the city, and it was almost a decade ago, so I may not be a representative sample ;)

Where on the edge of London were you?  When I was at uni I lived on the outskirts and the Hight Street by my halls of residence was Chicken Shop, Kebab Shop, Chicken Shop, Pub, Kebab Shop, Chip Shop!  Not the most variety there!

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 22, 2010, 02:10:27 PM


Both those places are in the same county, so it really does vary wildly!

Wow, it really does! Manchester is just a stones throw from Liverpool, the differences are amazing.
I'm going to google takeaway places in Liverpool now, as I feel I may be missing something. :D

We have a company called City Waiters who go to various 'nicer' restaurants that don't actually do their own delivery service, pick up what you want and bring it to you, so that ups the number a bit!

If you're close enough to walk though there's no point because you have to pay the restaurant for the food and then the 'Waiter' for the delivery.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 22, 2010, 02:12:23 PM
By the way, I've just started reading a book by Bill Bryson that might interest some on this thread.  Its called 'Made in America' and its about the evolution of American English and the differences between the languages. 

Its in his usual conversational but informative style so not too scholarly and an easy one to read on the train or before bed!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Made-America-Bill-Bryson/dp/0552998052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290456727&sr=8-1
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 22, 2010, 02:14:55 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

You forgot kebab!  It was the same when I was in London, but I was on the very edge of the city, and it was almost a decade ago, so I may not be a representative sample ;)

Where on the edge of London were you?  When I was at uni I lived on the outskirts and the Hight Street by my halls of residence was Chicken Shop, Kebab Shop, Chicken Shop, Pub, Kebab Shop, Chip Shop!  Not the most variety there!



I was in Barnet, right off the High Street.  There was fast food, too, actually, now that I think about it - there was a Pizza Hut (which I never dared to try, it's bad enough in Chicago ;)), a McDonalds, and I think a KFC within walking distance.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 22, 2010, 02:21:15 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

You forgot kebab!  It was the same when I was in London, but I was on the very edge of the city, and it was almost a decade ago, so I may not be a representative sample ;)

Where on the edge of London were you?  When I was at uni I lived on the outskirts and the Hight Street by my halls of residence was Chicken Shop, Kebab Shop, Chicken Shop, Pub, Kebab Shop, Chip Shop!  Not the most variety there!



I was in Barnet, right off the High Street.  There was fast food, too, actually, now that I think about it - there was a Pizza Hut (which I never dared to try, it's bad enough in Chicago ;)), a McDonalds, and I think a KFC within walking distance.

Ah, I was in Enfield so not too far away, were you at Middlesex University by any chance?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 22, 2010, 02:34:15 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

You forgot kebab!  It was the same when I was in London, but I was on the very edge of the city, and it was almost a decade ago, so I may not be a representative sample ;)

Where on the edge of London were you?  When I was at uni I lived on the outskirts and the Hight Street by my halls of residence was Chicken Shop, Kebab Shop, Chicken Shop, Pub, Kebab Shop, Chip Shop!  Not the most variety there!



I was in Barnet, right off the High Street.  There was fast food, too, actually, now that I think about it - there was a Pizza Hut (which I never dared to try, it's bad enough in Chicago ;)), a McDonalds, and I think a KFC within walking distance.

Ah, I was in Enfield so not too far away, were you at Middlesex University by any chance?

My drama school was affiliated with Middlesex University, and I have some friends who graduated from there!  :)
Though I spent my time in Harringay, Hornsey, and Crouch End/Muswell Hill.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 22, 2010, 02:43:27 PM
I was in Barnet, right off the High Street.  There was fast food, too, actually, now that I think about it - there was a Pizza Hut (which I never dared to try, it's bad enough in Chicago ;)), a McDonalds, and I think a KFC within walking distance.

Ah, I was in Enfield so not too far away, were you at Middlesex University by any chance?

I wasn't at any university, I was dating an English guy at the time, and it made more sense for me to go to him, than for him to come to me :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 22, 2010, 02:47:02 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

You forgot kebab!  It was the same when I was in London, but I was on the very edge of the city, and it was almost a decade ago, so I may not be a representative sample ;)

Where on the edge of London were you?  When I was at uni I lived on the outskirts and the Hight Street by my halls of residence was Chicken Shop, Kebab Shop, Chicken Shop, Pub, Kebab Shop, Chip Shop!  Not the most variety there!



I was in Barnet, right off the High Street.  There was fast food, too, actually, now that I think about it - there was a Pizza Hut (which I never dared to try, it's bad enough in Chicago ;)), a McDonalds, and I think a KFC within walking distance.

Ah, I was in Enfield so not too far away, were you at Middlesex University by any chance?

My drama school was affiliated with Middlesex University, and I have some friends who graduated from there!  :)
Though I spent my time in Harringay, Hornsey, and Crouch End/Muswell Hill.

We had quite a lot of American exchange students, I lived with them my first year which inspired me to go off and an exchange to the US myself.  I lived in Enfield and Wood Green so not too far from you!  Did you watch the fireworks at Ally Pally for bonfire night?  Must-do North London experience!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Poirot on November 22, 2010, 02:50:22 PM


What is the city spacing like where you all live?  Here in the western part of Washington State, it's pretty much one continuous city-sprawl from ~1 hour's drive south of Seattle to about 1 hour's drive north of it.  There are all sorts of smaller cities that will sometimes call themselves Seattle, when they're really Tukwila, Des Moines, Sea Tac or Burien.  I think that people who aren't from here must have a lot of trouble figuring out exactly what city they're in at any given time!  I think it may be similar in London?  In other places, it seems like there are big areas of "empty" surrounding one major(ish) city and one or two suburbs?


Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

I live in a city that is one of 'twins', they are right up against each other with a river running through the middle as the boundary, that's not uncommon as in the past the river would have been a major obstacle preventing too much interaction between the cities so they would developed fairly independently but with links.

There's Cardiff and Bristol, Liverpool and Birkenhead, Manchester and Salford, I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them right now.

I've heard people talk about the 'Twin Cities' in the states, which are they? 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 22, 2010, 03:00:26 PM
Larrabee-

I lived in Wood Green for the first few months of school, and though I never did Ally Pally fireworks, I use to go there most weekends for endless cups of coffee and line-learning.  :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 22, 2010, 03:04:28 PM
Larrabee-

I lived in Wood Green for the first few months of school, and though I never did Ally Pally fireworks, I use to go there most weekends for endless cups of coffee and line-learning.  :)

Small World! 

(Well, small island ;))
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Elfmama on November 22, 2010, 03:12:59 PM
One other facet of the "Irish-American" et. al. business is that there have been periods of time in American history when there were waves of immigrants from particular countries, who settled in particular places.
And those who claim {nationality}-American are solely or largely that of that ethnic background.

DH, for instance is of Polish ancestry on his father's side and of German ancestry on his mother's side.  He does not identify himself as a Polish-American or a German-American. 

Me?  I'm an English/Scottish/Irish/Swedish/Norwegian/Dutch/French/Native-American. It would be silly for me to identify as just one! 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 22, 2010, 03:18:34 PM
One other facet of the "Irish-American" et. al. business is that there have been periods of time in American history when there were waves of immigrants from particular countries, who settled in particular places.
And those who claim {nationality}-American are solely or largely that of that ethnic background.

DH, for instance is of Polish ancestry on his father's side and of German ancestry on his mother's side.  He does not identify himself as a Polish-American or a German-American. 

Me?  I'm an English/Scottish/Irish/Swedish/Norwegian/Dutch/French/Native-American. It would be silly for me to identify as just one! 

It does vary based on how much you see each side of the family, though.  I'm Lithuanian on my mom's side, and Irish/who knows? on my dad's.  I identify more with the Lithuanian side because my dad died when I was young, and his family is all on the east coast, and my mom's family is local.  Add to that the fact that DF is also mostly Lithuanian (he has 1/4 Italian from his dad, who also isn't in the picture), which means a Lithuanian influence from that direction, and I identify much more with the Lithuanian side than with the Irish/whatever side.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 22, 2010, 03:23:27 PM
 

I cannot think of another country that is comprised almost entirely of immigrants--outside of native americans, the only question is when your family immigrated here.  I find that the more recent the immigration the more culture and tradition one retains from their country of origin.


My guess is that both Canada and Australia have some similarities with the US--there's a native population, but a lot of immigration over the centuries. I don't think anyone from Canada has chimed in on this part of the discussion. Do Canadians tend to identify as Canadians first and last, or as X-Canadians?

Just an aside--I used to work in a translation agency where we had to translate a lot of questionnaires that had been designed for the US, but the creators now wanted to use them in various countries around the world. We had the hardest time explaining that questions about ethnic background, which are fairly standard in the US (Are you: Hispanic/African American/Native American/Other) really needed to be completely rewritten for other countries. Because in Brazil or Chile, Hispanic is not the minority it is in the US. And while there may be some, there aren't that many African-Americans living in, say, Germany or Poland. But we're just so wired to think of people as grouped into these categories that it was difficult to get the questionnaire writers to think in different terms.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 22, 2010, 03:59:10 PM
A few notes on eating out in America:

It depends a lot on what your lifestyle is.  Younger folks (without kids) tend to eat out more, as do families where both parents work and thus have more money and don't have the time to cook.  Families with small children and/or a stay-at-home-parent tend to eat out less - it's a lot cheaper, it's a pain to get a toddler ready to go out!  I'm a stay-at-home mom, and I'd much rather just cook something.

Options at home: in the last few decades, there's been a HUGE increase in the number of "convenience" foods.  Americans tend to do most or all of our shopping at large supermarkets - we don't really have individual bakers/butchers/etc.  Thirty years ago you would have had to cook from scratch - now you can get pre-made pie crusts, pre-mixed casseroles, and frozen pre-cooked just about anything.  It's more expensive and tends to have more chemicals and fillers, but sometimes it's nice to be able to just throw a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner!

Options for eating out: I'm going to toss out a few prices just in case anyone is curious and hasn't dined in America :P  This is all a "per person" estimate for a full meal:

Cheapest is fast food, usually $4-$8: hamburger/fries/drink or the like

Slightly more is a "counter service" restaurant (where you go in and order your food at a counter, then sit down to eat it): usually $6-$10.  You can get anything from burgers to ethnic cuisine to specialty foods like this.

More than that is your generic "family restaurant": usually $10-$20 per person, not including drinks or desserts.  We have a million chains, plus all kinds of individual types of cuisine, but they're usually designed to not take reservations and to get you in and out within an hour or so.

Highest prices are at romantic/gourmet restaurants: prices go anywhere from $20 to hundreds of dollars, depending on where you go.  These tend to be dimly lit, have real tablecloths, better service, and serve better food.  They also are usually not all that child-friendly - they sell the dining experience more than just the food itself.

For reference, a "living wage" in the US is roughly $10/hour right now (that is, the amount you'd have to make per hour to actually support yourself without receiving charity), an average wage is $15-$20/hour, and white-collar salaries usually come to $25-$40/hour.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on November 22, 2010, 04:23:27 PM
One other facet of the "Irish-American" et. al. business is that there have been periods of time in American history when there were waves of immigrants from particular countries, who settled in particular places.
And those who claim {nationality}-American are solely or largely that of that ethnic background.

DH, for instance is of Polish ancestry on his father's side and of German ancestry on his mother's side.  He does not identify himself as a Polish-American or a German-American. 

Me?  I'm an English/Scottish/Irish/Swedish/Norwegian/Dutch/French/Native-American. It would be silly for me to identify as just one! 

Being adopted into a family that had been in the US long enough to forget most of it's ties to elsewhere, I was very excited to learn of my ethnic heritage when I met my biological families.  I was envious of my classmates & friends who were _______-American and had family traditions that were ethnic in orginal. 

I'm very happy that I can proudly state that I'm Irish/German/Polish*/Mexican/Aztec/Spanish/English-American!  My kids with Sweet Pattootie will be all that & Japanese/French Canadian-American.

*the Polish is actually Prussian - the family came to the US when Prussia still existed as a political entity.  The area my family came from is now a part of Poland.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bluenomi on November 22, 2010, 06:08:49 PM
Currants are dried black grapes, raisins are dried red grapes and sultanas are dried green/white grapes (oh and a sutlan's wife  ;D ) They are similar but sultanas tend to be a bit bigger and more juicy. The food that is, I'm not making any comments about sutlan's wives!
A currant is not a grape - it's a little berry.

Currants are both dried grapes (as described, small, black dried grapes, I don't find them as tasty as sultanas or raisins) and a type of berry. Here, generally if the term currant is used you're speaking of the dried grape, and for the berry it's redcurrant and blackcurrant (which are related to eachother but not to grapes at all).

Blackcurrants make the most fantastic jam, and other flavourings. It's a very prominent flavour in things here, you get blackcurrant squash (as in syrup that you add water to to make a drink I think that was explained further up the thread), blackcurrant jam, which is my favourite flavour of jam, and blackcurrant pies, blackcurrant flavoured candy etc.  It grows like a weed too. I don't like the fresh berries since they don't taste as nice as the blackcurrant flavoured things you get.

Redcurrants are fantastic fresh, a bit sourer than blackcurrants but in a fresh good way. They never grew in the garden half as good as the blackcurrant bush did and the birds used to gobble them up before we had a chance to do anything with them other than pop them in our mouths. I've also rarely seen them for sale as anything other than included in mixed berries things or redcurrant jelly (which is served with savoury stuff not sweet.)



What she said  ;D I should have metioned I was talking about the dried variety!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bluenomi on November 22, 2010, 06:10:31 PM
For those asking about Boxing Day:

In Canada, it has evolved into a shopping extravaganza, very similar to Black Friday in the States.

In other words, an event that I avoid like the plague!   :D
Same in Britain. I'm never that desparate to grab a bargain that I'll queue outside a shop at 7am and fight through crowds of becrazed shoppers :P . Nah, seriously though, we always have family events planned on Boxing day, so I never shop.

Same in Australia! Except for SA, for some reason they keep the shops closed on Boxing day. I knew there was something wrong with people in that state  ;D (DH is from SA so I can say that  ;) )
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 22, 2010, 06:29:21 PM
One other facet of the "Irish-American" et. al. business is that there have been periods of time in American history when there were waves of immigrants from particular countries, who settled in particular places.
And those who claim {nationality}-American are solely or largely that of that ethnic background.

DH, for instance is of Polish ancestry on his father's side and of German ancestry on his mother's side.  He does not identify himself as a Polish-American or a German-American. 

Me?  I'm an English/Scottish/Irish/Swedish/Norwegian/Dutch/French/Native-American. It would be silly for me to identify as just one! 

It does vary based on how much you see each side of the family, though.  I'm Lithuanian on my mom's side, and Irish/who knows? on my dad's.  I identify more with the Lithuanian side because my dad died when I was young, and his family is all on the east coast, and my mom's family is local.  Add to that the fact that DF is also mostly Lithuanian (he has 1/4 Italian from his dad, who also isn't in the picture), which means a Lithuanian influence from that direction, and I identify much more with the Lithuanian side than with the Irish/whatever side.

You're right, Rainha, it probably does.  It's not just about who your ancestors were, but about whether or not said ancestors' culture was actually passed down in any meaningful way, and has any sort of significant impact on your life.

