Not Saussure

February 25, 2007

Imagine a world where Americans could read maps…

Filed under: Bloody Yanks, Politics, press — notsaussure @ 8:07 pm

The straw may well be flying over at Doughty Street, but I hope it doesn’t mean I’m an American-hating leftie because I found this rather amusing:


Incidentally, on reading the article that the Flying Rodent discusses, with graphs, about Western Europe’s America Problem, it struck me Professor Markovits’ account of the problems the Viennese gave him over his American accent while he was at school there in the 1960s is a bit partial; my Godmother Lisel, whose parents (Catholic converts) managed to get her out of Vienna on a Kinderstransport, still doesn’t rate anyone, outside family and friends, other than the Viennese very much (and she isn’t too keen on them, for obvious reasons), and she’s lived here for almost 70 years.

Knowing her, I can quite understand why he was admonished by his

English teachers, in their heavily accented, Viennese-inflected English, not to speak this abomination of an “American dialect” or “American slang,” and never to use “American spelling,” with its simplifications that testified prima facie to the uncultured and simpleton nature of Americans.

The Viennese, at least in my experience, take the attitude that, at most, there are only correct ways to do most things; if you’re fortunate enough to be Viennese, you do it the Viennese way — which is obviously best, because otherwise they wouldn’t do it that way — but, if not, you do it the echt way, which, in this case, would be to speak English the way the English speak it.



  1. I thought it was quite interesting for what it revealed – most of Prof. Markovits’ examples of “Anti-Americanism” are really just typical media snottiness.

    Is describing American popular culture as, for instance, “vulgar” anti-American?

    Nice video, by the way – I’m just glad he hasn’t tried that on the streets of Edinburgh…

    Comment by Flying Rodent — February 25, 2007 @ 10:30 pm

  2. That was extremely funny. But if you really want to see how stupid the yanks are then read this

    Comment by johnnystarr — April 18, 2007 @ 1:25 am

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