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back to article Microsoft issues manual on Brits to Cambridge exports

The US Army prints one to acclimatise troops serving in Britain instructing corn-fed GIs on how to avoid going about insulting HM The Queen. Now, Microsoft has produced a field manual for US staff serving at its Cambridge research facility on the etiquette, foibles and slang found in our British Isles. Redmond is reported to …

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Headmaster

Hmm

Now if they could just stop insulting our intelligence with some of their product and marketing moves lately.

But then I guess that's not limited to affecting us Brits, unfortunately.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm

Have they included a world map so that they can find us?

And yes, paragraph 67, 'not everyone knows or has met the Queen'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm-what about immersion therapy?

A night out on a cold March Saturday night in Newcastle would be the perfect immersion into British culture.

Those that stay and do not book their flight home immediately after this experience are worthy and welcome to stay.

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Anonymous Coward

It's alright, no matter what they put in that manual we will all be able to dazzle the novice American with our furious and wonderful mix of slang and swearing, simultaneously insulting the target without them realising.

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I can't remember whether Bill Bryson was commenting on British place name pronunciations, or English pub names, but he did note "at the very least, it should confuse foreigners".

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We contacted Microsoft for a response. Its spokesperson told El Reg: "I'm afraid we have nothing to share on this at this time."

You forgot the "Have a nice day!"

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g e
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Facepalm

Classic Yanklish

Surprised there's no mention of driving on the left or that you shouldn't confuse 'fanny' with 'arse' unless you want most English chicks (that you'd take home to yo momma, leastways) to give you a ruddy good punch up the bracket on First Night. [Edit: or 'arse' with 'ass' for that matter though the four-legged friend may be more forgiving, at least]

Sounds like they've been drinking from the Dick van Dyke water fountain. I look forward to a full leaked version in due course.

Mind you I did used to tell directions-to-the-castle-asking US tourists that they should come to the Public Hanging on Sunday as hanging is "still a local by-law in this town, and has a great turnout".

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Pint

Re: Classic Yanklish

I worked in a bar in north Somerset close to a riding stable where most of the visiting girls were American, they came into this little bar in a decent size group because they were warned off from the village local, due to er.. the locals.

One of the more modest but attractive girls came up to the bar and by way of normal conversation said " I have such a sore fanny I have been hard at it all day" I said I'd bring the drink over and clear up a UK-US word confusion in a moment.

I still savor those few minutes, you only get one chance to explain something like that.

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Re: Classic Yanklish

Actually - depending on the riding style, saddle and behaviour of the horse, it could still be the UK fanny that is sore after a day on horseback.

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Re: Classic Yanklish

I have a friend who worked in New York a while ago, on being issued with her work Blackberry she was advised chirpily "If you don't have any pockets, just clip it to our fanny - thats what I do" by the person showing her around.

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Coat

Re: Classic Yanklish

Surprised there's no mention of driving on the left

Not a problem in Station Road, there's the station car park if you can beat the commuters or increasingly distant short term car parks. They'll be walking the last mile anyway.

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Pint

Re: Classic Yanklish

An Edinburgh taxi driver told me that when he got fed up of people asking if "THAT" was the castle, pointing to the great big castle looking thing on the hill, he would reply "No, that's a housing estate for poor people, the castle can't be seen in the city centre".

Pint because one will always keep you sane.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Classic Yanklish

Two nations separated by a common language.

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Anonymous Coward

And just don't even dare...

... to try and cadge a cigarette by saying you "want to bum a fag..."

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Meh

Re: And just don't even dare...

"Smoking a fag" has a distinctly dark connotation in the ole US of A.

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Anonymous Coward

Alas, if such a document exists it is well hidden... at least from UK contractors. I might ask around and see if any of the recent transplantees got a copy...

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Oh dear... before criticising MS's efforts, TheRegister should at least post its own guide to Living in Blighty, so we readers can compare efforts (or rather, just have a giggle).

Pastie:

Eng.: n pastry based snack, often containing beef. Best sampled from a bakery rather than from a gas station.

US: n device for covering a stripper's nipple.

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Headmaster

@Dave 126: "Pastie"

In the UK we spell that "Pasty", and as for it being a "snack", you obviously haven't eaten a proper one, which should be so voluminous that its consumption leaves you unable to move without groaning!