So for instance, I've got way more Irish ancestors than anything else (the rest is Scottish, a bit of English, and perhaps some German somewhere).  But I don't identify as anything but American, because none of that ancestry actually made any difference to me growing up, for a variety of reasons.  If someone asks me for my nationality/ethnicity/whatever, I'll tell them I'm American.  I don't mention the mostly-Irish-ancestry thing unless I'm asked somewhat specifically about it, because it just doesn't make a difference in my day-to-day life.

But my children will be a totally different story.  They'll identify as American, I'm quite sure, simply because I do and they'll grow up here.  But to a lot of Americans they will still "look foreign."  And DF's ethnicity and nationality and country of origin will play a very real role in how they grow up (mostly because we plan on making sure it does ;)).  So for them, being DFCountry-American would be a way to claim both aspects of their culture and heritage, because they really won't be just one or the other.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ferrets on November 22, 2010, 07:09:53 PM
Ooh yes, kebabs! The food of choice on the way home from a night out after one too many shandies :P. How could I forget (although, I've never eaten a donner kebab, and never intend to. Chicken kebabs on the other hand...mmmm).

I know what you mean, but does anyone else wonder just what a donner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_party) kebab would be made of?  >:D

Was it Bill Bryson who referred to donner kebabs as resembling slices "carved from a dead man's leg"? >:D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 22, 2010, 07:19:34 PM
I really found the Donner reference as 'Oooo! You are missing the Santa's reindeer's name!' (Donder, so often missed as Donner - even Hallmark does it sometimes!)

I find both ideas chilling (except I do eat venison when my brother hunts).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Elfmama on November 22, 2010, 07:38:14 PM
Okay, question about drivers licenses!  Here in the US, you have to get your license renewed every few years, so your picture is usually at least somewhat current.

Actually, in Arizona your driver's license is good until you are 65.

This seems weird to me, but it's the way it is here.
I'm surprised!  That's MONEY that isn't going into Arizona's coffers every 5 years or so.  But I'm rather annoyed at Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration.  They save money by not sending out a bunch of tag renewal notices, then bring in more money in fines when the cops catch you driving on expired tags.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: kareng57 on November 22, 2010, 07:45:26 PM
 

I cannot think of another country that is comprised almost entirely of immigrants--outside of native americans, the only question is when your family immigrated here.  I find that the more recent the immigration the more culture and tradition one retains from their country of origin.


My guess is that both Canada and Australia have some similarities with the US--there's a native population, but a lot of immigration over the centuries. I don't think anyone from Canada has chimed in on this part of the discussion. Do Canadians tend to identify as Canadians first and last, or as X-Canadians?

Just an aside--I used to work in a translation agency where we had to translate a lot of questionnaires that had been designed for the US, but the creators now wanted to use them in various countries around the world. We had the hardest time explaining that questions about ethnic background, which are fairly standard in the US (Are you: Hispanic/African American/Native American/Other) really needed to be completely rewritten for other countries. Because in Brazil or Chile, Hispanic is not the minority it is in the US. And while there may be some, there aren't that many African-Americans living in, say, Germany or Poland. But we're just so wired to think of people as grouped into these categories that it was difficult to get the questionnaire writers to think in different terms.


You do hear the term such as "x-Canadian" here, but quite a bit less than in past decades, I think.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Elfmama on November 22, 2010, 07:45:48 PM


This was just weeks after 9/11, so maybe things have eased up a bit. Still, I'm going to start the application process in the next few weeks, just in case I run into problems.
Try this website: http://travel.state.gov/passport/

When I had to get a replacement for my water-damaged one I used it so I knew what to take to the post office- which is where I had it done. Also I was able to print out the forms ahead of time.  And got my photos done at  Walgreens so that was done, too. Needless to say the photo is hideously ugly, but I think that is a law about passport photos. 

Hee! I think it was Erma Bombeck who said, "When you start to look like your passport photo, it's time to go home!"

I still have my old passport from the 1970s. That photo actually looked pretty good ... but everyone looks good when they're 18. I wonder if they'll be able to discern that I am *still* that person.

Thanks for the link. Will check it out.
They accepted my old passport as proof of citizenship for a new one, just a couple of years ago.  That one was about 30 years old.  And other than having the usual facial accouterments (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.) the photo of me then looks nothing at all like I do now.  *I* didn't recognize it as me at first -- I thought it was Elfqueen!  (Who, needless to say, was an adorable curly-haired tot with her very own passport 30 years ago!)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Gwywnnydd on November 22, 2010, 07:49:25 PM
Isn't the "East End"-Spitalfields, and so on-where Jack the Ripper ran around over a century ago?  I think taking a good JTR tour would be the coolest thing ever, and many of the buildings are little changed from then.  I don't suppose the neighborhood is as horrifically poor as it was back in those times.  And, I really hope the Olympics doesn't destroy the JTR sites  :-\

gui

I took an *excellent* JTR tour in '95, led by Bill Fish (?). It was very cool. He made a point of mentioning where the relevent buildings had been burnt down, or bombed out (thank you Adolf), or just torn down and gentrified.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 22, 2010, 07:49:35 PM
I really found the Donner reference as 'Oooo! You are missing the Santa's reindeer's name!' (Donder, so often missed as Donner - even Hallmark does it sometimes!)

I find both ideas chilling (except I do eat venison when my brother hunts).

You'll love this one:

A few years ago I went to a client meeting in NJ; the client was a multi-national corporation with a food division.  As many of them do they were looking to adapt an existing commercial from another country to save $$$ and we looked at some.  There was one -- then running in the country it was made -- showing an Indiana Jones-type guy getting captured by natives of another race and being brought before the chief.  He took a bottle of the product out of his knapsack, squeezed some onto a leaf, and passed it to the "witch doctor".  He ate it and smiled.  Our protagonist then prepared another leaf, but accidentally spilled some of the product on his hand as he passed the leaf over.  The natives looked at each other as in "two minds with a single thought."

There was no question that this commercial wouldn't be seen in the US.  The client didn't want to be fielding outraged phone calls from consumers.

BTW:  If you see a commercial where nobody talks on camera and something doesn't ring true about it, it might originally have been made for another country's consumers.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 22, 2010, 08:24:13 PM
The product was steak sauce? Oooooo! again from Lucy.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Gwywnnydd on November 22, 2010, 08:27:03 PM
British rice pudding - the type you get in cans - was a secret vice of mine until I went low-carb. American rice pudding is denser, usually baked, and has things like raisins in it.

My English grandmother apparently referred to baked rice pudding as "Chinese wedding cake", but my Dad doesn't know whether that was a family-specific usage, or common to her generation...
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 22, 2010, 08:28:12 PM
I thought "Donner" = Santa's reindeer, too. The "Rudolph" TV special calls him Donner (he's Rudolph's daddy).

But yeah, there's that other Donner reference.  :P

When I taught high-school Spanish, I had a student ask me if there were African-Americans in Spain. I said yes, but they were usually students or tourists from America. If he meant Spaniards who were Black, then obviously they weren't African-American.

Many of the Other Nationality-Americans I know are, as Dindrane says, people whose parents are both full-blooded Other Nationality or close to it, and who embrace at least some of the traditions of Other Nationality that have been passed down from their parents and grandparents. And it's common for Americans who identify with an Old Country heritage to simply say, "I'm Italian," "I'm Polish," "I'm Irish." The "American" part is implied.

I'm not one of those. My ancestry is English, Swedish, Irish, French Canadian and Penobscot Indian. If someone asks me what my heritage is, I tell them I'm a mutt.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Brentwood on November 22, 2010, 08:36:37 PM
I don't identify as "Norwegian-American", but my ethnic background for hundreds of years is mostly Norwegian and a smidge of Swedish. I am a third-generation American, but many of my cultural and holiday traditions come from the culture of the countries my great-grandparents came from and thus the region my grandparents and parents were raised. I will ALWAYS strongly identify with my Scandinavian heritage. It's all over my name and my face too.

On fruit soup: I don't consider it exotic. My dad has made it several times at Christmas.

On sugar in bread: I put sugar in my own bread because it helps the yeast develop.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Dindrane on November 22, 2010, 08:52:59 PM
Cathy, you reminded me I was going to address the sugar in bread thing. :)

I put sugar (or honey, or molasses) in bread because it feeds the yeast.  Generally, it's like maybe 1/4 cup for a batch that makes 5 loaves, so you don't taste it in the end product at all.  The idea is that it's supposed to be just enough sugar to keep the yeast producing bubbles, but not so much sugar that there's any left by the time you bake the bread.

If I'm making sweet dough (like for bread-based pastries), I have to use considerably more sugar.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 22, 2010, 08:58:25 PM
http://www.christmas-tree.com/stories/nightbeforechristmas.html

Please note what Mr. Moore wrote. I  tried to find your reference about Donder, but I couldn't bring it up. Sorry. Maybe it is a misunderstanding or sloppy enunciation in the tape? I think I remember it, kind of...............

As for our being American (which term I hate, by the way, because Canadians and Brazilians and Mexicans and Chilians are also Americans), DH and I are English, Irish, Swiss, German, Native American, and our grandchildren add Russian Jewish and more stronger Nordic to the mix. So, if we are pressed, we are mostly Europian Descent and mostly proud of being USA . I always claim Caucasian, but if we get African or Asian in the next generation, it's OK. They will probably be still Americans.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: mbbored on November 22, 2010, 09:13:16 PM
The Twin Cities are Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: finecabernet on November 22, 2010, 09:26:43 PM

 Pretty much every kind of cuisine has an option for take out.  If I went through my menus right now I'd find Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pizza, Italian, Chicken-centric restaurants, Indian, Mexican, Spanish and so on.
Jealous! Where I live in the UK, you're pretty much limited to fish and chips, indian, chinese or italian (and most 'italian' places = crappy pizza. I only know 1 really good Italian place that offers take out). Perhaps in places like London there are more options, I don't know.

I'm in the centre of Manchester and from here I can have delivered to my door: Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Pizza, Italian, American, Greek, Tapas and probably more that I'm not aware of.  The irony is, most of those places are within about 5-10 minutes walk so I've never actually had any of them delivered.

Back when I was in the village where my parents live you could have an Indian takeaway delivered, there was a bakery (only at lunch) and a chippy in the next village along but for anything else you had to get in the car and drive over the hill into town.

Both those places are in the same county, so it really does vary wildly!


Question...what is American takeout (U.S. here). I'm going to guess hamburgers and fried chicken, and places like McDonalds, but I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 22, 2010, 09:33:41 PM
Question...what is American takeout (U.S. here). I'm going to guess hamburgers and fried chicken, and places like McDonalds, but I'm not sure.

Central US here:Call it in, pick it up, take it home. Chinese, pizza, KFC, maybe McDonald's and Wendy's, some locals. (town of 7000 has all of these.)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 22, 2010, 09:36:18 PM
Question...what is American takeout (U.S. here). I'm going to guess hamburgers and fried chicken, and places like McDonalds, but I'm not sure.

Central US here:Call it in, pick it up, take it home. Chinese, pizza, KFC, maybe McDonald's and Wendy's, some locals. (town of 7000 has all of these.)

I think finecabernet is asking what constitutes American takeout in the UK.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Brentwood on November 22, 2010, 09:41:30 PM
And re: The Twin Cities. I grew up in suburban Minneapolis and lived there for over 31 years. Some people call the greater area the "Twin Cities metro area", but I usually name both cities. And it is, of course, how our baseball Twins got their name. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Maujer on November 22, 2010, 09:46:58 PM
Silly question, but I thought of it while watching Harry Potter on Friday night. The type of houses/neighborhoods that Harry and Herimone live in - are those a very common type of dwelling in England? Or are they mainly just outside major cities?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 22, 2010, 09:52:35 PM
Chinese, pizza, fast food (burgers, Taco Bell, fried chicken) and sandwiches are what's most commonly offered as takeout here in the states. You can find a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant, a pizzeria and a fast-food outlet in almost any U.S. small town. But some of the chains that are mainly sit-down places (e.g., Applebee's and Chili's) also offer a takeout option, and larger cities that have a wider variety of ethnic restaurants will also have the Indian or Thai or Japanese or Dominican equivalents of the small town's hole-in-the-wall Chinese place.*

*which may or may not have a few tables for eating on premises.

What makes me a little sad is that so many of the fundraising meals around here have started offering a takeout option -- the church supper, the fire department's pancake breakfast. Because part of what I find appealing about such events is the community connection.

Quote
And re: The Twin Cities. I grew up in suburban Minneapolis and lived there for over 31 years. Some people call the greater area the "Twin Cities metro area", but I usually name both cities. And it is, of course, how our baseball Twins got their name.

Because of Lucille Ball, I will always think of the Twin Cities as "St. Apolis and Minnie-paul."  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: finecabernet on November 22, 2010, 09:53:41 PM
Question...what is American takeout (U.S. here). I'm going to guess hamburgers and fried chicken, and places like McDonalds, but I'm not sure.

Central US here:Call it in, pick it up, take it home. Chinese, pizza, KFC, maybe McDonald's and Wendy's, some locals. (town of 7000 has all of these.)

I think finecabernet is asking what constitutes American takeout in the UK.

Yes, thanks, sorry if that was unclear.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: finecabernet on November 22, 2010, 09:55:51 PM
I thought "Donner" = Santa's reindeer, too. The "Rudolph" TV special calls him Donner (he's Rudolph's daddy).

But yeah, there's that other Donner reference.  :P

When I taught high-school Spanish, I had a student ask me if there were African-Americans in Spain. I said yes, but they were usually students or tourists from America. If he meant Spaniards who were Black, then obviously they weren't African-American.

Many of the Other Nationality-Americans I know are, as Dindrane says, people whose parents are both full-blooded Other Nationality or close to it, and who embrace at least some of the traditions of Other Nationality that have been passed down from their parents and grandparents. And it's common for Americans who identify with an Old Country heritage to simply say, "I'm Italian," "I'm Polish," "I'm Irish." The "American" part is implied.

I'm not one of those. My ancestry is English, Swedish, Irish, French Canadian and Penobscot Indian. If someone asks me what my heritage is, I tell them I'm a mutt.

Okay, fellow U.S. residents on this site, Donner kebabs aren't as scary as we might have thought! See the explanation on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donner_kabob
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sempronialou on November 22, 2010, 10:51:17 PM

As for our being American (which term I hate, by the way, because Canadians and Brazilians and Mexicans and Chilians are also Americans), DH and I are English, Irish, Swiss, German, Native American, and our grandchildren add Russian Jewish and more stronger Nordic to the mix. So, if we are pressed, we are mostly Europian Descent and mostly proud of being USA . I always claim Caucasian, but if we get African or Asian in the next generation, it's OK. They will probably be still Americans.

