Friends and I were talking about the new book, Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time and its related BuzzFeed and @SoVeryBritish twitter posts.
I’ve been in the UK for several years now, but I’m only starting to get the hang of the language. Still, for those who are struggling with some of the differences between American and British English, I’ve developed an all-purpose conversation.
Your’re welcome. [@soverybritish translation: Punishing people who don’t say thank you by saying “you’re welcome” as quietly as possible.]
|HOW TO SAY IT IN BRITISH||HOW TO SAY IT IN AMERICAN|
|I’m sorry.||You just bumped my arm and spilled my overpriced beverage down my favorite cashmere sweater. I’m going to sue you.|
|I’m sorry.||Then you tried to wipe it up and ended up groping my private bits. I may file charges.|
|I’m sorry.||And now, you cretin, you’ve [smashed into the back of my car/ruined my day/spoken to me in public/wasted perfectly good oxygen]. A guy I know named Vinnie is going to remove your kneecaps.|
|Oh, dear.||The [back of my car/rest of my life/ universe]now looks like an irredeemable disaster and I can’t look away. Vinnie has brothers.|
|Looks like a bit of rain.||Of course it does, you imbecile—this is Scotland. But there’s a gap in the conversation, and by law it must be filled with observations regarding the weather. Speaking of which…|
|I’ve been a bit under the weather.||I had the priest over for the last rites.|
|But not to worry. I’m fine.||Actually, I’m moments away from complete mental and possibly physical collapse.|
|You should come around for dinner.||If I see you at my house, I’m calling the police.|
|Cheers.||Please die painfully.|