10 Things Americans Do That Confuse The Rest Of The World!

10 Things Americans Do That Confuse The Rest Of The World!

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From puzzling price tags to adding chemicals
to water, these are several things Americans do that confuse the rest of the world: 10. Tipping One of the most considerably confusing things
that Americans do is tip, generally a lot more than people in other countries. Plus, figuring out who you’re supposed to
tip in the United States can be puzzling. The most common place to leave gratuity is
at a restaurant. The majority of servers in the US make a significantly
lower minimum wage than everybody else because tips are expected. So, instead of making the $7.25 per hour federal
minimum wage, they make the $2.13 per hour federal tipped minimum wage. So, people who work as waiters, waitresses,
bartenders, or in various other service positions often rely on their tips to make ends meet. If you’re wondering who else you should
tip in America, then think about whether or not the person is providing a special service. For instance, you probably wouldn’t tip
your cashier at the grocery store, but you might want to give a gratuity to somebody
who brings your groceries to your car for you. Another example is if you’re picking a pizza
up from somewhere, you most likely won’t give extra money to the cook; however, if
you order a pizza for delivery, then you would probably tip the person who brings it to your
house. 9. Water Fluoridation It’s safe to say that there are probably
many United States citizens that don’t know about this one. But, there are millions of people in America
that drink artificially fluoridated water. For those who don’t know, fluoride is a
chemical that was discovered to help prevent tooth decay. In the 20th century, the United States was
the first country to begin fluoridating water on a considerable scale. However, we aren’t the only country that
does this; other nations include Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Serbia, and Spain. But, we do have more public water fluoridation
than other places; there are more people in the US drinking fluoridated water than the
rest of the world combined. As of 2012, 64% of our citizens consume this
altered water. There is controversy over this practice for
a good reason; many believe it is wrong from political, moral, economic, and safety standpoints. Since ingesting too much fluoride can cause
adverse health effects, many people disagree with adding it to public water systems, especially
since it’s more difficult to control your daily intake that way. Plus, fluoride isn’t something we need to
survive; even what they’re trying to prevent, tooth decay, isn’t a side effect of insufficient
fluoride consumption. In addition to that, 40 to 50% of the fluoride
we ingest accumulates in our bodies. So, you can see why many places would find
this confusing… many of us Americans do too. 8. Ice In Drinks Anybody who has traveled outside of the United
States knows that in many places getting a significant amount of ice in your drinks is
considered odd. For instance, an article by Alina Simone on
The New York Times website talks about her Ukrainian roots. She writes, “…I was raised on room-temperature
beverages and always associated ice with a raft of great American stuff…My own grandmother
would cringe from a glass of ice water…”. She further discusses that most older Russian
people don’t put ice in their drinks either for various reasons, including diluting drinks,
sensitive teeth, and tradition. But, we serve a lot of ice in nearly everything
that isn’t hot tea, coffee, or chocolate. In fact, most of the time, you have to specifically
ask for them to leave the ice out if you don’t want it. But, there’s a good reason that US citizens
opt for ice almost every time they order a drink. Americans used to harvest ice during the winter
and store it through the summer months in a covered well; it was a challenging task
performed with saws and axes. A ton could cost hundreds of dollars. In the 1800s, Frederic Tudor of Boston, Massachusetts
began an ice-harvesting business. Tudor was off to a rocky start at first, but
he soon discovered new insulation techniques that kept the ice frozen for longer periods
of time. He was able to ship it to the Caribbean, where
people used it to preserve their medicine and food. The demand for ice in America grew as well. Tudor even began suggesting that people use
it to cool their drinks… that’s one smart guy. Soon enough, US citizens grew accustomed to
chilled beverages, and ice became an essential part of everyday life. Frederic earned the nickname “Ice King,”
and his legacy lives on… In the US, anyway. 7. Month Day Year Another thing people do in the United States
that confuses the rest of the world is writing our dates in a “month/day/year” format
instead of writing them in order from the smallest to largest units. Most people don’t even have a legitimate
answer for this besides, “it’s what we’ve always done.” However, if you think about it, it makes sense
to some degree. A simple explanation is that we write the
date how we say it. For example, we would say “September 25th,
2018” instead of “the 25th of September, 2018.” Except for the case of Independence Day, which
we also call the Fourth of July… another confusing thing to add to the list. However, another argument is that we write
and say the month before the day to go from general to specific, and since the year is
often assumed, it is stated last if at all. In many cases, the month is the most important
piece of information because it allows for an approximation. For example, if somebody asked when Madden
19 came out, and you said “August” right before a loud horn blocked out the rest of
what you were saying… they would still know an approximate date. However, if you started the sentence with
“10th” before the horn sounded… well, they still wouldn’t have a clue when it
was released. Look, we might be grasping at straws here,
but we’re still trying to make sense of these things ourselves. 6. Sales Tax This is one thing that frustrates many people
when they visit the United States. They go to a store, grab an item, bring it
up to the register, and they’re told it’s a higher price! But, don’t worry guys, this also makes Americans
mad because it varies incredibly from state to state. No, businesses generally aren’t trying to
fool you by placing a lower price tag, the issue stems from our sale tax. Since each state’s sales tax rates and laws
are different, it makes it difficult to put the total price on every item in a store. It’s even more difficult for large retail
companies, like Walmart and Target, because they sometimes advertise nationwide prices
on their commercials or promotional emails; therefore, they can’t include a sales tax
when it changes in every state. Sometimes, tax changes from city to city as
well. Plus, not every item is taxable. For example, there are several states that
tax the food you order in a restaurant but won’t tax the food you buy to eat somewhere
else. This is the leading theory for why sales tax
isn’t included in the original price. Of course, if businesses spent a significant
amount of time determining the final price, it could technically be done. But, since it’s so complicated, it’s often
easier for companies to add it on at the end of a sale. 5. America Something else Americans do that baffles the
rest of the world is just that: we refer to ourselves as Americans. However, it isn’t only United States citizens
that use the general term; people in numerous other countries accept the classification
as well. The controversy stems mostly from citizens
of other nations located within the American continents. Since they are from the Americas too, they
think it’s wrong for us to claim the term “American” exclusively for the United
States. But, the reason it is commonly accepted comes
from the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, which refers to our country
as “the thirteen united [sic] States of America.” Saying “American” was a simple way to
refer to our citizens by shortening the name. Plus, the term was used in various official
documents. It is written in the Federalist Papers from
the late 1780s, and George Washington said, “[t]he name of American, which belongs to
you in your national capacity,” during his farewell address in 1796. It was used widely throughout the 18th century
as well; so, other terms didn’t seem to stick, including Usonian, United-Statesian,
and US-American. 4. Don’t Use Metric Another significant thing the rest of the
world questions about the United States is why we still use the customary system, which
is often incorrectly referred to as the Imperial system; the two have common roots, but they
are different. Well, Americans initially adopted this system
because we needed standardized measurements, and metric was considered atheistic at the
time. Plus, France didn’t invite US leaders to
Paris for the metric system unveiling because they were upset about our connections with
England. But, the more important question is why haven’t
we converted yet? One reason was that nobody wanted to spend
the time or the money to do so. For example, NASA says that changing the metric
system “would be over $370 million.” However, they pointed out that not converting
has had repercussions as well; they lost $125 million when their Mars Climate Orbiter was
destroyed after a mix-up with US Customary and metric units. Another reason is that the United States Metric
Board, which was established to promote metrication, was abolished in 1982 under Ronald Reagan;
it wasn’t considered to have much impact regarding furthering metric system use in
the United States, and American citizens notedly ignored the Metric Board’s efforts. Lastly, despite these setbacks, the International
System of Units, or modern metric system, has been adopted in several ways by the United
States. For instance, on all of our rulers, centimeters
and millimeters are included alongside inches and feet. So, although we haven’t converted entirely
to metric, the units are widely used. 3. Single Color Bills Many countries have currencies that come in
all different colors and sizes. However, here in the United States, all of
our bills are the same size and pretty much the same color. Well, let’s talk about the history of our
paper currency for a second. When the federal government needed to supply
money for the Civil War in 1861, they began making paper money. They were originally called “greenbacks”
because… you guessed it! They were green on the back. The reasoning for the color was to prevent
counterfeiting; photographs wouldn’t be possible since they only came in black and
white at the time. Although our paper money has remained green
overall, some other hues have been added to increase counterfeit prevention… just not
as much as other nations. The reason our money is small is that the
government was trying to save some cash, and they shrunk it down… Yes, the pun was intended. As far as why the bills have stayed about
the same size and nearly the same color over the years is somewhat of a mystery. Maybe it would cost a lot to change it. Perhaps it’s because it seems to work as-is. 2. Drinking Age This is something that confuses Americans
as much as the rest of the world… probably because many of us need to brush up on our
history. But, anyway, why is our legal drinking age
21 instead of 18 like it is in many other countries? Well, the age was chosen in 1984 when the
National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed. Before this was officially established, the
minimum age in some states varied from 18 to 20 years old. However, 21 became the legal age once Prohibition
ended in 1933. This age was the standard until the 26th Amendment
was passed in 1971, which lowered the voting age to 18 years old. When this happened, people started questioning
why the drinking age shouldn’t be reduced as well. Then, in the early to mid-1970s, several states
changed it back to 18, 19, and 20 years old. Many people believed that if somebody was
old enough to vote and be drafted for war, then they should also be able to drink legally. However, when younger people began consuming
alcohol, traffic accidents increased. So, the 1984 act said that if states didn’t
raise the age to 21, then the federal government would withhold highway funds; thus, all states
reinstated 21-year age minimum by 1988. 1. Soccer VS Football One of the most confusing things Americans
do is call football “soccer.” However, the word “soccer” didn’t even
come from the United States… surprise, surprise! It came from England. According to Professor Stefan Szymanski, the
term was originally used to differentiate between the types of football because there
wasn’t only one set of rules. Back in the 1800s, rugby and football were
variations of each other. By 1871, however, they were called Rugby Football
and Association Football respectively. Around the same time in America, a third version
of the sport was developing… what we now call “American Football.” Then, in England, the terms “soccer” and
“rugger” were created to tell Association and Rugby Football apart. Szymanski cites a 1905 letter to The New York
Times, which stated, “It was a fad at Oxford and Cambridge to use “er” at the end of
many words, such as foot-er, sport-er, and as Association did not take an “er” easily,
it was, and is, sometimes spoken of as Soccer.” However, people in Britain began to dislike
the word “soccer” and began saying “football” again. But, the National Football League is a big
deal in the United States, so we stuck to calling it “soccer.” Things are less confusing for us this way.

15 thoughts on “10 Things Americans Do That Confuse The Rest Of The World!”

  1. I didn't know the word 'soccer' actually came from england. These are confusing but America is also the most entertaining country on the planet and that's coming from a Brit. Great video, thanks.

  2. Where I'm from I think it was in the 70's (very young) the drinking age and drivers licence were 21 of age. When they change the age for both, my sisters and friends cheered especially for the drivers to age 16. Then few years later we had to be 19 and Quebec 18 (or vice versa) for drinking.
    I can't believe I'm going to this, they should bring the drinking age back to 21. Just saying (think it would be safer for all).

  3. Always remember to tip your stripper, lol,, they don't get paid. 100% of their income comes from those bills you're putting int their thong. =P

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