10 Lies You Were Taught About The UK

10 Lies You Were Taught About The UK 10 We all love tea Tea It’s the drink that built Britain

Whether you’re exploring a new continent, watching cricket, or just sitting around watching Bake Off: a cup of tea is always the perfect drink for any situation At least that’s what we think But unfortunately, that opinion is getting less and less common Tea has already been usurped as Britain’s most popular drink In 2017, 61% of Brits listed coffee as their favorite drink

Which in Britain is basically a crime It’s not even close either Coffee dominates tea with Brits guzzling 21 billion cups of the black stuff a year That’s more than double the 874 million cups of tea we drink

What’s more, tea drinking itself is in decline Since just 2010, the number of cups of tea drunk in the UK has fallen 19% So next time you see a British person, don’t offer them a tea Pour them a coffee 9 It always rains People seem to think that Brits love nothing more than talking about the weather

Which is strange because they also seem to think that Britain only has one type of weather: rain But, while we’d all like a few more sunny days, Britain doesn’t really face that much rain According to the Met Office, which monitors weather in the UK, 71% of days in Britain are rain-free Not only that, but we Brits only have to endure the world’s 45th highest level of rainfall That’s a full 20 places below the US at 25th

And in case you’re wondering, Columbia has the highest rainfall of any country The misconception likely comes from the reality that British weather is often unpleasant Our winters last longer than America’s And experts believe that global warming is set to push Britain into even longer, colder winters So it might not rain all that much

But it’s still cold and dark Not a great win for British weather 8 We all speak like the Queen Imagine a British accent Unless you thought of a cartoonish Dick Van Dyke cockney accent, you’re probably picturing a super-posh Downton Abbey type Of course, not that many people actually speak in such a posh manner

The truth is that the UK has a wide variety of accents, including Newcastle’s Geordie, Liverpool’s scouse and, unfortunately, Welsh As well as this, received pronunciation, or as you probably know it “Queen’s English”, is dying out A study from the University of Glasgow has found that all British accents, including the delightfully posh, are being wiped out and replaced with a homogeneous London sound That’s because so many people move to London, and London has such an influence on British media and culture, that the accent has spread out across the country Even the Queen doesn’t speak like the Queen anymore

Studies into her majesty’s speaking patterns and accent, because apparently there’s nothing more important to research in Britain than what an old woman in a hat sounds like, have found that her voice has become gradually “less posh” since 1952 7 British Dentistry If you’ve ever watched Austin Powers or The Simpsons, you probably think that the British have terrible teeth The stereotype likely dates back to World War Two, when many American soldiers would have been posted in the UK Back then, Britain had no National Health Service, and stories of poor families removing their rotting teeth out of convenience were widespread But nowadays, British teeth aren’t worse than American ones

In fact, they’re better Don’t take it from us though 2015 research by UCL and Harvard has found that the average American adult is missing 731 teeth Comparatively, the average Brit was missing only 6

97 teeth Perhaps that difference is because the British tend to take more care of their dental hygiene While only 40% of Americans visited their dentist in the last year, 70% of UK citizens did 6 We love a drink If you’re ever met a British tourist abroad… well… we’re sorry Over the years, trashed tourists and lashed lager lads have helped give Britain a reputation as a place with a serious binge drinking problem

But the reality is that binge drinking is dying out in the UK In 2005, the Office of National Statistics found that 29% of Brits went binge drinking at least once a week Less than a decade later in 2013, the same organization reported that number had dropped to just 18% That’s a pretty big drop 18% puts us lower than France, Germany and Australia in number of binge drinkers And the problem seems even smaller when you consider that for a night to qualify as a “binge”, you only have to drink 8 units, or 3 and a half pints of beer

Yes, we like a drink But we don’t all spend Friday night chucking insane amounts of booze down our throats 5 The UK is like London In 2016, a record 36 million people went to the UK on holiday Of this wave of tourists, over 19 million visited London On top of this, while international tourism to London has been booming ever since the 2012 Olympics, tourism to other parts of Britain has been gradually falling, dropping 4% since 2008

