The Gaffer’s food column last week got me to thinking. Are we Americanizing the UK or are they Anglicizing the US? For myself, I’m none too sure. I mean, I’ve just spent a Sunday morning making a breakfast out of lovely Staffordshire oatcakes that I whipped up from scratch. What is that all about? My Stoke fandom gone wild? UK moles working their way into my consciousness?
As a disclaimer, I should say that I’ve been to the UK twice. Mostly Scotland, with a shot down into northern England to see parts of Hadrian’s Wall. I suppose that has colored my thinking somewhat, but I really think that EPL Talk and my addiction to the Premier League are the true culprits.
I’ve been following the league for about 5 years and reading EPL Talk for just about as long. Over the years I have found little “UKisms” working their way into my thinking and vocabulary. I seldom think of football as “soccer” anymore. If I want to refer to our sport I will use NCAA or NFL with “football”. That’s not out of any snobbery. It’s just something that’s happened. I don’t care a twit about the usage of football v soccer. Culture is what culture is….but I’ve been “turned”.
I have found myself using “chuffed”, “you lot”, “spot on” and other strange wordings for no good reason at all. Actually, I blame this on the commentators I constantly hear and the postings on EPL Talk from UK natives and ex-pats who contribute to our conversations. To me, they are absolutely invaluable in my assimilation of the game and the culture that surrounds it, but they are eating their way into my brain! And then there’s Beckham, Adele, Rory, John Cleese, Alex Hammond, etc. On top of that, I read The Guardian and The Scotsman every day simply because I enjoy getting the view of things from a different perspective.
So, are we pushing McDonalds, et al, off onto our Motherland? Sure, but my experience is that outside of the big cities we have had little real impact. The village butcher, the bet shop, the pub, the dialects are still there. On the other hand, I sense British culture continuing to wheedle its way into my “Made in America” mind through the Premier League and EPL Talk. I don’t see how it can be stopped, although it has occurred to me that Gus Johnson may be some kind of government operative employed to try to staunch this inculcation of dangerous British ideas.