I think I’m becoming Americanized. (See, I even spelt it with a zee?)

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone and bought me a gun. I haven’t switched to iced tea instead of PG Tips (a much more horrifying scenario). I haven’t even started saying tomAYto instead of tomAHto. What I did was complain about someone swearing in front of my kids.

I’ll explain. There’s a different attitude to cursing here in Texas. It’s just not done as much. In the British Isles, we like to casually drop swear-words for emphasis into otherwise normal sentences. It’s not unusual to hear absolutely foul language in the middle of the supermarket or walking down the high street. Over breakfast in a family-run café in Ireland I once overheard a conversation between two older gentlemen in which the only word I could make out through their thick Kildare accents was the f-bomb. I swear. It’s the fucking truth.

Anyway, no-one bats an eyelid. So today, when the guy fixing my mosquito system told me something I was disputing with him was "bullshit", I surprised myself by being actually quite shocked. Maybe it was his tone of voice (confrontational) and the fact that my kids, age four and six, were standing right there, but it suddenly seemed very inappropriate.

I actually phoned the company – who, I should point out, have been otherwise great – and asked them never to send that workman to my house again. They agreed immediately and apologised. And now I’m wondering what I’ve turned into, because, hello? I thought I was British. We’ll put up with all kinds of bullshit, but what we don’t do is bloody well complain.

Cup of tea, anyone?

This entry was posted in ex-pat life, kids, swearing. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Americanized

  1. June says:

    I’m not sure what has surprised me the most; the guy swearing, you being upset by it or the fact that you actually picked up the ‘phone to complain! Good for you though and on a positive note it has made you sit down and write….. xx

  2. Kirsty says:

    Yeah, the year-long gap between blog entries probably means that the fact you’re even reading this is the most surprising thing of all.

  3. Glenda says:

    Glad to see you have not forgotten your blog. I have missed it. Walks down “the Baulk” are not the same without either the kids or the latest post.

  4. Kirsty says:

    Ah, thank you! Must try harder…

  5. Can I clone your article to my blog? Thank you.

    • Kirsty says:

      Uh, sure, if you think it’s relevant. I don’t quite see how it fits in your blog about women maintaining a normal blood pressure, but go ahead if you like. I’d appreciate a linkback.

  6. your blog is very simple but i like it because it is very well structured.

  7. Cameo Jones says:

    I must be British….. BTW, is there a mild expletive used in Britain….”feck”…? I read something about it the other day and am trying to incorporate it into my daily curses instead of the harsher one.

    • Kirsty says:

      ‘Feck’ is mainly heard in Ireland, but I think we should start a campaign for more widespread use. Here’s Stan Carey’s brilliant article. And if you’ve never watched ‘Father Ted’ before, I highly recommend it. Fecking hilarious.

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