Technically we/they are North Americans or South Americans if we're going to lump people in whole continents together.  I'm such a mutt that I can't really identify with a specific culture/old country of origin.  I tell people I'm American because that's where I was born.  To be more specific I'm a Michigander.  My grandma on my dad's side is from Lithuania who came to the US as a little girl.  She's never been able to give me much background or history on her family which makes me sad I'll never really know about the Lithuanian side.  My mom comes from a bunch of origins such as German, Swedish, English, Scotts-Irish, so you can see why I'm a mutt.  I know quite a bit about my mom's side thankfully.  I know nothing about my grandpa on my dad's side, but I have a very Irish last name and often get commented on "looking Irish" whatever that means.  I'd love to know more about my dad's side, but I'm afraid there's hardly anyone left that can give me information.  Now I must come up with a term for American USA born such as United Statian?????
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For those across the pond who drive on the left side (maybe right side driving countries as well), what are those squiggly or more like zig-zaggy lines in the road mean?  I'm just curious.  We don't have anything like that here in the US. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 22, 2010, 11:52:48 PM
Both those places are in the same county, so it really does vary wildly!
Wow, it really does! Manchester is just a stones throw from Liverpool, the differences are amazing.
I'm going to google takeaway places in Liverpool now, as I feel I may be missing something. :D

Try checking your local newspaper. I know my local paper has a section for weekly reviews of both restaurants and takeaway. What's better yet is they have it online. While all the reviews are pretty favourable (I don't think I've seen a bad one yet which leads be to be suspicious) it's a good place to at least know if there's other food you can get takeaway. Or have a look in the yellow pages. You might be surprised.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: squeakers on November 23, 2010, 12:28:53 AM
One other facet of the "Irish-American" et. al. business is that there have been periods of time in American history when there were waves of immigrants from particular countries, who settled in particular places.
And those who claim {nationality}-American are solely or largely that of that ethnic background.

DH, for instance is of Polish ancestry on his father's side and of German ancestry on his mother's side.  He does not identify himself as a Polish-American or a German-American. 

Me?  I'm an English/Scottish/Irish/Swedish/Norwegian/Dutch/French/Native-American. It would be silly for me to identify as just one! 

I am German, English, French, Native American, and French Canadian (which in this case means Indigenous Canadian mixed with French).  Broken down greatest amount to least.  But I am Native American first and foremost.. got the card that says so even. And the looks.

On DH's side is German and English.  He only says "American".

My boys, OTOH, while mentioning they are largely German also claim the status of Native American.. they do not have cards and don't qualify for the cards but, until they are out of secondary school are considered members of our tribe.  Kinda makes me a bit verklemmt that they are proud of their heritage.

But the only time any of us mention this is when asked what our heritage is.  It's not something we natter on about and we certainly don't eat sauerkraut and brats every night nor fry bread on the week-ends.  Just now and then  ;)

Dog prices range from "free to a good home" to into the thousands. 

Eating out: hubby eats out for lunch every day.  He has no desire to do a home lunch bag and since he works 50 miles from home.. a home cooked meal is not an option.  We only go out to eat every few months.. usually coincides with "haircuts, new shoes and what was it you said we needed" shopping.  Take out is gas station pizza which isn't bad.. but not worth buying all that often vs throwing some extra cheese on a "cardboard" pizza (frozen pizza).

The only public transportation in my area that I am aware of is the weekly bus that takes people to The Cities (Quad Cities) to do the casino or to "the Indian Bingo" at Mesquaki.  Now and then a church will sponsor some trip to see foliage etc but not on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: StarFaerie on November 23, 2010, 12:40:00 AM
Quote
As Americans, we suffer from a terrible (misguided) sense of cultural inferiority - since we're such a young country, we tend to feel that all our art, music, cuisine etc. is imported without recognizing how we've made it our own. So we call ourselves InsertNationalityHere-American to confer some cultural legitimacy upon ourselves.

But you AREN'T a young country! You've been settled for several hundred years, many more than Australia has. So what's the deal with constantly associating yourselves with somewhere else?

I don't get it either. I don't identify myself as an 'Aboriginal Australian' - I'm just an Aussie. We have all, even us Abo's, come from somewhere else. But this is where we live, and we stand together or die together as Australians, not as Irish or Scottish or African. We are Australians. Anything else is just ice-cream flavouring.

I think Australia is actually too young to have this. Our ethnic diversity is a rather new thing. Until about 50 years ago the vast majority of immigrants were from the UK. (Yes, we had the Kanak slaves, the Chinese, Germans, Italians and so on but they were in the minority). So much so that the UK was referred to as "home" even by people who were born in Australia.

The US on the other hand (please correct me if I am wrong) had many large waves of migration from many different countries. Whole regions would be settled by a single ethnic group and not only that, they have a history of different parts of the country being claimed by different countries including France, the Netherlands, Spain, England and so on.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: jenny_islander on November 23, 2010, 01:04:11 AM
I did not know that about the fruit soup.  You learn something new every day.

If I liked, I could call myself Irish-American because my father could trace his family name back to two brothers who stepped off the boat from County Meath a few years after the U.S. Civil War.  But I'm really just as much German, Welsh, and English.  My Irish-American status is as relevant to my culture as the knowledge that the paternal ancestor of my Irish line was probably a Norseman who settled down with an Irish girl.   My Alaskanness is much more relevant because things are just different here in so many ways.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: dawnfire on November 23, 2010, 01:40:28 AM
British rice pudding - the type you get in cans - was a secret vice of mine until I went low-carb. American rice pudding is denser, usually baked, and has things like raisins in it.

My English grandmother apparently referred to baked rice pudding as "Chinese wedding cake", but my Dad doesn't know whether that was a family-specific usage, or common to her generation...
my father used to call it a waste of good rice, subseqently i didn't have it until i was in my 20's
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 23, 2010, 02:13:09 AM
A book I was reading yesterday reminded me of something I've been curious about for a long time: Why do Americans need blood tests to get married? Or do they? Here I think that the only things they check are that you're of age, not already married and not too closely related, blood samples aren't necessary.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: LadyPekoe on November 23, 2010, 02:28:33 AM
A book I was reading yesterday reminded me of something I've been curious about for a long time: Why do Americans need blood tests to get married? Or do they? Here I think that the only things they check are that you're of age, not already married and not too closely related, blood samples aren't necessary.

Not all states require them.  DH and I got married in Illinois, we didn't need blood tests.  We filled out paperwork, signed the papers, paid the $25 (or whatever) and were done.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: M-theory on November 23, 2010, 02:32:13 AM
A book I was reading yesterday reminded me of something I've been curious about for a long time: Why do Americans need blood tests to get married? Or do they? Here I think that the only things they check are that you're of age, not already married and not too closely related, blood samples aren't necessary.

To test for STDs.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nanny Ogg on November 23, 2010, 03:09:40 AM
Silly question, but I thought of it while watching Harry Potter on Friday night. The type of houses/neighborhoods that Harry and Herimone live in - are those a very common type of dwelling in England? Or are they mainly just outside major cities?

Hi, think I'm probably best qualified to answer this one because of where I'm from. I used to live a few streets down from Picket Post Close in Bracknell, which is where Privet Drive was filmed. The forbidden forest was also filmed very close by as well (I found out by accidentally blundering onto the set!!), and Daniel Radcliffe used to be a sort-of friend of my sisters, as they moved in the same social circles.

Privet Drive is VERY representative of "new towns", which sprung up in the 40s-60s to cope with the post war population. The spying-on-each-other and competitive attitude of the other residents is bit of an exageration on the most part, but you do get the odd fruitcake.

Inner city, and pre-new town housing tends to be a mix of modern developments (flats and houses), plus most tend to have rows and rows of terraces left over from the victorian era, which are very "two up-two down".

If you're really interested in housing, your best bet to check out housing differences is to go on rightmove.co.uk, and look at 2-3 bedroom houses. Try typing in Bracknell (a young town around 60 years old), Wokingham (a historic very small market town) and Reading (pronounced Reddin - a much larger town which should be a city really, and has a huge population). They're all within 12 miles of each other, and should give you a fair idea of the housing thats typical in the UK.

Yes, our houses are dinky compared to yours. We don't talk about square footage, because really, its not worth bragging about!

Whenever I see US property programmes and people on them are being snotty because they have less than 3000 acres of land, and so are too small, I wonder what the hell they'd think if they came to the UK and saw our plots. They'd probably think we were third-world or something!!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 23, 2010, 03:14:30 AM
A book I was reading yesterday reminded me of something I've been curious about for a long time: Why do Americans need blood tests to get married? Or do they? Here I think that the only things they check are that you're of age, not already married and not too closely related, blood samples aren't necessary.

To test for STDs.

What happens if they find them? I thought it might be something like that but started wondering about it when I read about blood tests in some book that was either written quite early or about some earlier period and checking for STDs seemed a bit strange when the bride at least would have been expected to be a virgin but I can't remember the book or when it was set so probably it made sense in it as well or then the writer wasn't particularly accurate. Checking for STDs sounds like a good idea though.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Miss Vertigo on November 23, 2010, 03:56:27 AM
Question...what is American takeout (U.S. here). I'm going to guess hamburgers and fried chicken, and places like McDonalds, but I'm not sure.

Central US here:Call it in, pick it up, take it home. Chinese, pizza, KFC, maybe McDonald's and Wendy's, some locals. (town of 7000 has all of these.)

I think finecabernet is asking what constitutes American takeout in the UK.


*thinks* - actually, we don't really have anything we'd specifically refer to as 'American take out'. We have American-themed restaurants in some of the big cities (Frankie & Benny's spring to mind, places like that) and there's a brilliant place on the A40 just outside London called Starvin Marvin's that's a proper American-looking diner (http://www.perivale.co.uk/starvin-marvins.htm)

but you wouldn't say "Let's get American tonight" in the way you'd say "Fancy an Indian/Chinese?"

I guess people think of McDonald's and Burger King as American, but it definitely hasn't caught on as its own genre in the way that Chinese/Indian/Italian has. It's not really thought of as a 'cuisine', if that makes sense.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Miss Vertigo on November 23, 2010, 04:06:17 AM

*thinks* - actually, we don't really have anything we'd specifically refer to as 'American take out'. We have American-themed restaurants in some of the big cities (Frankie & Benny's spring to mind, places like that) and there's a brilliant place on the A40 just outside London called Starvin Marvin's that's a proper American-looking diner (http://www.perivale.co.uk/starvin-marvins.htm)


We have an American 50s style diner in Liverpool called Eddie Rockets. It's ace. :) I think it's a chain with diners in other locations, too.

*looks it up*

Oh, that looks very similar, even down to the decor and stuff.

Starvin' Marvins is a brilliant experience - the decor and service are great - but sadly the food leaves a bit to be desired. The hotdogs are great, but the burgers are very reminiscent of the kind of burger you get off a stall at a Conference league football match of a Saturday afternoon for about two quid.

Their milkshakes are amazing, though. I could go there just for that.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bigozzy on November 23, 2010, 04:23:40 AM
A book I was reading yesterday reminded me of something I've been curious about for a long time: Why do Americans need blood tests to get married? Or do they? Here I think that the only things they check are that you're of age, not already married and not too closely related, blood samples aren't necessary.

To test for STDs.

What happens if they find them? I thought it might be something like that but started wondering about it when I read about blood tests in some book that was either written quite early or about some earlier period and checking for STDs seemed a bit strange when the bride at least would have been expected to be a virgin but I can't remember the book or when it was set so probably it made sense in it as well or then the writer wasn't particularly accurate. Checking for STDs sounds like a good idea though.


Could it be a hang over from the 1930's (when the tests were first made law I believe) when certain diseases were passed on that were really hard to cure? Such as Syph.. this was a huge problem those days in many places pre penicilin.

Even if the bride were clear if one of these diseases were passed on through one side of the family the danger of the next generation getting it was real.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MummyPumpkin83 on November 23, 2010, 06:01:32 AM

For those across the pond who drive on the left side (maybe right side driving countries as well), what are those squiggly or more like zig-zaggy lines in the road mean?  I'm just curious.  We don't have anything like that here in the US. 

In Australia it means you are coming up to a pedestrian crossing that is not marked with lights.


also in NSW the licencing system sounds similar to Canada,

you have a learners permit - you must have a licenced driver with you at all times, and have to do 150 hours before you can sit your test to get your P1 (provisional 1) licence, then you can get your P2 (provisional 2), then you get your full licence. Licences have to be renewed every few years, depending on how long you chose at your previous renewal. Licences are expensive too $48 for 1 year up to $153 for 5 years. Provisional licences have restrictions on maximum speed, numbers of passengers, hours of driving and zero alcohol.
Learners, P1 and P2 licence holders have different "plates" that have to be displayed on the car so they are easily identified. this page has images of all three plates http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/geared/licence/index.html

Our licences do not have our weight or height, but do have a photo. You update your address when you move (i think the rule is within 14 days) with a sticker on the back.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: marcel on November 23, 2010, 06:07:26 AM

For those across the pond who drive on the left side (maybe right side driving countries as well), what are those squiggly or more like zig-zaggy lines in the road mean?  I'm just curious.  We don't have anything like that here in the US. 

In Australia it means you are coming up to a pedestrian crossing that is not marked with lights.
In The Netherlands it means slow down/watch out. It can be any situation where some extra attention is needed.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Poirot on November 23, 2010, 08:19:15 AM
I am a first-generation American. Both of my parents and their families immigrated here from Italy as children. We observe all of the cultural traditions most Italian families celebrate. I grew up in a neighborhood that largely Italian immigrants. (South Philly for those in the area) I still have family in Italy, although I don't see them as often as I'd like.

One of the most important things my father did was refuse to speak any Italian in our home. (except when the parents were screaming at each other) :P He said we are Americans now, our children are Americans and will be raised as such. I identify as an American, and if asked, an American of Italian descent, never an Italian-American.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Oscar1 on November 23, 2010, 08:24:49 AM
What does it mean when a store or restaurant is described as 'Mom & Pop'?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 23, 2010, 08:26:15 AM
What does it mean when a store or restaurant is described as 'Mom & Pop'?

Usually, it means a small, non-chain, family run store.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bopper on November 23, 2010, 08:35:36 AM
I have noticed that Americans usually refer to themselves as "irish-american" or "part polish/italian-american", not just American.  People from other countries hardly ever do this, we are just Australian, British, Japanese etc.   Can anyone explain that to me please?

At least one ancestor from my Dad's side came over from England in 1623 so I always want to say I am an American-American but people always want to know your ancestry.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 23, 2010, 08:46:25 AM
I was eating pizza with a large group of people the other day.  One of the women was a New Zealander.  Feeling particularly classy that day, I was eating my pizza with a knife and fork (as opposed to just picking it up).  She remarked that Americans don't use our knives, that we just cut with our forks, and some other non-Americans agreed with her (if it matters, they were of Asian origin).  Now I had never heard of such of a thing but when I look around, sure enough, my fellow Americans were indeed cutting their pizza with just their forks.  Has anyone else observed this? 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: joraemi on November 23, 2010, 08:49:37 AM
THIS is an uber cool thread!  I admit I haven't read anything but the first page because of time commitments this morning.

Did someone get the poster from the first page a pumpkin pie recipe so she can try one?

I recently learned that a "fortnight" means two weeks.  A new neighbor from England was asking if the recycling is picked up every fortnight.  I said, "I don't have a clue what a fortnight is, but they come ever other week!".  We all had a good laugh over it.

Do you recycle across the pond?  America is getting pretty heavy into it - how about other places?  I love recycling.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: camlan on November 23, 2010, 08:53:47 AM
I was eating pizza with a large group of people the other day.  One of the women was a New Zealander.  Feeling particularly classy that day, I was eating my pizza with a knife and fork (as opposed to just picking it up).  She remarked that Americans don't use our knives, that we just cut with our forks, and some other non-Americans agreed with her (if it matters, they were of Asian origin).  Now I had never heard of such of a thing but when I look around, sure enough, my fellow Americans were indeed cutting their pizza with just their forks.  Has anyone else observed this? 

