What people want to know about Americans in Britain

Like so many other bloggers, I’ve become obsessed with my Stats Page. To the point where I have to remind myself that yesterday’s stats won’t change, no matter how many times I check them. And having told myself that, I check them again anyway. (I use the old Stats Page, because it has yesterday’s stats. And because I hate the new one.)

But the most interesting bit of the Stats Page is what I find under Search Engine Terms. This is where I see what people really want to know about Britain. Or about Americans in Britain. Or about life, poor dears, and then they get shunted in my direction and who knows what happens to them next. Nothing good, I’m sure.

Irrelevant photo: Where cats hide on gray days

Irrelevant photo: Where cats hide on gray days

Before we get to the list, I should admit that I’ve edited out the most sensible entries. This isn’t sociology, kids. We’re trying to have fun here, so settle down in the back row. Pay attention.

I’ve left the spelling and capitalization as I found them. When they think no one’s watching, most people are as lazy about capitalization as I am. Of course, it’s possible that either search engines or WordPress turns everything into lower case and the handful of capital letters are only there because I imported them without noticing. Either way, we’re becoming nations of illiterates.

Sad, isn’t it?

Enough. Here’s the list.


british english obsessed with the letter U

tea in motion

slang used today

beech loses sand

lemon drizzle cake american measurements

guy with a camera

lemon drizzle cake notes

why does cnn anchors talk with accent

musical quavers and crotchets

manners American

musical notes in British

uk.com sex (this showed up two days in a row; don’t ask; don’t even think about it)

american chocolate chip cookies uk

what should we do to show good manners in public places in britain (twice in one day, once without the S in manners)

show good maner in public place in britain


What do we learn here?

  1. That what Americans most want to learn about Britain involves lemon drizzle cake, which, sadly, they won’t learn here since we pretty solidly established that the recipe I posted wasn’t a true lemon drizzle cake but some other kind of lemon cake in disguise. In its defense, it was measured in cups.
  2. That what people who could be from anywhere most want to know about Britain has to do with good manners and musical notation. In the case of manners, they sound a bit desperate. I feel bad about that, because I can’t think I’ve been much use on the subject. I’m not sure what subject I have been much use on. I’m nervous about being made an Authority, even if it’s by something as arbitrary as a search engine.
  3. That somebody wants to know about American manners and assumes we have some.
  4. That a lot of strange stuff gets typed into Google and that some of it gets shunted here for no apparent reason. Guy with a camera? Have the words guy and camera even showed up in my posts?

And what could we teach, if anyone who asked was listening? That CNN anchors talk with an accent because if human beings stop talking with accents they don’t talk at all. It’s like breath: no breath, no speech; no accent, no words.

And the uk.com sex query? That sounds a bit desperate, and it makes me want to know what have you lot up to when I wasn’t looking.

98 thoughts on “What people want to know about Americans in Britain

  1. I, too, keep going back to the old stats page. The new one is far too confusing to me. Stats are obsessing, and yes, the search engine terms can sometimes be so random. Although I must say that mine are pretty much focused on anything to do with the words “tall” and “height”. I get a lot of encrypted ones, so no idea what those were about, but sometimes mind boggles: “large women email”, “what height is good for singers”, “marion hossen” (who on earth he is and how this got the user onto my blog – no idea!); “the rock smile”, etc. :-)


  2. Honestly the search terms bit is the only reason I check my stats regularly. It’s always amusing. And baffling. My recent favourite was “picture of a lion ripping up a pig”. I still cannot fathom how that brought someone to my blog. I might have to write about it, maybe even draw it, just to fulfil that searchers Google terms.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes I copy and paste the search terms from my stats page into a search engine and see if I can find my blog in the same way that person did. Usually I get bored after searching through 10 pages with no hints of my actual site and I’m more puzzled than ever as to how they found me through the terms they used!


  4. What I’d like to know, of late, is what do Brits think of Downton Abbey?” Personally, it’s become my all time top series. British actors are the best and the writing is without fault–at least in my Virginian opinion.


    • Funny you should ask, because less than two hours ago a friend was saying she’d just rewatched a whole swathe of them. She loves the show. Other people I know are less impressed and talk about seeing the past through rose-colored glasses. So my unscientific report is that you get the full range of opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In my humble opinion, a lot of people are missing the main point, which is a demonstration of what happens when times begin to change fairly abruptly–where the old social order is being torn from its strong moorings to be replaced by the new. It is the irresistible force colliding with the (almost) immovable object. This will happen again to our order, and you can bet your teapot on it. :D

        Liked by 1 person

        • I would truly hate to lose my teapot, because I paid £1 for it at a boot sale and it’s beautiful. And because I smashed its predecessor to smithereens, so I’m protective about it. But I have the feeling we’re living in that sort of time, or right before it, although what’s coming next is anyone’s guess.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Bahahaha! Who would have thought Americans were so into lemon drizzle cake, anyway? What is WITH that? Actually, I just had a look at some of my own “search terms” and it is a little distressing, actually… some things are pretty self-evident, if poorly spelled. But then, there are apparently a lot of people wanting to know about “fat harry middle age wemen” (I am not, as it happens, particularly hairy. Just saying…..). And then there was someone doing a search for “my fantasy proctologic exam”. It was almost enough to put me off blogging full stop… One word: EEEEWWWWWW. Some people…


  6. Pretty sure the one about tea in motion was a baffled science student trying to understand Brownian motion. Wasn’t tea involved in that scientific discovery? Or am I confusing it with Newton and the apple? Whatever … I honestly don’t understand the complaints about the new stats page. I love it, and of course you can find yesterday’s stats, in detail! Plus consolidated them by week, month or year. No, of course I’m not obsessed with my stats page. Hmph and phooey. Although I do confess to a little game I play called “Can I get more visitors this month than last month?”


  7. Pingback: An update on search engine terms | Notes from the U.K.

  8. Pingback: Notes from the U.K. inspires a poem | Notes from the U.K.

  9. laughing. love this! in the olden days of internet etiquette, using caps was synonomous with yelling, and considered rude. and it was slower for online chatting. this is why some people
    avoid caps. spelling went by the wayside in the interests of speed, u for you, 2 for too/to/two etc. and new words were made up like, meh to express emotions easily. i love seeing how internet technology and use changes the way we communicate. I am kinda partial to no caps, made up words, and general illiteracy though. ;) Oh and i love being inconsistent, using and not using caps, and making typos. I like to envision all my old eng lit profs searching for their red pens to correct my P’s & Q’s in dire frustration because they can’t correct me! ;)


  10. Hi Ellen,
    1 thank you so much for the follow! I’m touched!
    2. I’m impressed that you have 85 comments on this post. What an engaged community. May I ask how long you have been blogging?


    • I’ve been blogging since June of last year, so eight months. (I just checked my stats page; I couldn’t remember.) I love the comments–they’re the best part of blogging.

      I meant to thank you for including my post in your linky thing but I was too rude to do it after your last comment. So: thank you. Much appreciated.


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