Americans still don’t get British Humor.


James Hanley

James Hanley is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.

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38 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    I’ve always said anything less then 199 years is soon to joke about burning a capitol building. So this is funny. Somebody needs to tweet “Lighten up Francis.”Report

  2. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    I think it’s funny, too. Guys, it’s been 200 years.

    In honour of my country, I contribute this:

  3. Avatar El Muneco says:

    I think it’s funny, too. In any case, we’ve been square with England since 29 June 1950.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      And yet you use British dating conventions? For shame…

      BTW the tweet was funny. Remember comedy = tradegy + timeReport

      • Avatar Murali says:

        American dating conventions are completely illogical. Why is the day number between the month and the year? You should order it according to either increasing or decreasing units of time.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:


        1) Part of American exceptionalism is that we think our illogical inefficient dating convention is the best.

        2) tradegy=tragedyReport

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        how is our system not by increasing units of time March 1st (3/1) comes before March 2nd (3/2).

        Why does 1/3 followed by 2/3 look better or more logical?Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:


        To defend @murali it is because the year is at the end. In our system, you are changing the middle value every day. In the British system you are changing the first value.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        As Murali said, it should either be increasing or decreasing by units. I tend to do it based on whether I’m spelling out the month or not – i.e. it’s 29 June 1950 but 1950/06/29. But then I’m a programmer, so I’m inured to 4-digit years and avoiding ambiguity.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        I tend to write the month out because I find it aesthetically pleasing.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        But then I’m a programmer, so I’m inured to 4-digit years

        Honestly, kids these days. No respect for tradition,Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        In MY day, we only had 2-digit years…and we LIKED it!Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        You are all wrong, and I, of course, am right.

        The only proper way to do it is by year, month, date (e.g., 2014-08-27), because then all the documents so named in your computer will follow a perfect temporal sequence. That’s how I designate meeting minutes. There is no other way that is in anyway logical. Not in any way logical.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        James is correct.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Unless, of course, you hack the filesystem code to sort mm/dd/yyyyy the way you’d like whenever it sees a specific unused bit in the directory’s inode set. (This would be a parody of a Linux hacker if such a thing were possible.)Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        I have too much respect for the fine-tuned software products created by programmers to ever think of hacking their work.Report

      • Avatar Wyrmnax says:


        Oh. You think american dating convention is bad?

        What until you see the system they use for measurements…Report

      • Avatar Murali says:


        I’d rather not think about that. Feet and inches, horrible as they are, are still manageable. Rulers and tapes often show both centimetres and inches and base 12 is still workable. The use of Fahrenheit for temperature, however, is appalling.Report

      • Avatar James K says:


        The system you use is actually the ISO standard for reporting dates, so you’re not the only one who has worked out its the right way to present dates.Report

  4. Avatar Damon says:

    American’s don’t get out much…out of the country.


  5. Avatar Glyph says:

    We don’t get British humor, because they misspell it.

    Our cross-Atlantic neigbour’s insistence on an extraneous vowel causes us to harbour all sorts of reservations, of every flavour, and colour our perceptions of their honour.

    Come on, Limeys, it’s not always about u.Report

  6. Avatar j r says:

    So this one of those stories where all the reporting was done in Twitter?

    I’ve long thought that in the summer all the real WaPo reporters go on vacation and just hand the keys over to interns.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      WaPo reporters are always on vacation.
      Draw a pretty graph, and you can get on the front page! (at least of the finance section).
      … yup, that lazy.Report

  7. Avatar veronica d says:

    This would be a pretty lousy comment between (for example) the US and China, given the level of ongoing adversity between us. But between us and the UK? OMG are you serious?

    I laughed.

    (In fact, I eagerly await the Canadian contribution.)Report