Queen Revokes American Independence

Queen Revokes American Independence November 2, 2012

Before you reject the idea out of hand, hear her out.

And if you don’t like the business about adding “u” to words, David Mitchell is fine with that and could care less:

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  • Deacon Nathan Allen

    After reading no. 9, I can only say: God save the Queen!

    • Tim in Cleveland

      I disagree. Great Lakes Brewery is quite amazing and I think the Queen would agree if she tried their Christmas Ale. GLB is pretty much the only reason why I stay in Cleveland, Ohio.

      • Chris M

        I’ve heard high praise for them from my Cleveland area coworkers. I keep asking local beer bars to get some GLB stuff through their distributors.

    • Ted Seeber

      Oregon also has very good beer, in about 500 different manufacturers…..of which I will drink only the stouts and porters….of the top 10.

  • Tim in Cleveland

    Well, ever since Freddy Mercury passed away I haven’t cared what Queen has to say.

  • Mark R

    It works for me, but Austrailia eliminated the superfluous “u” also.

    • Ghosty

      IIRC, it’s not that we Americans eliminated the “u”, it’s that we didn’t add it. It’s a change to British English that came after independence, like using autumn for fall and several other things.

      Australia is closer to British English because Australia is a more recent settlement.

      • Rosemarie


        I’m pretty sure the quite American Noah Webster dropped the “u” and made a few other changes, such as switching the “r” and “e” in words like “centre.” A shame, IMHO. Though I grew up in the US, I’ve always thought words like “Saviour” and “colour” look better with the “u” than without.

        • Ghosty

          You may be right. I’m working off of slight memory here. The Declaration of Independence predates Webster’s Dictionary, however, and doesn’t use the “u”.

          One thing we do properly, however, is keep the “r” sound at the end of words. Boston doesn’t count, and they can go back to England whenever they like as far as I’m concerned.

          Peace and God bless!

    • EBS

      No we didn’t. Get your facts right. We, Australians still have the “u”. The unfortunate thing is that America only has the “me”.

  • kenneth

    “Queen revokes American Independence”……….
    Too late. China and a consortium of multinational corporations and our own leaders beat Her Majesty to the punch!

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    You know a culture’s cuisine is horrid when vinegar makes it taste better.

    • Mark Shea

      I once asked a friend who spent a year in Ireland what the food was like. He said, “It’s like English cooking, except without all the spices.”

      • James H, London

        Coffee-through-the nose moment!

    • That was funny. I loved it!

  • Mrs N

    Firstly,Mark R, Australia has NOT changed the spelling of colour. Check the Maquarie Dictionary (the Australian Dictionary). Some people in Australia use an American spell check and end up spelling things the American way but this is not officially correct and quite frankly is lazy.

    Secondly, I think this was written for the 2008 election. Gordon Brown is not longer the PM of England.

    Thirdly – God Save the Queen! (hehe)

  • I thought it was great until I saw, at the bottom, that it was only a joke – sob!

    That should keep you in your nitch!


  • Tom
  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    The English think they’re so smart.

    So, why, in English television shows, is the first word out of the English police officer’s mouth, upon first taking in the scene of a crime:

    “Right!” . . . ?

    It’s a crime scene. The perpetrators have been caught red-handed.

    Shouldn’t it be “Not right!”. . . ?

    And why do the English say, “in hospital”, instead of “in the hospital”?

    They’ll say, “I would have come to your birthday party, but my son was in hospital, so I had to be with him.”

    Do they say, “my son was in grocery store”? or “my wife was in post office”? or “my boss was in office”?

    What are they – Russian all of a sudden? No indefinite articles. ( You park car on odder side of strit. I’ll be wit’ you in moment.” )

    And if you offer them a service or a favor or something to eat or drink, the English will reply, “thank you” where they mean, “no, thank you.” But they just say “Thank you,” and you’re supposed to surmise that they also mean “negative on that, by the way.”

