All posts by ahassett

As an American student spending the year in the UK, I have been teaching myself to look at things from different perspectives depending on the situation I am in. Over the next seven months or so, I will explore places I have never been, be a part of the 2017 City of Culture, and prepare for life not as a student, but as a professional working in the world of Advertising.

Football vs. Football: Part 3

Football and football: Same name, totally different games. At my first Hull City match, I realised how the fan experience differed from that of American sports. First off, I was fascinated by the fact that security guards separated parts of the crowd because back home, no matter the sport, fans are mixed (for better or for worse).

Next, I realised how the direction of a football match can completely affect whether or not the stadium is full of rowdy fans who are chanting nonstop or spectators who would rather be home. This does not happen in American football because no matter if your team is winning or losing, chances are that you’re being egged on by signs reading “Get Loud!” or you’re caught up in singing along with the soundtrack of Bon Jovi or Queen.

South Park GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Finally, a staple of American football culture that is not present here in the UK is tailgating, which is when fans park in a giant lot and cook from grills that they have brought from home; most of the time, drinking, loud music, and trash talking is involved (all in the love of sport). While both sports have their highs and lows, I will always defend American football and will never regret staying up until 4:30 Berlin time to watch my team win another Super Bowl (GO PATRIOTS!).

I hope you’ve enjoyed the 3rd and final part of my “New England vs. England” series. Comment below with your favourite sporting experiences!

 

A Winter Without Ice: Part 2

Growing up in Massachusetts has taught me to deal with all sorts of weather, from days that are below freezing to others that are so hot you can feel the tar on the driveway melting under your feet. This variety has led New Englanders to take on some habits that seem odd to the rest of the US, let alone other countries, so being out of my element has forced me to adapt to my new environment. For example, the temperature back home is currently 22°F (-6°C), but that will not stop anyone from rolling out of bed to get an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Yes, you read that right: iced coffee.

Donuts GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So imagine my surprise when, in October, I went to order an iced tea and was told that this item, along with others, were not on the menu for the time being because it was getting colder outside. In that moment, all I could think about was all of the blizzards I have driven in to get an iced coffee, so cold weather could not deter me. While I have struggled without iced coffee this winter, something I have appreciated is the lack of snow and not having to shovel myself out of the house like the rest of my family (sorry, guys!).

Snowpocalypse 2015 aka Winter Storm Juno

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 2 of my “New England vs. England” series. Comment below with any regional habits that may have been put into question while traveling!

Re-learning the English Language: Tales of a Fluent *American* English Speaker: Part 1

Have you ever spoken the same language as somebody else but still felt lost in translation? Before I studied abroad in 2014, I thought the only difference between the UK and US would be the accents, but how wrong I was! A few days into my semester, I had my first experience hanging out with my friend’s British flatmates and almost right away, I was berated for calling ‘crisps’, ‘chips’.

From this moment on, I tried to fall into a pattern of calling everything by its British name so that I wouldn’t get yelled at but while some things came easily, others never quite stuck. Here is a list of words and their UK-US translations (Note: Some US translations are strictly New England/Massachusetts-based and may not apply to all 50 states).

  • Fries= Chips
  • Bubbler=Water fountain
  • Rotary=Roundabout
  • Jimmies= Sprinkles
  • Cookout=Barbeque
  • Sidewalk=Pavement
  • Crosswalk=Zebra crossing
  • Sweater=Jumper
  • Shopping cart=Trolley
  • Cookie= Biscuit
  • Elevator=Lift
  • Soccer=Football
  • Football=American football
  • First floor=Ground floor
  • Pants=Trousers
    • Fun fact: I told a class full of Brits that I had just bought a new pair of pants and did not realise my error until somebody was intuitive enough to understand that I meant jeans, not underwear…

 BONUS: Words that look similar or the same but manage to get me in trouble every time.

  • Aluminum=Aluminium
  • Mocha (Moe-ka)=Mocha (Mawcka)

Confused? You’re not alone!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 1 of my “New England vs. England” series. Comment below with other pairings you may have heard of or any mishaps caused by same-language mistranslation!