7/15/09

GIVEAWAY - for all Anglophiles

I was recently sent a copy of 'Britannia in Brief' to read/review and an extra as a giveaway for my readers.

This book was written by Leslie Banker and William Mullins, a New Yorker and a Londoner who ended up engaged. Like us, they also found we might speak the same language, but about there the similarities cease! So they worked together on a book, which explains to Americans the essential things they need to know and understand about the British and their way of life.

The Hubster has dipped in and out of it too and made a few comments along the lines of "so that's what it means, or how that works". I have read it from cover to cover and even as the Brit I really enjoyed it. For me it was a great reminder of a few things I had filed away about home and a rather nostalgic read, making me smile at fond memories alot.

The format is great with chapters that cover alot of inter-related topics. Chapters include: society, culture, politics/government, food/drink and language amongst others. Within these you will find everything from what is a 'WAG' through to understanding our unique humour, and what to say to insult a Brit. This last made me laugh as my own pet peeve was in there - 'ask a Brit if they're Australian', amen to that as insulting and asked way to often! John Thomas makes an appearance too.

I could only find one glaring oversight, which was 'bacon butty' not listed amongst the iconic Brit foods. But all the rest I would have chosen were there. It is written in a chatty and entertaining style, with great 'Fact & Fiction' sections at the end of each chapter, that settle some big preconceptions.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and so I am delighted to be able to offer a new copy to one of you. This competition will end at NOON (CET) this Friday and is open to anyone.

Leave me a comment answering the following two questions and we will draw a winner on Friday night. You MUST answer these to get in the draw, which I have set because I am interested in your answers myself and I will use them for blog post inspiration. For an extra entry become a Follower.

Questions:

1. What to you is most representative of Britain, or being British?

2. What do you least understand about the British or Britain, and would like to know more about?

27 comments:

Mom in High Heels said...

OH! I NEED that! NEED! Me! Me! Me!

Poltzie said...

Ok, my answers:
1) Pubs (sorry!)
2) The food, just doesn't make sense how anyone could like vegimite?

expateek said...

1) Royal Mail red boxes... and all the red phone booths... and the red buses. What's with all the red, anyhoo? I love 'em all, btw.

2) Why they're all such mad gardeners, in such a damp and rainy land.

Flea said...

1. What to you is most representative of Britain, or being British?
Sadly, Monty Python.

2. What do you least understand about the British or Britain, and would like to know more about?
Teeth. Orthodontia.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

1. British pubs, be they in a city or a rural community. You cannot recreate the atmosphere and the spirit within. People try and build British pubs around the world but I have never seen one I think is authentic and I think it is because the atmoshpere is missing. British pubs are more of a social hub than a place to get drunk in.

2. Jellied Eels, cockles, whelks and tripe. I come from the east end of London and you'd think I would embrace these things but I have never in my life understood the attraction to these things and why any of my fellow Londoners would put something in their mouth that looks like it got scraped out of the kitchen sink u-bend.

As for being mistaken for an Aussie, that happens to me a LOT and I think because a working class London accent can sound a tiny bit Australian. It has never bothered me though. Funnily enough, I have been in the presence of 2 Aussies mistaken for Brits here in the US and they were not happy about it and bitched to me about it after the fact!

If I do not win the contest, that's OK. But please let me know by writing a note on the back of a $20 bill and mailing it to me.
Thanks

Denise said...

1) the English Robin on a Christmas Card, sometimes on a bright red mail box. I love getting those.

2) Vegimite and Marmite, born British but never developed a taste for it, probably because my mother disliked it too and never gave it to us as children.

mub said...

1. Mushy peas. Don't ask me why, but I think of Great Britain and I think of mushy peas *L*

2. I don't really understand British politics. I mean, what role does the queen actually play in things. I know in The Netherlands, she's really more of a figurehead than a "politician" but I don't know if England is the same way.

I really have to laugh about you saying you speak the same language. Most of the people that speak English here speak British English and I find myself just going "HUH?" sometimes because I've NO CLUE what they're going on about.

Lynn said...

1. There are so many things I think of but when I saw the question the thing I immediately thought of was tea. I drink hot tea, even in summer. I'm sure I don't drink it the proper British way but I think it's still rather unusual for an American to prefer tea over coffee and when I drink it I feel like I'm in touch with my roots in a very, very small way.

2. The food. I don't know much about British cuisine but it seems like every time I hear something mentioned (usually on TV) it's usually something I wouldn't eat and it sort of puzzles me that our two countries that have so much in common could prefer such different foods.

smittenbybritain said...