    So at a dinner, you offer them a dish of potatoes, and an English person will say, “thank you,” and then turn back to her plate, leaving you holding the dish like an idiot. “Well? Do you want to take some then?” you ask.

    “I said, ‘thank you.”

    “I heard you; is that a yes or a no?”

    The English. They’re impossible to understand!

    • Rosemarie


      One British expression that I had a hard time getting used to was “collect,” as in, “I’ll collect you at three o’clock.” I’m not stamps or coins, so it sounded weird for someone to say they’d “collect” me (The American equivalent, of course, is “pick you up”). Though I did eventually get used to it, due to my kids watching lots of Thomas and Friends. “Thomas, you must collect Dowager Hatt at Maithwaite Station…” or something like that.

      There’s an interesting book called “Divided by a Common Language” which discusses the differences between British and American English.

  • Rosemarie


    This is rather ancient by Internet standards. I remember it back in 2000. Americans even wrote replies back then. Here the story:


  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    I loved reading the British Revocation on Snopes, Rosemarie.

    I agree about “collect”. That does sound weird when spoken about persons. Also, I think sometimes the Brits also say “receive” as in, “I went to the school to receive Emily, and three other girls climbed into the back of the car with her.” Where we would say “pick up.” I think maybe they want to avoid saying “pick up.” I don’t know what they could be thinking. They’re Brits!

    And here’s what also bugs me about the British – their pronunciation of certain words: Renaissance (“reh-NAY-sans”); laboratory (“lah-BOH-ruh-tree”) – I even heard some Brits talking about all the U.S. generals heading back to their “PEN-tih-g’n”* after the holidays.

    Sometimes it gets to be too much, and I have to turn off the Masterpiece Mysteries and the BBC America channel for awhile!! 😀
    * the Pentagon.

    • Mark Shea

      On the other hand, “Walking with Dinosaurs”, “Dr. Who” and “Sherlock” are cool.

      • Marion (Mael Muire)

        Oh, yes. My husband likes Dr. Who and Red Dwarf, and we both enjoy Yes, Minister; Yes, Prime Minister, and To the Manor Born. I love to watch Jeeves and Wooster. On Netflix we have most of the episodes of Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett’s Holmes), Poirot; Lewis; Morse; Midsomer; Inspector Linley. My husband likes to catch Prime Suspect (which. to me, is darker and more violent than the others, but still good), and from time to time we watch The Pallisers; the Duchess of Duke Street; Upstairs, Downstairs and I, Claudius (the latter is also dark and violent at times, but excellent).

        Other than that, no I don’t watch much British television.

        • Rosemarie


          My husband also likes Dr. Who and Red Dwarf. I like Red Dwarf but can’t get into Dr. Who for some reason. I was really into Monty Python as a teenager, though, and I’ve watched various British sitcoms over the years on PBS: Fawlty Towers, Butterflies, Are You Being Served, Blackadder, the Brittas Empire, to name a few. Our kids have seen Thomas and Friends and the Teletubbies.

          • Marion (Mael Muire)

            Oh! Rosemarie, thank you.

            I forgot to mention Fawlty Towers (“Basil!!”) and Blackadder. Remarkable to think that the same Hugh Laurie of House was so brilliant in his portrayal of the hopelessly clueless fop-twit Prince George in several episodes of B.A. Great Stuff!

            I catch Served, but have to be in the mood. Ditto for Keeping Up Appearances. (“The Boo-KAY residence – the lady of the house speaking!”)

            Other than that I don’t watch all that much British television.

  • Revolting people won’t ever understand proper English.

    • Chris M

      The peasants are revolting! (yes, they certainly are.)

