TRIVIA: Practices that are peculiar to the UK

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Pakenhamtrain

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Having to stand at the bar to buy drinks instead of a person coming to the table to take your order
Thats par for the course down here. You order your food and drink at the bar. Most have sections for restaurant dining where you do get someone coming to the table

A couple of places I go to you can scan a qr code can order it online and they will bring it to you.
 

transmanche

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A couple of places I go to you can scan a qr code can order it online and they will bring it to you.
Even Wetherspoons in the UK has an app for table service now. Some enterprising people have been 'crowdfunding' their drinking by tweeting out their table numbers and seeing if anyone orders and pays for some drinks. From The Independent:
Using Twitter and the Wetherspoons app, Amie tweeted to her thousands of Twitter followers asking for some celebratory drink donations for her and a friend - in honour of them finishing their exams - and received way more than she bargained for.

Amie's tweet read, “Me and @mhairiesplin had a p*** exam today and we're both skint. Anyone want to help us drown our sorrows on the Wetherspoons app? We're at table one at the Hay Stook, East Killbride. xx” . The pair received a bottle of champagne, a single glass of wine, two vodka diet cokes, two glasses of milk (non-alcoholic), two jaeger bombs, smoothies, multiple rounds of beer, multiple rounds of shots, and one cherry Sourz shot.
Someone is even doing the same thing to get people to buy meals for the homeless. From The Big Issue:
We ran a competition on the page she won. But she decided she wanted to feed the homeless with the money. That’s where the Wetherspoons The Game! Homeless Feeds were born.”

That night in Salisbury, £260 of food and (non-alcoholic) drinks were bought by strangers from all over the UK and internationally. The second Feed in Southampton received £418 of food and drink, including fish, chips, chicken wings and wraps, nuts, more than 30 pizzas and a lasagne.
 

PG

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Even Wetherspoons in the UK has an app for table service now. Some enterprising people have been 'crowdfunding' their drinking by tweeting out their table numbers and seeing if anyone orders and pays for some drinks. From The Independent:
My first thought was that this would be a modern day way for the underage to get served - indeed for all I know it may well be done - wonder who gets the rap if discovered, premises license holder I assume?
 

transmanche

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My first thought was that this would be a modern day way for the underage to get served - indeed for all I know it may well be done - wonder who gets the rap if discovered, premises license holder I assume?
The staff delivering the order will operate Challenge 21 (or Challenge 25, whichever Wetherspoons does) and ask for ID if they think people are under-age. The same goes for people who are too drunk to get served at the bar - they won't get their drinks either.
 
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Here's a possible UK peculiarity (possibly one of terminology rather than practice):-

I’m English, my wife’s Italian and we currently live in Australia (although the last point isn’t really relevant).

Recently we were in the car driving along a local motorway. I was complaining about the slow drivers who insisted on driving below the speed limit whilst hogging the “outside lane”. My wife insisted that on a multi-lane highway it should be called the “inside lane”.

With a bit of thought, this would be more logical terminology. The “fast” lane is on the inside of the highway formation, while the “slow” lane is actually on the outside. So how did the “outside lane” on dual carriageways, motorways etc. come to be that closest to the central reservation?
 
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DaleCooper

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Here's a possible UK peculiarity (possibly one of terminology rather than practice):-

I’m English, my wife’s Italian and we currently live in Australia (although the last point isn’t really relevant). Recently we were in the car driving along a local motorway. I was complaining about the slow drivers who insisted on driving below the speed limit whilst hogging the “outside lane”. My wife insisted that on a multi-lane highway it should be called the “inside lane”.

