The American poseur who wants to pass himself or herself off as a British needs to learn that though both countries share a common language, many of their words are not so commonly shared. You already probably know that a TV in England is called a telly and that an apartment is known as a flat, but there are many other subtle differences between the American and British versions of English. The poseur cannot go far on the continent using American slang in place of proper British jargon.
You may call your suitcases baggage when you step onto the plane in New York, but when you get to London, the poseur must learn to refer to his collection as luggage only. Even if you do already call it luggage, make sure you don’t forget and refer to it in that stinky American way as baggage.
If you say that you are attending a university in England, your status as a poseur will be revealed. The difference is subtle but direct: lose the article. You attend university or you graduated from university. Never insert that “an” when referring to your college.
British candy is very sweet and that is why British candy is regularly referred, regardless of the type, as sweets. When you taste British candy for the first time your teeth may feel like they are about to fall out. That sensation will pass, but only if you avoid buying sweets to take home.
The poseur guide is here to inform you of the little things and one of the little things is how you refer to gas. You do no gas up your car; you fill it up with petrol. And when the poseur gets used to referring to gasoline as petrol, it can be hard to break the habit. Petrol sounds so much nicer than gas or gasoline.
The poseur needs to understand that British people do not have buddies. They have mates. Mates in America generally refers to two people who have sex with each other. That is not the meaning in England. It may feel a little weird for a guy poseur to refer to a male friend as a mate, but I’m warning you: this will be a deal-breaker.
As in the rest of the world, England refers to soccer as futbol. Do not refer to the game as soccer and, for god’s sake, try to act like you are enjoying this sport when you are posing as a Brit.
The poseur needs to know that you were not a kindergarten dropout. In England, the Germanic reference to pre-school is not utilised. You dropped out of infant school.
You will notice I spelled utilized with an “s” in the above sentence. The poseur’s guide is not big enough to include all the spelling differences between America and England, but keep in mind that you will use a Z far less often in British writing than American. And don’t let that “ou” when a simple “u” would suffice get you down. You are entitled to get upset as the British way of spelling sceptic, however. It’s just plain wrong.