  • EBS

    As an Australian, who proud of her colloquialisms, Im not surprised by some of the condescending comments of some of the Americans here.
    I for one, still don’t understand why Americans say “y’all” and “d’ya” and “pick up”. What are you picking up? Sticks? I find American English lazy English. And nasally. And draaaaawwwwn out. And void of manners- I mean in the “proper” sense.
    So I get it when an English-Person would say “thank you” and not “no thank you” when refusing potatoes at a dinner party. He/She is thanking you for your offer, whilst trying to be polite about it. Not so “in- ya face” and direct.
    Perhaps Americans could learn a few things from the English. Besides, they did give you their alphabet and their language…Newsflash America! You didn’t invent it- but I’m sure you would like to think you did. Nor have you improved on it or refined it since….

    • Noah D

      You reply to this alleged condescension with insult, and we’re the ones who are devoid of manners. Yes, of course, that must be it.

      I shall try to address your grammatical concerns.

      ‘Y’all’: it’s a colloquial second person plural, which appears to fall out of use for almost everyone in the Western Hemisphere. I don’t know why, it’s a perfectly good conjugation, but most English and nearly all Spanish speakers, to my knowledge, don’t use it. (Portuguese and French, I’ve got no idea.)

      ‘D’ya’: this is simply a convenient contraction, much like every other speaker in the world uses. Most people slur some words together when speaking at a normal pace.

      ‘Pick up’. To pick something up is to draw it to you. Thus, when ‘picking up’ someone, say in a car, they are brought closer to you. It’s really rather synonymous with ‘collect’, in that manner.

      • Rosemarie


        “Y’all,” and the non-contracted “you all,” may not be standard English but they make sense as an attempt to distinguish between second person singular and plural. The same goes for similar attempts from other parts of the US, such as “youse” and “y’uns.” Ever since our language dropped the singular thee/thou/thy, we’ve had no way of distinguishing whether we’re talking to a single person or a group other than context. It’s not surprising that some people tried to rectify that by devising a new second person plural pronoun.

        As for “collect,” to me that denotes taking things from different places and bringing them together into a group. Like collecting stamps or baseball cards or things like that. So it would make sense to say that a carpool “collects” co-workers to bring them to work, but saying, “I’m going to collect my son from school” seems a little odd. Again, though, it’s just an expression, not wrong.

  • Rosemarie


    I hope you don’t think I was being condescending. I didn’t mean to be; all I meant was that it was hard at first for me to get used to a different use of the word “collect.” Yet I did in the end. Some British words have even made their way into my vocabulary somehow. Just today, I caught myself telling my son to stop “whinging,” and I’m the only American I know who uses the expletive “bloody.” I guess that can happen if you watch enough British TV shows.

    They obviously speak proper English in England. That’s why the language is called “English,” not “American.” Or “Australian,” for that matter. I mean, “y’all” and “d’ya” bear a certain resemblance to “G’day” and “gonny news,” don’t they? Would the British consider Strine to be standard English?

    Anyway, I’m fascinated by the different forms the English language has taken across the world, including Australia. Just because it sounds odd at first doesn’t mean it’s bad.

    • EBS

      RoseMarie and Noah D,
      Yes I did find some of the comments condescending, as though you and others thought American English is right and British English wasn’t…Which is why I took the condescending road to illustrate my point. I can tell you didn’t like it the condescension. Neither did I.
      There is nothing wrong with colloquialisms or different adaptions of words for different countries. Including the y’all and the twangs. But having travelled to America, and having enjoyed some of the various expressions and dialects of different parts, I don’t like my English to be picked on and I especially don’t like English English to be picked on. We get our language from the British after all- we Australians and Americans. I’m just saying, that when the insults comes from the mouth of an American, all you are doing is furthering the myth that you don’t understand cultures past your own boarder lines. And I know it’s a myth, that you don’t want to be stigmatized with.
      I’m just saying…That’s how it comes across to a Non-American…

      • Rosemarie


        >>>Yes I did find some of the comments condescending, as though you and others thought American English is right and British English wasn’t

        I didnt’ say “American English is right and British English wasn’t.” I said I wasn’t used to some British expressions when I first heard them but got used to them later. That’s not making a value judgment about British English, which is obviously standard English since the language originated there.

