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Americans (RANT ALERT)

  1. Dec 24, 2009 #1

    Char. Limit

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    Why are there so many stereotypes of Americans today?

    Oops, asked an obvious question...

    Anyway, to affirm the stereotypes that I can remember at 3 in the morning...

    I only weigh 130 lbs or so (for the non-americans, either 60 or 286 kgs, I can't remember which way the conversion factor goes). Not obese. This is the one false stereotype of America.

    Americans are NOT good drivers, not in the slightest. I should know, I have to get cut off, flipped off, and generally ignored by them... EVERY DAY!

    *puts a "rant" sticker at beginning of post*

    Also, if you have any stereotypes about Americans being rude, keep them: we are. Totally and completely.

    Finally, Americans are greedy. Had someone try to shoplift and another say she gave the wrong bill (a 50 instead of a 10? come on) at the store I work at.

    Ok, rant over. Sorry, but it's 3 in the morning and I had to tell someone...
     
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  3. Dec 24, 2009 #2

    Chi Meson

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    "Americans can't understand the metric system."
     
  4. Dec 24, 2009 #3
    Also, Americans are friendly. And they tend to live in North America.
     
  5. Dec 24, 2009 #4

    Char. Limit

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    Hey, I use meters, liters, and metric units all the time... I just think in g, not kg.

    However, most Americans indeed cannot.

    Most Americans are NOT friendly. Ask them "hey, how's it going?" and you'll either get ignored or flipped off, unless you're bagging their groceries (had someone flip me off once where I worked... there were egg yolks and shells everywhere. I called it an "accident"... good times...)
     
  6. Dec 24, 2009 #5

    Monique

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    You think in grams, but you cannot convert that to kilograms? You must be joking.
     
  7. Dec 24, 2009 #6

    Char. Limit

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    Well, grams are so different from pounds (whats the ratio? 500 to 1?) that for my science classes (where we measure stuff and I've never had it weigh more than 250 g) I think in g, but in everyday life I think in pounds.

    Btw, after looking at it again, I'm pretty sure it's the 60.

    But I can convert other units just fine... I know there are about 39 inches in a meter, and I've almost abandoned the gallon... I also remember g=9.8 m/s^2, and I don't even know the American conversion for that figure.

    I just can't throw away my "lbs".
     
  8. Dec 24, 2009 #7

    Astronuc

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    I use both metric (SI, mks) and English (ft-lb-hr) system, but I prefer metric.
     
  9. Dec 24, 2009 #8
    I find myself accidentally using metric on occasion. These physics classes are wearing on me. None of my friends have any clue what I'm talking about when I say a car accident happened just 3 meters in front of me.
     
  10. Dec 24, 2009 #9

    Chi Meson

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    If only more Americans could be as friendly and forgiving as you!:smile:
     
  11. Dec 24, 2009 #10
    Americans can't spell properly either. Colour.
     
  12. Dec 24, 2009 #11

    cristo

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    Americans never use adverbs it's actually really cold today, not "real cold today".

    I could go on, but I won't :wink:

    As for your observations on Americans being rude, they don't agree with my observations. From my experience, your average store clerk in the US is way more friendly and engaging than the equivalent in the UK, for example. I guess you've got to go out of the US to really see whether these stereotypes are true.
     
  13. Dec 24, 2009 #12

    BobG

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    Maybe East Coast Americans are unfriendly and rude. Midwesterners are usually friendly people (and somewhat friendly drivers).

    Americans are lousy drivers. That's driven by the technology of their cars. Drivers of cars with automatic transmissions find it hard not to become distracted by the cell phones, CD players, make-up mirrors, air conditioning system, etc. American cars have turned into living rooms.

    The American stereotype of obesity must be true. It's hard to shop for clothes when you're skinnier than the average American.

    I don't think Italian store clerks are any ruder than American store clerks. My experiences may be non-typical, seeing as how I was virtually illiterate when it came to Italian and probably just didn't understand that they were making fun of me instead of being friendly.
     
  14. Dec 24, 2009 #13
    I don't think that's true. My friend is kinda crazy and he says "hi" to random people all the time. From what I've seen, he gets a friendly response about half the time and ignored half the time. But just because he gets ignored doesn't mean they're necessarily rude. They may not think he's talking to them, or they may not have heard him.
    It's uncommon for random people to say "hi" to you as you walk by here, so the most of the time I think they're just surprised to hear it.


    And I'd love to switch to the metric system and start using celsius intead of farhenahieititiaeithianefaoefihaowe fa0et92t
    That must be a regional thing, because here in Florida, fat people have a hard time finding their sizes. My friend is fat and he has to go to Burlington Coat Factory to get clothes that really fit him and he's really not THAT big.
    I'm pretty skinny and wear medium shirts because I don't like the large shirts, they're slightly baggier than I like. Plus I like to show off my biceps. I don't think I've met someone who wears small. You have to be miniscule. And hoodies I have to get extra large. Any smaller than that and it's too tight. I wear like 33 waist and it seems like most sizes I see hover around that number. I rarely see any over 40.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  15. Dec 24, 2009 #14

    D H

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    To build an ugly stereotype of Americans, go visit a popular US National Park. If you take one of the short trails to some scenic spot you will be surrounded by overweight, loud, rude, and ruinous people: Americans. Now take a ten mile hike that goes over some rougher terrain. The crowds will be gone. The few people you meet on the trail will be thin, quiet, polite, and will pack their trash out. They will also largely be foreigners. This happens every time I visit a National Park. I tend to favor camping in National Forests in part because of this phenomenon.

