As per a recent article published by Guardian, increasing number of Gen Z Americans are using the fake British accent in their day to day life. Here is how netizens reacted to this new on this Reddit forum.
Americans Are Insecure
“Because Americans are just so insecure about their own origins. Do you, for example hear nationalities such as Italian-British, or African-British in the UK?
“It’s cause America has no culture so we have to cling to whatever scraps our ancestors brought over from the old world.”
Americans Divide Themselves In Different Era
“Americans divide themselves into pre-civil war citizens and post-civil war citizens.
The pre civil war lot simply call themselves American, regardless of whether they have British, Dutch or other ancestry. They formed the system, wrote the constitution etc. Created the idea of America.
The post civil war Americans (who are the majority as immigration boomed from 1870 onwards) entered a system that was already formed and they haven’t made much impact on it. So they feel like they’re not real Americans, they’re second-class hyphenated Americans.
Every single American president apart from Trump has pre-civil war ancestry, including Obama whose mother’s people arrived in the 1600’s and Biden whose father’s people were English migrants from the 1700’s.
Trump’s father’s people were nouveau from Germany in the late 19th C – and he played that down in favour of his Scottish-born mother, because she was of real British stock.”
It’s Because America Is Land Of Immigrants
“As an American, I might be able to shed some light on this. When large waves of immigrants came here, they generally all settled in the same areas. Think “chinatown” or “little italy” in New York or that a lot of Finns settled in northern Michigan, so saunas and general Nordic architecture are popular there. When these people settled, they mainly stuck with each other, and didn’t really begin to integrate until the early to mid 1900s.
Think of America less as a “melting pot” and more as “trail mix”. The people in their little chunks of immigrants kept their old culture for longer, so formed distinct sub-cultures. This relevance dropped off sharply in the latter part of the last century, but people from back then are still around to teach their kids that they are part of these cultural pockets that simply don’t exist to the degree that they used to.
As a related fun fact, the state of Wisconsin spoke primarily German rather than English until the wave of anti German sentiment in the first world war.”
It’s Not Insecurity But Out Of Curiosity
“It’s not insecurity, it’s curiosity. Nobody, outside of the Native Americans, can claim long-term history in the US, and the vast majority have much less of an association than that.
You can be English and your family line could have lived in the same town for over 1000 years, but that’s impossible in the US.
It’s natural to wonder where they came from, because it wasn’t there.”
Why Does It Bother Non-Americans
“I’ve never understood why this bothers non-Americans so much. It doesn’t have anything to do with insecurity. America is unusual in the sense that it has no “natural” nationalities (other than Native American) and little to no roots in old ethnic groups. Almost everyone has relatively recent ancestry from another country and cultural values and traditions are passed down through the generations. It is definitely not the same as it would be in the UK, which has seen significantly less immigration and has a much longer history.”
It’s All Peppa Pig’s Fault
“Isn’t it because Peppa Pig became super popular? I have nieces and nephews on both sides of the pond and the kiddos in the US obsessed with Peppa started sounding more like British while the kiddos here sounded more American when they picked up on US cartoons.”
America Have Large Expat Community That Co-Exist
“I lived over there for about 20 years and have 3 teenage kids. They have American accents but will have a British twang when using British sayings or terms. The area I live in has a pretty large expat community, so they hang out with other kids with at least one British parent. It’s always amusing at social events when we are all together hearing a bunch of American kids using terms like Oi mate.
I worked in higher education for a number of years over there and would interact with college students on a daily basis. I would constantly have them come up to me ask if I would like to hear their British accent. Despite me giving them a strange look and declining, they would always start doing it. 99% of the time they sounded like a stroke patient but they were convinced it was perfect Queens English. I always thought that it was ironic that if I was to do the same to someone’s face who was from a different culture or country, I’d be called racist and would be guaranteed to lose my job.”
Americans Have Little Culture
“Americans as a nationality are insecure. This is not a criticism, merely an observation. As a nationality, Americans have yelled and screamed and stomped and cried about how their use is “The Greatest Country On Earth!”™ for generations. If they were secure they wouldn’t need to do that.
As a nationality Americans have very little culture since the USA is one of the youngest nations on the planet and wasn’t based on any pre-existing country (in terms of formally recognized entities at any rate). As a result we see Americans latch onto the culture of other countries (African-American, Italian-American, Irish-American, Dutch-American and so on and so on and so on). If they were secure they’d just be American.”
Americans Are Desperate
“Americans are desperate to connect in some way to ‘the old country’, be it by saying they are Italian or Irish or whatever despite never having left Boston. Not all of them think like this of course, but those that do are….quite tiring. A now friend but then rando I know was quite hostile at me for being English because his great great whatever was Irish. I was the only English man he had ever met. Annoyed that I was the only Brit he had ever met. He’s a lot more chill now and told me something along the lines of “when your country is simultaneously only like 300 years old and won’t shut up about how awesome it is, it’s easy to get a but swept up in things and actually feel a little insecure about the lack of ancient history, so you retroactively claim ancestor’s you never met and their history thousands of miles away.” Found it pretty interesting psychologically. He mentions that he once knew a new York Italian sorta dude, full on that one dude who runs the strip club in Sopranos. That dude would be rambling about having Roman blood. Just hilarious.”
Sometimes It’s Part Of Their Cultural Identity
“I have a sort of complicated relationship with my connection to the UK. My dad is English but my mom is American, and pretty much all my formative experiences were all in the US, so my normal speaking voice is mostly American. But I grew up in a household where things were spoken about in the English way — IE boot vs trunk, car park vs parking lot, bin vs trash can. And for a long time I was embarrassed about it, because my friends would make fun of me. For years I did my best to moderate what little accent I had, because I was worried that people might think I was putting on airs. Even the English side of my family commented on it, which was sort of doubly mortifying.
I’m not English. I’m an American. But England is still part of my cultural identity, and it took until I was in my thirties before I really embraced it. Now I’m proud of my background, and I speak however I want.”
It’s Because of Curiosity
“I have no clue what my origins are and I got the things to do my DNA and never even opened it. I thought I was curious, but it turns out I’m not?? Idk, I’ve thought a lot about how the main thing that makes people “white” is that your ancestors probably weren’t chattel slaves, and practically that means knowing your family origins. Europe and Africa are old world, second only to the cradle of life, as far as our history books are concerned. We don’t want to identify with the people who were in the US at that time nor claim them as our ancestors. We want to think we came from some fantastic old world, and that we’re connecting to these ethical and righteous historical peoples who exist outside of the proper terror that we all know the Atlantic slavered was, perhaps mostly subconsciously though. So yeah, we are experiencing a major national cognitive dissonance resulting in a cultural personality break. The call was coming from inside, or something, idk”
Americans Welcome Multiple Cultures
“This a pretty reductive take on US culture and identity that’s missing a lot of nuances. For instance, you argue the US has no culture as a young nation but there are cultural influences from American Indians that have been on the lands for thousands of years and are part of US history and culture.
Also, culture encompasses a lot of things: food, music, cultural heritage, sports, etc. US has baseball, BBQs, thanksgiving, gumbo, clam chowder, jazz, appalachian folk music, Hollywood, etc etc. Yes some elements are from a blend of national influences but multiculturalism is part of the national identity. Italy obtained pasta from China originally but its part of their culture in their own way.”
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