Male British business travellers to the United States exaggerate their Britishness by an average of 50%, claims a new study issued by Accentia, the dialect, jargon and accent monitoring group.
‘Use of ‘Jolly good show’ and ‘Cheers mate’ doubles as soon as they get off the plane, and by the time they reach their hotel, vowel sounds will have tended toward either a self-deprecating Hugh Grant, or a laddish lothario Russell Brand,’ commented author of the study, Rebecca Parkhouse.
‘They will then spend the duration of their trip engaging baristas, waitresses and receptionists in cheerful and unnecessary banter until they are told that their accent is cute, whereupon they’ll insist they have no accent, or return the compliment.'
The survey also points out that British businessmen will go out of the way to use words like 'gutted' and 'bloody knackered' and will pretend to be confused when American women mention 'chips' or 'fanny-pack', before going on to explain what they mean in Britain.
Even American words that have entered common usage in the UK, like 'truck', 'movie' and 'closet gay' will be corrected by the UK visitors to their British forms, 'lorry', 'film' and 'cupboard poof'.
‘It’s thought that the men have at some point absorbed cultural messages that American women both love the British accent, and are sexually promiscuous, and that these beliefs have been internalised to a degree that their unconscious urge to get laid while away from their families forces them to adopt a caricature of Britishness, no matter how ill-suited the scenario is for sex to ensue.’
The survey also noted that these same men adopt Americanisms on their return to the UK for very similar reasons, and with very similar lack of success.