The Jonathan Ross Show is a popular British night show where celebrities of all backgrounds discuss a variety of topics with the show’s host, Jonathan Ross. It always makes for very funny stuff, and this particular episode was certainly no exception. World-famous comedian Michael McIntyre appeared on the Jonathan Ross Show to talk about Americans and their misinterpretation of the English language, and he made some strong and comical points.
McIntyre starts out with the term “pavement.” Apparently, people in England don’t use the term “sidewalk,” and Americans are the strange ones for having to coin a term to describe the part of the ground they’re walking on. McIntyre’s explanation for this is that Americans simply aren’t smart enough to connect the word “pavement” with the section of the street designated for pedestrians to walk on, so they have to make it easier to understand for themselves, hence: sidewalk. He imagines that before Americans came up with this “sidewalk” word, they must have been getting hit by cars too frequently.
He then goes on to what the English call the “bin.” Americans however, call this the “waste paper basket.” McIntyre reasons that Americans need to know exactly what is going into their waste baskets, which in this case is paper. It isn’t enough, though, to tell Americans to put their paper in the basket, because they would throw good paper away. So there we have it: “waste paper basket.”
The idea that Americans have trouble placing things in the proper location doesn’t stop there. While the British have no trouble with the term “glasses,” it seems Americans were putting their glasses on the wrong parts of their body for too long, only to be left wondering why their eyesight was not improving. And so the word “eyeglasses” was born. From “racquetball” to “horseback riding,” the comedian continues to pick apart the amusing changes Americans have made to the English language. You can understand why any British person would have trouble finding the logic here.
Well, when you’re right, you’re right. That’s one point for the Brits. Anyone could admit that this video is very funny, even if it makes you hate the comedian a little. McIntyre could likely go on forever with his hilarious breakdown of the English (or American) language within its disconnected nations. The talented comedian even gives his best impersonation of the average American using the terms described, although his accent might not portray Americans in the most intelligent light. But hey, Americans can take a punch, right?