With a bit of thought, this would be more logical terminology. The “fast” lane is on the inside of the highway formation, while the “slow” lane is actually on the outside. So how did the “outside lane” on dual carriageways etc. come about?
On an athletics track the outside lane is on the right, perhaps that is the origin.
 

johntea

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Even Wetherspoons in the UK has an app for table service now. Some enterprising people have been 'crowdfunding' their drinking by tweeting out their table numbers and seeing if anyone orders and pays for some drinks. From The Independent:


Someone is even doing the same thing to get people to buy meals for the homeless. From The Big Issue:
As much as I like the app and the gesture with the homeless, I feel rather sorry for the staff when these ‘Spoonsfunding’ things take place, as they often just descend into stupidity (e.g. a bowl of peas or a glass of milk)

I’ve always thought that it should be locked down with location services somewhat so you can only order if you’re in (or at the very least near!) the pub
 

Speed43125

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Here's a possible UK peculiarity (possibly one of terminology rather than practice):-

I’m English, my wife’s Italian and we currently live in Australia (although the last point isn’t really relevant).

Recently we were in the car driving along a local motorway. I was complaining about the slow drivers who insisted on driving below the speed limit whilst hogging the “outside lane”. My wife insisted that on a multi-lane highway it should be called the “inside lane”.

With a bit of thought, this would be more logical terminology. The “fast” lane is on the inside of the highway formation, while the “slow” lane is actually on the outside. So how did the “outside lane” on dual carriageways etc. come about?
A friend always insisted it was because when you are driving in the inside lane or middle lane, you look outside your car towards the faster lanes, and towards the passenger seat and inside the car for the slower lanes.
I'm skeptical though.
 

RichT54

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Here's a possible UK peculiarity (possibly one of terminology rather than practice):-

I’m English, my wife’s Italian and we currently live in Australia (although the last point isn’t really relevant).

Recently we were in the car driving along a local motorway. I was complaining about the slow drivers who insisted on driving below the speed limit whilst hogging the “outside lane”. My wife insisted that on a multi-lane highway it should be called the “inside lane”.

With a bit of thought, this would be more logical terminology. The “fast” lane is on the inside of the highway formation, while the “slow” lane is actually on the outside. So how did the “outside lane” on dual carriageways etc. come about?
Could it be that, from the driver's point of view, it's the side of the vehicle they would get out of to be outside the vehicle, and that concept then got extended to naming the lane on the driver's side?
 

WelshBluebird

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As much as I like the app and the gesture with the homeless, I feel rather sorry for the staff when these ‘Spoonsfunding’ things take place, as they often just descend into stupidity (e.g. a bowl of peas or a glass of milk)

I’ve always thought that it should be locked down with location services somewhat so you can only order if you’re in (or at the very least near!) the pub
My other half works in a spoons and they do keep an eye on what is being ordered and will essentially cancel orders if they feel its taking the mick, usually with a little chat with the people at that table.

In terms of locking down based on location, I know the McDonalds app does this, you can create your order anytime but cant actually pay for it or get them to start making it until you are within a certain distance of the place. So it cant be too hard to do.
 

dutchflyer

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That as an entertaining read for me (from out of UK). Nevertheless I have to rectify a few things:
1.cords for switching lights in bathrooms: was also pretty common in Nederland (NL) where I live-had it in my former house/flat too. Had it also for a kitchenlight above the stove. Was also with my aunt in Germany.
2.same for catseyes in the middle of some roads, though (as I dont drive myself) I doubt if this is still done and will thus progressively disappear
3.even jam or marmalade produced in NL comes as 454 grms since many years, though from some its 450 now
What struck me on my first visits to this island in the NorthSea-that was long ago, when they still did with 12 pence to the shiiling-come on, youve all got used to 100 p so can easily cope with metric too!
-THANKing a shopowner after youve bought something-we think it should be reverse!
-busconductors (clippies?) who adress you with love (luf) or darling or later as governor. We would think this immensely strange. They have been rationalised out.
Much of what you mention is more generic Brit-insipred and also very much the practice still in former colonies, Like Australia/NZ but also Burma, Malaysia, etc. Esp. these funny and cumbersome electric outlets (often claimed to be the most accidents given). Use still of PM and AM times comes to my mind-though USA is far worse in that. Temporary use of allplastic banknotes.
A cousin who deals with trade in flowers etc. mostly with the UK told me bunches of flowers would hold 10 in NL but 12 in UK.
Of course the system with how to organise the trains in TOCs etc. is also quite different from about anywhere else. Though it seems to get to the end in this way.
BIns and separating house refuse is a EU rule (not sorry to enlighten you) and UK was always thought of as to be the backward child in how they handle it, also for recycling, bannning plastics, or even still using it as landfill, etc. In Germany you can even get hefty fines if you do not do that properly. In NL its now mostly done that you have to deposit it-separated in sorts- in containers dug in the ground and emptied when they are full-for that there are thus environment destroying multiple vans/trucks around-as one for each type.
Does the also tipical Britsh styles ´gutterpress´álready start with screaming out what EU-insipred and thus superfluous rules can be done away with asap?
 

