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Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,698

04 Jan 2018, 3:24 am

starkid wrote:
Question for people who have lived most or all of their lives outside the United States:

Do people from the U.S. seem particularly stupid to you?

I'm an American within the U.S. but I know a lot of people from overseas. my fellow Americans are less informed than I would like them to be but this is only partially their fault. The quality of news in the U.S. has declined significantly in the past 20 years and the major media outlets, such as CNN and Fox News, have started to lean more towards the tabloid side of things. I try to keep fairly informed and even I have trouble finding quality news sources and I don't think the average American even puts in half the effort.

Also a lot of people expect Americans to be more cosmpolitan than they actually are. Half of Americans live in small towns, many rural, where the most exciting thing in a 100 mile radius is the demolition derby or high school football, and from where you could drive 1500 miles and find people not much different from yourself.

So I think it's more accurate to think of a lot of Americans as villagers in a less developed country.


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Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 65
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Location: temperate zone

04 Jan 2018, 3:51 am

funeralxempire wrote:
Kiriae wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
Kiriae wrote:
However I met a particular idiot from US once. He claimed he is from US and English is his native language but he answered my question: "Did you buy it or find it somewhere?"(question about an item in online game) with a "Yes" and I couldn't get him to answer me properly.

Technically that's a perfectly valid response.

Did you x or y?
Yes. (Yes means that I did either x or y.)

While most people understand that you mean 'exclusive or' and not 'or', electronics geeks and programming geeks have a tendency to sometimes respond with an answer that is strictly correct and not the contextually correct answer.

Yeah. But he still wouldn't answer properly when I made it clear I want to know which one it was because I wanted to know either how much it was or where it dropped.

Ahh, I wouldn't assume stupid, just rude. To be fair though, you were there and I wasn't, so you have better insight into whether it was an issue of comprehension or a choice to respond inappropriately.

Have you lost your mind?

If you ask me "is it X or Y?" one time, and I say "yes! It is X,or Y!" then you could put it down to misunderstanding.

But if you repeatedly ask me "which IS it? X, or Y?" and I keep responding with "Yes! Its X or Y" then it isn't just an understandable misunderstanding. Either I would be being an idiot, or I would be being a troll. Either way you would justified in treating me like an idiot.


Joined: 1 Dec 2017
Age: 99
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Location: Victoria, Australia

04 Jan 2018, 5:27 am

It's always a shock to meet Americans who know little about the world outside the US.

And Americans seem way more brainwashed by their media than people in many countries.

However some of the world's great brains are American: for example Noam Chomsky, the world's most cited scholar. So it's a real mix IMO - the worst & the best.


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Joined: 10 Apr 2014
Age: 39
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Posts: 3,603
Location: USA

04 Jan 2018, 5:49 am

Pericles wrote:
It's always a shock to meet Americans who know little about the world outside the US.

And Americans seem way more brainwashed by their media than people in many countries.

However some of the world's great brains are American: for example Noam Chomsky, the world's most cited scholar. So it's a real mix IMO - the worst & the best.

Love the username. :wink:

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04 Jan 2018, 8:09 am

bunnyb wrote:
I don't know about stupid per se but I do think citizens of the United States often don't seem to know much about the rest of the world. When I have come across them around the world, they have often surprised me with the things they say. In Rome I overheard some expressing amazement that Italy has pizza :roll: and in a bar in turkey one guy was getting worked up because they weren't showing the World Series on the television. The barman asked him which countries were in this World Series. The American said America like the barman was stupid but I think the barman had a point. How can it be a World Series with only one country :? .
My observation has been that many seem to have lived sheltered lives rather than global ones. This link cracked me up. Apologies to more educated US'ers. ... gpc4fmlqq3

But having said all this, some of my fellow countrymen shouldn't be allowed out of the country because they behave rather badly especially in Bali :evil:
Yeah, the world series thing and the general lack of knowledge about anything outside the US is appalling.

The video in your link is hilarious. I'm also a long time fan of these two:

And yes, I realize they used the worst/funniest responses, but still...

Experienced in NYC 2003:
Nice but geographically confused store owner: "I was almost in Norway when I visited Europe."
he went on to explaining how he'd been to Bulgaria...

My mother's experience in NYC 2004:
'Bright' clerk: "I know where Norway is"
Finds a map, points to Cape Town.

An American pen pal asked me what it would cost for her to send a letter to Norway. And I would know that because....?

A friend of mine on another forum overheard this at the Louvre, right in front of the Mona Lisa:

American Woman 1*: What's everyone taking photos of?
American Woman 2*: I don't know, I think everyone's just taking photos of everyone taking photos.

This conversation between two Americans apparently actually did take place and was over heard at Heathrow.

A: This is my first time in Europe.
B: England isn't part of Europe. They didn't want to be.
A: Then what are the main countries in Europe? Germany and Portugal?
B: No, it's Germany and... Britain.
A: But isn't this Britain?
B: No, this is the United Kingdom.
A: So where is Britain on the map? It must be right next to the United Kingdom?
B: Yep.

I wouldn't say that Americans are stupid, but compared to people of countries it is "natural to compare with", they do come off as more generally ignorant about the rest of the world. An American guy even said it was a stereotype for a reason.
Of course that is not something that holds true for all Americans, same as not all Europeans or Australians are well informed.

Like this true exchange from my own country:

A colleague of a relative said that he had noticed climate changes.
My relative: “oh, how so?”
Colleague: “Yeah, in the morning of Christmas eve, I saw the sun.”
My relative: “But we never lose the sun here, so if you don’t see it [in daytime], it’s because it’s cloudy.”
Colleague: “I’ve never seen the sun on Dec 24th before, so that was due to climate change.”

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