28 American Movie Things That Are Odd For Non-Americans


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  1. Speaking as an American: Most of these, the answer is “Yes, we really do that. You mean you don’t?” For many of these one could say, Yes, Americans do that sometimes. It’s not like we do it 20 times a day.

    Raid the fridge in the dark: Sometimes. That’s why there’s a light in the refrigerator.

    Chew pills: Hmm, I don’t, because they usually taste awful. I can’t say I’ve surveyed fellow Americans on this.

    Football field: It’s 100 yards. Oh, maybe that doesn’t help. Okay, about 100 meters.

    Pooch: Some people call their dog “pooch”. I don’t think it’s super common but no one would think it strange if they heard you call your dog that.

    Halloween: How big a deal are you thinking? Americans certainly celebrate Halloween. Many people decorate their houses for Halloween. When my kids were little, we’d put up all sorts of decorations. And there’s trick-or-treating, where kids wander the neighborhood and get tons of free candy. Some adults use Halloween to attend costume parties.

    Lame and loser: Yes, those are words Americans really use. Don’t you have similar terms in your country for when you want to make a relatively mild insult?

    Eat ice cream from box: I’ve never done this, and I don’t recall seeing anyone else do it. Of course I can’t swear that no one does it.

    Memorize social security number: Yes, I have mine memorized, and many other people do also. You have to use it often, so even if you don’t sit down some day and say “I’m going to memorize my social security number today”, you might well end up remembering it just from repeating it so often. Don’t you have some sort of government ID number in your country that you memorize?

    “Just get some rest”: Yes, sometimes. Like if someone is mildly sick.

    Down whiskey: Umm, some Americans drink whiskey, yes. Don’t people all over the world drink whiskey?

    Drink milk from a carton: It happens. Most people consider it very crude.

    Call friends’ parents “Mrs …”: Yes. That’s considered polite. It’s generally considered disrespectful for children to call an adult by their first name.

    Wear shoes in house: Varies from family to family. Many do, though.

    Bake cookies at Christmas: Yes. Many people make elaborate meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas, including some sort of dessert, usually pie or cookies. Don’t you eat dessert on holidays?

    Pledge alliegience to flag: Decades ago this was routine. Today it’s more sporadic, some schools do and some don’t. There have actually been court cases about this and courts have ruled that a child cannot be required to recite the pledge of alliegience.

    Grinds foods: You mean a garbage disposal? Yes, many Americans have a garbage disposal in their kitchen. It cuts down on the amount of trash you accumulate. I have no idea whether it’s better or worse for the environment to throw food waste down your sink or in a trash can.

    Mocoa: Mocoa is a mix of coffee and chocolate.

    Frozen peas: I have frozen peas in my fridge and I do use them periodically.

    Go for dessert: I don’t recall ever going to a different restaurant for dessert when I just ate in one restaurant. Yeah, that would seem pointless. Maybe if restaurant A has a really good main dish and restaurant B has really good desserts?

    Schoolllunch: Yes. Don’t your children eat lunch during the school day? Or do they all bring a lunch from home? It’s common in the US for schools to serve lunch. Beginning maybe 60 years ago the government started a program where poor children get lunch at school at a discount or for free. This is called, creatively enough, the “school lunch program”.

    Leave kids bedroom untouched: I don’t understand. As opposed to what?

    Funions: It’s a snack food made from onions and I have no idea what else, probably recycled toxic wastes. Is it mentioned a lot on TV? I never noticed. In the US, companies pay to have their products mentioned in TV shows and movies. It’s called “product placement”. They think it’s more effective than a blatant commercial to have characters in a movie just casually say, “Oh, I just love these X” and then go on with the story. Like the audience will think that the actor really likes it and not that he was paid to say that. So maybe the Funions people have been paying for a lot of product placement.

    Kids play trees in school play: Not in any school play I ever saw or was in as a kid. Does it ever happen? Maybe.

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