Wombat

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-busconductors (clippies?) who adress you with love (luf) or darling or later as governor. We would think this immensely strange.
Well, you can imagine how I felt many years ago in Stoke-on-Trent when a burly male bus driver addressed me as "Duck"! I wondered whether it was a term of abuse or perhaps a sexual overture. After I described this encounter in the office and my colleagues stopped laughing at me, they kindly explained that it's just a term of greeting in the Potteries.
 
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....... The “fast” lane is on the inside of the highway formation, while the “slow” lane is actually on the outside. So how did the “outside lane” on dual carriageways, motorways etc. come to be that closest to the central reservation?
Of the suggestions made, I think @DaleCooper's is probably the most plausible. With runners usually going in an anti-clockwise direction, the inside and outside lanes of an athletics track will be to the left and right respectively.

Maybe it came about in the early days of motor racing and an analogy with horse racing, where I think they also run anti-clockwise around racecourses, and maybe refer to inside or outside of the race track.

Another British vehicular peculiarity is reference to "nearside" and "offside". You'd have trouble being understood using these terms to a motor mechanic in N. America or Australia (unless the mechanic was a Pom).
 

TrafficEng

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Another British vehicular peculiarity is reference to "nearside" and "offside". You'd have trouble being understood using these terms to a motor mechanic in N. America or Australia (unless the mechanic was a Pom).
I think in some cases referring to the lane nearest the middle as 'outside' is a misunderstanding of the use of nearside/offside. I've heard people using nearside/outside - and often wondered if they'd once heard 'outside' when someone actually said 'offside'.

As for the origin of 'outside' I think DaleCooper's suggestion is an example of the same thing. If you are in a line or a queue and you want to get ahead you step/pull out of the line and then at some point step/pull/(cut) back in. So the lane you move into when you want to pass something is the outside lane.

If everyone called the lanes from left to right - Lane1, Lane2, Lane3 etc then nobody would be confused.
 

Meerkat

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If everyone called the lanes from left to right - Lane1, Lane2, Lane3 etc then nobody would be confused
Some anti-driver types object to ‘fast lane’ but everyone knows which one you mean whereas lane 3 means something different depending how many lanes there are.....
 

181

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The “fast” lane is on the inside of the highway formation, while the “slow” lane is actually on the outside. So how did the “outside lane” on dual carriageways, motorways etc. come to be that closest to the central reservation?
Maybe by analogy with bodies of water? (or, if not a direct transfer from one situation to the other, the same thought process applied independently to both). On a river, lake or sea, you're 'inshore' when near the edge, and go 'out' into the middle of it.
 

Bletchleyite

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Some anti-driver types object to ‘fast lane’ but everyone knows which one you mean whereas lane 3 means something different depending how many lanes there are.....
Only if you're a lorry/limiter-fitted coach driver to determine if you're allowed in it or not (your vehicle must be capable of 70mph to use the rightmost lane on a motorway). For everyone else, the meaning is the same in all circumstances - you should only be in it if there is a vehicle to your left whose speed you are exceeding and therefore overtaking, or too close to you on your left for a safe distance to be left if you pulled in.
 

Meerkat

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Only if you're a lorry/limiter-fitted coach driver to determine if you're allowed in it or not (your vehicle must be capable of 70mph to use the rightmost lane on a motorway). For everyone else, the meaning is the same in all circumstances - you should only be in it if there is a vehicle to your left whose speed you are exceeding and therefore overtaking, or too close to you on your left for a safe distance to be left if you pulled in.
The meaning isn’t the same.
If you say “I was in lane 3” a listener can’t tell whether cars can overtake you or not for example.
If you say “I was in the fast lane” they know.
 