No. The only time I'd be cutting pizza with just a fork would be if no knife were available.

When I lived in Connecticut, all the local pizza places (as opposed to chains like Dominos) cut their pizzas into squares. Round pizza, square pieces. So the middle pieces had no crust and it was a lot easier, to say nothing of neater, to eat them with a knife and fork. Everyone I saw used both utensils.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 23, 2010, 08:53:55 AM
Canadians don't tend to refer to themselves as _____-Canadian unless they are immigrants, maybe first generation or still live in an area with people from their ancestor's homeland, in my experience.

Two of my grandparents were English, one was Scottish and one was German.  I know my Mom was first generation Canadian, at least on her Dad's side.  I never heard my parents refer to themselves as anything but Canadian.

Joraemi, Ontario has a pretty good recycling program.  Where I live, recycle gets picked up every week.  We also have Green Bins which take organic materials, including meat fat and bones and dairy that you can't put in your back yard composter.  I use my composter most of the year but when the snow flies, I use the Green Bin.  And I use it year round for those things that can't go in the composter.

Where my Dad lives, recycle collection is every week and garbage collection is every other week except in the summer months.  His recycle program takes more plastics than mine so I save up my plastics and take them to his house when I see him.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 23, 2010, 08:55:34 AM
I have another question.  What do other countries consider American food.  This came up at lunch one day and we struggled to come up with purely American foods.  With so many cultures here, it seems like most of our food have origins elsewhere even if we modified them to be American.  When I eat out, if it's not burgers and fries, it's some ethnic cuisine (Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, etc.).  The only things we could think of are soul food/southern cuisine (like barbecue (with the sauce, not just cooked outside)) and picnic type food (ribs, hot dogs & hamburgers, etc.).  That can't be right, can it?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 23, 2010, 08:58:38 AM
I was eating pizza with a large group of people the other day.  One of the women was a New Zealander.  Feeling particularly classy that day, I was eating my pizza with a knife and fork (as opposed to just picking it up).  She remarked that Americans don't use our knives, that we just cut with our forks, and some other non-Americans agreed with her (if it matters, they were of Asian origin).  Now I had never heard of such of a thing but when I look around, sure enough, my fellow Americans were indeed cutting their pizza with just their forks.  Has anyone else observed this? 

I cut with just the fork if the food is tender and easy to cut, like hamburger, potato patty, lasagne. I can't imagine eating cake with a knife in hand! I use a knife on firmer meats like sausage, ham, steak. I eat fried chicken and pizza out of hand.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 23, 2010, 09:00:52 AM
I was eating pizza with a large group of people the other day.  One of the women was a New Zealander.  Feeling particularly classy that day, I was eating my pizza with a knife and fork (as opposed to just picking it up).  She remarked that Americans don't use our knives, that we just cut with our forks, and some other non-Americans agreed with her (if it matters, they were of Asian origin).  Now I had never heard of such of a thing but when I look around, sure enough, my fellow Americans were indeed cutting their pizza with just their forks.  Has anyone else observed this? 

I cut with just the fork if the food is tender and easy to cut, like hamburger, potato patty, lasagne. I can't imagine eating cake with a knife in hand! I use a knife on firmer meats like sausage, ham, steak. I eat fried chicken and pizza out of hand.

Right, I should have clarified.  For softer foods, I only use a knife.  Pizza crust is on the harder side so, if I'm using utensils, I'll use a knife.

Do you use a fork to eat an actual hamburger?  Or do you mean just a hamburger patty?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Luci on November 23, 2010, 09:23:57 AM
Just the patty.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 23, 2010, 09:38:50 AM
I've been thinking more about cultural identification, and I think Americans actually tend to get very local, in my experience.  I identify first as a Chicagoan, and second as an American, third as a Lithuanian American, and probably fourth as an Illinoisan (becaused even though Chicago is in Illinois, there's a huge gap between Chicagoan and Illinoisan).  I think we get into the Whatever-American designation when our history is relevant, and when we suspect Chicagoan or Texan or New Englander won't be fully understood, like when speaking to someone from another country.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on November 23, 2010, 09:40:05 AM
Oh, and also, I thought the blood testing had more to do with hereditery diseases, but I really don't know for sure.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Everlee on November 23, 2010, 09:40:35 AM
I think this is  a stupid question, but I've always wondered:  Do other countries have tornadoes like us in America do?  Every spring you start seeing the news  reports of killer storms here in the Midwest, but I don't think I've ever seen one from anywhere else...

I have another question.  What do other countries consider American food.  This came up at lunch one day and we struggled to come up with purely American foods.  With so many cultures here, it seems like most of our food have origins elsewhere even if we modified them to be American.  When I eat out, if it's not burgers and fries, it's some ethnic cuisine (Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, etc.).  The only things we could think of are soul food/southern cuisine (like barbecue (with the sauce, not just cooked outside)) and picnic type food (ribs, hot dogs & hamburgers, etc.).  That can't be right, can it?

Hmmm, that's a good question.  I would think since the Indians were the first known settlers of the land that wouldn't their food be the most "American"?  Like corn, wheat, stuff you can hunt and cook, etc...
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 23, 2010, 09:44:46 AM
We have. But not to the scale you have. We get mini ones in winter sometimes but they are like mini tini ones when the weather is bad and the ocean sets em off. Being in sydney we have mass ocean and water around us. We do have cyclones but not on a regular basis either.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 23, 2010, 09:51:46 AM
Hmmm, that's a good question.  I would think since the Indians were the first known settlers of the land that wouldn't their food be the most "American"?  Like corn, wheat, stuff you can hunt and cook, etc...

Corn/maize I'd agree with but we don't have a lock on wheat.  And, uh, buffalo?  I guess we can claim all those tasty buffalo dishes. :)


I've been thinking more about cultural identification, and I think Americans actually tend to get very local, in my experience.  I identify first as a Chicagoan, and second as an American, third as a Lithuanian American, and probably fourth as an Illinoisan (becaused even though Chicago is in Illinois, there's a huge gap between Chicagoan and Illinoisan).  I think we get into the Whatever-American designation when our history is relevant, and when we suspect Chicagoan or Texan or New Englander won't be fully understood, like when speaking to someone from another country.

Hmm, this is interesting.  I guess I'd identify as an American first, then a Black American, and then a Washingtonian (grew up in the Washington DC metro area).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsJWine on November 23, 2010, 10:05:10 AM
Re:  tornadoes:

I don't remember this exactly right, I'm sure, but my professor in my weather and climate class a few years ago addressed this.  They get tornadoes elsewhere, but not at all like we do.  I guess the position of the Rockies, Great Plains, Pacific Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico create a unique set of circumstances that make the Midwest the perfect breeding ground for tornadoes at certain times of year.  There aren't really any other places on Earth that have comparable geography and climate.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on November 23, 2010, 10:24:53 AM
Oh, and also, I thought the blood testing had more to do with hereditery diseases, but I really don't know for sure.

My Google Fu came up with sites that said the syphilis epidemic in the '30s was a big reason for this law, though only 8 states still make it mandatory.   

And here I always thought it was to check to see if the HC were related!  LOL, learn something new every day.

I've been thinking more about cultural identification, and I think Americans actually tend to get very local, in my experience.  I identify first as a Chicagoan, and second as an American, third as a Lithuanian American, and probably fourth as an Illinoisan (becaused even though Chicago is in Illinois, there's a huge gap between Chicagoan and Illinoisan).  I think we get into the Whatever-American designation when our history is relevant, and when we suspect Chicagoan or Texan or New Englander won't be fully understood, like when speaking to someone from another country.

That made me laugh so. hard.  You get south of I-80 and remember you're actually in the Midwest.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on November 23, 2010, 10:27:56 AM
Hmmm, that's a good question.  I would think since the Indians were the first known settlers of the land that wouldn't their food be the most "American"?  Like corn, wheat, stuff you can hunt and cook, etc...

Corn/maize I'd agree with but we don't have a lock on wheat.  And, uh, buffalo?  I guess we can claim all those tasty buffalo dishes. :)


Well, not really.  What most people think of as a(n American) buffalo is actually an American bison.  And bison don't exist solely in North America (just that particular species).  There's a Eurasian species of bison called the wisent.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisent   It's a threatened species that is classified at "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Conservation scale.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Pinky830 on November 23, 2010, 11:30:52 AM
I thought "Donner" = Santa's reindeer, too. The "Rudolph" TV special calls him Donner (he's Rudolph's daddy).



It is "Donder," though...Donder and Blitzen mean "Thunder and lightning." (I love trivia and I just read that a couple of years ago.)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Cellardoor14 on November 23, 2010, 11:39:16 AM
THIS is an uber cool thread!  I admit I haven't read anything but the first page because of time commitments this morning.

Did someone get the poster from the first page a pumpkin pie recipe so she can try one?

I recently learned that a "fortnight" means two weeks.  A new neighbor from England was asking if the recycling is picked up every fortnight.  I said, "I don't have a clue what a fortnight is, but they come ever other week!".  We all had a good laugh over it.

Do you recycle across the pond?  America is getting pretty heavy into it - how about other places?  I love recycling.

We do here in south London.... In fact our council-provided recycle bin is bigger than our regular bin.  I know it depends from area-to-area but our burrow will recycle paper, plastic, cans, and glass with curb-side pick up.

I like "fortnight" and just had to explain to Mr Cellardoor that is it not a term readily used in the US. I also found out today that "treble" (to mean triple) is apparently very old-fashion. 

I heard it a lot in the first place I worked in here in the UK, and thought it was a commonly known term.  I started using it to describe my mobile/cell phone number (XXX-XXX-treble 4-XX), and everyone does seem to know what I'm talking about though.  I don't think it is well-used in the US either.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 23, 2010, 11:59:28 AM
I thought "Donner" = Santa's reindeer, too. The "Rudolph" TV special calls him Donner (he's Rudolph's daddy).



It is "Donder," though...Donder and Blitzen mean "Thunder and lightning." (I love trivia and I just read that a couple of years ago.)

Actually, German for thunder is 'Donner'.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 23, 2010, 12:02:53 PM
The change from 'Donder' and 'Blixem' (Dutch), to 'Donner' and 'Blitzen' (German), occurred in the 19th century. 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 23, 2010, 12:24:22 PM
One of the frozen pizza brands here (I think it was one that claims to be American) were giving away knorks with their pizza. I really, really wanted one but never got around to sending off for it. So clearly, if there's enough of a demand that one pizza company decides to give away forks you can cut with your American friends aren't the only ones who cut their pizza with a fork. :) Personally, if it's soft enough to be cut with a fork then I will. I usually eat my pizza with my hands though.

American food is  mostly considered to be burgers and fries and hot dogs here. It's Burger King and McDonalds and KFC.   In the ready-meals American food section of my local supermarket it's hotdogs, steak sandwiches, hamburgers, fries, stuffed potato skins, nachos, chilli, ribs  and chicken wings in BBQ sauce, sweetcorn fritters, that sort of thing.

 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 23, 2010, 12:31:36 PM
Okay, I'm familiar with sporks but I had to look up knorks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knork) which then led me to learn about the spife (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spife) and the sporf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporf).  Who exactly is running around creating utensil hybrids?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Perfect Circle on November 23, 2010, 12:37:49 PM
We are required to recycle pretty much everything possible now. Our council has finally started to recycle things like juice cartons and other plastic film covered cardboard, and all our metal, glass and plastic that is recyclable goes into specific containers for a pick up. We have a separate big bin for compostable waste. I'm so glad we no longer have to collect things to take them to a special waste management site but can recycle straight from home.

In fact, councils are looking at possibly fining people who don't, some already might do this.

Since last year our house produces less than one 35 litre bag of rubbish a week.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Shea on November 23, 2010, 01:01:02 PM
I've been thinking more about cultural identification, and I think Americans actually tend to get very local, in my experience.  I identify first as a Chicagoan, and second as an American, third as a Lithuanian American, and probably fourth as an Illinoisan (becaused even though Chicago is in Illinois, there's a huge gap between Chicagoan and Illinoisan).  I think we get into the Whatever-American designation when our history is relevant, and when we suspect Chicagoan or Texan or New Englander won't be fully understood, like when speaking to someone from another country.

Honestly, I think of myself as an Oregonian before I identify as an American. Which doesn't make much sense since Oregon is obviously part of the US, and it says "American" on my passport ;). Virtually my entire family is of Scottish descent (ranging from my grandmother, born in Scotland, to my great-great-great grandfather, who immigrated to Prince Edward Island from Scotland in the 1800s) so I identify as Scottish-American as well.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Brentwood on November 23, 2010, 01:11:31 PM
On cultural identification: I will always, always identify as a Minnesotan before anything else (and that is inextricably linked to my Scandinavian heritage).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: 3grey on November 23, 2010, 01:19:17 PM


I am from Idaho, always, no matter where else I am (and have been elsewhere for the last 25 years).   I will never be from anywhere else, although I've lived in Texas for almost as long as I lived in Idaho.  But I was born there, as was my father, as was my Grandmother, and it's just...where I'm from.  After that I'm from the US.   Ancestry, um, Scottish, English, German-Swiss border and around 10-12 generations on both sides of the family in the US,  so probably of bit of everything on earth.   Not to mention a great-grandfather who had definitely changed his name, and didn't tell anyone where he came from.

I don't know how common this is in other countries, but we have (overall) a pretty mobile society geographically.  Lots of families completely scattered around the country.

                  3grey





Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bigozzy on November 23, 2010, 01:28:08 PM
In my part of Edinburgh we have a grand total of 4 bins and some blue bags for different weeks of rubbish collection.
Grey wheelie for normal rubbish- weekly
Brown wheelie for garden clippings etc- monthly and more regular in Summer
Red plastic box/bin for cardboard things-fortnightly
Blue plastic box/bin for glass and cans-fortnightly
Blue bags for newspapers- same day as blue box

Every so often a charity drops off a bag to to filed with clothes/books and my brain explodes.

Exploding brain requires a special pink box to be put out only on special occassions.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 23, 2010, 01:29:16 PM
I think it's interesting that so many people identify with a state/city more than a country.  I thought about this before I posted my earlier response and I put American first because, to an outsider, I don't think there's much difference between someone from Illinois, Oregon, or Virginia (where I'm from) except for maybe an accent.  A non-American might observe some differences by general region (East Coast, West Coast, Southern, Mid-Western, etc.) but I doubt anyone outside of the US could tell the difference between someone from Indiana and someone from Ohio (heck, I'm from the US and I can't tell!).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 23, 2010, 02:40:38 PM
As a non-American I will admit that I probably couldn't even name all the states, let alone know the differences between them. I probably couldn't even do the east-coast, west-coat, southern, midwestern thing.

Florida, California, Alaska, Washington, Texas, New York, Nevada and Hawaii are pretty much the states I know well enough to be able to tell you something about. I know there's a whole lot of other ones and could probably list them off given enough time but I'd be clueless as to where they were and how to differentiate them and most of my knowledge would be from TV shows that I've watched. I'd actually be really interested in knowing the differences between them all.

But woe upon anyone who gets Scotland confused with England, even though we're tiny tiny. And who thinks we're like Braveheart, even if I still have visions of cowboys roaming around in the US thanks to the movies. :P  (Just kidding about the last).

