Charmingly pretentious misfit based in the Middle West. Skilled taxidermist, crime fighter, and former Olsen Twin. Dislikes olives. Fluent in English, Pig Latin, and Esperanto. M.O.T. No trespassing.

  • July 20, 2011 12:54 pm


    It’s no secret that I am very fond of British culture. Anybody who reads my blog knows that I love spending time in London, that I’m a die hard fan of the England National Football team and that I waste far too much time watching BBC mystery shows. Having grown up with several English friends and a parent who teaches Feminist British Fiction, this was all bound to happen, and I am rather fine with the way I’ve turned out.

    However, that does not mean that I embrace or even accept all Britishisms. In fact, I find some of them to be downright horrid. And now that I’ve read the BBC List of Noted Americanisms (via the lovely Erin), I feel rather compelled to share my most loathed Britishisms with you all:

    1. Singular Entity Plural - I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I loathe the way Brits use plural copula to refer to singular entities. For example, if you’re in the middle of watching a game between Arsenal and Everton, the announcer will most likely inform you that “Arsenal are winning the match” instead of “Arsenal is winning the match.” This is because the Brits often refer to singular entities as plural if they are comprised of multiple things or people. I understand the rationale, but I’m sorry: It’s stupid. Arsenal may be comprised of 11 players, but it’s still ONE TEAM. The band Muse may have multiple musicians, but guess what? Still one band, guys. Unless the group specifically refers to itself as a composition of separate nouns (i.e. The Beatles), then it has to be singular. “Muse are on tour” you say? Wrong! Muse IS on tour.
    2. Sport - While we’re on the subject of both Football and plurals, let’s discuss the word “Sport.” It’s a fine word when said appropriately, as in “Football is by far the best sport” but what if you’re referring to Football, Cricket and Rugby as one genre of athletic games? Well then, you’re talking about Sports. Or at least you should be. But when I want to get Football scores from the BBC, I always have to go to the “Sport” section, and it slays me. Look, I’ll give you lot a pass on “Maths,” because it’s a reasonable truncation of “Mathematics,” but “Sport” in the singular has got to go. Period. Er…full stop.
    3. Seasons vs. Series - Sorry, but we Americans got this one right. A television show in it’s entirety is an ongoing series. The batch of shows released together in one annual (or seasonal) section is, say it with me: a season. It just makes more sense than referring to each seasonal batch as its own series, when those series are obviously part of an ongoing entity. Point, USA. 
    4. Swimming Costume - Is it Halloween? No? Then it’s a swimsuit.
    5. Diary - If you’re not a thirteen year old girl divulging her innermost feelings with a pink gel pen, then you’re actually referring to a schedule (pronounce that one however you like, by the way), planner, calendar or datebook. Diaries are meant to be juicy, people! I’m so tired of seeing detectives looking through people’s diaries on the telly and only finding things like “Dentist 2pm.” Fix this, fix it now. 

    So there you have it: my least favorite Britishisms. Or should I say least favourite? According to Twitter, that point goes to the USA, too.

    1. daleksheartcompanioncube reblogged this from wannabegradstudent
    2. wannabegradstudent reblogged this from livelove-london and added:
      Haha, last week I shared a post about Americanisms that (some) Brits find annoying/weird/confusing. Some I agreed with,...
    3. rayn-tawn reblogged this from livelove-london
    4. livelove-london reblogged this from girl-detective
    5. thistumblerhasane said: Why are pants pants? And why are they on fire?
    6. penllawen said: I hate singular entity as singular; it sounds dehumanising and wrong to me. Our TV rarely runs on the fixed annual schedule implied by “season”. And someone tell dresspants that we spell “aluminium” differently.
    7. halfbakedidea said: are you going to the Man U/Chicago Fire game this saturday? Because if you are then we’ll probably pass each other without noticing haha.
    8. donaldislost said: Yes, yes. Though, I must admit, I’ve been guilty of saying “Kings of Leon” are on tour right now. Easy mistake, being that Kings is plural and refers to all four band members, but the band is in fact one unit. Thanks for this thought provoking post!
    9. jezebelthegreat said: "Swimming costume" makes me think of synchronized swimming. Ugh.
    10. dresspants said: WTH is up with their pronunciation of “aluminum”? There is no second i in there. Al-You-Min-Ee-Um? Really? What?
    11. girl-detective posted this