[Originally posted September 2010]

The U.S. and the U.K.  Two stupid countries divided by a common ocean.  No, that’s not it.  Well, it IS it, but it’s also lame joke ripped from Eddie Izzard.  No, of course I meant “divided by a common language.”

In any case, I recently saw a collection of retarded signs held up by even more retarded Tea Party activists.  This moment of brilliance caught my eye:

If West Virginia’s answer to F. Scott Fitzgerald is going to hold up a sign insisting on English being the medium of instruction and communication in the U.S., then I want to see the inclusion of some good ol’ proper English words into the American vernacular.

That’s right: it’s time we spoke some goddamn English.

As long as I’ve lived in the U.S. I’ve been ridiculed for using certain words built into my vocabulary from my colonial upbringing.  I don’t even think about it, these words are there, they just come out.  But to the American ear, they seem to come out wrapped in a thick coating of pretention and batter-fried unwitting self-righteous mockworthiness (that’s right, I just made that word up – suck it, Sarah Palin).

Fuck it, you wanna make stupid demands about speaking English?  Fine, I’m gonna insist on a few demands of my own.

Terms for immediate inclusion into the American vernacular:

  1. Bollocks: What a great word.  It literally means “testicles”, and you use it to say something’s crap.  ”What a bunch of bollocks the Jets are.”  ”The ending of No Country For Old Men was complete bollocks.”  See, it works.  It feels great to say it.  Use it.  Use it often.
  2. Cheers: It’s a superb phrase.  Use it to say ‘hi’, use it to say ‘goodbye’ (a bit like “aloha” but less likely to get you punched in the face for being an imbecile), use it to say ‘thanks’, use it when it’s the only polite thing you can think of saying if you’re sharing a conversation with a nitwit.
  3. Brilliant: It’s flattering, it’s a nice, refreshing change to calling everything “cool”.  Aren’t you kinda sick of “cool” by now?  I know I am.
  4. Rubbish: See bollocks.  Freshen up your dialogue with a little rubbish, why don’t you.
  5. Pear-shaped: I love this one.  What a great alternative to saying “it’s gone straight to hell” or “it’s completely fucked up”.  It takes a bit of work to make sense of this one – if you imagine a perfect circle as being a good thing, then going “pear-shaped” is when it’s gone crap.  Pear-shaped.  What kind of a loon came up with that one.
  6. Fortnight: A personal favorite.  This one has real utility.  It means two fucking weeks.  That’s it, it doesn’t mean anything else.  Two weeks.  It’s way fucking better than shitheads who use bi-weekly or bi-monthly.  I can never tell if bi-weekly or bi-monthly means two weeks.  What’s the “bi” in reference to?  The frequency or the time period?  ”Fortnight”?  Never a doubt.  Everybody start using fortnight today.
  7. Wanker: Somehow it just feels more polite than calling someone a “jerkoff”, even if the sentiment remains unchanged.  Plus, I’ll bet you can say it front of kids.
  8. Shite: Same reason as wanker.  ”The Mets are shite.”  See, you get the idea, but I’ll bet you’re nowhere as ticked off as if I hadn’t added the “e” at the end.

And while I’m at it, here are some terms that should NEVER make it into the American vernacular.  If you do use any of these, you’re pretty much an asshole who’s trying too hard and you probably deserve to be throat-kicked:

  1. Crikey: Thanks for doing us all a HUGE favor, stingray.
  2. Pukka: Seriously, it’s a stupid word.  It sounds stupid, it’s spelled stupid, and even when you say it sounds anything but complimentary.  Stop using this stupid word, poms.
  3. Arse: Sorry, but this is way too much work.  The terms “ass” and “asshole” are already in a good place – they flow off your tongue, they’re almost melodic.  The gutteral “arse” sounds like a drunk German ordering caviar.  There’s no need for it: just stick with “ass”.

Honorable mention:

Twunt: This is a gem, first heard it from a buddy of mine, Ian.  No idea if he invented it (doubtful), but it was so good, so obvious that I’m personally a bit disappointed I didn’t think of it.  A beautiful blend of two words that register about a 4 on the vulgar scale in the U.K., but about a 900 in the U.S.

And that’s pretty much all I’ve got right now.  I guess in the end, I don’t give a shit if people get up in arms about whether or not you need to speak English in the U.S.  I just want to use some of these good ol’ (proper) English words without a lot of grief for it.  ’Cause that’s bollocks.