I also can't name all the English counties though, or even the Scottish ones.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Poirot on November 23, 2010, 02:41:49 PM
I think it's interesting that so many people identify with a state/city more than a country.  I thought about this before I posted my earlier response and I put American first because, to an outsider, I don't think there's much difference between someone from Illinois, Oregon, or Virginia (where I'm from) except for maybe an accent.  A non-American might observe some differences by general region (East Coast, West Coast, Southern, Mid-Western, etc.) but I doubt anyone outside of the US could tell the difference between someone from Indiana and someone from Ohio (heck, I'm from the US and I can't tell!).

Hotshaker, after I read this post, and re-read Rainha's and Shay's, I'm going to have to agree. I guess I do identify myself more locally with people based on their locational relationship.

I mean, in my day-to-day experience, if I meet an American, and they asked where I was from, my automatic answer is "the Philadelphia area". When I meet someone new from this area, my answer is "South Philly". However, in another country my answer is "the US".

I love this thread because it has really made me think. Thanks to the OP!  :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nanny Ogg on November 23, 2010, 04:53:06 PM
Okay, I'm familiar with sporks but I had to look up knorks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knork) which then led me to learn about the spife (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spife) and the sporf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporf).  Who exactly is running around creating utensil hybrids?

Bahahahaaa! Did the person that came up with the knork know what "norks" means in the UK? Its a certain jiggly part of the female anatomy....
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: lolane on November 23, 2010, 05:00:02 PM
Okay, this may come off as a really silly question, I certainly hope it doesn't come off as an offensive one, because that's not my intention at all.

I'm a black American and when I travel other places people ask me where I'm from and I'll say, "the United States" and much of the time, depending on where I am visiting, people will ask me, "but where is your family from?" as if there aren't any black Americans whose families have been in the US many, many years. Sometimes they'll even try and guess where my family is from (the Caribbean, South America, etc.)

So, my question is, in some places is it really that odd to think of non-immigrant Americans as black? Is it because much of their black population are made up of recent immigrants so they imagine it's the same in the US? I imagine that other races/ethnicity/cultures may experience the same thing, but I don't know (e.g. Asian-Americans not being considered real Americans when they travel).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: lolane on November 23, 2010, 05:08:26 PM
Oh, I thought of another question!

To non-Americans, do the various American accents all sound "American" or are you able to identify that they are from different places? For instance, I know that accents vary across the UK but they all sound "British" to me. I can tell that some sound slightly different but I never really know if it's a regional accent, or just the way a certain person talks. For me it's worse with Australian accents because I can't hear a difference between any of those accents at all (are their regional variations that I just can't hear?)

The reason this question really interest me is because when I was in Egypt my tour group contained Australians, Americans, South Africans and one couple from Scotland as well as two women from India and two from Japan. Everyone spoke English with their different accents, but none of the Egyptians could really place any of them (they thought the Australians were Americans, for instance).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Snowy Owl on November 23, 2010, 05:17:45 PM
Iolane, I think it depends which country you're in as to their preconceptions of the US and its ethnic diversity.  Personally as a Brit I'd say no it's not odd at all.  A lot of people in the UK certainly are aware of the long established African-American population of the US, particularly given the understanding of the US role in the slave trade and the race relations issues resulting.  The US civil rights movement was certainly on the history syllabus when I was at school although I don't know much this has been replicated elsewhere.

The UK also has a fairly diverse population with several long established black (primarily Afro-Caribbean) communities, so I don't think the issue of African Americans having lived there a long time would be an unusual premise.  Again though if you're in a country with a very small or recently established black population then this might be considered an unusual idea..  

Of course it could also be that when they ask "where is your family from" they mean which particular part of the US and are just not putting it very well, especially if there's a language barrier.  If someone said to me that they're from the US my next question would be "where abouts" simply to establish if it's somewhere I've been to.  

Not sure whether this has answered your question or not.   :) :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Venus193 on November 23, 2010, 05:21:56 PM
I have another question about accents.

America has a bad reputation for being monolingual.  How do you feel when you encounter an American who can pronounce your language correctly with all the trills and vowel sounds that don't exist in English?  I know someone who actually thinks it's rude to do this (possibly because he can't).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: lolane on November 23, 2010, 05:24:50 PM
Iolane, I think it depends which country you're in as to their preconceptions of the US and its ethnic diversity.  Personally as a Brit I'd say no it's not odd at all.  A lot of people in the UK certainly are aware of the long established African-American population of the US, particularly given the understanding of the US role in the slave trade and the race relations issues resulting.  The US civil rights movement was certainly on the history syllabus when I was at school although I don't know much this has been replicated elsewhere.

The UK also has a fairly diverse population with several long established black (primarily Afro-Caribbean) communities, so I don't think the issue of African Americans having lived there a long time would be an unusual premise.  Again though if you're in a country with a very small or recently established black population then this might be considered an unusual idea..  

Of course it could also be that when they ask "where is your family from" they mean which particular part of the US and are just not putting it very well, especially if there's a language barrier.  If someone said to me that they're from the US my next question would be "where abouts" simply to establish if it's somewhere I've been to.  

Not sure whether this has answered your question or not.   :) :)

No, that helped, thanks. In the cases that I'm talking about, they don't just want to know where in the US I'm from because my response will usually be, "California" and that will lead to a deeper discussion with me trying to explain that yes, my grandparents and my grandparents, grandparents were born in the US.

Also, I should clarify that it's not people from the UK that I'm usually getting this from, but there have been posters from some other countries on this thread and I thought they might be able to explain it.

Finally, I'm not offended by this type of questioning (because it's never been done in a mean spirited way) just kind of surprised by it.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Snowy Owl on November 23, 2010, 05:25:50 PM
Oh, I thought of another question!

To non-Americans, do the various American accents all sound "American" or are you able to identify that they are from different places? For instance, I know that accents vary across the UK but they all sound "British" to me. I can tell that some sound slightly different but I never really know if it's a regional accent, or just the way a certain person talks. For me it's worse with Australian accents because I can't hear a difference between any of those accents at all (are their regional variations that I just can't hear?)

It depends.  I can't pick up the subtleties in the same way an American probably could but I can tell the difference between a Texan and a New Yorker!   :)  To put it another way, if the accent is fairly strong or distinctive, such as the lovely Louisiana drawl that one of my US work contacts has, then I can identify it.  If it's not strong or distinctive then it's a lot harder because I'm less familiar with US accents generally.  I have worked with individuals from the US a lot which helps attune the ear.  

I think by and large the more time you spend in the company of people from a country the easier it becomes to pick up differences in accent.  I lived in Germany for a while and after a while it became a lot easier to identify peoples' places of origin from their accent and use of dialectal expressions when speaking German.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 23, 2010, 05:29:17 PM
I'm a black American and when I travel other places people ask me where I'm from and I'll say, "the United States" and much of the time, depending on where I am visiting, people will ask me, "but where is your family from?" as if there aren't any black Americans whose families have been in the US many, many years. Sometimes they'll even try and guess where my family is from (the Caribbean, South America, etc.)

That's especially interesting since most Black Americans (non-immigrants and/or those descended from slavery) don't know where their families originated from.  I couldn't give them much more than "somewhere in Africa, probably somewhere around Nigeria".
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 23, 2010, 05:31:41 PM
So, my question is, in some places is it really that odd to think of non-immigrant Americans as black? Is it because much of their black population are made up of recent immigrants so they imagine it's the same in the US? I imagine that other races/ethnicity/cultures may experience the same thing, but I don't know (e.g. Asian-Americans not being considered real Americans when they travel).

I will admit I have had a hard time using the term African-American because it's possible to be African without being black, and because it's possible to be black without being from Africa (although really we all supposedly trace her heritage there if you go far enough back).  So I find the term odd, just as I found people who accused various friends of mine of not being Scottish because they weren't white odd.

But I'm white, I'm not American, and I don't know that much about racial issues and it's usually such a minefield to discuss.

Here, in my city, most of the black people I've met are actually from Africa. We've had a huge influx of immigrants in recent years.

At school we'd a tiny amount of non-white students. The Chinese boy in my class was actually from China. Of the three black students I knew, two of them were from Africa and had arrived pretty recently and one was Scottish. My best friend was English and while she'd lived here most of her life, she was always going to be English.

Depending on where you're travelling it might just be that there's so very little experience of people who are not white or they have preconceived notions and by saying you're just American you're not fitting in. I'm not sure. Or they could just need to be whacked by a clue-stick. I'm sure if you explain they'll understand.

To answer your question though, I think the people who ask you those things are the ones being odd.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 23, 2010, 05:47:53 PM
I can easily pick out the differences between most British accents and can probably make a rough stab at where the person's from. The same from Scottish accents and we do have a variety of them here but you'll need to trust me on that one if all British accents sound the same. My poor dad could travel just a few hours out of our city to somewhere else in Scotland and have problems being understood because his accent was so thick.

There are some American accents I love the sound of. I can't tell you what accents those are since I can't really pick out "well that person's from New York and that one's from Texas" so well. But I can pick out that that accent is different from that other one if they're significantly different.

Most accents are middling and just get categorised as "American" though. 

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 23, 2010, 07:20:34 PM
The race topic does remind me of another question, and I'm going to try to phrase this as non-judgmentally as possible so please be aware I mean this with the least possible offense:

Here in the US, part of the underlying prejudice against African-Americans stems from the poorer segment of our population being disproportionately non-white.  African-Americans make up a larger segment of the prison population than they do of the general population (for a variety of reasons), larger segment of the people on low-income government programs, etc.  This certainly isn't the only reason that people act prejudiced and racist, but it seems to be part of it - the perception that people of one ethnic group are more "lazy" than another seems (to racists) to be proven by the fact that more people in that ethnic group are on welfare, etc.

Does this prejudice exist in other countries which don't have the same racial history as the US does?  In Europe, as I understand it, people of African descent are much more likely to have descended from moderate-to-wealthy ancestors (as opposed to being descended from people brought across an ocean to be slaves), and thus someone's skin color is much less likely to correlate with their socioeconomic status.  Is there still the same prejudice based on skin color?  Are people from other groups (e.g. Muslims) discriminated against in the same way?

I hope I phrased that okay - I'm not saying that Americans' attitude toward people without white skin is good or right, just curious to see if it's more pervasive than just our country!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: StarFaerie on November 23, 2010, 10:11:47 PM
Oh, I thought of another question!

To non-Americans, do the various American accents all sound "American" or are you able to identify that they are from different places? For instance, I know that accents vary across the UK but they all sound "British" to me. I can tell that some sound slightly different but I never really know if it's a regional accent, or just the way a certain person talks. For me it's worse with Australian accents because I can't hear a difference between any of those accents at all (are their regional variations that I just can't hear?)

The reason this question really interest me is because when I was in Egypt my tour group contained Australians, Americans, South Africans and one couple from Scotland as well as two women from India and two from Japan. Everyone spoke English with their different accents, but none of the Egyptians could really place any of them (they thought the Australians were Americans, for instance).

Australian here. I can hear the differences between different American accents where the differences are large like South vs North but I can't pick the smaller differences and can't pick Canadian vs Northern USA.

The differences in Australian accents are so minor that most Australians can't even hear it with the exception of the traditional Ocker accent that no-one really has anymore (think Steve Irwin for an Ocker accent). A linguist once assured me that an expert can tell the difference between a Melbournian and a Sydneysider but pretty much no-one else can.

The race topic does remind me of another question, and I'm going to try to phrase this as non-judgmentally as possible so please be aware I mean this with the least possible offense:

Here in the US, part of the underlying prejudice against African-Americans stems from the poorer segment of our population being disproportionately non-white.  African-Americans make up a larger segment of the prison population than they do of the general population (for a variety of reasons), larger segment of the people on low-income government programs, etc.  This certainly isn't the only reason that people act prejudiced and racist, but it seems to be part of it - the perception that people of one ethnic group are more "lazy" than another seems (to racists) to be proven by the fact that more people in that ethnic group are on welfare, etc.

Does this prejudice exist in other countries which don't have the same racial history as the US does?  In Europe, as I understand it, people of African descent are much more likely to have descended from moderate-to-wealthy ancestors (as opposed to being descended from people brought across an ocean to be slaves), and thus someone's skin color is much less likely to correlate with their socioeconomic status.  Is there still the same prejudice based on skin color?  Are people from other groups (e.g. Muslims) discriminated against in the same way?

I hope I phrased that okay - I'm not saying that Americans' attitude toward people without white skin is good or right, just curious to see if it's more pervasive than just our country!

OK, trying to word this carefully. I apologise in advance for any miswording that creates offense, I mean well.

It is more pervasive than just the US. It is a big problem here in Australia and has been for a long time. In the '50's we even had an official policy called the "White Australia Policy" that intentionally tried to make Australia more white through immigration from only "white" countries and "integration" of the Aboriginals by taking them away from their families and putting them in institutions and with white families. Aboriginals only got the right to vote and free movement in 1967.

And it is still a problem. Aboriginals make up only 2.6% of our population but 24% of our prison population. Many diseases such as tuberculosis have mostly been eradicated in the main population but still exist in Aboriginal camps. We had riots in Cronulla a few years ago against Muslim immigrants and have recently seen bashings of Indian students in Melbourne. And I know some people who truly believe that non-white people of all races are lesser races. It all saddens me greatly and has nothing to do with socio-economics, merely that they are different.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ereine on November 23, 2010, 11:17:13 PM
I have another question about accents.

America has a bad reputation for being monolingual.  How do you feel when you encounter an American who can pronounce your language correctly with all the trills and vowel sounds that don't exist in English?  I know someone who actually thinks it's rude to do this (possibly because he can't).

I think that some Finns may find it amusing (Finns can have strange/cruel sense of humour, the sort that forces North American visitors to sauna nude with a bunch of men (usually it's men as are the victims, women wouldn't be forced to sauna with men) and then roll around in the snow, because that's what you're supposed to do in Finland. That's supposed to be very funny) but I don't think that people would find it rude. Finns take perverse pleasure in having a very difficult language.

And I hope that other people wouldn't find it rude either, as I can't produce all sounds that exist in English (I've never yet managed to make people understand that I've said the word "culture"). I suspect that my accent is in the category of Björk, though nowhere near as pretty (which makes it strange that I've actually been asked if I'm English abroad).

To non-Americans, do the various American accents all sound "American" or are you able to identify that they are from different places? For instance, I know that accents vary across the UK but they all sound "British" to me. I can tell that some sound slightly different but I never really know if it's a regional accent, or just the way a certain person talks. For me it's worse with Australian accents because I can't hear a difference between any of those accents at all (are their regional variations that I just can't hear?)

The few Americans I've met in real life seem to have had similar accents, rather neutral but I have no idea where they were from, they just sounded American (and could have been Canadian if I didn't know that they weren't). One girl I thought was American but apparently she was South African, so I'm not very good with accents. I might be able to recognize the Texan and the New Yorker but not much else.

I recently met an American woman at my knitting night and I think that the most (stereotypically) American thing about her speech was her choice of words and how she emphasized them, she was so excited about what I was working on that it seemed strange, to Finns it sounds a little insincere.

Does this prejudice exist in other countries which don't have the same racial history as the US does?  In Europe, as I understand it, people of African descent are much more likely to have descended from moderate-to-wealthy ancestors (as opposed to being descended from people brought across an ocean to be slaves), and thus someone's skin color is much less likely to correlate with their socioeconomic status.  Is there still the same prejudice based on skin color?  Are people from other groups (e.g. Muslims) discriminated against in the same way?
Finland is still very monocultural but traditionally the minority that makes larger segment of prison populations are the Roma. There is a lot of prejudice against them and if you look like a Roma (they dress very differently in Finland than in other countries (http://yle.fi/alueet/keski-pohjanmaa/2009/04/valkolaisten_pelko_estaa_romanien_juhlimisen_671856.html), for historical reasons, you can't see in the picture that the skirt has metres and metres of fabric) I don't know how well you are able to integrate to the society. Part of the problem is that many don't want to, they've been a separate ethnic group for so long and mainstream Finnish society hasn't treated them well (though they weren't really persecuted here), that they keep to their own groups and for example get only the mandatory education which means that finding a job is very difficult.

I think that maybe the majority of people of African descent here are Somalian refugees and they've become another group like the Roma. There have been more immigrants and refugees in recent years and it hasn't gone that well (in next year's elections an anti-immigration party is predicted to do very well) but the Roma and the Somalians are probably the groups that face the most prejudices. Also people of Russian origin are are rather unpopular and getting work with a Russian name and accent isn't easy (well getting work as any sort of immigrant isn't easy, but at least Americans don't face that sort of prejudices).
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 24, 2010, 12:40:42 AM
One of the reasons I studied Norwegian is because it's not a very popular language.  I took perverse pleasure in that, too.  >:D  Although, when we had a lesson where we had to read the same passage in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish & Finnish, I was disappointed that the first 3 were so similar.  The Finnish, of course, looked like gibberish. :)

As for accents, well, I can't even tell a lot of American accents apart.  Sometimes I can get a general vicinity from certain words/phrases, but unless it's a thick Southern accent (in which case I still won't know the state) or New York/New Jesery/Boston, I have no clue.  I can tell the difference between an English and Australian accent.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 24, 2010, 01:35:07 AM
I'm glad people are talking about accents, because I was just discussing this very subject with DH the other day.  There's a movie that we both love called Cold Comfort Farm, starring Kate Beckinsale...is anyone familiar with it? At any rate, Kate Beckinsale goes to live with relatives in the English rural countryside and I don't know what it is, but I cannot understand the farmers' accents for the life of me.  It didn't even sound like English to me, LOL.  Am I the lone idiot, or do a lot of American have problems understanding the "English rural" accent? (not sure what to call it, sorry)   

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: JonGirl on November 24, 2010, 02:16:50 AM
One of the reasons I studied Norwegian is because it's not a very popular language.   I took perverse pleasure in that, too.  >:D  Although, when we had a lesson where we had to read the same passage in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish & Finnish, I was disappointed that the first 3 were so similar.  The Finnish, of course, looked like gibberish. :)

As for accents, well, I can't even tell a lot of American accents apart.  Sometimes I can get a general vicinity from certain words/phrases, but unless it's a thick Southern accent (in which case I still won't know the state) or New York/New Jesery/Boston, I have no clue.  I can tell the difference between an English and Australian accent.

I did that with Welsh, before it got to hard!  :D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MRSW on November 24, 2010, 02:18:51 AM
One of the reasons I studied Norwegian is because it's not a very popular language.   I took perverse pleasure in that, too.  >:D  Although, when we had a lesson where we had to read the same passage in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish & Finnish, I was disappointed that the first 3 were so similar.  The Finnish, of course, looked like gibberish. :)

As for accents, well, I can't even tell a lot of American accents apart.  Sometimes I can get a general vicinity from certain words/phrases, but unless it's a thick Southern accent (in which case I still won't know the state) or New York/New Jesery/Boston, I have no clue.  I can tell the difference between an English and Australian accent.

I did that with Welsh, before it got to hard!  :D

I actually own a Welsh-English dictionary! I can't remember how I ended up with it, and I can't pronounce at of it, but I love the way the words look, so I keep it around. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: WolfWay on November 24, 2010, 02:44:59 AM
I'm glad people are talking about accents, because I was just discussing this very subject with DH the other day.  There's a movie that we both love called Cold Comfort Farm, starring Kate Beckinsale...is anyone familiar with it? At any rate, Kate Beckinsale goes to live with relatives in the English rural countryside and I don't know what it is, but I cannot understand the farmers' accents for the life of me.  It didn't even sound like English to me, LOL.  Am I the lone idiot, or do a lot of American have problems understanding the "English rural" accent? (not sure what to call it, sorry)   
Heeeehee... "Seth, drain the well. One of the neighbors is missing."

I think it might be a matter of exposure to the accents. I don't live in England, but I've watched a LOT of British television, so all the various regional English accents are pretty much completely comprehensible to me.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Bright on November 24, 2010, 05:18:20 AM
Does this prejudice exist in other countries which don't have the same racial history as the US does?  In Europe, as I understand it, people of African descent are much more likely to have descended from moderate-to-wealthy ancestors (as opposed to being descended from people brought across an ocean to be slaves), and thus someone's skin color is much less likely to correlate with their socioeconomic status.  Is there still the same prejudice based on skin color?  Are people from other groups (e.g. Muslims) discriminated against in the same way?

Racism is pervasive everywhere, unfortunately. It is definitely alive and rampant in the UK. We've had our own history of discrimination and race riots and it's still ongoing today. It's not really a topic I know well enough to be able to speak on though.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Gyburc on November 24, 2010, 05:31:48 AM
Hope you don't mind if I ask another question...

Yesterday I was queuing in a shop when a young woman asked me something that sounded like 'Do they sell chopstick?' She had a pretty strong North American accent, although I admit I wouldn't be able to tell if it was American or Canadian. I couldn't understand what she meant, even after she repeated the question, so I apologised and said I had no idea. (She gave me a look that suggested I was possibly the most stupid person alive. ::))

So, what on earth could she have been asking for?! My guess is either 'chopsticks' (dropping the final 's'), chapstick, or chopped steak.

Any ideas?

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 24, 2010, 05:39:13 AM
Does this prejudice exist in other countries which don't have the same racial history as the US does?  In Europe, as I understand it, people of African descent are much more likely to have descended from moderate-to-wealthy ancestors (as opposed to being descended from people brought across an ocean to be slaves), and thus someone's skin color is much less likely to correlate with their socioeconomic status.  Is there still the same prejudice based on skin color?  Are people from other groups (e.g. Muslims) discriminated against in the same way?

Racism is pervasive everywhere, unfortunately. It is definitely alive and rampant in the UK. We've had our own history of discrimination and race riots and it's still ongoing today. It's not really a topic I know well enough to be able to speak on though.

Sadly this is true.  

People from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be in prison, to be living in poverty, to be suffering ill health and less likely to be wealthy, to be well educated or to be in a position of influence.  We still have plenty of sexism going strong as well and when you add in our good old class system the UK is a veritable cesspit of inequality I'm sorry to say.

I grew up in a town that had race riots less than 10 years ago and despite the hours of hard work that myself and many many others have put in since trying to improve the situation, I'm sorry to say I wouldn't be all that surprised if it happened again within the next ten years.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: NestHolder on November 24, 2010, 05:45:00 AM
I'm glad people are talking about accents, because I was just discussing this very subject with DH the other day.  There's a movie that we both love called Cold Comfort Farm, starring Kate Beckinsale...is anyone familiar with it? At any rate, Kate Beckinsale goes to live with relatives in the English rural countryside and I don't know what it is, but I cannot understand the farmers' accents for the life of me.  It didn't even sound like English to me, LOL.  Am I the lone idiot, or do a lot of American have problems understanding the "English rural" accent? (not sure what to call it, sorry)   


There are a bunch of rural accents, of course, but they can be well-nigh impenetrable to English people, let alone Americans.  Did you ever see "The Full Monty"?  (As a film, I mean—the Broadway musical has been Americanised.)  I have friends who can't understand half of what the characters in that are saying...

When I went to Glasgow (for a Dorothy Dunnett convention), I was impressed by the sheer friendliness of people in the city.  My taxi driver from the airport nattered away to me in the most charming spirit.  I think I understood about one word in three!

And my English ears had quite a bit of trouble with some of the Australians during my recent trip to Tasmania.  I could usually make sense of what they'd said, but it took several seconds to process.  Accents are weird—I mean, how does one language get distorted in so many different ways?

I, of course, speak RP, so everyone understand me!

(Also—have you ever heard the BBC audio adaptation of "Cold Comfort Farm"?  It is completely and totally wonderful.)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: baglady on November 24, 2010, 05:49:00 AM
One of the reasons I studied Norwegian is because it's not a very popular language.  I took perverse pleasure in that, too.  >:D  Although, when we had a lesson where we had to read the same passage in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish & Finnish, I was disappointed that the first 3 were so similar.  The Finnish, of course, looked like gibberish. :)

As for accents, well, I can't even tell a lot of American accents apart.  Sometimes I can get a general vicinity from certain words/phrases, but unless it's a thick Southern accent (in which case I still won't know the state) or New York/New Jesery/Boston, I have no clue.  I can tell the difference between an English and Australian accent.

Same here. I'm from New England and can't distinguish a Boston from a Rhode Island accent, or a northern/rural Vermont accent from New Hampshire, or a (downstate) New Yorker from New Jerseyan. I recognize Southern but can't tell a Tennessee from a Georgia from a Virginia accent, although I can generally pick out a Texan.* I've met people who sound like the sheriff from "Fargo," but for all I know they could be from Minnesota, Wisconsin, upper Michigan or even Canada rather than North Dakota. And not everyone from the Northern Midwest has that distinctive accent. The one American regional accent I can pinpoint to a specific place is Philadelphia.

Among English speakers from elsewhere, I can recognize Scottish, Irish, Liverpudlian and Australian/NZ accents (but can't tell the latter two apart).

Quote
So, what on earth could she have been asking for?! My guess is either 'chopsticks' (dropping the final 's'), chapstick, or chopped steak.

If she was obviously a native North American English speaker, probably Chapstick. I've never heard an American or Canadian English speaker call steak "stick," unless s/he had a heavy (Insert Other Language Here) accent. What sort of store was it?

*Texans, I apologize for implying that you are Southern if you don't see yourselves as Southern. The accents do have many similarities, to my Northern ears.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Miss Vertigo on November 24, 2010, 05:52:28 AM
OK, this might be an incredibly stupid question but:

Americans. Why is the Midwest called the Midwest when if you divided America in half from top to bottom most of it would be in the East?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/US_map-Midwest.PNG

This puzzles the heck out of me.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 24, 2010, 06:05:02 AM
OK, this might be an incredibly stupid question but:

Americans. Why is the Midwest called the Midwest when if you divided America in half from top to bottom most of it would be in the East?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/US_map-Midwest.PNG

This puzzles the heck out of me.

Not an American so I'm probably wrong, but I always thought it was because the earlier western inhabitants didn't know just how far west the country went on for!  The Midwestern states would have just been 'The West' until they started expanding further into Nevada, California etc. so then they stuck 'Mid' in front to differentiate.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 24, 2010, 06:18:59 AM
I can tell accents. I've got a pretty good ear for it. But then I have a good ear for tones anyhows. You'd think i'd have done well in music then huh?

I'm not certain what monolingual means? I know when I was over in the states I use to have people ask me to repeat certain words over and over again at the hilarity of the pronounciation. The words you ask? Nineteen and chinese. I think the Australians accent is like our society....laid back. Actually our accent has been refered to as lazy. All I know is that its not an accent easily reproduced which I absolutely LOVE...haha...where the American accent is pretty easy to reproduce.

I love accents. My favourites are the Irish and the Scottish. But mainly Irish. And I love the southern drawl of the states. I got to spend some time in carolina and savanah and love it.

Its true, there is suppose to be some differences in our accents. Not sure what it is though. Something about the pronounciation. We are no different though from any other country, and certain states use different words to others. Being a sydney gal the word "grouse" is not in my vocab,but all my melbourne family uses it.

Unfortunately....and I dont mean to offend anybody here...but histories of racism and cultural segregration exist in every country. And some hold an almost identical kind of history. Some people would say its definetly better than what it was before, and it has...but its still there and has just changed forms and faces.

Depending on where you live,you feel it more. And the minority changes. Where I live I am definetly the minority as a white causcasian. Living in the area my whole life,I've adapted to it well but alot of people I know who havent grown up in the area find it hard. But then 3hrs away if I was too visit my sister, the cultures that are largely prominent in my area would be the minority. I think this is everwhere. WHile I love my country and the diverse cultures,there is some big culcaves going on from state to state.

Plus I also think racism has different terms and meanings depending on the country you live. Sounds stupid...but I think it does.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 24, 2010, 06:43:53 AM
I recently met an American woman at my knitting night and I think that the most (stereotypically) American thing about her speech was her choice of words and how she emphasized them, she was so excited about what I was working on that it seemed strange, to Finns it sounds a little insincere.

Can you clarify what you mean by word choice?


OK, this might be an incredibly stupid question but:

Americans. Why is the Midwest called the Midwest when if you divided America in half from top to bottom most of it would be in the East?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/US_map-Midwest.PNG

This puzzles the heck out of me.

Not an American so I'm probably wrong, but I always thought it was because the earlier western inhabitants didn't know just how far west the country went on for!  The Midwestern states would have just been 'The West' until they started expanding further into Nevada, California etc. so then they stuck 'Mid' in front to differentiate.

I think this is the case.

However, the definition of Midwest can lead to some (good natured) arguments.  Being a snotty East Coaster ( ;)), basically, if a state doesn't touch some major body of water (Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, or the Gulf) or Mexico, it's the Midwest to me*.  My friend from Nebraska was not amused by this mass generalization.  She considered everything East of the Mississippi River (about the Eastern 1/3 of the US) to be the East Coast and states halfway between the river and the Pacific to be Midwest (you know, midway through the Western sates).

*Here's a map so you can see just how much area that is: http://www.infoplease.com/states.html.  Nebraska is kind of in the middle.


I'm not certain what monolingual means?

It means to speak only one language. Most Americans tend to speak only one language because, well, we only really need one.  (Although, this is changing depending on where you live.  In some areas, Spanish is almost a requirement.)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: StarDrifter on November 24, 2010, 06:54:06 AM
sweetgirl- are you me?

I *love* accents and listening to people speak different languages!!

I'm Australian (for those who don't know) and the best description I've heard of our accents is that they're 'neutral' - apparently Australians are really sought after as translators because we don't put harsh tones (hard vowels, dropping 'h's) on words, making our pronunciation of languages other than English a lot easier for native speakers to understand.

I, personally, am a Melbournite, born and bred, but live in Central Victoria now. I identify with other Australians that I'm from Melbourne, and with other Victorians as an ex-Melbournian. People from overseas I usually say 'I'm Australian and no I don't live in Sydney', because that's the most common conception.

I can tell a West Australian accent from a Victorian, and Queenslanders have a few words that they use that are unique - especially those from Far North (Cairns, Mackay and the like). Darwin/NT have their own little idiosyncrasies, too, which I find fascinating.

And for those who can't tell NZ accents from Aussie- ask them to say 'fish and chips' - New Zealanders say 'fush and chups'. (apologies to any New Zealanders, but that's how it sounds!)

I've met/spoken to/know/have watched enough TV to be able to tell most American accents apart- I can tell Brooklyn from Queens and the Bronx and Manhattan, Boston stands on its' own as does Philly.

Chicagoans and the Pacific North West have similar but different accents and people who live in LA seem to be the loudest... and of course, Texas and New Orleans (Nyeaorlans) are just awesome.

