It’s been two years since I spent a semester abroad in England, and I miss it every day. Like an ever-increasing number of Americans (and other nationalities), I have anglophilia. Okay, maybe distressed isn’t the best word. It’s not like Anglophilia is a disease or anything, just a perfectly healthy interest in England and English culture.
Of course, there are varying degrees of Anglophilia, but it’s so much more than loving British accents.
One thing an Anglophile might notice in the previous sentence is my use of the term ‘British’, which he or she knows encompasses more than just England, also extending to Wales and Scotland. because they are part of Great Britain.
An increasingly global culture with a particular interest in England in recent years due to the London Olympics, the royal wedding and now the royal baby has led to a growing appreciation of English culture and a growing number of anglophiles.
Think you or someone you know might qualify? Take a look below to see some of the ways you can recognize Anglophilia in yourself and in others.
You know how to “correctly” spell words.
It is a fairly well known fact that British English and American English differ in several ways, including punctuation and spelling. However, what makes a person an Anglophile is if they prefer British English words. My Anglophile colleagues may agree with me and use “canceled” rather than “canceled”, “theater” rather than “theater” and “pajamas” rather than “pajamas”. Just be careful not to overuse the alternate spellings. Professors and non-Anglophiles are unlikely to be so understanding.
You know Lizzie Bennet, James Bond, and Harry Potter aren’t just movie characters.
Really, you probably should know this even if you’re not an Anglophile, but it’s true that a common type of Anglophilia stems from a love of English books and authors, including William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and JK Rowling. As a former English major, I have this type of Anglophilia in spades, and I love reading English copies of novels to see what words they use that Americans might not use. A British word that is much more common in the United States today is “ginger,” which passed through the Harry Potter years. Fortunately, most Americans seem to use it just to mean redhead and don’t get its negative connotations.
You don’t understand the social stigma against eating alone.
During my stay in England, I was told on several occasions that eating alone was perfectly acceptable, and I often saw people sitting alone in cafes and pubs. In the United States, I don’t feel like eating alone is encouraged. An important staple for anglophiles? Cadbury chocolate, which is generally only available in the United States around Easter. For those who don’t want to wait that long to express their Anglophilia, you can start calling your take out “take out”.
You fondly remember the British invasion (both) or maybe just singing about Adele.
Some of my first Anglophile emotions came from my love for the Spice Girls and S Club 7, and of course, I love the Beatles. Loving British music is such a common practice that it can be strange to think that she likes English culture. But judging by how many people I’ve spoken to who don’t know who S Club 7 is, it’s not always as common as you might think (For those who don’t know, S Club 7 was a late 90s / early 2000s pop group who also had a TV show on Fox Family before it was renamed ABC Family).
You know there are more channels than the BBC.
And I don’t mean there’s BBC One, BBC Three, etc. An anglophile would also know ITV and SKY at least. TV has been a great way to decide if someone is Anglophile, and shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock and Downton abbey broke the barriers of countries by appealing to the Americans and the British. For the anglophiles who love TV among you, I would recommend watching the dramas Luther and Time, and comedies Miranda and The computer crowd for the slices of English life you dream of so much.
If you identify with any or all of the above, you may be an Anglophile. Congratulations! You should wear your new title with pride. But I also want to warn you. Being Anglophile is very different from being English. Enjoy any trip to England, but don’t put on your best British accent during your stay. Appreciating the country and the people is good enough.
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