Americanisms

Trying to add language and concepts that we in the UK have adopted from the USA in the past 20 years or so…

You Guys
Time Out
Show and Tell
“Have you got…?” “Yes I do.” “No, I don’t got”
Do the math(s)
Awesome
High Five
Baby Shower
How’s that working out for you?
So + noun

Lessons learnt from Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away…

cant pay

From watching those famous High Court Enforcers on Channel 5, I’ve learnt:

1. If you think you’re likely to get in debt, it’s better have your car on finance rather than buying it outright – they can’t seize it then!
2. Better not answer door if enforcers come – if they get their foot in the door (literally) then they can force their way in and have the right to stay in the property. Similarly, best lock the back door otherwise said bailiffs will enter and stay!
3. The debt collectors are generally quite gung ho and self-righteous, fully confident that what they’re doing is (morally) right, simply because “the money is owed”. It is noticeable however that the brute force and domination their presence threatens is shattered when they’re in a genuinely dangerous situation, as in the debtors have weapons etc. At that point the machismo vanishes and it’s a matter of “We’re doing the admin and the police can do the argy-bargy!”
4. Sign of the Times… an increasing number of debtors owe large amounts of nursery bills!

Graeme Norton commentary again exemplifies the lazy prejudices of trans-Atlantic anglophone TV media

norton-wogan

During the Eurovision song contest last week, Graham Norton carried on the tradition of his late predecessor Terry Wogan to be disdainful, dismissive and to poke fun at funny foreigners who don’t speak English.

It’s ironic isn’t it, that both Norton and Wogan are/were Irish, a nationality that has been victimised a lot by the British – but there they go, acting as honorary Brits, peddling the same prejudices for a job.

To make jokes about how bad the music is is fine, because let’s face it, most of it isn’t great music, but that’s not the point. Norton displayed a wilful ignorance of major figures in the Portuguese speaking world who were involved in the event this year. You would think with the amount he is paid, Norton would have done a bit of research about the professional artists performing while votes were being counted. Caetano Veloso is a grand figure of Brazilian music spoken in the same breath as Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque and Vinicius de Moraes. Sara Tavares who appeared with Branko, is also an established Portuguese singer. She mixes influences of Cape Verde (islands off West Africa where her family is from), Portuguese and jazz in her music.

Norton gave a token reference to Caetano Veloso that he was a controversial figure (he probably just read the first line of his Wiki entry) but didn’t follow it up with any more information. And as for Tavares’ performance, he just said, boring, glad that’s over. He demonstrates the same behaviour many British tourists display when holidaying in the Algarve. Take the surroundings for granted and show utter disinterest for any local culture. The same attitude many Brits have in the Costa del Sol, Spain.

Norton excels in chatting with the US stars who come over the Atlantic to promote their products on Saturday nights. He is one of those beacons who stands their promoting that “special relationship” between the UK and the USA. In a way, I think that fuels his outward prejudice of the factors that don’t fit into that cosy worldview. Perhaps also, because his livelihood and identity has now formed around those dynamics, he can’t pull away from such limited behaviour. Perhaps behind that boisterous figure, there is a depressed comic who doesn’t like the things he says?

Just a thought!