I tend to be the person who gets to 'translate' what the Scottish, Irish or British people on TV are saying when Ace can't decipher it!

I think, in Australia, because we have such an influx of foreign media (like 60-70% of our TV programming is produced either in the US or the UK) we develop the ability to understand foreign accents a lot earlier, and have a better understanding of how other countries use language, because we're exposed to it so much!

Tee hee... I wish we could make some of these posts audio, or video... so we could hear each other talk.

Ohmigoodness... I have three days off coming up.... watch out for a youtube channel on my blog....
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 24, 2010, 06:56:14 AM
I recently met an American woman at my knitting night and I think that the most (stereotypically) American thing about her speech was her choice of words and how she emphasized them, she was so excited about what I was working on that it seemed strange, to Finns it sounds a little insincere.

Can you clarify what you mean by word choice?



I can't speak for Ereine, but in my experience, Americans tend to 'gush' a lot more than other people. So, I might say something is 'sad', but an American might say it's 'tragic'. I might say something is 'lovely', but an American might say it's 'extraordinary'.

To a repressed English person (;D)  it can come across as insincere.


From E.M. Forster's 'Notes on the English Character':

Once upon a time (this is an anecdote) I went for a week's holiday on the Continent with an Indian friend. We both enjoyed ourselves and were sorry when the week was over, but on parting our behaviour was absolutely different. He was plunged in despair.

He felt that because the holiday was over all happiness was over until the world ended. He could not express his sorrow too much. But in me the Englishman came out strong. I reflected that we should meet again in a month or two, and could write in the interval if we had anything to say; and under these circumstances I could not see what there was to make a fuss about. It wasn't as if we were parting forever or dying. "Buck up," I said, "do buck up." He refused to buck up, and I left him plunged in gloom.

The conclusion of the anecdote is even more instructive. For when we met the next month our conversation threw a good deal of light on the English character. I began by scolding my friend. I told him that he had been wrong to feel and display so much emotion upon so slight an occasion; that it was inappropriate. The word "inappropriate" roused him to fury. "What?" he cried. "Do you measure out your emotions as if they were potatoes?" I did not like the simile of the potatoes, but after a moment's reflection I said: "Yes, I do; and what's more, I think I ought to. A small occasion demands a little emotion just as a large occasion demands a great one.


It was written in 1920, but I still feel it explains a lot.  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 24, 2010, 06:57:25 AM
Does this prejudice exist in other countries which don't have the same racial history as the US does?  In Europe, as I understand it, people of African descent are much more likely to have descended from moderate-to-wealthy ancestors (as opposed to being descended from people brought across an ocean to be slaves), and thus someone's skin color is much less likely to correlate with their socioeconomic status.  Is there still the same prejudice based on skin color?  Are people from other groups (e.g. Muslims) discriminated against in the same way?

Racism is pervasive everywhere, unfortunately. It is definitely alive and rampant in the UK. We've had our own history of discrimination and race riots and it's still ongoing today. It's not really a topic I know well enough to be able to speak on though.

Sadly this is true.  

People from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be in prison, to be living in poverty, to be suffering ill health and less likely to be wealthy, to be well educated or to be in a position of influence.  We still have plenty of sexism going strong as well and when you add in our good old class system the UK is a veritable cesspit of inequality I'm sorry to say.

I grew up in a town that had race riots less than 10 years ago and despite the hours of hard work that myself and many many others have put in since trying to improve the situation, I'm sorry to say I wouldn't be all that surprised if it happened again within the next ten years.

I think there is a difference between here (England) and the US though, in terms of racism.  I think there's less racism here towards people of an Afro-Carribean background (though still some), partly because they've integrated more into "mainstream" traditional English culture than some other groups.  Yes they're still over-represented in prison populations and so on, but I think that's mainly a socio-economic background thing.  We don't have "ghetto" areas with exclusively black people living in them, though there are more of them living in poor areas.  We do, however, have areas that are almost exclusively Asian.  Actual immigrants from Africa or the Carribean might experience more prejudice as there are stereotypes of those cultures, but once a generation or two goes past it's assumed the only difference is skin colour.  I think there's more prejudice against Asians though (Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, etc, not Orientals) as the perception is that they keep more of their culture - different language, very different religions, different clothes - whereas most black people wear "normal" English clothes, speak English and are Christian/Agnostic.  There's also a lot of resentment against Muslims at the moment, recently fanned by things like the Poppy burning incident on Remembrance Day, and the documentary on anti-Western hate being preached in Muslim schools that aired a couple of days ago.  I know a lot of non-Muslim Asians got caught up in that after the London bombings too - a Hindu friend of mine was telling me a Sikh friend of hers had bought a t-shirt to wear on the London Underground that said "Don't freak, I'm Sikh!" because he was sick of the nervous looks people were giving him.  There is also a fair amount of racism between ethnic minorities - Asians and black people have some racism against each other.

I think a lot of it depends where you are.  I grew up in Birmingham, the second city, which is a lovely kaleidoscope of colour, and hasn't much racism really, but up north there have been problems, and of course bigots get everywhere.  My Hindu friend I mentioned is of Indian decent, and the only racism she's ever encountered has been from other Asians who've harrassed her for being "A Bounty bar" (white on the inside, brown on the outside) because isn't particularly into Bollywood or bhangra music, doesn't wear saris and doesn't travel "back" to India every year to visit family, though she still eats Indian food and is devoted to her religion.

Some of the stereotypes we have of some ethnic minorities are positive too - a sociological study showed British Indian children do better in school than white British, and posited it might be because we have a perception that they're hard workers and believe education is important.  Also, I'm quite surprised when I get a white doctor!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Shea on November 24, 2010, 07:05:46 AM

I think this is the case.

However, the definition of Midwest can lead to some (good natured) arguments.  Being a snotty East Coaster ( ;)), basically, if a state doesn't touch some major body of water (Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, or the Gulf) or Mexico, it's the Midwest to me*.  My friend from Nebraska was not amused by this mass generalization.  She considered everything East of the Mississippi River (about the Eastern 1/3 of the US) to be the East Coast and states halfway between the river and the Pacific to be Midwest (you know, midway through the Western sates).

*Here's a map so you can see just how much area that is: http://www.infoplease.com/states.html.  Nebraska is kind of in the middle.

Yeah, I was born and raised in Oregon and a lot of us on the West Coast tend to think of everything east of the Mississippi as (vague hand gesture) "back East". I unintentionally annoyed a girl from Chicago once by referring to Illinois as "back East".

Now, living in eastern Canada, there are lots of New Englanders, who think my use of the phrase "back East" is quaint and amusing. Then again, they say "out West", which sounds just as funny to me.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 24, 2010, 07:09:35 AM
I recently met an American woman at my knitting night and I think that the most (stereotypically) American thing about her speech was her choice of words and how she emphasized them, she was so excited about what I was working on that it seemed strange, to Finns it sounds a little insincere.

Can you clarify what you mean by word choice?



I can't speak for Ereine, but in my experience, Americans tend to 'gush' a lot more than other people. So, I might say something is 'sad', but an American might say it's 'tragic'. I might say something is 'lovely', but an American might say it's 'extraordinary'.

To a repressed English person (;D)  it can come across as insincere.


From E.M. Forster's 'Notes on the English Character':

Once upon a time (this is an anecdote) I went for a week's holiday on the Continent with an Indian friend. We both enjoyed ourselves and were sorry when the week was over, but on parting our behaviour was absolutely different. He was plunged in despair.

He felt that because the holiday was over all happiness was over until the world ended. He could not express his sorrow too much. But in me the Englishman came out strong. I reflected that we should meet again in a month or two, and could write in the interval if we had anything to say; and under these circumstances I could not see what there was to make a fuss about. It wasn't as if we were parting forever or dying. "Buck up," I said, "do buck up." He refused to buck up, and I left him plunged in gloom.

The conclusion of the anecdote is even more instructive. For when we met the next month our conversation threw a good deal of light on the English character. I began by scolding my friend. I told him that he had been wrong to feel and display so much emotion upon so slight an occasion; that it was inappropriate. The word "inappropriate" roused him to fury. "What?" he cried. "Do you measure out your emotions as if they were potatoes?" I did not like the simile of the potatoes, but after a moment's reflection I said: "Yes, I do; and what's more, I think I ought to. A small occasion demands a little emotion just as a large occasion demands a great one.


It was written in 1920, but I still feel it explains a lot.  ;D

That's fantastic!  I think a lot of it is to do with our love of irony and our prohibition on being earnest too.  A weekend that started with food poisoning, had a drive to the MIL's which involved swerving to avoid running over the family cat and fataly hitting granny (and hitting the cat as well anyway, and writing off the car to boot), followed by finding out your youngest daughter has run away to join the circus with her new boyfriend of two weeks, and then the central heating breaking down Sunday evening (in the dead of winter) would be described by the average English person as, "Not really the best weekend I've had recently," or, "Could've been better, I guess."
With the Importance of Not Being Earnest, that's best illustrated with our politicians - if any of our lot gushed and made speeches about how God favours us etc like US politicians do, they'd be laughed out of office!  We have a huge suspicion of earnestness.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 24, 2010, 07:17:43 AM
There is a school of thought that says the only reason that fascism didn't take off in the UK in the 1930s was because the rhetoric sounded so laughable to the English.

Whether that's a bit of a 'pub fact', I'm not too sure.

I also love the way that we use the word 'quite'. If you think about it, it can mean a lot of of different things.

e.g.: "It's quite good."

Now, does that mean it was a little bit good, or does it mean it was very good, or does it mean it was surprisingly good.  ;D
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 24, 2010, 07:22:17 AM
There is a school of thought that says the only reason that fascism didn't take off in the UK in the 1930s was because the rhetoric sounded so laughable to the English.

Whether that's a bit of a 'pub fact', I'm not too sure.

I also love the way that we use the word 'quite'. If you think about it, it can mean a lot of of different things.

e.g.: "It's quite good."

Now, does that mean it was a little bit good, or does it mean it was very good, or does it mean it was surprisingly good.  ;D

Any and all of the above, depending on tone, circumstance and facial expression!

Oh, accents: I can tell Southern American, and Not-Southern American.  And that's it, American-wise.  I can tell the difference between South Africa/Namibia and more northerly African accents, generally, and I can sometimes tell the difference between Australian and New Zealand.  But generally my Regional Accent-Detector is set to Great British only, everywhere else it's national only.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: joraemi on November 24, 2010, 07:25:39 AM
Hello!

  My DH would like to know if people in other parts of the world refer to time the same way we do in the US.

For instance:  Four O'clock, Four fifteen or Quarter after, four-thirty, four-forty five or Quarter 'til, etc.....
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kess on November 24, 2010, 07:28:29 AM
Hello!

  My DH would like to know if people in other parts of the world refer to time the same way we do in the US.

For instance:  Four O'clock, Four fifteen or Quarter after, four-thirty, four-forty five or Quarter 'til, etc.....

Generally (UK) quarter past not quarter after, and quarter to not quarter 'til.  We also use the 24 hour clock more often now than we used to as well.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Larrabee on November 24, 2010, 07:28:43 AM
Hello!

  My DH would like to know if people in other parts of the world refer to time the same way we do in the US.

For instance:  Four O'clock, Four fifteen or Quarter after, four-thirty, four-forty five or Quarter 'til, etc.....

In the UK:

4 O'clock
5 past 4
10 past 4
Quarter past 4
20 past 4
25 past 4
Half past 4
25 to 5
20 to 5
Quarter to 5
10 to 5
5 to 5
5 O'clock!


I was confused when I first lived with Americans and they said quarter OF or ten OF instead of 'to'.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Gyburc on November 24, 2010, 07:32:53 AM

Quote
So, what on earth could she have been asking for?! My guess is either 'chopsticks' (dropping the final 's'), chapstick, or chopped steak.

If she was obviously a native North American English speaker, probably Chapstick. I've never heard an American or Canadian English speaker call steak "stick," unless s/he had a heavy (Insert Other Language Here) accent. What sort of store was it?

It's a mini-supermarket, mainly selling food and alcohol, but with a very small section for household goods, toilet roll, toothpaste etc. So any of the three options were possible!

Thanks!

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Nibsey on November 24, 2010, 07:36:39 AM

Australian here. I can hear the differences between different American accents where the differences are large like South vs North but I can't pick the smaller differences and can't pick Canadian vs Northern USA.

The differences in Australian accents are so minor that most Australians can't even hear it with the exception of the traditional Ocker accent that no-one really has anymore (think Steve Irwin for an Ocker accent). A linguist once assured me that an expert can tell the difference between a Melbournian and a Sydneysider but pretty much no-one else can.


I'm sorry but you can certainly tell the difference between a Queenslands accent and a WA accent  >:D I worked in a call centre in Perth and I could tell what part of the country people were ringing from just from their voice and I'm terrible with accents. The only accent I found to be neutral was the Melbourne accent.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bluedahlia on November 24, 2010, 07:50:17 AM
Okay, I'm familiar with sporks but I had to look up knorks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knork) which then led me to learn about the spife (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spife) and the sporf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporf).  Who exactly is running around creating utensil hybrids?

The Swiss, of course.  ;)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ferrets on November 24, 2010, 07:58:23 AM
I think a lot of it is to do with our love of irony and our prohibition on being earnest too.  A weekend that started with food poisoning, had a drive to the MIL's which involved swerving to avoid running over the family cat and fataly hitting granny (and hitting the cat as well anyway, and writing off the car to boot), followed by finding out your youngest daughter has run away to join the circus with her new boyfriend of two weeks, and then the central heating breaking down Sunday evening (in the dead of winter) would be described by the average English person as, "Not really the best weekend I've had recently," or, "Could've been better, I guess."

Captain Moody's famous announcement, British Airways Flight 9, 24/06/82:

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control. I trust you are not in too much distress."

One of my favourites. :) (For those unfamiliar with the incident, it's quite a story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9), and the plane did eventually land safely, if rather battered.) Possibly the icing on the cake is that, when reflecting years later, Moody commented that "It was, yeah, a little bit frightening." ;)

On the more sombre side re: good old British understatement, its potential for cross-cultural miscommunication can occasionally prove disastrous:

Quote
During the most ferocious encounter of the Korean war, the battle of the Imjin river, a message went out from the British commander of the 29th Infantry Brigade to the American 3rd Infantry Division that "Things are a bit sticky here." The Americans did not realise this meant that the Brits were close to being overwhelmed: failing to receive any order to withdraw, the 29th Infantry Brigade took more than 1,000 casualties.
 - The Sunday Times (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/non-fiction/article7013774.ece), 07/02/2010
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: sweetgirl on November 24, 2010, 08:08:21 AM
Also in Australia we dont do our dating the same as you do in the states. You put the month,then the day and then the year. And we do it the day,month and then year.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 24, 2010, 08:14:46 AM
Also in Australia we dont do our d@ting the same as you do in the states. You put the month,then the day and then the year. And we do it the day,month and then year.



Also, with reference to the other kind of dating.

It's completely unheard of to 'date' more than one person at a time here (unless you are cheating or into that lifestyle). Even if you are seeing someone very very casually, and it's very early days, it should still be one person at a time.

Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: bluedahlia on November 24, 2010, 08:21:38 AM
I really found the Donner reference as 'Oooo! You are missing the Santa's reindeer's name!' (Donder, so often missed as Donner - even Hallmark does it sometimes!)

