Ignorant Americans?

At my work I meet people from all over the world. Especially from the Nordic countries, Germany, France and the U.S. mainly. When they enter the museum they are given MP3-players and headsets that contain an audio guide that guides them through the museum. We have it in a variety of languages so  I always ask them where they are from. Everyone answers with their country of origin, EXCEPT the Americans. They always answer with their town or State!! I mean, what’s up with that?? It is like if I was going to answer; I am from Uppsala. How many would know about that? I don’t care if you are from Nebraska or from Utah, I just want to know from what country you are from so I can pick the preferable language!

Then my question is – why do they do that? Is it because America is so huge so they have to specify it? Is it because Americans hardly ever go abroad and visit other countries? Or is it just because they think that they are the the center of the Universe so everyone ought to know where Alabama or Tennessee are situated??

However, it is pretty annoying …


About tegis

This blog belongs to Carl-Mikael A. Teglund - tegis. Swedish emigrant with a heart for languages, philosophy, history, and politics (classical liberalism in the European tradition). Go ahead and look, read, or listen. I'm sure you will find it interesting.
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10 Responses to Ignorant Americans?

  1. Roland Dodds says:

    Part of it is that American’s don’t get out often, so they are used to using their state’s name, but it also has to do with the rivalry that seems to go on between states and regions in America. No self respecting southerner wants to be grouped in with some snooty New Yorker or Californian.

    And most Americans are a bit on the daft side.

  2. Anonymous says:

    hehe Let us all cheer for the last confession there! No, but seriously, I think you are right – there are several reasons why some states don’t want to be jointed together with some of the other states. It is just pretty annoying if an American comes to, for instance, a small town in Sweden and present himself as a guy coming from South Dakota. It is just sometimes too much to ask for that foreigners know the name of every state there is.

    It is quite strange though that you say that Americans don’t travel that often. I thought it was as popular as it is in Europe to go to another country for a vacation?


  3. Bill says:

    Apparently if you are not American you do not understand Americans. I would consider non-Americans to be daft then. It is a sense of prider where one comes from. This can be related to the colonial days. Now look at Europeans. If I ask where you are from why don’t you say the E.U. instead of France, Germany or whatever other country?

  4. tegis says:

    Because I’m a Swede at first, a Scandinavian secondly and then [maybe] a European …

  5. Bill says:

    Bravo, I personally prefer to consider you a Scandinavian because I just like the word “Scandinavian” but Swede will do. Many Americans are their state first. That is why the American Civil War happened.

  6. tegis says:

    Well, that’s not the only explanation, but I see your point! =)
    WOW you’re a fast responder .. =)

  7. Bill says:

    Lunch break and I found a blog that I enjoy.

    I didn’t mean to simplify the Civil War especially when I’m a student of it.

  8. tegis says:

    Cool! I hope you save a bookmark on it? Do you have a blog of your own?

    nice, are you a history student?

  9. Bill says:

    No blog. I’ve tried before but I get too bogged down with other things.

    Student of history, maybe. I find history to be a wonderful subject and warfare to be the most interesting. A knowledge of history gives you an idea of where people are headed and trends or religeous groups.

  10. tegis says:

    Cool, I’m a economic history MA. I’m on my final term.

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