Follow by Email

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Anglicisation of Austan

Thanks to the internet and my music tastes, I'm becoming more and more British.

This was inevitable, I suppose, having spent the first 7 years of my life living with a veddy British grandfather. His eclectic tastes and eccentric habits rubbed off on us all, and I find myself at this age wondering if maybe I should put bacon fat on my skin as he did. He had a lovely complexion and was never dried out and flaky, though the smell of old man, wool and somewhat sour bacon fat was a bit repellant. So I guess that's out.

But I seem to have a natural aversion to American culture, if it can be called culture. I find myself no longer reading anything American- news, for instance. I depend on The Guardian UK nearly exclusively. And from there I read books written by or recommended by British reviewers because they are A) usually to my liking and B) better. American TV is in an all-time low. So I watch British series online, which may be awful to Britons, but are still far above the quality of anything offered here. US television actually makes me physically sick to watch.
I'm getting nauseous thinking about describing it- so I'll move on.

Then there's food. Yes, British food is laughed at. My background in cooking should probably steer me to exclusively and snobbily French food. But really after all these years I enjoy simple good food, like cheeses and sausages. My system doesn't like alcohol anymore nor a load of flavors in every dish, and the bland straightforwardness of plain cooking sets well with me. I'll whip up various cuisines for special occasions, even doing ShakenBake when it's called for, but when alone I go simple and digestible.

Then there's language. Americans don't speak English. We speak American. These days I catch myself using sayings and writing in British quite a bit. A few moments ago I looked at the clock and said out loud, "They'll be having tea about now," meaning dinner, to Americans. Slight turns of phrase creep in. Saying, "Cheers" and "Briiliant!" and "That's magic!"- not American at all.

I knew a girl in NYC, a Jewish Park Ave. heiress, who spoke with an English accent. She'd gone to a British boarding school for HS (college, in the UK) and in her 30s, was still speaking as if she'd been raised there. When I finally asked her why she spoke so, she answered, "What, you'd raaather have me tawk like dis?" But she didn't speak English; she spoke American with a Brit accent.

Perhaps I should just relocate there and have it over, for a treat.

No comments: