Formality, US and UK

Many of the professional English books we use are out of the UK. I realize that the US has a different market and goal in their publications, in that, the US is more inward-looking, being a nation which accepts massive numbers of immigrants.

As I go through, many of these books published in the UK by UK writers and thinkers, there seems to be a trend, in that UK communication styles tend to be more “indirect” and formal and US communication styles are more “direct” and informal. As a US instructor I find this pretty interesting. The US is a big country with varying levels of politeness across the land. Yes, folks from NYC are pretty direct, speak quickly and can come off as pretty rude to the uninitiated whereas folks in the south and southwest are very polite, speak more slowly, and use colorful aphorisms in their communication style (at least the educated ones).

So I’d hopefully like to get opinions on the differences in UK, US and Australian communication styles from folks with authentic experiences.

A quick stab at it, bearing in mind that these are generalizations:

Americans: direct, informal, annoying as drunk tourists.

Brits: indirect, formal, annoying as drunk tourists.

Aussies: indirect, informal, annoying as drunk tourists.

Canadians: direct but polite, informal but polite, annoying but polite as drunk tourists.

Here’s a great example of indirect language use by the British: … -you-hear/