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Pint

Re Pasties

"and as for [a pasty] being a "snack", you obviously haven't eaten a proper one,

You forget this advice is aimed at a race who view a two pound burger as a "snack".

Beer, flat and warm, as it should be.....

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Re: Re Pasties

Hmmm, okay, 'snack' wasn't the best choice of word- 'mobile meal' is more appropriate. At the risk of enraging some readers, I pick up about twenty pasties from Barnstaple every time I pass the town, for people in my local further North. As a bonus, it pisses off my Cornish mates. Though in Devon, this bakery in Barnstaple was voted as producing the best pasties in the South West.

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Unhappy

Re: Re Pasties

"Though in Devon, this bakery in Barnstaple was voted as producing the best pasties in the South West."

Well, that often doesn't take much, given the enthusiasm commercial pasty makers have for a vast excess of thick dry shortcrust pastry enclosing a few bits of gristle, some nice big lumps of fat, some vegetables (mainly near-raw onion) in a weak salty gravy.

The idea of the pasty is sound, with a very blokey appeal: "well, its like a pie, but you don't have no pie dish, and you don't use cutlery, and there's nothing very healthy about it". Sadly the execution is dismal far too often.

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Mmmm. Proper beef pasty. Philp's from Hayle/Helston (always get it wrong and drive to the wrong town) in Cornwall is best, in my opinion (they will post and they can freeze for 3 months, but I've never had even 48 last that long in my house!). Order early if collecting, the queue gets LONG.

A proper pasty has STEAK in it. Not mush, mince and junk, but proper chunks of soft, juicy steak. Couple them with decent potatoes and other fillings and it's a struggle to hold it in the traditional manner (one hand, mining-dust on fingers optional). And it's a *MEAL*. It' s basically a steak meal in a single device.

Ideally, phone up Philp's in advance, collect from there, keep them wrapped, drive to scenic location overlooking sea / lake, they will still be PIPING hot 20-30 minutes later with a cool drink to enjoy sitting on the local coastline.

Then off to Trago Mills in Falmouth (not the others, which are "just" shops) for spending lots of money.

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Happy

'And it's a *MEAL*. It' s basically a steak meal in a single device.'

If Apple ever move over here..... iPasty patent ALERT!

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Flame

It's not a fucking gas station.

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MJI
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The local ciders are worth drinking as well.

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MJI
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Joke

It is when I fill up

Liquified Petrolium Gas - Propane

Still call them petrol stations though, or LPG stations where no petrol.

Oh and will tractor* owners keep their tractors out of the LPG area, I am so fed up of waiting for them to finish shopping.

* Diseasel engined cars (Borrowed from Rev W Awdry).

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Re: It is when I fill up

That's another thing to confuse your average Merkin.

They pay before they fill up. We pay after.

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Re: It is when I fill up

"They pay before they fill up. We pay after."

And though I think that's a sad indictment on how much they trust people, I actually prefer this method and a lot of UK **PETROL** stations support it. I drive up, get out of my car, stick my card in (after checking the slot!), pump petrol, get back in my car, drive off.

No queueing behind the old granny who needs the man to come open her petrol cap (had that the other week, and the guy refused to leave the counter even with other staff present, so I had to volunteer), no waiting behind the screaming kids on a trip trying to buy every comic and sweet known to man, no being stuck behind the guy who can't work out where to put his PIN or what number pump he used, and no dawdling behind the guy who's buying half the shop, because the local supermarket is shut, but no petrol.

It's the one thing I actually think is better the other way around (and would stop "drive-offs" and turn them into confirmed card frauds instead). Now if we could just find a way to get people to move their cars clear of the pumps as soon as they've pumped (because waiting for a free pump, or waiting for some guy to move his badly-parked car at the pump so you can get out, when you could have paid, pumped and driven off before he even comes out the shop is a pain), then I'd be a happy man. Oh, and a few pence off per litre would go down nicely as well.

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@Lee D Philp's are good, but Ann's Pasties in the Lizard are probably the best you can buy and as good as home-made. She'll deliver too!

Definitely steak, and NO flippin' carrots and peas! Are you listening, Greggs?

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Coat

"The local ciders are worth drinking as well."

Indeed. A light mildly alcoholic form of fermented apple juice which you can drink all day without major effects.

