More Misconceptions...

Old Jun 18th, 2002, 08:21 AM
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More Misconceptions...

Dear all,
Taking a lead from the other thread regarding European misconceptions of Americans thought it'd be interesting to discuss the reverse. What misconceptions have you encountered amongst Americans which you wish you could correct... or, as an American, what misconceptions did you bring with you to Europe which you found to be groundless?
For instance I am English and speak with what is widely known as RP (Received Pronunciation) or if you like BBC-speak. Speaking with Americans in business and socially it is amazing how many assume I must be super-posh and practically live at Buck' House.
Another one that gets me is that Europeans are all hungry and poor and still haven't shaken off the effects of WWII: all we really like is a few dollars, some US cigarettes and cast of American clothes! That one makes me laugh!
Anyone else?

Old Jun 18th, 2002, 08:41 AM
Just Wondering
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Geez, who are these Americans you have met? Can't say I know any who would subscribe to such misconceptions or jump to such conclusions (and say them out loud).

Signed, Lived in the U.S. for 46 Years...but Maybe I Live a Sheltered Life
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 08:41 AM
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Americans think all France is one. Not the truth. Paris cultur is not Bretagne or Occitan.
France is hundred different culturs. Even more in Belgique, Italie, etc
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 09:05 AM
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This is a rather minor one, but before I visited France (Paris) for the first time, in 1987, I had the impression (and I'm not sure quite why) that Paris would be a "cat culture." So it came as quite a surprise -- and a delightful one -- to me to find out how crazy Parisians are about dogs. Of course, I realize they probably like cats too, but I just didn't realize how much they seem to love dogs.
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 09:11 AM
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In my experience some/many americans think that Europeans are some/all of the followingBR>1/ all solcialists
2/ lazy - no work ethic
3/ look down on Americans
4/ Jealous of US
5/ Rude
6/ Reliant on US defense
7/ All speak English
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 09:28 AM
Steve Mueller
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Dave's list is an amazingly accurate description of how I pictured Europeans before I began traveling to their part of the world.

Margaret Thatcher excluded, I thought that most Europeans were unmotivated, anti-American socialists that were all trying to figure out how to live at the expense of someone else. Now, I only believe this about (some) European politicians.

These stereotypes were shattered by the personal interactions that I have had with Europeans - conversations on long train rides, etc. Had I just stuck to all the touristy routines, which involve minimal interaction with locals, I would probably still be suffering from my initial opinion of Europeans.

A few lingering stereotypes continue to be challenged. During my recent visit, I learned that a surprising number of working-class Europeans support capital punishment.

I still believe that Europeans need to become more militarily self-reliant. As US-Europe interests continue to diverge, this will become a political necessity for the European Union.

I don't know anyone my age that thinks of Europeans as hungry and poor. My father is a WWII veteran and I don't think he sees Europe that way either.
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 11:37 AM
Dick Yeager
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I was suprised how far parts of Europe (Germany for one)are ahead of the United States in so many ways. Contrary to popular thought, the citizens of the US don't actually know EVERYTHING!!!

The transportation system, for one, is excellent. You can set you watch in Germany by the various trains schedules. In the US, they give you an 800 phone number so you can call to find out how late the train will be.

The roads are far superior, they are also incredibly CLEAN!!!!

They don't seem to have laws for/against just about everything. People actually respect the other persons rights and right of way.

I could go on and on, but will just say that I was in Europe for about 3 hours and figured out I had a whole lot to learn. I enjoyed the learning process immensely.

Old Jun 18th, 2002, 01:38 PM
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Dicks comments are exactly why we have taken our children to Europe several they can learn that America is not always the best...that each country has its +'s and -'s...and that we can learn from each other. We loved the time that our FIL insisted the French are rude, etc. and when we returned we were very pleased to tell him that he was wrong. It is fun to travel and see the differences around the world
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 02:50 PM
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My misconception was, like most people, that the French would be difficult to interact with, etc. This was not true. I've found that the Italians are hardest to please!
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 04:18 PM
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That European men are more effeminate than their U.S. counterparts. Unfortunately, that didn't turn out to be a misconception.
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 09:50 PM
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Yeah Lisa, isn't that great?
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 10:13 PM
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Um ... that generalisations about "Americans" or (worse) "Europeans" are stupid?
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 12:24 AM
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Amusing quotes from americans during my travels over there -

Do you know the queen ?

Is Belgium in Germany ?

Sure, we have more history here !

You can't own property in Europe , it all belongs to dukes, etc.

I really love Sweden .......... especially Zurich.

How do you guys live with the war going on all the time (Bosnia / Kossovo/ Iraq etc.)

Do you have electricity in England ? ... TV and all that stuff ?

Pollution has no impact on the climate.

This was from a variety of people.

Please don't ask me the state North of .............. !


Old Jun 19th, 2002, 12:46 AM
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Yup, and when Americans can figure out places like Nebraska or Oklahoma and find out where they are and what happens there, maybe they can then understand Europe. Or South America.
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 01:10 AM
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Deeks, you need to brush up on your grammar, you poor fool. And, please remain in your cave, so as not to be ridiculed any further. Americans are way out of your league.
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 03:33 AM
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Now that the Queen Mother has died, who takes her place?
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 04:33 AM
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My erroneous conceptions of Europeans were: (This is before my experience of living in London for years.)
1. Dressed more sophisitated
2. Ate better, healthier foods
3. Better public transport (only true in select countries)
4. Better sense of geography
5. More openminded
6. Less superficial

Boy was i wrong!

I also had a German friend who had been asked by an American if they had electricity in Germany. I find this hard to believe, but apparently it happened.
Old Jun 19th, 2002, 04:59 AM
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I was amused at how few Americans realise how far north Britain is. People in New England seemed to think that it was on the same latitude as themselves, actually it's about the same as Hudsons Bay. I've recently seen some Americans who were amazed how light it was in Scotland at 10pm.
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