So perhaps it’s not that surprising that when people think of the UK, their only frame of reference is the capital But the reality is, London differs hugely from the rest of Britain Demographically, Londoners tend to be far younger than other Brits with an average age of 29 in London, compared to 40 nationwide They’re also more international, with 9% of Britain’s residents being born abroad, but a whopping 37% of London’s London also enjoys more money than the rest of the country

On average Londoners earn 29% more than the rest of Britain And politically, London is further to the left than the nation of Britain as a whole London is great Well, expect the Tube But just don’t go there expecting to get a balanced view of Britain as a whole

4 Guns are illegal in the UK If you’ve ever been forced into an angry debate about gun control, you’ll know that two things always happen One, it ruins Christmas dinner And two, Britain’s gun laws get brought up Whether you’re pointing out that the UK hasn’t had a mass shooting in years or that we still find ways to finish each other off without firearms, the chances are you’ve thrown the UK’s strict weapons laws in your opponent's face But here’s the thing: you can totally get a gun in the UK

Though handguns were banned in 1997, shotguns and rifles are completely legal to buy It’s even possible to purchase a sniper rifle and an uzi Of course, buying these weapons isn’t as simple as placing an order on Amazon Prime To obtain a gun in the UK means passing a criminal background check, being interviewed by the local authority AND having the police visit your property On top of which, qualifying for a gun requires you to have a valid reason, like being part of hunting club

But the point still stands – yes, you can get an Uzi in the UK 3 We’re all super smart Let’s be honest Things just sound smarter in the British accent Yes that accent may be dying out, but in the meantime at least we Brits get to enjoy being automatic super geniuses Right? Well, despite what Hollywood would have you believe, Britain isn’t a country of criminal masterminds

In fact, we’re not even in the top 5 According to the IQ Research Foundation, Britain has only the 7th highest average brain power in the world Yes, that’s still higher than the US But places like Hong Kong, Japan, and China all come in above the UK However, IQ is only way of measuring intelligence

In terms of average education level, Britain ranks a lowly 21st That’s waaaay below the US at 14th, and far from the world’s most educated country: South Korea So next time you’re looking for a devilishly smart villain to antagonize Bruce Willis or Tom Cruise, maybe look outside the UK and over to Asia 2 Stiff Upper Lip Though the idea of stoicism is originally an Ancient Greek one, the concept of the stiff upper lip has been inextricably connect to British culture since the Victorian age Famous examples, such as these guys not letting a little thing like the Blitz get in the way of their reading, helped reinforce the idea that plucky Brits don’t show their emotions, even in devastating conditions

The idea that most Britons are so emotionally reserved has probably always been exaggerated After all, there are reports of widespread public weeping after the deaths of Admiral Nelson or Lord Byron, both in the height of the Victorian era But what’s certain is that it isn’t true anymore According to a survey by Tilburg University in The Netherlands, British men cry an average of 30 times a year What’s more almost half, 44%, of these emotional outbreaks were in public

Women cried more than twice as often as men, but were less likely to do so in front of other people Another study, this time into the crying habits of infants, found similar results Of all the countries tested, British babies spent the second most time blubbing, behind only Canada We even cry more than more stereotypically emotional countries like Italy and the US 1 British food is terrible Following World War Two, Britain kept its emergency policy of rationing in place for years

People were forced to subsist on small portions of meat, mounds of homegrown carrots and potatoes, and the occasional egg It wasn’t until 1954 that this food limiting was lifted, and Brits started to enjoy a more varied diet And while nutritionists believe that this small but balanced diet actually made people healthier, it’s also believed to be where our reputation for boring cuisine comes from But the thing is, we’ve come a long way since then Britain now has the 4th, 5th, and 9th highest ranked restaurants in the world

Immigration and multiculturalism have allowed people to take the best elements of different diets and blend them into a unique and improved cuisine Anyone who’s ever eaten Tikka Masala has enjoyed this cultural fusion And globalization has allowed us year-round access to foods previously exotic foods like bananas Hell, our food is so good now that 25% of us are obese from shoving too much of it down our top holes And while we’re debunking British food myths, the UK’s favorite dish isn’t fish and chips

It’s actually curry So, that was 10 Lies You Were Taught About The UK Which British beliefs have been shattered for you? Did we leave any misconceptions about the UK off this list? Let us know in the comments below

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