Saturday, 23 February 2008

Avoiding British Faux Pas

The Which Holiday? website has published a list of potential faux pas that travellers should make note of as not to cause offence when holidaying abroad. Just to be a bit different, Fitz (who is due to take over on Falling on A Bruise in the near future but more on that later) and I put our heads together and came up with some potential faux pas that faces anyone who lands at our green and pleasant land.

You should avoid:
Using a mobile phone in a cinema or theatre.
Shaking hands while wearing gloves.
Opening an umbrella indoors.
Putting new shoes on a table
Offering somebody a light for a cigarette after two others
Pointing at people with the index finger
The V sign with the palm towards yourself is the equivalent of giving the finger.
Touching someone to get their attention.
Trying to gain attention of waiter, barperson etc by snapping your fingers
Calling Britain, England as it annoys the hell out of the Scots, Welsh & Irish
Hugging or kissing anybody unless you are a blood relative or married to them.

You should:
Surrender your seat to the elderly, handicapped or pregnant.
Hold a door open rather than let it close in the face of someone following you.
When out with a group, to take turns buying rounds of drinks.
Que quietly and orderly and not moan about how long you have been queing.
When in a pub, not accept service from a barperson before someone who has been waiting longer.
End every request for anything with the word 'Please'.
Write inside cards in black ink
Ask before you smoke in somebodies house and never while someone is eating

17 comments:

ruth said...

Love this list Lucy!

Bejus I hate people moving in to kiss me unless they are family!

A lot of this stuff is just plain good manners which seems to be in short supply these days.

I hope you aren't retiring BTW..,.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

Some more from Texas:
- Don't spit on the floor or sidewalk, people will think you were raised in a barn
- Don't wipe the bullshit you got on your boots, onto the rug
- Don't never touch another man's hat - NEVER
- Don't reach for your gun first
- Don't shoot rattlers in the body cause you waste the meat
- Don't leave a poker game if you are winning
- Roll up your sleeves when playing poker
- Don't throw your empty beer can out the window of your truck
- Don't approach your horse from the left side

Thought I'd share these just in case you come to Texas sometime...

Q

Jodie K said...

Touching someone to get their attention.

Hugging or kissing anybody unless you are a blood relative or married to them.


I'm so not welcome in Britain ;)

Cheezy said...

I'd never shoot a rattler in the guts... that would be so rude!

Cheezy said...

"When in a pub, not accept service from a barperson before someone who has been waiting longer."

This one makes me burnin' mad. When I've been the victim of this one, the urge to take the offender outside has been almost irresistible. I have always resisted though... up to now :)

Keep Life Simple said...

Cheezy,

Would you shoot a rattlesnake?

If so, under what circumstances?

If so, where would you shoot 'em?

If you would not shoot the highly enomous snakes, that we have many millions of in Texas, then what would you do with them?

Are there rattlesnakes where you live?

Q

Keep Life Simple said...

Cheezy,

Generally speaking, when you shoot a creature, it is rude no matter where you shoot it.

On the other hand, they are gonna die eventually anyway - coyote eats 'em alive, buzzard eats when they are almost dead, disease, starvation, fire ants eat 'em at birth, etc.

My way of doing it, I get to eat 'em! Bang. Clean. Fry. Eat. Yum Yum.

But, it is still rude...

Q

Noah "Nog" M. said...

Is it a "faux pas" to:

1) Use the word "line" as opposed to "que"?
2) Say y'all as opposed to you for the second person plural?
3) Wear boots and/or a hat?
4) Remind everyone in every foreign country you visit that George Bush is a Connecticut Yankee, a Carpetbagger, and absolutely not a Texan?
5) Talk about your massive gun collection in England... um... er... Britain?
6) Ask where Lord Cornwallis is buried?
7) Describe difficult folks using the adjective "ornery"?
8) Use the word "folks" instead of "people"?
9) Say "que hablo ingles?" and ask if anyone speaks "Americun" when you can't make any sense out of those Northern English folks?
10) Refer to New Yorkers, Bostonians, and Jersey folks as "damned filthy Yanks"?
11) Order a steak by the ounce as opposed to the gram or whatever?
12) Consider a jacket and matching slacks with boots, a massive belt with a golden buckle that says "Tex", and a bolo tie white tie formal wear?
13) When asked if everyone in Texas rides horses, lie and say "why, yes, I jumped on my horse just the other day to ride down to Loredo mighty quick to fight off 'dem savage injuns"?
14) Refer to Tony Blair as the "King of England" and Gordon Brown as the "Prince of Wails"?
15) When confused by a Englishman's use of the word "que" tell him "I don't speak French"?
16) Ask a cop "where can I buy some ammo?" after receiving a traffic citation?

-I think I've heard some other good ones but they don't come to mind.

Nog

Anonymous said...

Nog,

Dude. Aren't you supposed too order your steaks by the pound? What is this ounce stuff?

Q

Noah "Nog" M. said...

True, a horrible faux pas.

Lucy said...

Nice list nog although i wouldn't mention the gun collection and who is Lord Cornwallis? Also, to us you are all yanks.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

Saying we are all yanks is like us saying you are all English. In the US we had this civil war that still has cultural impact for much of the nation. The people from the north generally view people from the south as backward, uncultured, and uneducated. While people from the south tend to view people from the north as rude, abbrasive, and snobbish.

Here is a joke to illustrate the point: What is the difference between a damn yankee (someone from the north) and hemorroid? A hemorroid comes down (to the south) then goes back up (to the north). The damn yankee comes down and stays.

he he he!!! That is a good one... a real knee slapper...

Q

PS - I can't think of any jokes about the UK. But I know several about the french... Like, why are second hand french rifles the same price as new french rifles? Because they have never been fired.

Or, did you know that French tanks go as fast backwards as they do forwards?

Lucy said...

We don't got for the subtle differences of what part of America a yankee actually is here Q. Since we decently allowed you lot to stop being one of our colonies (damn nice of us i think you will agree), we don't go much on the detail.

Continuing on the french baiting theme, i think it was Bob Monkhouse who said..You really do have to hand it to the French. After all, they won't fight for it.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

While on the topic of Damned Yanks and English folks, when a English actress was cast for the role of the Southern Belle, Scarlet O'Hara, in the old classic about the Civil War South called Gone With the Wind, Southerners said "better a Brit than a Yankee".

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

Fair dingum. No worries mate. Oh, that might be Aussie. Sorry. I get all you people wiff "English" accidents from Wales, Scotland, England, Australia, and Ireland mixed up all the time too...

I really like your French joke. I bet you have more than I have.

Q

Lucy said...

It wasn't my joke Q, i nicked it from Bob. Funnily Q, the Welsh, Scots and Irish get really peeved when they are called English and i work with a Canadian who is always being asked where in America he is from.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

My feeling was that the English didn't care as much as the others. I think you confirmed that. Canadians don't sound like Americans... I take that back. People from MinnesOOOOta don't sound like Americans so maybe they sound like Canadians. People from Maine and New Hampshire don't sound like Americans either - aye.

I know this for sure... people from Canada don't sound like people from Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisianna, Missouri, Colorado, are a whole bunch of other places.

Q