Just popping down to the local A&E.

I think business is about to pick up.

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Re: Re Pasties

Beer, flat and warm, as it should be.....

It should not be warm! It should be at cellar temperature - ca.56F (~13.5C).

The important thing is that it should not be such as to numb the taste buds.

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Pint

This is all they need.

I mirrored a copy of one posted YEARS ago...

http://www.eridanilinux.demon.co.uk/ukus.html

(And, I later discovered that for about a year the author was one of my colleagues at $ORKPLACE[-1].)

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Anonymous Coward

Scenic Location!

Bah! Pasties taste best when they've been dropped down the mineshaft!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "The local ciders are worth drinking as well."

"Indeed. A light mildly alcoholic form of fermented apple juice which you can drink all day without major effects."

..as someone once said.. "mostly apples".

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Pint

Re: "The local ciders are worth drinking as well."

"..as someone once said.. "mostly apples"."

Many locally produced ciders are excellent. The dirty secret big cider manufacturers don't want you to know - there's little or almost no apple juice in their products. It's just flavoured fermented sugar syrup, made in the shortest time possible (about a week). If it doesn't say 100% apple juice on the label then it won't be.

Note, I make traditional cider, 100% apple juice, see handle...

Icon - now I'm thirsty,

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Joke

Oh dear... before criticising MS's efforts, TheRegister should at least post its own guide to Living in Blighty, so we readers can compare efforts (or rather, just have a giggle).

Pastie:

Eng.: n pastry based snack, often containing beef. Best sampled from a bakery rather than from a gas station.

US: n device for covering a stripper's nipple.

Should also warn may also contain horse/pork/or other unidentified meats.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pay At Pump

They have these at my local supermarket station, and to be honest by the time you've entered your PIN, waited for the machine to do it's stuff, and issue you with your points total at the end, I often find it's quicker to walk into the shop and get the skilled human to do the same thing in a matter of seconds.

Progress....

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Re: It is when I fill up

> (and would stop "drive-offs" and turn them into confirmed card frauds instead)

Here in BC, Canada, it is now the law, after some very high-profile cases of people being killed at the "gas station" while trying to rob fuel without paying.

When I got here (from the UK), I found it a bit weird, but to be honest, I got used to it and on my trips back to England, paying at the kiosk seems a bit quaint in comparison.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "The local ciders are worth drinking as well."

"Many locally produced ciders are excellent. The dirty secret big cider..." [SNIP]

Well done, sir. You missed the point entirely. You win zero Internets :)

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Vic
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> Philp's from Hayle/Helston

Yep. I second that suggestion. They're bloody luvverly.

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

There's an MP3 version as well

It's narrated by a Geordie with Indian heritage.

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Pub Guide

Reminds me of this guide to pubs written for foreigners. Quite amusing.

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Re: Pub Guide

It immediately made me of this guide to speaking with a "British accent" by Tracy Goodwin.

Warning: Avoid drinking coffee (or cawfeh) while watching.

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Re: Pub Guide

Who is she kidding? Not where I live!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pub Guide

Ha, the best bit is if you watch the "pronunciation, not listening" episode first where she says "that dialect is authentic" and then she teaches you to sound like a cock.

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"fish and chips, a national treat"

Things must be desperate in Blighty if fish and chips are a treat.

Why did Microsoft even bother? Half the fun of moving to another country is exploring the differences.

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Headmaster

"Fish and chips, national dish mate."

I hope there is a free DVD of "The 51st State" glued to the back of the manual.

An educationally valuable movie!

"You can still go to France, mate, it's not too far, it's full of pricks and they hate fucking yanks as well!"

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Happy

Re: "Fish and chips, national dish mate."

Actually this might serve as suitable orientation material.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063534/?ref_=sr_1

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"The guide writer's research for this seems to have extended no further than the boozer from My Fair Lady."

As their local is 'The Flying Pig' he might not be too wide of the mark.

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Pint

Flying Pig

Sorry old chap, but the Flying Pig is going to be knocked down soon, plus when the new place by the station (it is already licensed) that would probably be the local. They would also probably go for the Devonshire Arms or the Great Northern. However, if they fancy a proper local there is always the Cambridge Blue.

Beer - well I used to be in the licensing trade in Cambridge.

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