Britain has lots of really, really,
really old stuff…
• Buildings survive because most buildings and
houses are built of stone or brick.
• History and tradition is everywhere - there are
hundreds, possibly thousands of old castles,
palaces, cathedrals and ruins.
• Many buildings and institutions are hundreds of
years older than the USA itself.
– I went to a college that was founded in 1342
• 150 years before Columbus.
• Over 400 years before the US Declaration of Independence.
When I was your age…
• There were only THREE TV stations!
– They we all like PBS
– There were no shows before school
• School uniforms…
– Yes, jacket and tie and
caps for boys
– No long pants at primary
– The school I went to was
founded in 1495
Money was really complicated
• The dollar is really simple:
– 100 cents is one dollar.
• Since 1971, the pound has been simple too:
– 100 pennies (pence) is one pound.
• But when I was a little kid….
– One pound was 20 shillings.
– 1 shilling was 12 pence.
– We had ha’pennies (half a penny) and farthings (quarter
• So a price might be £2 3s 6d (or £2 3/6)
– Read as “Two pounds, three and six”
– Or: 480 + 36 + 6 = 522 pence.
• No wonder it was changed!!!
It seemed like everyone
was on strike
• A strike is when a group of workers stops
working as a form of protest.
• We’d have power cuts because the power
workers would go on strike.
• The buses and trains often wouldn’t run.
• The firemen went on strike for a long time
– the army was used put out fires.
Some Brits you might
have heard of…
Queen Elizabeth II
Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Sir Isaac Newton.
Sir Francis Drake.
Things you might find
odd about the UK
• Until the last 15 years or so there were only 4 channels
on TV and no cable.
• We drive on the left.
• Cars are usually a lot smaller.
– but we drive them a lot faster!
• Gas is about $9 a gallon.
• There is a constitution - but it isn’t written down
• There is no national “UK Day” holiday equivalent to
Independence Day / July 4th.
• The Queen has immense power but no real power.
• There’s no Supreme Court and there’s no President.
(or, Two Nations Divided by a Common Language)
Soccer is Football.
Elevators are Lifts.
Pants are Trousers.
Gas is Petrol.
Railroads are Railways.
Aluminum is Aluminium.
Apartments are Flats.
Trucks are Lorries.
Mobile homes are
Chips are Crisps
Fries are Chips
Movies are Films.
Cars are Cars, but never
Sailboats are Yachts (or
Sports is / are simply
Hockey is Ice Hockey
Field Hockey is Hockey.
The Subway is the