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Britons And Americans Don't Understand
by Chris Malone,posted Apr 11 2013 5:21AM
The planning for my next birthday bash in London continues at a slow pace...yet it is a pace nonetheless. Since a milestone will be reached and my love for soccer has promoted me to save for a trip of a lifetime with one of my best friends , who also loves soccer and is hitting the same milestone, reading this article from the BBC shocking! There are certain things we American do that the British just don't grasp...and it isn't sports or tipping....it's basic, no-brainer stuff in my opinion. By the way, this is an opinion piece and isn't meant to be the rule of the land. However it gives you a glimpse of how our closest ally see us.
Digging sharp string between your teeth everyday is standard oral hygiene procedure in America. We know we’re supposed to do this too, but it hurts and it’s boring. Most Brits probably own a tub of floss, but only dust it off before a date or dental appointment.
2. Compulsive Baking
This one I like, although I don’t get how people with children and jobs and pets find the time to whip up regular batches of themed, iced and elaborately flavored cupcakes, muffins and brownies. It’s America’s most family friendly superpower.
3. Sending Personalized Holiday Cards
By this, I mean those creepy Christmas cards with a family portrait on the front. The children are wearing elf outfits while the parents grin unnaturally. Inside, there’s a run-down of the family’s year and, more importantly, its achievements. I’ve even heard of people inserting copies of their kids’ report cards.
4. Talking To Strangers Unprompted
This happens most often on public transport. I’ll be on a plane or train in the U.S., minding my own business, when someone I’ve never met will try to start a conversation. Short of pretending to be deaf and/or French, there’s nothing to be done.
Americans like to let the world know that they’re having fun — or approve heartily of what’s being said or done in front of them — by contorting their vocal chords into a shape that will allow them to pump out obnoxious mouth hoots, one after another. One word: earplugs.
6. Compulsive Sentimentality
Gushing public displays are usually meant well but give Brits the creeps. For instance, my husband and I recently checked out of a B&B after a two-night stay. Instead of bidding us farewell with a firm handshake and a receipt, the owner – a man in his 50s – latched on to me, then my man, for a prolonged hug. Just when we thought it was over, he announced, “I’ll miss you guys!” No, actually. You won’t.
7. Drinking Milk
Moo juice is meant for putting on cereal, adding to pancake batter and pouring in tea. Americans must have missed the memo because they drink the stuff neat. To me, this is only slightly less absurd than eating a plate of salt and pepper for dinner.
8. Ordering Supersize Portions
In American cinemas, patrons load up with pails of soda so vast they require their own seat. They must have bladders the size of hot air balloons. Plates of food, meanwhile, more closely resemble those guilt-inducing, this-is-what-you-eat-in-a-week spreads laid out by TV diet gurus than a single course of a single meal meant for one person.
9. Taking Home Leftovers
Thanks to the previous point, doggy bags have long been part of American restaurant culture. I can’t quite bring myself to make off with my unfinished fare. It feels… icky. Plus, I’ve usually overeaten, and I’m convinced I’ll never want to look at food again. Naturally, I regret this decision in the morning.
10. Eating Breakfast Together
You know in films featuring perfect American families there’s always a scene where an implausibly jolly parent makes the kids pancakes in the shape of dinosaurs, then the entire household sits down to a sumptuous spread. Well, I am reliably informed that this kind of thing actually happens here. Breakfast is something Brits have if they’re hung over or if the hotel they’re staying in provides it. We’d never be so eccentric as to sit down and eat it at the same time — and in the same location — as our loved ones.
As a rebuttal, another article from the BBC explains 10 British habits we American don't understand.
1. Apologizing Unnecessarily
How often do you — a Brit living in the U.S. — auto-deliver a completely unnecessary, “Sorry?” I’m a 10-a-day gal. Sometimes, the American on the receiving end, instead of simply ignoring me or looking confused, will ask: “Why are you apologizing?” I’ve never given a satisfactory answer.
2. Drinking Too Much
In America, all-day boozing sessions are for alcoholics, tramps and the seriously miserable. A happy Brit, meanwhile, is one whose weekend pub-crawl starts at 6pm on a Friday and ends Sunday evening.
3. Forgetting to Eat
Often because we’ve indulged in point number two, Brits are terrible at remembering to feed themselves at regular intervals. Food-focused types like myself will always check that a night out is scheduled to include a meal stop; it’s never just assumed. Americans, meanwhile, make brunch, lunch or dinner dates. All other activities, like drinking, are supplementary.
4. Enjoying the Misfortune of Others
Nothing brightens a Brit’s day like discovering someone we didn’t particularly like lost their job or misspelled a status update. I get a smugness buzz every time I clock an acquaintance’s incorrect apostrophe usage. Americans, meanwhile, seem to spend less time thinking about other people, in a good way.
5. Doing Ourselves Down
As previously mentioned, Brits revel in the downfall of others. But we don’t want to come off as mean so we also make a point of knocking our own achievements. This makes us miserable. On the plus side, there’s the option of an “I never boasted about my Nobel prize on Facebook” gravestone inscription. (Note: a posthumous brag is borderline acceptable.)
6. Thinking Tea Will Fix Everything
A brew is our go-to panacea. Whether you’ve chipped a nail, broken up with your boyfriend or narrowly avoided being murdered, the first person on-scene will offer you a cuppa. This way, they get to keep busy, feel useful and put off coming up with soothing, wise words.
7. Our Reluctance to Fix Our Teeth
Having aesthetically displeasing teeth is every Brit’s right. Turn up at an American dentist’s with a gob full of wonky enamel, and they’ll probably assume you’re British, or grew up in a vile cult that outlawed orthodontics.
8. Poor Communication Skills
Since living here, I’ve noticed that Americans are much better at looking you in the face and saying what they mean. Brits are abysmal at eye contact, telling you how they feel and what they’d like to happen. We overuse phrases like, “I think maybe…” and “Perhaps we could just… ”
9. Driving a Stick-shift on the Wrong Side of the Road
I’m convinced that some Americans believe that driving on the left is an eccentric choice made by individuals, not a rule laid down by British law. And while U.K. drivers think performing maneuvers in manual cars is the height of masculinity, tell someone here you prefer a stick and it’s like admitting you do laundry in the river.
10. Our Desire to Laugh at Ourselves
Might I leap temporarily out of character and deploy a small boast on behalf of my nation? (Yes, yes, I realize this basically invalidates about four previous points.) Brits are masters of the self-deprecating gag, and this is confusing to countries like America with aggressively high self-esteem. Whole sitcoms — most recently Twenty Twelve – have pivoted on the point that we’re reliably incompetent.