TheSeeker

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School Uniforms. The UK does this really well. Here in Belgium it is very rare to find a school with a uniform. With my own kids I see this causes all sorts of problems, parents unable to afford clothes, jealousy between children who don't have the latest brands or trainers, even just having to choose a different outfit everyday. Plus a uniform brings rich and poor to the same level.

Electric scooters. Most big continental cities have one or more electric scooter for hire systems (along with push bikes). I read that these are still illegal in the UK which seems a bit odd as three and four wheeled mobility scooters are everywhere there. Is it a question of power output? The larger electric bikes require a number plate and insurance over here. In fact it's only recently that a 50cc moped required a number plate.

Attitudes to anyone with special needs. Restaurants usually always have a vegetarian or vegan option, public transport and public services generally geared up to deal with the disabled/mobility impaired.

Industrial chain pubs like Wetherspoons. My brother in law loves the spoons but to me it just seems really tacky. With austerity I get the feeling Wetherspoons has taken over a lot of local social services. Conversely independent pubs are often really good.

Health and Safety culture. You can argue this one both ways but the UK does this better than most. Even simple things like broken paving stones get some sort of attention. I guess this is down to councils wanting to avoid legal action.

Private security firms involved in absolutely everything. Massive groups like Serco running everything from Navy tugs for the MoD to school meals.

People still buy newspapers and believe what they say.
 

nlogax

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Electric scooters. Most big continental cities have one or more electric scooter for hire systems (along with push bikes). I read that these are still illegal in the UK which seems a bit odd as three and four wheeled mobility scooters are everywhere there. Is it a question of power output? The larger electric bikes require a number plate and insurance over here. In fact it's only recently that a 50cc moped required a number plate.
Sorry for rambling a bit OT, but my recent experiences in LA, Brussels and Berlin suggest to me that e-scooter management is a real problem and will be for the UK if laws are relaxed here. Scooters absolutely litter those cities, they're left to sit uncharged in bike lanes, sidewalks and outside homes and businesses. I can see that happening in all major UK cities too.
 

Bletchleyite

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Sorry for rambling a bit OT, but my recent experiences in LA, Brussels and Berlin suggest to me that e-scooter management is a real problem and will be for the UK if laws are relaxed here. Scooters absolutely litter those cities, they're left to sit uncharged in bike lanes, sidewalks and outside homes and businesses. I can see that happening in all major UK cities too.
That isn't an issue with e-scooters, it's an issue with rental schemes. It isn't a reason to discourage privately owned scooters, but rather a reason to discourage dockless rental schemes (of both scooters and bikes).
 

Bletchleyite

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Industrial chain pubs like Wetherspoons. My brother in law loves the spoons but to me it just seems really tacky. With austerity I get the feeling Wetherspoons has taken over a lot of local social services. Conversely independent pubs are often really good.
Pubs generally. In most of Europe they are more bar/restaurant establishments, usually operated by the owner.
 

nlogax

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That isn't an issue with e-scooters, it's an issue with rental schemes. It isn't a reason to discourage privately owned scooters, but rather a reason to discourage dockless rental schemes (of both scooters and bikes).
Fair point. These the ones owned by myriad rental companies..the likes of Uber / Lime, Scooty and Dott.
 

Tom B

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I think it's a legal requirement in many countries.
Depends on whether it's classed as an emergency exit route - in which case it'll fall under either BS179/1125 as appropriate - the gist of the latter being that one movement should open an emergency exit (e.g. a crash bar etc) rather than having to pull a door towards you then move forward, or unbolt doors etc.
 

Bletchleyite

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Depends on whether it's classed as an emergency exit route - in which case it'll fall under either BS179/1125 as appropriate - the gist of the latter being that one movement should open an emergency exit (e.g. a crash bar etc) rather than having to pull a door towards you then move forward, or unbolt doors etc.
Bizarrely Germany doesn't do panic bars, the standard is a handle you have to manually turn. Mind you Germany also doesn't require fire alarm systems in major buildings, either (but *does* require smoke extraction), it's oddly backward in a way.
 

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