        I guess you missed the post above where I said that the British spelling of words like Saviour and colour looks better than the American spelling. How is that saying that American English is “right”? It was Noah Webster’s personal idea to make spelling changes in American English and IMHO that was unnecessary.

        >>>I’m just saying, that when the insults comes from the mouth of an American, all you are doing is furthering the myth that you don’t understand cultures past your own boarder lines.

        It wasn’t meant as an insult, just a commentary. If some who live past our border lines have stereotyped us all as ignorant of the rest of the world and will prejudge all our utterances accordingly, well, what can I say? Nothing, apparently, without being judged. I’m sure the Internet doesn’t help since one can’t read faces or hear inflections in voice to pick up cues of whether the other person is speaking with disgust, in jest or just making an observation.

        • EBS

          I understood your point. Sorry to have mis-judged you.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)


    If you stop and think about it, what one word would best describe a foreigner (any foreigner), who claims to watch, (draws deep breath):

    Fawlty Towers; Poirot; I Claudius; Upstairs, Downstairs; Lewis; Morse; Midsomer Murders . . . etc., etc., (please see my lists above), and who, by so enumerating, would lead most (other) people to suppose that she is utterly addicted to all things British, that she enjoys being immersed in British stories, voices, charactes, landscapes, scenarios, music, narratives, the whole milieu of Britain and things British . . . ?

    The word I have in mind contains ten letters, begins with the letter A.

    What word is that?

    (And EBS – and only EBS – please reply!)

    I await your reply.

    • EBS

      Haha, ok so you are an A-U-S-T-R-A-L-I-A-N. Do I get a prize?
      Congratulations! Fancy finding Britsh English silly. The English do many silly things, but I wouldn’t call talking one of them.
      I say “in hospital” not “in the hospital” by the way. The latter sounds stupid, dontchya think? 😉

      • Marion (Mael Muire)

        “ok so you are an A-U-S-T-R-A-L-I-A-N. Do I get a prize?”

        Ooh, I’m sorry, EBS, Australian is not the correct answer. For $500 the question now goes to the opposing side: Panel, for $500, provide a ten-letter word for a person who enjoys all things British. . . . all things British. And the extra hint was, that word begins with the letter A. . . .A.

        • Mark Shea

          Oooh! Me! Me! Arcticitic?

          • Marion (Mael Muire)

            Arcticitic! YES-S-S-SS-SSS! The ten-letter word for a person who enjoys all things British is the little-known Arcticitic . . .

            [sotto voce] Arcticitic? Really, Mark? [end sotto voce]

            And so the $500 grand prize goes to the once-again victorious Shea-Ami team. Team Shea! Do you want to keep the $500 prize or do you a chance to win one of the fabulous prizes that might be yours if your correctly choose one of the the three curtains as introduced by our own lovely Lana Lantanaroona?

            • Mark Shea

              Gimme the $500. Pony up.

              • Marion (Mael Muire)

                Don’t rush me, please. The ink is still drying.

        • Rosemarie


          I thought you were going for “Anglophile” but wasn’t entirely sure.

          • Marion (Mael Muire)

            (Whispering to Rosemarie) Rosemarie, of course, I was going for Anglophile, but I was curious to see where Mark was going with arcticitic, so I bit.

            What the hey? It’s a pre-Election Night party, right?

            • EBS

              Haha, Anglophile…Ok, so does this “Anglophilia” have a cure?
              Mark, you might want to have that Arctic-I-tic looked at.
              You guys must be drowning in all that election fever. I feel for you. Well, not longto go now. Enjoy the pre-Election Party.

  • James H, London

    This was hysterical!

    I wonder how so many SAfrican references got in to that? I have to warn everyone, the only saving grace of SA beer is that its cold (bloody awful Castle Lager, I’m looking at you)! Namibian beer, now that’s the good stuff – made the proper German way.

    Ouch about the cricket comment. I notice no-one’s offering them a chance to play the SA national rugby side. Much better to learn playing Argentina (they’re at least in a similar time zone).

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