I reviewed this book as well Sarah and I agree that it is excellent.

I'm also having my own giveaway so those who lose out on yours should pop over to my place and enter.

http://www.smittenbybritain.com/2009/07/britannia-in-brief.html

♥ Braja said...

Me!
OK I'm Aussie but I have a British passport.
Chip buttys :)))))

Star said...

I saw Britain in a different way when I came to live in the U.S. From that side of the pond, I would say that the culture is what makes Britain so special (just wait til the 2012 Olympics and you'll see what I mean).
If I was American, what I would find odd about Britain is the fact that the pavements (sidewalks) are so often wet! and I would not understand the humour.
One more thing, I would not understand why the Brits are so "closed" when it comes to saying what they want.
Blessings Star

Erin said...

ahh ms. sarah...two great questions.

1) a. high tea with all the accompanying paraphernalia; the proper tea cups, pot, tea, silver, et. al. nothing better.
1) b. the monarchy

2)the will and determination of this island nation through time.

have a wonderful day

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

1. I guess what I find most representative of Britain is the civility of its people. I have only been to Britain once years ago but it seemed that the hostility level was toned down considerably. For example in the pubs I saw people get totally snockered and yet not get into the "My mama told me to never take **** of anybody ..." that you run into here.
I found people there to be very helpful, once you got them engaged.

2.What I least understand about Britain is why the food is so bad except at breakfast and desert. I ate lots of Italian and French food while I was there. The local fare was not good, except I loved breakfast and the cakes.

Jo, a retired teacher said...

1. I love to listen to Brits. I've tried to mimic the accent and tone when reading certain books to students (that have British characters), but I just can't do it.

2. Most countries have certain foods that people everywhere like to eat (Italian, Greek, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Brazilian, even American); what food does Great Britain have to share? Scones?

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Definately the Pubs with their unique British atmosphere.

I have to say also the Fish and Chip Shops, we were all raised on them, the true British Fish and Chip Shops, serving mushy peas and battered cod.

I think Britain has wonderful food.
Have you eaten there lately ?
It's not all Tripe and Onions, and Black Puddings.

A Brit in Tennessee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane said...

1. Royalty. The Queen usually is one of the first things to pop into my mind when I think about Britain.

2. Why they don't have porch swings! ;)

The Prodigal Tourist said...

1) drinking tea with milk and eating puddings with spoons.
2) the wife says: why do we drink tea with milk and eat pudding (she calls it 'dessert') with spoons.

Karla said...

1. Beefeaters guarding the palace

2. There are a lot of things I don't understand and many more things I've yet to discover.

Vickie said...

1. Stonehenge

2. Why do the English say schedule as 'shedule' instead of 'skedule' but not 'shool' for school? And what's the deal with aluminium?

Sherilyn -The Dominee Huisvrouw said...

1. Definitely Pubs & Pub fare. Can't seem to get it anywhere else!

2. The school system. I just don't understand it. Are there private schools there too, or just public & Catholic?

Ginafish said...

1)The Queen, and Wallace & Gromit.
2)How there can so many dialects in such a relatively small country?

As a first time commenter, just wanted to also pass along I've enjoyed your blog. I've been working in a school for the last year, so esp enjoy those stories and the bwod. :)

Iota said...

Oops too late in the day to comment, but I've enjoyed reading the other comments.

What's the deal with aluminium? What on earth is the deal with alooominum?

SweetPeaSurry said...

1. Pubs
2. The love of socialized medicine. I just don't get that!

Lendal said...

Ale (of the London Pride variety) with a pork pie and english mustard accompaniment...yummy

CheamCommoner said...

first time here on this blog and thoroughly enjoying it.

I guess the pub has to be the #1 brit icon

As a traveller to LI on a regular basis i can always raise a giggle when asking for a glass of water... what is it about the way we brits say that that makes everyone giggle huh !

Another much misunderstood thing has to be Black pudding or blood pudding as it was once described to me.. if it's made right it's fantastic.. also a much misunderstood thing.. baked beans with the traditional English fry up.. what is so wrong with that ?

Having travelled so many times and stayeed for so long in LI it never ceases to amaze me how small details can have huge implications when speaking this shared language.

k a b l o o e y said...

First off, I'm going to take you up on your follower tradesies, and I need you more than you need me.

Answer to #1: can't pick between "reserved demeanor" compared to we "let it all hang out" USAers and "class issues" being ubiquitous, at least in writing, movies, theater, etc.

Answer #2: do you think there's an "English sense of humor"? If yes, how would you characterize it and is it generational?