Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain is a fascinating and occasionally hilarious guide written for GIs headed to Britain—then half-ruined by war—in 1942. Subjects range from common-sense basics ("instead of railroads, automobiles, and radios, the British will talk about railways, motor-cars, and wireless") to subtle social pitfalls regarding race, sex and income. You can read it online for free; following are some choice excerpts.
The British don't know how to make a good cup of coffee. You don't know how to make a good cup of tea. It's an even swap.
The British are often more reserved in conduct than we. On a small crowded island where forty-five million people live, each man learns to guard his privacy carefully-and is equally careful not to invade another man's privacy.
If you are invited to eat with a family don't eat too much. Otherwise you may eat up their weekly rations.
The British are used to this [monetary] system and they like it, and all your arguments that the American decimal system is better won't convince them.
A British woman officer or non-commissioned officer can and often does give orders to a man private. The men obey smartly and know it is no shame. For British women have proven themselves in this war. They have died at the gun posts ... When you see a girl in khaki or air-force blue with a bit of ribbon on her tunic--remember she didn't get it for knitting more socks than anyone else in Ipswich.
The British have seen a good many Americans and they like Americans. They will like your frankness as long as it is friendly. They will expect you to be generous.
Don't be misled by the British tendency to be soft-spoken and polite. If they need to be, they can be plenty tough. The English language didn't spread across the oceans and over the mountains and jungles and swamps of the world because these people were panty-waists.
The British have theaters and movies (which they call "cinemas") as we do. But the great place of recreation is the "pub."
If you were one of the lucky Del Toro fans who got to see the At Home With Monsters show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this year I hope you found the photo-mural of his house on the way out and took a selfie there — it looks like YOU are right […]
For the past couple of years, I’ve been making the case, at HILOBROW and in the UNBORED books I’ve co-authored, that the Sixties (1964–1973, according to my non-calendrical schema) were a golden age for YA and YYA adventures. In no particular order, here’s my list of the Best YA and YYA Lit of 1967. Happy […]
Fletcher Hanks comics are incredibly violent, incredibly stupid, and incredibly beautiful. His first published work appeared in 1939, only months after the first Superman story ran, and his last work appeared in 1941. Then he disappeared.
All 53 of his batshit crazy tales have been reprinted in “Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All!: The Complete Works Of Fletcher Hanks.” They are likely to pop your eyes, blow your mind, and leave you speechless. Shortly before his death, Kurt Vonnegut wrote that, “The recovery of these treasures is in itself a major work of art.”
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]