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Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Old Aug 18th 2010, 12:37 am
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Default Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Hi everyone,

I just read this article on CNN and thought it was excellent. Some of the perceptions discussed in this article I have read on this site, others I have experienced personally. (You learn quickly as an American woman in Italy that eye contact and a smile can lead to some very unwanted attention, for instance.)

Does any of it ring true for you? Thoughts? Reactions?

http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/...0?pageNumber=1

Kaffy
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 12:43 am
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

I have found this to be true in most places I have lived, not just here, I ask people routinely, "How are you?", but if they started giving me their whole health history, I would be wishing i hadn't asked! Obviously, I expect a different response from family/friends, but not strangers or just aquaintances.......


From the article...
Small talk—which Hemon calls "the verbal equivalent of smiling"—is a staple worldwide, but it seems that we Americans do it the most. Take the phrase "How are you?" "In many countries where people say 'How are you,' they really mean 'How are you,'?" says Weaver. "We just want people to say 'fine.' It's not an invitation to a health report." Sherry Mueller, head of the National Council for International Visitors, gives detailed workshops on small talk. "I recommend that they read a local newspaper or a magazine. That gives them topics and conversation skills." It's a way to avoid just discussing the weather, or topics you'd rather not hear about, because
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

So true. I work with a guy who, when asked "How are you?" frequently responds with ... "I'm living the dream."

Originally Posted by Englishtart View Post
I have found this to be true in most places I have lived, not just here, I ask people routinely, "How are you?", but if they started giving me their whole health history, I would be wishing i hadn't asked! Obviously, I expect a different response from family/friends, but not strangers or just aquaintances.......
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 1:48 am
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

I always had trouble with the meaning of "how are you?", even growing up American. I had to remind myself in high school that the appropriate answer was "I'm fine, how are you?"

I also had the same difficulty with "all right?" in London, which is basically the same non-question.
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 2:19 am
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Originally Posted by Kaffy Mintcake View Post
Hi everyone,

I just read this article on CNN and thought it was excellent. Some of the perceptions discussed in this article I have read on this site, others I have experienced personally. (You learn quickly as an American woman in Italy that eye contact and a smile can lead to some very unwanted attention, for instance.)

Does any of it ring true for you? Thoughts? Reactions?

http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/...0?pageNumber=1

Kaffy
Very interesting. I particularly liked numbers 4 and 7. Politics and religion are always a hot spot, more now than anytime before. And of course generalization based on what is seen on tv or movies will always be annoying.
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 2:38 am
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Originally Posted by Kaffy Mintcake View Post
So true. I work with a guy who, when asked "How are you?" frequently responds with ... "I'm living the dream."
I knew someone that always responded with "If I were any happier I would be twins"
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 3:01 am
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Originally Posted by Englishtart View Post
I knew someone that always responded with "If I were any happier I would be twins"
You must admit - a deviation from "fine" or "good" is refreshing now and then!
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 3:13 am
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

chance encounter with fanny-packing tourists Tee hee

I found all the smiling a bit odd when I first came. Very disconcerting on the TV news.
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 10:59 am
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
chance encounter with fanny-packing tourists Tee hee

I found all the smiling a bit odd when I first came. Very disconcerting on the TV news.
The local news readers here (or some at least) crack me up, they smile so falsely, then put on very dramatic faces for more serious news. Unfortunately, they don't always get it right
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Originally Posted by Englishtart View Post
The local news readers here (or some at least) crack me up, they smile so falsely, then put on very dramatic faces for more serious news. Unfortunately, they don't always get it right
Yeah that's it exactly
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

We eat much more quietly than people from some cultures: no slurping, loud sipping, or open-mouthed chewing. This seems normal to us but unnecessarily uptight to many others.

Maybe it is just me, but I am amazed by how many "young" girls/ladies eat with their mouths open.... maybe it is the same in the UK but I never noticed it as much as we didn't eat out as much - who knows!

Interesting article
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Originally Posted by Englishtart View Post
The local news readers here (or some at least) crack me up, they smile so falsely, then put on very dramatic faces for more serious news. Unfortunately, they don't always get it right
The ones that can lol., I've noticed that a lot of the LA female newsreaders can't move their faces much at all. In fact a couple of them are damn scary they've had so much work or botox!
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Originally Posted by MandyNi View Post
The ones that can lol., I've noticed that a lot of the LA female newsreaders can't move their faces much at all. In fact a couple of them are damn scary they've had so much work or botox!
Whenever one of the local news reporters comes on the TV here, I think the TV is broken as she has the most bizzarre skin colour, it's kind of an orangey almost green colour. As this is Iowa, you know she aint got that from catching a few rays.
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Etiquette 101: What the World Thinks About Us (meaning Americans)

Originally Posted by MandyNi View Post
The ones that can lol., I've noticed that a lot of the LA female newsreaders can't move their faces much at all. In fact a couple of them are damn scary they've had so much work or botox!
That's true too!
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