A: What do you think is the problem between the English and the Americans?
B: That's a very interesting question, because both nationalities share a common
language and are usually on the same side in war-time, yet they rarely speak
well of one another on a personal level.
A: Are we talking about a struggle for superiority?
B: Yes, but we measure our superiority in different ways. Ours is cultural and
historical. We believe we're more civilized. We're the country of Shakespeare and
the industrial revolution. Americans visit England in search of culture and history.
A: So in what ways are they superior?
B: Well, obviously in size. Everything's bigger - their country, their salaries,
their roads, their companies. Theirs is the land of MacDonald's, Coca Cola,
Microsoft and IBM. They enjoy telling us that they're the best.
A: And are they right?
B: Yes, if you measure success purely in dollars, but there're two points here.
Firstly, many English people actually believe that "Small is Beautiful". They
prefer countries where you don't get mugged in parks and subways.
A: What's the other point?
B: I was coming to that. It's the difference in character. Maybe you think you're
the best in the world, but you don't go shouting about it from the rooftops. Americans
lack our modesty and reserve. They're probably warmer and more friendly, but
they're often very loud and extrovert to go with it.
A: So you prefer the British character?
B: Not entirely. We tend to be rather oblique in our conversation. When
Americans speak, you can take them literally, but when English people speak you
have to read between the lines.
A: We say one thing and mean another?