Before I Moved To America, I Thought...

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...Kelloggs was a British company. I never for a moment thought the box I spent twenty minutes reading each morning with the 'By Appointment To Her Majesty' crest was anything but British. I never saw 'Road to Wellville'. Admittedly after reading Bill Bryson's description of the invention of the cornflake I had less of an excuse. Krissa loves to tell this story.

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...'Oldsmobile' was slang for an old car. Who came up with that as a brand?

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...fruit juice in a can was a stupid idea. I still think this.

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...it would be weird if someone handed me a cup of coffee in a bag. I still think this.

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...all American beer was regulated to 4% alcohol by volume or under. This is mercifully and incredibly wrong. Hurrah!

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...I understood weights and measurements. Metric! Metric metric metric. I miss you so. Instead of beautifully interchangeable metres, kilometres, litres and so on, I have to wrestle with feet, slugs, fahrenheit, horsepower and British Thermal Units (hahahahahaha).
I have been reduced from (occasionally) working things out in my head to ALWAYS needing paper or a calculator, and more often than not, the internet as a reference.
Example:
1 British Thermal Unit is the energy needed to heat a pound of water by one degree fahrenheit.

Fair enough.

12,000 btus of cooling is called a ton of cooling. This is based off how much cooling can be done by a ton of ice. Historically - not so long ago that people were happy to sweat all day, but long enough ago that they weren't very good at preventing it, air conditioning was performed by dumping a large brick of ice in front of a fan and then pushing that cold air around a building.
So, perfectly naturally, 1 ton of ice = 1 ton of cooling.
All big AC equipment is still rated in tons.
And don't even talk to me about slugs.

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...England was an English speaking country (I have since been corrected - NYU require prospective students of British citizenship to take an 'English as a Foreign Language' test if they wish to study there.)

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...aliens came from outer space, when in fact I am one.

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6 Comments

What the blinking flip is a flipping SLUG (apart from a naughty slimy little chap who likes lettuce)?!

A slug is a unit of mass (see here).

Admittedly I don't use them much, er, really, but I do use grains all the time - a unit of mass small enough to discuss water vapour content with.

I moved here from the UK in 5th grade, in addition to constant issues with spelling (I still cling stubbornly to my superfluous use of the letter U), there was that awful and mortifying day I asked the kid next to me if I could borrow his rubber. Oh the horror.

As an American, I agree with you that coffee in a bag and fruit juice in a can are stupid ideas.

I never thought about 'Oldsmobile' being interpreted that way, but it does make sense lol.

It's because of the founder's name: Ransom Eli Olds - you should know, beeing a car expert ;)

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