Everything is Bigger in America

European Badger

The lovely European Badger, Meles Meles.

They say that everything is bigger in America. Please, forgive them for their poor grammar, for they mean to say that everything is larger.

But is everything really bigger in America? Well, no, not everything is bigger.

Here are some things that are bigger in The United Kingdom.
(Please add your own in the comments here. Or on Facebook if you insist):

Standard sized sheets of paper
A4 paper is the standard size in The UK and most other places outside North America, which uses “letter paper”. A4 is narrower, but longer and has a greater surface area of about  11mm² overall. Enough to write the word “big” in 9pt text.

Standard sized printed photos
4×6 is still more common in North America, despite 4½x6 being better suited to the images that come from digital cameras. Printed at 4×6, cropping occurs, and you could lose important detail at the edge of your image. Ask any photographer, or any woman, and they will tell you the importance of that extra half an inch.

Birmingham, Leicester and Cambridge
All iterations of these cities are smaller than their UK counterparts

Sales of Marmite and Irn-Bru
These products are sought after by ex-pats desperate for any sense of nostalgia, even if it means consuming something disgusting. The UK version of Marmite is banned in Canada (a non-vitamin enriched version is available), although guns may be bought here.

Respective indigenous badgers
Meles Meles, the European or Eurasian Badger, is not only cuter than Taxidea Taxus, the American Badger, it is also a little larger.

A Gallon
An Imperial Gallon is 4.546 litres. A US Gallon is 3.79 litres. If you decide on a rocket trip to the moon, you might want to ensure the people fuelling the tanks are using the same kind of gallon that you are.

A Pint
Like the above, an Imperial Pint is larger. You know what that means, right? You get more beer in a pint in The UK than in The USA. Canada, as usual, is a hodgepodge. In theory, if a drinks menu says “pint”, then it is Federal Law that you be served an Imperial Pint. In practice, many places flout this law and serve US Pints (or worse, US Dry Pints, which are even smaller). It is next to impossible to know what you are being served without taking your own glass. Many drinks menus say how many ounces you are getting, but this is no help, as…. you guessed it! An Imperial Ounce is bigger than a US Ounce!

In as-much-as it is better understood, irony is bigger in The UK (or at least, we believe so). As numerous people have already said, “ten-thousand spoons when all you need is a knife” is damn frustrating, at best. At worst, searching through ten-thousand spoons is a very unlikely situation, unless you are in the home of a spoon collector. In any case, it is not ironic unless it is taking place in a knife factory. Or the cutlery draw is designed in the shape of a knife. Or if there was an audience watching Alanis Morrisette rifling through a spoon-laden drawer looking for a knife, and the audience could see a barrel full of knives behind her, but Alanis was never aware of them. Until she tripped over them, sometime later, when she realised she actually wanted a spoon. Or something like that.

Chips (fries)
Bigger than fries but smaller than potato wedges. Just like your mother.

Books produced per capita
The UK produces far more books as a proportion of its population, and only some of them are celebrity memoirs.

The intrinsic value of a single unit of currency
At the time of writing, £1 is worth $1.67USD or $1.86CAD

Standard size of a can of beer/lager
A beer can is 440ml in The UK. In North America the standard is 355ml, unless you ask for a “tallboy” (~473ml).

The price of Petroleum/Gasoline
In the 3rd quarter of 2013, a litre of petrol in The UK was £1.35 ($2.25USD/$2.51CAD)
A litre of gas in Canada was 82p ($1.37USD/$1.52CAD)
A litre of gas in The United States was 64p ($1.07USD/$1.19CAD)
Prices vary a lot more across both Canada and The USA compared to The UK.

Betting (especially sport/sports)
In The UK, betting can take place at a stadium, at a high-street betting shop (a retail outlet that offers to take bets) or online. You can bet on pretty much anything. Whether it will snow on Christmas Day, who the next Prime Minister will be, who will win X-Factor or, currently, whether or not Irn-Bru will be banned this year. Meanwhile, in The USA, betting online is strictly illegal and the legalities of other forms of betting vary from county to county.

Number of monarchs
We have one. So does Canada. The USA has none, unless you count Hilary Clinton.

Misery, negativity and a general hatred of all things are much bigger in The UK.

Knife crime
You are much less likely to be shot in The UK, since the fast majority of guns are illegal and those that aren’t require a license. In 2009, there were 0.07 murders per 100,000 people that were committed using a firearm. In The USA it was 3 homicides per 100,000 – 40 times higher.
On the downside, you are more likely to be stabbed. Still, swings and roundabouts.

The general sense of malaise
Why bother?

The general sense of antipathy
HEY STU, surely there must be some things that are bigger in The USA?
Yes, there are. Here is a complete list:

Food servings/Obesity Ranking
The gap between rich and poor
Homicide rate
Homicide rate on Black Friday
Unexpected medical expenses
Consumption of the planets available resources

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