3/31/2005 - Shameless plug 2. Free Cell Phone Wallpapers
2/8/2001 - Shameless plug. I've launched a new website with my friend Fred.
http://www.celebritybattles.com

12/11/2000 - I have launched my new personal website. kcalder.com

11/16/2000 - update: it seems that the person I previously attributed the original letter to did not in fact write the letter. Oops.

This is in response to a letter in which the United Kingdom revoked the independence of The United States of America. That letter is available here.
I advise you to read that letter before reading my reply.

If you want you can send this to a friend.



DATE: 11/15/2000 (that's 15/11/2000 to you)
TO: United Kingdom
FROM: The United States of America
SUBJECT: NOTICE OF REVOCATION OF INDEPENDENCE

To the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,

We welcome your concern about our electoral process. It must be exciting for you to see a real Republic in action, even if from a distance. As always we're amused by your quaint belief that you're actually a world power. The sun never sets on the British Empire! Right-o chum!

However, we regretfully have to decline your offer for intervention. On the other hand, it would be amusing to see you try to enforce your new policy (for the 96.3% of you that seem to have forgotten that you have little to no real power). After much deliberation, we have decided to continue our tradition as the longest running democratic republic. It seems that switching to a monarchy is in fact considered a "backwards step" by the majority of the world.

To help you rise from your current anachronistic status, we have compiled a series of helpful suggestions that we hope you adopt:

1. Realize that language is an organic structure, and that you aren't always correct in your pronunciation or spelling. Let's use your "aluminium" example. Sir Humphrey Davy (an Englishman) invented the name "aluminum" (note spelling) for the metal. However, in common usage the name evolved into "aluminium" to match the naming convention of other elements. In 1925 the United States decided to switch back to the _original_ spelling and pronunciation of the word, at which point we dominated the aluminum industry. We'd also like to point out that the process of actually producing aluminum was developed by an American and a Frenchman (not an Englishman). However, we'd like to thank you for the Oxford English Dictionary. It's an interesting collection, considering that over 10,000 of the words in the original edition were submitted by a crazy American civil-war veteran called Dr. William Charles Minor.

2. Learn to distinguish the American and Canadian accents, and then we'll talk about the English and Australian accent issue.

3. Review your basic arithmetic.
(Hint 100 - 98.85 = 1.15 and 100 - 97.85 = 2.15)

4. If you want English actors as good guys, then make your own movies. Don't rely on us for your modern popular culture. We liked "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels", "Trainspotting", and "The Full Monty". We've also heard good things about this "Billy Elliot". But one good movie a year doesn't exactly make a cultural powerhouse. However, you're doing pretty well with music, so keep up the good work on that front.

5. It's inefficient to have a national anthem that changes its title whenever your monarch dies. Let's not forget that your national anthem has an extremely boring tune. We suggest switching to that Rule Brittania ditty, it's toetapping. Or maybe Elton John could adapt "Candle In The Wind" again for you guys.

6. Improve at your national sport. Football? Soccer? This just in: United States gets fourth place in men's soccer at the 2000 Summer Olympics. United Kingdom? Not even close. By the way, impressive showing at Euro 2000. You almost managed to get through the tournament without having your fans start an international incident.

7. Learn how to cook. England has some top notch candy. Salt 'n' Vinegar chips are quite yummy. However, there's a reason why the best food in your country is Indian or Chinese. Your contributions to the culinary arts are soggy beans, warm beer, and spotted dick. Perhaps when you finally realize the French aren't the spawn of satan they'll teach you how to cook.

8. You're doing a terrible job at understanding cars. The obvious error is that you drive on the wrong side of the road. A second problem is pricing, it's cheaper to buy a car in Belgium and ship it to England than to buy a car in England. On the other hand, we like Jaguars and Aston Martins. That's why we bought the companies.

9. We'll tell you who killed JFK when you apologize for "Teletubbies".

Thank you for your time. You can now return to watching bad Australian soap operas.

p.s. - regarding WW2: You're Welcome.

--
Keith Calder
kcalder@andrew.cmu.edu

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