I find both ideas chilling (except I do eat venison when my brother hunts).


I have a friend who's descended from the survivors of the Donner Party.  Every year they have a "Donner Family Barbeque and Reunion." 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 24, 2010, 08:32:54 AM

Also, with reference to the other kind of d@ting.

It's completely unheard of to 'date' more than one person at a time here (unless you are cheating or into that lifestyle). Even if you are seeing someone very very casually, and it's very early days, it should still be one person at a time.

Yeah, unfortunately! I think the American way is a lot more fun (and makes a lot more sense). My friend spent a year in the US on a uni exchange program and loved the dating system over there!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Everlee on November 24, 2010, 08:35:33 AM
Ok, I thought of another question that's always bugged me (can you tell how much I'm loving this thread?):
England, Great Britain, the UK.  What is the difference between them all and are there so many choices?
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 24, 2010, 08:37:53 AM
England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are different countries.

Together (along with some small islands), they make up the UK.

Great Britain is the largest island in the British Isles, and contains England, Scotland and Wales.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ferrets on November 24, 2010, 08:38:53 AM
See also Britain vs. the UK (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BritainVersusTheUK), which explains it well. :)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 24, 2010, 08:47:22 AM

Australian here. I can hear the differences between different American accents where the differences are large like South vs North but I can't pick the smaller differences and can't pick Canadian vs Northern USA.

The differences in Australian accents are so minor that most Australians can't even hear it with the exception of the traditional Ocker accent that no-one really has anymore (think Steve Irwin for an Ocker accent). A linguist once assured me that an expert can tell the difference between a Melbournian and a Sydneysider but pretty much no-one else can.


I'm sorry but you can certainly tell the difference between a Queenslands accent and a WA accent  >:D I worked in a call centre in Perth and I could tell what part of the country people were ringing from just from their voice and I'm terrible with accents. The only accent I found to be neutral was the Melbourne accent.
See, this is really interesting, because Australians themselves seem to be split 50/50 on this. I am Australian and I absolutely *cannot* pick a WA from a Qld accent. Most of my friends say that they can't, either. Then again, I know some other Aussies claim they can!
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Everlee on November 24, 2010, 08:48:59 AM

I think this is the case.

However, the definition of Midwest can lead to some (good natured) arguments.  Being a snotty East Coaster ( ;)), basically, if a state doesn't touch some major body of water (Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, or the Gulf) or Mexico, it's the Midwest to me*.  My friend from Nebraska was not amused by this mass generalization.  She considered everything East of the Mississippi River (about the Eastern 1/3 of the US) to be the East Coast and states halfway between the river and the Pacific to be Midwest (you know, midway through the Western sates).

*Here's a map so you can see just how much area that is: http://www.infoplease.com/states.html.  Nebraska is kind of in the middle.

Yeah, I was born and raised in Oregon and a lot of us on the West Coast tend to think of everything east of the Mississippi as (vague hand gesture) "back East". I unintentionally annoyed a girl from Chicago once by referring to Illinois as "back East".

Now, living in eastern Canada, there are lots of New Englanders, who think my use of the phrase "back East" is quaint and amusing. Then again, they say "out West", which sounds just as funny to me.

I'm from Illinois and we in no way consider ourselves Easterners.  We are Midwest and sometimes even Southern.  That's just we consider ourselves, I can't speak for Chicago dwellers.  
What a lot of people from other countries don't see is that Illinois is a long skinny state and Chicago is all the way at the very top (about 6 hours or so away from the bottom).  Us here at the bottom do not identify with the north at all, in many different way (mainly sports and politics).  I am 25 and I only went to Chicago for the first time earlier this year.  Most people where I'm from actually claim St. Louis as our big city since it's so close.  There's even been a ton of debate about trying to petition the government to split Illinois in half and make it two different states.  When we went to NYC in high school whenever someone would ask us where we were from and we'd answer IL, they would immediately go "Ooooh Chicago!"   :-\  

See also Britain vs. the UK (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BritainVersusTheUK), which explains it well. :)

Ahhh, I get it a little better now.  Thanks!  Can you tell I haven't had a geography class since 5th grade?   ::)
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 24, 2010, 08:55:41 AM
That's fantastic!  I think a lot of it is to do with our love of irony and our prohibition on being earnest too.  A weekend that started with food poisoning, had a drive to the MIL's which involved swerving to avoid running over the family cat and fataly hitting granny (and hitting the cat as well anyway, and writing off the car to boot), followed by finding out your youngest daughter has run away to join the circus with her new boyfriend of two weeks, and then the central heating breaking down Sunday evening (in the dead of winter) would be described by the average English person as, "Not really the best weekend I've had recently," or, "Could've been better, I guess."With the Importance of Not Being Earnest, that's best illustrated with our politicians - if any of our lot gushed and made speeches about how God favours us etc like US politicians do, they'd be laughed out of office!  We have a huge suspicion of earnestness.
[/quote]

So much of Monty Python is making a lot more sense now, thanks for explaining that.  :) 
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Craftyone on November 24, 2010, 09:01:54 AM
Just speaking with my husband, who's heavily into WWII history, and he said that people, especially Americans, were picked up by the Axis because their habits such as cutting up their food with knife & fork then putting down their knife and just eating with their fork weren't European thus making them stand out.  

I agree with Nibsey & StarFaerie, Queenslanders have the most distinct accent.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: marcel on November 24, 2010, 09:04:27 AM
Hello!

  My DH would like to know if people in other parts of the world refer to time the same way we do in the US.

For instance:  Four O'clock, Four fifteen or Quarter after, four-thirty, four-forty five or Quarter 'til, etc.....

Generally (UK) quarter past not quarter after, and quarter to not quarter 'til.  We also use the 24 hour clock more often now than we used to as well.
The main difference between the US and the UK on the one hand and (I think most of) continental Europe on the other hand is that, at least in writing, the 24hr clock is the standard. So, appointments in an agenda, invitations, tv-guides, programs etc are all in written down in 24 hr. time.

It has taken me years to understand American army comedy movies where a drill sergeant says 1900 to the new recruit and the new recruit does not understand. I know that the recruit is supposed to be stupid, but to not understand that the hunderd stood for the 00 minutes seemed a bit extreme. Only recently did I realize that the problem is supposede to be the 19, not so much the hundred.

Otherwis the Dutch are really funny with there time, see if you can follow the explanation below (I'll translate the Dutch into English as good as possible).

4:00 - 4 o'clock
4:10 - 10 past 4
4:15 - quarter / 15 past 4
now the fun starts
4:25 - 25 past 4 or 5 to half 5
4:30 - half 5
4:40 - 20 to 5 or 10 past half 5
4:45 - quarter / 15 to 5
4:50 - 10 to 5

As you can see there are two huge differences with English.
first of all, the half hour refers to the coming full hour, not the past full hour.
Second: the minute around the half hour can be given in relation to the half hour instead of the full hour.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Kasia_Kiwi on November 24, 2010, 09:09:23 AM
Going back a little while to the cultural identification discussion, I grew up with rather strange impressions. I was born, grew up and now live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I'm an anglophone (billingual) child of Polish immigrants. First generation Canadian. However, in Montreal, I didn't often hear people refer to themselves as X-Canadian.

In fact, I knew many Italians, Greeks, Spanish, Arabic, Irish, etc. who were all third or fourth generation Canadians but who identified themselves and their family by their country of origin. I don't know if this is typical of Montreal or the entirety of Canada. When asked what nationality I am, I find myself torn between saying Canadian or Polish.

When I say Polish I often have to explain that my parents are from Poland but I was born in Canada. I am surprised to learn the different ways people identify with their heritage.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on November 24, 2010, 09:10:19 AM
I studied linguistics in college as part of my coursework on my Communication Major while in Chicago.  I loved it!  (and noted that some of the "Southernisms" were incorrect in the book.  A Mosquito Hawk is a completely different insect than a mosquito)

I have to giggle at the idea of a "Texas accent".  We actually have several, though largely it's divided into East Texas and West Texas.  East Texas accent is more like the stereotypical "Southern Accent".  The region also has very strong ties to the South culturally and historically.  West Texas is more twangy.  That region also identifies more strongly with the "Southwest" region.  

The two regions are very different from each other geologically and in climate as well.  East Texas is more swampy, forested in a large area, and generally more green.  North Texas is prairie.  Heading west, San Antonio and Austin mark the start of the Hill Country.  West Texas is generally much drier than East Texas, and has deserts, mountains, and the Edward's Plateau (a mountainous area noted for it's beautiful mesas http://www.eoearth.org/article/Edwards_Plateau_savanna )  Savanna is a transitional area from forested to prairie or desert.  We have lots of beautiful savanna here.  My grandma Iggy's ranch is savanna
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 24, 2010, 09:11:31 AM
There's even been a ton of debate about trying to petition the government to split Illinois in half and make it two different states.

I know that every few years Northern Virginia (where I'm from) starts making noises about succeeding from the rest of Virginia.  I suspect that if many states had there way, the number of states would at least double.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsJWine on November 24, 2010, 09:16:08 AM
Regarding monolingual Americans:  I love foreign languages, and would love to keep learning them until I die.  But it's very hard to learn a foreign language without having contact with native speakers OR access to really, really good schooling.  Even in college, my classes were nowhere near adequate to teach a student how to speak the language with anything approaching proficiency.  The sheer size of the US (this (http://goeurope.about.com/od/europeanmaps/l/bl-country-size-comparison-map.htm) is an interesting map) means that contact with other languages is pretty minimal.  Spanish is probably the most common minority language, and there are still parts of the US with very few Spanish-speakers.  I'm almost certain most schools require a minimum number of foreign language credits just to graduate high school, but that's nowhere near enough to learn a language without regular use outside of class.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 24, 2010, 09:18:00 AM
I'm almost certain most schools require a minimum number of foreign language credits just to graduate high school, but that's nowhere near enough to learn a language without regular use outside of class.

Yeah, my 4 years of German (3 in HS, 1 in college) hasn't really paid off.

Also, your link is wonky.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 24, 2010, 09:18:49 AM
Okay, stoooopid question time  ;):

Do people in America actually drink those ginormous sodas that teenagers in movies are always slurping on? I mean, obviously most people don't drink them most of the time, and obviously they exist, but...can you get them in lots of places? Those ones that look as if they are in buckets, seriously - I have no idea how many litres are in there but, a lot.

I feel even sillier asking this as I have actually been to America 3 times, but only the west coast. I never saw anything like this in, say, Seattle or LA.

Or have I seen too many American movies?  :-[
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: hot_shaker on November 24, 2010, 09:23:39 AM
Okay, stoooopid question time  ;):

Do people in America actually drink those ginormous sodas that teenagers in movies are always slurping on? I mean, obviously most people don't drink them most of the time, and obviously they exist, but...can you get them in lots of places? Those ones that look as if they are in buckets, seriously - I have no idea how many litres are in there but, a lot.

I feel even sillier asking this as I have actually been to America 3 times, but only the west coast. I never saw anything like this in, say, Seattle or LA.

Or have I seen too many American movies?  :-[

You mean the ginormous 32 oz drinks (like this (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://fastfood.ocregister.com/files/2010/03/McDonalds_32-oz-bev.jpg&imgrefurl=http://fastfood.ocregister.com/tag/beverages/&usg=__m1OIDlwAAGKvbiJ3-3zvN9Eedk0=&h=480&w=640&sz=16&hl=en&start=0&sig2=6tgWwcjS0yvu1HT3GgNn1Q&zoom=1&tbnid=aw03BRw3zMyN8M:&tbnh=145&tbnw=190&ei=pS3tTOz3JsL68AbF_dWOAg&prev=/images%3Fq%3D32%2Boz%2Bdrink%2Bfast%2Bfood%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D609%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=340&vpy=83&dur=173&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=164&ty=113&oei=pS3tTOz3JsL68AbF_dWOAg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0))?  Yes, people drink them and they drink them often.  If I'm not mistaken, there may be some 40+oz drinks around as well.  And people wonder why obesity is a such a problem.  ::)

ETA: Those size drinks are usually cheap (as in <$2).  That size is often in included in the large value meals. 

Also, I love McDonald's sweet tea.  I ordered one once and they refused to give me less than 32 oz.  Refused.  
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: MrsJWine on November 24, 2010, 09:25:29 AM
Fixed my link; thanks.  I always forget that I don't need to put quotes around the address here.

Okay, stoooopid question time  ;):

Do people in America actually drink those ginormous sodas that teenagers in movies are always slurping on? I mean, obviously most people don't drink them most of the time, and obviously they exist, but...can you get them in lots of places? Those ones that look as if they are in buckets, seriously - I have no idea how many litres are in there but, a lot.

I feel even sillier asking this as I have actually been to America 3 times, but only the west coast. I never saw anything like this in, say, Seattle or LA.

Or have I seen too many American movies?  :-[

You mean the ginormous 32 oz drinks (like this (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://fastfood.ocregister.com/files/2010/03/McDonalds_32-oz-bev.jpg&imgrefurl=http://fastfood.ocregister.com/tag/beverages/&usg=__m1OIDlwAAGKvbiJ3-3zvN9Eedk0=&h=480&w=640&sz=16&hl=en&start=0&sig2=6tgWwcjS0yvu1HT3GgNn1Q&zoom=1&tbnid=aw03BRw3zMyN8M:&tbnh=145&tbnw=190&ei=pS3tTOz3JsL68AbF_dWOAg&prev=/images%3Fq%3D32%2Boz%2Bdrink%2Bfast%2Bfood%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D609%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=340&vpy=83&dur=173&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=164&ty=113&oei=pS3tTOz3JsL68AbF_dWOAg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0))?  Yes, people drink them and they drink them often.  If I'm not mistaken, there may be some 40+oz drinks around as well.  And people wonder why obesity is a such a problem.  ::)

Maybe it depends on where you live because I almost never see people drinking them.  When I do see people drinking them, they're usually sharing them amongst three or four people for a few hours.  You can them at just about any gas station and movie theater, but I haven't seen anyone drinking any in a long time.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Spoder on November 24, 2010, 09:28:09 AM
Regarding monolingual Americans:  I love foreign languages, and would love to keep learning them until I die.  But it's very hard to learn a foreign language without having contact with native speakers OR access to really, really good schooling.  Even in college, my classes were nowhere near adequate to teach a student how to speak the language with anything approaching proficiency.  The sheer size of the US (this (http://"http://goeurope.about.com/od/europeanmaps/l/bl-country-size-comparison-map.htm") is an interesting map) means that contact with other languages is pretty minimal.  Spanish is probably the most common minority language, and there are still parts of the US with very few Spanish-speakers.  I'm almost certain most schools require a minimum number of foreign language credits just to graduate high school, but that's nowhere near enough to learn a language without regular use outside of class.

I hear you, MrsJWine.

We have a similar situation in Australia. I taught English as a Second Language to adults for quite a few years, and being patronized by some of the students ("What?? You only speak ONE language?? Only English?? Pssht!!"), got slightly irritating. Of course, if you live in (*insert small European country here*), it makes sense to be reasonably fluent in 2 or 3 European languages: after all, you can make day-trips to countries where people speak those languages. When you live on a whopping island with only one national language? Not so much.
Title: Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
Post by: Ms_Shell on November 24, 2010, 09:28:14 AM