The other blind spot is their complete ignorance of the modern science of language -- and I don't mean just the often-forbidding technicalities of Chomskyan theory, but basic knowledge of what kinds of constructions and idioms are found in English, and how people use them and pronounce them.
Maybe you can help me with this. As an American in England, many people say, 'Cheers!' to me, but in totally different situations.
Like when you're having a drink with someone - there's a general 'Cheers!' said, which I interpret to mean, 'Here's to you - drink up.'
But a lot of younger people also say, 'Cheers' when you do something for them- which I think means they are saying, 'Thanks' or 'thank you'.
So then I always feel that I should say, 'You're Welcome,' and that's what I do.
But then I feel that maybe, because that's not as commonly used here, and I'm older than they are, that they might think I'm being constricting and indirectly trying to admonish them for saying, 'Cheers' instead of 'Thank you' by redirecting them back to the more formal or accepted way of acknowledging someone doing something for you.
I'm not. But that's sort of how I feel that I might appear.
I don't hate the use of Cheers - I like it. I'm just confused as to how to appropriately respond to it.
Same with 'Ta'. Does that mean 'Thank you'? That's what I think it means, so I always say, 'You're welcome'. But then once or twice it was said in a situation which made me think it means, 'Hello', to which 'You're welcome' doesn't really work - except very literally - as in someone saying 'Hello' and me saying 'Yes - you are welcome here'.
Can you help me with this? I think you're English - right - so you get all the hidden idiomatic meaning in these phrases - right?