Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

Dear American…

Greetings. I would like to inform you, in case it hasn’t been previously brought to your attention, that not all of us in this land of The (inter)Net reside from whence you connect from.

I raise this point because many a time, and forgive me for generalising (generalizing) (again), I have been told where someone is from based on a 2-digit zip code, or given a ‘random’ location by someone obviously in the USofA who obviously assumes I know what CA or TX means (ok that second one is easy) or where ‘such and such is’ when they don’t include State and Country at the end. On a recent occasion I sarcastically (I’m sorry, if you’re American you won’t get that) asked where a person on a forum on an international website meant by ‘Bay View’ and someone replied on their behalf, still giving only the State, but not the Country. I mean, I live thousands of miles from the US but I could probably cycle to ‘Bay View in less than ten minute, I kid you not, I live near the sea.

It doesn’t stop with people on the internet, no. This week a helped a client set up their new Amazon Echo, a clever device that allows you to talk to it and request music or audio books to be played… or even ask what the weather is like. The irony here was that the setup procedure entailed giving the App the country where the owner resides, yet when we asked for a weather report on the local area it managed to find a place in America of the same name (that we didn’t even know existed), and assumed that’s where we meant. Oh and it gave the temperature in Fahrenheit. We laughed.

Really I think this is poor show on Amazon’s part, who sell this expensive (250-odd-quid in our currency) product to a UK market but can’t be bothered to put some effort into to put some “regional observations” into play. Really it began with the introduction video being presented by an American.

These computer regional idiosyncrasies obviously don’t begin with Amazon, many of us in the UK have been putting up with with ‘Favorites’ lists (we spell it Favourites) and ‘Color Pickers’ (we spell it Colour) since Microsoft gave us Internet Explorer and Paint back in the ’80s and ’90s. Actually, with Windows 10 they managed to make a step backwards by putting the date in ‘your’ format (month before day) in the calendar, even though United Kingdom is specified during installation, one then has to go into Regional Settings to correct it to Day-Month-Year.

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One comment on “Dear American…

  1. declutteringthestuff
    19 February, 2017

    GUILTY!! Maybe not directly towards you – we all write assuming we are interacting with people we would normally speak with. It isn’t meant to be insulting for most of us. Thank you for reminding readers that everyone isn’t from the United States. Some one recently mentioned the end of summer vacation and I was very confused, until I saw they were from New Zealand.

    Now to the business stuff – if you must select a country, then the device/program should be programmed for that region.

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This entry was posted on 18 February, 2017 by in Computers, Internet, Technology and tagged , , , , , , .
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