    This might be selection bias; I don't know the makeup of people who visit a place like Gran Paradiso, for example. Perhaps the overweight, loud, rude, and ruinous people there are locals, and perhaps Americans who go there are more likely to take the long hikes and be thin, quiet, polite, and more likely to pack their trash. Perhaps.
     
  16. Dec 24, 2009 #15

    mgb_phys

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    There is an important difference.
    grams is "personal use", kg is "with intent to supply"
     
  17. Dec 24, 2009 #16
    I actually got this from foreigners visiting America. I have noticed a common observation is that strangers will talk to them, which is apparently uncommon in some places, such as Japan and England.
     
  18. Dec 24, 2009 #17
    Stereotypes are wrong. There are always exceptions.
     
  19. Dec 24, 2009 #18

    BobG

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    That's the common stereotype about stereotypes, but sometimes the stereotype is true.
     
  20. Dec 24, 2009 #19
    I think that when the OP said Americans were rude he was speaking of Americans from larger cities. I know some people who came from some central states and said people were really friendly and helpful.

    If you compare say New York city to Toronto however I think you'll find that people in Toronto tend to be much more polite. In fact I think there was even a study done on it.

    I don't think that being greedy is an American stereotype, I'm quite sure that exists everywhere.

    I do think that the steroetype on Americans being fat is true however. A friend of mine works at Tommy Hilfigere and all the clothes are from America. So they use some 'American' system but it appears that it's the same as the one we use here. What they do is they make the sizes larger than they say. I.e. a size 34 is actually say a size 36 the people at the store say this is directly related to the average size of Americans. As well shirts from America tend to get larger around mostly the belly area when you go up in size...

    A stereotype on Americans that I've come accross alot is their undying love for nationalism. From what I've seen Americans have tended to be the most proud about their country... even when their country is wrong they'll stand by it; weird.
     
  21. Dec 24, 2009 #20
    I've lived in Minneapolis and San Diego and found most people to be high on the friendly scale. It could be a different story for, say, Chicago and N.Y., I don't know.
     
  22. Dec 24, 2009 #21

    Ivan Seeking

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    If there is anything that I learned while traveling this country of ours, is that while we are all people having the same basic needs and desires, cultures can vary dramtically with geography. When we moved to Oregon, I expected people here to be much the same as people in California. WRONG!!! In fact the culture in Northern California is very different from that of Southern California. Nor are people in Alabama like people in Florida, or New Yorkers the same as the folks North of there. We probably have as many cultures in this country as we have towns and cities. New York city alone has many different cultures contained within, as does Los Angeles, San Francisco, or any large city.

    Nationalism? Yes, that is a strong American value. Why? In part because we have sacrificed so much for others.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  23. Dec 24, 2009 #22
    I hope I didnt' offend by bringing up nationalism, I wasn't intending to make it look like a bad thing.

    And yeah I would only assume that different areas of America have different culture. Based on the knowledge that America is quite a large country and has a variety of different people.
    If we travelled across somewhere suchas Russia do you think that the difference in culture would be observed? I doubt it on the basis that Russia isn't very multicultural as far as I know.
     
  24. Dec 24, 2009 #23

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was once struck by a young man from Israel who was sitting next to me on a long flight - Portland, Oregon, to Providence, Rhode Island. For the longest time he sat and looked at the landscape rushing by below. Finally he turned to me and said something like "It's too big. This country is way too big" Yes, it is a very big place. We are also a melting pot that is influenced by every culture in the world.

    Welcome to America. We are you.
     
  25. Dec 24, 2009 #24

    cristo

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    Nationalism is the one thing that I admire of Americans the most. I was at a hockey game last month, and was amazed that everyone in that stadium stood up, turned to face the flag and sang at the top of their lungs. There were even members of the armed forces there in uniform (who also got lots of drinks sent to them by other random people). I just thought, Wow, these guys love their country. It was so moving it nearly brought a tear to my eye.

    I think your nationalism spans from precisely the fact that Ivan mentions above: namely, that the country is a melting pot of different nationalities. I also think the fact that you're a young (comparatively) country helps,. For example, there is no such sense of nationalism remaining in the UK, mainly (I think) because the definition of "British" is changing, with immigrants coming from different walks of life, with different values. But the fact that the US was founded precisely by such people means your nationalism is bound to be stronger.

    I would love the same sense of nationalism over here; to have people flying union flags outside their house and on top of public buildings. Of course, you can't really anymore, for want of being labelled as a BNP supporter.
     
  26. Dec 24, 2009 #25
    A rant complaining about American stereotypes, followed by a call for sharing those stereotypes? What is this?
     
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