1) People. Every kind of person, all different.
2) MY American way of life is wonderful! And it's my belief that it can be
for any Americans if he is willing to think and work and act with integrity
and honor; to take responsibility for his actions; to be compassionate and
helpful to others; to believe in one's own self and worth; to NEVER give up;
and to always maintain a sense of humor!
3) There is no "best" for me. I just love being an American even the less
pleasant aspects of our lives, which I think should be viewed as
opportunities for improvement. As Colin Powell says: "Perpetual optimism is
a force enhancer." We can do anything we set our minds to as long as we
4) Nothing that I would describe as "American." The human aspects of living
can be difficult at times no matter what one's nationality, and I am
conditioned to dealing with them, day to day.
5) The freedom. Having lived for a number of years in an Arab country, I
speak from the experience of seeing the inside (more or less) of a culture
which often seems so restricting, it appears to lock up people's minds and
throw away the key! The basic philosophies of the Arab culture seem the
total antithesis of ours. American culture encourages--almost
worships--individuality. Freedom of thought, freedom of choice, freedom of
opportunity to achieve as we are able. Or not.
6) A kind of unconscious arrogance, a tendancy to expect the rest of the
world to understand our culture and respect it. That, of course, is pretty
much universal in the world. We all react from our own familiar experience.
7) I don't like English. I LOVE it with a passion!
8) Nothing. Robert MacNeil says "English is a language without frontiers."
That is what I love. It is a language that continually changes and grows
with the need of it's users to express clearly, precisely, explicitly
anything under the sun: scientific, technological, emotional,
instructional--you name it!
9) The abundance of our vocabulary, our many words having similar but
slightly different specific meanings, our sound-alike words, our infatuation
with slang, which also lends vigor and color to English.
10) Yes, very. I have always been something of an Anglophil and have spent
some time in Britain. The differences between British and American English
are part of my fascination with the language. But differences exist within
each country also, and can change with demographic groups of all kinds:
geographical, cultural (cultures within cultures), financial,
professional--again, you name it! The intonations (louder, faster) vary in
the same way, within each country and between them. English is constantly
being adapted to its users' needs. A lovely language!
11) Buff (big and strong), fender-bender, freaky, gig, groovy, artsy-fartsy
(pompous), sawbuck (ten dollar bill), crumb-bum (worthless person),
fuzzmobile (police car). That's enough. You didn't ask for a dictionary!
Or even a glossary!
12) I am not sure if you mean a stereotypical person or word. But in either
case, because of our love of individuality, I would have to say that there
cannot be one specific example of either one. And because of our "melting
pot" society we have "types" of every nationality represented. Run your
finger down a page in a telephone book and you will find dozens of
Good luck, Cecil. This was fun. I am in my eightieth year of life and have
adored the English language the whole time, so you touched a responsive place
in my heart! Do let me know how you do. Maybe we will meet someday. I'd
Sincerely and affectionately, Patti Livingston
P S I have a nineteen-year-old granddaughter who is in the US Army and is
doing great--getting her education for a future career in criminal
investigation as well as practical experience. I do love being in touch with the