September 22, 2011

The British and "brilliant"

It's a good thing Obama doesn't like England and never spent much time there or his head would have exploded from having everything he did called "brilliant." It reminds me of a business trip I made to Oxford in 1994. The very polite English lady who was my host at Nielsen asked if I had any trouble getting there from Heathrow.

"Well, it took me awhile to find the Hertz counter, but I stopped a bunch of people and asked and I finally found one I could understand because he had a full set of teeth."

"Oh, brilliant!"

"And then, when I got the car, I almost got into two or three head on collisions before I noticed something: You guys drive on the wrong side of the road!"

"Oh, brilliant, brilliant."

"And the speedometer was broken. No way was I going 200 miles per hour."

"Oh, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant."

"And then I wanted to get a bag of potato chips from a vending machine, but all they had were crisps. So, I stuck a bunch of those funny Susan B. Anthony dollar coins in the slot, but the bag got stuck. So, I gave the machine a hard shove and I got not only the crisps, which, by the way, are a lot like potato chips, plus a free packet of biscuits, whatever those are."

"Oh, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant."

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

British cars also use Miles Per Hour, it's only the rest of Europe that use Km. So, yes, your speedometer is clearly broken. Brilliant ;-)

Simon in London said...

BRILLIANT!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knYOcaQ-x5o

Anonymous said...

And Michelle is quite breathtaking.

dearieme said...

Smashing, excellent, lovely.

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Any episode of the classic British sitcom "Only Fools and Horses" can be turned into a drinking game using the number of times Rodney and Del Boy use the term.

Harry Baldwin said...

I've noticed something similar in the US lately--the promiscuous use of the word "perfect." I was answering questions from someone who called from the doctor's office to get my name, address, insurance plan, SS number, etc., and after every answer I gave her she said "Perfect!"

I've noticed other people doing this too. Does it stem from the self-esteem movement in our schools?

L said...

The lady had it right, Steve, you are brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Guinness ads. I'm sure a Youtube search of Guinness and brilliant would turn up a few.

Kylie said...

"It's a good thing Obama doesn't like England and never spent much time there or his head would have exploded from having everything he did called 'brilliant.'""

If his head hasn't exploded already from a lifetime of hearing clueless white people here in America call him "brilliant", I don't think it's ever going to.

Anonymous said...

"Well, it took me awhile to find the Hertz counter, but I stopped a bunch of people and asked and I finally found one I could understand because he had a full set of teeth."

And this, ladies and gents, is why Steve Sailer is a classic case of Asperger's Syndrome....

Glaivester said...

Was she drinking Guinness?

Anonymous said...

Did the bloke with the full set of teeth have a white one? If so then he`d proably have a snooker set as we say over here

Geoff Matthews said...

In Scotland it would be "pure dead brilliant".

Anonymous said...

I say 'no worries' whenever I'm too lazy to say the truth, don't know what to say, or simply don't want to engage the person further.

She probably didn't like you :) or care enough about what you were saying to say anything else.

Sorry mate!

No worries!

ricpic said...

When the Brits see no advantage in massaging a stranger they simply say, "Quite."

Anonymous said...

No worries!

Cheers, mate!

Anonymous said...

Do they still say "mega" all the time there in Britain?

It seemed to mean "great" or "terrific" as far as I could tell.

Anonymous said...

"Awesome" is the US equivalent

DanJ said...

Heh. The Fast Show had a recurring sketch on this. Brilliant!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgMgkl-gRxk

Londoner said...

"Brilliant" is not so ubiquitous here any more. I would estimate that "fantastic" is more heavily used nowadays. "Awesome" has gained some traction but is too obviously American to break through fully - I hope the same is true of the ridiculous "sick". As for "mega", it died a death in the mid-1990s and is pretty much never heard now, ditto "wicked".

And what about you Americans and "amazing"...?

Charles Pooter said...

You need to get over here and refresh your stereotypes, mate. You're working with a very outdated set. Come and stay here for a day or two and meet my multi-racial family, enjoy some decent cooking for a change, drink good English wine (you made a dig at English wine a while ago but you need to try Fitzrovia from the Ridgeview Estate), and maybe glance over some World Health Organisation stats showing that the UK is number 2 in the world for dental health (after Germany). US is nowhere. The term 'whited sepulchre' comes to mind. Not that I'm blindly patriotic. I could also show you a large number of things that are really crappy. But they're not actually the same things that you think are crappy based on the standard set of anglophobic clich├ęs.

Steve Sailer said...

"You need to get over here and refresh your stereotypes, mate."

Yeah, well, have you stopped driving on the wrong side of the road yet? Huh?

Anonymous said...

Bah. I'd prefer to have stuck with ethnic homogeneity and bad teeth.

theo the kraut said...

bloody, uh, brilliant, though a tad rude, wasn't it? limeys are people, too.

Steve Sailer said...

And do you Brits still have Susan B. Anthony on all your money? How come you haven't upgraded to Sacajawea yet?

Anonymous said...

Are you insinuating that our dear Queen resembles that ghastly old hag in some way? What nonsense!

On the other hand, I don't know about that Red Indian bint of yours, but if we don't get that Mary Seacole on a note sometime soon I'll be surprised.

David said...

An amazing post.

Amazing, amazing, amazing!

Arrgg!

Anonymous said...

In the US you use the word "Awesome."

Anonymous said...

When I lived in London, I enjoyed hearing everyone say, "Brilliant." My stepdaughter said,"Brill" to anything she liked. It's a great expression. I found it funny to be addressed by strangers as "Love," and hear everything called "lovely." I used to go to a tailor on the Walworth Road who had a boxer for a client, and there was a note of appreciation from him on the wall, thanking the tailor for his alterations and ending with, "You are a diamond geezer." Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

"I'd prefer to have stuck with ethnic homogeneity and bad teeth."

Brits are ending up with both bad teeth and bad demographics.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of bad teeth, there really is no need for dentists for 99.9% of people if they don't eat too much sugary stuff, brush daytime and nightime, and floss.
So, the main problem in UK could be more a matter of bad eating habits and dental hygiene than shortage of dentists.

Anonymous said...

Hate to make an obvious point, but a lot of the hyperbole in the UK is thinly veiled irony.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"Only Fools and Horses"

Best sitcom ever. The stuff I grew up with and especially the garbage they put out now pales in comparison.

Anonymous said...

"Only Fools and Horses"

Best sitcom ever. The stuff I grew up with and especially the garbage they put out now pales in comparison.